Scrap what I was going to write

In the best traditions of this blog I had something planned that I was going to write about, but I got distracted.  The procrastination monster led me on  a scenic drive through the internet and I ended up somewhere far more interesting than I had originally planned to go.  Besides my original plan wasn’t exactly Shakespeare.

This time my procrastination wasn’t about playing words with friends or Angry Birds on facebook (OK, maybe there was some of that…) it was a blog I found from Linked in (of all places!)   I haven’t read through much of the blog yet, but this post spoke a lot of sense.  Telling someone to ‘follow their passion’ is really an empty platitude and really how many people are passionate about things that would make them absolutely no money.  For example unless they bring Mastermind back on here I’m not likely to make any money out of Harry Potter am I? (though my knowledge of Star Wars won me a prize off the radio once).

I guess for me the idea of ‘following your effort’ reinforces what I’m doing here.  I love writing, I want to be a writer, I need to become a better writer and the only way to be a better writer is to write more.  Hopefully by putting in the effort I will get the rewards.  Of course I still don’t think I’ll ever enjoy editing…

Power Cut!

There’s something exciting about a power cut, somehow it feels like you’re camping; without having to sit in a cramped tent in the cold and the rain.  You can bring out torches and candles and, depending on who you’re with, you can even start a sing a long! (or maybe that’s just me)

In my first flat in London (known as ‘the crap flat) we had a power cut one night and since the land lady had turned the lounge into another bedroom we all hung out at the top of the stairs and chatted; it was a rare moment of flat sharing, in flat that was more like a Victorian boarding house.

The only exceptions to this is 1) when it’s 10am, you haven’t made coffee yet, and you’re supposed to be writing an essay on a desk top computer (true story) 2) when the power goes off in the middle of the night, which happened last night.

The excitement does go out of a power cut when it’s 3am (I think – obviously my alarm clock wasn’t working) and the burglar alarm starts beeping at regular intervals to tell you that the power isn’t on.  Firstly, well, you’re in bed and were sleeping so you expect it to be dark and secondly, WOULD THE DAMN BEEPING STOP ALREADY!

Of course the beeping stopped eventually (once the power came back on AND I got up in the cold to set and unset the alarm to stop the damned beeping)  and the main thing is, of course, that there was power when I went to have breakfast and coffee in the morning.

Slacking again

I haven’t posted here for over a week, I’ve got no real excuse to offer either apart from slackness and lack of inspiration.  Admittedly last weekend was busy and on Tuesday I did work from 5am – 7pm counting people getting on and off trains (sounds random but pays surprisingly well) and most importantly I have done quite a bit of work on my book.  I now have a word count of 34,554 and I’m well on track for farming it out to some friends in the next week or two.

So this week I must try harder to actually blog – get some momentum up again.

We’ll see how that goes.

Following your gut instinct

Alternative title – why saying no thanks can actually be a good career move.

So last week I posted that I’d started a new contract role – yay! Wonderful! Hooray for me!

Well, it didn’t go so well.  Turns out that I wasn’t being proactive enough and there were various other bits and pieces the HR Manager said she wasn’t happy with so she wanted to pull the plug.  Contractually she’s completely within her rights to do this and I guess if she’s not feeling happy with the arrangement then best get in early.

The thing is I was in a job that while not exactly stimulating and exciting was in fact paying the bills and would have done so for another few weeks so I had to jump from one to the other very quickly. So I am feeling a tad ripped off.

But I guess the thing is I was quite surprised she hired me to begin with because we were obviously very different people – I’m pretty out going and, well, loud I guess, she seemed very reserved but then when I met the HR Advisor on the first day and found that she is a lot like me I figured it was a balance thing of hiring people who are very different from her to create balance in the team. (a very good plan in a lot of ways)

I did sort of wonder from the beginning how well we’d gel – turns out we didn’t.  If I’d actually gone with my gut instinct and thought ‘well we are very different people who most probably have very different ways of approaching things, maybe it’s best I don’t take this contract – something else will come along’ rather than just jumping up and down and saying ‘woohoo someone loves me I must take the job because they want me’.  You’d think as an HR person who deals with recruitment and people turning down roles for various reasons all the time I’d be quite happy to say ‘thanks but no thanks’.   Turns out no – I just want to be told I’m the most amazing HR Contractor ever in the history of the world.

