Sunday, 2 September 2012

Catch up

Greetings, it has been a while since I last posted, mundane life has intruded and challenged both of us this past year. The Old Ones have set challenges before us, challenges that have forced change upon us, reminding us that the only constant in life is change, growth and change, the opposite of which is stagnation and death. Society wants us to conform, and as creatures of habit we tend to look for routine, for ways that we can feel comfortable and secure in a never changing routine of daily work. Threats to this normality of our existance bring fear of the unknown, fear for the future, yet at the same time force us to grow and adapt.

My job of 23 years was something I enjoyed, something I was proud of having done, yet change was brought forth, the actions of another upon the company put me into conflict, as I opposed changes that I felt were not to the good of the company or its customers, but only for the good of the shareholders. Unable to see further than my unhappiness I stagnated, I attempted to follow the changes, but they werent in my heart, they didnt sit well with me, and rather than proactively leave I found myself in a position that felt like I was being pushed out.

2 x 80 hr weeks back to back followed by an incident in my branch (when I was having a rare day off) sealed my fate, I jumped into the unknown, resigning in ealr November, without anything to move onto. I was at that time burned out, mentally and physically exhausted, running on adrenaline and sheer bloody minded determination, clinging on with my fingernails, yet as always it wasnt until I was able to rest and reflect, looking back with the clarity of 20/20 hindsight that I could understand that was where I had been.

I made the decision to immediately apply for any job that I could do, resulting in 30 to 40 online applications a week being submitted, and 3 to 4 interviews a week being scheduled. In hindsight I should have taken a month out and rested up first, but as always my impatience won through and I blew the chances of a few jobs by attending interviews whilst carrying the rage / guilt / upset and low self confidence that my parting of ways with my previous company had left me with.

After 4 weeks of disappointment I decided to rest up, still applying for jobs, but resting more and regaining my confidence and self esteem. I concentrated on specific applications throughout December, and was shortlisted for a few high profile roles, but was ultimately unsuccessful. As January dawned with the start of a new calendar year I was in a much better place personally, more relaxed, more confident and truly ready to find a new career direction.

Lat January I submitted an application and was invited to interview 48 hrs later, 2nd interview was 2 days later, and I started 3 days after that, as a Manager for a finance company. A different industry, complete new ways of working, new systems and new challenges.

I took over a struggling branch, one with team issues, low morale and lots of problems, the store was bottom of the company for every measure we use.

I faced a steep learning curve, learning their way of doing things, new systems, new quite complex processes and procedures, but slowly we made headway. We still have some issues, but the team I now work with are solid, have good morale and capability (I have nominated 2 of them for company employee of the month successfully), and our performance has improved to a top 5 finish last month on the main measure and an acceptable level on most of our other measures. Yes, we still have things to work on, but finally it feels like we are getting there!

And what have I learnt? Not to be afraid of the unknown, that with determination, clarity of vision, steadfast delivery of the basics and praise when something is done well we can make a difference, we have turned a corner, my boss even had me deputize for him last weekend, filling out all of his reports whilst he was away for the day, a sure sign of confidence in myself and my team.

I am now in a role that uses my intelligence, that allows me to give great customer service and lead from the front, but also one where I am treated with respect as are my team. I work in a nice clean office environment, with tea, coffee, biscuits and sweeties available any time I want them. There are challenges, and some stress, some times I have worked stupid amounts of hours, but generally it is less stressfull than what I was doing, the extra hours are available as time off in lieue (and I do get to take them back, unlike my previous role), so work life has improved dramatically over the past 12 months, even if I do come home sometimes needing to do nothing but rest on my days off!

Personally we have also faced some challenges, Lee has had a bad back, bad leg and cellulitis, which combined with myneed to rest up on days off has meant the allotments havent been fully worked this year (that plus the abysmal weather this year), which means we face a stiff challenge this winter taming the wildness of the plots ready for the next growing season.

We also lost our furbaby this year, Bella passed over the rainbow bridge after a short illness (cancer of the spleen), which hit us both hard as we werent expecting to loose her at only 8 yrs old. Gone but never forgotten she will live on in our hearts with love and we will be reunited in the Summerlands! (I am hoping to see her this Samhain)

As the house was too empty without a furbaby we started to look at taking another rescue, this time a full great dane, the house was homechecked fine, and we were on the waiting list when we were notified of a Great Dane cross in Bolton who needed a new family.

Poppy came to us a month after we lost Bella, she is black (with a white star on her chest and white socks), and was approx 6 months old when we got her, totally undernourished but a lovely friendly personality. She is now 23" tall at the shoulders, weighs about 4 1/2 stone (still underweight) and stands 4' tall on her back legs, she is definately Great Dane cross, but exactly what we arent sure, possible Labrador (Great Labradane), possibly Mastiff (Great Daniff) or Staffy (Great Daffy), but whatever she is a lovely dog, loves running though the grass, is good with other dogs and people and very loving. Take a look here for further info and piccies of her

Anyhows, I am hoping to restart nce more my writing, spurred on by contact from a pagan friend I havent spoken to for 10 years, so here's hoping there will be something more forthcoming on here soon!

Dark Dreams

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