The work-life quiz

What was your first-ever job?
As a student working the night shift at the Post Office during the Christmas holidays.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
My first county court appearance on an agency mortgage repossession hearing. When the registrar asked if I wanted to cross-examine the respondent, I replied, in all innocence, “not particularly”, and we were thrown
out of chambers and told to come back at the end of the morning.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
A bar after work – someone will always take the opportunity of telling you something they shouldn’t. The skill is in not returning the compliment.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Unless I have a very urgent matter, no later than 6pm. I prefer to take work home for a day or two if it’s very busy or I need to catch up.

What do you do at weekends?
Relax with Marlboro Lights, triple-shot lattes and the newspapers.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Siam Garden, a fabulous (if rather scruffy) Thai restaurant on Portland Street in Manchester.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 14 and I’ve ignored all advice I’ve ever received to the contrary. Big Brother wasn’t an option in 1985.

Who was your mentor or role model?
My parents.

What’s the best thing about your job?
A thank you card from a happy client – the money’s not bad either.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Non-smoking offices – alfresco fag breaks are depressing. Otherwise being asked for advice at parties.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake?
Not following my instincts. Paying too much attention to seeing the potential and too little to the actual, it always leads to the same regret – not leaving sooner.

What car do you drive?
A Mercedes C240 in violet amethyst (think Cadbury’s purple).

What book are you currently reading?
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, again.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
This week it’s Anthony and the Johnsons and Blossom Dearie. Last week it was Cilla Black.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.