These last six months have been the oddest of my life. And now that these six odd ‘transition’ months are coming to a close, the next few weeks and months are still going to be full of change. Adaptable as I like to think I am (I am a parent), I’m just not that great at change. Maybe that’s why my relationship is 19 years long, we haven’t moved house in 12 years, and I have been with the same company for over 11.
11 years is a long time to do anything, let alone to stay at a company. I am not quite leaving the company yet (I was granted a stay of execution a couple of months ago and am currently hanging on at least until June) but so many people have been leaving left, right and centre and some real long timers have either just left or are on the verge of it. Two of them after 15 years! one of whom has been my line manager and I would like to say friend for at least 4 years. Just the latest in a long line of good friends who I have made at that place. Add to that the fact that we are now moving office premises in the next week, and therefore work neighbourhoods, and generally it all makes me feel a bit discombobulated. And on top of everything, Christmas has also gone and crept up on us.
What will be so weird about moving? When you are leaving an area, you can see only the good stuff which you will miss. The journey to work, the places to eat and drink, the things to do after work in the area – all of those can both irritate and disappoint you from day to day, but they gain a rosey hue as you start to count down your days. We all rued the day when the old Spitalfields market was pulled down and turned into the market it is today with its luxury shops and eateries, but it remains an exciting area, and only now thinking about it do I realise quite how beautiful it is. And all the history in the area – from Jack the Ripper to the Huguenots to the old synagogue at 19 Princelet Street. Then seeing real life artists – Gilbert & George walking along their wonderful street (controversially not always together), Tracey Emin in her favourite pub (and ours). And the art itself – spotting new grafitti every day, and always the tourists photographing it. I love the fantastic enormous houses on Wilkes Street and Fournier Street. And talking of our favourite pub, just think of the Golden Heart. Thank you, Sandra, for all the years! I doubt we will find another pub quite like it near our new office – or anywhere.
It’s not just going to be weird finding new pubs, new supermarkets, post offices, places to eat, walk, routes to and from work, and generally forming new daily routines. The real big change is going to be with the whole dynamic of the new office. We will be part of a whole new company, whose ethos is different from the one we are used to. We will all be visible, on one floor, with a new leader, and new ideas, new systems. Some of us will like it, and stay, some of us won’t. It’s almost New Year, and with it everything is changing. Luckily if we don’t like what we find on the other side of the Year, it’s only a few stops on the tube back to the Golden Heart.