Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Hiatus Mitigation Wibble

It’s been a while since I wrote ... it isn’t like I haven’t had time on my hands. However looking for a job has pretty much been the priority, and so yes I have written, for hours on end: cover letters, application forms and CV tailoring. All to nought it seems. And by the time I’ve finished that sort of brain draining stuff I’ve not had anything creative left to say that wouldn’t be a string of expletives describing recruiters and recruitment agencies.

Technically I’ve been messing about with cloud storage, and moving our thousands of pictures and video, plus every word I’ve written on to Onedrive, (this is a terabyte for £5.99 per month, of which currently we need to use 200gb, therefore paying £9.99 to Google for 2tb wasn’t good value for money. And especially so when you consider your free 15gb, that you can use just for blog stuff via Picasa ... see there is a nerd in me still). It’s an ongoing project despite having unlimited broadband. There is a bottleneck, and it’s our now `old’ laptop.

Moving swiftly on, and to cut a long story very short, I have a job at last. It came via our next door neighbours visit to our local garden centre. It could almost be my perfect role.; Plantsman in a garden centre, cycling distance from home. The money is scrape by, but enough when pooled with Amanda’s. The hours vary week to week but there is always a minimum, and I have a qualification that is actually relevant and the opportunity to expand the skill-set in that area.

Fascinating for me was the fact that when I asked the interviewer why the job hadn’t been advertised on recruitment sites, they said it was pointless exercise that had a cost for almost no benefit whatsoever. The much discussed `recruitment black-hole’ described so often on Linkedin is tangible on both sides of the recruitment divide. I actually took the time one very grumpy afternoon to write to a recruiters CEO, to complain that after three weeks of conversations and hours of research regarding a project engineers role installing automated pharmaceutical dispensaries, that I had been left high and dry by the consultant dealing with the client. About an hour later I got a phone call from that agency apologising for the lack of communication, and that the company looking for project engineers had decided a different approach was required. Why it took a grumpy letter to be told the truth is beyond me. There is very little integrity at the sharp end of recruitment.

Amanda also has a new job that provides proper job security and benefits after almost a year of contracting for a quango. Things are looking up ... he says tentatively.

But Amanda has also been on the sore end of recruiter shenanigans, trying to keep her in place in a role she is sick to the back teeth with. While trying to explain to the recruiters client that Amanda has to serve a notice period way in excess of the courtesy period required for a contractor (five days). Anecdotally it also appears as if Amanda’s new employer has suffered the rigours of the recruitment bandits playing both ends against the middle. So for all our hours of letter writing, CV tailoring and follow ups over months, I’ve bagged a job by word of mouth, based on a neighbours random visit to a garden centre looking for a funky flower pot (absolute truth). And Amanda has (unwillingly but at my behest) pushed back at the agency hard to allow her (what is effectively her employee right) to give a weeks notice. So that she can at least get a feel for the new role before we travel to Cyprus.

Looking on the positive side of these changes; it is quite liberating, to be able to contribute financially at home again on a regular basis, not just blocks of finite cash earned by spending weeks away at a time in London and the surrounds living out of a back pack. It’s pleasant to be able to go and do my hours (that literally race by) and then have all this other time (now I have my head in the right place), to write, to look after house and home, do lots of cooking etc. Of course a Premium Bonds or Lottery Jackpot win wouldn’t go amiss. But after the other 70 million people in the UK wishing for this concession from the fates, I’m sure I’d be first in the queue.

Aside from all the job hunting and settling into new routines, we have been out and about at the weekends, fossil hunting, yomping and being agog at what a fabulous country this one is. The bike is finally out of the shed after an entire winter without a single use (be ashamed, be very ashamed G). We are swimming twice a week, though we’d like to do more. And we have hundreds of new pictures from our wanders to post. However, remember techno bottleneck above? Well it’s genuinely holding things in abeyance. Before I can really get back on top of pictures and words I need to sort out the groundwork. And it’s at time like this, I can only put my hands together and say a little thank you to the vastness of the cosmos, that I have an IT background, because If I didn’t I really wouldn’t know where to start.

So without further ado, I’ll bid you adieu, because I need to link our external storage drive as our Cloud Folder, for the final big synch, spec out a new PC with wireless to be our central server, format this laptop and rebuild it from scratch as a: typing while sitting in the comfy chair machine (did I mention I bought a second hand MAN chair ... it’s wicked). Drop the Onedrive app on our phones and tablet and then set up the synch settings to ensure, local deletions don’t affect cloud data. And then find a relatively convenient way to get files from Onedrive to Blogger, sure in the knowledge that someone somewhere is making sure all our precious data is multiply redundant on many servers ... as well as on our 2tb external unit.

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