Back in the Real World…

Friday is my day for reconnecting with the Real World, as opposed to Student World. This is a world where work starts at 8.30am (or before), problems are real, lives are at stake, and there is a continual supply of free hot water. (And, of course, they pay me.)

This week, I have remembered to bring my jam jar of very cheap instant coffee. I forgot last week, and it was hell. Hot water on its own just isn’t the same. Luckily, one of my colleagues (who drinks posh coffee) ceded me his allowance of coffee-club coffee, or I would probably have expired. Death by coffee deficiency is a nasty way to go, don’t let anyone tell you any different. Trust me, I’m a healthcare professional. I know these things.

I hadn’t realised how precious Real World was to me until I started the GDL. I’d told my employer that I probably wouldn’t be able to carry on after I started the course (45 hours a week studying, and all that), so I finished in the middle of September. I had thought studying would be restful in comparison. It isn’t. At least, not after two weeks. Even though I have a very definite purpose in studying, it still feels a bit vague and drifty, which is not a pleasant feeling at all. So after two weeks of no Real World Work, I’d had enough. So I’m back in the saddle, in the same job with the same pay – although after two weeks in Student World, I was so desperate to get back to Real World I’d probably have worked for free.

The only problem is that it isn’t the all-important legal work experience. However, as a mature student, I have bills to pay. I had the difficult decision to make between doing voluntary or low-paid legal work (if I could get it) that will look great on my CV, and doing professional-level work at a much higher hourly rate that will actually keep the Household Exchequer going and help me save up for the LPC. The latter had to win, and I’m hoping that I can sell what I’m doing now to potential legal employers as relevant and useful. It may not be legal, but office skills are office skills, client enquiries are client enquiries (especially the bit where the question they ask isn’t the right one for the information they actually need to know, and the part where they only tell you what they think you ought to know, which isn’t the same as what you need to know). And since I want to specialise in clinical negligence it’s got to be useful to have someone who already knows their gluteus maximus from their humeroulnar joint.

Anyway, that’s today’s complaining done. You know I said I was going to look up Hedge Funds? Well, I did.

It had nothing to do with topiary. It turned out to be about investments, and a clever way of making money on falling markets (hence why they appear in the Business section of the Times, not the gardening section, I suppose. I also now know what long and short selling is, in the context of shares. It was actually surprisingly interesting (surprised me, anyway). It’s such a simple concept that it’s strange it only came up in the last few decades. Or were people doing it all the time, they just didn’t call it Hedging?


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