Friday, April 30, 2010
Still my very good mood for yesterday hadn't totally worn off so I was able to weather it all. I was also quite pleased to find out that my error rate for the month ( which has to be under 1.5%) is actually a rather cool 00.12%. I've only made one error all month! My attention to detail once again paying big dividends.
Still on the plus side we did have a department " fuddle" today. Quite what the term means I have no idea and is probably lost to the mists of time. Either that or it's best not to ask. Anyway basically what it is, is basically a huge buffet for the entire department and each team is assigned a food type to bring. This time my team was assigned cakes, which produced a wide variety of assorted treats from vieniese whirls to muffins to french fancys. As you can imagine on these days nobody brings any lunch as your not exactly short on food in the department!
so I now have a whole week off! I have a few jobs I need to catch up on and the car has reached that dreaded time of year for all car owners. It's time for the MOT!!!!!!! I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope that the shortened journeys to work have been good for it.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I'm sorry for the lack of bloggage for the last few days. I was faced with the twin problem of suffering from writers block and a tremendous amount of pressure at work as I was entering the final week of my probabation and aware that a awful lot was at stake. I know that they had said I should be okay but I've heard things like that from managers before and we all know how that turned out last time.
However this afternoon I got the news I had been hoping for. After a meeting of all of the team managers it was decided that I had successfully passed my probabation and I am now "officially" a fully fledged member of staff, which bought a huge sense of satisfaction not to mention a huge sense of relief too that I hadn't screwed things up! It will of course also brings new challenges which I am looking forward to.
As you can imagine I throughly enjoyed the rest of my day. Six months sure has passed quick! Yes it's radically different to my last job but it's been fun, it's been a challenge too which has probably been good for me. I'm also in a great team as well which has helped too.
Well there's one more day until the weekend and then I have a week off. No particular reason I just decided that I needed a break.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Well works over for another week not before it bought a day with the usual array of the normal, not so normal and a little bit crazy.
Election update! Still bored, still don't care about anything they have to say last minute. My minds already made up, roll on May 6th!
Speaking of the government they have apparently issued new guidelines to teachers to help them "identify" pupils from poor families or " Disadvantaged" families to use the PC term. Among the list of charactertics to look out for are;
- a lack of resilance
- hide their emotions
- place a 'lid' on aspirations
- be concerned about the here and now
- feel different
- mistrust authority
- seem to be resentful or alienated
- think that they are misunderstood
- lack self esteem or self confidence
- not readily ask for help
- not easily identify with the dominant culture and ethos of the school
- feel ignored shunned, ignored or demeaned by their peers.
Now I'm choosing to assume that this list only applies to primary schools as lets fact it everyone of those characteristics would be considered "normal" in a teenager!
Anyway, it's supposed to be a very nice, sunny and hot weekend and I intend to enjoy it.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Work was very good today apart from one very bizare accident when I was accused of lying by a customer that we were still operating during the airzone shut down. He said that I was wrong that we hadn't shut down and when I explained to him how and why we hadn't he then accused me of lying to him!
Still it was a great example of one of those situations where I've just learned to shrug, shake my head and then simply move on.
We're having another charity dress down day tomorrow and then it's the weekend. Which means I'll only have one week left of my probabation. Eeekk!!
Although there was a sign today that I may well have nothing to worry about as they published the shifts for the first two weeks of May and I'm still on them.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Work also went mental this morning as we got flooded by a huge number of calls at once. Most people seemed to be under the impression that we had been shut down for the past week and that was far from the case. Still we weathered it successfully and things had calmed down by mid afternoon.
I also had another training session this afternoon. The amount of training we have on a regular basis is quite surprising to me as I didn't imagine when I first started there that they would have just a in depth regular training schedule. It's quite satisfying to see my training record card filling up fairly quickly.
As part of our targets we are each " Mystery shopped" every month to make sure we're doing everything correctly. In addition to these regular shoppers we found out that the managers would be doing some random extra calls this afternoon but they would be only calling five times and in a department of a 100+ people that should make me pretty safe and ........ oh hello irony what are you doing here?
