hantsbear: (happy pills)
Oh boy, is the black dog kicking my butt at the moment.  Work is well, just hell.  Constant change that has to be implemented NOW.  And you have to be doing it perfectly NOW.  And we need these reports from you to back it up NOW OR ELSE.  Added to the fact that I have been effectively written up for something purely subjective; something I had had no complaints about until this last year after 8 years in the organisation.

I cannot see a positive outcome.  I am applying for other jobs but I am not getting even an interview.  I tried for an internal post for a department that was apparently crying out for staff.  Nothing.

All my fight  has gone.  I have stopped discussing it at home because His Lordship gets wound up and keeps telling me I should do this and I should do that, but I feel it would have no impact on anything.
hantsbear: (Marsupial Pride)
Haven't written anything of any consequence in the Journal in what seems like an age.  So, I suppose this is a bit of a where-I-am-now post.  Geographically, I'm still stuck in a village with one bus an hour except on Sundays where there is nothing.  One shop; one pub.  Tried to learn to drive about 2 years ago and came up against a brick wall, despite the fact that this time I was learning in an automatic rather than a stick shift.  Bought a (old) bike which I hadn't realised (due to my complete absence of nouse and mechanical skills) had a dodgy clutch and ended up selling it at a loss to someone who did have the requisite mechanical skills.  That and His Lordship worried every time I went out on it put the kybosh on that.

Mentally, been going through the wringer.  Went back on Venlafaxine again for 6 months, then found a local sexual health charity that was offering  inexpensive counselling, so have been working through with that for a few months now, which seems to be working fine. especially since my councellor works to the Person Centred methodology, with which I have a degree of familiarisation.  It is a minimal amount they charge, but I have volunteered to help them man their tent at Leicester Pride next month.

Healthwise, now have a formal diagnosis of Sleep Apnea (which many have suspected for years) and now the proud posessor of an "Inflate-A-Steve" as I call it.  Still trying to get used to it; it will take time, but given the potential health benefits, I am determined to make it work.  Noticed today that I managed to swim further than I could before starting the treatment, so the snatches of sleep I am catching with the device on seem to be having some effect.  However, I am feeling particularly fat at the moment - my mental health has meant that my comfort eating has been worse than usual.  My consultant at the Sleep Clinic at Leicester General tells me that one of the benefits of the CPAP treatment is that I should start producing more of a hormone that stops these cravings, so here's hoping.  His Lordship not really helping here as he tends to take the p--- out of any attempt to undertake any form of exercise, from his well-worn seat on the sofa.

Work - oy vey.  Where do I start?  I can't really go into much detail as we have a social media policy which prevents me from identifying who I work for online, but I am being micro-managed out of my head.  Not by local management who, for the main part, are supportive but those above, including one manager who I refer to as The Smiling Assasin as she pretends everything is nicey-nice and wonderful, whilst stabbing people in the back at any opportunity.  Paranoia levels high!  Took a test last weekend for another department which I felt I did well in but of course my self doubt kicked in.  Should hear before the end of the month on that one.

Musically, seem to be listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell of late, thanks to a local chanteuse by the name of Sally Barker who achieved a degree of fame a couple of years ago by getting to the finals of the UK version of The Voice, being coached by Sir Tom Jones.  She has managed to return to her roots, playing local venues and touring, despite being offered a recording contract which, frankly, would not have shown the British public how truly versatile she is.

On the travel front, apart from our road trip from Oakland to Seattle last year, spent a few days in the northern Netherlands based in Zwolle, which I throroughly enjoyed.  A bit of winter sun in the Algarve too, which is just what the doctor ordered.  And, of course, the few days by the Loire last month.  Got a trip to see little sis in Sweden in October, along with Florida in December as a Fiftieth birthday treat from His Lordship.

Well, I think that's everything for the moment, apart from losing my beloved maternal grandmother a couple of weeks ago - she was 94, so she'd had a fair innings, but it's still hard to let go of someone you've known for 49 years.
hantsbear: (Pauline)
So, started working at my permanent office in Coalville today.  Second set of fond farewells in 6 months yesterday - a surprise gift coupon and both the managers of the office thanking me for my help.  Which all helps build up the old self confidence levels, but I still feel like the new kid today.  Trying to suss people out and figure out what procedures are different in the new office.  And building myself up to the days when I start walking to and from work.  Which started earlier than expected when the bus didn't turn up and I had to walk home.  No biggie usually but I didn't have my walking shoes on today.  Oh well...

