6 months on…

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…Well I am still in my new job & guess what? I actually love it. Yes there are times that I want to pull my hair out & scream, but the majority of the time, I really enjoy it. I thought the picture was quite fitting, as this is how I feel, like I am juggling everything all at once, but still having a smile on my face, helping anyone that asks.( I also look a bit like her if I get caught in the rain!!)  My ‘official’ title at work is EA to the CEO. But really it should be ‘ Assistant to anyone and everyone that asks’ As I work for a small start up and it is all hands on deck and everyone mucks in. So I do feel like I am the go to person for literally everything. You name it, they ask me. Here are some good examples of what I get:

  • Do you know when the lift will be working?
  • Do you have any AAA batteries?
  • Do we have any pink Nespresso capsules
  • Can you order us some breakfast from Pret
  • Can you get some keys cut
  • Do you have a fan heater

You see, you name it, I get it. I am more like an office manager / skivvy ;o) I don’t mind it though, I actually like helping everyone out and I am lucky that the CEO is more like a friend and not demanding in the slightest, which means he isn’t precious about me helping others as well as him.

I also feel like this job was meant for me, as the CEO called me asking if I was available and weirdly enough I was. I was feeling a little lost job wise as well, after having quite an horrendous experience with a female boss in the previous job, I felt like I would never get the ‘right’ job again. So I do feel lucky that he remembered me and offered me the role without even an interview. I do believe in fate and I feel this job was fated. I am back in the industry I know & love, with a lovely boss.

The team I work with are great also, which makes a huge difference too. As you have to see them most days, so you have to get on on with them. Bar one or two ‘annoying’ ones. Everyone is lovely. I just try to ignore the annoying ones as much as possible. There is always one or two everywhere you go isn’t there?

I have to be honest though, I did think I would get fed up with the nearly 1.5 hour commute there and back every day, but, I think because I love the actual job, the commute doesn’t feel so bad. I always get a seat and love listening to my music and reading my kindle, it is my time to chill and wake up before another manic day starts in the office. As I don’t get a minutes peace there! Don’t get me wrong though, there are days that I ask myself ‘why am I doing this to myself’ But they are rare thankfully. But this is when my trains have been delayed or I have had to deal with rude commuters, which I have come to realise, there are quite a few of them & mostly are men!! Unfortunately there are very few ‘Gentleman’ that travel into London, not that I have seen anyway. They literally push you out the way for a seat! I have to just laugh it off otherwise my mouth would get me into trouble… Thank goodness for soothing music in my ears! ;o)

So, I can’t believe 6 months have gone by already since I told you I was starting this job. The time has literally flown and I see that as a good thing. I just hope, when I update you again in another 6 months, I will still be able to say positive things!

Fingers and everything crossed!!

So, for anyone that is job hunting, or in job they don’t like right now. I am proof that, you can find something you love, don’t give up. or settle for something that is ‘OK’ keep looking and searching and the right job will find you. Trust those instincts of yours, they are never wrong!

Don’t get me wrong. My very ideal job is working for myself and writing a novel. but… until I have time to work on that… this job keeps me happy enough for the time being and for now that will do! :o)

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The Dad I never had

Definition of Father:  A male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child. 

The above is literally all my dad is to me.

I sometimes look at Facebook or Twitter and see people talk about how great their dad’s are and sometimes they even post pictures of them with their dad’s. This sometimes and only sometimes gives me a slight pang of sadness as it is something I have never had and never will have.

My dad didn’t die, he just decided to disappear one day, never to be seen again, like a puff of smoke, he was gone. I sometimes think it might have been easier if he had died, then at least then I could have mourned the fact that he had died and not the fact that he had just chosen to abandon me and my sister when were little.

He decided to leave my mum for a younger woman when I was 3, my sister was 4, he had been having an affair for a while and decided it was much easier to leave my mum and be with this young tart, than to help bring up his two children with my mum.

