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Posts Tagged ‘job’

  1. Er, where did February go?

    February 19, 2012 by superlative

    I seem to have had a really busy month, and although it only feels like 1 February was yesterday, suddenly the month is almost over. I haven’t blogged for two weeks (fail), so I’ll have to try to catch up with one of my summary posts and then get back on the wagon from next week.

    I have started the new bit of my job, working two days a week in the central web team to try to give me a bit more variety and to have some harder work to do. I’ve done four days with them so far, and it’s been fine. I don’t love it yet, but I’m never that good at change (see the blog posts when we moved house), and I’m hoping I’ll settle in more as time goes on.

    I’ve been working on making a mobile version of part of our website, which is quite an interesting project and is stretching me a bit as I have never coded for mobile devices before. So that’s a good thing, but at the same time it has meant working for four days on a single thing without really talking to anyone else, just staring at the same three files of code. I’ve found that a bit dry and it’s hard to focus by the end of each day. But once I get given a few more things to do I’ll hopefully be able to switch between projects a bit so it’ll be more varied.

    I’ve also had the last week off work as it has been Chris’ half term. I very rarely have a full week off in one go, so it’s been nice to have a good long rest. We’ve done a few good jobs around the flat too, so although we didn’t go on a trip anywhere like we’d hoped I don’t feel like we’ve wasted the week.

    We had our dangerous old gas fire removed, and have cleaned out the fireplace and made a nice feature of it with candles and pebbles.

    Just getting the fire removed ended up being a bit of trial. We hired a proper Gas Safe engineer to do it, from a gas fire installation company, so we thought fine he’ll know what he’s doing and it’ll be all safe and hunky dory. He did seem to too, until the last stage where he cut a live electric cable with his clippers. There was a MASSIVE blue flash and a bang, and all the electrics in the building went off. He was fine, fortunately, because he was using appropriate clippers for working with electricity that had rubber handles. Otherwise I’m sure he would have killed himself. I don’t know why he didn’t realise the cable was live, he “thought he’d disconnected it”, and obviously he wouldn’t have cut it and risked his life if he’d been unsure. But he still got it totally wrong, it took us ages to get the electricity back on (a breaker upstairs had kicked in and we had to find it and switch it back on), and it felt like this was exactly the kind of thing we’d hired a professional to avoid.

    But anyway, it’s done now and the fire is gone and we’re happy with our pretty candles. We were going to buy a new gas fire, but it was just too expensive and too much of a faff with listed building consent and getting the flue swept all the way to the top. So we did this instead and saved about £800, which is pretty good.

    The other exciting thing we’ve done this week is buy a piano. I’ve wanted a piano for years and years, but I only ever had a keyboard as a child, and then I never had the money or anywhere to put one after I left home. I used to have piano lessons before I went to university, but then I stopped when I moved away and I’ve only played very occasionally over the last 13 years. I can still remember the pieces I knew a bit, and I’ve still got the sheet music, so I’ve started relearning them. I’m currently working on Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First, the theme from the film The Piano, which is really hard but I’ve always loved it.

    The piano is a nice digital one, not a very fancy or expensive one, but it looks really swish and the keys feel nice. We’ve had to put it in the hall because it didn’t really fit anywhere else, which is a bit of a shame as it’s a funny place for it, and it looks a bit out of place there. But I’m prepared to live with that for the sake of having a piano, and if we rearrange the furniture in our living room at some point we might be able to squidge it in somewhere. Chris paid for most of it as a treat, so I need to make sure I play it lots and look suitably grateful. And if he’s good I might let him have a go on it once in a while.

    I’m back to work tomorrow, and I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a pain trying to catch up on a week’s work when I’ve only got three days a week in the office now. But busy is good I suppose and at least I won’t have time to be bored! Roll on March, because then it will be spring and this freezing cold weather can fuck off.

  2. New boring work that is hopefully not boring

    December 16, 2011 by superlative

    This is following on from my recent post about the interview I had for a secondment opportunity in our central web team.

