Thursday, 28 July 2011

Red Letter Day !

So about my housemate hunt, I've now interviewed 7 of them all together. No 7 has just left and I have everything crossed she takes it as without getting too excited, I like her...she's funny, quirky and has more personality in her little finger, then all the other potential housemates put together !

I'm going to try not to tempt fate though, as I still have to deal with number 8 on Saturday and unfortunately, my favourite is going to continue viewing more properties to make absolutely sure she makes the right decision.

On the work front the ecommerce gig interview is tomorrow. I'm ready to impress and have a good vibe about it.

Holy Moly Random moment 1078 - I've just seen one of my old buddies on one of those property shows! She looks as fabulous despite her property trauma...which pricks me into thinking I need to reconnect with her, as she's been a really good friend to me in the past, who I lost touch with.

Watching her struggle through, I was struck by how long she'd keep a rubbish situation to herself, not asking for help and just about keeping her head above water. It's a little reminder we could all do with.

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Life Interrupted

On Saturday Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home, the victim of an as yet unexplained death.

I was with A at the time, who is a great fan of Amy and just about held back the tears.

"It's just so sad to think that she knew all those people and she died alone. Where were all these people? Why didn't they try harder? Where was the intervention?"

"How can you intervene, when the person in question can't ask for help or is so far gone they can't help themselves". I replied.

When sadly intervention comes in the shape of her record company and management team, who right up until her sad, disastrous drunken performance in Belgrade last month, continued sending an obviously troubled soul out to sing for her supper.

She should have been in rehab, not on tour. It seems it was just a money making exercise and not instigated by Amy, but by the people behind her. The irony is that Amy's death now almost certainly guarantees that cash bonanza, the tour was supposed to achieve.

Then there's Amy toxic taste in men, reaching an all time low with Blake Fielder-Civil, a lovely piece of pondlife that she married and who inspired (via his lousy treatment of her),the album Back To Black.

Blake actually 'credits' himself as having introduced Amy to hard drugs. He took pictures and video of Amy under the influence and sold them to the press for blood/drug money.

Her fair weather friends - Not the real ones, the ones who drank and took drugs with her, hanging out with Amy, because of who she was and whather money could buy them.

Or how about the of 'unstinting support' from her own father who said he was 'devastated', but has vowed ‘not to crack up for Amy’s sake’. Amy's mother always remained behind the scenes and was with Amy the day before her death.

Her father was very different. From the moment Amy hit the big time with Back to Black, her father decided to grab some of the limelight too, hanging on Amy's coat tails bringing out his own big band CD and turning up on radio.

It's so easy to point the finger of blame at the numerous factors in an addicts' life. The reality is addiction is incredibly hard to break. It strangles and tortures its victims. Turns their bodies and minds into enemies and systemically destroys the person they once were.

Utimately, the only person who could have helped Amy was herself and hitting that 'rock bottom, I can't do this anymore point' which those addicts who have managed to pull themselves back from the brink always talk about.

Unfortunately, for Amy, her wealth insuluated her from hitting the rock bottom of losing everything. The disease of addiction so completely engulfed her, that when her death was announced on Saturday, although it was a shock, sadly it was not an unexpected one.

Instead of demonising a lost soul, racking over the carcauss of a wasted talent in a media circus, we need to ask ourselves how we can better understand this disease, that doesn't discriminate against who its lures into its clutches.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Friends In Need !

So just when I had gotten used to my life containing all the excitement of a group of letter writers at a stamp convention, things picked up again.

One angry email and voicemail message later, I found myself was listening to D venting, about one of those super awkward moments at work; when a colleague blurts out something you should know about and don't.

In this instance it was that the role she's been doing has just gone permanent, has been filled and no one thought to tell her.

She was fuming. I always find when one of your buddies is hacked off and needs to vent, try your best to say as little as possible. If you are in possession of a latte and some lemon cheesecake this is more than likely.

I nearly made it right through to the end of her vent, until just before she hit the story punchline, she popped her handbag on the table.

Before I could contain myself, I exclaimed excitedly.

"OMG I love your bag!" (this season's Biba Ponyskin Tote - too, too gorgeous not to love in silence!)

We both laughed.

"That's why I love you BB, even in the midst of a meltdown, you never stop being fashion forward".

"Hey", I said sipping my latte, "Let's just call it my gift!"

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Routines and BugBears !

Its funny how something as simple as sorting out a daily routine can make an uncertain situation feel a lot more stable.

My morning is all about emails and pitching for new contracts.

To cover myself I am also having to deal with my no 1 bugbear- recruitment agencies grrr....

