When I say ‘… a bit boring …’, I mean that nothing really eventful happened. A few new residents zones installed, new staff, new equipment but nothing startling for about six years. The team and me just plodded along. So as I say, when I look back, it was just a bit boring. Still enjoyed the job and most of the staff were easy to work with and I had built up a bit of a reputation, but that was about it.
Then, towards then end of 2012 rumours started appearing about job/staff changes. We had two members of staff leave and they were not replaced and this started to worry a few people. We were told that they would be replaced in the new year, but that we would have to manage until then. Which of course we did.
Around about this time, the Council were beginning to look at reducing staff to cut costs. Central funding was being cut and departmental budgets were being squeezed. The Council was promoting what the called ‘Early Leavers Initiative’ or ELI. Essentially what this was voluntary redundancy. Staff would leave, get the standard redundancy payment and gain access to their works pension. I thought about this a lot and K*** and me decided that it might be a good move. Leave the Council and get another job somewhere else with a nice lump sum of money in the bank. So in January 2013, I applied for this ‘ELI’. After a few weeks, I received a reply, explaining that I could not be considered as I was ‘too valuable to the service’.
Later in 2013 me and a colleague (one who I had a bit of an issue with) received an email, quite out of the blue which explained that service was being reviewed and that we were part of that review. I queried this ‘review’ with the Assistant Manager who dismissed it as ‘… just something the Head of Service had to do and that it would not affect us …’ His face was a picture when both me and my colleague, G*** forwarded him the email we had received. He still claimed that it would not be an issue and that he would get someone to explain it all to us.
A couple of weeks later someone from HR did come and explain. What was happening was that some of the posts throughout the department were being looked at, to try and centralise some of the functions. the example they gave was that G***, who was our Training Officer would probably serve the department better if she worked within the Training team, where there would be vacancies in the future. The same applied to me, and I would be of more use in the departments IT service area. We were assured that we would still have a job, but it was still a very worrying time and made a mockery of the reason I was rejected for ELI. Not so valuable now, I thought.
Well … almost “All Over”. I’ve just got to get through the copious amounts of “Happy New Year” messages and we’re done until next September/October when the whole farce starts again. I think I’ve said enough about me and Christmas over the years, so I’m drawing a line under it (see below) except to say that it is only 363 days until Christmas day (again)!
So what’s in the future? Well tomorrow I have my Medication Review, whereby the doctor ‘reviews’ my current medication, and advises accordingly. Now, as I could be seriously compromised if four out of the five were ever stopped, it seems a little bit of a waste of time to actually review them. But review them he must, so that’s happening as 09:20 tomorrow. I suppose it will give me a chance to query the changes that are being made to the way my blood is tested. With being on Warfarin, I have to have regular tests to ensure the level of the medication is correct. At my end it is a simple extraction of a few millilitres of blood which is sent off to the Anticoagulation clinic in York. Two days later I get the result. At the last test, the phlebotomist mentioned that she did not know what would be happening in the future with blood tests and here words of comfort were “No-one knows what will happen in the New Year!” The health-care assistant hinted that it may be an all day clinic, once fortnight or so, but she really was clutching at straws. However maybe, one of the senior practitioners will know a little more.
Yesterday was different. It was an ‘open day’ at R***’s college and we had been invited, and of course Mrs H said we would. The problem we believed would present itself, would be that R*** would not want to go, and we would have major problems with him. In fact, I was quite prepared to say, if needed, that Mrs H should go, and I would stay behind with R***. Just to prove us both wrong, when Mrs H told him that we were going out, he of course said ‘No out!!’, which we have come to expect, but after that, nothing. He got into the car without any fuss, and only mentioned it again, when we got near the college and he recognised the area.
One of the things he does at this college, is woodwork, and he has made a couple of bird houses and a bird feeder. I was determined to try and talk to the person he works with, and find out how he is doing. All the reports that have come back, tell us that he has found something that he is good at and enjoys, other than the computer. The trainer/tutor/carer (not really sure as to what we call them) explained that R*** seemed to have a talent for woodwork, and they are able to work together very well. He then called R*** over and got him to show us what he can do. It was quite amazing to watch him sawing away, without any prompting or any fuss or upset at all.
We were there about two and a half hours (two hours more than I expected) and the only disappointment was that the staff that work with him every day were not there. We have met them before, but we both thought that they would have been there.
On the work front, there is no more news on the forthcoming review. My line manager is pushing me to do thing that I’m not sure about, with the idea that, I’ll get the next available grade up from the one I’m at now. And it is that which I’m not too sure about! All I want is to ensure that I don’t lose out financially. If another grade comes with a huge amount of extra responsibility, then I have worries. My manager tells me it is a confidence rather than a skills issue and I do agree with her on that. I suppose the extra money would be useful, and so I will just have to wait and see what happens.
The dentist went well. Very little pain, in fact the ‘scale and polish’ was more , shall we say, uncomfortable that the drilling. She just hit one spot that was bad, but it was okay. It is difficult to explain, but I find women dentists, to be better at the job than man. they just seem to get on with it, whereas the men dentists seem to dither a bit, sometimes.
We had our annual ‘you’ve all done really well’ performance review today. It is so monotonous, and I’m not that bothered really. There needs to be more feedback to staff on how well they are doing. Not just a once a year pat on the back. Still, after the farce with the lap-tops, it looks like I’m being upgraded. so not such a wasted 2 hours after all. Hopefully, I should be able to get the remote working software, so in effect I could work from home if I need to. Not that I will.
Eldest is driving more, and I have to say, he is getting more and more confident. I just hope he does not get over confident. That is where the problems start. I’ll have to give him a try on the Motorway at sometime soon. I’m not too sure it is a good idea when there is a passenger. If I can get him to catch the bus to my office, we can go from there. It is quite an easy access point, and it is only about six miles and we can get off again.