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First stinking hot day of— Spring?

32 degree C day here and I’m sure it has been far worse inland. 

Unusually hot for this time of year.  What will happen when we reach summer proper?

(So I’m reduced to talking about the weather.)

I’ve been keeping up with my friends list, but I’m falling behind on other things. 
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I call myself a writer, but I suck at text messaging.  I hover over the correct word to use and by then the conversation has moved on and the spontenaity is well and truely dead. This makes communicating with my sister somewhat difficult. She is a busy mum in a houshold of 7 (2 of which are in-laws that cause just as much grief as the children. Eldest daughter, 16, with social phobia. Daughter, 12, just announced she is gay. Son, 4, is a four year old. Had spat with husband. 

My sister just described the worst week ever in text and really texting when we should be talking doesn't cut it. But some of the things that need to be discussed shouldnt be overheard at her end.  Big mess.
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We have two sizes of printers at work, one does A4/A3 and the other handles A0 size 841 x 1189 mm (33.1 x 46.8 in) - the second printer is very necessary when printing plans.

Anyway there can be stuff ups when people send something to the wrong machine. Yesterday some kid from downstairs printed an invoice on the A0 printer. The whole thing scaled to fit the paper size beautifully.

So we called him to come upstairs and collect it and by the time he got out of the lift we had it hanging from the reception desk.

Still alive

Sep. 3rd, 2017 11:55 am
pipibluestockin: (Default)
The late winter and early spring flu season this year has been severe.

I've been sick for the past few weeks. It topped out at bronchitis and stopped short of pneumonia. When one of us gets ill we do our best not to get mum sick as well. Her health is frail enough without sharing a bug that knocks over the healthy. Three weeks of having meals 'shoved under the door' got lonely.

I did struggle into work during some of that time because, brand new job. And prove how sick I was. About a third of the office was sick as well -- we sounded like a seal colony (without the smell). 

The family was going to meet up today for Father's Day, but my sister's family all woke up with colds this morning. 

Stop that

Aug. 12th, 2017 07:20 pm
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My deactivated Facebook page mysteriously went live and started sending me SMS updates. I've deleted it this time. Do I have to break out the flamethrower?

First week on new job has been both fun and exhausting. I must be fitting in. I've even caught the official head cold. 
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On Monday I had a really humiliating job interview. Two out of three men failed to hide their disappointment that I didn't look as sexy as they had envisioned.

The rejection email landed on my phone even before I even got home and I not finished chewing the scenery with rage when I took a phone call from another company.

I seemed to click with the HR lady during the phone interview and lined up the interview on Tuesday. The interview went well, my skill set matches what they wanted. The company matches what I want (industry, culture and even location).

I spent the rest of the week hovering over my phone until Thursday when they asked for references (Yes!).

They sent through the letter of offer yesterday and I couldn't find any flaws. In fact the following line is pleasant surprise: "You are employed under the Fair Work Act 2009. Your terms and conditions will be regulated by the Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 (Award) and the National Employment Standards."

I've never been specifically protected by an Award before.

Anyway, I start next Monday and I'm spending the weekend doing a high speed refresher/review training of all the software I think I'll need to know as it has been more than 5 years since I handled some of the software listed on my CV. Thank goodness for the education resource that is Youtube.
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July was a bit of a horror month on the suitable job front.

I had a good interview yesterday and now I'm hovering over my phone. The HR department for this company is based in Perth, which means there is a three hour time difference and I will not hear anything until after 10.30 am at the earliest. 

The key decision maker in Sydney was unable to attend my interview so it is up to the staff members who did interview me to persuade him.  

This is the best job I have come up with so far. I'm nervous.  


Jul. 12th, 2017 04:24 pm
pipibluestockin: (Default)
There has been a drought on the job hunting front. 

I have had no action since 30 June and there was nothing available last week. I have applied for two jobs today.

The job site I use has pretty good filters but occasionally something slips through into a completely wrong category. 

I'm minding my own business looking at office admin positions and something completely random pops up: Submarine Warfare Specialist.

Um? Office politics can be bad (we've all been there) - but seriously?

On the writing front I've taken a step back to diagram the main novel I'm working on.

The technique worked well for the novel I'm rebuilding from scratch and it will help keep track of the level of detail and the ideas I'm using. It will hopefully stop me adding more characters. It has already helped me to see that I have been writing the chapters out of order. 

