Friday, 24 December 2010

Too soon?

It's Christmas Eve, you bastards! Chocolate Easter bunnies? I think I hate you.

Oh, and um, yeah, phone sock is called Bob.

*Walks away embarrassed*

Friday, 22 October 2010

Whimsy. Wolvo stylee

That's kind of sweet.....

Friday, 22 January 2010

Stop me if you've heard this one....

As well as sending a mail message through the NHS recruitment website, I called the NHS HR body today handling the recruitment for the job.

Before I had even finished saying my piece, there was a long, loud sigh from the other end of the line.

Miss Body had clearly heard this speech more than once today already.

Thanking me for letting her know, she asked why.

Well, because it took so long.

I applied for the job on 13th November last year. That was two months ago. What took so long?

She started to sound defensive

Well we had to postpone recruitment to consider someone who was going to be made redundant and then we had to go through the recruitment process for them and then we had to inform them that they were not suitable and then we had to restart the recruitment process for the external candidates.....

I told her that I was unimpressed. That HR should be a little more on the ball. They should have had a better idea about who was being made redundant before they advertised jobs externally and that many employers had far more efficient recruitment systems.......

She told me that they could only operate at the speed they did and the recruitment process took as little time as they could manage.

Well, I said, good luck finding someone. I thanked her politely for considering me and offering an interview and rang off.

Between us, we had said the word "recruitment" so many times, that it was starting to sound like a nonsense word.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

On 21-JAN-10 NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said:

Subject:Cord Blood Bank Technician Ref No: C2065

Following your application for the above post, I am pleased to inform you that you have been invited to attend for interview at 10:45am on Wednesday 3rd February 2010. The interviews will take place at NHSBT Colindale, Colindale Avenue, Colindale, NW5 9BD where you should report to the Reception Area.

For a location map please click on the below link. Once on the website please click on the appropriate centre, where you will be given the option of opening a PDF map.

Due to demolition work at the Colindale site at the moment there are no parking facilities. In addition the route for pedestrian access may vary depending on where work is taking place. Signs will be displayed on site showing the pedestrian access in place. We would be grateful if you would confirm your attendance at interview as soon possible by responding to this e-mail or contacting me on xxxx xxx xxxx. Should you have any special requirements to enable you to attend for interview then please contact me as a matter of urgency so I can make the necessary arrangements. The interview panel will comprise

NHS CBB Team Manager

Deputy Head of NHS CBB

NHS CBB Team Manager

You will appreciate that we have to undertake a series of checks and clearances on all candidates applying to work with NHSBT. These are detailed below. We ask that you bring the original document and copies to pass to the interview panel. This enables us to confirm offers of employment as quickly as possible, as without all the checks and clearances we cannot progress your application:-

Occupational Health All individuals wishing to work for NHSBT will be asked to complete a short confidential occupational health questionnaire. To assist you with this you will need to bring with you the following information: • Name and address of GP • Approximate number of sick days over the last two years

Verification of Identity and Right to Work in the UK

Before any offer of employment can be made all candidates must provide documents proving their Identity and their Right to Work in the UK. Please bring the following documents with you to your interview: • Passport and Eligibility to work in the UK and current Immigration Status. Please refer to the UK Border Agency website

if you are unsure what documents to provide. • Driving licence (A photocard is only valid if presented with the counterpart driving licence) • Proof of current address (this must be a utility bill or bank / building society statement issued within the last 3 months) If any of the documents or qualifcations you provide are in a differnt name to your current name please also provide a marriage certificate or other proof of change of name. If you are not able to provide these documents please contact me to discuss what alternative documents we can accept.


Please bring with you evidence of those qualifications that you hold that are listed as essential on the Person Specification for this role.

NHSBT only pay interview expenses when you are required to attend for interview at a different venue to the location of the job for which you are applying. If you have any queries regarding this please contact me prior to attending for interview.

Please note: Non-EEA candidates may not be appointed to a post if a suitably qualified, experienced and skilled EU/EEA candidate is available to take up the post as NHSBT is unlikely, in these circumstances, to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test. The UK Border Agency requires employers to complete this test to show that no suitably qualified EEA or EU worker can fill the post. For further information please visit the UK Border Agency website

Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to wish you success in your interview, but in the meantime should you have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Recruitment and Administration Assistant

The timing is incredible. I've got to reject this. If I am starting working on the 1st, then I can't ask for a day off in my first week to go to an interview for another job. That would be cheeky.

The amount of time this has taken is stunning. I applied for this job on the 13th of November last year.

I also got a 'phone call from the Benefits Agency.

The payment for the Mortgage Interest Payment will go out next week. After I've already paid January's instalment. The payment (over two and a half months worth) will be followed by another payment towards the end of February which will also be around two and a half months worth.

I told the guy that I had been provisionally offered a start date of the 1st of February for my new job.

In that case, he said, that one payment would be my only payment.

Well, better late than never.

My problem now is, how do I survive February? I won't get paid until the end of the month and my pips are already squeaking.

I can ask Nationwide to suspend February's mortgage payment, because, after all, they' will have received three months worth in January.

HSBC is going to be trickier - I wonder if I can suspend the February payment and pay double in March.

That's going to hurt.

I've also got to find bills money, bus pass money and enough money for the home and contents insurance.

Bills, bills, bills, worry, worry, worry........

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


I got a 'phone call today from the lady who is going to be my immediate line manager.

