CO-SHANG AND WELCOME TO GEEK PIE!
My name is Caroline, this is my blog and it's a pleasure to meet you.
I live with my sister on the outskirts of swinging London town, in a flat we're constantly one late rent payment away from losing.
At the moment I'm a journalist in name only (check out my sexy business cards) and I'm desperately searching for my first job in journalism.
That's pretty much what this shebang is all about. Shall we see what I've been up to today then?
Feel free to sign up and talk about anything either on the tag board below. It's usually occupied by weirdos, headfucks and best avoided around midnight
I don't love it when you call my name.
There are certain places that I don't like hearing my name. For instance, during the reading out of chruch obituaries or that bit at weddings where they ask if anyone knows why the lady in the big dress shouldn't marry the guy in the ill fitting suit. Other places include during Neil Diamond and Status Quo songs (but there is not much I can do about them) and when I'm half naked in the gym changing rooms.
According to a survey conducted by Grazia, 98% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Go to my gym and hangout (and most people do literally) in the changing rooms for a bit and you'll soon discover that this these stats don't seem to apply here.
It seems the people with the best bodies walk around cowering behind towels and get dressed while nearly standing in their locker. You can't be seen staring directly at them --it's a gym, not a peep show-- but out of the corner of your eye it's quite funny to watch as they hop around getting changed desperate not to flash even the tiniest bit of tit or muff. It's usually the younger people who go to the gym that do this.
On the other hand, the wobblier members of the place seem to take great pride in wandering round with as little on as possible. No towels, no shame and a real proud swagger when they walk. I think it's great that they can do this, and feel so comfortable with themselves. All I'm asking is that they at least sort out some of their unwanted body hair first or at least try and conceal their caesarian scars.
Anyway, back to the original point of the post. Yesterday, I'd just finished my workout and was getting changed out of my sweat soaked gym stuff. I'm neither a "let it all hang out" type of person or a locker jockey, if that's what you're wondering. I have a very sophisticated system, which I don't feel at liberty to share with anyone here. So there.
Then I heard my name. I froze. I thought it was gym etiquette not to get chatting to anyone when doing so could throw their concentration and lead to them to accidentally drop and uncover something they'd rather keep hidden.
I turned round with determination. I would not be thrown. I turned round and was greeted with an ungodly sight. The Mum of someone I went to school with standing there completely in the buff. I was mortified. Obviously, this was never conveyed on my face because if it was I don't think she would have carried on the conversation as long as she had, especially if she had any idea what was going through my mind right then.
Here's a taster: "SHAVE. WAX. IMMAC. ANYTHING!" It was also clear that she'd have to be doing a lot more in the gym than accoust young folk such as myself if she ever wanted her thighs not to meet in the middle anymore. The same could be said for her neck and breasts.
She stood there chatting to me about what her daughter was up to --studying for either some law thing or marine biology. I wasn't really concentrating-- and then listed what her other three kids were up to as well. Nothing I said could hurry the conversation along either.
When she mentioned her youngest's name I searched franctically in my head for any recollection or memory of them so that I could convey that I knew already what she was going to say about them. Unfortunately, I got the wrong sibling completely-- her youngest isn't a boy called Phillip, it's actually a girl called Helena. Fuck. And this little mistake just made her go on more.
I tried to maintain eye contact with her at all times, but it made me realise that when you have conversations with people, your eyes do wander a bit. Taking in what they're wearing (in this case not a great deal more than downy fluff and muff cover. Vomit), their overall mannerisms (very expressive and showcasing quite a bit of armpit hair) and watching their reactions to what you do too. The last one was easy, she kept looking me up and down as I stood there with a towel covering my bottom half and a hoody on the top.
Eventually she left me alone, after making me promise to give her daughter a call and passing on her best wishes to my Mum. I showered and then scooped up all my belongings and crept into one of the tiny cubicles that no one ever uses to get changed in. I just felt with all these people overexposing themselves, would it really be so bad if for once someone decided not to put so much of themselves on show?
And also, I was thinking back to all the judgments I was making about old Hairy Muff Mary (not her real name) and remembered people could be thinking stuff like that about me. Hmmmm, not willing to run that risk and so it was with giddy abandon I got got changed. Just the only person privy to it was me.
Posted at 12:29 am by Carrot
After my interview on Wednesday, I got in and checked my emails. There bold as brass was one from the dentist's magazine. They were offering me the job.
As bad as it sounds, my heart sank. Now I'm left with lots of decisions to make about all the speculation I've been putting in over the last few weeks. With no other offers on the table, it looks like I might just have to bite the bullet and take the job.
