Strike That

If you haven’t been perusing the Twit feed. I declined the job offer on Tuesday. Trying to find a suitable place to live on the budget I had, based on offered starting salary, was proving to be an enormous challenge. Having a dog is Problem Number One, and especially in London—but when you add to that a limited budget that restricts you to studio flats, bedits or some kind of sharing arrangement…

Time Out. How badly do I want to be there? Bad enough to work my ass off for the privilege of living in conditions worse than the ones I have now? This is a one-bedroom flat I currently live in. Rent is £360 a month. If it was in London, the rent would be £750 a month. Get the picture? A salary that gave me a budget to afford such would have made my life comparatively simple. But the decidedly mediocre salary in question wasn’t cutting it.

The stress from this problem, and repeated visits to London (about £250 of travel expenses down the drain ultimately), was stretching me to breaking point. I started to get cystitis symptoms and finally, on Monday, I had an intensely painful and scary episode that was probably a kidney stone. I thought I was going to be in hospital. People often think that, apparently, with these things, but the stuation’s less grave than the unbelievably terrible pain would lead you to suspect.

But in any case, I can’t have this level of stress in my life, impacting on my health. It’s not worth it. So I turned the job down.

What now? London would be my place of choice to live, but I realised I don’t want it THAT badly. It has to be the right job and the right salary. I’m not 22 years old. I want a reasonable pay-off for my efforts, some money in my pocket, even the latitude to put some money aside. I don’t have those things right now, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have had them if I’d taken this job. I had a chance at a REALLY crummy bedsit in Sunny Stoke Newington. Just spending five minutes in there made me feel claustrophobic. People my age who take this JUST to be in London are insane. It’s something you endure if you have no choice. London’s great. I love it. But rental prices are high and it’s not worth it for any old job.

It does hurt to turn a job down, but I think I had to have some self-respect to do it. I’m okay with the decision.

PS. I’m on antibiotics right now. Feel okay but not 100% yet.

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