Following on from my What it’s Really Like to Live in London, I thought I’d continue to shed some light on what it is actually like to work in London, because it’s very very different from working anywhere else. So far in my working life, I’ve worked in Manchester and Lancaster. The former being my hometown and the latter being my University town meaning that I a) Knew where everything was and b) Felt completely comfortable with the culture there. This does not occur in London however; thinking you know everything about working in another city and then just being completely flipped on its head. And here’s why…
YOU EXPECT A GLEAMING SKYRISE TOWERBLOCK, IN REALITY YOU GET A BACKSTREET CONVERTED 60S CONCRETE BUILDING but during your time working there, it will become more familiar to you than your own flat.
YOU THINK EVERYONE AT WORK IS SOOOO NICE. It is your first week, give it 3 more and you’ll have who sussed on what you can/can’t disclose to certain people, who’s the office moron and who to just plain old avoid. People aren’t to bothered about being overly nice in London offices, it’s just fact. You’re probably at the HQs of some company and it’s where the real decisions and also where the real shit goes down.
YOU WILL BE CAUGHT UP IN OFFICE GOSSIP. See previous point. Unfortunately, it’s a certainty. Hey it could be for good reasons, like, ‘Hey he’s the hot new guy/girl’. But it probably isn’t for that.
YOU WILL GET DRUNK AND EMBARRASS YOURSELF. You will, and it’s okay, we all do it. You do get over it, eventually, just prepare for Monday to be a tough day.
YOU WILL BE MADE FUN OF IF YOU’RE NORTHERN. ‘Can you make a good brew? I bet you make a good brew’ ‘Do you just love Yorkshire Tea?’ ‘I’m from Manchester, I live nowhere near Yorkshire.’ ‘You do though, it’s all the same up there INT IT?’
YOU WILL BE BUNCHED IN WITH THE MAKING FUN OF THE NORTHERNERS IF YOU’RE FROM ANYWHERE OUTSIDE THE M25. And no one will have heard of where you lived if you’re from the Midlands. Best to just say ‘Up North.’
YOU WILL HAVE A POSH LUNCH IN A POSH PLACE AND WONDER IF YOU’RE POSH ENOUGH. Long answer; you can pretend you are, practising holding the cutlery etc. Short answer; You’re not, don’t eat.
YOU WILL HAVE SOMEONE F*CK SOMETHING UP ON THEIR END BUT IT STILL END UP YOUR FAULT. In London people say they forgive, but they don’t forget.
YOU WILL SIGN UP TO THE CYCLE TO WORK SCHEME TO DECREASE THE CITY’S CARBON FOOTPRINT, AND THEN NEVER CYCLE TO WORK. ‘Cos honestly, like, who needs that shit?
YOU WILL BE TOLD THAT A GAZILLION OTHER PEOPLE WOULD DIE FOR YOUR JOB. But yet you still can’t see how that’s possible when you get so much shit to do, that you never ever finish, despite working such long hours.
YOU WILL WORK VERY LONG HOURS. And you will be expected to work even more when it’s definitely your free time. It’s the city that never sleeps and you better get used to only having 6 hours my friend. London runs on ambition and want not health and sleep!
YOU WILL RELISH THE OPPORTUNITY TO EAT YOUR LUNCH IN A PARK. Bonus if it’s got actual grass, and also if you only get approached by a homeless person trying to steal your lunch only once.
YOU WILL WISH AT TIMES THAT YOU WORKED ANYWHERE ELSE BUT LONDON. Forget the swanky parties, the drinks on Friday night and the random events that occur working in the city, you just want a nice peaceful office in Scunthorpe.
YOU WILL AT TIMES BE SAD THAT YOU NO LONGER WORK IN LONDON. Remember the swanky parties? The drinks on Friday night and the random events that always seemed to occur because you work in the city? You miss that now you work in pretty boring, unexciting Scunthorpe.
Disclaimer: Apologies to anyone who lives and works in Scunthorpe. I have never been to Scunthorpe and as much as I’m sure it’s a lovely place, I never intend to visit, I’m sorry.
Also: These comments are very generalised, for example, I understand that people work in different industries and it’s different wherever you go. I was just trying to be a bit funny.