Had my first half-week working in an agency, and I still don’t know what to think.

Every moment must be accounted for with time sheets. People take everything so seriously and there are strict rules about what you are and are not allowed to use the internet for at work.

I seem to spend every waking hour on edge while I’m there. It feels like I’m sitting at my desk with the sharp point of a knife aimed constantly at the back of my head. I’m hoping that it’s just nerves and that as I grow and learn more things settle down and I begin to feel more at home. In many ways, it seems like it could be all the worst aspects of what I feared it would be. In another, I consider the possibility that I’m being too sensitive with it.

Maybe work is just meant to be that – work.

There is a strange obsession with my generation to make everything about play time. Perhaps it will be refreshing to be in an environment where work is work; a more military set up can be oddly liberating, as it leaves you with no doubt of what the rules and expectations are. In those places which claim it’s all about love and freedom so often the dangers are hidden – we can’t see them beyond the free candy or the faux ideals about changing people’s lives (as opposed to just their wallets).

Perhaps this environment, where the knives are out in the open, is ironically safer in some way?

I’m not sure. My mind still flips back and forth with it. Is this a long-term investment opportunity or should I just get out fast because I think it might not be right?

I just don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever come across an opportunity this mixed before. Normally I pride myself on having instinctive clarity of vision on such matters, of being able to read people at a glance. Yet here, I find that everything is crowded.

I wish I could be more sure. I wish that I could feel that this opportunity was right and fit into it. Because I want it to be right. I want to move to West London and for this to be my next big chapter. So why do I feel so on edge? Is it just me or is it something more? I simply cannot decide.

Perhaps I’m just conjuring demons from the air when none actually exist. I wish I could say for certain that it’s simply all in my head. I mean, I know that there should be an expectation at work that you’re there on somebody else’s time…I just hate the feeling of having my freedom restricted. I hate the notion of chains and servitude which work – when work in a creative agency – seems to imply. Perhaps I was simply born out of time and out of place and must accept it or break.

Perhaps the only way to accept ourselves in this life is to accept the fundamental mediocrity of it all, as bitter a pill as that may be to swallow.

I understand now why people become lost in the worlds of sex or drugs or other addictions; it’s to escape from this mediocrity, from the fear that at any moment life will swallow us up. The fear that it already has.

It’s like iron claws around my heart, this feeling. Every so often I have to excuse myself and go to the bathroom simply to breath. I think part of it is the crippling fear of failure. I’ve failed so many times, yet the frustration is that I know I could be so good at things if only I was given the chance.

Perhaps it’s that things in life are never quite the way we pictured them, or the way we thought they would be.

But that doesn’t automatically mean they’re bad, right?

I’ve been reading and watching a lot on Zen Buddhism lately, something I started studying in Japan. In Zen, flow and enlightenment comes from the everyday and from working with discipline. It rings very true of this new environment. And it has only been 3 days, I will give it longer before I make a decision as to whether I want to stay there. Right now I can see very little through the veils of doubt and uncertainty which surround me.

I think I also fear not being up to the challenge. After they called me up and begged me to take this role I’m scared that I can’t fulfil it. On the first day the boss of our team stated that he wanted me to completely re-design the reporting structure – incorporating more visuals and less text. There are so many new tools and modes of working that it makes my head spin. And all the time there is this pressure to get everything done quick, quicker!

I don’t know. On Friday, part of me wanted to give up after the first 3 days; to retreat back to my bedroom with some simple freelance writing tasks that, however dull, I know that I can do. So much of this feels new and unfamiliar.

And I don’t know whether I am up to this challenge.




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