My car won't be happy and I've got a horrid feeling that I won't be either after about six months. It's so far removed -- in location and subject matter-- from where I want to be at the moment.
Also, they want someone for the long haul (they said at least 18 months) and that's definitely nowhere near how long I saw myself staying there. I was thinking, put in a sly 9 month placement and then fuck off. Get a better job and leave the dentistry publishing mourning my departure.
They've given me a start date and I'm really going to have to put my thinking cap on to work out what my next move is going to be. Moneywise, I desperately have to start working soon. I just don't want to feel like my hand is being forced to take a job I'm not anywhere near 100% sure about taking.
So in the meantime, I've been applying for other stuff. Quite promisingly, I've got another interview next week for a trainee features writing position. Again it's miles out the way (what is it with me only being offered jobs in the arse end of nowhere?), but the job is a lot further up my street then the other one.
So who knows. Fucking hell I need a drink. But, I mustn't succumb!
Posted at 08:42 am by Carrot
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I've made a couple of changes to my life the past few days. The is that I have made a solemn vow never to drink ever again, or until my birthday. Whichever comes sooner. Oh and what do you know? It looks like I'm going to be greeting my 22nd year with a champagne toast and JD chaser.
Basically, what I'm saying is that I've quit the sauce until my birthday (June 7). It's mainly for health (the number of times a hangover has contributed to my lapse in gym attendance is frankly appalling) and reasons of vanity (must get rid of wine belly).
So yesterday I started back at the gym and I have achey muscles around my knees to prove it. Also, my hair stinks of bleach and vanilla because I forgot to take my shampoo and conditioner and had to make do with the free stuff from their pump despensers. Yuck!
I'm also finding this a great distraction from the job stuff that is currently overloading my primative brain.
I've got my third interview at the Dentist magazine today. I've invoiced them for the work I did last week, so --even if I get nothing else from them-- at least I should get some money.
It's a third interview. I've never got this far in before. Usually it's been two interviews at most and then I've either got it or I haven't. A third interview is a completely new and daunting prospect for me. Not really sure what to expect and it's making me a bit nervous.
Think the best thing to do is to show no fear. Therefore, I'm just going to lay my cards on the table as soon as I get there. Start the money ball rolling straight off.
" Hello? Yeah, whatever. C'mon let's just cut the crap. How much are you going to be giving me and what reg is my company car going to be?"
They'll probably be some bargaining. I'll offer to take a pay cut in exchange for a coaster for my coffee mug and exemption from making the tea for the first three weeks I'm there. Judging from the nature of the magazine, I don't think it'd be too unreasonable to ask for weekly tooth whitenings, scales and polishes either.
I think I've got the measure of the situation and I think I'm going to be fine.
Posted at 01:23 am by Carrot
It's barely spring and I've already got hayfever. My eyes are itchy, my nose is tickly and I keep getting that horrible feeling like I've got ants crawling in my ears. I hate spring/summer or whatever the hell arse is going on with the weather round here.
Anyway, I think I might have a partial soultion to my job woes. Again, this is all hypothetical because they haven't actually put their balls on the line and said I've got the job yet. I'm thinking that if they offer it to me, I'm going to say that I can't start until the beginning of May.
I'll tell them that I've got some freelance stuff to complete (I've actually got a kick ass idea to pitch that I''m working on at the moment) and so I can't start straightaway. This will give me time to hear back from the other place I had an interview with up in town on Thursday. The lady said she'd contact me in a week and a bit to discuss further interviews (or perhaps to disparage me for even attending and wasting her time in the first place).
Then if they offer me a job, I'll take that one and graciously decline the other. How sneaky and underhand?
I'm not totally going to dismiss the first one until I've been to the third interview. Some people in answer to my plight (thank you readers and posters on Life Itself) have sent me some good suggestions to put to my interviewers to make my life easier if I took the job. If they agree, then maybe I could take it and my life wouldn't end up the empty husk with no social life that I'm envisaging it becoming should I take the job.
But my car has also chucked in its own opinion about what I should do. As of yesterday, it decided that it didn't want to go anymore and if it can't be fixed, all this job angst might be for nothing. With no car to begin with, I can't get there to work in the first place, let alone enough to help me put a down payment on a car. Bit of a shitter.
Again, this might all be a complete waste of time. After Wednesday they might conclude that I'm not the person they're after at all. If that turns out to be the case, I might print off this blog and my various posts for help I've posted on Life Itself, Myspace and round my neighbourhood, demonstrating the amount of thought I'd been wasting on a magazine where I'd be responsible for writing stories about toothbrushes.
