smallhobbit: (dragon)
First up, I'm not all that taken with Dreamwidth, so I'm back posting directly here.  But because I still don't want to lose anything, I'm copying and pasting on DW.  It's a bit of a pain, but easier than trying to host pictures elsewhere, and with most friends on LJ it's easier to include their LJ names here.  (But for those of you reading on DW, I'm still happy to respond to comments here!)

***

Secondly, why are people so unreasonable?  The boss has cut back on staff at work, so we now have W in the retail shop and myself and C, who deals with corporate accounts, in an office next door - we've moved downstairs which makes it easier.  W has been off sick for two days, so C and I have been covering for him.

One man brought his granddaughter's iPhone in to have the screen replaced, because her horse had trodden on it.  That was yesterday.  We explained W was ill and it couldn't be mended that day.  The man reappeared today, wanting to know how soon it would be done, because she needed her business contacts which were on her phone, and looking at me as if it was my responsibility to sort it out.  If Your horse treads on Your phone it is hardly my problem.

Also, yesterday someone phoned up asking to speak to W and I took a message and said he would phone once he was back.  The man phoned again today.  I explained W was still sick.  "Why hasn't he phoned me?"  Um, because he's sick and hasn't been in?

***

Anyway Happy Valentine's Day to one and all.  It is a time for cards, flowers, chocolates and fluffy fics.  I cannot give you tangible gifts, but have some fluffy fics:
The Hobbit: Nothing Like A Roman God
The Hobbit: Not Really A Bad Hair Day
Spooks (Lucas): Everyone Needs A Hug
ACD Holmes (Broom Cupboard verse): Valentine's Day
smallhobbit: (dragon)
I have been trying to organise a Brownie trip to the local Pets At Home for the last two weeks.  They have a full page advert in the quarterly Guiding magazine telling everyone about the workshops they run towards the Friends to Animals badge.  So you would think they would be keen to help.  I have phoned the local store (twice).  The first time there was no reply, the second time I was told to look on the website.  I have looked on the website (twice) and submitted a contact message both twice, with zero response.  Last week I tweeted about my problems and they said DM your email and we'll get someone to contact you.  Guess what?  It looks like I shall have to call in at the store on the way home from work next week.  I'd give up, but I know the Brownies would love to go.  How not to impress me.

One of my jobs at work is to check the commission we receive is what we expect and follow up anything missing.  This of course relies on people filling in the details our end so I can check them.  It's a weekly process.  Monday, I looked and nothing had been done for the previous week.  I queried this and was told it would be done.  Wednesday, when I needed to produce my report a very little had been done, but there were still gaping holes.  My report went to the boss saying without the information I couldn't guarantee the accuracy of any of the figures.

And tomorrow I'm getting a train ...
smallhobbit: (Peanuts)
I've still been looking round for a second job.  Just before we went on holiday I went for an interview for an interesting job, about five minutes drive from home.  The interview went well, the interviewer more or less said they'd be inviting me back for a second interview and then when we were away I got a rejection.  I was disappointed, but at the same time not sure I would have wanted to work somewhere I couldn't trust what the boss said.

I made good use of my extra free time, sorting so much stuff out and then getting back on track after we'd been away.  In addition I had some holiday pay from my old job, which meant I wasn't desperate for cash immediately.  But at the beginning of this month I was starting to feel I should be using my extra time usefully and have suitable goals for each day (admittedly last week this included making significant progress on the second chapter of my Lucas/Adam fic - [livejournal.com profile] vix_spes I plan to have the chapter over to you by the end of this month!)

Last Friday I had another interview for a job about 15 to 20 minutes drive away.  It went okay, although I suspected they would offer it to someone else.  And they promised they'd be in touch yesterday, and I still haven't heard.

