Now then, where were we?

So I’ve been droning about work woes now for about five or six weeks, and like one of those attention seeking folk on social networking sites, I’ve been doing the equivalent of posting one of those obtuse woe is me status updates hoping lots of folk will ask what is going on.

I apologise.

Last week was a biggie in lots of ways, and I can’t believe so much happened.  However, it was the culmination of many, many weeks of hard slog, worry, tears and desperation.

About six weeks ago, through no fault of my own (I think) I found myself having to find myself a new job.  I understand that I am no doubt one of many in this situation right now.  The story behind this coming to be is complex and not routine, but not worth repeating here, but it was very scary, especially when you are just about to move house, and have an expensive holiday to go on!

It felt like I’d jumped off a tall building and I could see financial disaster rushing towards me like the ground rising to meet me.  Scary stuff.  So for the past few weeks I have been working very hard trying to rectify that situation.  I have interviewed until I am sick of talking about myself.  During that time, I cannot claim to have coped in the best way, and I have been a bit of a nob to live with.  Louise deserves a medal, and the extended family have helped, worried and supported impressively.

Mood swings, depression, loss of confidence, anger, hopelessness and a bit more anger were just a few of the emotions that I swept through most days.  At the risk of glossing over these weeks and not giving them the soul crushing respect they deserve here, I will cut to the chase and say that last Monday saw me receive an offer for a job with a great company that will also allow us to continue to pay the bills, move house and of course most importantly still go on holiday.  It is all about priorities.

I knew last Sunday that an offer would be coming but I didn’t know the details of the package, and when that email arrived in all its acceptable glory, the relief felt was immense.  All the pressures and worries of the last six weeks were released, and it is hard to describe how that felt.

So with that in the bag, we then had the small matter of moving house to contend with, as of course after months of delay and faff, it conspired that the moving date fell in the same week as the job thing getting resolved.

The stress of moving house and all the crap that always comes with that, when added to the job thing have made for what have been the most stressful few weeks of my life.  I know I haven’t yet had to contend (thank God) with any real problems that affect a loved ones health or even worse, but indulge me, it’s been crap!

So as we entered the home strait of the house move, everything seemed to be sorted for last Friday, until that is, we got to last Wednesday evening.  The details aren’t worth repeating but someone in the chain had a crap bank and/or solicitor, and they were very doubtful that they could process all the stuff in time for Friday.  This nonsense carried on until 4.45pm on Thursday, when we finally got word from our solicitor (who was bloody marvellous throughout) that we were on for the following day after all.

To accommodate that moving date for the benefit of the whole chain, we had agreed to a day when Louise would be at University, doing something she could not miss, so I would be supervising alone.  A worry to anyone sane!

girls old house
One last time at *that* door
girls old house oli
and with added Oli

Then, after what had been a full week of hard slog, packing, tipping and sorting our stuff the day of the move dawned and turned out to be the wettest day of the year.  We got absolutely drenched as we began early in the morning, and stayed that way until late into the day at the new house.

We had help of course from all the parents, and we ended the day in the house, with beds to sleep in, and three very stressed and unhappy cats!!  Just to add some spice to the day, our friends at Nat West decided to pull a plug out in a server room somewhere, and bring the financial system to a grinding halt.  This meant that no monies could be moved on moving day, and this posed the risk of us having to leave the furniture in the van over the weekend and wait until Monday to move in.

Thankfully, our solicitor worked some actual magic and used something called a Licence (I have no idea) to enable the whole chain to move, and fingers crossed all the money stuff will happen tomorrow.

We have of course spent the weekend unpacking and sorting the new house, fixing broken stuff we didn’t know about and buying new stuff.  Today, my Dad and I have also knocked down a wall in the loft, which will create a huge bedroom for Emily.  Whilst we do that Emily is sleeping at my Mum and Dad’s house, but this isn’t too bad, as we have moved next door to them!

Just to cap off a quiet weekend, we went out yesterday and changed Louise’s car!!  We’d been meaning to for a while, but an upcoming tax disc requirement, and the enormous running costs of her current car made us actually go out and get a more economical model, befitting her new status of student!  She is getting a Peugeot 107.  It is only two years old, so a lot younger than her current car, costs £20 per year to tax, and does about 60 mpg, compared to the 26mpg she is currently enjoying!

So it’s been a bit full on recently, and a period of time that I do not wish to repeat at any point in the future.

