Monday, 16 February 2009

My first day of work-experience……and I absolutely loved it……

Today I drove an hour out of Brighton to my weeks work experience placement. Last week my car was leaking diesel. On Friday evening before I left Brighton for London I booked my car into the garage in London to be looked at. Shock…horror I then drove the car to London knowing that it was leaking diesel. I got to London without any problems and went to my team meeting.

When I woke up on Saturday morning my first thought was to cancel my appointment with the garage. I had a strong intuition that if a part was needed which meant that I would have to leave it there I would have no car to drive back to Brighton and no car to drive to my work experience placement. There was no way that was going to happen. I thought that it wasn’t leaking that much diesel and that it would be fine to deal with it after I had finished the work experience.

I set off from London and something didn’t feel right about how it was driving. Maybe this was psychological because I had realised that something was seriously wrong and I was waiting for some punishment from the universe for doing something that plainly had no integrity and was quite honestly illegal. I reached to my home in Brighton and got out of the car and looked under it – there’s no other way to describe it…but there was a torrent of diesel coming from under the car. I found the number for a garage here and called them up. I explained the problem and that I desperately needed to have a car to take me to work the next day.

He confirmed that it was not safe for me to drive!!..(this was rich after me driving it both ways at the weekend) and gave me the number of a hire company that would come to drive it. Without thinking I called this company and when I said it was leaking diesel they told me to call the fire brigade!!! I said ‘OK’ knowing that I had no intention of doing this. I called the garage back up and said ‘I’m going to drive it to you’. Me and my trusty sat nav set off and then I was so stressed that at one of the roundabouts I got completely confused as to which was the 2nd exit!!!, this is the why blind panic operates, it closes down any reason, logic or clarity. The sat nav went a bit crazy when I obviously didn’t do what it had said, but that was nothing to the barrage of hooting that went on when I tried to do a Herby rides again and do a U turn to get to the exit that I wanted. Eventually I found the garage and the man was so kind. There were no mechanics there being that it was Sunday, but when he saw me and how worried I was he relented and opened up the back and took the car there to have a look.

He returned after a few minutes and explained that it looked like it needed to have a part. I was committed that my work experience is going to happen come well or high water so I explained for the 2nd time the urgency of me having something with 4 wheels and a engine that would take me to work the next day. There must have been something in the way I spoke to him about all this because he offered me a no-charge courtesy car. I nearly wept with relief. What was amazing also about all of this is that I never carry my driving licence with me. That weekend I had brought it because I thought I needed to send it away as documentation of proof that I needed to get my number for my book from the Public Lending Office. So I had brought it to London to put it in with the other documentation. In the end I didn’t need to include it which is the only reason that it was in my rucksack.

Thrilled to bits with my courtesy car I drove it back to the house where I am living. I was so grateful that all of the family were not so that they didn’t see the drama queen that I was while I tried to sort it all out. I suddenly felt so drained and tired. I had had a full-on weekend in London and it all suddenly became too much. Before I slept though I took minutes out to express my deepest gratitude to how the whole thing had ended. I am clear that it was my non-negotiable stance on having transport to my work placement that made it happen. I don’t think I have ever been as intentional as I have been about that. It has shown me that when something is wanted badly enough that everything possible will be done then everything is achievable. I am so convinced of that now given what I achieved against all the odds.

I left the house early to find the address for the work placement and typical me, got there way too early. I sat in the car and tried to do some meditation. But that didn’t work. My mind with its thoughts was all over the place. I then took out my shorthand notebook and drilled some words. I know that I have to do my shorthand religiously every day for 1 hour otherwise I’m not going to get my words per minute. I finished up with the shorthand and made my way to the magazine office. When I walked in I was greeted by a woman who had the bluest of eyes. She said ‘Margaret’ and I said ‘yes’. She introduced me to another man who shared the office and then suggested a chat in the room next door. We talked for a bit about the magazine and what I wanted to get out of the week. I explained that I wanted to do a feature and perhaps an interview and she said that was OK. I told her about going to Amsterdam for my final weekend of the Team Management and Leadership programme and to my surprise she said that she had friends who had done the Landmark training.

I settled down at the computer and to my horror noticed that it was a MAC…aagh…I’m so computer illiterate with a bog standard PC but a Mac that I have never used is going to drive me to distraction. I explained with a laugh (better than bawling my eyes out) that I had never used a Mac but it didn’t seem to bother her. She asked me if I would proof-read the copy that is just about to go to press for the next issue. I agreed willingly. This is the great thing about this course in that not only will I get tooled up to be a red hot journalist but I will always get the skills for sub-editing, proof reading and page design. All of these will make the chances of me getting work on a magazine easier than if I didn’t have them. The pages were printed off and I immediately set to work. I was struck by how much I enjoyed doing it. It’s like alternative words to say something that were more powerful were just flowing. I was careful not to do too much editing and stuck very much to the basics of spelling and grammar but I really enjoyed it. I finished it and brought it over to show her the changes I had made. She commented on how quick I was. This sent me into a bit of a dilemma ‘was I so quick that she thought that I wasn’t thorough’. Maybe I should have asked and really what I did there was withhold…..which is to think something and then not say it. I do that a lot and I think it’s about not wanting to look bad. Holding back saying something is usually a looking good thing or not wanting to upset someone but it’s inauthentic and instead of the energy once again flowing after I said that, it gets stuck in the withhold and hangs around like it is doing on this blog. I am aware that withholding communication is something I do rather a lot.!!
I then started to write a feature. I was given a book that a man has written and asked to read it and think about how to put together a feature on the book and the author. So tomorrow I'm going to be able to do one of the pieces that I need for my portfolio and I am so excited about it.....

No comments: