The road ahead is on, not back.

So last week, I had the finale, the curtain call to my probationary period in my new job. It was nothing that I did not know already – I have been finding the author corrections part of my job curiously difficult to get to grips with. Curiously, because at the beginning, I thought that was my greatest strength, and that where I would struggle would be with those softer skills, the communication with a multitude of different contacts all with a multitude of different agendas and approaches. As it turns out, with Bill’s help, but not exclusively, this has not been so much of a problem. The bread’n’butter part of the roll, that of the last pair of eyes to be cast across the papers before publication, is what has been letting me down. Quite why this has been the case we shall probably never know. Certainly it has not been for lack of enthusiasm, determination, and desire. Louise and Mel have been faultless in the help that they have given me, and they too do not fault me for trying. It just hasn’t been working out, and last Tuesday I passed the point of no return.

So that’s it. They are in a recruitment cycle anyway for a couple of other vacancies, so mine will be added to the pot, and when a successor has been found, I will bow out. Tuesday night I was bitterly upset, and I didn’t sleep at all. Wednesday I was upset, but I did sleep, I talked more rationally with people and I admitted this all to my mum (for the first time) and I felt better. I don’t know why I had kept all of this secret. Maybe, deep down I didn’t want to admit it to myself that I was failing? I think it’s more likely that I was just frightened. I thought that if I failed, then that was it, I was out, finished, without a job. And without a job, how would I pay the pills, the mortgage, by food, run the car. Money doesn’t drive me but, having some to keep to the bank manager does help. As it happens, I shouldn’t have thought that. I shouldn’t have let myself get into such a state. Louise, Will, Duncan, the company – they have no intention of casting me out on my own. Far from it. They want to find something else for ‘valuable Thomas’ to do. They just have to work out what. I have to work out what.

In the short term, I will be moving on to be Electronic Production Editor, and resuming my former duties and responsibilities. This is on, not back. And in the future, on again. I have great skills, some of them that I have always known I’ve had; a good deal of them that I’ve only recently discovered; and learnt. They are getting Bill back to help me through this and give me some more coaching, and if that’s not a beletia beacon of a signal that they mean what they say when they say they want to find me something I want to do, then what is? I know how much he costs.

This week? I think I’ve come to terms in my head with what’s happening, and I’m no longer upset. To say I’m not sad would be a lie. Despite everything that’s happened I still like the job. I do the tasks and I catch myself thinking, I’m going to miss this. I set in track something and I think: I’m not going to see the end result of this. Or I see something in the future, and I think, in some warped way, that I was looking forward to that. But, on the flip side, I think I am more relaxed, less stressed, happier person inside. I’m no longer fighting to prove myself. I know my strengths. Louise, Will, Duncan – they all know my strengths. It’s just this, this didn’t work out.

As one door closes, another one opens, and it’s kind of nice to think that, on the other side of that door, they’ve actually built a purpose built wing especially for me. There are lots of connecting doors through there. All I have to do is choose one…