Right, remember how just the other day I was whinging about not having anything to do. I wrote a whole post about how this was the first time in my entire life in which I had nothing to think about, and no ‘drama’. Yeah, well fuckity, fuck, fuck I spoke too soon.
I had a meeting with the Agency today about my future employment. To be honest, I was supposed to have started last July, so I assumed they were going to say, ‘Oops sorry. We don’t want to hire you any longer. Best of luck with your future endeavours’ and all that.
First the good news: they still want to hire me, and I have a tentative start date. So, (non-sarcastic) yippie for that.
But, despite the fact that I have pending employment, there’s some fuckity, fuck, fuck drama. God, I can’t even believe the suggestion they made. It’s just horrible.
They want me to move to Dundee.
Yeah. Fucking Dundee. What the fuck’s in Dundee? I was totally shocked, I couldn’t believe it. I think I acted professional. God, I hope I acted professional. I just calmly nodded, thinking that I heard them wrong. Then once I realised what they were saying, I never yelled ‘What the hell’, ‘Why would anyone willingly go to Dundee’ or anything like that.
Anyway, here’s the situation.
Right, so even though the Agency handles clients from all over the UK and a few in Europe (and some from the US and Canada) everything is run from London. It’s been set-up this way because, well, that’s how things have always been done… since forever.
Back in the Mad Men days, writers, agents and publishers all lived in London or New York, and they had big expensive lunches, and smoked cigars, and did cool things that you see in Frank Sinatra films. Then came the late 1990s and suddenly everyone was on email and no one needed to live in the big city any longer. Writers lived in Lands End, and agents lived in Edinburgh, and publishers ran their business out of London. No one ever met in person and they all chatted on the phone and emailed and that was about that.
Fast forward to 2012 when technology is everything and someone in Japan has a book contract with a New York publisher and an agent in Budapest. But it’s all going to shit and books are hard to sell. Plus, any old hack thinks they can pound out a novel, put it on Kindle, and make a fortune. Publishers don’t have the time or money to mentor their authors, leaving this duty to the agents. Now the agents not only have to sell their clients, but they also act as editors, plus provide marketing, PR and psychotherapy. Suddenly, having a client on the opposite end of the world is a pain in the arse.
So the Agency is trying something new. They’re spreading out. The woman who kind of hired me/felt sorry for me last spring is moving to Paris to work on foreign rights (evidently, if you get your book into France you’re set for life) and start fostering more talent from that part of the world. Another woman in the office would like to take her operations to Scotland. She’s got a number of clients up there and she thinks the Agency should be more involved in the Scottish literary circuit. All smart, right?
Except for one question, why Dundee?
The answer is simple. Dundee is, evidently, equal distanced from all the major cities of Scotland. Crazy, who knew it was so well placed? Plus, the woman is from Dundee and she has an elderly mother up there. I think she’s just ready to move back to the homestead, and this is a good excuse.
As for me, they think I have Scottish connections. Yeah right. My only real connections are with MNM, and my departure from MNM wasn’t too great. Can we say burnt bridges?
But they think I know the area and this woman will need help setting up the office. Plus they need an extra pair of hands in the London HQ, so I’d still be doing a lot of the London stuff from Dundee. At first it won’t be publically known that the Agency will have a Dundee office, so all the slushy pile and publicy type stuff will still go through London, then up to me in Dundee. Somehow my job would entail being an assistant to both the London office and the Scotland office. Yeah, crazy.
But, back to the good news. Everyone was dead nice and seemed really helpful, plus it would be a good opportunity. There was none of the bitchiness that existed at MNM. And they said if I didn’t want to go to Dundee, they had offered me a job in London and would be ‘pleased to honour that commitment.’ In fact, I think they kind of feel bad for dicking me around for so long.
They’ve given me a few weeks to think about it. If I decide to take the post in Dundee, then they’ll pay for my move, and I’ll start the job early February. If I decide to take the London position, it’ll start just after the New Year.
I have no idea what to do. I have no desire to move to another strange town in Scotland. (I just looked on a map and Dundee is even farther north than Glasgow. Good god!) What if they find out that I have no connections whatsoever from my last job? Plus, I really wanted to be in London — D and I are supposed to get a flat in London. And well, London is a million times better than Dundee. It’s that simple.
On the other hand. Dundee is a million times cheaper to live in than London, and I could finally have my own flat with no flatmates. I’ve been complaining about being bored and how I miss travelling, so moving to a new city would be exciting. And helping to start a new office would be a great opportunity.
Geeze. A lot to think about. I will never again complain about having no drama in my life. Oh, and as usual, any and all advice is welcome.