He Is Taking Me Out For The Day

I found out today that….wait for it….I will have an afternoon off work this week! Yay!!! Everyone cheer!!! I was chattering away to a friend of mine this evening (he is also a friend of Jack’s and he seems very pleased that Jack and I are mended) and he offered to take me out for a good time on my afternoon off.

Ooooooh! An adventure with George! Where will he take me? I can’t wait! He is always going to interesting places and hanging out with interesting people. I am really pleased at the thought of spending the afternoon with him.

Then that evening, I am going to what I believe will be a small party. Well, my friend in Tufnell Park has a tiny flat, so it can’t be too big. Although one summer I do remember about thirty of us squeezing inside her flat. That was because a musician we know was staying with her. So a lot of us popped in (invitation only) and listened to a private performance.

Anyway….I need fun! It sounds as if fun is ahead for me!!! Yay!!!

My Rip Roaring Resume!

The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Jack of all trades, master of none

resI realized some years ago that this adage describes my CV/resume. I have worked in so many different fields. I am going to try and give you an idea of all the different work I have been involved in for the past twenty years:

  • legal secretary
  • receptionist
  • data entry clerk
  • purchase ledger/accounts payable assistant
  • credit control assistant
  • sign language interpreter
  • painter/decorator
  • cook
  • cleaner/housekeeper
  • ironing and laundry
  • gardener
  • dog walker
  • customer services in retail
  • medical receptionist
  • care assistant in palliative care / dementia / mental health
  • proofreader/editor
  • admin assistant
  • dry cleaning counter assistant
  • market research
  • steward at large events (indoor arenas and sports stadiums)
  • security guard
  • first aider
  • roof tiler
  • insulation/plaster boarding
  • labourer
  • entertainer
  • pharmacy assistant
  • medical administrator
  • chauffeur
  • model
  • tour guide
  • waitress
  • kitchen assistant
  • childminder
  • animal care (including horses, ponies, chickens, sheep, cows, cats, dogs, rabbits and stick insects)
  • swimming pool maintenance
  • carpet laying
  • demolition
  • party/events planner
  • catering
  • scaffolding installation
  • stage installation
  • trucking and installation at festivals and events
  • purchasing (for charity projects)
  • health and safety trainer / administrator
  • menswear buying assistant
  • sourcing administrator
  • …and a whole load of one off roles on construction sites and at large events up and down the country!

nusDo I qualify as a JACK OF ALL TRADES??? I would not particularly call myself a master at any of these trades. Within health care and pharmacy I have had to train staff and compile training manuals, patient care records, and write reports on anything my boss asked me to. That is probably the area where I have the most training and qualifications.

I have a lot of experience in accounts. It comes very easy to me. But I managed to duck out of accounting courses, so I only have on the job experience of ten years.

I have had a lot of customer service roles, and that seems to be my strength. I must admit it is nice that I receive comments from so many customers and patients thanking me. When I arrived at work today, the first customer I served started shaking her head at me. She said “I cannot remember the last time I received customer service like that”. She told me I had done everything perfectly, and gone above and beyond in serving her. She said made her feel valued. That made me feel better, especially as I am so tired at the moment.

woaI LOVE VARIETY! I love all the different types of work I have been involved in. I love the friends I have made along the way. I have managed to avoid supervisor roles and manager roles for years, because I insisted on only part-time hours. My work for charities has always been more important to me. Paid work was only about earning my bread and butter.

I have been willing to try out anything new, and had so much fun. My favourite day of work was when we had to chase the sheep around a field, herd them into a pen and then one by one, turn them upside down onto their backs to trim their hooves.

wirMy current job is fine. It is a fifteen minute walk from home. I love my colleagues. At the start of the year they asked if I might be able to help out extra while they recruited someone to replace a colleague that had left. I understood that would be for two or three weeks. So instead of working the 17 hours I am contracted for, for the past six weeks I have worked around 4o hours a week (on top of 20+ unpaid hours of work I do each week). I am tired now!

I am getting to the stage, where I am coming home too tired to go out to dinner with friends, too tired to cook, too tired to clean or do my ironing, too tired to do anything creative, too tired to answer my phone. I have had several occasions at work when I want to burst into tears and walk out. But after a conversation about the situation today, I fear they want me to work full-time and train to fill the role they are trying to recruit for. No way on earth do I want that! No way! Soooooooo….I have started to apply for other jobs. It feels great. There is a job advertised as two days a week, 8am-6pm for a business on the high street. I have done similar work. It would be a four minute walk from home!

