What it’s Really Like to Work in London

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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 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.









The Worst Facial I Have Ever Recevied

I’d never been for a facial before – and Yasmin decided to treat me to one at Elizabeth Arden…posh right?

I’d been tweeting about it all week and finally, last Tuesday the day arrived! I practically legged it out of work and found myself out of breath but fresh faced and raring to go at the House of Fraser Oxford Street store. Yasmin had a slight face on her as I approached and I wondered why…but instead of relaying to you, here’s the email I forwarded to the Elizabeth Arden Customer Service team…be warned.

“Dear Customer Service Team,
So on Tuesday 29th July, myself and a friend came to your Elizabeth Arden stand at the House of Fraser on Oxford Street. My friend had purchased two vouchers off the site ‘wowcher’ which entitled us to a 60 minute facial, makeover and goodie bag.
Upon arrival, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to have the treatment together as planned because there had been a mix up with the bookings and we were made very aware that one of your beauticians ‘Rachel’ was having to stay later than her shift in order to accommodate for us. Her other colleague, who was much ruder than Rachel, informed us of this mix up like it was almost our fault, and that they were doing us a favour of staying behind. We were also told that the treatment would only last 45 minutes because of this mix up, annoyed at this as we had booked for 60 mins, we just agreed as we were really looking forward to our first facial experiences.
I was the first to receive my treatment and I must say despite this shaky start, Rachel is obviously a skilled beautician, she was very professional and I really enjoyed my facial. Unfortunately, towards the end of my treatment, Rachel’s colleague, the rude one from earlier, banged so loudly on the door that I jumped out of my skin. She rushed in to moan to Rachel that she ‘needed a fucking break’ and that she was refusing to do the other facial (my friend’s) until she had had one. Well to be honest, by this point, I was gobsmacked. I was quickly hurried out of the room, with not even enough time to put on my jacket which I was still attempting to put on as Rachel’s colleague marched me back towards to the Elizabeth Arden counter.
It was then my friend’s turn for her facial, and as mine had lasted roughly about 40 minutes , I expected hers too do the same. But nope. My friend was back within 20 minutes, and unlike myself was not offered a makeover but was given a goodie bag, which I was not. I had to go back into store, and ask for a goodie bag off a girl from another stall opposite, who then had to go and ask a manager because both Rachel and her colleague had disappeared, leaving the EA stand unattended, seemingly as their shifts had ended.
I understand it is frustrating to be presented with new customers when you are due to finish. I have worked in retail in the past myself, and it’s really annoying, but I would a) never show my annoyance to the customer as the EA reps did (including swearing!) and b) make a customer feel so uncomfortable in a service that they have paid for. I expected more from Elizabeth Arden if I’m honest, and it kind of ruined my first ever experience of a facial.
Thanks for taking the time to read my complaint, I hope you address this customer service issue so it is improved for future customers.
Yours faithfully,
Grace Hetherington”
So what do you think? I said it how it was…and what have I got? Nothing…not one reply…so I’m currently haranguing them via Twitter and Facebook until I’m given an answer….watch this space.