But one of my colleagues did have a particularly cute blue-eyed long haired bear today, so the day had a particular high spot ;)

Update...

May. 26th, 2011 06:57 pm
hantsbear: (wot you looking at?)
It's been over a month...
Yup, I know.  Have not had the muse with me until now.  All floats on in the world of the koala.  I suppose the main thing I've been concerning myself with is trying to get a move from my current office in Smethwick, on the fringe of Birmingham, to an office closer to the indended wedded boudoir in Coalville, back over in the East Midlands.  Could be working in the same office as Best Beloved, in Burton upon Trent, which also means I am working in my birth county of Staffordshire.  There is still a small possibility of moving to the office in Coalville, but at the moment, Burton is more likely.

Meanwhile, work continues trying to help the great unwashed find gainful employment.  Have got a new boss, who is a little more laid back that my last boss, but I think he can assert himself if he needs to, which is re-asssuring.

Have managed to persuade Best Beloved of the joys of Doctor Who.  Unfortunately, his efforts to persuade me of the merits of Coronation Street and Emmerdale have fallen on deaf ears.

And finally, a week's holiday in Scotland next month - would have preferred 2 weeks but oh well...

And that's it for the minute...

2009

Jan. 1st, 2010 12:42 pm
hantsbear: (The Beginning)
2009 started well enough.  Promotion.  A new location.  A new flat, which eventually became all mine.
But still single.  Still feeling unfulfilled (don't know why.)
Hoping 2010 will be better for everyone.
hantsbear: (The Bear-Koala Combo...)
The neighborhood where I work, on the fringes of Birmingham, is home to a large Sikh population - there are two reasonably large Gurdwaras within walking distance of the Jobcentre.  And, as you would expect, an awful lot of bearded men, with some of the lushest growths of fur I have seem - one in particular the other day, sporting an orange turban, had a very full mustache and thick gray beard.  I should take photos of the street life - not allowed to take pictures in the office, for obvious reasons...
hantsbear: (Seriously Pi**ed Off...)
Most of my customers are fine.  Most leave my desk without fuss; some even thank me or make a complement.  Except one customer I had this morning.  The interview started off reasonably; however, as soon as I could not provide certain help that he asked for, suddenly I am the Department.  It is me personally who makes the rules. He said as much, when I tried to reason with him.  I could not get a word in at one point and had to raise my voice, at which point he accuses me of shouting and threatens to make a complaint.  So I call his bluff, since as far as I am concerned, I have been reasonable with him and explained everything to the best of my abilities.  I went and got the boss, who sat down with him and virtually told him the same as I had told him.  One of his accusations was that I didn't care.  I wanted to hit the idiot.  I care about every customer that passes my desk.  The boss put him right on that one.

Unfortunately, it left me quite angry and I had a debrief with the boss afterwards as I was feeling quite teary.  Fortunately, I trust the boss implicitly and talked through everything I was feeling and calmed down.  I went for a walk in the local park at lunchtime; I was ok by the time I got back to the desk after lunch; got through the afternoon ok.  I hope this is the exception rather than the rule - so far, it seems to be...
hantsbear: (Thump!)
Today was one of those days when lots of irritating little stuff just built and built.  This morning was fine.  Nooo problem.  But this afternoon - one of the floor managers (who thinks he's sooo much better than the rest of us) directed a customer to me, waving their appointment letter at me saying "This customer is twenty minutes late.  Re-book her."  Now, the floor managers are the same level as us Personal Advisors, so bossing around is a bit of a no-no.  First of all, he should have checked the customer's name on the floor manager's diary - it wouldn't have been there.  Then, he should have looked at the customer's letter.  Instead of being 20 minutes late, the customer was 2 weeks too early!!!

After that, I had to process a customer who had missed an appointment and had to have their case referred to a specialist for a decision to fine them a day's benefit.  The customer fills out the form and I fax it off to the decision makers.  Who phone me back later and tell me that the customer had stated on the form that he was sick at the time he missed the appointment, which he didn't tell me when booking the appointment, otherwise I would have treated him quite differently.