Hr Process, Hr, Selection, InterviewThe thing about applying for jobs is….you have to just keep applying and not get your hopes up. You never know who else might be applying for a job and whether they have more experience than you etc. By applying to all sorts of random job advertisements with the part-time hours I was looking for, I have been able to enjoy a varied and fascinating work life.

What does interest me is that some jobs required me to sit at a desk and stare at a computer for eight or nine hour days. Whereas many other jobs required me to stand or be on my feet for twelve hour shifts. When you think about the kind of job you have and whether it requires you to be sedentary or active for long periods, no wonder people end up with different fitness and stamina levels. Some jobs require you to work with people for many hours. I have been in jobs that were very emotionally demanding.

Anyway….I am changing the subject. I love being a JACK OF ALL TRADES, and I am pretty glad I am a MASTER OF NONE. I have been able to keep paid work in its place, a means to an end, a way of earning my bread and butter…and I have had a great time doing so!

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The adage featured for today’s FANDANGO’S FEBRUARY EXPRESSIONS is:

Fandango’s February Expressions #14

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Overtime Is Sapping Me

worsI am struggling a little. I have worked around 60 hours each week throughout January. Now it looks as if that will continue throughout February, although I may be able to have a morning or an afternoon off here and there. In fact I found out a couple of days ago that I can have Thursday and Friday afternoon off. Yay!

It’s just that tiredness accrues. I had an amazing opportunity on Sunday. Because someone had come down with the flu, I was offered the chance to take their place at a function up in South Kensington. But that was a late night. Then a long shift of paid work on the Monday, doing tasks which are so dull. Yet those dull tasks require concentration, and the ability to deal with other people who are tired and perhaps irritable.

hsapAt the moment, I am in a paid job that I find monotonous at times. If it wasn’t for the lovely people I am working with and the nice patients (the difficult patients make me ask why I am there) I would struggle to motivate myself. I could tolerate it before because I was only doing about 17 hours of paid work. The time passed quickly and I gave work my full concentration and energy. But I have been doing just under forty hours of paid work every week of January. It’s really getting to me. My motivation is evaporating as my tiredness builds.

Do you know that feeling of waking up in the morning, dreading the monotony ahead? I try to keep myself entertained by thinking up short stories to write in response to one of the prompts I have seen.

Anyway…I am not the only person who has to spend hours in a job that is comparatively dull to the rest of one’s life. Money paying jobs are often dull. A few hours before I start work, I log into my inbox and the volunteer database and spend a couple of hours scheduling volunteers for projects across the country. During evenings there are phone calls to make if I am home. Other evenings I have to attend training sessions or community groups which I assist with. A lot of volunteer business is discussed over dinner. I am invited out for dinner a lot, but often it is because we are working on a project and have issues to settle. But there is always great chatter and laughs besides “business”.

Oh dear…the thought of a whole month ahead of these long weeks of dullness is sapping the energy out of me. I want my life back! I want to be able to spend my time more productively, more meaningfully, more rewardingly.

spriaAaaaah! I hope they hire someone else soon. I have March set in my mind. If they have not hired someone else by then, I will give my notice in and find some other part time work. I am not willing to work full-time for money. It’s joyless. There are so many other things I want to do with my life, my time. Earning money is not what I want to do with the majority of my time.  There are so many wonderful projects going on with the charities I work with. I want to be able to give as much of my time and energy to those.

Sigh. I think what gets to me is how a small number of our patients from the very outset try to belittle you. It shocks me how many insulting comments are fired at us. I am very sweet to people. The practice is very organised and all staff are conscientious. So when someone is dissatisfied with the service and they start ranting, it is demoralizing. Whereas the spirit on the volunteer projects I work on…well, it is a spirit of dignity and appreciation and kindness.

Don’t pay me too much attention – I am just missing my life, and looking forward to having my normal hours back.

I Am Dreading Today

takeinI ended up having a late night out in South Kensington. I only ended up there because a friend’s husband is over in America, and a colleague she had invited to attend in his place had come down with the flu. I was invited at very short notice.

