Being around schools these days, an expression I often hear in reference to everything outside education is 'the real world'. And being in a strange sort of betwixt and between position of also freelancing in my old field I am well placed to comapre the two.
Yesterday I had to drop off a job at a typical central London design agency:
Standard layout of offices - a bar and a pool table in reception - smoked glass and minimalism in abundance. I had to meet the production director and the account manager. The production director was a chap about the same age as me who looked as if he had been subject to some sort of queer-eye-for-the-straight-guy make-over by the combined talents of Gok Wan and Jean-Paul Gautier. He looked as if he'd be more at home watching Clarkson with a mug of cocco but felt obliged to dress for work in skinny jeans and one of those scooped fronted tee-shirts to display his slighly portly male cleavage. The account manger was an attractive woman in her thirties dressed fairly normally from the waist up but sporting a pair of skin-tight 1970's hot pants and stilletto shoes.
For about half an hour they pondered the 'job' I had taken in - a printed mock-up of a magarine tub - with the intensity of two archaeologists examining a precious Ancient Greek artifact - musing wherher or not their concept 'worked'.
Sometimes in schools I have difficulty keeping a straight face whilst over-hearing teachers ponder if pupils' shoes displaying logos qualify as trainers and consequently merit a 'leadership detention'. And I wonder if I'm doing the right thing in getting into this world. But then after a glimpse over my shoulder at my former world I am in doubt as to which one is 'real'.