Yes muggins here was one of those who ended up getting this, this afternoon. However I managed to get everything right, the phrase my manager used was "flawless" which turned out to be a pretty good thing as he then informed me that not only all of the managers had been listening into the call and assessing it which was bad enough they had also had two extra people join them. The head of our division and the head of the whole UK! At which point I did want to hide under the desk and gibber to myself as the realisation as to just how bad it would have been if I had made a mistake struck home.
Well it was Wednesday today which means I'm past the dreaded halfway point of the week and it's only two days to the weekend.
Roll on Saturday.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.
Yes just when we thought it would be safe to go back into the skies the volcano decided to proove that it has a sense of humour ( if volcanos can have that? If not why not as after all it seems mice can have plans?) and get more active meaning that most of UK airspace is once again shut down.
This meant another very quiet day at work as there were no airplans moving and it also meant another day of having to use the phrase " Because of the Volcano" which although no longer the novelty it once, still brings a sense of unreality to the job when you have to say it. Floods, bad weather, snow, vehicles breakdowns and traffic jams are all things I've had to explain before but never a volcano. And quite probably I'll never have to again either.
It's been another sunny day but it's also been rather cold as well even in the direct sun despite their being almost no wind. Maybe it's odd spring weather or maybe it is down to the volcano. Well it is being blamed for everything else after all.
Monday, April 19, 2010
As you can tell it's been a long day, the usual Monday morning slog somewhat amplified by the additional work of having to deal the issues which have arisen due to the volcano. Which as I've said before is a phrase I'd never thought I'd use and after three days the novelty has pretty much worn off of having to keep saying " Because of the volcano".
Apparently the ash cloud is weakening however and some airports are due to start reopening tomorrow, which I'm sure anyone who lives under a airport flight path will be gutted to hear.......... oh wait that includes me.
C'est la vie I guess.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
It wasn't as warm today as it was yesterday but it wasn't cold either it was kind of slap bang in the middle of that lukewarm zone. Maybe it was down to the volcano which is apparently still errupting and the airspace around the UK is still locked down tight. Some airlines are starting to complain now and want to start flying again as they think the whole thing has been a massive over reaction. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
Probably a lot of odd questions about the volcano again no doubt.
I spent a lot of the afternoon sorting through some various bits and pieces in one of those " I didn't mean to do this but now I've started looking and finding stuff I can't stop" kind of moments. Don't pretend you haven't done that before too!
Well I'm on early (ish) shifts this week which means no lie in and no early getting home either :-( Still could be worse, I could be on a week of 10 till 6, I really can't stand that shift.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
There's a real sense of unreality to the whole thing. Firstly in that it's really really quiet outside as after more then twenty years of living near a airport it's noticeable that the planes aren't flying and secondly in that we can't see this 'cloud' at all from the ground. In fact we had blazing sunshine and clear blue skies today. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.
It's kind like hanging around under a invisible sword of damocles ( what do you mean you have no idea what that is? google it!) We can't see it but it's up there.
The new episode of Doctor Who tonight was okay, I can see what they were aiming for but it didn't quite work in my opinon. Still it gave some interesting clues to the series overall arc. Just why can't Amy remember?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Of course I could be wrong. There could be a room somewhere with a large filling cabinet which had contingency plans of what to do in the event of Volcanic erruptions, Meteor strikes and even Alien invasion! Always best to be prepared.
It was also very quiet in the "background" again today as the airport was once again closed. It was interesting however to watch the maintenance trucks zipping everywhere at break neck speed obivously delighted in being able to get a lot of work done in a very short amount of time.
There was a election debate on the TV last night between the leaders of the three main parties and it was very funny to see that the " winner" of the debate depended on which paper you were reading.
The new series of Greys anatomy starts on Channel five tonight. However I use the term "new" loosely as it's season 4 of Greys anatomy and their on season six in the USA. Quite how channel five managed to fall so far behind I have no idea as their usually better then that.
anyway it's the weekend which means two whole days to myself.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Yes for those of you who having been living under a rock or simply not looked at the news today the UK has been under a cloud (literally) from a volcanic erruption in Iceland which lead to the whole of UK airspace being shut down until at least 7am tomorrow morning. (correction it's apparently now 1pm tomorrow). Not that you could see anything from the ground mind you, it just looked like a standard run of the mill cloudly day.