Just before all this kicked off I was just beginning to enjoy planning the holiday, having picked out some new eateries to try and deciding to take my Mum and Dad to the baseball etc.  All of that has been very much on the back burner for obvious reasons, and it has only been since Monday that we knew we would be able to go on holiday after all.

I intend now to get back into full planning mode now that house and job are done.  I have ESTAs to do, baseball tickets to buy, theme park tickets to research, and all the usual fun of the fair associated with the last few weeks before one of our adventures. Bring it on!

So for the downbeat nature of my recent bloggage I apologise.  I have also been pretty absent from other social media outlets, but have made somewhat of a comeback this weekend when time allowed.  To say I feel better is the biggest understatement since Jimmy Carr said he’s made an error of judgement.

The next few weeks sees me start my new job on Tuesday, so that will worry and occupy me a little more than just turning up for work as normal, but I am glad to have that problem believe me.  Between that and the work associated with doing Emily’s bedroom and other new house stuff, I hereby dedicate all other available time to Disney planning, sarcastic tweeting and inane Facebookery.  You have my word.  Countdown wise we are at 55 days.  Good grief I have much ground to make up!


Till the next time…..

All that (Honda) Jazz

tartan paint
Not even Amazon sell it

Being the new boy at work, the early parts of this week were spent having my head dunked in the toilets, being sent out to buy some tartan paint,and being told to go out for a long stand.  With it being all new, the working week has not been full of the usual soul-destroying dread that precedes every other day in recent times.

It has been quite interesting, trying to get to grips with new people, new things and not looking like a complete numpty all at the same time.  It is a very small company, so I have absolutely enjoyed the complete lack of politics that seemed to cripple the last place into incompetence and inaction, so I really hope that can remain so as we grow.

I am under no illusions that as I settle in, that feeling of impending doom may creep back into Sunday evenings, but for now I’d settle for a feeling of mild disappointment at the thought of work.  Imagine if you will, that feeling you get when your progress along the road is interrupted when a Honda Jazz pulls out in front of you and you know you won’t see any thing north of 24 miles per hour for the next few miles.  You get the picture?

In the meantime, I shall make the most of this feeling of newness, and hope that I live up to any expectations of me, or failing that quickly learn how to blag things well enough never to be rumbled.  I have based my entire “career” on that principle thus far, so I am hopeful I shall be able to continue.

There has been no progress on the “other opportunity” with a Mexican stand-off in full swing.  Ironically, the job does not involve Mexico at all.  I am not for budging on my position, and they are exploring other candidates who will work for the package they are offering.  Should they not be satisfactory then they may return to me.  Not that I want to be explored by anyone ay any time, but I think the chances of being so are now very slim indeed, and have consigned this to a burner so far back that I can’t even see it on the hob.

Now, I’m not one to moan!  When life gives me lemons I simply whinge that I wanted limes.  However, this week saw Louise’s car go into the garage for an MOT, Service and seemingly gold plating.  The level of remuneration given to the garage cannot be written here.  I tried, but my keyboard ran out of numbers half way through.  What was to be a one day stay turned into three, as it seems, they took it apart, rebuilt and/or replaced every single component with a new one, made of titanium and diamonds.  So the bill was painful plus labour and VAT.  Luckily, money is no object for us…oh no, wait, it is a very large object!

Still, on the bright side, things like having working brakes all four wheels should make Louise’s driving experience a lot smoother and safer.

Having all of our disposable income for the foreseeable future sat on our drive, the weekend hasn’t been full of wild and exciting activities.  It started well with Oli greeting us on Friday morning by depositing his insides all over our duvet.  That meant we got up nice and early in time for work, and helped keep the local dry cleaners in business.

Rebecca went to a party last night, which I have to be honest fills me with dread every time.  I of course want her to have lots of friends, an enjoyable social life, and to learn how to interact with people of all kinds.  On the other hand, I also want to lock her in her room until her early twenties until she meets a vicar and gets married.

As tends to happen, she emerged from her room after literally hours of prep looking nearer 24 than 14.  She was planning on sleeping out at a friend’s, but as often happens I got a text close to midnight asking if I was up and could I pick her up as she was tiered and wanted her own bed rather than her friend’s bedroom floor.  Luckily for her I was, and I have to admit I felt a whole lot better to have her home.  Especially as she regaled with me tales of the police arriving at the party, and everyone being sent home!!  You can imagine how delighted I was about that.

