My So Called Working Life

I did say to Janet that I would write a post about my disastrous job interviews, and that post is coming soon. Right now I want to share a little personal post about my current work situation.

Basically I have worked since I turned 16, and all my family members talk proudly about what a hard worker I am. So when I quit my job of twelve years with no job to go to, it was a huge deal. Long story short I am not a quitter and I put up with loads of crap over the years at that place, but everyone has their limits and I had reached mine.

One of my friends has recently been made redundant from his job of 11 years which he also hated, and I have been offering him advise on how to handle the emotions of the situation. Then suddenly I remember that I quit my job, and feel a bit of a dick for doing so!

Said friend has not found any work for over 4 months and is finding his spare time a burden. I completely relate, as I had 6 weeks not working when I quit. I then found a (very) part time job, and I have been searching for a part time job with more hours for the last year and a bit. I have been at a loose end at times, and I missed my old routine. Having more spare time than I was used to was hard, as I am the type of person who likes to keep busy, but I am naturally a bit lazy! Recently I had a stroke of luck and managed to find a job without looking for one! I will eventually explain how I managed this in my job interview post.

A few years back, I remember reading an article in Red magazine about how employment is changing. Basically from what I remember the article said that the number of self employed people is growing, and more people are temping, or working multiple part time jobs, dabbling in a little bit of this and that, and doing what ever they need to do to pay the bills. That career paths are changing and there is no such thing as a job for life anymore.

I also read in this book here (I am such a mid century geek!) that in the 1950’s the American dream was to find a secure job, preferably with a large corporation, and to buy a house to fill with appliances, a large family, a car to park on the driveway, and to go on holiday once a year. It made me think that things have certainly changed since then! In those days large companies generally looked after their employees with family days out and the like, all paid for by the company. Employee felt that their company had their back. Plus it was’nt much of a challenge to find work back then, as jobs were plentiful back in those prosperous times.

My current work situation is very different to 1950’s America. I am basically the subject matter of the Red magazine article. I now have three part time jobs!

I started my new third position last week. This is fairly flexible role and I can work my contracted hours (2 shifts) when I want, within reason. I also have overtime opportunities if I want them, and I often do. The downside to working like this is that I have met people who work for the company 45 hours per week, with just a 6 hour per week contract. But this is very common these days. Perks like sick pay, holiday pay, company pensions and other employee benefits are rapidly disappearing.

I then work 3 shifts a week in the job I first found when I quit my job of 12 years. I am also studying in my own time for a qualification for this role (which I don’t really want, but I have to do for the job.) Then for my third job I do the admin and accounts for Rob’s own company. This third role is unpaid and more like an internship, except I row with the boss and tell him to eff off on a regular basis.

I also have a forth role is as a homemaker (or housewife/kept woman/lady of leisure – I have been called all these. I really hate all those titles). Because Rob is very busy with his business I do all the daily housework and have done for the last 6 years or so, to the extent that Rob has no idea where to find anything in the kitchen, and I do all the food shopping on my own. We are no longer that cutesy couple holding hands in the supermarket staring at the jars of Chicken Tonight™, debating who gets to chop up what and who gets to wash up and who wipes!….Not that we ever were really!

So I keep myself busy and have plenty to occupy my time. I’m also enjoying the structure this third job is bringing to my days. I start this job at 7am (through choice) so it gets me up nice and early in the morning. When I left my long term job, at first the lay-ins were great, but when you have nothing particular to get out of bed for (working for Rob can be done when I want. I fit it around my two other jobs.) I felt like such a waster, I really missed the routine of my old job. I felt I could not justify working part time with no children of my own. But (sorry if I offend any mamma’s out there) I think I as busy as a full time mum who has children in school. Anyway who cares about that, I don’t need to justify why I work part time to anyone or myself (although I have just written a whole blog post doing so*) the main thing is that at the moment it works for us, and Rob and I can pay our bills and are not in debt.

I enjoy the variety of my three jobs, it keeps my days from being groundhog day over and over again. The main thing is that I have proved to myself that I can be adaptable and I am not scared of change. All three jobs are far from my dream job (sorry Rob!) but because I experience them in smaller doses, as apposed to a 8 hour day, 5 days a week, they do not bother me like my last job used to.

One problem is holidays. Try booking time off from three jobs! Plus because Rob is a sole trader running his own web development company** it is extremely difficult to get way from work, as clients will call you anytime. Another downside is Rob and I will often work 6 or 7 days a week.

