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Tracey Lattimore, a senior editor for CPL, reflects on passing her 10th anniversary with the agency.
Ten years seems like a long time – and actually it is.
From someone who gets twitchy about the thought of being tied down to something/anything – be it a holiday date, weekend away or even a night out (after all, I might be doing something) – sticking at a job for a whopping 10 years is something of an achievement.
But it didn’t start out like a marathon, and it certainly hasn’t felt like one.
To allay my fears of being tied down – and to make me feel like I was at work because I wanted to be there – I worked freelance at CPL for the first few years.
This arrangement suited me because I knew that it was my choice to be there, and (technically) I had the freedom to go elsewhere if I wanted to. Which was probably a delayed reaction to being stuck in one of my first jobs for years until I finally jumped ship. But, funnily, I found that I liked being at CPL, and quickly became part of the team.
Over the years, as all companies do, CPL has changed.
It had to, in order to grow the business and progress. But it still retains some of the ‘family feel’ that I liked about it at the start, when we were cosily housed in a two-up, two-and-a-half down building on Cambridge’s Newmarket Road.
There, I liked the feeling that we were squeezed into someone’s old back room, and that we were mucking in together to get the job done. Not to mention the Friday ‘beer run’ (yup, the office backed on to a huge Tesco), which made us feel like giddy school kids with a free pass.
The fact that, initially, virtually all of the team at CPL worked either in the editorial or design office – including the MD – genuinely made it feel like teamwork rather than hierarchy.
It always makes me cringe when I remember chatting loosely to the then co-director down the pub on my first day, thinking that he was ‘just a sub’ and asking him, in a lowered tone, what the place was really like. Ahem.
Today, at CPL Towers – our new, glossy building up the road – teams have expanded, along with desk space, meeting rooms and, thankfully, the size of my computer monitor.
But that family feel is still there.
I can still go to the MD and chat/moan/ask about things, even if he does have a very smart office now. And we’ve even got a social committee, for heaven’s sake, who organise events, fun things and dressing up.
And as for that twitchy feeling? Tssk, it feels kinda nice to be part of something – officially. Just don’t ask me to commit to a night out.