Meanwhile last week the boss at my job said they wanted me to work three days instead of two - spreading the hours out.  I said if I were to do that they needed to offer me a further four hours, because I couldn't look for a second job with only two days available.  The boss said he'd think about it.  Again nothing happened.  On Monday the second director asked me what had been agreed and when I said nothing he said he'd sort it out.  The hours at some point will reduce, but for the moment I am now working three days, but shorter days Tuesday and Wednesday (leaving me time to do things at home before SM gets back).  And it doesn't feel wrong if I stay in my pjs until lunch time the other days.
smallhobbit: (Hopkins)
I've had five working days in my new job. I have come to terms with a new bookkeeping system (Zoho books if anyone's heard of it).  Which seems relatively easy to use - it's designed with a non-accounts person in mind.  I've managed to raise invoices and purchase orders.  I've started to order the huge amounts of paperwork that were sitting in piles - a lot of it still is in piles, but neat piles in coloured plastic wallets - my first stationery request.  I'm fairly convinced a month's worth of invoices etc is underneath a cardboard box somewhere.  I've started sorting out who we owe money to and who owes us money.

I've also been introduced to the online record keeping system which is supposed to provide all the answers - because look at all the reports we could have, if only someone could work out how to produce what we need.  It appears I can - I've never used a proper database before, but with some fiddling around I produced the report we needed - I think I've guaranteed my position.  Mind you, it would have helped if the correct data had been entered in the first place, but you can't have everything.

The journey is worse than I used to have, but only doing it two days a week makes it bearable.  This week I took some audio CDs to play whilst I was driving (I normally listen to Classic FM) and the journey didn't feel nearly as bad.  So this evening I've spent an entertaining hour ordering some more CDs to keep me going.

Job Update

Aug. 27th, 2015 10:03 pm
smallhobbit: (49 pegs)
Well, tomorrow is my last day at work.  I'll be sad in a way, but I do feel it's the right thing to be doing.  All this week people have been saying good-bye to me and hugging me and saying how much they'll miss me.  Tomorrow we go out for lunch and then I have a farewell tea break in the afternoon.

Three weeks' ago I applied for a job, which stated "tell us why you'd be good for this position" (or something similar).  I did so, blowing my own trumpet.  The following afternoon (Friday) I received an email asking me if I could come for an interview on the Monday.  I went and was offered the job on the spot.  It will be 8 to 16 hours to start with, reducing to 4 to 8.  It's accounts work, getting the systems into order, for a small telecoms firm.

Which is a great start.  I need to find a second job for 12 to 15 hours and then I'll be set.  I went for an interview Tuesday, but have heard no more, and I suspect I've asked for more than they want to pay.  I'm ambivalent about the job - there are pluses and minuses - but I decided to take it if they offered it - which seems unlikely.

So it looks like I might do the dusting, take lots of things to the charity shop, sort out my clothes etc.

Meanwhile, SM and I are off to London tomorrow when I finish work.  We're seeing Hamlet on Saturday and due to FGW's strike the trains are even worse than usual, so we're driving up and staying over. 
smallhobbit: (Reichenbach)
It leads to questions of what to post and what not to post.  But, in the spirit of keeping you all up to date, here are three things:

  • I've ordered the Richard III book recommended by [livejournal.com profile] laurose8, thus using up the book token which has been sitting in my purse for the past 18 months

  • SM looked for a book shelf for me, but finding none available bought a storage box (not a lidded sort), which is the right size for books and fits on the window sill.  I've asked him to get a second one for the remainder of the books.

  • I've decided it is time to look for another job.  My current job is probably the most interesting one I've had, but inevitably there are cons to the pros and I'm starting to feel like they're beginning to outway them.  Also I'd like a job closer to home before next winter.  We shall see what happens.

smallhobbit: (Reichenbach)
I'm not sure where all the time is going, but I definitely don't seem to be making much progress with things.  Which is probably because I was away at the beginning of the month and have been out a considerable number of evenings since I've got back.  And the one evening I was home last week the daughter phoned and we talked for nearly an hour.  So it's probably unreasonable to be feeling I've done nothing lately - but it's still annoying.

My total wordage until the end of April is about 8,000 down on where it should be if I'm to achieve my target for the year, and I've written very little this month.  I read a book last month - "The Master and Margarita" - which I finished on my return from Switzerland, but this month I've managed about three chapters of my new book - I keep meaning to read when I go to bed and then falling asleep.

