I was dreaming last night about my job in Richmond. Can’t remember exactly what the dream was all about, but it’s made me think about those days today. I didn’t work there for very long, just about a year. We were living in Maidstone at that time and because the trains in England never goes in a horisontal line I had to go up to London Victoria and change trains and head west to Richmond.
Richmond is a beautiful place though, with the Thames coming through. I’d been to Richmond even before I started working there, years before moving to London. I was visiting and this crowd of people went to a restaurant/pub by the river called the Slug & Lettuce. I saw this Britpop looking guy in the crowd I was with (this was during my heavy britpop days of course). My memory might be failing me but I think his name was Jason. Anyway, I don’t think I even spoke to him. Or maybe I did, it’s not like I was shy. I just can’t remember the conversation. And maybe I shouldn’t it was long ago…
Leaving with my BFF and her french friend (she was also brought up in France) I told them about the guy and that I should ask for his number. The french guy turned to me and with a heavy french accent said; “No but of course you should ask for his number, if you meet a guy with the same haircut as you – you know it was meant to be!”
So funny! What a funny guy, why didn’t I keep in touch with him instead?
Anyway, little did I know, I would walk up and down that same alley a lot a few years later. First time being after my interview. I was recruited via LinkedIn which seems much more common in the UK than in Sweden. They set me up with this phone interview (I know now I was on speaker phone and all my future colleagues would have heard my Swedish accent fumbling in my very first branch specific interview. But my honesty in what I could and couldn’t do won me a face-to-face interview. I remember well how I came outta the Richmond tube station and opposite was my future office. The interview took place at Starbucks with one of my colleagues, a young student that I was going to help out because he couldn’t work that many hours anymore. I was invited to come with to the office which was a very small start-up-style room that got so super hot from 8 computers tightly crowded together (not in the winter though when I had to wear gloves)
I met everyone and was invited for drinks after. Can’t remember if it was a friday (we always went out for drinks on a Friday) or if it was a special occasion. London was hosting the summer olympics that year and we went to the Slug & Lettuce mentioned above, to watch Usain Bolt win 100 (or 300 m)? It was a great interview.
I got the job and started commuting. It was 2 hrs single way at it’s worse, could maybe do it in 1.5 hours (so 3-4 hours a day). But that was the name of the game. I had some initial problems with the train and reliability but got the hang of it and got a routine into it. Things I remember fondly was buying a Costa coffee (double espresso with cinnamon on top) before going to work. I also ate out a lot there, well you can imagine, bringing a lunch bag when commuting for 2 hrs to work… naaah. Sometimes I bought food at the grocery shop of course. But when eating out I either had the wrap down the road or oh, major favourite; Carbonara at Pizza Express.
The company I worked for did partly Magento sites and partly WordPress sites which was what I mainly did. Working with alumni sites for different colleges. We had 3 different designs to choose from but there was always custom requests, so I got to hack WP a little bit.
I fell pregnant just a few months into that employment, which really wasn’t the plan. But hey, there you go. If that would’ve happened we were planning on moving closer to London again to make my commute less extreme.