It was an opportunity I couldn’t really reject. Jack would have been cross with me if I had. I am glad I went. It was good that I was in public and seeing people who are close to Jack and addressing them confidently, with that security that comes from my relationship with Jack. Yes, I am being brave and entering the very public world that Jack belongs to, and last night I did it without him.

By the time I reached home, it was too late for me to risk going to sleep. For a couple of hours I did some ironing, had a shower and washed my hair, sent some emails to family and friends and also Jack and Goldfinch, caught up on my WordPress comments and then waited until it was time to leave my little nest to walk down the hill to work.

So I have a horribly long day ahead of me…and I have not slept a wink! Coffee!!! Bear in mind I am only working Mondays and Tuesdays for them because they still have not recruited someone for those days. They are not my normal days at all! I am relieved that I have Tuesday morning off work. So after work today, my plan is just to come home and climb straight into bed.

Today is going to be awful!

 

My Bank Manager Is Going To Be Celebrating

wawagIt’s Friday and…I just got paid!!! Phew! January is always a long month. But this month I have had to do a lot of extra work. I have been paid more than twice as much as I normally do! My bank are going to be wondering what on earth is going on!

Oh well…the bank manager can think whatever they want. I was on my feet for long long days and smiling for twelve hours straight. Most of our patients are amazing, but I will be honest with you, there are times when the smile wants to vanish. But hey…it’s a whole month and the difficult patients have not got to me yet!

It’s the weekend, and I might even buy myself a treat. I have not had any cake all month. Don;t you think I deserve a slice now?

Please Don’t Take It Out On Me

Oh I did not want to go to work today! Paid work that is. I was not in the mood for it at all. I was right to feel that way. On numerous occasions, I felt like saying, “just because you have eaten too much, drunk too much, spent too much and argued with your nearest and dearest too much – please do not come here and take out all of your frustration on me!”

Anyway, I survived work! Ten hours of work! Not once did I say what I was thinking. Instead I smiled serenely at all of our patients and calmly explained what they needed to do next.

In between obnoxious outbursts from clearly unhappy patients, I closed my eyes and thought about my wonderful family. We didn’t eat too much. There was no alcohol. We burnt off the calories everyday by running after the kids. There were no arguments at all. We didn’t spend too much money because we don’t do decorations or gifts. We just make the most of the time off work to be together. As every day with my family tends to be – it was very joyful.

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Love, joy and peace do not come from things, whether they are shiny or sparkly, nor food, whether sweet or savoury. Love, joy and peace come from making sure everyday is about giving to the people you come into contact with. Giving a smile, a kind word, a thank you, a forgiving spirit, a compliment, a listening ear, some support, a funny joke or a host of other things that brighten their day and lighten their load. Love, joy and peace have nothing to do with the great commercial materialistic event that was last week.

Now I back at my little nest recovering from a demanding day at work, I am bracing myself for another long day at work tomorrow, after which I will travel to the other side of London to see Jack. So excited!!!

Looming

crysWhat exactly is looming in Caramel’s mind? Thank you for asking. Two things are looming in my mind.

One is work. I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow. It was rescheduled. I was so ill on the original day of the meeting, my boss said it would be better to wait until I was better because there were some important things she needed to discuss. Ever since, this meeting has been looming in my mind. I feel as if I am about to be tried, convicted, executed all in one swoop. If you never read another post from me again, you will know what has happened. I’m a gonna!

The other thing looming in my mind is the next post that is scheduled to be published. It is called “Careless”.

anniversaryWithin this next part of my Annabelle Riley story, something occurs that is a huge blow to Annabelle. Although Annabelle’s story is a love story, and a life story – her emotional/mental health is another big theme throughout the book. I have referred to her long time habit of self-harming. I have shied away from any graphic descriptions because I did not want to disturb anyone.

If you have been following her story, you will know that some lovely things have happened to her lately. But in this next part, we will discover that Annabelle has still not really dealt properly with her mental health issues, and when confronted with an unexpected situation, Annabelle will be tested.

I am really nervous about this part of her story. I wrote it when I was really ill, and I have read it over and over again. I strongly felt the story had to take this turn. But I am in nervous knots about it.

Anyway…if I survive the meeting with my boss (no guarantees) I hope that you see why I felt my lovely character Annabelle needed to come under scrutiny with an unexpected twist in her story.