3rd July 2015
So, the date with the client's son... He was about 10 years older than me: early 30s (intriguing); noticeably greying (distinguished) but constantly referencing friends' marriages and babies (utterly terrifying... I'm 22!!)
I also found it absolutely impossible to relax, impossible to get away from the feeling that I was representing the company. After all, that's why I had accepted in the first place. So I had my best 'brand ambassador' hat on: polished, professional persona; effusively positive in my praise of the business whenever it remotely strayed into conversation. I was like a one woman advertising campaign:
'There isn't another hedge fund that I know of that treats its staff quite as well as this one'
'People often think that this sort of working environment would be quite straight and dry - even cold. But I've never come across such an inspiring and vibrant workforce'
At this point my date leaned in conspiratorially:
'Lucy, don't worry, I'm not bugged. It's wonderful that you're so happy in your role, but you're starting to sound a little brainwashed. Shall we order another drink...?'
But I still couldn't drop it: 'I really wouldn't want to work ANYWHERE else.'
Obviously a lie: if Kate Middleton or Karl Largerfield called me up to say they needed a PA, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
Anyway, long story short, I think my gushing, overly-branded positivity had the desired consequence of putting him off. In hindsight it provided a golden ticket out of a sticky situation. And my relationship with the client himself has not suffered for a moment - he's been in this week: smiley, professional, kind as always.
Friday 24th July - First Day of Term
Hello all! Apologies for the silence this end, I'm back from a two week, mojito fuelled, bikini clad sundrenching and really struggling to get back into the mind-set of a Mayfair office worker, with my lunchtime beer cravings and my inclination to spend the vast majority of my time horizontal.
What a bloody brilliant holiday though! It was Fran and my's budget package trip to Crete, and it didn't disappoint: delicious fresh food, free flowing wine, put puts, sandy beaches and an obscene amount of Greek yoghurt. Somehow knowing that it was my hard earned money I was spending over there made it all the more delightful. Magnum ice creams and ouzo for breakfast? Hell yeah, if I want it I'll have it, independence is the best.
After fourteen blissful lie ins, however, the invasive jingling of my iPhone alarm at 7am Monday morning was a particularly rude awakening. And having worn nothing but bikinis for the previous two weeks, my next hurdle was what the blazes to wear!
Skimming over my floaty beach kimonos and denim skirt, I found a trusty old shift dress at the back of the wardrobe and readied myself for its constricting shape. On the way to the office I was struck with sudden anxieties as I stressed over the possible dramas that I might walk into. What if the temp had forgotten to log the expenses or had messed up my inbox filing systems? Or worse, what if the temp had been absolutely incredibly amazing, what if Priscilla didn't want me back because she so preferred the temp?
Priscilla put my mind at rest the moment I saw her. In her matronly way she hugged me to her bosom and scolded me for leaving her for so long. Then in her manner of mixed messages, she followed this extreme familiarity with extreme formality instructing me to 'take up my post' and 'complete my day's work'. This sort of behaviour would have confused me senseless in the early days, but 8 months in, I wouldn't have Pricilla any other way.
In fact returning to the office has been like retuning home, which I'm taking as a sign I must be truly happy here. It hasn't stopped me pencilling in my next holiday dates though... Paris in October anyone?
31st July 2015
Wowzers it really is wedding season isn't it? I was at my cousin's wedding at the weekend and my Facebook has been flooded with brightly coloured beaming wedding guests and pristine white brides all week. 100 likes for the cute flower girls picture, 150 for the bride and her father setting off up the aisle, and they're in the stratosphere for the money shot: the happy couple having their first married kiss.
It's either weddings or engagements. This week has seen a few uni friends arriving back from their holidays with the status update, 'he put a ring on it' - super exciting, yes, but also deeply terrifying for a single career girl who eats ready meals for one. Are we really old enough for all this? As I'm tucking into my cocopops for breakfast in my hello kitty pyjamas it occurs to me that I definitely am not.
On Wednesday at work, Fleur who is one of the other PAs disappeared to meet her man on her lunch break and reappeared with a ring. I had no idea it could happen that quickly, but she's assured me she has been putting in the ground work for months. Priscilla was so excited she was off to Waitrose for some champagne and we spent the afternoon slightly dizzy on bubbles, grinning at the glowing Fleur from our desks.
What a wonderful place to work - I can tell already that August is going to be a lovely month. The CEO is spending a month abroad and the heat is most definitely off. It's a lovely respite after a solid seven months. Now all we need is a little more sun...