So....okay....thank you so much for all the encouragement, first of all. Second of all, about three hours after posting my previous blog, I got a call from my temp agency offering me a two and a half week gig as a receptionist. The pay is crap, but the hours are good, and the work is fairly simple...and it affords me time to read (and that is confirmed by the other receptionists). Now lets talk a little more about professional wear in London:
As I've said, I immediately ran out and bought a blazer to wear to do all the important telephone answering that I'm set to do, and on the morning of my first shift (i.e. this morning) I gussied myself up and slid into sexy two and a half inch heels that I bought at payless a few years ago (do not attempt to teach me a lesson that I have already learned by this point). I stepped out the door to your typical windy, spitty, London rain, and cleverly pulled my umbrella out of my bag. However, said umbrella must have cost me no more than about $3 and was constantly getting inverted by the wind and leaving me looking like a blustering idiot. Another siren went off when halfway to the Tube, I realized that my shoes were killing me and that there was probably a river of blood running over the ankle of the shoe. There was not, so I kept going. I arrived at work to a poor girl that was sniffling and sneezing (they're EVERYWHERE...like POD people...trying to take over our immune systems and force us to create inordinate amounts of mucus) the entire time that she was explaining my duties to me. I'll tell you more about the other girls in another blog. I'd like to stick to the theme with this one, and I certainly don't want to wear anyone out. After limping around the office, following the girls around to different destinations to do odd jobs, I decided I needed to have a look at my ankle. They set me up with some band-aids (plasters...in this crazy backwards country), and I locked myself in the ladies to bandage myself. What I found was a nickel-sized little bastard just begging to be drained. SO...I got a safety pin, some alcohol swabs, and a cup of seriously boiling hot water (from the handy instant coffee machine) and set to work. It popped quite easily and drained slowly into a little splotch on the toilet seat. I then commenced cleaning it with the alcohol, which, for an instant, stung me worse than anything has ever stung me. I had to sit down it was so startlingly painful. Then I bandaged her up and walked with a fair bit of ease for the rest of the afternoon. By the evening, however, I honestly thought I was going to die. There are no words...NO WORDS, I say, that could describe to you the agony of the pressure on the balls of my feet as I staggered home after work. Of course the Tube was rammed, and I was forced to stand, crammed up against the door willing myself to balance on my heels. When I arrived at my home station, I swallowed, dreading the next seven minute walk to my door-step. I was standing, and I was walking...but inside, I was crawling along the side-walk (pavement...in England), reaching out, begging for aid, crying for relief. I felt like the bones in my feet were going to pour out my toes, and while I tried to walk on my heels to relieve the pressure on my balls, I found actually moving forward to be far more difficult than I had imagined. I made it, in the end, took the shoes off the minute I stepped over the threshold, and vowed never to wear heels unless I was safe at work, and safely behind my desk. It's sneakers all the way to entrance for me. Flaunting my professionalism to the lemmings on the Tube be damned (for some reason...I love "be damned" at the end of a sentence...it makes me feel like a wizened old man...smoking a pipe, stroking his beard, and soaking his feet after a long day in sexy black heels).