So true...

The update of Nothing Much Has Happened

Well mid-way into the third week, and things are pretty good.

The people I work with all seem like good folks and so far it's a nice mix of hard, thoughtful, evaluation work and straightforward, fairly mindless, grunt work. There have been quite a few long days, 8am until 5pm some of the time. Although I'm starting to get into the habit of spending the first half hour of my working day in the gym and because of flexi-time letting me leave earlier if I start early, so some days work out as being 8.40 to 4.30 with about half an hour for lunch - not too shabby :D

The house I'm in is still run down, crampt and generally horrible, but the people I'm with at the moment are nice enough that finding a new place is just on the to-do list rather than an urgent imperative.

Also Mozilla recently ate all my bookmarks, this worked along the lines of:

Me: Moz, what happened to Bookmarks, normally they're around here but they seem to have wandered off.
Mozilla: *muffled belch* What? No there weren't, no tasty bookmarks here.
Me: Seriously they were right here last time I turned the computer off, are you sure you haven't seen them? I'll check the Bookmark file in the registry
Mozilla: I deny all knowledge of Bookmarks, also your father was a warthog and your mother smelled of elderberries!
Registry file:
Me: We'll see about this, I'm going to just reconstruct ol' Bookmarks by going through my history
Mozilla: *sniggers*
My history: *Looks sheepishly empty* Sorry dude the browser totally pulled rank on me
Me: Mozilla you suck. OK I'll look in my temporary internet files, that'll learn ya.
Mozilla: I fart in your general direction, also I hope you can remember all of your passwords because they're in the same place as those bookmarks-I-know-nothing-about-the-disappearance-of-honest.
My temp files: *dear John, if you're reading this it's because we got lonely and went looking for Bookmarks*
Me: Fuck it I'll just upgrade to Firefox
Firefox: I back up bookmark files because I don't suck.
Mozilla: Suck up

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  • Current Music
    Letterman pimpslapping O'Rielly
Short Attention Span

One day down, forty years to go

Well I've just had my first day at work, although to be honest I didn't actually have to do any work so I'm not sure it really counted.

Most of the day was spent on getting to know people, touring around the site and doing a bit of preparatory reading. There was some basic computer skills test as well but that barely took 20 minutes. The people were fine but it is far too soon to draw any conclusions on the job itself.

One fringe benefit is that the work site is only about a mile and a half from where I'm living at the moment so once I have my pass cards and settled in I should be able to run to and from work which should be a good warm up for the on-site gym, provided I can get my lazy arse out of bed early enough that I can get a workout in before 9am. Given my normal sleep pattern this is doubtful!
  • Current Mood
    blah blah
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Beastly mornings

It's official

On Monday I was formally offered the job (although the offer letter said "subject to satisfactory completion of vetting procedures" but I'm thinking that that was just because it was a standard letter because how much more vetting could they have to do?), so this is it I'm officially a wage-slave type person again.

I've spent the last couple of days avoiding doing any packing for the trip up on Saturday but eventually I'm going to have to bite the bullet. The problem is that the my room in the house I'm moving into is really small so the packing is more of a process of deciding what I absolutely cannot refuse to live without. It's Wednesday and all I've actually packed so far is spare bedding, but the thing with only packing essentials is that once you've packed 'em you can't use 'em, which is another good excuse for putting things off until Friday.

I don't know how long I'll actually be staying in that house though. Not only is the room much smaller than I'd prefer but it's pretty run down and very student-y and I got past the whole living like a student thing in the year before I started my postgrad. The thing is that one of the people I'll be staying with a friend of mine who was a housemate when I was an undergraduate. He is doing his PsychD. up at the uni so he's not too bothered about the studenty aspects of the house and is looking forward to sharing a house with me again. The whole issue gets further complicated by another friend of my who says she'll be looking for a housemate after Christmas, which could work out nicely for me but I really don't want to drop my other friend in it by moving out after only a couple of months and forcing him to need to find another person at such short notice.

Eh, problem for another time it's all a bit academic for a while anyway.

One way I have been getting ready is by trying to timeshift myself back to a normal circadian rhythm. When I am on holiday I tend to consider 2am a relatively early night and 9am an almost unreasonable time to wake up. I've spent the last couple of days getting up as if I needed to be in the office by 9am and so consequently I'm feeling pretty jet-lagged. Mind you it probably doesn't help that I managed to catch my Mum's cold, which judging from the way it knocked her sideways is a bit of a doozy.

I've got to admit I am looking forward to rebuilding my social life once I get back, especially as I'll have a little money in my pocket for a change! One of the nice things about starting a job where you've already lived for a while is that it's a lot easier to pick up the strings of your old life than it is to build one afresh. Although it's probably not a good thing that I'm mildy terrified of going back to my comic store ;) Gail Simone described comic book fans as a marketer's dream prospect, according to her we're:

...educated in the product, and they're motivated to purchase. Usually, their desire to buy outstrips their available funds

I don't know about the first thing but she's dead right about the latter two! I have something like three months worth of comics waiting for me in my folder there, and I read a lot of comics (seriously I've got my pull list floating around on my pc somewhere and it's *long*). I dread to think what that's going to set me back!

Anyway I'm getting off what little point I started with, I'll save the comic-geekery for a post of it's own later.
Short Attention Span

Taking Pix's good example

Wow it's been a shockingly long time since I updated.

I wish I could say that this was because I've been busy doing interesting things and having (mis)adventures but unfortunately I'm still waiting to start my new job.