And to top that, I had a letter today from the company our beloved Government's Identity and Passport Service use to deliver their passports.  Not, as I thought when I sent my passport off for renewal, the Royal Mail.  So, I can't have it delivered Saturday morning; can't have it delivered for collection from my local post office.  Either I have to sit at home between 9am and 5pm and not move, or sit at my desk without a lunch break in case the delivery turns up, or I have to go to a depot in the middle of nowhere on Friday afternoon to collect it.

Grrr.  I needed a nice dish of steamed salmon and veggies followed by ice cream.  But what I would really like is a week or two away somewhere.  Which, of course, I can't afford.
hantsbear: (3D Me!)
So, I've been here almost 2 months.  Settling into work and into the new apartment, but not got a social life going yet.  At the moment, I don't seem inclined towards being social after work, but I'm keeping an eye out for opportunities.  Still haven't made it into The Fountain yet; once the spring settles in, I think I may be more inclined...
hantsbear: (Lesbian Jam???!!!)
The other day, the new boss (Mandy) caught me on the hop.  She made a comment along the lines of hoping I would bring a little sophistication to the office because I sounded posh.

"Posh???"  I looked up with horror and my voice went up at least two octaves.  "Posh???!!!"

I'm not really that cut glass am I???
hantsbear: (Where Are We Going?)
Calm and moderately surprised.

Surprised, because I am where I expected to be.  Nothing went wrong.  And the pessimist in me says yet...

I've been here in Tipton just over 2 weeks now; getting used to catching the bus to work, but trying not to catch it from the nearest bus stop so that I get some sort of a walk in each day, even if it is along the traffic choked road to Oldbury.  Might look into walking along the canal for the summer.  Or maybe getting a pushbike, if I can find somewhere safe at work to store it.  But my luck with anything requiring regular love and attention tends to be bad, so maybe I should stick to walking.

Missed being in Tucson dreadfully; so much so, I am looking at ways of getting there next year.  Book me a space in the hot tub!!!

Got over the first anniversary of [livejournal.com profile] rock_bear 's passing.  I have a few pictures of him up on the shelf in the bedroom, and growl at them occasionally.  He's probably sat in the great hereafter playing charades with Joyce Grenfell and Noel Coward in any case and complaining that you just can't f*ck on clouds like you used to.  It would not surprise me.

hantsbear: (booze-o-hol!)
2008 is now past.  2009 dawns with exciting (sic) new possibilities - well, a new job, a new home at least.  But as always, a bit of me is stuck in the past; the losses and disappointments of the last year.  That's just part of the human condition.

Isn't it?

Anyway, to all readers of these random jottings, a happy, healthy and successful 2009.
hantsbear: (good hair day)
December speeds on.  And in a month or so I will no longer be living in Nottingham.  My promotion is confirmed - I start at the Jobcentre in Smethwick on January 12th., which means scrabbling for a room to move into around the 10th. for 6 months or so.  Next weekend, I'm going over there to follow up some leads from putting ads on a few sites on the internet; one of which I hope to be positive.  Then, down to Crawley to spend Christmas with Karen ([livejournal.com profile] karendunn ) and Keith, returning for the new year and probably a whole host of tidying and packing(!)

Interesting times...

hantsbear: (3D Me Laughing!)
Found out today where it is likely to be that I am moving to next year.  Apparently, my name has come up on the wait list and they have offered me a post in Smethwick.  Which for those of you outside of the UK is just off the center of Birmingham.  But it made me think of this Victoria Wood sketch...

hantsbear: (Default)
So, after a quick visit to the Grandparents on Saturday, a mad dash 200 miles or so due north to visit one of my aunts and have an interview with another part of the Department for Work and Pensions - I think it went ok, but I'm never the best judge of these things...

Anyway, while I was out of cell signal range on the train, I received a voicemail.  When I checked back, it was someone from the Jobcentre in Wolverhampton asking me to ring them back.  So, hopefully some movement...

Watch this space.

On Hold...

