In which I resign from my former life.
So I’m sitting at my desk, experiencing one of those great moments in life when time slows down, just at the point you want to get it over with. The letter is poking out from my bag.
For a minute I stop to contemplate the life of a leather bag and the many items it has supported over the years; fruit chews, deodorant, a battered membership card to that skanky nightclub down the road…But the bright white envelope returns to view. I’m sure it’s glaring at me for forgetting about it.
‘Est, you wanted to see me?’ My boss, whose office is directly behind, beckons me in.
‘Yes Mark, is now a good time?’ - Please say no, come back later; that you have another hour of strolling around the office ahead of you....But it’s not to be. And as expected, it doesn’t go so well.
‘It’s because of this boy isn’t it? You women, you all say you want a career and then the moment some young bit of totty comes along…’ As Mark continues to rejoice in the weakness of women, I switch off.
Yes I’m resigning from a job with a good salary at a well-known London-based ad agency, but lets look at the facts: I can hardly call what I have been doing for the past 3 months – updating a couple of databases, arranging meetings, taking the odd phone call – a fulfilling career. I exist to make my boss look important, indispensable, and above all unfire-able.
My previous job in TV production, which lasted nearly two years, was the absolute opposite and although I found it hellishly busy, compared to this one I have definitely realised it is never a bad thing to be really challenged every day. Even if you do forget to go to the toilet and spend every weekend moaning that the job takes over your life.
You should probably know a few more things about my decision to start anew in Tel-a-viv, seeing as I am planning to document my stay and all its highs, lows, set-backs and triumphs for your viewing pleasure. Prior to what Mark thinks,
I am not packing up my life here to run after a relationship. I’ll admit I enjoyed a brief holiday romance over there in Easter, but neither party has committed to anything other than remaining friends since.
That’s not saying I wouldn’t like something more to happen but knowing the way my love life runs – like a particularly bad train journey on the metropolitan line (in summer when there’s no air conditioning – fatal) – I have long trained myself not to follow impulses based upon it.
No, the simple truth is that living in Israel is something I have long planned on doing, ever since I was old enough to understand that I had lived in Herzeliya as a toddler (I always wondered why I could understand my dad’s Hebrew unlike my younger British-born siblings. And remained slightly miffed when I realised it was not because I was the next Superhuman).
Since graduating two years ago, a crash course in the work-, social- and love life which London has to offer has delayed this path but at last there is nothing standing between me and the falafel-lined streets. I can feel the Holy Land calling. I suspect this is the closest I shall ever get to being a nun.
‘Have you a job out there?’ My boss is reading the letter. I’m back in the grill pan.
‘No, err, I’m thinking of getting some bar/café work on the beach when I’m out there, It’ll help me pick up the language and meet people and what-not. Really sorry Mark, I just never planned on staying in a job from now until forever..’. I fail to mention especially in a job where the chronic boredom slows your thinking down dangerously. I’d become a potato-head if I stayed any longer.
As my boss continues to berate me and my choices my nerves at resigning wash away, leaving only excitement. As I think about speaking Hebrew like an Israeli, experiencing the food & fashion and absorbing the behaviours and culture within my homeland, his head shrivels into the size of a pea and his squawky Essex accent fades into oblivion before me…