Helps to put it in to perspective, doesn't it?
Posted at 01:55 am by Carrot
Being unemployed and being handed a legitimate reason to sit around and do nothing on a weekday is such a blessing. That's why I love bank holidays.
If things go a certain way this week (I got to a third interview and they offer me a job) I might not be unemployed for very much longer. This is, of course, a very good thing, but there are a couple of niggly things at the back of my mind making me think that taking this job might not be the best thing to do.
First up, it's based 50 minutes (if there is no traffic) or an hour and a half away (when every Tom, Dick and Twat decides to take to the road) from my house by car and is miles away from anywhere. I know if I was working up in swinging London town, the journey would take a similar amount of time, but I'd be closer to some kind of civilisation.
Pretty, but would you want to spend the rest of your life negotiating this on your own or the drinks menu of your local with all your chums?
The place that might be offering me a job are very sociable after work because they all live in the same village nearby. If I wanted to join in, first up, I wouldn't be able to drink (sacrilege) because I'd have no way of getting home. Also at lunchtime they all either go home or sit at their desks. I'd have no choice but to stay at my desk--bcause everywhere worth going is miles away-- and that's not something I really enjoy doing.
When I have a break, I need a break from everything to do with work. The desk, the computers, the phones ringing, everything.
To be honest, the biggest question is the effect all the travelling is going to have on my social life. I don't have much of one at the moment and I can see me having even less of one if I took this job. They told me that the shear amount of work to do each day means that everyone working there stays a lot longer in the evenings then the official 5.30pm clocking off time, but that's not a problem for them because they all live so close by. I expect to have to put in some overtime, but after all that I'd get home at silly O'clock, go to bed and get up again.
Since I've come back from uni my social life has sucked the big one. Most of my mates from school I have either lost touch with or they've stayed on at the places they went to uni at, a testament to the shittiness of my hometown. I haven't got many mates left round here and I can see myself drifting apart from the ones I do have left. Most of them work weekends, so I have to see them during the week or not at all. Or they work in town.
If I had a job in town I could finish late, go for a drink with everyone and hop on the train home. That's what I used to do at the other places I've worked. I just keep thinking country life might not be for me.But then the catch-22 is that I really need a job.
What the fuck am I going to do? Any suggestions?
Posted at 09:27 am by Carrot
What's with the long face?
I like to think of myself as a resourceful person. For instance, In the past I've made my own clothes (note the word "made" and not the word "worn" there) and wrapped an entire wardrobe in wrapping paper to try and make some kind of interior design statement. It's just a pity that the statement I seemed to say was: "YOU'RE SHIT AT THIS! QUIT NOW!" Obviously, I'm not terribly good at being resourceful, but God loves a trier.
However, one thing I've always been good at is making the best of a bad situation. Today was going to be a good one. I had the tiny issue of a job interview to get through first, but once that was out the way I was going to meet up with one of my old uni housemates and spend the rest of the day drinking.
Unfortunately, at the eleventh hour (literally, it was 11pm last night) she phoned to say that she wasn't going to be able to meet up; that we'll have to do it again some time and blah, blah, blah.
Disheartened, I then had a thought. I'll just go out with someone else and thus the day would be saved. Hurrah.
Or at least I thought it would be. Do you have any friends that it always seems like a good idea to meet up with and then when you do you remember all the reasons why you were secretly happy that they moved away to Bath four years ago? Well I do and that was who I ended up meeting up with instead.
This boy's name is Graham. I've known him since I was about six or seven and he's always been the same. He's always been about six feet taller than everyone else, so he stoops when he walks and I can never drive him anywhere because he can't fit in my car. Or at least that's what I tell him. He's got ginger hair, is a bit spotty and he's slimmer than the chances that anyone would ever choose to have his babies.
But, first and foremost, he is the biggest defeatist I have ever met and so as soon as he opens his mouth you start wishing you weren't there. He never seems to see the good in any situation or anything that happens to him.
I met him today at a pub near Old Street, because that's near where my interview was. He stalked in, having to nearly half his body height in order to make it through the pub door and avoid banging his head on the ceiling.
He sat down and we started talking. He's got a new job (good), it's pays well (good) and the work is not hard or too boring (good). But, everybody there hates him and he doesn't want to be anywhere people might not like him. Part of me really wanted to tell him that maybe he should leave right now, but I'm a nice person.
He said that he'd love to play guitar in a band for a living, and me being the supportive person that I am asked him what his band was like.
"I don't have a band. No one wants to play with me."
