Archive for the ‘work’ Category

The ongoing job hunt

One of my chief criteria for a happy settled life is secure employment in an area I enjoy. I know this might be a tough ask, but I have achieved it once or twice.

Currently I am job-hunting. I am on a job-alert list which sends me positions I might be interested in. Today a position entitled “Programme Analyst”. Since it was so generic and may be of interest I checked it out. It’s not, but the application criteria was highly amusing.

With this job search site, at the end of every application are a series of yes/no questions you need to complete before submitting a CV. Usually it relates to education levels and experience. This one had the following yes/no question right at the end:

“Keen to secure a role with a 1st class salary/benefits package with career progression?”

ummmmm, yes?
Honestly, who would answer: “no, actually, I’d like a sub-standard salary, minimal benefits in a dead-end job”? Really!

In more serious news, I just sent two applications to the Greater London Authority. I’m waiting to hear back (still) on a job with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and I’ve got another application due on Friday. Something decent should shake out of that, hopefully.

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My uncle, who also worked as a public servant for the NSW government at the same time I did, has a slogan which he repeated ironically everytime we discussed our work:

“Working to make the state of New South Wales a better place for the people of New South Wales”

Now, irony and self-deprecation is appreciated in our family, so it was always delivered in a slightly sarcastic, political patter, so you didn’t take it too seriously. But now I wonder.

My work ethic has substantially dropped off. I’m just not really interested in what I am doing at my current position, and every so often I wonder why, as this place does have the potential to be fantastic, so there must be something specific.


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Shared tastes

My energy is all over the place today. I blame Tuesday-itis.

We have a team dinner after work today, and we’re leaving the office at 5.30, so i realised I can come in 30 mins later and decided to have a bit of a sleep-in.

You’d have thought I’d have learnt the “be careful what you wish for” lesson by now, but apparently not. Since I actually made it up and out of the house in a decent timeframe, even with 20 mins extra sleep. I’d be later than usual, but not too much later.

Until I reached the train station and went to buy my morning banana, and realised I’d left my wallet at home. One 20 min round trip later I was tired, zombiefied and well and truly later for work than I have generally been.

Stoopid wallet!

Since then my schedule has been out of whack. Had a strange breakfast on the train of a pastry and a small coffee and juice, instead of sitting at the cafe with the lovely Italian men, eating marmite toast and a larger coffee while reading the paper.

Worked for 45 mins, then went to the team meeting (never a good thing on a tuesday), then a quick lunch. Now it is 2pm and I’m eating my 3.30 pm snack.

Wacky day!

At least I can blame it on Tuesday-itis, it’s more common for me than Monday-itis. I suspect it’s because on Monday I am quite rested from the weekend and (generally) happy to be at work. Whereas Tuesday I’m experiencing some form of jetlag from two early mornings compared to weekend wake up times, definitely more dopey on Tuesdays.

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Homesick for work?

At home in the office

This may lead some people to think I am a bit barmy, but I’ve realised over the last week that I am homesick, but for a very specific aspect of my life. Work.

I miss having my own desk with plants and pictures and my files and plans on the walls.

I miss being a respected font of knowledge in a particular area, and having people ask me regular questions that involved nuanced detailed answers.

I miss my boss coming up to my desk at irregular intervals and asking where I’m at, which was always code for “I’ve got some work for you”. Which relates to me missing the situation where each day had the potential to bring a new, possibly pressured task to do, which I thrived.

I miss the phone ringing. It doesn’t here. I miss meetings. I *almost* miss 2 hour teleconferences with a chair that insisted on repeating everything that we said and waffling. Almost, but not yet. Although I do miss the sense of accomplishment in being the only person who actually prepared for those teleconferences and was able to meaningfully contribute.

I miss having to wear at least 3 different hats on any given day, and the variety that went with that.

I miss being responsible for a process or project that I’ve been involved with since the beginning, that actually matters to someone other than a management committee spinning wheels in case they get rubbished for something beyond their control.

I miss the political machinations. The sense of camaraderie and cohesiveness that came from working on a difficult policy area.