I have listened to a BBC Radio 3 drama called "The Process", which is an updated version of Kafka's "The Trial".  It was odd and I only listened to it because Sam Troughton had the lead role.  (In the Telegraph review they say he made the part of Joseph Kay completely believable).  A few weeks ago I heard him in the Radio 4 serial "The Blast of War", which took a soldier, wounded in Helmand, back to various other battles fought in years ended '15 (Gallipoli, Waterloo and Agincourt) - I preferred this.

So, nothing much to blog about either.  Work is a mixture of budget preparation and complicated costings.  My brain may explode.

Oh, and if anyone fancies having a quick look at 975 words of Sherlock BBC, to make sure it makes sense, I'd be grateful.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
Yes, I do realise this is two days late - but the sentiment is still there, in that I send best wishes to all my flist for 2015.

New Year's Eve was excellent.  I spent it with fangirls, eating stew, playing card games, toasting the new year with champagne and singing along to Queen songs.  It couldn't have been better.

As I said to [livejournal.com profile] snailbones I think "Always look on the bright side of life" might end up being my theme tune for this year, if it continues the way it began.  No major catastrophes, but the effect I have on our railways - which I thought I had outrun - has caught up with me again.  The train home 'developed a fault' which led to a long wait in Swindon.  (I still hate that station).  On the bright side I've applied for compensation, so I should end up with at least part of my journey home being for free.

And yesterday I went into work for the first time in nearly a fortnight to discover the internet was down.  So at least I didn't have to read my emails.  And I got done some of what I'd hoped to do - not quite as much, since with no internet I was unable to print, but progress was made.

So, all the best to all of you for 2015.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
I spent the first three days this week furiously preparing the October Management Accounts (note the capital letters) so that they could be sent to the trustees in time for next week's meeting.  So with the manager away Thursday and Friday looked good - I could sit and peaceful input figures so that I was prepared for next week.

Thursday morning I arrived to find that British Gas had unexpectedly come to replace the boiler in the workshop.  By unexpectedly I don't mean  they decided to give us a new boiler on their own - the quote had been agreed, but we didn't know that they were coming that day.  Now, the manager is married to the person who deals with all the contractors and understands the intricacies of plumbing/maintenance; consequently he was away too.  Not only had BG arrived, in the process of taking out the boiler they'd tripped the electrics.  So it was cold and powerless in the workshop.  I ended up phoning the electrician to come out (it turned out there was another trip switch, but I'm no electrician and I was a lot happier that he checked it).  And found someone else for the residents who were in the workshop to have their tea break.

After which, I managed to do some work, before reading for the study group and going to a Christmas Market meeting.  And thence to Brownies.

Friday dawned fair and promising - okay, I lie, it was wet and miserable, but a new day and once again I was hopeful.  Until the decorator came in to ask if he could have some more heat in the bedroom he was painting to dry the paint faster.  We go to look at the boiler (not the current BG replacement) and it's not working.  I hail the passing BG man who sorts it out - there was no pressure apparently.

Then someone comes to complete an accident form for a burn to their thumb from a toaster.  I inspect the toaster and decide it's dangerous.  I also get told about someone else who has hurt their hand and has been told to fill in a form.  I see him and ask him to do it at once.  He ignores me, checks with someone else and says he doesn't need to.  I inform him in no uncertain terms that he does, using my glare perfected from dealing with teenage family.

And so onto the afternoon - when we find that the telephone in one of the houses isn't working.  So joy of joys I'm on the phone to BT.  And explaining that I'm not phoning from the building where the phone that isn't working is - because it's not working.  To give them their due they did put the process for sorting it in place and set up a divert system for us.

But now, the wine bottle is open and it's The Weekend :D
smallhobbit: (Cat)
... that having waited all week for various figures I finally get them half way through today.  When I have to do a health and safety inspection with the H&S person from the council, because my boss is too busy.  And from that I have to go with only 15 minutes free (just time to eat my cheese roll and yoghurt) to a meeting.  Which probably lasted all afternoon, except that I had to leave promptly as it was Brownies, and everyone knows I can't be late for Brownies.  Especially when I'm leading the activity.

And, ooh look, tomorrow morning there's an accountant coming to discuss calculating costings, and of course I need to be there.  And I must send the payroll figures over for processing, so I need to finish preparing them (one of the things I was waiting for) and get them approved before I go on holiday.  And I need to get to the bank because otherwise there'll be no petty cash.