He did decide he wanted to be some kind of father figure (if you can call it that) for the time-being, i.e. when it suited him. But thinking back now, I don’t actually have any good memories of him, other than him buying me a really cool red BMX bike for one of my Birthdays. But other than that, the things he did while looking after me and my sister were rather hideous. Some of the (bad) memories are this:

  • Him sitting us in front of horror movies, as he thought this would entertain us (we were very little at the time, maybe 7 & 8 or younger) So we were made to sit through (on our own) all the Nightmare on Elm streets and all the Halloweens. This might be why I had such bad nightmares and also now why I hate watching horror films.
  • Him leaving me in a horrible pub on my 8th or 9th Birthday for what reason I can’t remember but I remember him giving me a pretty necklace then saying he had to go somewhere (probably to go and ‘see’ his new bird!) but these men would look after me and he would be back later, so I had to sit in this pub while these men that I didn’t know just sat there drinking and chain smoking not knowing what to do with me, I was so upset and scared too, thinking he wasn’t coming back.

So, you can kind of get a mental picture in your head of what a lovely person my so-called father is/was.

He must have woken up one day and decided that being a part time dad was far too much hassle for him, so he just decided to disappear when I was about 10.  By this time, he has already dumped the tart and was going out with for another woman who we didn’t like and she was never very nice to us, we were an added hassle to her and a reminder that her new boyfriend was once married with children.

So, the birthday cards and Christmas cards slowly stopped and we never saw him again, until.. my mum spotted him in town one day a few years later and made sure he knew we saw him, as she marched into the shop he was in and demanded to know where had been the last few years, all he said was this:  ‘why don’t you all just f*ck off’ So, that was my last lovely memory of my dad, my selfish, horrible so-called dad, that does not deserve to have two such lovely daughters and I wish for anything that he wasn’t my dad and that I had a dad like the ones you see in the movies like ‘Father of the Bride’ I wanted Steve Martin to be my dad, not the vile stranger I saw in the shop 20 years ago.

We now think he lives in Bude in Cornwall, the furthest point he could be away from us, which is quite funny really. But I have no desire to find him or get answers as he doesn’t deserve a second of my time or effort. I see it as his loss, because if he knew what he was missing I think he would be regret it. He also has 3 other children from the marriage before my mum, he abandoned them too.

I am just glad that I have found a man that is NOTHING like my father and never will be, he is kind, loving, thoughtful & generous. All the things he isn’t.

I also give credit to my wonderful mum too, as I am not sure how she coped with all of the above, especially as she was only 26 when he left.  But guess what…we turned out alright you know… ;o) Yes, I may have issues, but who doesn’t!

I don’t have anything to thank my dad for, other than teaching me that I never ever want to be anything like him and for that I am grateful.

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Expecting!

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I felt the need to blog about the B word, as I am getting to an age where a lot of friends are ‘expecting’ and then I have a lot of people ‘expecting’ me to announce I am pregnant soon too. This is not happening… not in the near future anyway and here’s why;

I am 33 and yes, in some cases this is known as ‘over the hill’ in fertility terms. My eggs are apparently shriveling up as I type  (lovely!) I blame the media mostly for putting pressure on us 30/40 somethings to ‘get on with it’  But times have changed people. As you all know, more and more people are having babies later in life, due to a lot of different reasons.

The main reason for me and my man, is basically, money. We simply cannot afford to have a baby, It is as simple as that.  The amount of people that have said to me ‘You can never afford to have a baby’ & I totally understand what they mean by this… but that comment annoys me slightly, OK a LOT, as we seriously cannot afford to have a baby, i.e. Right now, there is no way we can live off one salary and a measly maternity payment from the government. So, why would we want to bring a baby into our lives and into this world, when it would be a constant struggle money-wise, which would then make us both miserable and we also wouldn’t be able to give it all that we would want to, I just couldn’t think of anything worse quite frankly.

I sometimes even wonder if It would be just plain selfish having a baby too. I mean, the world we are living in right now, isn’t a very wonderful one is it? I find it quite depressing on a daily basis and we would be choosing to bring a little person into this word and hope they get on OK. I find that a scary thought. I really don’t think it is a nice world anymore to bring a child up in and you can’t always be there to protect them can you, so it would be a constant worry and I would hate them to ever get depression like me too, not that I could do anything about that but it is another thing to add to the growing list of ‘should we have babies?’  I also don’t think women should ever think it is there god-given right to produce children, and I don’t think for one minute that it is. I don’t even know If I can have them and I never just assume that I can. Parenting isn’t for everyone either and it is a shame there isn’t a system of some sort, as some people definitely should not be mothers! But that is another story for another day.

