I’ve never had a coffee at or even before work. So as I sit here in Pret a Manger on the corner of Clerkenwall Road, London with my English Breakfast tea, some of which is already spilt on the table, I wonder how things are about to change. My stubborn reliance on the familiar is about to take a nudge, since I am about to embark on a week of work experience in a position quite unlike any vocation I’ve experienced before.
The walk along the majestic shores of the Thames from Westminster along to Temple should have felt intimidating. Surrounded by businessmen and other busy individuals; going into an environment which is essentially foreign to me didn’t scare me. It may have been because I was with my good friend Charlie (or Charlotte… Though I think I’ll call her Charlie…) who was full of warm assurances. It might be the fact I’ll be working alongside her for the week’s duration.
What really makes me feel at home though is my shoes. The shining professionalism they represent – even without an accompanying suit, the sharp purposeful clip-clop sounds they make along the London flagstones, the tight feel of the leather wrapped around my less than official sport socks. It’s a mask which allows me to look and sound like I know what I’m doing — at least until I actually do know what I’m doing that is!
I can’t profess to know what the next week, or indeed the months following will hold. However, whilst my shoes are shined and my back is straight, I believe I can adapt to anything urban life can throw at me.