But I shall be finishing on time as we're going out tomorrow evening.  So everything else will just have to wait until I get back.
smallhobbit: (penguin)
And this was one of them.

We have a new accountant, who has limited Sage payroll experience, so I've been helping her, based on my time running the company payroll two years ago.  She's lovely and we get on really well - even though she drinks coffee and I drink tea and by the end of the afternoon neither of us was really sure which was ours.

So today I went to help do the main payroll run so that we can be paid on Friday.  It should have been simple.  Only something went wrong with the upload, which meant two-thirds of the staff had negative pay of £1 million.  Each.  Not good.  Sorted all that out, plus all the other bits that hadn't worked (or had been forgotten by the person doing the upload).

Finally, we were triumphant.  At which point I insisted we take a backup (probably my best move of the day).  And we prepared the files ready for export to the bank.  Could we find where to save the files?  Asked the accounts person, who was incredibly rude and treated us as if we were imbeciles.  Finally found where they had to go.  Did everything else.  Thought we'd finished.

At which point we found a mistake.  And then the manager came in to point out some more.  Because our crystal ball had been faulty.  Good job we took that backup.  I go back tomorrow to have another go.

And now I sense the wine calling to me.
smallhobbit: (screech owl)
One of my colleagues is finishing work today to go on maternity leave, so we all went out for lunch together.  The boss decided that the company would pay, which was even better.  Lunch was at two and we spent the afternoon in the restaurant.  Lasagne followed by pavlova.  I shall be sorry to see my colleague leave - it's been good working with her, but she is planning on coming back.  Good food and good conversation and not having to work - has to be good.

It was the first Brownie meeting of the term and we were in the new hall.  Hooray!  It's lovely.  There was enough room to play games with the whole pack without the danger of anyone getting crushed.  It's light and airy, and so much better.

There's always the thought when we start back after the summer holiday that a number of the girls won't return.  Obviously we know that some will have left, either having got too old or moving, but generally a few will decide they don't intend to continue.  This time we only lost one extra and with seven new girls we are back to having a full pack.  Which clearly means that whatever we're doing, we're doing it right.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
The Rules: during the next five days, post three positive things about your day and ask three people to do the same so the positive attitude can gain some ground.

What do you do when you know you should be blogging, and you don't know what to write - hunt round for another meme of course.  So thank you to [livejournal.com profile] vaysh for nominating me.

1.  Yesterday we put up the posters I bought when I went to see The Crucible.  So today I have been wandering around the house smiling at Richard Armitage.  I have one poster on our bedroom wall, opposite me when I sit up in bed - those of you who have seen the posters can probably work out which one this is ;)  There is one by the living room door, which I look at every time I come down the stairs.  And the last one is watching over me when I sit on my settee.  The posters themselves are quite dark, so we had to be strategic in where we put them, since our living room isn't particularly bright, but they go very well.  It may be, of course, that I am biased, but they fit in two spaces were rather well.

2.  I led Morning Gathering at work today and told the story of Edith Cavell.  I'm not sure whether it was because I was telling the story rather than reading it, but it seemed to hold everyone's attention really well.

3.  Afterwards I went to find one of the residents who had gone to the wrong workshop.  When I told him I'd come to find him because he was doing art, he linked arms with me and we walked back up arm in arm.

And now I'm nominating [livejournal.com profile] scfrankles [livejournal.com profile] complexlight and [livejournal.com profile] owlbsurfinbird.  Who can either take up the challenge or throw cake at me - either will do ;)
smallhobbit: (Cat)
and so, another week of finding the bright spots:

Day 87 – Writing was successful.  One drabble for [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes and my [livejournal.com profile] lewis_challenge fic went to beta.  I should add that it came back with various questions, plus the comment that the victim changed his first way through - clearly his wife didn't like my choice of name.

Day 88 – My hour of escapism with Kennex and Dorian.  Karl Urban does have lovely eyes.  SM has realised that it is what is termed “buddy cop”.  Fortunately he hasn’t enquired any further as to where that can lead.

Day 89 – I had my eyes tested at the opticians today.  One of the girls in the office recommended them and the optician was really good, explained everything and I am considerably more confident about buying glasses from them, even if they are more expensive.