I've never quite got over the stupidity of sending your cv to a new agency, often with a cover letter and then having to fill exactly the same information on their form or in your worst case scenario 8 page form, plus diversity and equal opportunities forms.

And don't let me forget my absolute pet hate, having your picture taken to be added those darned recruiters forms!

Why....can anyone tell me why an recruitment agency needs to take a picture of you?

It's not all doom and gloom though, I set myself up on the contractor site P mentioned and gave myself a little pat on the back for doing it, because its my first real step towards working for myself.

Also I've realised this is the first time I've had off from work in about five rubbish is that?

Work life balance....a bit of a joke really until now.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Limbo Sucks !

So things are in a word pants. The temp job I had lined up for next week has bombed out. The person I was standing in for has decided against going away on holiday.

Despite my work limbo (which is of course driving me crazy as I hate not being super busy), fortunately my friends continue to say the right things to make mefeel like this is an opportunity not a clamity !

P in NY sent me a link to a few online contractor companies, all of whom I signed up with and I've been working on a few more pitches and apps - I know I am a closet geek !

My humour has been provided by Big D, whose continuing adventures while online dating never cease to make me laugh!

Just as I expected he has reverted to being a dog, in response to the 'numerous bunny boilers' he keeps coming across.

One lucky lady provided a unwelcome surprise to him as they got up close and personal. Let's just say her internal plumbing was in need of some majorrenovation!

Big D ploughed on manfully (partly out of pity and then pure shock methinks!) but I couldn't help laughing. It was the cheeky universe's way of reminding us that you never know quite what to expect with a random 'lucky' bed buddy !

Monday, 11 July 2011

BB Has Left The Building !

If you ever receive an email thanking you for your'enthuasism', take cover, because it ain't good news!

That was precisely the phrase hit me between the eyes in the email I received from the Big Boss today.

I won't lie I was surprised but I'm so bloody disappointed. I actually cried today. I was so gutted to be leaving my dream job. Or is it? Do I want in a place where my passion wand drive, warrants a patted head and a leavers list reminding you to return your laptop?

I did manage to enjoy my 'last girls aloud lunch'. AR is three weeks away from the parent trap with the fireman. He meets hers. She meets his and then they move in together. It is so great to see this silly look she gets on her face, when she talks about him. She's loved up and looks great on it.

LC our new arrival and my table buddy for the last month, fitted right in, with her crap engagement party story....that's an engagement party you go with to with your new boyfriend, when you both realise neither of you know anyone there, and you really wish you'd gone somewhere else.

She managed to keep me engaged and distracted, right up until NK gave me my leaving card, when I'll admit, I dissolved into tears. I really am a woss right?

Maybe not? Maybe I just made the mistake of falling in love with a situation, that never really had a chance of being made permanent. I won't be making that mistake again.

Next time I create an opportunity I am going to nail it down, so it doesn't disappear later, under the weight of budget cuts and patted heads.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Last Chance Saloon

Sometimes to get what you want you have to go right to the top. On Friday I found myself face to face with the BB aka the one man who can extend my contract.

I found another in. Not my present role but something with a bigger scope long-term and more importantly something I can do really well. I pulled together a business justification document and managed to get into to see the man.

10 minutes later it was all over and I was left wondering whether I'd either saved myself or blown it. Tomorrow I may or may not find out. I've got everything crossed.

Dinner with A was just what I needed, even though she straight up called me out. After all of my promises about work not owning me, particularly after my experience with HWMBO, what's happening proves how important work is to me.

I've worked late for the last three weeks. Pitches, job applications, ideas anything to make sure I'm employed. The latest I've worked til at work is 1am, which wasn't a big deal, it was just necessary.

A reminded me that I've forgotten about me. I've turned down dates, hanging out with friends anything that distracts me from work.

Work has saved me many a time from dealing with all kinds of crap - a my insecurities (come on we all have them), broken hearts, boredom, occasional loneliness you name it - work has always been the one constant in my life. I can control that doesn't let me down.

Until now...and that's what's freaking me out.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Knackered But Happy !

Today was filled up with lots of meeting, greeting and smoozing, which I'm normally pretty rubbish at, but argh needs must! I'm not just putting in 100% to sorting myself ou, its double that and I am almost completely wiped out.

Once again, just when I was losing the will another 'Office Angel' has entered the realm of BB JobHunter, to offer help I never knew existed.

This OA is an industry specialist, who not only understood my cv and thought it was pretty darned good.

She actually gave up the first hour of her day to canvass on my behalf via email and then marched me round the business; introducing me to Heads of Departments or anyone who might be able to find me a role.