Still it didn't have much effect on us until the end of the day which was nice. It does however mean it will probably all hit the fan tomorrow! Just what you want on a Friday.
The one really noticable effect was that with the airport shut it was strangely quiet in the background. It wasn't immediatly noticeable ( what with wearing a headset all day and all) but it was more of a niggling feeling that something was missing if that makes any sense.
When I got home Grumpy asked me if I thought Engineseer was superstious at all?I was slightly confused by his question then realised what he meant as Engineseer leaves for the MTC tomorrow and he is supposed to be flying there! So you could look at it in one of two ways, either it's not the best of starts or it will be a great way of making a entrance to the MTC declared in best suave James bond style voice
" Terribly sorry, I was delayed by the volcano"
Well one more day until the weekend and it's a dress down day as well. Some people do complain about having to pay to wear their own clothes as it were but I don't mind as the money goes to charity after all.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A handyman who fell off a ladder whilst pruning a tree because he leaned it against the branch he was cutting off rather then the trunk sued his bosses and actually won. Not only that the Hotel where the man was working at was also fined as they hadn't done a risk assessment for employees working in the garden or given them training as to where to place the ladder when doing the pruning.
and no I'm not making this up.
I would have thought it was fairly obivous that if your leaning your ladder againist the part you are sawing off you about to get a very harsh lesson from gravity!
Still I suppose it's like Engineseer says you can design idiot proof systems but you can't do anything about system proof idiots.
Election update! Don't know, don't care and still bored. I already know how I'm voting listening to what are essentially sales pitches between now and May 6th will not change my mind.
The scientists from we've still got nothing better to be doing right now have just finished a study where they have found that women have a inbuilt fear of getting fat that doe not exist in men. Stay tuned for their next studies into if water is wet and if cold actually is cold.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Speaking of Cars it cost me thirty quid to fill two thirds of the tank today. It used to cost less then that to fill the entire tank. Petrol is now a massive £1.20 on average around geektown. Everyone is still blaming everyone else for the high petrol prices so it's no clearer as to who is to blame. All we do know is that when the price of oil goes up the price goes straight up at the pumps but if the oil goes down we're told it takes several weeks for the change to filter through to the pumps. Strange that..
I was extremely annoyed to see that they have cancelled the remake of Surviours ( when it was finally getting good) meaning that we will once again be left with a TV series cliffhanger that will remain forever unresolved. Still at least Doctor Who is still around and Primeval was saved from the scrap heap.
A news report has claimed that katie price aka Jordan is apparently a complete diva off camera treating her husband and staff with complete contempt. I find it very hard to believe this story as I imagine most other people would as well.
Jordan is actually off camera at some point? Impossible.
They've released another new trailer for Iron Man 2 today. It looks very, very cool and it was quite clever as well as the trailer is 'interactive'.
Monday, April 12, 2010
On the plus side if we do get anyone canvessing round here Owen will probably scare them off fairly sharpish.
In the news today was a interesting job for sleepy people as a big store was advertising for a sleeping bag tester. That's right paying someone to spend their time sleeping. It probably wouldn't be the most interesting job in the world but it would be the easiest one.
It was very weird being on lates this evening as the last time I was on lates it was Dark when we left the building today it was light. It's easy to see how people who are more extreme shift patterns shall we say end up with completly screwed up sleep patterns.
Engineseer is due to report to the MTC on Friday. If any of you want to be added to his mission email address drop a note to his brother Black Widow via facebook. If none of you know who that is drop me a email via facebook and I will let you know who he is so you can then send a email to him. Yes I know that's a bit complicated but it's in the best YSA tradition of never making things easy when you can add a couple of layers of complexity to it.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
" We believe all dreamworks films to be correct as long as they havebeen rendered correctly..."
This is a joke by the way in case any of my american readers wonder exactly whats going on the church here in the UK. :-) We're not going all appostate and just making stuff up.
Well I'm on lates this week which is good as it means I'll get a lie in every day but then it's bad in the sense that I won't get home till late. Of course Irony has chipped in as usual with me ending up on lates this week because it's a especially busy week this week church wise. I'm going to miss the next YSA FHE, the monthly presidency meeting and the start of Institute after the easter break. D'oh!