I have a friend who is on her 3rd pregnancy, she is 36 and good for her, she has a very rich husband and doesn’t even have to worry about money for one second. Now, I am really happy for her, but… there is always a but ;o) … I just wish she would understand my circumstances a bit more, as every time I see her and I mean EVERY time, she always says ‘hurry up and have babies, I can’t wait for you to have them!’ It drives me NUTS, as she knows we can’t afford them, but she still feels the need to say this and I find it so insensitive and bloody annoying. I have tried telling her so many times, in lots of different ways the same thing, that we can’t even think of having babies yet and it obviously falls on deaf ears!

Basically what I have been trying to say in my last few paragraphs of waffle is this: It is no one else’s business when or if you have children and I am not sure why so many people are so obsessed with interfering into other people’s lives, when they really should concentrate on their own.

So, maybe we will have kids one day… or maybe we won’t… you can ask as much as you like but don’t ‘expect’ a reply!

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New Girl… Again!

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So, it is my first day at a new job tomorrow in London, one of my favourite places to be! I am not all that nervous really, as I am a bit of a dab hand at being the ‘new girl’ … as I have had this experience about 8 or 9 times now in the space of 15 years! This isn’t because I am fickle I have you know, it is just how it has happened. My PA career has been a bit of tricky one and a bit too complicated & long-winded to explain, but let’s just say I haven’t been the luckiest of people when it comes to working along side some women, as they have been the most awful women I have ever had the dis-pleasure of knowing! They seriously give us women a bad name!!  But, I like everything there is good and bad and I like to think I have been lucky too, as I have landed some fab jobs and have met some great people along the way too, to restore my faith that there are some non back-stabbing women in the PA world ;o)

So, here I go again tomorrow morning, into the unknown ish… hoping and praying for the best. I feel I deserve a bit of a break you know, with the amount of shit I have had to deal with in the past work wise, I feel this is my time and as the job found me and not the other way round, I like to think it is meant to be and fate played a little, or maybe a big part in this new job.

So, think of me tomorrow and please send me good vibes… I am hoping I won’t even need them, but it is nice to know some people are rooting for me :o)

I will putting on my brave face, a big smile and going for it and I really hope in a few years time, I can be blogging you all again, saying; ‘See, I told you I had a feeling this job was going to be ‘the one’ Everything crossed…

I will keep you posted!

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Love & Marriage go together like…

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… well I don’t actually know if they do? I think a good few people get married to tick that important box and to have that one day where they can have all the attention on them and for people to tell them how gorgeous they look (the women mostly) Men I think go along with it, as it keeps their partners happy and it is the done thing to do, right?

Well, I don’t think it is. I am happily living in sin with my boyfriend who I have been going out with for nearly 10 years. We could have got married numerous times, but each time, we have asked ourselves why, what is the point to it? Neither of us are religious and neither of us fancy a contract drawn up to say you now must stay together forever. Obviously, we want to stay together forever and live happily ever after, but this is life I am talking about, life isn’t always smelling of roses. I just could not think of anything worse than going through a divorce and the money it could cost. I have seen enough of them in my time, to know that marriage is not all that is is cracked up to be. I have seen a lot of people be blissfully happy in a non-married relationship, for it to then crumble as soon as they have been married for a few years, as I think the ‘pressure’ gets to them  that they now have to be happily ever after otherwise the big fat D word will be on the cards! 

Now, I am not saying once you are married, it should be all roses. All relationships have their ups and downs, but I think some people just jump into it without thinking too much of the ‘aftermoon’ The coming back down to earth once all the pictures have been shown to all of sundry, the wedding DVD has been played a few hundred times! Zzzz…

Yes, you can say I am not a die hard romantic. Weddings do always make me cry but maybe that’s because I am secretly thinking ‘DON’T DO IT’ save your souls! OK, a bit too dramatic, but you get what I am saying. I think so many people marry for the wrong reasons and it is a shame. I see so many people ‘trapped’ in unhappy marriages because they stand to lose too much if they want a divorce. I know, it would be pretty much the same if you weren’t married but you wouldn’t have to say that dreaded D word to anyone, it would be just be ‘split up’ to me, that is easier to say and deal with, than knowing you may have wasted all that money and effort on your big day!

