Tuesday, February 27, 2007


An MWoC is a meeting without coffee. The type where your boss calls you in and criticises you for, well, as long as they like really. Usually because they are getting it in the neck about something and want to feel that they’ve solved whatever the problem is, when in actual fact all they’ve done is pass on the blame for said problem. To you.

One week ago today (in fact almost to the minute) I was in an MWoC. It only lasted an hour - the friend who coined the term had one that lasted three hours. (She had her revenge by weeing on the teaspoon when making the boss a cup of tea just before she left the job, but that’s another story!) And it has taken me this long to calm down...

For two years now, I’ve been doing two people’s jobs – mine and that of my manager. This started after only three months in the job, and I have to say I’ve kept things ticking over ok, but the point of taking me on was to increase the work and profile of my section – not something I’ve been able to achieve on my own.

You may think that after two years, I’d be in a position to become the manager myself, but to be honest I don’t want it. The question of management crops up occasionally, and recently the boss put in a request for funds to employ a full-time manager – which was unfortunately turned down. I work in a small organisation and in trying to oversee everyone’s work, unfortunately the boss is of limited help and hasn’t been available to give me the support and training I need to move onwards and upwards. But now there’s been a definitive ‘no’ to employing someone else to work with me, so the pressure is back on.

The MWoC probably didn’t start well when I was asked ‘where do you want to be in a years time?’ and had to honestly answer ‘not in the manager role’ – the boss knows I want to move on to other things and has dangled a few carrots regarding other opportunities, which unfortunately haven’t been forthcoming. After that, it turned into a session where all my ‘flaws’ were pointed out (I don’t work overtime (which is unpaid) if I don’t have to, and I use up my holiday allowances each year – shock horror!) and I was accused of ‘slapdash and lazy work’ and of being less committed to the organisation than my colleagues.

I calmly pointed out that I didn’t feel the organisation had been particularly committed to my development in my time here, and thus probably hadn’t shown 100% enthusiasm for the job, but quite frankly, what can you expect? And as for slapdash work, one recent piece of writing wasn’t what a colleague wanted it to be, and thus it has been deemed weak. When really the brief was very badly articulated and it was a good piece of work, just not exactly what this person was looking for.

Anyway, the upshot is the boss is now treating me like a school child. And I am looking for another job. Know of any vacancies for a well organised ex-scientist who likes organising events, playing with spreadsheets and databases and doesn’t want to work in policy any more?!

Apologies for the rant. Normal services will resume shortly.

P.S. another thing – it appeared in the meeting that a so-called friend in the office has completely screwed me over in order to show her own ambition. I hate not knowing who I can trust.

P.P.S. Shirl, if you read this – I soooo wish I didn’t have to help James pay the rent, ‘cos otherwise I’d have asked if I could resign there and then too!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Where am i?!

Stuck at Arlanda Airport (Stockholm), trying to kill time waiting for my delayed BA flight...

At least there's cheap internet access, although trying to find the @ sign on a Swedish keyboard took a while. And theres been a lot of deleting when I keep finding the strange Sewdish vowels (ö, ä, å) by accident.

On my return: a review of the yarn and craft stores I managed to find in Stcokholm (2 yarn shops located within my first 2 hours there, but I had cheated with some web searching!) and some pictures of a bored monkey in the duty free shop at the airport...

In the meantime, I'd better check whether I'm ever going to get home!

(p.s. at least it is possible to take crochet on the plane, if not knitting :-) )

Friday, February 09, 2007

Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit

No, not the crazy frog doing a Chas & Dave cover - just the sound of me frogging 6 rows of the seraphim shawl. At least it was only 6 - and i think that's only 8 in total through the project so far. I was almost at the end of chart #1, but looked back and realised that the YOs on rows 21 & 23 were out of synch. I had a feeling I'd done 21 wrong (got a bit confused about how they ran over the stitch markers) and then I did the k2tog & YO in the wrong order on 23. I hoped it might be something I could put down to an 'original interpretation' but in the end it looked bad, so I had to bite the bullet and go back!

Without the benefit of a lifeline, i threaded a smaller circular needle thought the row below (and thankfully managed to only go through one stitch on the row above by accident!) and had it all sorted and back on the needles in about an hour on Wednesday night. And with a nice bit of time on the sofa last night, I'm back on track and it only took two days (two days!) to get back where I was in the first place. All in all, not too bad given this is the first time I've worked from a chart. I'll definitely include a lifeline before things start getting more complicated in chart #2.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What's the focus?

I read quite a few blogs, and recently I've been interested to note the differences in what people choose to write about. I've been particularly struck by a few thoughtful posts - namely the Keyboard Biologist writing about resolutions and Crazy Aunt Purl discussing choosing to be healthy: both subjects have struck a cord with me and the way I deal with things in life. All topped off by an amazing piece by a friend who has recently returned to the UK after 6 months living in Ecuador. These are excellent pieces of writing, which make me wonder - could I do that?

I'm amazed by the idea of blogging, but haven't quite figured out the logistics of fitting it into daily life - alongside work, home, spending time with my boyfriend (partner? other half? - can't quite get my head around which is the best description) and also squeezing in time to knit and make all the other things that are on my list! This blog could end up just being a load of pictures of things I've made - a potentially valuable resource for me - or I could try to make it something more interesting (though I'm not really sure how interesting anyone else would find my life!)

For now, maybe a mixture. If I can get used to the idea of jotting down thoughts and making time to write about things, who knows...