Archive for ‘Work’

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some good news…

Firstly, some very good news: Chris got a job!!! I am so VERY happy about this (time to pay off some credit card debt!!)

Next, I got a package in the mail today, from Australia! Inside were 2 lovely fat quarters (pieces of fabric!) and a printed fabric ‘made by’ label. They are from a swap on the down to earth forums, which I visit every day. I hope my swapee likes their parcel from me!!

And today, I attended a book binding (making journal/sketchbook type books, rather than binding novels!) craft class at the local gallery. The day didn’t start great with a stonking headache til lunchtime, but by the end of the day I finished something I am really happy with :)

The two books I made – the one on the left is my first basic attempt. The one on the right is the second attempt which I’m a lot happier with.

A close up of the second book. The cover is made of vellum (vellum was originally made with calf skin, but is more commonly used now to refer to semi-transparent paper – sort of a nicer version of tracing paper!), and it fastens with a simple loop of thread and a celtic knotwork style button.

The inside of the book – it has 80 pages, alternating muted gold and a lovely marbelled green. There is an ‘inner cover/front page’ of a gorgeous printed vellum .

I will definitely be exploring this more – I have a sort of ‘in progress’ idea of a nice little photo album made like this.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Can’t believe it’s been so long

I’m sorry I neglected you, blog!

Things have been… interesting.. here. Chris is still unemployed and starting to get really down about it. Money is tight, and the only way I seem to be able to cope with that is to bury my head in the sand (healthy way of dealing with things, I know). If I think about things too much I get a bit mopey. That said, I’m not depressed about it.. just a little… stressed :)

In happier news, I get to keep my job after December (which would have been when I was scheduled to finish my fixed term contract). My colleague is leaving, we’ll really miss her but it means she gets a great new job she wants and I get a job full stop! The details have yet to be hashed out but I had a meeting with my manager today which was good for the self esteem, I seem to be well regarded :)

I’ve been doing a fair bit of crafting recently including felt and fleece plush toys (more cute things to look at than for actual kids!) and an apron. I’m planning on trying a cover for my sewing machine next. All step by step re-learning how to sew (I did some in school but have forgotten it all!). I’ll post pictures later – at the moment I can’t because my main computer is having issues and crashing / not turning on – far more regularly than is healthy! We think it’s a power supply issue, so that needs swapping out to see if a new one helps. At least i have my laptop for checking mail etc, but it’s old and cranky so not much fun for things like Photoshop and games.

Finally, I’m also re-discovering a very geeky or old fashioned hobby (depending how you look at it) – bored games! My friend Kay is happy to revive this with me, to add to our so-not-cool-kids crafts nights. I’m adding Warhammer into the equation too – a tabletop fantasy battle game you play with little figures. I used to play it as a child/teen with my brother and am looking forward to rediscovering it. And of course the models need painting and scenery making, which is half the fun :)

Time to sign off – I will try and post again a little more frequently!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gallery Work Visit

Something a bit different today – I got the opportunity to spend a day working at the local gallery. I spent the day working with the exhibitions curator, making up two displays – a large cabinet of smaller mixed media pieces (ranging from jewelery to collage/decoupaged objects and large mixed media paintings/artworks), and a full room display of fairly modern oil paintings.

The smaller display was the one I found most interesting – the artist was there and we (her, me and the curator) spent some time discussing and tweaking the layout – you’d be amazed how much work goes into the ‘random’ looking displays! While I wasn’t keen on some of her pieces, others I loved – including a large collage – a mixture of newsprint (I love old text), paint and fabric.

Hanging the larger paintings was a lot more practical – a lot of measuring and maths was involved to get the display absolutely perfect, after deciding what was going to go where and what would look good together. This did appeal to my perfectionist side – I think it’s a job that would frustrate a lot of people as everything has to be perfect to the millimeter, checked with spirit levels, etc – but I quite enjoyed having such a focused job to work on that had a nice visual finish.

All in all it’s something I’d definitely be interested in doing again!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I interviewed today for ‘my’ job – I’ve been doing it on a temp basis, but they had to advertise it etc – the good news is, I’m now employed by the council for approx a year covering maternity leave … so I don’t need to worry about the lack of job after Christmas anymore ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time for a bit of an update.

Well, the big thing is of course work. I had some uncertaintly for a couple of weeks because my boss didn’t think she’d be able to keep me due to budgeting constraints. Fortunatly, I made an impression, and gave them the impression I was working my socks off (when in fact this job is 10 times less stressful and hard work than the previous bank job), and got on really well with everyone. Me and K, one of the members of the team, have made friends – we have similar interests in music and crafts etc and get on really well. And basically today my boss went and begged next-boss-up to let me stay. It worked and I’m employed hopefully for a good few months now. They’re hoping to take me on directly, rather than through the agency, and keep me on til the end of someone’s maternity leave – possibly up to a year – but that does depend on budgeting and hiring ‘rules’ within the council which say they have to advertise jobs. So… we shall see.