Who knows what the future holds? I might well be working full time 9-5, Monday to Friday again by the end of the year or maybe I will win the lottery! The main thing is I am flexible and adaptable and I will do what ever it takes to keep a roof above our heads and food in our belly (within reason!)

* Oops!
** Rob has nothing to do with this blog. Its all my own work. As you can tell – it is rubbish.

Tuesday Tune

Yeah I know I am probably the last person in the world to blog about the return of Daft Punk, but who cares, I love ’em and I want to share this clip!

When I first saw this on the telly a week or so ago my heart sunk a little. I don’t know why, but I find Pharrell Williams a bit cheesy, and he makes me cringe a little.

But I gotta admit the dude has talent. Plus the fact that Daft Punk have collaborated with Nile Rogers and the robot is playing slap bass more than make up the cringe factor for me!

I was bought up on my Mum’s collection of 70’s disco vinyl (she stopped listening to new music in the 80’s because she had children or so she says. I say because most 80’s mainstream music is a bit shit) Chic were one of our favourites, we used to spend hours dancing around the record player in the living room (me wearing a Mickey mouse sweater, my sister in some kind of sequined party dress and mum wearing oversized glasses. We were such hipster pioneers pah ha ha!).

Its like my mums musical world has collided with mine (with a bit of Pharrell thrown in for good measure), which can only be a good thing!daft_punk_by_erchivita-d49sdgl

Pic from Google images/grimygatsby

You Know You Are Getting Old When…..Part 2

I feel like this post needs a sequel. Who knows, YKYAGOW…. could become a regular feature on here. I have plenty to say on the subject!

I will admit #2 did happen to me when I was on holiday in Barcelona a few years ago.*
I recalled the story to a former colleague (who was in his very early twenties) expecting him to laugh……..Nope! The look of pity in his eyes as he said “oh Helen” still haunts me!

The rest of this list *cough* may or may not apply to me.

  • All of a sudden (some) men with grey hair seem more attractive. Cue some weird crushes.
  • You get ignored by the people who hand out club flyer’s.
  • You know you will never be able to walk in heels, so stopped buying them years ago.
  • Former school friends who you are friends with on Facebook, are friends with their children on Facebook.
  • You fully understand why its called “beauty sleep”.

*I blame Rob. He is older than me. I only look about 19. Honest.

Southwold 2013

I previously mentioned that Rob and I had a camping trip planned this month. We planned to go to Cornwall in the camper van (which was not ready in time), or take the tent (the weather has been rubbish of late), with some friends of ours (who had to pull out unfortunately). So our best laid plans did not quite work out! Instead we made a last minute decision to book three nights away in a cottage three miles outside of Southwold in Suffolk.

We had a great time, Southwold is a lovely town full of deli’s, boutiques and fancy restaurants. It reminds me of Whitstable, but with a sandy beach, and is a lot smaller, posher and prettier (so not really much like Whitstable at all then!)

Anyhoo here are some snaps I took while on my holiday. I used my little bridge camera (I have been borrowing Rob’s DSLR to take the snaps for my blog recently – I don’t know if anyone can tell the difference in quality?) and I am going to talk you through them like some 70’s sitcom character who invites their friends around to an evening of cheese fondue, blue nun and a long, boring slide show of holiday photos in the living room. DSCF1882

Above. Southwold is famous for its brightly coloured beach huts. A bit like Whitstable! (OK I will shut up now!)
PierThe pier. It was windy.blue copperCoppers thrown over the edge of the pier turned blue by the elements. As was I, brrr!
seafoamI like the composition of this photo. Its a shame the sea foam is out of focus.yellow loveI love the yellow line, the yellow beach huts and the random passer by’s yellow jacket. This photo turned out exactly how I planned it. Honestly *cough*.huts2Q What a girl to do when faced with lots of photogenic beach huts? A Take lots of snaps for her blog.huts 3huts4broadAbove. We walked along the start of the broads.DSCF1910Above. We came out of the pub and took more snaps of the beach huts in the evening light. Cue some dusky, grainy pictures.bugWe both turned into VW/photography geeks trying to get a nice photo of the bug by the sea in the evening.sunsetWe saw a beautiful sunset.sun hutI tried to get an arty shot. (And failed).pinkAbove. No picmonkey editing on the last 3 images, the colours are amazing!bug hutThe bug is such a poser. As are those beach huts. Shame it was night time!

Lately #6

Wad gowan? See below if you are interested.