Day 90 – I ended up with three different fics to beta on one day.  Good job they were all different fandoms, or I could have got very confused.

Day 91 – It’s not often that you’re working in your office when someone arrives to ask you to cast off for the blanket they’ve just finished knitting.  Or you walk into a room full of people to have someone come rushing across to tell you how they’d picked some flowers for someone and wasn’t it wonderful.

Day 92 – Sherlock Holmes Annual Picnic in Regent’s Park.  As always it was good to see everyone.  But the best bit was sitting in the pub with my friends and playing a card game that involved each of us producing mini fics on the spot.  I have some great friends.

Day 93 – With a bit of time to spare before catching the train home I went to the British Library and spent an interesting half hour looking through their current First World War exhibition:  Enduring War, Grief, Grit and Humour.



 
smallhobbit: (Cat)
The past week was particularly difficult.  Part way through the previous week our manager, who we all like a lot, went in for a minor heart op.  On the Friday we heard that it wasn't quite as simple.  We went into work on the Monday to learn that she was going to have a double bypass op, sometime later in the week, which would then mean 8 to 12 weeks recovery time.  The three of us from the office went into the hospital that afternoon (the manager just sitting waiting so was continuing to work) to go through everything that needed to be done for the next couple of months.  You can imagine what a shock that all was to us.  However there was a couple of days to get a few things sorted before she had the op, which was good.  Only she had the op the following morning.  So we were left running the office between us.  The manager's husband also has a main position where we work, so he was out too.  And work became very stressful.  We work well as a team, so that isn't a problem, but given the circumstances it wasn't easy, dealing with all the expected and unexpected matters.

Nevertheless, here are the week's happy moments:
Days 80 to 86 )
smallhobbit: (Cat)
And so, here is the summary of my week's happy things.

Day 38 – Another Bank Holiday, another trip to the garden centre.  This time we bought bedding plants for our tubs and hanging baskets.  Chosen purely because we thought they were pretty, so a total riot of colours: bright orange, purple, red, yellow, violet.  I don’t do subtle.

Day 39 – My work computer was upgraded to Excel 2010.  It made me happy for two reasons: firstly because it’s nice to have something more up to date, and secondly because I feel valued at work because it’s something I asked for.  Also, it means I can do the Advanced Excel course in July rather than September.

Day 40 - Watson’s Diary was posted.  It began life as a [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 written by [livejournal.com profile] scfrankles which I replied to in the comments.  It grew over the next week and a half until I stalled and Frankles suggested she complete it.

This is the introduction I wrote for it on Tumblr. “If you’ve ever wondered what goes in the darkest corners of ACD Sherlock Holmes fandom, then look no further.  This particular collaborative work comes, from amongst other places, the dark corners of Mrs Hudson’s broom cupboard.  If, by the end, you wonder about the sanity of the authors, you are in good company.  We do too.”  Watson's Diary

Day 41 – It was the Ascension Day outing at work.  All the residents, support staff and other staff go on a day trip.  This year we went to Avebury.  It was a good day, the weather stayed dry – we were fortunate, we drove through some very heavy showers on the way back.  It was lovely to be wandering amongst the stones, enjoying the countryside and being paid for it.

Day 42 - I finished the Sherlock/Victor Trevor fic I was writing for a Tumblr Viclock exchange and pushed it off to my beta.  I'm not entirely happy with it, since the request included a large proportion of things I don't write, but I think it will be okay.

Day 43 - I went to London because a friend was having a birthday picnic in Regent's Park and another friend was running the Race for Life there.  I arrived about 30 seconds before Emmy crossed the finish line, so was able to cheer her on, which I was very pleased about.  Then we sat in the park, ate our picnic (it was hot and the mini chocolate crispie cakes melted and fell apart), drank Pimms (you don't realise quite how much you've drunk until you finally stand up), various people got sunburnt - my arms and face went a bit pink but I was fine, and generally had a marvellous time discussing fandom, Shakespeare performances, literature and anything else that occurred to us.

Day 44 - It was still sunny so SM and I went down to the canal again (a different part) and walked along it for a while, having an ice cream on the way back.

The following were taken when we went for our walk last week, and add to the overall happiness.