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Politics first thing in the morning - but it deserves a signal boost

Top journalist from Australia'a ABC and his assessment of Trump. Ironically it has gone viral on twitter.


(You'll have to cut and paste as I haven't mastered putting in URLs. Click on the links to the vid.)

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So I attended the George Michael tribute concert last night at the Sydney Opera House.  

It's been a long while since I sat through such a dud show. I was anticipating something better than the production values of a high school rock band.

If you showcase the works of a singer/songwriter - those songs had better be audible over the amplified music. I feel this is a no-brainer.
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I got to my interview and back through the traffic okay. Last night I looked up google maps and the satellite pictures and confirmed by eyeball which lane I had to be in to reach the traffic lights at White Bay. I had no intention of accidentally ending up on the main expressway to the western suburbs. 

The interview was curious.

The woman that buzzed me into the office was a blonde social x-ray dressed in a skirt suit and six-inch patent leather stilettos, which made my heart sink. I dress comfortably even for job interviews (good quality smart trousers, blouse and cardigan) on the grounds that they might as well know what they are getting and while my shoes probably cost as much as hers, they are flat and comfortable too.

A different woman interviewed me. It wasn't really a interview, she took it as read that my skills and background was what they required. She really just wanted to meet me and get to know me better and make sure I understood what the company was about.

The office was not what I was expecting. Engineering offices in my experience generally look frumpy. The decor is typically twenty plus years out of date, and the furniture was secondhand a decade before that. Rubbish stacked everywhere, broken chairs and old monitors shoved into corners. Add layers and layers of paperwork and building plans spread out over the top of every flat surface. 

This office looked *amazing*. Like an architects office or perhaps the home of graphic designers. The art on the walls was produced in house. I counted 16 desks for the engineers and another eight desks for HR/Accounting and the Team Coordinator's desk beside the front door, but tucked around the corner. So not on show in a gold fish bowl. I'd like the job.

No, make that: I'd love to have the job. I sent them an email saying as much as soon as I got home. 

pipibluestockin: (Default)
Book 5 to Book 19 in a month - Bad Pipi.

Anti-social much?

I was going to post more often but between comfort reading, the chaos at work, job hunting - and working on the novel - have all eaten up my time.

I have a job interview on Friday afternoon. These guys are building services engineers. Basically the architect designs the shell of the building and the engineers will tell you where the things like lights, electricity, air conditioning ducts and fire sprinklers are supposed to go. I had a similar job at the same type of company about six years ago so they are looking at my resume. 

I nearly fainted with delight when I saw the email signature of the lady I have been talking too - an engineering firm with a HR & Payroll officer. The firm is actually big enough and successful enough to split out the admin roles. It's more normal in an engineering firm to have an office manager that does _everything_ (including bookkeeping, which I am avoiding like the plague).

Am I stressed about it? I'm more stressed about taking the car into that part of the city and getting back again on a Friday night. If you saw the fly overs and distributors that stretch from the Anzac bridge across Darling Harbour, through the CBD and leading to the Sydney Harbour bridge you too would tremble in your car seat. I've worked out I can get home via Anzac Bridge and Victoria Road - providing I get on the Anzac Bridge and immediately cross four lanes of fast moving traffic before I get to the lights at White Bay. O.O

I am hoping for traffic congestion to slow things down.
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I personally think it is inappropriate and unprofessional of my bosses to loudly discuss the very real danger of being sued. It happens and the client defines combative and hostile - their toxic management has become our problem.

The discussion and strategies to mitigate the situation have been spinning in endless cycles and just when I thought I could get some peace it kept starting up again. 

They kept it up for eight hours in an open plan office. All I wanted to do is yell at them to get a room. 
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I've come close with a couple of jobs.

I am now the proud recipient of one of the most elegant rejection letters ever written.

I've come to an arrangement with my boss. Rather than leave after the notice period I'll keep working while job hunting, which is a win/win situation for both of us. It means I'll continue to be stressed out by work, but on the other hand money will still be coming in.

I spent Sunday afternoon in bed with a migraine I'm blaming the cheese I ate that morning, it was good, I enjoyed myself, but oh how I paid the price. 

My sister and her family bought my mother a Netflix gift card for her birthday. So I had a fun morning getting that set up for her on her iPad and the TV. Fortunately, my brother-in-law had snuck around behind the scenes and made sure the television was set up properly. I can foresee our internet provider lowering the boom on us.