One of the outcomes of this is that I’ll likely be going ‘home’ for Christmas. For the first time in 4 years. I’m both really excited and somewhat .. not… because we don’t have the big family ‘do’ I’ve become accustomed to up here with Chris’ family (and honestly, I know I’m really, really going to miss him). On the other hand I have yet to meet nephew #2, and I’m really looking forward to it. I think I’ll also enjoy helping out with Christmas dinner properly for the first time (I don’t know, maybe even making the majority apart from the meat?), helping mum decorate her tree, etc. I’m debating whether or not to request a visit to a carol evening… I don’t believe in God and haven’t been to church since I was a child, but I still find the carols beautiful.

As you can probably tell from the Christmas musings.. yes I’m excited.. and yes I’ve started preparing ;) I’m trying as much as possible this year to make myself, buy handmade or at least from small shops, and bypass the consumerist frenzy. I’m also planning on making my mum a set of fabric baubles, getting her some white lights… and maybe sorting her out that white and silver decorated tree she’s been talking about for years ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Job

Well, back to work today after my 3 week hiatus. I have to admit it’s been a bit of a shock to the system and I’m exhausted this evening, so it’ll be a hot bath, a dvd and an early night for me.

The job, which I’ve mentioned before, isn’t far away – about a 20 min walk from my house (it is at the bottom of a heck of a steep hill though so it may be a little longer on the way home ;) . And I managed to get there bang on time this morning despite getting lost on the site!

The morning was spent being shown around, and getting to grips with the basics of the system they use. I think I’ll do okay at that – I had to ask for help a few times but it was more needing to learn the system and where things are rather than not being capable. I’m trying to write things down as I go along as I need to do things a couple of times before I remember them and I don’t want to annoy people by asking them the same things repeatedly :)

In the afternoon it was all hands on deck for a late order of printed materials – which means 3 hours straight of photocopying. There will probably be about the same to do tomorrow morning as well. A bit tedious but it’s paying-the-bills tedious :)

Everyone there seems lovely and friendly. One of the girls is around my age and has similar taste in music etc so we have something to chat about. It’s quite an informal atmosphere… as I was told it’s fine to chat but everyone knows the job still has to be done.

And that was my first day :) Hopefully this will be a job I can settle into, while I don’t think this role is permanent (I think it’s covering maternity leave) it should give me the confidence and experience to move on elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Landing on my feet

If all goes to plan… I have a (temp) job!

Kingston Recruitment rang me this morning to let me know that they have a ‘clerical assistant’ job with the local council. It’s full time, monday-friday 8.30-4.30 @ £6/PH. (not a great wage, but temp jobs never are as they take a hefty ‘wage’ from the employer as well). It would be from next week til Christmas (assuming I can do the job), possibly leading to permanent. The employers have given the go ahead, so I think it’s just down to my previous employer to get a reference sent out.

It looks like an excellent oppurtunity for me to get some office experience – there’s lots of general phone, mail sorting type work in there that will hardly be taxing, but there’s also something about processing paperwork and coordinating rooms/staff/meetings etc. It’s not something I’ve ever done before but I think I can pick it up fine as long as they give me a little guidance.

Oh and plus, it’s within walking distance, and I don’t get a long lunch break in amongst all the shops – so it should be good for the finances!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well, I have FINALLY taken MSE‘s advice and got myself a 0% balance transfer credit card deal. For the past year I’ve been getting the 11.9% staff rate on my card, but it occured to me (while lying in the bath this morning, of course) that a) that would end when I leave my job, and b) it would likely be hard or impossible to get a new card while unemployed. So I got off my arse this afternoon and applied for a Virgin credit card, which gives me a nice 15 month 0% deal on the £1200 I’m transferring. Thankfully, it was accepted… and thankfully when they ask if you’re employed and what your wage is they don’t query if you’re keeping that wage beyond the next few days ;)

On that note, I am actually managing to slightly decrese that balance. At it’s highest, it was about £1600 – I’ve knocked about £400 off that, which is hard work on almost-minimum wage. Frustratingly, I work with someone who pays in £200 a month to his card – but he lives at home and pays £30 a week rent and utilities!

Changing the subject. This weekend Chris is away at The Gathering, which means I’ve had the house to myself since friday morning. Apart from being really strange and quiet, it’s been quite nice, and, amazingly, very productive. I’m in the middle of a whole-house cleaning spree (sorely needed) – especially concentrating on the spare/my PC/crafting room as an engineer is coming tomorrow to try and figure out what’s wrong with our internet connection (aside from Virgin’s network being overloaded, that is!)

This morning I also popped down to Asda and, a rare occurence, I managed to get some bargains in the reduced sections – avocados for 10p each, corn cobs 10p each, rocket salad and blueberries for 20p each, chestnut mushrooms 20p, and a large bag of fairtrade bananas for 40p. All in excellent fresh condition as well! I also bypassed the crowds around the sweet red peppers for 50p each display and picked up a bag of 6 ‘value’ peppers for £1.30 – all red and orange. Sometimes it’s worth that bit of extra hunting :) A lot of the veg (peppers, mushrooms, plus some other bits I had already) will go into a vegetable lasagne with salad this evening, and I was thinking about doing some fresh sweetcorn fritters with sweet chillli dip for an evening snack/ treat. The blueberries will either go in yoghurt, or I might make a batch of low fat muffins tomorrow.

