Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A hard decision

This is the longest I have ever 'not posted' and this is because I have really been trying to decide whether or not to keep up the blog. In the beginning, my friend Bee suggested I started the blog to help keep me sane as I started my Leicester Adventure and now that the adventure is over, the overall focus and objective of the blog is gone and I'm not sure I have enough to say to keep it going.

After much thought and consideration, I have decided for the moment to end the Leicester Life Adventure blog while I focus on settling in back at home and in the new job.

So as a quick and final update on the Leicester Life Adventure:

Starting the new job was not smooth sailing neither was leaving Leicester. My start date kept being moved back because they were still waiting on Accounts approval to 'purchase' my services. This meant I had to go back to Leicester while I waited. My mind was not there and I ended up falling out with my boss SN and leaving Leicester in a huff. Thank goodness, shortly after I got back to London, I got a call from the Agency to start the next day. In all it was a delay of 4 days but I was so stressed about it. I imagined they had changed their mind and the Agency was trying to let me down gently.

I've now been in the new job a few days now, and as with most new jobs, it started well. My hope and prayer is that it will remain well and even get better. It's great to not be training. It's great to actually think and use one's brain. It's great to work with other mature professionals - people you can learn from. It's great to leave work everyday and see my son, my husband and sleep in my own bed. The 90 minute drive in to work is NOT great but I can live with it for the next few months.

My nanny Diane handed in her notice a few weeks ago and I had been on the look out for a new nanny. Thankfully, I've now found one and she is starting on Friday (18th May). Her name is Renatta and she says she is a 'clean freak' as well as an 'expert potty trainer' - I hired her on the spot! LOL. She and Diane will work together this Friday to do a 'handover' which would help a great deal because even I don't know Kitan's detailed day-to-day routine. Diane then leaves on Saturday. Thankfully, my Mum is arriving on Saturday for a month so she will help to make sure the new nanny and Kitan settle in well together.

Life back at home has been manic, but this is the reality all working Mums live with everyday. Now I know Leicester was a piece of cake... there I got home from work, never cooked, always eating some exotic frozen meal or a takeaway, watch tv, went online, then went to bed reading a magazine or book. In the morning, I leisurely bathe and get ready then drive the 15 minutes into work.

Now - just flip all that on it's head!. I have not watched TV or gone online at all in the last week. I've had to cook, play with Kitan, bathe him or put him to bed or both. Not to mention going to church as well as sorting out a whole raft of household issues. It's like I'm on a different planet - and there's no escape.

Actually, there is some respite. My new job involves me spending a couple of days a week on a different company site in the UK- it's by the sea and I'd be in a posh hotel - all expenses paid. It breaks up the routine so that's good.

Though the blog was for me, I totally appreciate everyone who has read or commented on my blog - especially those who have taken the trouble to get to know me better. I do feel like we are friends and the end of the Leicester Life Adventure does not mean the end of our relationship. I'll still be in blogsville leaving my 'two cents' all over the place and responding to any comments left here.

Leicester Life Adventure - Over and Out!

God Bless!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The End

As I sat to write this post... I was not sure how to start to write about the end of my Leicester Life Adventure. The End was something I had longed for from my very first week here and we humans are funny because we lack that ability to see The End about most things in life including Life itself.

I never thought my time here would end, I knew it would but I never imagined what that would be like. To never need to drive back to London on a Friday knowing I'd be travelling up that same road again early Monday morning heading to Leicester.

My last week started with me arriving late on Monday morning for the very first time... already it was showing that I'd ceased caring and my mind was not here anymore. I stayed home a little while longer cuddling my little boy and telling him that after this week he would see Mummy every morning and every evening by God's grace. I got into Leicester at 9:30am and my class of 2 were waiting patiently for me. No one had thought to set up the class, so I spent the next 30 mins sorting out a laptop and projector and training materials. We finally got going just before 10am and I trained out my last SAP BW Power User course.