    • Following my emotional blog post about the end of google reader I started using Feedly and all is fine. In fact I love Feedly!
    • I have a couple of posts coming up soon about my current work situation. I just need to write them.
    • Rob has started sewing the door panel and seating upholstery for the camper van with my nans old sewing machine. He really is a clever creative so and so. Meanwhile I am still too chicken s**t/lazy to attempt some bunting. I live creatively through Rob.

PicMonkey Collage

    • He even made a special table for his project(s) from MDF.

the great british sewing bee

  • Now that we know the Glastonbury line up, Rob is really looking forward to seeing Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr (I often tease him by calling him Mr stuck in the early 90’s. Justifiably so!) and I am just looking forward to going. Rob and I are a bit rubbish at watching bands at festivals, especially at huge festivals like Glasto. We tend to drink cider for breakfast wander as far as the beer tent then lose track of time!
  • I somehow managed to bust one of Rob’s work computers, while checking something on eBay. Oops! This is the second mac that has broke on me in a year! Its fixed now, phew! Turns out the hard drive was faulty. The other busted mac was 7 years old and on its last legs. Its nothing to do with me, honest!
  • The camper van is currently at Rob’s friends workshop, having its final push on the restoration work. I have some work in progress pictures below to share!

Jasper

  • Its not going to be ready for our camping trip planned this month. The target is now Glastonbury. We managed to snag a camper van ticket! Geez, they are expensive (plus the tickets themselves). Ouch, my purse hurts! Or it will do when I pay back Rob my half!
  • I saw both a Robin and a Robin Reliant on my walk into town yesterday. What are the chances of that?
  • And finally, a story from Femail that is not about a pregnant Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr or some Z list papped in a bikini. Its an article for all lovers of mid century gadgets out there. You know what I found shocking about this feature? – That she hoovers 3 times a week!

 

 

Why Do I Have A Blog?

Two nights ago I could not sleep. Rob’s snoring was louder than usual, and I just could not turn off my thoughts. In the middle of night I gave up trying to get to sleep and sat at the computer typing out a terrible blog post. I also had to go downstairs to shoo out a neighbourhood cat that had come in the house, but that is not really relevant!

My blog post was awful, it read like a angsty teenagers diary – all why do I have a blog? Why do I bother? All me, me, me, blah, blah, blah. Blame it on the insomnia!

Thankfully, I have deleted most of my ramblings. The main point of my nocturnal blogging was to pour some of the thoughts out of my head, because I just could not switch off my brain to get to sleep!

The main thing that was bothering me was why do I have a blog? I dont really know…..It all stemed from a moment last weekend. I was chatting to some friends of ours about my blog, but I would not tell them the name of it. I did my usual thing of joking about it (my blog), then Rob piped up and was about to tell them the name of my blog. But I shot him a death stare and told him to shut the f*** up!

Yeah, I dont know why I did not tell them where to find it either? I guess part of me feels a tiny bit of a loser for having a blog. Plus I am not comfortable about fishing for compliments (or rather insults) if they gave me (honest) feedback about what they thought of things on here!

I also thought about the purpose of this blog and what I write about. Here I just talk about anything and everything. Whatever takes my fancy and floats my boat. But its all lighthearted and edited. I like to think that my blog is a bit like the real life me. I like telling silly (and hopefully amusing) stories about random stuff. I have a self depreciating sense of humour, so when I talk about myself it is always intended to make people laugh. I am not an attention seeker, but I like to make people happy and smile.

Sometimes I find the posts come easy, then sometimes I struggle to think of anything to say on here. Lately I have become a little lazy and not feeling things on here, just posting about Pyrex and a list of links (and Geordie Shore!)

Which now leads me back to what was keeping me up at night. Do I want to get more personal on here?

Sometimes I do share a little personal stuff on here. I held back a lot in that post, but writing it was like closure to me. I wonder if should occasionally get more personal on here. Afterall having a blog is a lot cheaper than a therapist! The Internet is a great listener!

I really want to talk more about work and my career (or lack of), but its probably not the wisest subject to talk about online. To be honest I think this is was what was really keeping me awake that night, because I have had a job offer out of the blue! So the whole work thing has been playing on my mind of late.

What I might do is a post on my experiences and funny(ish) stories about my job interviews in this past year or so. Basically how I made a dick of myself and what not to do!

So in conclusion what is this blog for or about? Answer – I don’t know, but I am enjoying the journey of finding out. Watch this space!