It turns out that getting security clearance including a CRB (criminal records bureau) check takes around six weeks. So I've basically been sitting around playing City of Heroes, going running with my Dad, MST3King at the news, playing with the cats and feeling all the hard work I put in at the gym gradually atrophy away.

Anyway the state of play at the moment is that I've got the job and I'm just waiting on one reference to be received, once that happens it's full steam ahead, so hopefully I should be moving back to Guildford and starting work sometime very soon. At the beginning of the week it looked like I would be starting on Monday, that isn't going to happen any more but hopefully a week on Monday may be my new start date.

Aside from waiting around I did manage (with my Dad) to take my youngest brother up to start University in Cardiff. He is studying history up there and apparently having a great time. I have to admit, watching him starting his time at university made me long to be in his position. Some of the best times of my life so far were had at uni, and part of me thinks if I had my time again there are a few things I would do differently and so would probably have an even better time. Having said that part of that my be due to nerves about doing the proper grown up thing and starting work properly.

One advantage to this looooong gap between being offered the job and actually starting work is that I got the chance to wish one of my oldest friends "good luck." He is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy working in logistics and was recently posted to Afghanistan, I'm sure he'll be fine but it was good to be around for his last big night out and my family also took him out for a farewell meal which was something I was glad to be able to do.

I will try to catch up with everyone's journals and lives but from a brief glance you all seem to be doing ok, for which I'm glad.
  • Current Mood
    lazy lazy
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So true...

Does this mean I start having to act like a grownup?

Ok so provided I pass my security clearance checks I've got a job!

While I was writing my dissertation one of my professors emailed me. Surrey police were looking for someone to fill a post in a new department and she recommended me for the post. I filled out the application and was invited to an interview (taking place two days after my dissertation deadline, no rest for the wicked huh?). I'll be working in Guildford, which is pretty good for me because I've got good roots there and most of my friends live nearby.

The job itself is a little ill-defined at the moment, which is typical of a role in a new department, but basically it probably falls under the banner of HR. From the sound of things I'll be assessing training, maintaining competency frameworks, conducting performance management, that sort of thing.

One of the big perks is that there is a full gym on site so I won't have to join a private gym when I get back to Guildford.

All I've got to do now is wait for the security vetting to finish so I will know when I actually start work!
  • Current Music
    Scooby-Doo (hey I'm on holiday, it's allowed)
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Short Attention Span

The pros and cons of moving back with the family

So I'm back in Plymouth now and living with my parents until I find work and start earning a bit of cash.

There are some bonuses to heading home:
I'm surrounded by people who love me and who I love.
I'm living rent free and have no bills (although I have no income either at the moment)
My only obligations are to help out a bit around the house, it actually works out to be less housework than when I was living alone.

On the other hand:
I miss having totally my own space, the room where most of my stuff is set up at the moment is a mess of bags, boxes and so on that my brothers and I have accumulated over the years

I can't seem get my router to play ball. At the moment it's only letting the family computer get online, which means that I don't have access to my bookmark list and I have to jockey for time online with everyone else. This is a big thing for me because I'm used to having total access to the internet - I reach for it almost without thinking about it these days. This further reinforces the sense that I'm not in control of my environment any more

All of my friends are 200 miles East of me.

Ok enough whining.
  • Current Music
    none
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Short Attention Span

So now what do I do with myself?

It's done.

It's done, it's done, it's DONE!

On Monday I handed in my dissertation (20,073 words, 75 pages, good lord that was hard work!), officially completing my Master's degree, I have to wait until October to find out if I passed.

It's been a pretty busy week. I spent Tuesday preparing a presentation for a job interview, which took place on Wednesday. Yesterday I started packing and saying goodbye to people because on Saturday I'm leaving Guildford and heading down to Plymouth to live rent free while I'm looking for work.

Things I have left to do:
Complete some corrections for one of the psychometric qualifications I took recently.
Finish packing, cleaning and defrosting my flat
Write a research proposal for the Ph.D I've been offered
Join a gym in Plymouth (I've spent the last month sat on my ass working and not moving around much, I need to hit the gym pretty hard to get back up to fitness)

oh and find a job...
Beastly mornings

Head meet wall, wall - head

I've been up since nine, now it's lunchtime and this day is just not getting started.

I've got a report due in tomorrow that is just not coming together, I've been staring at it for the last two hours and it's not even half way done.

Added to that I was due to meet with my dissertation supervisor tomorrow but the data analysis programme I'm using is no longer recognising the licence because of a glitch with my computer's internal clock. On the plus side when I called my supervisor to reschedule he told me this works out for him because he's not feeling well, down side is getting the licence re-recognised is shaping up to be a really involved and frustrating problem.

My solution? Ignore it all for a while and go to the gym.
  • Current Music
    the grinding of my own teeth
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Short Attention Span

I love it when a plan comes together

It is strangely satisfying (and extrodinary geeky) to be sat at your desk doing a literature review you've been dreading all year and suddenly remember that you've been squirreling away journal articles in a file cabinet under your desk for just this occasion.

Edit: it's also quite frustrating to realise that you've already covered much of the information you'd hidden in your little treasure trove *sigh*

Edit 2: OK I'm supposed to get to around 6000 words for this section, I'm up to 4,128 and it already feels like I'm padding, this is a bad sign!
  • Current Music
    El cuarto de tula - Buena Vista Social Club
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