Where have I been? Not anywhere too exotic - Croydon and Kings Cross
Who have I been working for? Therein lies a tale..
Before Christmas the last contract in Leicester was driving me a little crazy, and after two interviews in London in one day I was given a straight immediate choice between two new contracts in the new year.
AIG (Croydon), the huge insurance conglomerate formerly specialising in credit default swaps and bailed out twice by the US taxpayer
The Guardian Newspaper (York Way, Kings Cross)
I would have taken the latter immediately but was asked to go for a second interview, and desperate as I was to get something nailed down (in the face of what looked like imminent global economic meltdown) I accepted the AIG offer to start in the New Year.
Forced to start first day back, I sat in post xmas traffic for six hours on the A303 and began to have second thoughts about that Guardian second interview. When I got to AIG Croydon and found, such was their rush to get me in, that there was no actual written contract in place.. I arranged for that second interview. For a while it looked like I would have to go for a third interview and when AIG caught on it seemed like I'd end up with no job and subsequently blacklisted in the industry, but luckily my new employers, Guardian Media Group, were able to give me a month at AIG before I needed to start. This took a great deal of the heat out of the situation and I was able to leave Croydon after a month with some happy people (though I've not been paid yet)
So whats the Guardian like? Well I'm up on 2nd Floor with the IT Crowd. The journos are down on 1st and it all looks very open plan and fragrant but a bit sterile. Wierdly with it's business, friendliness, general activity and slight scent of dried sweat 2nd floor seems more like what I expected from a real newspaper office.
Like being in the design museum
Meeting rooms that can't be booked - one person meeting room that looks like a sensory deprivation chamber
Only thing wrong so far is that the nearest Pret isn't as friendly as the one in Croydon. Croydon was a lesson worth remembering. First week or so felt like living in London post industrial collapse, but after very slight move to different accom across town (South Croydon) it all end up very pleasant. Nice people too. I'll miss it.