Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Sunday, May 24, 2009


I was privileged that every one of close friends altered their plans to come round on Friday night to help celebrate my good fortune in the new jobbie. We drank cheap pink fizz and I got lots of kisses for my serendipity. I fell into my bed at 2am, full of positive thoughts, and my hangover the next day was full of deserved happiness too.

It's so shallow, but in two days, I've gained potential financial latitude to book a weekend away in the Trossachs with my dear friend R. and a week in Noo Yawk with my dad, step-mum and the kiddos in July. My cup runneth over!

R. was here last night when the boiler of the new tenants upstairs burst in a quite spectacular manner, causing a Niagara Falls of filthy, smelly water to pour out of my kitchen light fittings and the wall of my kitchen chimney breast. Just Mum and Granny were in residence and had not had to cope with such as this before, so I found their mains tap and switched it off before Gareth downstairs also started to suffer.

Some might've despaired at this act of God, yet all I could think of was how fortunate I was that this had occurred before my prospective kitchen re-fit! I'm a fortunate creature, so I am, I am, I am!


Friday, May 22, 2009

I got the job!

I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I got the job! I got the job!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Had an interview for prospective new jobbie today- an educative and interesting experience, regardless of the future outcome (which'll take awhile).

The jobbie's in industry, and the run-up was complex. I'd written tentatively and speculatively to a senior friend in my field, to ask whether his yet more senior friend (with contacts in this industry) would be willing to provide me a reference. Before I knew it, and before I'd applied, this secondary friend-of-friend is sending glowing references I hadn't anticipated nor known I deserved. Next thing I know, I'm at an interview in a south coast town before I'd really even gotten past the contemplation stage of applying.

I've never been interviewed by industry before. I was a pure pawn in the hands of people much cleverer and more sophisticated than me, and despite being physically present and responsible for my own responses, I've yet no idea if I performed 'well' or 'badly'. That'll come next week. The interviewers sucked me in and inveigled me to tell the truth, even though I knew absolutely beforehand this was bad practice. One hears of 'stress' interviews, and this was the opposite- to make you so relieved at not being waterboarded that you become scrupulously honest and ridiculously open.

For better or worse, I've egotistically gotten off on the me, me, me! aspects of the process. They're attending to me! If they want me I'm fucking brilliant! If they reject me I'm shit! Should one fail to subject this raft of bizarre cognitive consequences from the first premises to critical analysis, you could get lost quite quick.

I was expecting to start my interview with my prepared presentation on 'My Strengths in the Role...' but was instead seated in a darkened and massive boardroom (30 seats) to complete a psychometric inventory to evaluate my team-working skills.

I canny read fuck all in dim light these days, so asked for better lighting before deciding how to select and rate in 6 categories of 10 statements each my personal weightings about my attitudes to team-working. For each section, you're required to weight 10 points amongst any or all of 10 statements in each category, ranging from 'I'm an exploitative psycho' (paraphrased) to 'I'm a doormat for foot-wiping', or 'I'm an autistic egotist' to 'I'll go along with any Milgram experimental protocol'.

I hope the lighting was just SNAFU and not part of the test, because that would be pure shan. Also wish I'd attended to the psychometric test title better so I could retrospectively re-analyse whether I'm more a Nazi sado or an Epsilon masochist. Prolly a bit of both.

That was the first 15 mins. There was a 90 mins after this 'softening up' of interactive interview during which it was established (by my own admission) that I'm a patsy but with curiously rigid ethical boundaries, who has powerful friends, an analytical intelligence but no leadership skills, significant research, technological, educative experience and managerial proficiency (the latter less-liked), and that I'm a Scorpio with Virgo rising, of so crap a Virgo nature that she has to call on her friend H.etc to clean her house. Why can't I keep my stupid mouth shut?

Anyways, the wierdest/most critical interview experience was that they literally forced on me a lift back to the airport from their on-call driver. Some might have taken this as as a sign of favour, but just like my pre-interview interviews by two of their current staff I knew otherwise: this was a another non-interview of the most important kind.

