Alles gut. I didn't get the job, and have never been more relieved in my life! Four days in the Flatlands was quite enough, and I've never felt more alive, grateful, appreciative or grounded than when pulling into Waverley on the 5th day. Home, home to my wee flat, kiddos, community, Arthur's Seat, architecture, trees, topography, waterways, a coastline, history, multiculturalism and high streets with independent shops. I've never been so happy to be a loser as when phoned with the blessed bad news that I'd 'been unsuccessful'.
The jobbie was 10 miles NW of Cambridge, in a desert of wheat fields broken by the dual carriageways, connecting new-build estates. Sometimes the housing and industrial estates will surround an ex-village High St of empty shopfronts with decaying paintwork, betraying prior prosperity. These will be lucky if they still have a pub or a Post Office. The new-build estates of cul-de-sacs are serviced only by isolated giant hypermarkets spaced at 7 mile radii. The new-build town of Cambourne (1 mile from the workplace) is 5 square miles of new-build homes for 110,000 people, mostly unoccupied and containing one huge Morrison's supermarket, one Fish 'n Chick'n Bar, one Birthday card shop (for the sympathy cards) and one plastic pub. I'd last about 10 mins before topping myself.
A dear friend was encouraging me for my own good that it wasn't as bad as it seemed, so I visited a local Nature Reserve to access the grace and connectedness that can flow from such. But it was just another a big monocultural wheatfield unbroken by nothing higher than a shrub, flat as far as they eye could see, with a few jackdaws. Cambridge is also flat but boasts a river, some trees, some independent shops and two brown people seen exiting the Baptist church. Unfortunately, both rents and selling prices for housing are approx 50% more expensive than central Edinburgh, and everyone talks funny. I asked for the nearest bookshop at a Tesco 5 miles out of Cambridge and was directed to the town centre.
I don't really know why I wasn't offered the job, but it stopped the ongoing mental hell I was experiencing while trying to see how and where I could make it work. The feedback was that I had the professional but not the managerial knowledge.
Possibly I pissed off the manager interviewer by asking for interview expenses? I'd assumed that my costs for a the two-day visit they'd requested, including the depressing night in a Premier Inn, would be covered. But the manager looked at me as if I had two heads when I enquired after these after the interview, and asked me if I was asking whether they'd cover these or if he had a form. Somewhat perplexed, I responded that if a) then b), and was told it would be looked into. It was looked into and I've been informed that since no agreement had been made beforehand I was out of luck. This luck is relative- it's a lucky escape.
I'd like to apologise to the people of Cambridgeshire for this review of their environment, doubtless based on ignorance. I feel sure it must have saving graces, since it contains a population, but am still mystified as to where the population of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire carry out their community activities and prevent a lemming-like mass suicide. Hit the North!