Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Dipper...

Its almost a tradition for me to moan about this every year so I thought I would get it out of the way early.

Only my second day driving home from work to the seasonally adjusted clock and yet already so many hundreds of motorists have seemingly forgotten the difference between dipped headlights and main beam.

The lights are supposed to be there for them to see or be seen, not to glare all on-coming traffic into driving off the road. Inconsiderate bunch of bastards...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pub Report...

Now a more responsible person in my position would be spending every waking minute trying to decide how he's going to earn a crust after the end of January, but some times you just have ot put other people first. With that in mind, I took a trip out to visit my old mate Andy over the weekend to delivery a present and help him to celebrate (?) turning 40 earlier this month.

Thanks to Sharon who was taking little Laura to a more sensible birthday celebration, we had a lift from their remote farm to Ashbourne to see what delights the numerous hostelries had in store for us. With only a couple of hours or so to spend exploring, the itinerary went something like:

George and Dragon: Leatherbritches Dr Johnsons (and great jukebox incidentally)
Ye Old Vault: Deuchars IPA
The Horns: Wytchwood Hobgoblin
The Green Man: Leatherbritches Goldings
Smiths Tavern: Andy had a questionable Hobgoblin, whereas I opted for the much nicer Jennings Cocker Hoop. Pity we only found out as we were about to leave that Marstons Pedigree was their speciality, but a quick half was sufficient to prove the point.
Back to the George & Dragon, where each pint this time was accompanied by a JD to toast Andy's birthday
Back to the Ye Old Vault, but due to a technical problem the barmaid was having while the queue at the bar grew deeper, we panicked and fled back to the George to cram in one last pint and a game of pool before getting the call to say our lift back had arrived.

So there it was Ashbourne, a delightfully picturesque market town with a plethora of real pubs, full of real people and selling real food and most importantly, real ales. I don't really know what more I can tell you other than "go there".

I might possibly add that after a session like that, it probably wasn't the best of ideas to crack open the bottled real ale as soon as we got back to the farm. Possibly even less wise to then take a trip to the nearest village to partake in a further three pints of their real ales which equally went down a treat, although to this day I couldn't tell you what they were...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taking it all in...

Two job applications still in progress right now, both of which have outlasted the earlier one (not much of a challenge, I admit).

Monday saw my first meeting with the outplacement consultants and I'm pleased to report that I was very pleasantly surprised. Although he complemented me on the quality of my CV, he went on to give me some good ideas towards improving it further still and provided some fascinating insights as so better ways to launch myself into the job market.

While I'm wading through the elements of the outplacement program, I also started the first of my in-house training sessions today. I'd heard a lot of positive feedback about the Basic Laboratory Techniques course and considering I'm part of the Technical Department, I probably should have followed it up earlier. Regardless, I managed to latch on to the course today and I'm glad I made the effort - it was really interesting with the added bonus that I got to play with some kit I otherwise probably would never have done.

Next training course is week after next when I'm on a fork truck driving course - now that's one I'm really looking forward to. I've no long term ambition of becoming a fork truck driver (or lab technician for that matter) but all of this training is being laid on for free and I figure I should take the opportunity to stuff the CV with as wide a range of experiences and training as possible to make myself more employable.

In the meantime, there is another training course being planned in the background that I'm particularly excited about. I can't say too much right now as some considerable strings are being pulled to get it provided for free, but if it works out as planned, I'll certainly be telling you all about it later on...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Survey Said...

It's laughable really - the application I sent off last night was returned and rejected mid-morning today!

I can't pretend I'm overly surprised as the last time I applied for a position advertised by this particular agency, the rejection came back even quicker. Seriously concerned the last time, I called them for some feedback on receipt of their email, only to be told that the position was very highly subscribed and she "didn't feel the role best suited my skill set". She then went on to reassure me that I had a strong CV and that she would be happy to work with me to find something else, but she would have to get back to me in a few weeks. You could almost smell the sincerity over the telephone and unsurprisingly I never heard any more from her.

Truth be known, it was the salary and geography that offered the main attraction for this role so perhaps there's a lesson to be learnt there. Not that I'm concerned right now anyway, after all, the game has only just begun...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gizza Job...

The moment finally arrived last Tuesday and I received the letter giving me notice that my employment terminates on 29th January.

I had expected it to be a little later than that and I genuinely think its unwise to let me go quite so early in the overall scheme of things, but it is more than most have been given so I can't really complain. Furthermore, I now have the basis to start building my future from. So onto the master plan.

Plan A: to make sure my lottery tickets are always up to date. Hey, let's face facts, I'd rather not have to work at all, or at least would like to have the option to work on my own terms. Admittedly, this is a tad of a long shot.

Plan B: stick with the current job until the end of January. They have now confirmed my redundancy package in writing and it's far too much to just walk away from unless something quite amazing turns up. Next week is my first meeting with the outplacement consultants they have provided to help us all in our move towards a new future. They are also providing heaps of training which I'm taking advantage of; everything from problem solving techniques to fork lift driving.

The second part of plan B is to start looking for a Customer Service Manager role within about 20 miles from home. Clearly I'll be taking advantage of every resource out there on the internet and writing to absolutely anyone who I think may be interested, in addition to whatever the above-mentioned consultants have in mind.

Plan C kicks in around December and basically involves expanding the job search to any managerial position with similar prospects and package as I have now within about 50 miles from home.

If this hasn't reaped any rewards by the end of January then plan D is to take a couple of weeks break then pretty much apply for anything just to buy me a bit more time until a more appropriate opportunity comes along.

Best case, I'll get a better job than I have now that starts at the beginning of March next year. Worst case, I can actually afford to be out of work until the back end of next year if absolutely necessary. Given the choice though I'd rather put my redundancy payout to something a little more exiting than just living from.

First job application has gone off today so the plan is now officially under way and the fun starts right here...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Office Moves...

I spent most of the morning moving office again today even though it's not that long since the last move. It came as a bit of a surprise to many as an office to yourself is a luxury that was only enjoyed by the MD and myself (more by circumstance rather than my status within the organisation I hasten to add) and as offices go, it is quite a nice one...

Truth is, the redundancy letters have started being distributed now (I haven't had mine yet but I know it's on it's way) and I thought the room would be put to much better use as a private area for people to make personal calls to arrange interviews etc., somewhere for people who want to talk in private about any problems or challenges they are personally facing, or at worst, to host some of the countless meetings resulting from the transfers to other sites.

As for me, I'm now closer to my own team as well as being amongst the other teams I work most closely with and now we can all see out these last few months in the same office together...