From Frumpy to Formal

Life is steadily returning to routine. Today is my second day of looking for work and Phil’s second day at the office.

Yesterday, Phil was a little shaken by the first day on the job. He made it to work, but was an hour late, which doesn’t exactly set you up for a good start at a new place. Apparently, sometimes Google Maps fails just as hard as Apple Maps. And the Welwyn Garden City Industrial Park puts the Richmond Business Park (only thing I can think of to compare) to shame as far as scale, roundabouts and, oddly, windmills.

Even though the company he’s working for is the same, it’s different people, a different position and a different corporate culture. Coming from Vancouver, we were shocked to hear that jeans were not permitted. I was picking the brains of my fellow barbecue goers for advice of what to wear on Day 1. They said, without hesitation, suit and no tie (but bring tie in pocket just in case). I could see panic arising from behind Phil’s eyes. A combination of annoyance that he had left the job where he could wear anything and frustration that he had put his dress shoes in the stuff still waiting to be shipped out from Vancouver. He rebels against putting on his dress clothes until the very last minute in the morning, so I can only imagine that a couple more months of this and dressing up for work will be getting very old. The company in the UK is also big – something like 900 employees here versus 30 in Vancouver. To be fair, the company is holed up in a much bigger company, and tries to be its own little defiant start-up amongst the big kahuna of corporate.

So after arriving an hour late, he then – sweaty hands and all from his speed walking laps through the industrial park – had to be introduced to everyone in the office. I think his adrenaline levels were shot at this point and the rest of the day passed in a stressed-out haze. He walked in the door after 8:00pm and downed a glass of red wine then basically passed out immediately.

So let’s hope today goes more smoothly!

The view from my desk at “home”


5 thoughts on “From Frumpy to Formal

  1. Hi Tara & Phil, I just found out how to leave a comment….lol…. Sounds like you guys are having a fabulous adventure! I really enjoy reading your blog, your story telling is very entertaining 🙂 I am getting pretty jealous of all the yummy food you two are enjoying!! 😉 Well, at least by the time I go visit, you will know all the best places in town! So, I guess for the next 2 years you will be wearing your hair in a pony tail..!! Dreadlocks sound like a good idea as…
    Big hug to you both 🙂 Laura

    • Thanks Laura! We’re going to have to get back on the healthy train soon though! All this food is so tempting! It’s gotten a lot more normal now that Phil’s at work. And, yes, you’ll see lots of photos with my hair up. My hair straightener doesn’t work here either, so it’s going to be a long couple of years for the hair (mostly because I’m too cheap to go out and buy another hair straightener!)

  2. Nothing like being lost on your first day of work. It must’ve been one hell of a day for Philly.

    This sunny streak we’re having is holding out so I’m going to take advantage of it and go to the beach with Caroline and the crazy dogs.

    The Canucks were swept in the playoffs. It was a tough one to watch. Be glad you weren’t here to see it.

    I couldn’t see the picture from the view from your desk.


  3. Elizabeth,

    I think we need another blog with an update on Phil. Did he go back for day 2 at his job 😉 ? Is he ever going back to that “evil” industrial park?



    • Right! Phil is totally fine after Day 1. It was just a bad first day. Today, his colleagues are taking him out for a pint, so I think he’s settling in quite nicely.

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