Today has seen the appearance of something not seen for a long time, and very welcome.  That is the sun.  Albeit still cold, the sun has shone today, reminding me that a time other than Winter exists, and making me look forward to the week’s worth of summer that we normally get in May.  Bring it on!  I took full advantage and Oli and I went out for a decent walk earlier, and it seems the mood has gripped the girls too, as Rebecca has also had him out, with Emily threatening to do the same very shortly.  The poor lad won’t have a clue what is going on.

Rebecca and Louise are now backing some scones, so it is a good job I walked off those 80 or so calories on my walk earlier!

honda jazzI’m off to watch some footy now.  Should my team not progress then I shall be feeling more upset than when a Honda Jazz pulls out in front of me.  It will be more like being cut up by a 51 reg Nissan Micra, that has a trilby and a box of tissues on the back shelf, whilst finding that every radio station on the dial is locked into some sort of Coldplay homage.

Till the next time….

Secret Revealed…what a let down I hear you cry..

So I can now let you know (as no doubt you will not have slept since my post mentioning said secret) what all the secrecy was about.

I have a new job!

Oh? Is that it?  Alas, that soundtrack to my life is apt once again.  I was down in that there London last Thursday meeting with important types from the new company, agreeing stuff….and stuff.  I knew as I left the meeting that I had the job if I wanted it, so after many minutes deliberation on Thursday evening, I resigned on Friday morning.

I know this stuff happens all the time, but I have been with my current employer for ten years, and feel totally institutionalised (that word is a bugger to type by the way…try it).  The fear factor of leaving is softened as the new company is run by an ex-boss of mine (the one who took me to see United get dumped out of the Champions League a little while ago), and having worked with/for him for many years, I shouldn’t have to start all over again in the prove yourself stakes.

The new role is quite different to my current one, with new things to understand and learn, and I am in no way suffering a crisis of confidence that I shall be discovered to be a charlatan (or any other mid 90’s Madchester band), and realise that I was consigned to work all my life with my current employer.

I’m not going to bore you with company names etc.  You barely care as it is, so besmirching any brand names on the internet is not needed.  An audible sigh of relief around the internet is heard.

So this week I have been telling the managers that report to me, and then my team, that I am off in July (yep, 12 weeks notice…what fun), and I was mightily flattered at the reaction.  They had the good grace to at least appear upset, and shocked, and being serious for a second, I did not expect anything like a reaction of this type, so that’s nice.  I haven’t been a complete arse for the past ten years then.

With my never ending notice period, by the time I actually get to my new job, I only have five weeks at the new place and then the countdown ends and we are off on holidays.  Don’t fret, I have already checked that the holiday dates would not be an issue!!

As a weird coincidence, my new MD (the ex-boss referred to earlier) goes on the same day, perhaps even the same flight we suspect.  His villa is on the same development too.  I feel slightly responsible as I convinced him to go two years ago when we worked together, promising his kids were not too young (hey, they are 21 and 27…joke!) and now he seems to be hooked too.

A period of notice is a weird place, with my natural work ethic and give a toss-ability hard to shake, and I have to keep reminding myself that I really shouldn’t care anymore.  It will take time I think.

What's that, I'm a prefect? Great!!

Other news this week, also of a good nature, is that Emily has been accepted as a prefect at school.  For Emily, the benefits start and end with a special coloured tie, which denotes her newly acquired super powers to the rest of the proles at her school.  Beware her wrath fellow schoolmates.

Planning wise for the upcoming hols, little has progressed lately with all the job kerfuffle, as my concentration span can only deal with so much at once.  I did get pointed at an iPhone app that looks to be an excellent addition to any control freak, OCD WDW lunatic (hey, that’s me).  It was wizzo off of the Dibb who drew my attention to it (Thanks Paul).  The WDW Lines app shows you in real time the current wait times and fastpass return times, also allowing you to enter the wait times etc as well.

Lines App
Walk the line!

As I type, Buzz Lightyear has a twelve minute wait!!  This app alone guarantess that I will actually take my phone with me, rather than leave it in the kitchen drawer at home to avoid any contact with work whilst on holiday!

It just so happens that the company I am going to work for actually do all this stuff.  iPhone apps, mobile marketing, mobile vouchers (think Orange Wednesday campaign) so in time I might even understand how it all works.  Anyone who is paying attention, might have worked out that this is where I got my hands on the iPad last week.  Still no sign of the free one by the way.

And so as this post comes to a lovely full circle of completeness, I have my fingers crossed that whatever shower get into power next week, it doesn’t destroy the the dollar rate, as I have park tickets and spending money to worry about….and if something as trivial as a new government were to queer the pitch I shall be less than pleased.

Till the next time…..