maths study via The Open University

The phone

I like my phone.
Not that it’s snazzy or anything, because it isn’t.
But because it’s a great tool for psychology-gazing.

Texts arrive from people from the not-so-dim but exceedingly distant past.
“Hey mate, how are you?” type of things. “Long time no speak. Get in touch.”

Amid the banter and catch-up, there’s a game playing out. I know what it is, but I’m not letting on.
I’m not a great poker player by any means, but I know how to play straight and transmit nothing during the next stage – when the phone actually rings.

Finally.

“Anywayyyyyyyyyyyy……. I was just wondering if……. you’ve ever thought of dialing back into the writing game.”

Go on.

“Projects, dear boy. Projects. Lots of them.”

I like projects.

“Marketing. Well, not marketing as such. But this does have a certain flavour. Managing change.”

I like managing change.

A complex problem arose. Not complex in the mathematically analytic sense, but one in the business world. The type of thing my uncle deals with.

Maths and people. Checks and balances. Restructuring. Above all, promoting change.

Those final two words made the most sense to me. The reason for the call, with the emphasis on the penultimate nine letters.

The call ended with a coffee gig booked for later this week.

Not 50 minutes later, the phone rang again. My old boss, wishing me a happy new year.
Gratefully received, but I waited for the virtually inevitable.

‘We’d like you back.”

Now, this is effectively a non-starter. Nothing is impossible, but if impossible were infinity, this notion would be tending to it, as n heads through the trillions and ever onwards.

Awkward moments, professionally defused.

Quite the day.

Two days later, the phone rang again – the chap with the job I’ve been contemplating. Same cash, different gig.

This gig sounded better, and there was nothing at all wrong with the cash.

I like this guy – he’s straight to the point, says what he needs to, and does his best to direct a conversation without being seen to do so. Experienced.

The conversation ended with a carefully-exacted judo-sweep of words on my part, leaving the door as widely open as ever before while I work out the plan for 2013.

Jobs are nice.
Interesting jobs are even more desirable..
Add a fair salary and I’m generally salivating, but doing my best to hide the metaphorical dribble down my chin.

But 2013 is my year. For maths. And getting that degree. My “me time”.

It needs to be special to give that up.

I’ll have that coffee. And talk.

But I think the maths will win out.

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