Holding pattern.

Looking forward to our weekend! :-)

The final interview is set for 3pm and I roll up ten minutes early. Back into what’s rapidly becoming quite a familiar showroom, I notice that one of the cars has changed from a blue Fiesta Studio to a silver Zetec, otherwise all is how I last left it. I say hi to the chaps and seek out the Sales Manager in his lair. A little small talk and then he takes me for a stroll around the premises pointing out some of the facilities they have there whilst we wait for the director I’m to meet to arrive.

On the dot a very smartly dressed gentleman arrives and disappears with the Sales Manager into his office. Five minutes later I’m summoned. Show time.

We spend about thirty minutes talking, it’s an interview, but conducted along the lines more of an informal chat. We seem to rub along nicely, there’s no big challenges or awkward pauses, the whole thing conducted in a friendly and pleasant way. At the end I’m asked whether I have any questions or further thoughts? I explain that we’ve covered most things during my “induction day”, the only big question remaining is when can I expect to hear? I’m promised I won’t be kept waiting, I’ll have an answer by Friday. Good enough, I can ask or expect no more.

Handshakes all round and I’m back out into the sunny showroom, quick ta-ta to the chaps and back out to the car park and the waiting Polite Hatchback.

I roll off the forecourt, loosening my tie and undoing my top button as I disappear out of sight. Phew, that went OK I think, perhaps more than OK, I think it went well. In the back of my mind as I drive the ten minutes home though is the nagging doubt that I felt exactly the same after the MINI interview and the Mercedes interview, both of course for jobs I didn’t get. Well, no point fretting over it, I’ve given my best shot, we’re back in the familiar holding pattern now.

Back home I change out of the suit and return it to its carrier, slip on an old T shirt and a pair of chinos and head for the garden. The Blonde is coming to dinner later, might as well soak up a few rays for the last hour or so. Five minutes later I’m settled in an old teak steamer chair at the far end of the garden enjoying the warm September sunshine, book in hand, cool orange juice at my elbow. I fire off a quick text to The Blonde, “all good I think, back to the waiting game now, see you in a bit”.

I’m about halfway through my second chapter when the mobile shrills into life. I figure it’s perhaps The Blonde calling for an update as I reach for it. I check the screen, it’s not. It’s Ford.

Hello Charlie, thanks for calling in earlier, It’s the Sales Manager. Just thought I’d put you out of your misery. I’m sorry to say…

The world stops for a fraction of a second as my heart plummets.

that you’ve got the job.

The bugger!

God loves a kidder. Details still to be sorted out, but look toward starting beginning of October. Company car of course, a nice new Fiesta with a bit of spec to start me off.


I thank him profusely and tell him I’m available to pop in and sort out the details whenever suits, and of course I shall be delighted to accept his offer of employment.

He bids me a cheery goodbye and I do that staring at the phone thing for a few moments before slowly placing it on the ground by me, next to my abandoned book.

I spend the next ten minutes just staring blankly across the lawn, looking unseeingly at the back of my house, that beautiful house I can now afford to heat and light and stock with food this winter.

Then I grab my phone and head back indoors, snatch up my car keys and head for the drive. I’ve got an hour before The Blonde is due, just time. Ten minutes later I’m at the florists and a huge bouquet of flowers is under construction. I select a card and write two words on it followed by some kisses. I admire my handiwork for a moment and then slip it into its little envelope. It reads “Guess what???” All done I settle up and head back to the Polite Hatchback, lower the huge bouquet carefully onto the back seats and drive home. I place the flowers on my bed and return to my spot in the garden.

The Blonde arrives twenty minutes later, bursting to know all the details. I’m starting dinner and I tell her all. Well, almost all. I’m struggling to keep a straight face so I ask her if she’d be kind enough to fetch the candle lighter from my bedroom drawer. I smile as she disappears upstairs. I hear a quiet exclamation and then a pause. That’ll be the flowers then. a few seconds later I hear rustling, that’ll be the card. I head upstairs to shining eyes and big hugs.

Job done.


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25 Responses to “Holding pattern.”

  1. Colonel Panic Says:

    Huzzah! Drinks all round!

    It took less than six months too so you fit into the ‘normal distribution’ of downtime for those finding work after being made redundant (like myself too I should add).

    For you, sir, the recession is over.

    Well done!

  2. AJ & AJ Says:

    Great result! And well deserved after all the effort you put into finding a job. A lesson for the unemployed there…?

    Loved the touch with the flowers for The Blonde.

  3. Lurking Ladybird Says:

    Hurrah for you…I think it is probably related to the extra crossed fingers and toes…..balloons and streamers all round!

  4. Jason Says:

    Well Done!
    Been following your story avidly – great result.

  5. clare Says:

    Fantastic! Let’s hope it all runs smoothly but cannot see why it shouldn’t do.
    Just out of interest, did you ever hear anything back from the supercars place? May have written it and I missed it. I feel Fords are better placed to survive the slowdown….in fact, we may be getting one ourselves soon…but secondhand.

    This news has made my day.

  6. jonathan Says:

    all the best Ari

    Tried to keep up with the blog every couple of days !

    Fantastic news does that mean the end of the blog ? or will it continue with what happens in your work day?

    I came across the blog via tz-uk (for watch freaks) i guess it wouldnt be long before you get your sub date!

  7. Generali Says:

    Very well done, you must be very happy.

    I’ve been in the no job, can’t get a job boat and it’s horrid. Really horrid.


  8. charliecroker Says:

    Thanks all, for your good wishes. I’m feeling quietly chuffed today as you might imagine. šŸ™‚

    To answer a couple of questions, never heard back from the Supercar place. And really undecided about keeping the blog running. I feel it’s reached its conclusion, but maybe I’ll update it once a week or so, I don’t know.