    The short version is I didn’t get it, but it looks like I’ve got something else which may even be better, and I’m quite pleased.

    I went to my interview on Wednesday morning, and did a ‘Short technical test’ (which I stormed) and then a surprisingly long interview of about 50 minutes, which seemed quite a lot for an internal post. They asked me lots of questions and I answered them all (as is traditional with conversations), and it was quite good natured and relaxed, and I came out feeling pretty good about it. I’d been really nervous beforehand, and was terrified I would balls it up and make a fool of myself, but actually once I was in the interview and talking it didn’t feel too hard at all. I did myself justice, and it was fine.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t actually enough to get me the job. One of the other applicants (whom I vaguely know) was far better qualified, with a degree in programming and loads of professional experience, and apparently although we both interviewed equally well, I was just outclassed in terms of skill. There’s nothing I can do about that really.

    And I’m actually not sorry. There were aspects of the job that I was applying for which didn’t sound very nice (being hassled a lot by people, for example), and after the interview I’d kind of made up my mind that I didn’t want it. That was partly a pragmatic opinion, and partly a panicked one because I don’t deal with change very well. Either way, I would still have taken the job if offered it because I couldn’t possibly turn it down when I desperately need more development experience, more variety in my work, and when I bitch constantly about being bored. So I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t offer it to me, and was relieved when they didn’t.

    However, the story does not end there. When the interviewing man came to see me to let me know the outcome (which I thought was odd, as he could have just rung me), he said unfortunately we aren’t able to offer you the job BUT we’d like to offer you something else.

    In essence what he said was they really liked me, I did well at the interview and they know I’m good, and I had made them wish they had two jobs they could fill. They were also very sensitive to the reasons I gave for applying: namely that I need more opportunity to do development work (as opposed to the web editing I mostly do); that I am ready for a change after four years in my job; and that it would do me a lot of good to work with and around other web professionals instead of entirely on my own in a little office in a field.

    So what they have offered to do is to buy me for two days a week from my manager so that I can go and work in the central web team on development projects, and then for the other three days I’ll do my normal job in my current office. And actually that will suit me really, really well. I’m ever so pleased. I’ll basically get to do exactly what I wanted, to gain more experience so I’m better placed for applying for jobs in the future, to improve my development skills, and to work with other web people, but I don’t have to do the hassle parts of the job I applied for, and I don’t have to leave the friends I have in my current office. And if I’m completely honest, I’ve said a number of times in the past that I could probably do my job in three days a week anyway, so my faculty won’t actually be losing anything. My manager saves money on his staff budget, I get the experience I want and a change of scene, they get extra help in the web team (they’re woefully understaffed), and I’ll be in a better position when they review how we support our websites in a year or two’s time to make sure I can slot into any new roles they create and not find myself redundant. It’s pretty much a win all round. I suppose technically yes I’ll be working harder for the same money, but that basically means I’ll deserve my money because at the moment I’m paid a lot for doing not very much.

    So I’m pleased, and I hope nothing happens to scupper it. With a bit of luck I’ll be able to start in my new half-role in January. Multi-yay.

  3. Boring work, possible new boring work

    December 2, 2011 by superlative

    I’m not writing very much again this week as I really haven’t been up to all that much. We had friends to stay last weekend, which was nice, and we had dinner at the recently revamped restaurant in the Lansdowne Place Hotel, which was pretty good but not amazing. Other than that I’ve just been plodding along at work the same as normal.

    I do however have an interview coming up now for a secondment opportunity elsewhere in the university. It’s still a web job, but it is working in the main part of our web team doing a hopefully more challenging role involving more development work. The interview’s in about a week and a half.

    I’m a bit nervous about it, because I haven’t done an interview for four years, and it will be a panel of people who know me so I can’t blag it or make stuff up. In some ways that’s a good thing though, because they already know that I’m good at what I do and they should have a good idea of whether I’m suitable for the job or not.