Ok, so I will stop being so cynical now… Yes,maybe one day me and my man will get married, but not one person will know about it, until after the event! and the only reason we would marry is so that we all had the same surname if we had children…how unromantic I know, but I have never been one, even since I was a little girl to dream about my ‘big day’ My sister had the marriage barbie, I had the tom boy Cindy and cut all her off too! (yes I must have had issues as a child) I just could not think of anything worse than everyone looking at me all day, me having to put on a smile that would make my jaw ache and also make sure everyone else is having a good time! No thank you. Eloping sounds like a much better idea to me!

I know, a lot of people may disagree with this post and that is good, it would be so dull if we were all the same. I know some marriages are built to last and some people do marry for the ‘right’ reasons but I am just being realistic, look at the stats below, they don’t lie!

34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary
• The number of divorces in 2011 was highest among men and women aged 40 to 44
• The average marriage is expected to last for 32 years

‘The number of divorces throughout the EU is on the increase, with an average of 1.8 divorces for every 1,000 people’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/28/divorce-rates-marriage-ons

But, the divorce rate is coming down, so that is a good sign and encouraging!

One of the awful reasons for a marriage to end is ‘adultery’  My dad was an adulterer, so was my mum, so are a lot of people. It happens, it’s life. I am not sure all humans are capable of being monogamous, but those that aren’t should definitely not get married and I am sure they know it too, but somehow think that having a bit of paper will change them for the better and they will be a ‘good’ husband or wife. This is called delusion! 

I just think people need to have a more realistic view on marriage, take off those rose tinted specs, don’t think it is all hearts and flowers and just about ‘that day’ or ticking a box… it takes work and for two people to be on the same page. Some people, I believe are just not the marrying kind and that is fine of course, if they can admit that to themselves and not feel inferior because they don’t have a ring on their finger.

So the next time you want to ask someone ‘Why aren’t you married yet?’ Have a little think and be a bit more open minded. Some people can live happily ever after… without a bit of paper to prove it.

I will leave you with this quote…

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The female of the species is more deadly than the male

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I know my title may seem harsh but as a female myself, I do think it is true!

I have always got on better with the male species and I find ‘some’ women extremely hard work . I don’t think it has ever been a conscious effort to get on better with men, it has just always come more naturally for me, for example, thinking back at school, I got invited to a boys 10th Birthday party at the Beefeater! (oh the glamour!) My mum dropped me into the restaurant and I walked in to find myself surrounded by a big long table, full of just boys, no girls, other than me! I don’t think I really thought anything of it, as Ricky always treated me like ‘one of the boys’ and that is how it has always been ever since!

My sister always has said I am not a ‘girls girl’ and I prefer the company of men and that is 100% true. I wish I knew the answer as to why? But the only thing I can think of, is the fact that I find men easier to talk to and have a laugh with. There are no hidden agendas with them (not usually anyway) They are very straightforward, direct and honest. Mostly anyway. I am sure there are some out there that aren’t the way I am describing and I don’t want to do a sweeping generalization on all men, but in my experience, most of the guys I have come across in my 33 years on this planet, have been as I have described above. I also prefer working with men too, there is no judgement on what you are wearing, they don’t go and huddle in the kitchen at work to have a bitch about you! Now come on girls.. you have to admit, this is what a lot of women do and I hold my hands up, I have done it too and I don’t like myself for it either, I mostly have done it to ‘join in’ and try and bond with these other women as I worked with them, I had to somehow try to get on with them, as it always better to have a clique of women on your side than not, I promise you that! I have been back-stabbed and shat upon from a great height many times in my working life to know, that it’s sometimes just easier to get along with them than not.