Especially as I’ve been down that road before and I know where  it ends.  My last permanent job (or real job as my parents would say) wasn’t the right job for me and I knew it but a job is a job – especially at a time when I was struggling to find one – but part of the reason I contract is so I don’t end up in situations where I take on jobs that aren’t right.

Of course the thing that I think really annoys me is that the HR Manager didn’t come to me and talk to me about anything rather she left that to the recruitment consultant. Shouldn’t an HR Manager  be able to have a ‘this is what I think you need to do’ talk?   Ultimately it’s no great loss – the role wasn’t quite what I’d signed on for and I felt like they were giving me busy work from the start – I spent most of my time reconciling staff and contact lists which is the kind of thing I did back when I was a receptionist.  I don’t mind doing it at all but I didn’t see any more meaty tasks on the horizon either.

But onwards and upwards, Que Sera Sera and all that.  The next opportunity will present itself eventually.

Random thoughts on The Avengers

Well since I’m not working at the moment (I really need to post about that but I’ll do that tomorrow) I decided to take myself off to the movies to see The Avengers.  Now I know some people think that going to the movies by yourself is odd but 1) I don’t care and 2) my friends who I used to see super hero movies with have either got husbands to see them with or have moved to the other side of the world (to be with a husband who she can go to superhero movies with).  So I took my unemployed self off to see it today.

First off I really liked it Joss Whedon was quite possibly the perfect person to make this movie, he has a real way of mixing action and humour that completely worked for this movie, especially considering how many different characters he had to balance and still make it work.  I did however have some random thoughts.

Firstly, I want to be Scarlett Johanssen when I grow up – this is not a new thought, I thought the same thing after seeing Ironman 2.

Secondly, how many times has Manhattan been completely totaled in a movie? When you think of all the superhero movies, plus all the disaster and end of the world type movies where New York City plays host to something horrible which is going to destroy the earth and the streets are dug up and yellow taxis are flying everywhere.  In movie world NYC would always being rebuilt.  At least now there’s computer animation so movie makers and destroy it to their hearts content.

Thirdly, this year I have seen The Muppets (starring Jason Segal, with a cameo from Neil Patrick Harris) American Pie Reunion (starring Allyson Hannigan with a cameo from Neil Patrick Harris) The 5 year engagement (Jason Segal again) and now the Avengers (Cobie Smulders) so my question is what has Josh Randor being doing?  I’ve seen movies with the rest of the cast of How I Met Your Mother this year it’s about he did an extra curricular activity.

Kittens!

Well a combination of some bad news and being allowed to drink wine again meant  I didn’t post yesterday.

But today I thought I’d post a great procrastination tool that never fails to cheer me up – Daily Kitten.

Not only are there pages and pages of cute kittens but a new kitten goes up every day! New cute kittens every day! There really isn’t any better start to the day.

Happy Mothers Day – sort of

In many parts of the world today is Mothers Day, including my part of the world.  However right now my parents have recently arrived in Chicago after being on a train for the last couple of days.

This means a few things:

  1. My home phone is VERY quiet at the moment
  2. I’m exempt from doing anything for mothers day partly because of this and partly due to the fact that I’ve accumulated enough ‘good daughter’ points by organising a surprised 70th birthday party for Mum in February, then giving her a Kindle for her birthday and doing a lot of organising for the trip they’re on.
  3. I can post an embarrassing photo of her and she can’t stop me!

Ah the 80’s I especially love how Mum’s glasses make her look like an owl

So I’m sending Happy Mothers Day vibes in the direction of Chicago.