I miss the sense of being part of something bigger and doing something worthwhile. I miss doing something that was almost always guaranteed to generate a conversation at parties where I didn’t know anyone.

I miss actually feeling like a worthwhile member of my team, whom my Director depends upon.

Here’s hoping tomorrow goes well!

-for anyone from SPD reading this post, click on the photo above and it will take you to all the photos I took in the office while I was there. Oh, and Jenny, I read the May EPHC communique today and almost giggled/cried at the statements, and waht they mean for the work we were all doing, especially the ones relating to CDS.

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I have a job, (more on that later, when I’m not actually at work taking a quick blog break), and since I don’t have a car, and this is London, and I like to do so, I catch public transport to work every day. Along with the majority of people that work in London.

The standard trip takes 1.5 hours door to door, on a good day. If there’s engineering works on my line, or there’s lots of crowds then add 15 mins. If there’s a tube strike add 30 mins. All in all, not a bad run considering I live outside the M25 (the ring road around London).

Why a poster child? The variety of public transport types I catch every day.

The standard trip in is: train – tube – light rail. On the way home it’s light rail – tube – train – train. (I generally just miss the direct train from London Bridge, so change at East Croydon as it’s quicker than waiting for the next direct service)

Generally the tube is the Jubilee line, in which speed is traded for space, at least until Canary Wharf where all the bankers get off and the carriage empties. I’m getting rather sick of the daily game of sandines; being poked and prodded by handbags, or having men’s elbows in my face. I’ve worked out that women tend to pack closer than men, so if I can target the knot of men at one end of a carriage then there’s generally more space around them. Once we clear Canary Wharf then there’s ample space to put down bags, coats and finish reading the paper/a book.

I have the option of taking a tube to Bank, then a long walk down many tunnels to the light rail station. This is generally a less squishy option, but adds about 15 mins to the journey since the light rail stops more frequently and doesn’t travel as fast. However, it is probably the cheapest rollercoaster around, maybe not the most exciting. Try sitting in the front of the second carriage one day and enjoy the camber on the corners, the jolting and the surreality of the twisting carriage in front of you as the train dives into a tunnel.

There’s been a tube strike the last two days. This hasn’t been to bad for me, as my unaffected train service arrives in a similar part of London. The best option has been another train to Greenwich, then the light rail up through the Isle of Dogs. Adds 30 mins to the trip, but I get to see a part of London that I might not have otherwise.

Last, but not least, there is a bus (red double-decker) that leaves from the front of my work direct to Canary wharf, the closest transport hub, and major shopping precinct, which is yet another way to get home. If I take that option then in one trip I can combine every sort of public transport available in Greater London, except a ferry. Hence, poster child.

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One: I just discovered the coolest thing. I can touch type well enough to type an email with my eyes closed. Resting and working at the same time!!

Two: This article is quite useful for my potential future lifestyle. Also, I’d like to do a study on articles with the keywords: environment, packaging and climate and see which of the two has a greater hit rate. It would be climate, but not by much I expect. Apparently you can save the world by only addressing packaging since it’s the bad child in this equation (and not, say massive over-consumption of everything. Wait, this is supposed to be a short post, not a long rant)

Three: As a short distraction from my very busy day, which follows on from a very busy week in a very busy month (all at work, socially, it’s dead, but that’s because of study) I took time out to read Mystic Medusa’s astrology blog, as she’s always amusing. Had to laugh at this. And at this description of one of her publications:

Saturn is now in Virgo, a much better place for the planet of fabulous results via non-stop slog than Leo. Mystic Medusa & Kim Falconer once again join forces to bring you 10,000 words of sign-by-sign usable, jargon-free info for turning Saturn through Virgo into an astute and supportive astro-influence. Saturn responds to WORK. Where it is in your chart is where you have to be super-straight and work like a banshee. It is also where you will shine.
Saturnalia will be relevant until October 2009. Yes folks, that is how long Saturn remains in Virgo.

Maybe that explains the overwork in ALL areas of my life, being a Virgo and all. It also explains the need to close my eyes at my desk. See point 2. Bring on November!

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