I will give you an example, about 11 years ago now, I worked on reception with a girl that tried to get away with working shorter hours every Friday so she could go and see her bloke in Sussex, as it was a long drive and she wanted to miss the rush hour traffic. This happened every Friday for about 3 months… we had to cover each other and make sure one of us was there from 8am and the other 6pm. So for 3 months I was ‘nice’ and did the 6pm shift so she could leave at 3pm to drive down to Sussex (I was way too nice for my own good back then) You live and learn. Anyway one Friday, I needed to leave early, as I had plans where I needed to be somewhere, so I told her early that week that she will have to stay until 6pm that Friday as I had plans. What happened next was something that just didn’t and still doesn’t really make any sense to me whatsoever. She first of all called me selfish?! Then disappeared from the reception desk and the next thing I know I was being called in by HR and our boss. She had decided to put in a formal complaint about me, saying that; I was always in late, I took longer lunch breaks than I should and I also never did anything to help on reception work wise, that she had to do everything and she just can’t work with me any more?!! I was literally gobsmacked sitting in that office listening it. I was also shaking with rage that someone could actually make up so much rubbish about someone when it was not true! I told them it was all total lies and they just looked at me, thinking I was the one lying. I remember them saying ‘why would she come up and lie about all this if it wasn’t true’ I told them the ‘real’ reason she did it and you could tell they didn’t really know who to believe. Anyway, this girl told them she could no longer work with me and and I obviously said the same thing, so they took her off reception and moved her to another department. It didn’t help, I still had to see her every day walk past me with this awful smirk on her face. It got so bad for me, as she has been with the company for 8 years, I had been there not even a year, so she had many allies and she had fed them all the same story and so they all believed her over me and day by day, it got worse and I felt like everyone was looking and talking about me. So, after about a month of this, I couldn’t take much more and went to the doctors and he took one look at me and signed me off for 6 weeks with anxiety and depression, all because of that poisonous woman. I was off for 8 weeks in the end, I only went back because they stopped paying me. But the good thing was the awful woman had left the company to go and live with her new boyfriend in Sussex, so that made it a little better but I still feel like people didn’t believe my story that I was just the innocent party in the whole thing.

Looking back now and after a lot of counselling, I can see that she must have had many deep issues that made her act like that. She obviously was very insecure and decided to take it out on me as she didn’t get her own way and can you believe I still have to see her at ‘family occasions’ as she is my boyfriends 2nd cousin!! Rah! I smile and ignore by the way, you have to feel sorry for her, but trying to forgive the hell she put me through is bloody hard.

So, my question is.. Can you imagine men ever acting this way? The answer is no, not the majority anyway. Men are simple creatures and I mean that in the nicest possible way, simple is good, no hidden agenda, no bitchiness, they just say it how it is and sometimes that can be tough too, but isn’t it better that way?

I read in so many magazines that we should embrace ‘sisterhood’ – a word I despise by the way!! But how can we embrace it if we are constantly on our guard that the friend, colleague or acquaintance, will have a hidden agenda or stab you in the back at any given opportunity. I have tried my very best to get on with more women, but in doing so, I have ended up with having some pretty stressful, horrible experiences, so I do have my barriers up at all times.  Hands up how many women have had other woman looking them up and down on the tube, train, in the street etc…? I for one, have had a lot of this and it makes me feel uncomfortable and paranoid, I know I shouldn’t give a stuff, but come on, it bothers everyone, doesn’t it?

Now, for the positive spin on women…;o) Guess what? There are some bloody great ones out there too. I have found some gems that are keepers and I do feel very lucky that I do have them in my life, but there isn’t many out there that fit the bill.. I have met too many bitches in my time, to have anyone change my mind on this one as of yet! I like to be proved wrong though! I unfortunately do have a few more awful stories to tell you about women and me, but I will save that for part two maybe…

 

 

As for women bosses?? Don’t even get me started on that one!

My Flexible friend

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What first springs to mind when I say the word ‘Flexibility’? Do you think of a yoga maybe or even a credit card with a flexible rate? I am having a guess though, that most of you don’t think of your workplace? As these two words don’t go together, work + flexible = ??