Cows )
Chickens )





 
smallhobbit: (penguin)
This week has been far too long; five days after four weeks of working four day weeks.  And it's a struggle to get everything done.  It wouldn't be, if I was allowed to get on with my work.  This week I have organised people to prepare a dining room to be painted and kept the painter happy.  I've booked a removal man with a van (actually two men) for this Saturday.  I've discussed which vegetables to buy in.  I've written to the local police about a speeding fine.  And I've produced the April accounts.

I've also discussed gas prices with two companies.  Done a health and safety inspection and raised various concerns.  Been told by someone that they can't deal with said concerns because they are short-staffed.  Been assured by manager that what I'm doing is right and what is required.  We are discussing fire procedures at this stage.

Been told by one of our residents all about his new rabbit.  Eaten cake.  Discussed moth, mice and squirrels with the pest man.  Been part of a health & safety audit.  And involved in further discussions about mental capacity and DOLS.

Is it any wonder I'm tired?
smallhobbit: (penguin)
As my regular readers will have gathered my job is not like many others.  And indeed today I was involved in the shadow puppet play.  We've been practising at lunch times for weeks - I give up half my lunch hour and then half an hour of work time - as I said, there aren't many office jobs where you have time off for play rehearsals.

The puppets and the voices have been under the control of three residents, five voluntary co-workers (people who work in the community for six months or a year), comprising one Czech, one German, one American, one Moroccan and one Philippino, two staff members and myself as narrator.  The stage, scenery and puppets were made in our woodworkshop, with the painting being done by the students who attend the weekly college course that's run onsite.

Today was the big day.  Residents, parents and other family members, co-workers and staff came to watch.  It was held in our hall and we ran out of chairs.

And it went really well.  The puppets and the story held everyone's attention.  All the bits that had been wobbly before stayed in one place.  The sound effects were effective.  People got involved in the plot.  There was instant applause at the end.  All our hard work over the last six weeks paid off.

We're going to perform it again to a different audience in a few weeks' time.
smallhobbit: (penguin)
which isn't a fun training where I've made a spelling mistake, but Deprivation of Liberties Safeguarding.  And no, I don't expect most of my flist to understand it, although I know at least one person will sympathise.  Fortunately it was online and didn't take more than 45 minutes.  And I got 100%.

Not that it's directly relevant to me, but everyone involved with any form of management has to have done some training.  And I've discovered that it doesn't mean "when locking the office make sure you are indeed the last person to leave".  I have had to endure some hilarity on the subject, having nearly locked the manager in last week.

In other news, SM has been complaining that I keep leaving his clean washing on the bed for him to put away.  (Once upon a time I used to do so, but then he moaned that I'd put something in the wrong place - there was only one answer to that!)  So today I used his clean underwear to say HELLO to him.

Yes, it is Friday, and the bottle of wine we opened earlier this evening seems unaccountably to be empty.
smallhobbit: (Mouselet)
Yet very little makes sense.

So, at work we are at the start of the budget process.  Last year we finished with about version 16.  It would be nice not to have to produce that many this year.  My role is to gather together all the information, consider the current year's figures and then make an educated guess as to what next year will be like.  My boss gets to add in all the arbitary figures - like how much we can spend on advertising and whether we're upgrading the computer systems - and then approve it, ready for the trustees.

All of which would be fine, if I had a crystal ball.  When I ask my colleague how much we will be needing bank staff in three months time, she looks at me as if to say that she doesn't know what bank staff we'll need next week.  Have a staff member go sick and we need to replace them - we provide one to one support at times, if I go sick things wait till I come back, but you can't do that when caring for a resident.  Or one of the residents has a hospital appointment (and we don't get much notice) so someone has to take them and therefore cover is needed for what they are timetabled to do.

But I digress.  Tuesday afternoon I was glaring at electricity figures when one of the support workers came to see me.  There was a mouse in a bucket in the laundry.  Okay I said, and having established the mouse was still alive suggested she let it out somewhere away from the cat.  She went off and returned fifteen minutes later with the bucket and the tiny mouse eating some biscuit crumbs she'd provided for it.

I am sure there will be budget updates as I go along, I doubt we will hear more of the mouse.

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