Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Wow! Christmas is over and what fun was had by all, celebrating the birth of Christ; tho some knew not what they’d done, but we’ll forgive them (man! I’m so witty!).
Lets recap on the delightful events:
Spent nice day with H – my lovely housemate – last week putting the finishing touches to my seasonal shopping; and yes, I do mean finishing touches. This year, I have shocked myself by being astoundingly organised and not buying my gifts at 2pm on Christmas Eve before rushing, hot, bothered and very pouty, to catch the 3:30pm train to suburban homeland.
Went to
Covent Garden market to return a scarf I’d bought for BF’s mother which he didn’t think she’d like (she did – ha ha! Well, she said she did anyway which was a good job, as I couldn’t find the scarf seller to return it anyway!). Had lunch in Thomas Neal Centre – pleasant bar on lower floor – and wondered around cool little boutique shops plus the wonderful Urban Outfitters which is heavenly in that it is like my favourite ever shop – Joy – but bigger! So eclectic and random with wacky, tacky, perfect gifts, strange things you never knew you wanted – like a pink suede Buddha - and brilliantly individual clothing designs - yummy!

Anyway, lots of happy shopping later, BF came to meet us after work and suddenly I found myself somewhat drunk again! How did that happen? One minute we are (have to change tenses to emphasise strangeness) all having a few pleasant drinks in town and then suddenly we’re back in Clapham, in the local Sainsburys where H & BF are busy buying late night food supplies whilst I, cross with BF for goodness knows what (poor guy #1), am suddenly storming out of the store and almost as suddenly having an argument with the (poor guy #2) innocent homeless guy sitting outside.
I have no idea why, but suddenly I’m very upset about everything, about the fact that I’m suddenly so drunk, that it’s almost Christmas and that there are homeless people in the world. Everything has turned truly dismal all of a sudden and when BF & H leave the store they find me inconsolable and angry, refusing to go home because the homeless guy has no-where to go and it’s Christmas and all – Oh what a mess!

Half an hour later, the homeless guy, lets give the guy a name for pete’s sake; lets call him Pete. Some time later, when Pete has come over to the bollard where I’m leaning helplessly trying to pull myself together - to see if I’m okay as I’ve been crying by myself for 15 minutes - and I’ve finally managed to apologise to him for being such a drunken arse, Pete graciously forgives me and suggests I ‘go home with my friends’ who have been patiently waiting a small distance away ever since I ever so politely told them to “fuck off and leave me then!” Gosh, I’m an awful drunk – perhaps I need more practice.

Back home, apparently, I don’t actually remember it; BF feeds me water and patiently makes dinner whilst I crawl into bed still crying. I sit up briefly when he brings in a bowl of pasta and I shovel it into my mouth, through the tears, before falling back down into a drunken tear stained sleep. Apparently, I cry in my sleep for a while too – lovely!
Needless to say, I am never drinking again – ever!
.......and so on and so on

Monday, December 20, 2004

Jack Daniels & Orange

Feeling bit poorly today – ought to be going to K’s birthday drinks tonight but am feeling somewhat worse for wear after another friend, N’s birthday bash last night! Selfish friends, having birthdays all at the same time – don’t they know one night out a month is enough for me these days!
Last night was good but. Was at Love Thy Neighbour, run by my mate Jim and pals. Much whisky was consumed with OJ of course – try it, you might like it, please do ‘cause then, maybe more people will drink it and then, maybe next time I order it, I won’t have to go through the
Me: “Whisky & Orange Juice please”
Barperson: “I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Me: “Whisky – Jack Daniels - & Orange Juice please”
Barperson: “Oh, right, so you want one JD, one orange juice and, anything else?”
Me: “No, I’d just like a JD & Orange juice please”
Barperson: “What? *stunned pause* Together? *‛surely not’ muttered under breath*
Me: “Yes, please!”
Barperson: stares blankly for an eternal 2 seconds, then “Oh…. okay” Finally goes off to make drink, making sure I’m watching as she/he holds the orange juice carton hesitantly over the glass of whisky before pouring. Blah, blah, blah, it’s getting very dull. It’s really not that weird a concept mixing fruit juice & spirits – try it, you may or may not like it, then, get over it!!Anyway, so a good drunken night was had