I for one think this sorely needs to change to make a happier workforce, as regimented hours and the feeling of being chained to desk, to me, feels old fashioned and wrong in this day and age. Most of us are given laptops and mobile phones so this means we can be mobile? 

I worked in a large corporate company for nearly 5 years, where flexibility was my best friend. Basically the rules were as long as the work is done and you do your core hours, they didn’t mind what time you got up and left.(within reason of course!) I had a mobile and a laptop, so the boss knew he could contact me at any time, which comes with the job of being a PA. But he knew that I sometimes wanted to beat the traffic so would often get up and leave any time from 4 to 4.45 and then I would just log on at home and carry on working if I needed. The same went for the mornings. If, sometimes you have one of those bad nights, you can’t sleep therefore your alarm going off in the morning fills you with dread, you just go in a bit later and no one would even bat an eyelid at this. The directors and my boss would soon know if the work wasn’t being done, so there is nowhere to hide in that respect. Obviously common sense comes into play here too. If you need to be in at a certain time for a meeting then obviously would be and same goes for if you are busy and need to stay at work to get things done for your boss etc.. you do. It is just nice to know, that you have the flexibility and choice as an option and to me, this makes me respect the company and the boss a lot more then them asking you to be chained to your desk until say, 5.30pm on the dot and this is something that fills me with dread!

I have worked at many places, where I have had to stay at my desk until a certain time and I have to say for me, it had been a bit soul destroying, having someone else govern my time for me, it just feels wrong, like you are in some kind of prison where you would be frowned upon if you even thought about getting up at 5.29pm or 4.59pm, it had to be on the dot. (kill me now!!)

In my opinion, I think more companies seriously need to look into giving people flexibility. Why do you think trains and tubes are so packed at rush hour? Because everyone has to be at their desks by 9am or 8.30am on the dot. Same goes with traffic, it is jammed because everyone is trying to get somewhere at the same time, hence gridlock! If more companies offered the choice like my old company, there would be a lot less stress and turnover of staff at companies, I am sure of it.

Obviously there needs to be some rules but if you did your core hours say, 37.5 hours a week, then what is the problem?

 Working from home is another sore point when it comes to most companies. It is the thing most people want to ask in interviews, but the thing that is never spoken about! With today’s modern technologies, why can’t more staff work from home when needed? I feel this comes down to a trust issue. But, as I said earlier, you would soon realise if the work wasn’t being done. Working from home for me, had its positives and negatives. The positives were, I could get up and go straight to work at 7 or 8am in my dressing gown, no make-up (glamour!) and not worry about the commute into work. If I had something very time- consuming to do, such as expenses, then, I would choose to do them on a work from home day, as I could concentrate and get it done without many interruptions from work colleagues. The only negative was for me, not having people contact, but I knew the next day I would be back in the office as normal, so it is nice to have the best of both worlds.

I also feel parents need to be given more flexibility too. One of my old colleagues had to come back full time to work as a PA, but the reason she could, was because the company were so good about her hours and when the kids got to school age, she was allowed to leave the office at 3pm and go and pick up her kids and then log on from home later in the evening and do her work. No wonder she stayed with the company and is still there 11 years later happy as larry! 

Maybe I have just been a bit spoilt and lucky, as now I have had a taste of freedom so to speak, so therefore, I never want to go back to the old ways, but it seems since I have been looking for a new job (I am looking due to the company re-locating) I have found that a lot of companies, have set hours with no flexibility, which is such a shame and it does puts me off, but I know, eventually I will probably have to accept a job and accept the fact that I may be stuck at a desk with set times and I will have to somehow try to deal with it! *Sad face*

Flexibility obviously can’t work in some jobs, I know, but I am speaking about office workers in general, as this is where I have worked for the last 12 years and I feel there needs to a big shift and a change, but I have no idea if it that will ever happen. I did read somewhere that eventually working from home will just be the norm as companies want to save as much money as possible on expensive offices space, so I can only hope that this ‘eventually’ comes quicker than we think!

What are your thoughts on this, do you agree with me, or are you happy doing set hours? Or, do you have flexibility and enjoy it like I have?

To be ‘Free as a bird’ … That is the aim, freedom and flexibility for me = Happy and content.Image