Wahoo – I’ve got a new job!!! (140-225)

•May 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

I don’t believe it – I had my job interview this morning and while it was one of those interviews where it felt really good and friendly at the time I had thought afterwards that, in retrospect, this had made me talk too much waffle and not put myself across as well as I would have liked to. Interestingly they hardly asked any of the normal interview questions (only really why I was leaving my current job), so it was just as well I did loads of reading around the subject as I got asked what I thought a clinical trial involves, and what I know about the disease and vaccine themselves (even down to specifically how they work in the immune system… I had to dredge my memory banks for the one line I read this week and the basic immunology I did back in my undergrad degree… eek!!). I was annoyed with myself afterwards for forgetting to get across a couple of major points that I meant to – mainly because their questions completely threw me out of the usual ‘sell myself’ interview mind-frame… but this afternoon they called and I’ve been offered the job!!!! I just can’t believe my luck. I’m so excited. It’s amazing!


A night’s adventure – at home (135-230)

•May 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

As always I’ve been feeling starved of adventure and escape from the ordinary but with our budget as tight as ever gallivanting off around the continent of Africa was not an option – so we decided to have a mini-adventure at home and spent last night having a late night barbeque and then camping in our garden!! I suspect the neighbours thought we were slightly weird, but it was actually really fun; we toasted marshmallows under the stars and then camped in luxury with our tent kitted out with our futon mattress, pillows and duvet (and the dog squashed in by our feet), and with all the comforts of home just a short walk away!

Frost nips at our crops (133-232)

•May 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Ugh – just when you think winter’s over and it’s safe to plant everything out into the garden a frosty night descends and nips our non-frost tolerate climbing French beans and courgette plants!

Free movie (132-233)

•May 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Today we got a free movie from a new online video-rental company called Blinkbox – to promote themselves they were offering a movie worth up to £10 for free using a code from my Moneysavingexpert e-newsletter [this code has already run out!]. As you could only get one movie per household, it seemed sensible to spend as much of the tenner as we could, so we signed up (free) and then bought Avatar, which we watched recently and loved, for free on our PC. Great stuff.

I’ve got a job interview!! (131-234)

•May 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Recently my current work (I’m a personal assistant) has been extremely tricky as my boss has been off work for the last three months with depression, and is still off indefinitely. My department administrator (essentially the top admin manager) is now making noises about my ‘lack of work’ (not that she’d know what I do – I’ve managed in the main without my boss for the vast majority of the two years I’ve been doing the job) and I’ve been suspicious for a while that I’m going to be foisted off onto any new comers who need a PA – but today she’s finally admitted her plans and it’s even worse… I’m essentially being pimped out to other departments to make money for my own department! Great; I’m going to be a blo*dy temp – but without the higher wage or opportunity to say ‘no thanks’ to jobs I don’t fancy! Being a temp is extremely stressful (I’ve been one before – it’s like starting a new job every couple of weeks; not knowing anyone or how your boss likes to do things, and you get given all the dud jobs everyone else is avoiding) and the other problem is that I only enjoyed being a PA for my boss because she’s lets me do a lot more than the usual PA tasks – and I just do not want to be a PA anymore. Let’s face it, being a PA is being the ultimate dogsbody; after all your job is to do all the tasks that your boss doesn’t want to do! I’m sick of being the person who has to make coffee and wash up after everyone else… I’ve got a first class degree, a Master’s degree and I have a brain. I should be doing more than this! [no offence intended to any PAs out there who love their job – each to their own]

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that I dislike working, responsibility, and I don’t like failing things. So I’ve always applied for jobs where I can work set hours, do the work easily, and go home on time and forget about it all until tomorrow. I’ve been having a re-think about my attitude recently though. Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?? Would it be better after all to have a challenging job that I have to actually think to do, and that may involve longer hours but is interesting, satisfying and that I enjoy?? I’ve finally [grown up and] decided that the answer is now ‘yes’. I’d rather challenge myself more even if this involves longer hours and potential failure on my part. Plus, more responsibility usually equals a better wage and I am trying to pay off our debts as quickly as possible, so a better paid job would go a long way towards this – and enjoying my job would be a massive novelty!

So with this decision finally made (around 7 years late in all honesty, as that’s when I finished my MSc), I applied for a job that’s two grades above my current position and that sounds both fascinating and extremely challenging – it’s coordinating a vaccine trial in the UK and three African countries! I have to admit that it was a real long shot even just applying as I don’t have any clinical trial experience (which was ‘essential’) but I do have research project ethics experience, which is closely aligned. The job sounded amazing, so I gave it a shot… and today I got an email to say I’ve got an interview!!! The email arrived just after my ‘chat’ with my Dept Administrator, which had left me feeling extremely low, and it’s funny how your day can totally switch around from awful to amazing with just one email.

Guinea pig again (127-238)

•May 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Today I was an experimental guinea pig again, this time for the Department of Psychiatry. 2 hours of computer quizzes and mental visualisations today is to be followed by a week of wearing a strap that measures my activity levels, noting what I’ve been doing every 2 hours for the next week and then filling in some more questionnaires… all for the princely sum of £15!!! Not my most sensible signing ever, but this experiment was actually quite interesting (and fun!) and it all adds up gradually I guess.

BT is actually paying us for a change (125-240)

•May 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wow. Our BT final bill (after switching our broadband and landline to Virgin this month) arrived in the post today and a miracle has happened – we are getting £31.25 back! What a great surprise.