She asked how I was and how long was it going to be before they saw me?

I couldn't say.

I had received nothing from the hospital to tell me when, or if I was starting.

She told me she hadn't heard anything untoward and had been labouring under the assumption that I was successful and had a provisional starting date of the 1st February., that being the case, would it not be a good idea for me to visit the office, meet everybody and do a bit of basic orientation...

Nope. Plenty of time for that when I'm given a starting date. Chillax and they'll see me when they see me.

Okay. I'll see you then, then.

We rang off politely.

Did a fully grown adult just tell me to chillax?

I wish I could.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Can I just stay in bed?

Today was my Occupational Health meeting.

It was freezing.

More snow had fallen and the pavements were treacherous.

I packed all my ID, my immunisation records and my NHS card and brought them up there.

The site was cold and unsalted and I picked my way round the building site to the OH door. In the side of a decrepit Victorian building. Modern looking sections had been tacked on to the building to make it bigger, but they too had seen far better days. The corridors were narrow and the accommodation cramped and grey.

I was late.

As per.

Anyway, they weren't ready for me.

I sat and waited in an unheated room shivering in a vest, t-shirt, shirt, a thick Aran cardigan and a thick winter coat and scarf, long johns (yes, long johns), two pairs of socks and a thick pair of walking boots.

I was called in to a tiny room where the nurse was sympathetic about peeling off all the layers.

I had been completely honest on the application form and she set about asking me questions regarding my previous employment and illnesses.

I had to confess to her that I had been nervous about filling the previous employment bit

Loud, noisy environments? - Yep

Dusty environments? - Yep

Ionizing radiations? - Yep

Chemicals? - Yep

Mutagens? - Yep

Teratogens? - Yep

Carcinogens? - Yep

Vibrating machinery? - Yep

Repetitive motions? - Yep

Biological hazards? - Yep

And so on.

I impressed her with my smallpox vaccination scar (20/05/1969). Not many people have one of those these days.

Blood pressure (high end of normal), height (short) and weight (too much) and that was that.

As I was leaving, I switched my mobile 'phone back on.

It played a tune, vibrated and beeped.

I had one missed call.

From the HR Section.

I paid them a visit. Leaving the OH side of the building, I walked around to the entrance to the main part of the same building and walked through narrow corridors and up rickety stairs to the HR section.

At the very top of the stairs, I stood on the last step and rang the doorbell on the big front door. Complete with letterbox, this door totally blocks the top of the stairs. The corridor inside is also the landing.

The HR bod answered and was surprised to see me as she had only just called me.

It turns out that one of my former employers STILL hadn't forwarded a reference.

Quelle surprise!

The Big E is going through right ructions right now and.......

Um was previous employer.


Eh? My PREVIOUS employer?

Could I provide another reference because my previous immediate line manager hadn't come through?

As my previous line manager was an absolute sweetheart and had sent me a reference when I was first made redundant, I was at a loss to explain what had happened.

I called my former lab office from my mobile 'phone to be told by the second in command that my PILM had fallen and sprained his ankle so badly, that he was off for the foreseeable future.

Second in Command was fine with sending a reference instead. Oh, by the way, MORE people had been made redundant, it looks like my previous employers were winding the place down and he was going to train to be a teacher.

I thanked him and hung up.

I'd better get a job soon, or else there will no one left to ask for a reference. Jeepers!

I gave his details to the HR bod so that she could formally ask him for a reference and I was off home again.

I didn't get warm until I got to bed.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Just stick to the schedule.....

This year, I'm so skint that shopping for the Christmas presents in the January sales is a non-starter.

It doesn't stop me from wandering around and seeing what's there after I've checked my bank mini-statements.

Boots have a schedule. It doesn't matter what the weather is doing, they have to put their seasonal goods out on the shelves on time.

Which means we're treated to this sight............

Yep. That's the sun creams and Summer goods going out on the shelves before the January sales are over.

There was fresh snow yesterday, last night and today too. Making the the sight of the spf 50 on the shelves all the more ridiculous.

Good grief.

Monday, 4 January 2010

On 04-JAN-10 NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said:

Dear Candidate Re: C2065 - Cord Blood Bank Technician

Further to my letter dated 14th December 2009, I am writing to inform you that the above vacancy has been re-opened, as it has not been offered to any internal candidates at risk of redundancy. Recruitment for this post will now proceed as normal, and you will be notified shortly if you are to be invited to attend an interview. I would like to thank you for your patience in this matter.

Yours sincerely

Xxxxx Xxxx

Recruitment and Administration Assistant

I'll hang on and see what happens, but I'm not holding my breath.......

Sunday, 3 January 2010

You gets what you pays for....

The contents of that bucket consists of an awful lot of black-blue water and a pair of George jeans I found in the British Heart Foundation in Dudley last September. They smelt funny but I just put that down to being a charity shop find.

On the same shopping trip I found another pair of jeans that had already been shortened so I was well happy, when I brought my finds to the till to be paid for.

I washed them, tried wearing them and they dyed my legs black AND brought me out in a rash.

Since then, I have repeatedly washed, soaked and rinsed these jeans (the ones pictured above) and all that's happened is that more and more dye has leaked from them. They aren't even starting to look faded.

And they still smell weird. Even being soaked for days in liberal doses of Lenor Sleep Sensations.

Sometimes, a bargain isn't a bargain.