The weekend rolls around again. The Blonde has taken her boys on some mad activity adventure holiday where they get to go sailing and canoeing, climb hills, ford streams, abseil down cliffs, scramble over rocks, trek through forests and generally get dirty, muddy, bashed, bruised and bloodied. I was invited but I think when I asked how many stars the hotel was The Blonde realised that perhaps it wasn’t quite my thing. (I think they’re probably sleeping in mud huts or something).
So she’s left me to my own devices and headed off for the desolate wilderness of Wales, leaving me to contemplate life, the universe, and everything.
It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through August already and harder still to believe that I’ve been looking for work for a quarter of a year now. The routine of office life seems a distant memory and much as I enjoyed what I did I’m surprised how little I miss it. I’ve a strong sense of “been there, done that now” and I’m happier than I expected to leave it all behind and forge a new path. Just need to try and make a bit more progress on the forging.
Talking of which…
At the end of last week I spotted another job! Fast becoming a rare sighting I leapt on this one immediately. Estate agency again, senior negotiator for a firm in a town an easy half hour from home. I donned the suit and tie, crafted a letter to go with the CV and struck out expectantly.
The shop was located in busy pedestrianised high street and was a bright modern fit-out, plenty of light ash and pastel shades as is the norm these days. I was greeted by a nice lady who happily turned out to be the manager, bingo! I explained the purpose of my visit and handed over the envelope containing the necessary. She seemed happy to chat and we had a brief but positive discussion about my previous employ and the reason for me job seeking. She was appropriately sympathetic at the news of my redundancy and even went so far as to enquire whether I might be available for interview in a couple of days? I assured her I would make myself available any time to suit and we shook hands cordially as I took my leave.
That went well I mused as I walked back through the precinct to the car park where the Polite Hatchback waited. Politely.
As I eased out through the traffic I had an idea. Nearby in this town was the Audi garage where I’d sourced a couple of my company cars in the past. I love Audis, I had four of them in a row over the last ten years, a couple of fast turbocharged A3 hatchbacks, and latterly a beautiful A4 Cabriolet with a few nice toys and finished in a stunning midnight blue metallic. I loved that car and was very sorry to see it go when eventually I was taxed out of it by our good leader “Prudence” Brown. Odd, he seems to have dropped that particular nomenclature of late…
When it was announced I was being made redundant one of the first things I did was write to every Audi dealership within range. The idea of surrounding myself in Vorsprung Durch Tequnik every day was an attractive one, and the idea of another Audi company car hardly a turn off either. Needless to say my enquiries had been met by silence, but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to call in whilst I was in the area, see the chap that sold me my cars, and gently put the feelers out.
I swung onto the forecourt and immediately it brought back memories of happier times. Since I was a schoolboy obsessed with cars I’d always wanted a new registration on the day it came out, I used to look out for them on August 1st (as was the plate year change back then) to see if I could spot any lucky owners. Six years ago when I ordered that cabriolet I fulfilled a lifetimes ambition of my very own convertible (that took some negotiating on its own to get past the board), and I’d decided to delay taking delivery until 1st March for the sake of that excitable car obsessed schoolboy that still lurks within me. The salesman had picked me up in a huge limo like Audi A8 first thing, and by ten o’clock we’d done the handover and I had pulled off the forecourt with the roof down, new plate on the new day. I wonder if any schoolboys noticed it?
Entering the showroom there was no sign of my old friend who’d sold me my dream, and when I asked at reception I was told that he’d retired last year and she went to find someone to look after me. I loitered next to a Meteor Grey metallic Audi TT Roadster in the centre of the showroom. Roof down displaying its soft supple Chennai brown thick stitched Impulse leather I was reminded exactly what it was about Audi that made me go gooey. The shape and form and the sheer attention to detail alights my passion for absolute precision and engineering perfection that also stokes my love of fine Swiss mechanical watches. Even the aroma has a flavour all Audi’s own, and yes, even that is carefully engineered.
A young chap came out and asked if he could help and I explained that sadly I wasn’t there to buy a car today and explained my position. He was most helpful and informed me that, as they are part of a group, recruitment was all dealt with centrally now. I asked if he could furnish me with a name and a contact email address. He disappeared for a moment and came back with a business card for the person in question. Yes, an in! I thanked him profusely, shook his hand, and bid him good day.
Reluctantly tearing myself away from that TT I headed home. I was already formulating in my mind the email I’d write, I was going for this one all guns blazing.
Tags: Audi, benefits, Blonde, bmw, business, career, Credit crunch, dole, Downturn, Freelance, job, job hunting, life, Middle aged, Midlife, MINI, recession, redundancy, Redundant, romance, sales, unemployment, Walking, Writing