    I think that I want it, if only because I really need SOMETHING; I can’t carry on being bored all the time and not really doing anything most days. I am scared though, because I’m not very good at change, and although I complain bitterly (and constantly) about how dull my job is, it is at least cosy and not stressful and I know what I’m doing with it.

    I’ll go to the interview anyway, and then we’ll see what happens. It sounds like they’re interviewing more than one person for it, so I might not even get it. But if I do it should be a good opportunity, and I’ll be an actual web developer again instead of a sack of meat on a wheely chair. So wish me luck!

  4. Slow walking and slow wheeling

    October 28, 2011 by superlative

    OK, so after my ranting my weekend was actually not too bad. We managed to do some nice things, and even though it was quite different with Chris’ Mum and Nan there (and annoying at times), we did still have fun.

    We had the first 24 hours just with my brother- and sister-in-law (does she count as a sister-in-law to me? His wife anyway), so that was nice and relaxed and we did some fun things. We played crazy golf on the seafront, which I always enjoy rather too much and a lot more than I’m expecting to, and I had an amazing meal in a restaurant round the corner from here. If you’re local and you haven’t tried it before, you really should go to Twenty Four St Georges Restaurant in Kemp Town. I’ve been there a few times now and it’s just lovely; this time I gorged myself on squash risotto and the most delicious plaice with mushroom ravioli. Just gorgeous.

    Then we had a very hurried trek about on top of windy Devil’s Dyke the next morning, before hurrying back into town to meet our older visitors. And then everything started to move veeeeeerrrry sloooooooowwwwwwly. I love them to bits, but my GOD how long can it take to walk from Churchill Square to the pier? 40 minutes?? Really?! It’s just bonkers. You can fly to Paris in 40 minutes.

    The absolute best part of the weekend though was when all six of us went on the newly opened Brighton Wheel. It’s kind of like the London Eye but a lot smaller, and they’ve just thrown it up next to the pier. They weren’t entirely sure when it was going to open – I think they were waiting for some final permission or something – but then suddenly it was open and going round and round with people on it on Saturday so we thought we’d give it a go. And it was great!

    You don’t have to book, it’s not busy enough for that yet, so you just stroll straight up and pay your money and get on. It has about 20 or 30 pods big enough for six adults, so we had one all to ourselves, and I think we happened to go at one of the best times because the sun was just starting to set. You get nice views of the two piers and down the coast in either direction, and a bit of a view of the town, but that’s not so interesting to look at. We went round four times over about 15 minutes and got some lovely photos, and I really, really enjoyed it. I know some people don’t approve of the Wheel much and think it is a bit of an eyesore, but I really liked it.

    Since the weekend I’ve unfortunately had a cold, after having a glorious few months free of illness. So I’m stuffed up and fed up at home right now, watching rubbish television with a blanket on my legs (I actually am – it’s green and gloriously soft). I’m also brooding a bit about my career, or lack of, and wondering what to do about it. I need a new job I think, because I’m so horribly unfulfilled right now, but I just can’t think what or how to make a leap and do something else. I watched The Social Network last night and realised that Mark Zuckerberg has all the money in the world AND is three years younger than me, and it made me quite sad about not having achieved very much. I could have been anything, could have done anything! But I ended up with so many options that I basically did nothing and suddenly I’m 30.

    So hmmm to that. I’ll have to give it some more thought, and then probably do nothing a bit more, and whinge about it periodically. So look forward to that, won’t you? It’ll be marvellous.

  5. New job tomorrow

    October 31, 2007 by superlative

    I’m starting my new job at the university tomorrow. I’ve been so busy in my current/old job up until today that I’ve hardly had a second to think about it, but now that I can I’m getting a bit nervous. I hope it’ll be OK, I’m sure it will be. If I succeed in not totally freaking out like I did when I started my last job that’ll be an improvement at least!

    It’ll be great to be back up at Falmer I think, it’s such a nice working environment. I’m not looking forward to getting the bus every day again, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.