Archive for the Work Category

Pangasius – not the fish of choice

Posted in General, Work on June 19, 2013 by thecognitivekey

Interesting that our work canteen has had pangasius fishcakes on the menu for the past two days.

They used to have fried pangasius on Fridays but replaced it with hake. I don’t know whether that was a decision based on economics or welfare, my guess is economics. But it’s a good thing NOT to have pangasius on the menu. It’s not known to be a good source of food. Maybe in Vietnam it’s OK, but the cultivation and processing for the export market leaves much to be desired.

Certainly I shan’t be eating pangasius in any form, ever.


New Job

Posted in General, Work on October 28, 2012 by thecognitivekey

I started a new job on the 15th October. Hurrah! It’s a high status job. Working shifts so even better. I am really looking forward to learning the job (estimated training time is 9 months). This job could see me through to retirement – hurrah!

Day 7. I have to call in sick. Awake all night with shivers and sweats and a very sore back. The doctor thinks the two are unrelated (so do I). The flu-like symptoms of high temperature (she says mine is 38.2C) are probably a virus, maybe flu. Keep an eye of things and come back if anything changes, rest, fluids and paracetamol.

Day 8. Not back at work yet. Awoke after another hot and sticky night to find my left leg has gone red. Temperature is a bit lower. Not sure what to do about the leg. Should I go back to the doctor? It’s a bit of a wussy thing to do. Make an appointment to see the duty doctor. I tell him about the flu-like symptoms and how my leg has gone red. Show me the leg he says. Very interesting (don’t you worry when they say that), it’s a cellulitis, that is interesting he says. This is the cause of the flu-like symptoms. I need rest, fluids and penicillin, 2 kinds. I might be able to go back to work Friday…it’s now Wednesday. Oh and keep the leg raised to allow it to drain.

Leg on Wednesday

Day 10. Not back at work. No real visible improvement. Back to see the duty doctor, the one I saw the first time. She asks if she had missed the redness on my leg – no I say, it wasn’t there when you checked me on Tuesday, it arrived overnight. That’s interesting she said. She takes my temperature, it’s going down. Pulse and blood pressure, OK. I am looking to go back to work on Monday. She shakes her head. Very optimistic. I could go back if the swelling was gone or I could keep my leg raised all day at work. Leg raising at work is frowned upon so I will have to wait for the swelling to go down. Damn.

Sunday. Checking out the swelling. It’s still there. I am not going to be able to go to work Monday and probably not Tuesday or Wednesday either. I have an appointment to see my doctor Tuesday evening so I hope to learn more then. In the meantime I shall have to stay in bed with my leg raised. It’s uncomfortable. I pass the time reading on the Kindle. Getting through books at a bit of a pace

Two legs, spot the swollen one

Both doctors have threatened that if things don’t improve I will have to go to hospital for intravenous antibiotics.

Oh joy

Work status:

Days in job: 10
Days at work: 6
Days sick: 4

Mott MacDonald – The End of the Line

Posted in Work on September 14, 2012 by thecognitivekey

Today I handed my notice in. My final day will be 12th October.

It’s all a bit sudden really but it’s tied in with the death of my mother.

She died in the early hours of the 18th August. It was a Saturday. I had a meeting on the Monday with a chap coming down from London so I text my manager to get him to cancel the meeting, and to let him know I would be needing the following week off.

A quick text back told me that the company would only give 2 days compassionate leave. I went back to work on the Wednesday. When my mother’s funeral was arranged, I said I would need the day off. OK they said, I’d have to take leave for that, paid or unpaid. I can take a hint. I decided there and then I’d be leaving as soon as I could. I have since been told that I could have negotiated…haha, there are times when negotiation is not appropriate – this is one. I read the situation as not being valued, so time to leave.

A New Job

Posted in Work on June 14, 2011 by thecognitivekey

Just last Friday I was in Eastleigh being interviewed for a job as a Systems Administrator with Mott MacDonald. Yesterday I got the call through from the agency running the recruitment to say that I have the job if I want it. I certainly do, it’s a very challenging role and the company is very impressive.

The start date was set as 4th July, tentatively.

I heard from HR this morning and they want me to start 27th June – wow. Just two weeks time. I now have to cancel JobCentre interviews and Outplacement meetings. I just didn’t expect to be placed quite so quickly. It’s just a shade over a week since I left IBM, a week exactly between the agency first contacting me and being offered the post. How is that for speed. There is some paperwork to be sorted out and references to be organised and a week and a bit to get it done.

A brilliant opportunity – hurrah.

Job Interview #1

Posted in Work on June 11, 2011 by thecognitivekey

Yesterday I had my first job interview since leaving IBM. The post was a System Administrator with Mott MacDonald, based in Eastleigh. Mott MacDonald are an interesting company, a lot of civil engineering in there alongside consultancy services. They are a big company too…in 150 countries. It’s been a few years since my last interview so I wasn’t sure what to expect but things weren’t as bad as I feared. Interesting questions, some of which I could answer, a challenging post, but I get the feeling I haven’t done enough. Oh well.

Redundancy Part 3

Posted in Work on June 3, 2011 by thecognitivekey

Today was my last working day at IBM. I have been paid up to the 5th but they aren’t expecting me to go in this weekend. My P45 arrived yesterday so they obviously weren’t expecting to pay more overtime.

Not the easiest of days to survive. Far more emotional than I expected. Lots of people I didn’t shake hands with or say farewell to…I don’t think I’d have survived, all I wanted was to get away.

The enormity of the thing is starting to hit home. I have been sending my CV out for a while but with little reaction. Maybe they want younger people. Early days I know but the early signs are not encouraging. Stay positive is the catchphrase. I am looking for work in testing or payroll. I have been a tester for many years, and payroll is such a fun area to work…all maths and processes, brilliant. To find something that combines the two would be heaven.

Other than that I wouldn’t mind doing radio work or even voice-overs, but I think those depend very much on who you know, I don’t know anyone in either area. Oh well. It’ll have to be traditional type work.

Interestingly a lot of people said we’ll see you next week back here as a contractor. It doesn’t work like that any more. If indeed it ever did. The latest rule is that if you take redundancy then you cannot return (unless in a managed service) until the time that the redundancy payments cover has elapsed. So I guess that will be around a year. Further, there is a restriction on how long you can work for the company as what they call a consultant. A consultant is far as I can see is a self-employed contractor. They are restricted to one year’s work. A contractor working through a company like Manpower, or maybe even an umbrella company, where you pay PAYE would appear to be allowed an unlimited time on return. Of course Manpower pay far less than the traditional contractor gets. It’s the future…and you heard it here first.

Redundancy Part 2

Posted in Work on May 2, 2011 by thecognitivekey

I have now decided.

On Thursday I met with the solicitor to go through the Compromise Agreement that controls the redundancy terms. The Agreement might not be perfect but it will do for me. I will take the money and leave. I will hand in the signed papers this week, probably on Wednesday and will then be leaving the company on June 5th. All I have to do now is find another job.