Hello, lovely readers!
I am now at the end of my first week in London. And – as an added bonus – I survived! Unfortunately I have not managed to do nearly as much exploring as I would have liked to, but I have accomplished many practical tasks. Though not exciting, all tasks were necessary at some point and I’m glad I took he time to get through them sooner rather than later.
This week I set up a UK bank account, set up a cell phone on a pay-as-you-go international plan, had an interview, found short term accommodation (longer than a regular hostel but no minimum stay required) and set up another interview for a temp agency. Oh yes, I also had an interview at a castle, got a job at that castle, and went to New Scotland Yard to get fingerprints taken? Be kind rewind! I hear you say. Patience, patience, I will elaborate.
Interview at A Castle
Before I left Canada I managed to set up an interview for a retail assistant position at a castle in the UK (outside of London, but I believe that is all I will say at this point). I interviewed for the position the Monday after I arrived. I have to say, going to a castle for an interview is a bit (okay, a lot) intimidating. I had to ask the guards at the gate where to go, and then I had to walk briskly to the pass office just down the street (something of an adventure in and of itself as the ground was made of cobbles and I was wearing heels). Myself, along with a number of other candidates were then escorted onto the castle grounds and into the interview room.
The interview went well (very well you could probably say) and a couple days later I received a phone call offering me the position. I accepted.
Enter the part of the story that involves Scotland Yard.
Security Check and Fingerprints at Scotland Yard
The one difficulty that arises from working at a Castle, or at least this castle, is that they require a security check before you can begin work. A minor difficulty for UK citizens, a bit more of a hassle for a Canadian girl. I actually thought that the potential delay would stop them from offering me the job. But it didn’t, so now I find myself sorting out how the details of getting a Canadian police check from overseas. Did I hear someone say fun times? You couldn’t be more right (did you hear the sarcasm dripping there? Because if not, you should go back and read it with sarcasm in mind. Don’t worry – I’ll wait right here)
So what exactly does this security check require? Well, part of it is a security questionnaire and reference checks. Those are the easy parts that aren’t currently causing me too much difficulty. The other part is that I need a “Certificate of Good Conduct” – in this case, an RCMP police check. And to get that you have to get fingerprinted and send those prints back to Canada to be digitized (for a price of course) then submitted to the RCMP for the security check. The RCMP then mails the certificate to you. Now, the process can theoretically be completed without the digitizations but it takes exponentially longer. And I decided that, under the circumstances, I would pay the extra to hopefully start work within the next two months than to risk it taking 4 or 5 months. Hence my journey to Scotland Yard to be fingerprinted. I bet you can’t say you’ve had that experience. Can you? No, I thought not.
I will update you as the process unfolds.
I have so much more I could (and want to) tell you about my first week in London, but this post is already getting long so I will save the stories for one or two themed posts. If you like this post remember to follow, and share with your friends!
Life’s an Adventure!