  9. lost Says:

    Don’t stop writing! A new outlet, sure, but don’t stop. Its a talent, but its also a skill that needs to be kept up to scratch or the chops fade. Besdies which, a job, while great is a job, its not going to fulfil all your ”artistic” needs, so for goodness sake write!

    I’m so very happy for you. SO happy I wish we hadn’t got a car, I’d have put up with a ford to give you a sale. šŸ˜‰

    Well done, good for you and hurrah. I’d also like to say that the blonde comes out looking great too, a genuine woman, supportive and loving and a fitting partner for a lovely sounding man. šŸ™‚

  10. viva Says:

    Hey Charlie,

    The last few months must have felt like a roller coaster ride, I’m so happy for you! The blonde sounds wonderful and life’s finally on the up.

    Best of all, no more going through the motions down the Job Centre. How good must that feel.

    Please keep up the blog for a bit longer… And Ford, if you’re reading this, you’ve got as big a keeper in your new employee as Charlie has in the blonde.

    Great news, has totally made my day.

  11. Tom Says:

    Congratulations! A well-deserved result.

    I’ve been following your blog with interest and hope. Your success should be an inspiration to those currently out of work: treating a job hunt with the same effort and commitment that one would put into a ‘proper’ job is the best possible approach.

    For what it’s worth, I was made redundant about 8 years ago. Looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time, though…

    Good luck for the future, whatever it may hold.

  12. lincolnshire minister Says:

    Congrats on the job, please keep writing it makes fasinating reading. look forward to reading how new job is…

  13. Rob C Says:

    Well Done!!

    It’s well deserved,and an example to all of us.

    Don’t stop blogging (or writing) though, you are really good and we’ve all got used to checking in every day for your daily update šŸ™‚

  14. Jan Says:

    Well done. You deserve it. Now don’t go spending all your dough on ‘boy’s stuff’. We still live in uncertain times.

    Congrats again.

  15. Andrew L Says:

    Many congratulations – well done and well deserved.

  16. Dave Shepherd Says:

    Well done- no one has deserved this break more than you! But we need to see how it all pans out, getting the job is one thing- making it secure may be another. Your readers have shared in your multiple disappointments- You can’t now leave us in your time of success!

    A hearty well deserved congratulations.

  17. Matt Says:

    Yes, well done. You’ve certainly earned it through your exploits and going the extra mile rather than just sending off CVs. I’ve learned a few things there.

    But, er, you follow the Blonde upstairs for ‘hugs’ and then immediately write about it on your blog?! Oh, you cad.

  18. Pat (MSE) Says:

    I’m beaming here, what brilliant news and so richly deserved.

    Just one question – why do you keep a candle lighter in your bedroom drawer?

    Okay, sorry I asked…. (lol)

    Seriously, please keep us posted even if intermittently – we know you will do well but it would be lovely to read about it!

    I feel, and I guess we all do, that we know almost as much about The Blonde as we do about your job search. She sounds like a really lovely person, and I hope your relationship continues to go from strength to strength. Tell her to join MSE!

  19. Phirefly Says:

    Absolutely thrilled for you, I hope it feels as right to you as it does to all of us, allow yourself a sigh of relief and a couple of treats.

    Everyone tires of the 9-5 from time to time but as many of us who have been through similar, you will certainly appreciate it like never before.

    No more job centre! Whooop!

    Oh and please do keep it up, I want to know what happens with The Blonde!

  20. Loulou Says:

    I am so overjoyed for you. So well deserved. I was unemployed for 4 months and have been in my new role for just 4 weeks. I can still feel that total excitement at getting a job, something which before I would have taken for granted and I really am feeling that again for you now. Will be very sad if you decide not to continue your blog, I would miss your writing. All the best with the future in your new job, and your future with the Blonde.

  21. MD Says:

    Well done!

  22. Al Says:

    Hello all,
    It’s ‘The Blonde’ here.
    Just wanted to say a big thank you for all the positive comments and to make a couple of my own.
    I met Charlie a few weeks after he was made redundant – and on our first date he appeared apologetic about it, almost fearful that I might judge him due to his lack of employment. It clearly did not put me off, but it did give me some insight into how much of our identity and self definition is wrapped up in our work role.
    I have been with Charlie through the ups and downs of this search for work (as you have too!) and feel privileged to have witnessed the determined efforts he has put in to secure a job. He has truly gone the extra mile, and as you know, yesterday it paid off.
    It has been very strange reading about my life through Charlie’s blog (although he did ask my permission, but quickly seemed to forget that I had asked for editorial control of pages with me in it….!!!). It is my first experience of a blog, and I have been touched by the warmth and support you have all offered to Charlie through your comments, and the ‘connection’ you have made with me.
    I too wish Charlie all the very best in his new job, and am hopeful that if Charlie decides to write the next chapter of his blog, you’ll find me still starring as ‘The Blonde’.
    PS The flowers are lovely!

  23. Pat (MSE) Says:

    Hi Al, aka The Blonde (you’d better not go brunette any time soon lol). I’m glad you don’t mind Charlie sharing his recent life events with us. It’s great that he felt he could include his relationship with you – it is obviously quite important to him and I’m sure your presence has sustained him through some of the darkest times.

    Hope he lets you continue to pop in now and again. If he needs a nudge to remember to keep in touch with us, I’m sure you will be happy to administer it! Btw any man who can not only cook but entertain is well worth hanging on to!

  24. Mr A Nonymous Says:

    Smooth bastard with the flowers! Well done though.

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