The weather has still been nice today but a lot colder, although in a weird turn around it actually got warmer towards the end of the afternoon. Which just goes to show you can't make any safe guesses when it comes to weather round here.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Of course with any good weather in the UK comes the inevitable horde of people telling you to " Enjoy it while it lasts" like anyone who doesn't live in the UK isn't painfully aware that our weather is rubbish a fair amount of the time.
Still I was feeling in a positive mood so I decided to make the most of it.
I used some of my bonus money from this month to treat myself to the new Now 75 album. For those of you unaware the " Now" albums are compolation Cd's which are usually released every six months or so . The next one will be Now 76 and so on and so on. I started collecting these albums a long time ago, in fact when they were still on tape, only a handful of people had cd players and Mp3 players were still a distant dream. I think the earlist one I have is something like Now 28 which just goes to show you how long I've been collecting the things.
Grumpy seems to be coming down with a cough and cold which means he will probably be even grumpier then usual for the next couple of days. But to be fair I'm usually never in a good mood when I'm ill either so I can't really say anything.
The second episode of the new series of Doctor Who was on tonight. It was good, the new doctor is starting to come into his own although the accusations of Amy pond only being there to be a "sexy companion to draw in male viewers" are probably not likely to have been dispelled in the slighist by after the first week of running around in a kissogram police womans outfit following it up with her running around wearing a nightie and dressing gown which do get "wet" at one point. I've put that in inverted commas as if I say anything else it will ruin the episode for anyone who hasn't seen it.
Friday, April 09, 2010
I know I shouldn't be paranoid about it as I'm exceeding all of my probabation targets by a large margin ( I'm in "regular" full timer targets for all bar one and I've almost cracked that) and my boss has told me that he's very happy with my progress, but I've been promised things by bosses before and we all know how that turned out last time.
No, no, no...... must not be paranoid. I just need to keep giving my usual 110% attention to detail and effort and the dice will fall where they will fall. I just know I'll be a lot less paranoid in four weeks time regardless of anything else.
I've been pondering how the last six months have changed me. I've got a lot more confidence in my skills at work, I had a difficult customer today who didn't bother me at all and she was at least 20 times more difficult then anything I had dealt with at my last place. I've discovered that I can communicate on a non geeky level, my capacity for learning remains undimished and my reserves of determination, grit, courage and stubborness are far deeper then I had ever imagined.
anyway it's the weekend now which means two whole days to myself before starting another round of lates next week. However I can't complain as it does appear that I have managed to dodge having to do a Saturday shift this month. Yah me! I think.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Which is a scary thought really as twenty years is really a rather long time isn't it? I did recieve a email from one of the Elders who baptised us wishing me a "Happy birthday" . Twenty years and something may change but this Elders humour certainly does not :-)
I was wondering where would I be without the church? This was intended to be deep philosopical thought to ponder on but all I could think of a quote by physics when somebody asked him in one Sunday school lesson where he would be right now without the church
" At home in bed on a Sunday morning, 10% richer" :-)
The first episode of Warehouse 13 was on tonight. It has potential but it moved at such a sllooowwww pace. Hopefully it will improve with time as there is far too little sci fi on tv at the moment.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Now in my new job it's a lot more difficult, well it's pretty much impossible to be honest. As basically I've gone from the mecha of geekdom to the exact opposite. In fact there's no one who could be remotely described as geeky in my team or even on my side of the office. Most of the guys usually spend all day talking about football and they might as well be talking a different language as I don't have a clue what their talking about.
Which is probably how most people feel when I started talking about sci fi.
Oh well, c'est la vie I guess.
I've started a new modelling project or rather a old project that has been gathering dust for a while. I have been painting a "new" army to represent some characters from a novel called Salamander by Nick Kyme. It's been quite fun to do a project and take a nice long time on it as I don't feel pressured anymore to being doing things constantly as after all it's now my hobby instead of my job. This should show in my painting as I'm not rushing..... Hopefully it should show in my painting. Please let it show in my painting?
