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Fear and Loathing in Worthing – My Odyssey in SEO

David Showell

When I first set foot in Fresh Egg Towers for my interview, the first thing I noticed was that many of the staff members were younger than my sons!  I also noticed I was rather over-dressed in my interview/wedding/funeral suit.  As soon as I got home again, the suit went back in the wardrobe where it remains to this day!

Although I’m from a different era than most of my colleagues, I have been made to feel very welcome.  I’m not quite seen as a doddery old grandfather as yet, but I may be thought of as an eccentric uncle who visits every Christmas and tends to talk to himself from time-to-time. He may be a little odd, but at least he brings a tin of Werther’s Originals and a bottle of brandy.

I realise that I have arrived at the same destination as my fellow copywriters, of course, but I’m very aware I got here via a rather more circuitous route.  Most of my working life has been spent in the yawn-tastic world of warehouse management, an industry that could rival paint-watching if boredom were one of the Olympic sports.

After 20 years or more getting stressed out about mundane matters such as stock levels and financial budgets, I started to do a little writing as a sideline.  Having dipped my toe in the water by penning some occasionally rabid rants about two of my favourite subjects, football and golf, I eventually became a full-time freelancer, specialising for a long time in creating quizzes; something I still dabble in to this day.

I gained a degree from the Open University in my forties, so I am fully aware that my life, like Benjamin Button’s, is basically being played backwards.  Nowadays, I look back on my time managing warehouses as two gap decades, before going on to fulfil my destiny as a Fresh Egg writer.  So there you have it, that’s how I got here – now all I have to do is continue to ride the learning curve.

If you’ve ever wondered about working in the SEO sphere, I can heartily recommend it, even if it takes a little while to get used to the process.  I always thought a web developer was another name for a spider, and that spam was some kind of tinned meat, which of course it is, so I’m even more confused sometimes.  I work on the theory that if people tell me ten things, I’ll manage to remember three of them.  It’s a strategy that’s working well so far, as I was saying to, err, whatshisname.

Writing articles and blog posts for various clients is interesting, and keeps my brain active, an important consideration when your brain is already fifty years old.  Shorter blogs can be a little mundane sometimes, but whenever I feel a bit bored I just cast my mind back to the days when I wandered around warehouses counting boxes of bread, boxes of bricks or, as in one of my previous roles, boxes of boxes.  Once I do that, I’m ready to count my blessings and write some more!

Working in such a creative environment has many benefits, not the least of which is the funky environment in which we toil.  Some of my previous workplaces have resembled the inside of a city centre telephone box in the early hours of New Year’s Day, so I’m grateful to be surrounded by arty murals and break-out areas, whatever they are!

All that’s left for me to do now is to lobby for more Van Morrison songs on the music system and the provision of a few armchairs so I can have a snooze during the lunch hour.  This may take a while, but I realise Rome, like Worthing, wasn’t built in a day.

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