I'm tempted to set up my own account, but I can't work out where to find the time to watch anything. My TV just squats in the corner of my room gathering dust. 
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 I've settled down to do some serious comfort reading.

My choice is Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series (a series of sea novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars all 21 novels of it) - you would know of it as the movie Master & Commander.

This series is a big hit in our household and can be read continuously. So much so that three people can be reading the series at one time. This leads to negotiations such as:

"I'm about to go to sea again - where are you?" 
"HMS Surprise"
"Mauritius Command"
"Fine. I'll take Clarissa Oakes"

I've had to buy replacement paperbacks because some of them have fallen apart and I'll find them with a rubber band holding everything together. 

There are some side effects to be considered. If I am forced to remove my nose from one of these books at short notice and join a real world conversation my English as she is spoke is archaic and of the nautical persuasion.

The talk

May. 22nd, 2017 06:25 pm
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Thanks for your support. I was really stressed out.

Friday's talk with the boss was the postponed by my "I'm too stressed to talk about it." That of course gave me all weekend to think about, not smart Pipi.

We had a reasonable talk over a cup of coffee and when he is not being much of a boss, he is a huge geek. 80's era Australian Sci-Fi comic books doesn't usually pop up in real world conversation. 

My work-mate S was very disappointed with the news. I'm staying until after his baby boy is born. I'll miss him too. English isn't his first language and spoken Australian English has all sorts of interesting opportunities for pratfalls and misunderstandings. We've been having great fun of a morning before work starts.

I'm still working on getting him to pronounce "pizza' properly. He just doesn't get the "-tsa" sound right (there is no "za" sound in Nepali and it comes out as "pichja"). Zoo sound like Jew, etc

And there are words and sayings like:

"crook as" = Crook as Rookwood (Cemetery) i.e., very sick indeed.

"hospital pass" - comes from Rugby. It means deliberately throwing the ball to a team mate who is surrounded by members of the opposing team. As a result, the poor bastard will probably leave the field on a stretcher.
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 Please let me log in so I can email my resignation.

I've been stressed out about this job for the last three months and then I am even more stressed out about resigning! (Dear brain what are you doing to me?)

I wake up in the middle of this night with this job running through my head and I wake up again (a whole hour early) with this stuff running through my head. I'm not paid enough to do this. I don't own the business. 

I'm currently running through the nightmare scenarios of what will happen if I do/don't give notice. 

The staffing/resourcing issues I will leave in my wake are not my problem. 
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 I have been in the job only three months and I have decided that I have had enough.

I've adjusted my CV and I've put it out on the market again. I'm staying in this job until I get a better offer (or until they really cheese me of).

This job was a bait and switch from the start. I applied for back office admin with some bookkeeping - what I got was front line customer service for an IT support company. 

For a company that started in 2004, it has a weird human resources dynamic. All the rank and file employees are new in the 18 month/2 year mark there is only one senior employee with any experience and she freaks out when asked for advice and assistance.

On Monday we were told not to contact her for any reason. How are we supposed to do our jobs without any training/recourse to a senior technician? The partner who gave this directive said to consult him instead, but he is never here. And to contact him we have to use this weird online task list program, instead of like you know using email, sms or just talking to him when he is in the office.

I'm stressed out and I'm still taking anti-anxiety meds - not a good thing when I'm bipolar (This journal will never be about my illness, just so you know. It's one's business but my own.)
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I got to IKEA yesterday. We took Dad's car which is big enough to take a 2 metre length package. (It was never going to fit in my car, I drive a tiny Japanese 'kick me sticker' - I don't get respect in heavy traffic.)

Only minimal swearing on Dad's part when we got lost in the store and he ran out of patience. He found us this awesome shortcut that took us from A to B and got us exactly where we needed to go. Getting out of IKEA he was driving too fast for me to give directions so we ended up on this huge multi-lane highway leading out of Sydney. There was a lot more fucking profanity about that.

But we survived (for a while there we found ourselves on the M4, not for the faint heard and easily stressed. Thank goodness it was early Sunday morning or we'd still be trapped on it. That piece of road is the varicose vein of Sydney).

I got the bed frame together with no problems. Then went to sleep in it to recover test it. I can now get out of bed without a struggle. Yay me.

I can see myself going back on my own in a few weeks for a bedside table (the current one is now waaaaay to short).
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