Work was once again extremely busy but I was much more in the grove today and it showed. I'm hitting the Kpi's for the "regular" full timers now asides from one. With one I'm midway between probabation and full time targets which is frustrating as hell but I'm improving gradually ( but too slowly for my liking :-) which is the main thing.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Grumpys not too happy as this means he won't have much to do. I did suggest that he takes Owen for a very, very, very, very, very long walk. Although Owen seemed to like this idea somewhat unsurprisingly Grumpy did not.
Well we're already one day into the forthcoming election ( May 6th) and I'm already bored of it. The trouble is they've been going on about it for so long it really is boring. Which I know is a bad thing to say but I've already made my mind up and to be honest no last minute campaigning is going to be changing my mind.
Work was, well pretty darn insane to be perfectly honest. It just went nuts for near enough the entire morning. It didn't help that I like most people was a bit " Punchy/all fingers and thumbs" as the four day weekend seemed to have a surprising effect on the flow of things. I was back on form by the end of the day but that and the crazyiness meant it was a long rather frustrating day all told.
Still heres to tomorrow. Make it bring less crazy and more sane.
Monday, April 05, 2010
First up, the new Doctor Who is good. He didn't quote totally sell me on his " Doctor" as he still seemed to be channelling a bit too much of David Tennant at time but he was a lot better then I had feared and there were some great one liners especially when he told the aliens " I'm the Doctor. Basically.......Run!"
The new companion is also very good as well and there was some great chemistry between her and the Doctor and that short police womans skirt was finally explained. She was a kissogram!
The one thing I certainly didn't like was the remixed title music. They should have known to leave alone what wasn't broken!
There was a YSA get together at Miss Swanns on Saturday night which was a lot of fun especially as she had bought a karoake game for her Wii. I was even encouraged/told/forced to sing at a couple of points. I think my performances can be best described as doing nothing to disprove the fact that Singing is not one of my talents.
It was also very funny at one point when some of the YSA choose to sing Lady Gagas " Poker face" song and some of the YSA realised (with horror) for the first time what the actual lyrics to that song are. Three of them in particular were especially horrified as the looks on their faces was priceless and some YSA asked if the song had always included those lyrics. It just goes to show how easy it is to miss things when your listening to music.
I spent the rest of the time this weekend taking things relatively easy, doing some tidying up, reading some books and doing some painting and modeling. It's been a really nice four days and I'm feeling all calm and relaxed.
Now I just have to see if this feeling will survive work tomorrow.
Friday, April 02, 2010
I spent most of the morning doing some painting and modelling. Not terribly exciting but I found it a relaxing and it helps my creativity no end to actually being putting something together.
We had a YSA activity at the chapel today. ( pictures to follow), as there was a Easter theme there was even a Easter egg hunt. Although the girls who organised it did take a lot of time to produce some wonderful looking clues it turned out most people didn't look at them in the mad dash of YSA around the building as they looked for choclate and not just any choclate, it was that special kind everyone loves. Free chocolate!
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Which left me with the only option of sitting in the cr with the heaters on full hoping the ice would melt as I watched the time steadily tick away.
I finally managed to get the ice clear so I could leave after 15 minutes! Which meant I was very late. I wanted to rush but I kept it slow and steady as it was possible that if the roads it hadn't been gritted there would be lots of ice around and the last thing I'd want to do is to tangle with Black Ice again.
Fortunatly I had no problems, which is something I can't say for one car owner who had went into a ditch alongside the side of the airport, there were already three people stopped to help and I didn't slow down to take a gawp as form biter experience I know that doesn't help after you've had a accident.
I was able to get into the office with ten minute to spare and spent a anxious few minutes watching my computer boot up so slowly. Why is it computers next go fast when you need them too? One of my friends at uni had a theory. He reckoned that all computer have secret emotion sensing chips. The more hurried or frustrated you are the more difficult it will be. It seems a stupid theory until the next tiem your computer plays up on you.
I'm moving desks next week as our team leader has decided on a change round, as apparently it helps the team overall as we get a change to mix better and learn from other peoples techniques.
It also means I get a window seat :-)
There was very much a Friday feeling through out the day even though it was Thursday. But I guess that's what bank holidays do :-)
So I now have four whole days before I have to be back at work. I am so going to enjoy my lie in tomorrow.