"Why? Have you placed ads and stuff?"
"Well, how do you know that no one wants to play with you then?"
And that was pretty much how the rest of my time spend with him went. I was planning on spending the whole day in the pub, but after an hour he started to really bring me down and we parted company. Now I'm back home and quite capable of typing lucidly, not exactly how I saw today going.
I just don't know how someone gets like that. Completely and utterly unable to register any kind of emotions other than complete indifference and pessimism.
Hmmm, and I thought I was a grumpy sod.
Posted at 08:29 am by Carrot
It used to be the case that my Sunday afternoons were spent being driven around by my parents. All seven of us would pile in the car, go for a drive and then come back again. It was totally pointless.
Today, I had the dubious honour of returning the favour to my Dad. You see, the dentist job is based just outside of Elstree and so I'd have to drive there. As the furthest I've ever driven is probably Harrow Weald (hello bruv!), I didn't have a clue where I would have to go. And so my Dad offered to drive with me and show me the route.
Last week, because I was going for an interview my Dad drove me, but he can't do that forever....well, maybe if I offered him cash. I had to find my own way. So I packed my Dad into the car and off we went.
My Dad decided that to make sure I knew exactly where I had to go we should do the trip quite a few times. If I'd known that "a few" actually means nine times. I'd probably told him to forget it and that I'd find it on my own just fine.
So what if I got lost, ended up in Aberdeen or with my car over turned in a ditch? At least I wouldn't be suffering with numb bum, gear changers arm or with the afternoon's playlist from Heart 106.2 glued to my internal stereo. My Dad has very poor judgement when it comes to radio preference.
Also, my Dad used to be a courier, meaning that when he gets into driving situation he starts reverting back to his old effing and jeffing ways. The window goes down, he sticks his arm out the side and if someone overtakes, cuts you up or merely looks at you at traffic lights he gets a bout of courier tourettes. This results in him shouting "wanker" at the top of his voice, opening his eyes really wide,shaking his head and throwing his arms in the air. It's quite off putting.
Then he starts saying things like, "next roundabout, chuck a left and steer a right." What exactly does that mean? I asked him and he just laughed, opened his eyes really wide, shook his head and threw his arms up in the air. He also says things like, "If we weave the back double, we'll shave on time." What?
In the end, after all those hours on the road, I started to glaze over and day dream. I kept missing turnings and going wrong on roundabouts (something I refuse to take the blame for) and something tells me I should leave a bit early in the morning. I think I'm going to get very lost.
Posted at 01:47 pm by Carrot
If I ever became Prime Minister I'd outlaw two things. The first would be giving imbeciles the power to vote (electing me? The country is screwed). The second thing would be to make it illegal to administer a head massage to someone while offering them things.
Today, I went to the hairdressers. The brief was simple. Go in, get my barnet chopped and then get the hell out there. If you stick around in those places for too long, you end up buying lots of hair care products. Usually, lots of different things in pretty coloured cans. Let me ruin the illusion for you, regardless of the packaging, they're all just hairspray.
I wasn't going to fall for it. I just wanted a haircut. Nothing more, just a lot less hair than I've been rocking for a while. Unfortunately, things started to divert from the plan as soon as they plonked me into a massage chair and started washing my hair.
Within seconds, I was completely spaced out. That's when they pounced. My hairdresser, a colourist and some salon juniors suddenly appeared, standing over me as I had my head resting in a wash bowl, while someone with a God-like touch gentle carressed my head. They started talking about adding colours to my hair, restyling and paying me compliments.
Within minutes, my simple wash, cut and blow dry had turned into so much more. I was now having a total restyle, with colour consultation and with a product presentation to end. I was at their mercy all because of a simple head massage.
Three hours later I emerged sporting hair that looked like a cross between Sarah Beeny and Vince Noir-- two names I didn't think I'd ever be using in the same senctance.
It cost a lot more and now I'm feeling a bit guilty, although I did keep to the original plan not to buy any products, so really I've go no reason to be. Now I've just got to figure out where I can go tonight to show off my new hair.
Posted at 01:44 pm by Carrot
've been banned from watching "lads" films and TV shows ever since I spent the summer a few years ago watching the first four series of the Soprano's. Things were going fine to begin with, but once I started really getting into it, things went a bit strange.
One night, my Mum told me that we were having chicken again for dinner. This led me to turn to her, pat her on the cheek and whisper in her ear: "You're dead to me!" I laid down my napkin, threw a fistful of fivers onto the table and walked out; never to grace their doorstep again. Well, not until I'd been to the chip shop and got something to eat that I actually wanted.
