Monthly Archives: April 2009

Bank holidays

In wanting to update everything about the sticky work situation, I have neglected to write about the lovely bank holiday weekend we had, and lovely it most certainly was. For a start, this was the first year I’ve been able to fully appreciate a four day weekend for what it is, being the first year I’ve been working full time either side! It just seemed to go on forever, despite being filled with enjoyable stuff!

I made it down to London late on Thursday night, and on Friday we spent the day with Chris’ older brother and family, chatting, eating, drinking and all that stuff. As well as a rather entertaining trip to the Natural History Museum at Tring. Think lots of stuffed animals and you’re about there. Very odd to see all sorts of animals we encountered in Kenya stuffed and behind glass. Friday evening saw us return to London to meet Never Conforming and her missus, have a nice dinner in the crypt at St Martin in the Fields, and then a trip out to Greenwich on Saturday. A good amount of time to chat and catch up on the various happenings in each of our lives, of which there seem to be many! Nice to have a few days to chew the fat when recently we’ve only had one or even just an evening.

Saturday evening some of us, along with some other friendly folkie types went to see our favourite Barnsley lass in a rather nice venue. Kate was on good form, but also well matched by the accompanying Red Skies string ensemble. Difficult to find a website for them, but suffice to say, if you get a chance, they’re worth a listen.

After Easter Sunday service at Hinde Street we headed out on our travels again, this time in the direction of Leamington Spa for Chris’ brother’s 21st birthday. One night staying in a student house reminded me just how long it was since I was one, and that single beds are definitely only made for one. On Monday, Joe’s actual birthday, we went out for a rather posh meal at a restaurant nearby. You can tell its posh when you have luncheon not lunch. But the place was quiet and sophisticated, the boys (mostly) wore jackets, and some had fun trying to decipher the menu! French speakers are handy to have around. The food was lovely, the setting very pretty, and the company wonderful. Some photos in the grounds while the sun was shining to show the gallivanting parents that their sons do scrub up well when pushed!

All in all, a jam packed but relaxed and easy weekend. A perfect introduction to the delights of double bank holidays!

The beginning of the end

Things have progressed since my last post, although not really in the way I might have liked. Things are now more or less resolved in one way or another, in that I at least have answers to some of the uncertainties.

In the last week, I;

  • submitted my application for voluntary redundancy and was told it had been received
  • found out (the same day) that I hadn’t got the other job I had been waiting to hear about
  • had my application for voluntary redundancy accepted
  • was told I will probably finish work on the 17th (this Friday)

In exactly that order.

This left me with around a week left of one job, and yet no other job to go to. Unsurprisingly this led to a night or two of complete despair, worry, and so on. These feelings aren’t gone, but they’re more under control now. I know we’ll be ok, and I just have to hope that as well as that, I will be able to get back into this career I was trying to build at some point.

So now, almost a year to the day after I started this job, I am facing my last four days of work. The day I finish will be three weeks to the day since we got the email saying the process was starting. Fast just doesn’t cover it.

I’m now left with a bizarre mixture of emotions. Sadness at not really having anything meaningful to do, worry about not being able to get something else, and disappointment at things not working out properly (we’ll probably have to look for a smaller cheaper flat than we’d like due to me not working). These are balanced with excitement at the challenges and opportunities that this might bring, the new things I will experience and the different possibilities before me, relief that I won’t have to endure another season of newt and bat surveys, and unbelievable, indescribable happiness that sometime very soon we might actually not be many miles apart. There are no words for this, but its that which keeps me going.

Also, their were enough of us that opted for voluntary redundancy that no one else is going to have to leave without choosing to, which makes a big difference to how I feel about leaving and what will happen afterwards.


So the meeting on Wednesday went as well as these things can do. There was at least a reasonably cheerful atmosphere among the team members there, and a kind of nervous humour which was better than everyone being glum or grumpy. The end result of it all though, is that of the number of us being reviewed, they’re looking to lose two thirds to a half, which is no small amount. And we were told we had untill tomorrow at 5 to apply for voluntary redundancy, or reduced working hours etc.¬†

So I’ve done it, I put in my application for voluntary redundancy this afternoon, after having mentioned it to my collegues last week, and then told my boss that I definately was going to do it just before I did. So there we have it,by the end of this week I’ll probably have a leaving date agreed, and very soon I won’t work there anymore.

The thing thats getting me down now, prompted by being about to go out to do my first newt survey of this season, and feeling tired to start with and having no idea when I’m going to get back, is that I still have to do all this, for I don’t know how long. Now that I’ve done it I just want out. Having been told at the meeting last week that the timescale for voluntary redundancy was likely to be measured in a number of days rather than weeks, my boss is now saying he’d want me to stay around for longer than that, which means more of this. Although on the other hand means more money which is not a bad thing either considering.

Add to all this that I’m still waiting on that job, and apparently will hear this week sometime. Thats definately not helping the frayed nerves.