My last day at work is on Wednesday, and I’ve yet to find another job! Surprisingly though, I’m not panicking. Something will come up, even if it’s a temp job at one of the many places advertising for Christmas staff. And, I have to say, I am really, really looking forward to walking out of there!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leaving my Job…

Well, this entry comes to you courtesy of OpenOffice Writer, since – yet again – VirginMedia’s ‘2 meg broadband’ is running at less than dialup speed, and I don’t trust it not to lose my entry at the last moment. I rang them up last night to (among other things) complain about the long running slow speeds, and unsurprisingly they wouldnt admit that it’s their terrible service, and just offered to send an engineer round. As I don’t plan on taking a day off work unpaid to sit in the house all day waiting for someone to turn up and find that – surprise surprise – it’s not a problem with our computers (or to pretend that it is), we’re kind of stuck with it. I didn’t really expect to have any joy with them anyway, as it’s well known how poor their internet service is.

Anyway, the main ‘news’ – I handed in my notice at work today.

It’s been a verrry long time coming – my job (cashiering at a bank) is paid the same as retail (terribly), but has FAR more stress. Combine that with head office pressure to cut counter staff, thereby causing massive queues, complaints galore, unhappy customers, and a complete lack of managerial support, and you have a job that I just cannot stand going to anymore. Since about March I’ve been absolutely dreading going to work, and getting home in a terrible mood and with frequent headaches.

Me and Chris have talked about it a lot, and in the end it came down to ‘if it’s making you this miserable, it’s not worth it’. Financially, *if* I struggle to find another job, we can get by – we’d be skint, fair enough, but the bills would be paid. In terms of new jobs, I’m hoping to get out of retail, and move into something like admin. As I don’t have the qualifications/experience necessary, the only real way to do that is to go the temping route. And the only way to get temp work is to be unemployed, really! If I can’t find something I *want* to do, then I’d still far rather work a supermarket or other shop job than work at the bank. And, of course, now I have a ‘deadline’ – leaving date is 29th August – it gives me much more motivation to *really* look for a new job.

This has definitely not been a decision I’ve taken lightly – I’m not the type to not bother working at all because I dislike it or because I don’t think the pay is enough – I’ve always supported myself and won’t claim off the government unless I genuinely *have* to. But unfortunatly it was getting to the point where my job was genuinely giving me stress. I do feel like a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Few Things…

On Tuesday (06/05/2008) my sister had another baby boy, named Billy, by c-section. He was very (6 weeks) early, like his brother, but seems to be healthy. My mum hasn’t seen him yet as due to hospital infections etc only the parents are allowed in the room ‘o’ babies. I’m going down to Brighton on the 22nd, hopefully he’ll be out by then.

On Wednesday, we had an attempted fraud at work. As I was the cashier who dealt with the guy, I got to stay almost an hour late to give the police a statement. Bah.

On Friday, some numbskull asked for a receipt at the paying in machine. The receipt was then left lying around for anyone to find – it included the persons name, account number, address, signature, and the fact that they’d paid in a 5k cheque. No wonder we have so much fraud.

On the bright side, however, I’m off work for the next 15 days, it’s hot and sunny, and the plants are doing fantastically. The peas have all burst into flower, as have the strawberries, and the tomatoes are developing their first trusses so need putting in their final pots ASAP. Despite not having a greenhouse, heated propagator etc, I’ve managed to get EVERYTHING to germinate this year – including chillies, peppers, squash, cucumbers and melons. The challenge will be to actually grow them… and to find space!

I’ve just started planning my time off as I don’t want to waste it doing nothing.

Sun 11th – Plant out sunflowers, cut grass edging bed, mow? plant more peas?
Mon 12th – Various errands to run in town
Tues 13th – Driving lesson
Wed 14th – Driving Exam
Thurs 15th
Fri 16th – My birthday! Kethry arrives, out for dinner
Sat 17th – with keth, out somewhere, possibly the seaside, possibly Lincoln
Sun 18th – as above
Mon 19th – keth goes home :(
Tues 20th
Wed 21st
Thurs 22nd – Travel to Brighton
Mon 23rd – Back from Brighton

I’ve been offered a new allotment, which I have yet to even look at. So tomorrow I think I’ll head down there to check it out, and then up to the council office (which is in a rather out of the way place and only open mon-fri, 9-5. Handy for those of us who have full time jobs) to sign for it. At the moment, I don’t really have any enthusiasm for it .. the thought of starting over now it’s hot and things should have already been planted is horrible. I don’t know. I might end up covering the lot in plastic and just planting spuds or something this year, and gradually working bits over.