I also stopped using my mobile completely, choosing instead to make all my calls on public telephones. Any conversations I had with anybody had to be conducted in a very public place (in case I was taken down by a hit) or in my car (never know who might be listening). They would also always begin with the words: "Are you wearing a wire?"
I also started giving my friends and family bizarre nicknames like, Davey the monkey, Annie the trollop or Andy the face. I didn't know what for, but it just seemed appropriate. If anything, it probably worked in my favour if the pigs ever came round our gaff wanting names. I wouldn't be able to remember any, you slags!
If I needed a favour doing, some shopping bought in or a taxi booked, I would write down the details and seal it in a brown envelope. I'd pick a person I knew would get the "job" done and send a car to pick them up. It was usually my car I sent and I'd be driving. I'd then take them to a secluded spot, order them out the car and throw the envelope at them. I'd then tell them: "Read the contents. You've got an hour." I'd leave them there and drive off.
If they didn't do what they were told, oh the repercussions. I won't go into details, but let's just say, you don't want to be the receiving end if my cab doesn't show up or if I find I'm a couple of tins of soup short. Capishe?
Anyway, this nonsense all ended once the DVDs were seized and I returned to normal after a couple of days spent in the rehabilitation facility of my front room with only a few tapes of Sandra Bullock rom-coms for company.
But this morning, I watched Layer Cake on DVD (such a great film) and I can feel myself slipping back to my old, bad ways. I keep thinking about scores I have to settle and jobs that have to be done. If someone says something ambigious to me that could be construed as slightly defamtory, I've grabbed them by the collar and pushed them up against the wall, demanding to know what they meant.
I'm not really sure where this will end, but I think I'll leave it there. I've got some faces to take down. Slags!
Posted at 01:43 pm by Carrot
What is this feeling called loath?
We've started to get some feedback off people who have seen our efforts on the Geek Pie Does Desperate Housewives site. So far reactions have ranged from full- blown laughter to silence followed by a protracted period of head scratching. Also, one thing that keeps being said is: "You really need a job, Caroline."
For once, instead of looking at the floor and mumbling something about trying hard and waiting for people to get back to me, I can now look them straight in the eye and say: "I have one!" Actually, this is a bit of a half-truth.
I had an e-mail off the editor of the dentist magazine who interviewed me on Monday. She was confirming that she'd like me to attend a second interview and asked if I'd be interested in going and working there for three days next week. Best of all, I was going to be paid. However, I think they might have been taking notes on recruitment from Alan Sugar as I have a feeling that after those three days they are going to turn around and tell me whether I've got the job or not. Oh well, I never been paid to attend an interview before.
I really hope something does come of this because I'm getting sick to the back teeth of being at home all the time. I've got no structure to my life at all.
With no reason to wake up with a clear head, I've been drinking more (especially since my course ended). When I was at my last job, I never used to drink if I was in the next day --well there was two occasions where I did, but the repercussions put me off doing it again. The first time, I was housesitting at my parents house while they were away and the emptiness of the house started to get to me. So to cope I got twatted. The next day, I woke up late and managed to get work on time, but when I got home after my shift, I realised I'd forgotten my keys.
The second time, my hangover led me to verbally assaulting a small child and getting a written warning. So I learnt my lesson and didn't do it again. But now, apart from concerns about my health, there's nothing to persuade me not to do it. Most nights I'm knocking off a bottle of wine to myself and alot more at weekends.
Government guidelines say no more than two glasses of wine each day for a lady. Bottles are made of glass, so surely two glasses is the same as two bottles. Sorted.
This can't go on. Firstly, because I've started to developed a wine belly. Secondly, it's also contributing to my increasingly sedentary lifestyle. In my last job I was running up and down stairs all day to the stockroom, looking for stuff for customers.
In the evenings, I'd then go to the gym and then crash out in bed. On my days off, I used to be up and in the gym by nine o'clock. Not doing this, has increased the productivity of my blog no end, but my waistline is suffering. Now I feel so dog rough in the mornings, the last place I want to be is in a gym. Also, I was in far better control of my eating habits than I am now, but writing about them would be another blog all of it's own.
I know it might sound rich saying that having a job will help solve these problems, but I know it will. I only have to look at the difference in my behaviour last week when I was on work experience and this week. Last week was early nights, healthy meals and not even thinking about drinking. This week, I've basically been sat around twiddling my thumbs until I can pull the cork out of the next bottle wine.
Regardless of whether I get this job or not, things have to change.
Posted at 06:46 am by Carrot