She is another person recommended to me by GD, who I've never actually spoken to, but who went out of her way to help me today and I was so darned grateful.

They say the universe doesn't send you anymore than you can handle and sometimes sweetens the rough patches with some smooth.

My sweetener came just before we started the BB JobHunter campaign, OA introduced me to her Dad, brother and daughter who were all in the business today.

When she introduced me to her brother, I had the craziest 'Don't I know you from somewhere?' feeling about him, particularly when he smiled broadly at me as we were formally introduced.

We finally both admitted to having the same feeling and realised we used to work together six years ago, but in different departments!

N was the same cheeky chapppie I now recall, who set so many hearts around our old workplace, fluttering at his mere mention, let alone appearance, despite him being off the market.

He's since set up his own business and looked a darn sight more chilled out than I ever remembered him being at work.

He summed up the work life change he has achieved perfectly with his email to me later in the day.

"For those who were there for a lifetime, of which there were many, leaving was felt like 'going over a prison wall'!!

Leaving was like escaping, which is bizarre, as it was obviously always my choice to stay"

Maybe that's the best line to take with what's happening with me right now....I'm going over the wall reluctantly but heading to something even better.

We shall see. I've got everything crossed !

Monday, 4 July 2011

Lightbulbs and Perfect Picnics

It's amazing how the instability of your employment can drive you to take the type of crazy risks, that you would usually only dream about.

I always have at least five lightbulb moments going on in my head at any given time. Usually I would just muse over them or maybe bore an indulgent friend or too with their viability, but for once I let them out.

I found an app ideas site and downloaded 10 BB classics. Whether anything comes from them, I have no idea, but I'll admit to a little 'yey me!', as they sat on the site with my id number alongside them.

The morning sped by quickly and I couldn't wait to get out of the building and head to the park for lunch with GD.

It's funny that GD and I barely talk at work, but for whatever reason from the first moment we did, we were friends. When he heard about my 'sticky situation', he invited me to lunch to talk things over.

In the space of 30 minutes he has pushed my cv out to five contacts, given me several names of people to connect with and reviewed some new pitches I'd pulled together.

I consider myself one of life's lucky people.

The past five years have taught me more than anything that however hard you may try to avoid it, crap happens across the board to good and bad people.

How you deal with it and more importantly, what your behaviour in life is, has a tendency to be returned to you in kind.

After today, I feel like I'm not doing too badly! I'm still a little freaked out, but I know good stuff is literally inches away.

It's up to me to zero in on it and close the deal to my success.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Oh Dear !

No I haven't forgotten you all. I've just been going through one of those difficult BB times. As you will all remember a year and a bit ago, I finally managed to escape the 'clutches' and daily torture of working for HWMBO.

I landed up working in my dream industry, doing a job with that finally took me away from being a PA and actually paid me a decent salary.

You can guess what's happened. My contract's up, suddenly the project budget has evaporated and next week is my last week in my little piece of work heaven.

I knew it was coming after a particularly blunt conversation with W, who has distinguished himself, by doing absolutely nothing to aid my cause to stay put.

On the news I of course jumped at the chance of working with another team, doing another really choice role, while throwing my cv out to just about everyone as well as a few digital pitches for good measure.

This week despite having proved myself more than up to the task, I was told the same no budget line, plus they need someone more experienced.

The words brick and head banging comes to mind.

In the meantime, news of my imminent departure has been met with lots of:

"I'm sorry to hear that", avoidance by a few people who by merit of their roles, have known that my fate was pretty much sealed ages ago and even more infuriatingly so many people telling me what a great job I've done.

I've always had an ethic of hard work and belief in myself, purely because I've so regularly heard no nearly always in connection with my career advancement (a testament to all those wasted years as a PA!), but I have to say I am really disappointed.

The white charger moment that seems to happen in our little media bubble, as an out of contract worker, gets a new contract,usually supported by a panicked boss, realising they need to keep their charge hasn't happened for me, because of W's stance.

Rather than depress myself unduly with the reality of actually committing to moving in a new flatmate (C refuses to move out of his bachelor pad, despite offering sympathy over my situation) and preparing to return to the ranks of the typing pool (the horror! the horror!, but Ms BB's gotta pay her bills!).

All the time, waiting for that next right now elusive role, I have decided to distract myself by going after my dreams.

Particularly the most impossible ones...the way things are going, trying to follow the conventional stable path to supposed security (which of course you never have while you work for someone else),just isn't on the cards for me.

I think I almost need to let myself 'fall' into the success and happiness I want and think I deserve. All my super officious career planning has actually gotten me nowhere.