It's better to stay quiet and be thought an idiot than to speak up and leave no doubt

Archive for the category “Work-related”

Learning Curve

It’s been a bit quiet round here over the last month. I’m still around, just been hugely busy with new job, and a learning curve “so steep it might as well be effing vertical” (© Ade Edmondson, from the Bottom Live video)

I’m much, much happier than I was in the previous job, and have already lasted longer than I did there.

All the handover stuff is now done, so it’s all down to me now. Let’s hope I’ve learned everything I need for the basics…

Anyway, with a bit of luck I’ll be able to have a bit more time to update D4D™ from here on.  But regardless, all is good.

Failed Survey

I got a survey by email today from Randstad Technology, asking about skills required for management and leaders, as well as about Career Progression etc.

Now, glossing over the fact that my version of “Career” is to use the definition of to move swiftly along; rush in an uncontrolled way” (as in ‘Careering downhill’)  – and thus not really relevant to me, and my opinion not being really relevant to it – there’s a couple of pretty glaring errors on the second page, which amused me somewhat…

OoopsSo I’m assuming that the third top attribute should be ‘numeracy’, and one of the three top skills should be “attention to detail”…

Tempting Fate

Of course, having written yesterday about how smooth my commute has been – and comparatively quicker than getting to Milton Keynes – last night’s journey was vile, and this morning’s one not much better.

Last night I saw the aftermath of more accidents than I’ve ever seen on one stretch of road.  On the M1 I saw no less than seven sets of crunched vehicles. Thankfully most of them were pretty minor, but all told they’d resulted in (and/or were the result of) about ten miles of traffic jam.  In the same journey, I saw four different lots of police who’d pulled people over – I assume for speeding.  And finally, on the other side, a rolling-roadblock in place for what appeared to just be an articulated truck travelling slowly on the hard shoulder.  (Why that required a full rolling roadblock I have NO idea!)  And of course everyone on my side had slowed down to have a look at whatever was going on – which also almost caused a couple of accidents just in what I saw around me.

This morning was just a section of the A1 that was screwed. No idea why, and no reports on radio etc., but it was just solid from the M1 into London.  Thankfully I was only on it for a fairly short stretch (about 3 miles, all told) but that short stretch took me half an hour.

I’m heading back late tonight – a small matter of seeing Neil Gaiman at the Barbican in London – so that’ll be fine for the return journey (or had bloody better be!) but I hope that type of journey is the rarity rather than the commonplace.

I’m pretty sure it will be, but fingers crossed all the same.

Time vs Distance

My new job is based in North London – which means that my daily commute is now about 40 miles instead of the 15 or so into Milton Keynes.

However, weirdly my travel time is now usually about 45-50 minutes – which is much the same as it was for the MK role. In fact it’s actually a bit less, mainly because MK at peak times is pretty much gridlocked, particularly around the key roundabouts/interchanges – of which my route went through four or five.

Now it’s a straight shot down the M1, round a tiny section of the A406 (the dreaded North Circular road) and that’s it.

Obviously if I were closer to the centre, or it involved the M25 at all, or were somewhere a bit less “on the route” then it’d be worse. But as it is, it’s working out pretty well for me so far.

I can live with that.

Another Place

Following on from yesterday’s post about my tolerance (or lack thereof) and ability to move on quickly, it will come as no surprise to regular readers that that’s exactly what I’ve done.

The previous place was just Not Good for me. As detailed elsewhere, the final straw was having a colleague who decided to talk about my work-based happiness to a friend of mine, outside of my presence, and in front of a table-full of other colleagues from the same work place.  And frankly that shit just isn’t on.  I truly don’t care what excuses were available – and admittedly I didn’t even hang around to find out what those excuses might’ve been.  I’d handed in my notice, which they refused to accept until I’d spoken to the person in question “to try and build a better working relationship from these issues”. That was when I thought it had just been a conversation with my friend.   But once I knew it had been done in front of other colleagues, well, fuck that.

As it was, I had an offer of a new job in hand – although I didn’t at the start of the week when I handed in my notice. It meant I could leave the old place on Friday, and start a new one this week.

So now I’m working in North London, and so far it seems like it’s going to be fun, with lots of challenges and stuff to do. Not earth-shattering per se, but enough of a challenge to keep me going, and to build bits of skillset for whatever comes next.

It’s a small company – the sort I prefer, truth be told – with no layers of management and bullshit to get in the way. That suits me just fine.

Obviously I’m only a couple of days in, but on first impressions it looks like things may actually work out pretty well. I certainly hope so.

A Lack Of Tolerance

Sometimes I do wonder if it’s a good thing to have this 100% success rate when it comes to interviews. I know it gives me more confidence to not accept shit from workplaces and the like, and makes me less tolerant of bad situations and setups. If I’m not happy, I just start sending out the CV, get interviews, and know I’ll be somewhere else very quickly.

I don’t see the point in hanging on somewhere when I hate it. I know I’ll get something else with very little delay or hassle, so why hang around?

But does that mean that sometimes I’m just not prepared to take the shitty bits? Maybe. I don’t quite know. This year I’ve had some really shite jobs, and moved on from them with alacrity. Will I look back in a year’s time and think “I wish I’d stuck with that one”? I don’t know. I doubt it, to be fair. There have been a couple of occurrences where I have thought that of other roles in the past, with a lot of hindsight and some remoteness from the situation. But very, very rarely.

I’d like to think I’m pretty good at evaluating a workplace (and colleagues) when I’m there. (On a side note, I’d like to be a lot better at evaluating them like that at interview stage, rather than only once I’ve taken on the job. But well, such is life) I’m pretty sure I’m OK with knowing when a place is just going through upheavals, and when it’s actually a bucket of warm shit.

Maybe one day I’ll regret moving on from somewhere I’ve hated. But at the moment I just can’t see that being the case.

Getting Out

This current role was a very bad decision – not just the workplace, but some of the people. Indeed, one of those who interviewed me has since spoken to one of my friends at a techie social event – after I’d left – about my progress and how I’m doing, and whether I’ll leave. In front of other colleagues from the same workplace.

He hasn’t spoken to me about these concerns at all.

I get that he was probably somewhat the worse for wear. There’s usually an excuse somewhere along the line. It doesn’t stop it from having been a totally cuntish thing to do, and it doesn’t stop me from wanting to punch him in the throat.

It’s a good sign that this particular workplace is about as toxic a place as it’s possible to be. They bleat on about being passionate about what you do, and about behaving with integrity, but they don’t do it themselves.

So it’s time to move on. Again.

I’m annoyed with myself, that my quality control has been so flawed. I had my reservations, and this current workplace has lived down to them. That wasn’t a foregone conclusion though – I tried to come in with an open mind, that the interview and paperwork process might’ve been an exception rather than the accepted route. Being stabbed in the back by a colleague is a pretty new experience for me, and not one I intend to repeat any time soon.

Thankfully it’s only been three weeks. This workplace will never show up on my CV, it’ll never be called for a reference. And that’s good, because I don’t want to be associated with this bunch of cunts in any way at all.

Onwards and upwards, my friends. Onwards and upwards.

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