The prospective boss told me that I'd enjoy my driver, and so it came to pass. On the stretch of A27 to the airport, Eddie spoke of and gently solicited my knowledge of the rich history of the south coast, its colonisation and migrations, naval background and its decline, and the economy of his wife's homeland of Norway. During this 40 min drive, we talked of Saxon, Roman, Norman. Viking invaders and before that Boxgrove Man, and how we're all migrants, of lime and flint in the construction of housing- a Sussex leitmotif, and how the Falklands and Gulf War 1 were 'won' on fading and now practically moribund naval kit. We passed the closed Ford plant (where once Spitfires were built), and all was of of faded glory. Unlike your regular taxi driver, politics were not discussed, but economics, military power, history and race became academic topics in the best possible way.

When he dropped me at the airport, Eddie revealed he lives 4 doors down from the HR interviewer, and that he'd put in a good word for me.


Friday, May 15, 2009


I made a client cry today during acclimitisation to a therapy she needs but doesn't want, and which makes her feel labelled as ill, old, compromised and ugly. She's none of these- actually she's gorgeous, intelligent, relatively healthy, definitely young, and vibrant; yet would probably benefit from the therapy recommended of she can thole it.

Instictively, I call her 'honey' and touch her knee when she cries, yet don't know (but hope not) if this represents an impairment of her dignity. Mainly I know I have to respond to pain in as intelligent and sensitive a manner as I can muster, and deal with this as constructively as I can, with ongoing attendance to personal and individual needs, and always the over-riding need to observe and internalise ethical standards. I tell her we can together work on and tailor the therapy over time, but that ultimately her decisions are hers to take. No one has the power to take decisions about her health without her sanction. She's a self-determining person, as long as these are empowered by information, and that I'll support these both personally and practically all the way.

My client happens to be born rich and was referred as a 'VIP requiring the full service'. This instruction was somewhat insulting, since all my patients are VIPs regardless of background. They all receive a personalised and individually tailored service to the best of my ability because that it is my job, the source of my satisfaction and the validation of my 20 yrs expertise. I don't know if she'll manage with the prescribed treatment, but I'll do my damnest to give her the best support if she chooses this.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Long weekend

I relished 4 days off in a row from the day jobbie, and that felt wonderful. One day just sleeping, one day visiting mum and working up a possible alternative jobbie, one day in the Botties and the pub with good company, and today 11.5 hrs marking the M.Sc.'s. This must be what they call a work-life balance, and it feels much better than last week.

On the domestic front, I was trying to further the kitchen re-fit by applying for a mortgage loan increase. All looked great, until my credit rating turned turtle. I applied for and received this, and my rating number is in the 'excellent' category, but... I'm not on the electoral register. And I can't be because I've never been naturalised as British despite 38 yrs residence.

As a young adult, becoming a British citizen wasn't necessary, then once a working parent the £130 necessary to do the paperwork was never readily available. While I was waiting to get richer,the cost has risen to £795, an English test, a UK knowledge exam and the necessity to get an original birth certificate and then try to explain why it's not my applicant's name. But it'll be worth it to clear my credit rating.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Free stuff

H-etc. phoned me last week to tell me that while walking Reekie-dog up the Observatory on Blackford Hill, she'd found a baggie of skunk by the bin. Did I want it?

Of course I want it, even if just to redistribute. I am sorry, baggie-loser, that your loss became my gain when she dropped it off to me on Thurs. I can see the Observatory from my window when doing dishes, and with my bird-watching binoculars could've clocked the loser had I been prepared. That baggie has a story, a history and a owners that are sadly unknown to me. Mum joked tonight I shoulda handed it in to the polis, but I regret I am not yet so compliant.

I smoked a diluted smidgeon yesterday and the lines of the New Yorker started coming in and out of focus and depth. Mmm, skunk, I thought; my sole allergen apart from lobster. So people can afford to lose drugs now for which I haven't yet even found capability!