….......and so on and so on

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas Lunch

The team - what's left of it - went out for a Christmas lunch last week in defiance of the office atmosphere, the ridiculousness of recent (and not so recent) events and the exasperatingly poor level of support offered by senior management.
As we sat in out local restaurant where we go for all our "celebratory" meals (it's the only decent place to eat for miles), I thought about all the other meals we'd eaten there and the circumstances that took us out of the office to have lunch together.
Looking back over the past couple of years, it seems that there has been far more to commiserate over than there has been to celebrate. It makes me sad that a group of people who have a real and evident passion for the work in which they are involved can be so ungraciously left to cope with the fallout of the HNC's incapabilities and general disregard of the many issues that the team has brought to it's attention over the years.
Although we had a pleasant enough time over lunch, it was clear that as the year ends, the team has very little to celebrate.
The office is now filled with an air of inevitability and you can almost hear the time bomb ticking quietly away to itself in the corner.
Tick tick tick..........
.......and so on and so on

Saturday, December 18, 2004

No Supervision Today

No supervision today due to a lack of manager! Still think the situation is quite hilarious, in a sad and desperate kind of way! Can’t be bothered ruining my life by thinking about it.
.......and so on and so on

Friday, December 17, 2004

House Christmas Dinner

House Christmas dinner was made, by some of us, and eaten by all of us, this evening. Lots of wine, great food & gift swapping was delightful and only slightly marred by someone’s (yes, yes, it was me) wine fuelled tongue, which would not be held in regard to another housemate’s peculiar habits! When it comes to peculiar habits, I am an expert, but not one who ought to be allowed to advise others. Still, a more or less pleasant evening was had. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Christmas Is Coming....

....So let's cheer ourselves up with a lovely big Santa from Manchester :)


Can you guess?

Yup! She quit!

And how do we know?

We got an email from the Area "Manager" (You may have noticed the use of mini-speech marks - this is due to the somewhat dubious nature of his practice of late)

So, that's nice eh! We waited all day for a phone call - but once more, our waiting was in vain *sigh*

Well, on a positive note, I'm pleased for her - the "manager" - as she has finally made a sensible decision and will hopefully move on to a job that she can do. I am really really hoping that she will have at least learnt from this experience.........but I doubt it *sigh again*.

Please don't think that I wanted her to go, full stop, I just wanted a manager who could manage - is that too much to ask for?

At least we can all - including her - have a good holiday period knowing that we're not coming back to more of the same nothingness.

.......and so on and so on

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

No News Yet

Hmmmm, well over 24 hours later and little has changed.

Despite an inordinate number of phone calls, voice mail, messages left with PAs & e-mail to the Area Manager, he has still not dignified us with a response. I am SO confused as to how he can think it's okay to leave a team without a manager and with no indication of when she will be returning. Surely the standard procedure is to contact the team you are responsible for as soon as is possible to let them know:

a) that their "manager" is off sick / has quit / has decided to take some leave to brush up on her managing skills before returning to the office, or SOMETHING - ANYTHING!!
b) when / if she will be returning
c) who will cover in the meantime etc etc
d) general reassurance

There are procedures about this kind of thing, right! There should be structures in place to minimise uncertainty and confusion.

Still, the HNC has never been one for promoting calm and order when chaos and confusion is possible. Especially, it seems, at my project, where HNC seem hell-bent on driving staff crazy, I can only assume, in the hope that we will eventually leave, or just curl up and die, which ever comes soonest.

Maybe there'll be some news tomorrow.............maybe.

.......and so on and so on

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

4 Year Anniversary

It's our anniversary today - I can hardly believe we've been together 4 years - sometimes it seems to have rushed by and other times it seems as though we've always been together - ahhhh, such sweet bliss (minus a few hairy moments).
We went on a date last night to the lovely Metro by the Common where we enjoyed a fantastic meal under fairy lights in the garden area, followed by brandy in the parlour - delightful!

.......and so on and so on


Since last Wednesday's team meeting the "manager" has not been in the office - that's 3.5 days so far. She has simply left a message on the answer-phone saying 'I will not be in today..." [last Thursday] ..."and will prob not be in tomorrow..." [last Friday] with no explanation as to why!

And of course the Area Manager (the "manager"'s "manager") next in line at the great and glorious HNC, has not deemed it necessary to deign us with a phone call explaining why the "manager" has not been in, when she will be returning or even to see if we are all okay continuing to work unsupported in the mean-time.


