After hearing the news about Emma, the next few days went by in a haze. I played Tracy Chapman's All That You Have is Your Soul on repeat and had very little energy or enthusiasm for anything. My computer packed in - normally that would cause a major headache for me, but on this occasion I was content just using the one in the library for half an hour a day.
In the last week, however, things have been gradually getting back to normal. I've been making a giant cryptic crossword - not an easy task; playing tennis (extremely badly); going to Italian classes (I'm doing a bit better there); and playing badugi (after a very lousy run I'm now back to my highs around the +$170 mark). Oh, and next Monday I'll be having a job interview.
I've partly got my mum to thank for this interview which has come almost totally out of the blue. A few weeks ago she noticed an ad in the paper for an employment agency. I called them, at that time they had nothing, and I thought I wouldn't hear from them again. Then on Friday they gave me a surprise phone call about this position - an actuarial position - that had just become vacant. Yesterday, straight after my Italian class, I had a 20-minute meeting with a bloke from the agency. He got in touch with the company, and later that afternoon he called me to say I'll be having an interview.
While it's very nice to have this chance, there are a couple of obvious snags. Firstly, after spending nearly six years in the actuarial department of an insurance company, they'll expect me (not unreasonably) to, well, know stuff. And I really don't. I've started to incorporate bluffing into my badugi strategy, but unlike in poker where it's a tactic best used sparingly, in the interview I'll need to bluff virtually the whole way. Secondly, as yet I know very little about the job: it hasn't been advertised anywhere and I haven't been given even a ghost outline of a job description. Thirdly, they might want me to start quite soon; I've got a six-week trip planned. Finally, even if I somehow did get offered the job, I might not want it. Studying for exams again - ouch! So that's actually more than a couple of snags. On the positive side, things would be good from a financial perspective, and I intend to give the interview my absolute best shot. Who knows?
Funnily enough I popped into what used to be my work today because I needed a witness to sign my application for a new Kiwi passport; my old boss seemed the best person to do it. It was actually quite nice to see the people I worked with. I told them about my upcoming interview; they found the fact that it was for an actuarial role quite funny. They thought that defeated the whole purpose of my leaving, and I had no answer to that because I totally agreed.
This weekend I hope to meet up in Devonport with Richard and his friend. Maybe I'll even get in a set of tennis with Andy. If I play anything like I did in my singles on Monday, he'll probably beat me.