Och aye, Edinburgh!

I went up a small mountain while making notes on business strategy. LIKE A BOSS.


I am writing this entry in Edinburgh airport, waiting for my flight back to Berlin. And in order to give you the emotional background to this post, you should know that I have just discovered huge zany geometric shapes all over the screen of my beloved Kindle that are definitely not supposed to be there. I am writing this post in the midst of abject sorrow.

But why the heck are you in Edinburgh, you might ask? I thought you were going to Berlin to start a new life-project, etc etc, I hear you cry (in my mind). Well, it’s a long story.

Finding a job when you are a young, enthusiastic person is like deep-space exploration. You send radar beams out into supposedly empty fathoms of space, praying to discover some tiny blip that might suggest a new planet or galaxy. After years of sitting by the console, you wake up with a start to see a tiny little shining dot on the screen – it could be nothing, but it might be the new inhabited planet you have spent so long searching for. Hopefully you send out more signals, and this time it’s certain that there is something out there. Consumed with excitement you put together a complex proposal to send out a probe and spend thousands of dollars (yeah, this is in NASA) getting the probe constructed, finally shooting it out into the black abyss. Then the probe disappears forever into the void. Maybe a few weeks later, you find that it has exploded on impact with one of those dumb satellites they sent out with a time capsule in it. And here, that tiny blip on the screen is the job prospect you might just happen to alight upon after weeks of applications and desperate googling.

A few weeks ago, I found my dot on the screen. In a moment of desperate recklessness, late in the evening, I wrote an application for a managerial job for which I was in no way qualified. To my utter heart-attack, the company replied and called me in for an interview. After the initial interview, which was an awkward affair involving me in a businesslike dress and button-down shirt with heels and the interviewers in baggy jeans and flip-flops, I was invited back for a second interview! Which was then cancelled, and I was simply offered the job then and there over the phone as I wrestled with my bike covered in black oil. Half an hour later, I was called again and asked to come into the office for a ‘talk’. At the ‘talk’ I was told that the manager job would be rubbish for me and that I was going to be Executive Assistant instead; I’d get an iPhone, get to travel all around Europe, make incredible contacts, learn about business and work in the shiny new company office. I was told to wait until the next day for confirmation, and after four days of utter silence I was told the job was in fact no longer mine, and would I like a job as HR manager instead? “Yes, whatever, anything, I’ll clean the toilets, good god I’ll do a dance for you if you like!!!” was my response, which was received with another eon of silence.

Eventually I was spontaneously invited to another interview with the CEO of the company who strode into the room, told me he didn’t want me to have the HR job either and stared with mild amusement at me while I tried not to scream. He then gave me the assistant job after all and sent me off for coffee with the guy who I will mostly be working for, who then told me that I would be going with him to Edinburgh two days later for the regional meeting. Welcome aboard.

So after all that, it would seem that I have a job. I am an Executive Assistant; to be clear, that doesn’t mean I will be sitting at a desk in a neat skirt-suit going “Mr. Draper, your three-thirty is here.” I’m going to be doing all the bits of ‘business work’ that the other people in the executive board can’t fit into their frantic schedules, and that will involve a lot of flying around to groovy international places like Barcelona and…err, London. It’s unlikely to be as glamourous as I would like it to be – apparently I am going to spend the next few months getting to know a wide array of futons in back-rooms of offices. My Edinburgh accommodation was a huge fur-blanketed bed in the middle of a colossal mountain of branded T-shirts and company brochures, and as I was drying off coming out of the shower on my first morning I was disturbed to hear someone burst into the flat and march into the next room to begin arranging the morning’s deliveries as I pulled on my knickers.

Over the course of the meeting I was official scribe for the proceedings and had to take official minutes before taking my official notepad on the official team-building hike up King Arthur’s seat. I was given nuggets of advice by the attendees who told me to sort out my boss’s fashion sense and make sure to have sugary things on hand for his angry moments, because evidently I have been hired as his executive mum. I was bought executive dinners but did not have any executive haggis. And now, on Monday, I will be officially starting my new life n the executive world. You’re welcome to come on my yacht. 

And Edinburgh, I blame you and your cobbled streets for the death of my poor Kindle, which was shaken to an early grave in my executive roll-along suitcase.

Rose T