.......and so on and so on

Thursday, December 09, 2004

This Week's episode: Make A Decision!

My work is hysterical! Our "manager" (I can't bring myself to type the description without quote marks)'s managing skills are so non-existent it's truly unbelievable that she was ever employed.

She went on some management training recently (only 5.5 months after she started the job!!!!!) and we all waited expectantly, desperately hoping that we'd see a difference when she was next in the office.

Reader, I am sorry to report that all our wishful thinking was nothing more than that! If anything, her skills seem to have got worse!

Last Wednesday we had another long, arduously excrutiating team meeting, where once again nothing was decided as she does not seem capable of making decisions. We spent another 2.5 hours trying, in the politest way possible, to explain that we needed some direction from her. Yet she simply applied her single, completely useless method of asking us all what we thought about each agenda item, scribbling copious scribbles in her book (she must have filled about 10 books since she started the job), mumbling "okay then" and trying to move on to the next item without actioning anything. As minute taker, I constantly had to keep reminding her "...erm, so what's the action on that last item?"

To give credit where it's due, when pressed for the 10th time, she did actually come up with a decision about one of the items, but her suggestion was so incredulous, lacking in any structure, thought process or realistic planning and most alarmingly, with no consideration for the safety of the poor service users, that she eventually had to agree that it would not be feasible! Oh heavens! It was so painful!

We had been promised a 'team development' opportunity when one member of staff returned from leave. This was 2 months ago and not only has nothing happened yet, but there are no firm plans in place to make it happen before the end of the year. Although some 'team development' time will not solve all the team's problems it will at least help us all to understand each other's roles (i.e. help the "manager" to understand our roles and our expectations of her role - managing would be nice, thank you, please!) and we could perhaps start working together instead of, as is the current situation, the team working on it's own with no management support or understanding.

When I suggested that we have a mini development day without a facilitator (as she has not managed to get hold of one thus far) before Christmas, just to get things rolling, so we wouldn't have to start the new year in exactly the same position, the "manager" made her 2nd decision ever and vetoed this without explaining why!

.......and so on and so on

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

To Manage Or Not To Manage

Well well well, this hasn't taken long - 3 posts in and already I'm about to have my first big whinge about work - please don't stop reading - it's actually quite interesting / amusing / depressing (delete as appropriate)

Previously on My So Called Job.......
A small charitable project in the south east continues it's good work helping young people and winning recognition along the way. It does this despite a distinct lack of support from the "mothership" - a huge national charity (HNC) - which has resulted in a relatively high staff turnover and a general atmosphere of futile struggle.

Our manager left earlier in the year as HNC in their infinite wisdom, decided it was better to save money by letting a passionate, hard working, caring and above all adept manager go and advertise the post to an ever-decreasing, un-interested market for less money.

So four months later, after interviews with a "shortlist" of 2 candidates (one of whom was internal, having been made redundant from another post so had to apply for this one despite being unsuitable; there were no other applicants!) the panel decided on the external candidate who had no experience of either managing or the very specific area in which the project functions.

Still, I hear you say in your innocent hopefulness: the HNC will surely provide the newly appointed "manager" with training so she can fulfill her role and so that the project staff and the service users to whom the HNC claims it's raison d'etre is to help, will not suffer as a result of her lack of ability. Right?

.......and so on and so on

Monday, December 06, 2004

Am I a genius?

I'm a genius, with perhaps too much time on my hands.
I woke up in this blue room and geniused my way out - huzzah!

But then, inexplicable
(especially bearing in mind all the useful things I could be / should be doing today),
I found myself here in the crimson room which is so infuriating!
I've collected all nine items, viewed the film thingummy and
3 hours later (I'm rounding down) am still stuck.
Have heard talk of a safe but despite finding a combination
I just can't find/figure out where the safe is - let me know if you get it, please!
No I don't want to go in the green room either, thanks!
Am going back to sleep in the hope that next time I wake up
I'll find myself safe in my own room.

.......and so on and so on

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Molly's First Blog

Have spent the last 5 hours messing around in blogland, finishing old blogs and starting anew here. Such hard work. Am exhausted. It's 2:27 in the morning. Why am I still sitting here? Must sleep.....
Walk away from the computer

.......and so on and so on