It was still all a secret. No one knew that was my last week there and in fact technically, it wasn't. I still had just over 2 weeks to go but my new job wanted me 10 days earlier than my current contract finished. There was not enough time to give notice without being in breach of contract and in any case, there was a clause in my contract that if I saw it through to the end, I would receive a bonus of 5% of all I had earned in my 6.5 months there. So I had to somehow be there technically till the 17th of May.

The bonus was a prize to me. A mark of my achievement. I had done the work, suffered the separation, risked my life on the motorway, week in, week out. Even if I gave the money to charity, it was my reward and I was going to make sure I collected it.

As I had been unwell the week before and the doctor had asked that I rest. I told SN, my manager that I wanted a week off from the 8th - 11th May to recuperate. He said he was sorry that due to the work load, he could not authorise it. I said I'm not asking for a holiday, I am telling you that for health reasons I will not be available. It's not a request. Later, when he released the training schedule for the week I'd requested, I noticed my name was NOT included. Good!

My plan is to then extend my 'recuperation period' by 2 extra days into the week after (my official last week) then return to Leicester on the 16th and 17th to see the contract through to the end and thus qualify for my bonus.

It is a sneaky plan because the reality is I would actually have started work at the new place on the 8th of May but I'm not feeling guilty about it because I have already completed all my courses here and will not be getting paid by them during my 'recuperation week'. Also, the big boss is on holiday for 2 weeks and the other manager AC is off next week too. Who am I that the whole company will collapse if I'm not there for 7 days?

Still, it's not the ideal situation, God forgive me!

I was so excited I told my 2 pals my 'secret'. "I've got a new job but don't tell anyone!" I warned them. They were so happy for me (I think). Most of the trainers' contracts are ending like mine in the 3rd week of May so everyone is job hunting, including the managers. A few have been asked to stay on but most are leaving.

My house mate Louise was on holiday and was not back by the time I went to bed on Monday night. I saw her briefly on Tuesday morning as I was pulling out of the drive and jumped out of my car to say "Louise, I've got a new job, I'm starting next week, this is my last week and I'm moving out on Friday... I'm running late, must dash, I'll tell you all about it later" - she stood there stunned but with a smile on her face! When I got back from work, she was not home before I went to bed.

On Tuesday too, I told my manager SN, only because he will be getting a email to give me reference and I wanted him to 'be nice'. During my time here, we'd had our issues (also see 'He has come again oh') but had settled into a healthy 'drama-free' relationship. I also told a couple other colleagues though considering the way they all gossip, I'm sure they knew already.

There were lots of contract documents for the new job to send and/or sign - Opt Out agreement; Confidentiality Agreement; Letter of Intent; Company Registration Certificate, VAT Certificate; Bank details; Scanned Passport; 2 Referees; Public Liablity Insurance; Professional Indemnity Insurance and on and on. I spent the later part of Tuesday printing, signing, faxing, calling - and trying to get everything in order. You'd think I was joining the MOD (Ministry of Defence).

On Wednesday, I had no more training scheduled and could continue from where I left off yesterday trying to send over all the contract documents. My manager SN got the reference request and thankfully gave me a glowing reference. He told me he wrote "She has an excellent analytical mind, good at finding faults and suggesting solutions." Looking at that now, it does read 'somehow', what does he mean 'finding faults'? - anyway it'll have to do.

With only Thursday and Friday to go, I have to find time to tell Louise - she's in London till Thursday night. And I have to pack which for some weird reason, I'm finding difficult to do.

An era has truly come to an end and I doubt I would have this opportunity again. How ever way I look at it, it was a God-given opportunity and I was blessed from start to finish. I could have made more of my time here, I know, but it was what it was and I'm thankful. I've learned a lot about myself and about others. It's helped me spiritually and I learned to rely on God. It was the boost my career needed and it built up my confidence in myself and in my skills. It led me to starting this blog in which I have chronicled my journey. And years later when the challenges will be different and I'd have forgotten about Leicester, I can always come back and read and laugh and cry.

It'll be a new adventure the next time I post again. This is my last post from Leicester. The last one.

France, Italy, Spain - here we come!

Omara's Weight loss progress (started diet 17th March 2007)