Friday, 7 February 2014

Leaving. Again.

For most folk, a job is just a job. Somewhere you go, earn your dollar, put in the hours, and then head off to your life. For lucky people, their job is their passion - something that every day inspires them or motivates them. For me, whatever I've ever done to earn a crust, it has had to have 2 things: The first being it has to be something I love, something I care about - or what is the point? Even when I folded jumpers in Gap just before I went travelling after Uni - I cared about those customers. (I remember getting a woman who was a size 22 a pair of jeans that made her feel amazing about herself - she tipped me a fiver and it made my day. I didn't win employee of the north for nothing you know!). (I didn't care so much about the jeans wall, to be fair - but anyone who did/does needs to get a life).

The second thing - equally as important - are the people. Presenting live telly for 3 hours asking brain dead viewers to 'guess the blurred green thing' on Quiz TV (one man rang up asking was it in fact a sheep - that's the kind of viewer those channels pillaged money from) was quite hideous. Not the finest moment on my chequered CV - but the crew were amazing; one cameraman massaged my pregnant wrestler like feet while I presented. I always arrived swearing I had to leave as it was so mind numbing; then I'd throw on some slap, straighten my hair and then talk rubbish for 3 hours (trying to avoid talking about the bloody inane quiz and more about my own life) - leaving in an infinitely better mood than I arrived.

Why? Because the people were so much fun.

And none more so, than the folk I left today.. This afternoon, I said goodbye to the place I've kicked around in since 2008 (on and off). I thought I'd get through the bit where they bring you to the breakout area and give you gifts and cake and fizz and cards, without weeping. (Last time I left in 2010, I was sobbing so much I actually couldn't speak). Who was I kidding? It is a complete impossibility to stand there as people say lovely lovely things about you, to your face (because that doesn't happen that often does it? People listing your qualities...) and in front of all your colleagues, and not weep. Particularly if the person talking is also weeping. The gifts were beyond thoughtful, the cards filled with love and the cakes - the cakes! Pippa and Sue would give Mary Berry a run for her money...

It felt a bit like my birthday - but sadder. I know I'm doing the right thing - at least I hope I am, but it still isn't easy. I get such joy from seeing all these folk and hearing about their lives and (clearly from my card) telling them endless tales about everything from smear tests (replete with a demonstration) to having to be sick in my hand on a train home from one night on the razz, because the doors didn't open quick enough. (That obviously was years ago, in my youth, obviously).

I have loved loved loved my time on that show. I've had so much joy in debating stories and character traits with writers, fighting for ideas to be upheld, the struggle in getting journeys right.

Only working in tv drama, do you discuss if characters would shag on a bar top, or if they'd wear a nurse's uniform to seduce a doctor, on his desk... The intimacies you have to share to defend why a story should be a certain way - are revealing to say the least. I am sure there are things I have told writers that my husband doesn't know. Scrap that, everyone probably knows... but you get my drift.

Anyway. I picked up my son and he asked if I had been crying. I admited that I had, then carried all my gifts to the dining table and showed him my incredible bourbon, my signed script, my Selfridges' vouchers, my wonderful Clear Eyes, Full Hearts sweatshirt (and if you don't know what that is from shame on you) and my mug... He looked at the cards and said 'I'm sad and glad. Sad because you are sad to leave, but glad because I'll get more time with you.'

It is the second time I have left and it never gets easier. The show gets into your blood. The people do too. I'm missing them all already. But on to the next chapter...

At least if things go tits up, there's always Gap again, eh?

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