Nov. 28th, 2008 04:24 pm
hantsbear: (Life)
I don't consider myself the most patient person on Earth.  Which is why life is so damn frustrating at the moment - a month or two ago I learnt I had been accepted onto a wait list for a promotion to somewhere in the Wolverhampton/Walsall area (that's to the North East  of Birmingham approximately).  Which would mean another move of location into another shared house for 6 months or so until I'd got my cash reserves back up to move into an apartment or house of my own.  And an increase of salary.  I spoke to HR before I went on vacation and they thought that I would most likely be offered a post in the new year.  In the meantime, I feel pretty much in limbo; don't really feel like going out and meeting new people, partially because I've only just about got enough cash to get through the month.

So, as always, I sit and moan about it... ;)
hantsbear: (3D Me Laughing!)
Two unexpected letters last week; both from HR.  The first inviting me to an interview in Cannock as a result of an internal application.  Now, this was a surprise as when I made my first internal application, the feedback for the write-up of my competences was abysmal to say the least.  The second arrived on Saturday, a letter advising me that I had passed my interview of a few weeks ago (that I thought I'd flunked) and would be on a wait list for a post in the West Midlands.

And to top that, I went for the interview in Cannock yesterday and was signed in/escorted to the interview by a very burly goatee'd security guard.  Whom I wanted to do exceptionally naughty things to in the lift...!
hantsbear: (low flying koala)
I had a job interview this afternoon for the Driving Standards Agency.  Not confident at all that I passed it, even though it's more money than I'd get in the same grade in the Department for Work and Pensions and I would simply transfer across rather than have to resign. 

However, if I did get it, the irony light in my life would start flashing viciously.  For nigh on 20 years now, I have on and off tried to get a car drivers license.  And failed each time though my own screw-ups.  Passed the motorcycle test fine, but despite hundreds of £ on lessons, I can't get through the damn car test.

I await results...
hantsbear: (grrrr...)
I walked out of a meeting at work today.

Now, that's not something I do lightly.  Normally, I'm the quiet one, not wanting to cause a fuss.  But I do contribute to meetings when I have something valid (or witty) to say.  Today, as every Wednesday morning, the Jobcentre opens an hour later ostensibly for training.  Sometimes we have a speaker in, but this morning we just had a group meeting.  We got on to talking about a current initiative that the office was involved with regarding healthy living.  I wanted to try and point out to the meeting that as well as physical well-being, we should also be considering mental well-being.  I was cut down inappropriately by two members of the team before I had finished.  I glared.  "Well, I'll just shut up then," I growled.  Other people tried to contribute; something snapped and I got up and walked out of the room and back to my office and got on with some preperatory work for the day ahead.

My action was noticed and my boss sidled up to me and asked me if I could spare a minute.  We went into her office and closed the door.  She asked me if I was alright.  "Actually, I'm quite pissed off,"  I replied.  I explained what had happened and I think it confirmed her suspicions about the "contributions" of other members of the team to the meeting, with whom I think she had a few words later.  Several of my colleagues congratulated me.  Frankly, I didn't think there was anything to congratulate.  I felt a little petulant.  But I also felt that I wasn't going to take any cr@p from people any more.

I think this all stemmed from an interview I caught on the news this morning about some research from a Conserative Think-tank and the notion that "It's your own fault if you are overweight" and I think I was brewing on it as I walked to work.  It is a philosphy that goes against my personal theory of wanting to sort my head out before sorting the rest out.  But the interview was only half heard, so I don't know the truth of the matter quite possibly; I was the wrong side of my first cup of coffee at the time.

And anyway, some of my closest friends are on happy pills ;)
hantsbear: (Where Are We Going?)
I seem to have some sort of idea of my current strategy regarding the next year or so.  I currently have about five different promotion applications in process; I have an interview for one on Thursday and another on Monday.  Still waiting on the rest.  If I get a promotion; if it means moving, so be it.  At the moment, I am living out of one room and can easily up-sticks and go.   I can then get all my stuff moved up from out of store (hopefully) in one foul swoop.  There's probably less of a hold for me here, post [profile] rock_bear.  If I don't get the promotion; the plan is to keep plugging away at the Council housing register and promotion moves onto a slower burner.  Either way, I hope to be moved forwards in some sense by mid next year.

Wow.  That's scary.  A plan at last.

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hantsbear: (Default)
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