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Ten real struggles of working in Birmingham city centre

Written by
Becky Homer

2015 has seen the city centre burst to life. With the much anticipated opening of New Street Station and new restaurants and bars popping up constantly – Birmingham really is an exciting place to be.

However, working in the city comes, of course, with its frustrations. Whether you work in the Colmore Row District, Brindley Place or in the JQ, here are 10 real struggles of being a city professional:  

1. Your tight monthly budget means lunch has to be a Sainsbury’s meal deal. However, you arrive back to the office £10 down and five stone heavier because Mission Burrito is also on the way and, well, you’re only human...  

Mission Burrito

 2. On any walk down the high street, someone will try to convert you to at least 12 different religions, when all you actually want to do is buy some mascara from Boots.  

Flickr: Funk Dooby

3. It’s a friends birthday and you haven't bought anything. In a panic, you power walk into the Bullring for a last minute gift. You end up with 20 items of cute stationary from Paperchase for yourself and a comedy pencil for your bestie.  

Rebecca Homer

 4. Sending a weekly email addressed with the subject ‘OMG NEED TO GO ASAP’ regarding a new restaurant that has opened in town. This month, Bitters ‘n Twisted– the geniuses behind The Vic and Jekyll and Hyde – are opening a new American diner inspired restaurant called Buffalo & Rye next door to Bodega. The excitement is so real.  

Buffalo and Rye

 5. You have absolutely no money, but your colleagues are talking about going to York’s Bakery for lunch. You convince yourself you really shouldn’t go. Fifteen minutes later you've ordered an avocado smash. 

York's Bakery

 6. You're discussing where to go for Friday evening drinks with your colleagues and decide on 'somewhere different'. Come 5pm, you're embarking on the usual route: Colmore Bar and GrillSun on The HillBodegaCosy Club and finally ending the night at the Briar Rose. After all, the barmaid knows your usual order of a £3.50 double Tanqueray and tonic, served in a goblet.  

The Briar Rose

 7. You spot someone you recognise at a networking event and exchange awkward glances. While you know all about them through their social media, you've never actually met in person and you certainly won't be the first to break the ice. You will continue having these uncomfortable encounters until one of you leaves the city. 

Rebecca Homer

 8. You’re still devastated that Woktastic and the legendary Yard Bird closed down in Paradise Forum. Nothing will ever compare to Woktastic's 'all you can eat' sushi lunch buffet or the Yard Bird's often-questionable open mic nights.  

The Yard Bird

9. You’ve spent all your money on rent and wine a week after pay day, so now you have to buy your lunch at Eat4Less or Dominique’s for the rest of the month, or bring in a packet of noodles from home.


10. Although you're always broke (nothing to do with the fact you spent £40 in the new Tokyo Toys on Corporation Street), you can almost guarantee you've acquired a discount or loyalty card from almost everywhere in town. You might always be spending, but at least you get 10% off coffee when you use your Independent Birmingham card...    

Rebecca Homer

Bored of doing the same old thing after work? Here are eight unusual activities in Birmingham.

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