Heatsink for the soul

Went over to the UK Tuesday for an interview. Got offered the job that evening. That’s a load off my mind. At least I have something going over.

It’s for an IT Support engineer job. Seems I’ll be out on client sites for most of it, occasionally coming back to the office. They see me doing some development work down the line. Which is nice to have.  They want a lot of documentation for the job, more than any other previous job. The interview was very thorough on technical experience, and I was glad I studied up on everything I’ve been doing in terms of networking, servers, computer architecture and web design. They also asked me several illegal and potentially discriminatory questions like “Are you Catholic or Protestant”, “What age are you?” “Are you married?” “Do you intend to start a family?”. That left a bad taste in my mouth leaving interview and has put me on guard since. My experience is still basic. Likely they want me on helpdesk and support for a few years.

They offered me £18k, but I countered with £20k. At today’s exchange rate, that’s more than my current salary of €28.5k. They accepted this and I began getting referencing together.

One worry I have is Bath is markedly more expensive than Dublin running on these figures: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Ireland&city1=Dublin&country2=United+Kingdom&city2=Bath&displayCurrency=GBP

But that doesn’t reflect the money the woman and I spent commuting from Dublin to Belfast every weekend, so there’s a good chunk of money saved. It’s hard to say how much more expensive Bath will actually be.

Apartment we’ll be staying in is a listed building 200+ years old. Views are very nice, and place central in Bath. But only single glazed. Will likely have to do some DIY insulation on it, like shrink wrapping windows, and filling cracks.

After the stress of trying to get a new job, while trying to organizing emigrating, and getting a new place to live, feeling depressed. Libido down.  Diet has been 4 snickers bars for lunch and 4 vodkas for dinner at least four times this fortnight.   Warning signs. Realizing that I probably had a nervous breakdown about March last year. Was getting panic attacks when trying to sleep about three weeks ago, but able to box it off until I had a job and home secured. Falling asleep with bronze cross in my hands praying for strength helped – got that cross at 7 year old. Struck by how small it feels in an adult’s hands. Maybe worth getting a larger one for progressive overload now that I am grown. Like a heatsink for the soul. Cracking up a little now that these trials are over. Writing has stopped. Feeling lost on the characters and themes. Probably best to keep journal and talk about it.

Still have to find the energy to finish the dissertation and the Server Side project. Consequences would be fairly dire to not complete the course, as getting the job is dependent on passing the course. Got 11 days – it’s possible.

Going to try keep it ticking over, but worst case scenario I have to repeat in August/Sept. Medium case scenario I turn in any old crap and I scrape a pass. That’s all I want. Don’t like working with Android studio and don’t like Ruby on Rails.

Because physical wounds heal

Got a real nice big four accountancy story for you guys. A buddy who is still there told me of an initiative to raise morale. Each team member in an audit department gets put on a board and has to stick a smiley or sad face on their space every day of the week.

This was so management and partners can see who is unhappy on the jobs at a glance. For transparency. But middle managers or partners don’t want to be caught destroying the lives of staff,  so anyone that’s not a happy face gets a talking to.

After a week or two, nothing but happy faces on the board. Managers and partners see reports that morale has improved empirically – the board says so! While the staff die inside as they put 5 smiley faces in a row.

++

Got an internet pal into big 4  – he’s doing his CPA now. He’s worried after all my horror stories. At least he’s on guard for the isolation and indoctrination techniques.  I remember when I started I was nearly teetotal. By the end, I was taking valium every day, drinking a bottle of whiskey a week, jacking off in work and fighting the urge to steer into oncoming traffic… on a bicycle. He’ll be fine.

The real thing now is trying to write better. Woman has an Masters in literature and is an editor/publisher, so she is well placed to advise on writing. Might be posting up some pieces and critical reflection.

Stuff to work on:

  • Dialogue between people
  • Moving away from genre fiction as a crutch
  • Convey emotion – read “The Fault in our Stars”
  • Brevity – evoke and don’t describe every action
  • “he said” “she said” are perfectly fine to avoid confusing your reader. Plenty of opportunity in dialogue to give further detail about interactions.

++

He held her from behind beside the canal rail. The smell of leather and cigarettes crushing against her. The leaden sky reflected in the water.

“I’m not ready for this” she said.

The man slid his hand from her waist to her thigh, his callouses catching in her tights.

“It’s not anything serious. Just one week away. Some winter sun. The beach.” he said. She watched the currents in the water. Feeling the slow circular rub of his hands.

“Don’t worry, baby. I can pay for it. Just one week. We could do with a break.”

She dragged his hand back to her waist.

“We’ve had this conversation before. And my feelings haven’t changed. You swore you wouldn’t. You swore to me you wouldn’t. And you did. I can’t forgive that.”

The man embraced her tighter. She felt the cold of his fingers chisel under her jacket to her bare skin. The man rested his chin on her nape, leaning into her ear:

“That was in the past. Just one. And you’re still here. You still love me. And you’re the one I always wanted. I gave you my email passwords. You saw every message. There are no secrets between us now. Can you forgive me?” His hands snaked towards her breasts while he spoke.

A couple pushing a pram on the opposite side looked in their direction.

“Not in public” she said, pulling away from him. Her voice rose:

“I won’t keep your secrets anymore. I knew you were cheating on your wife when we met, but I thought you would end it and stay with me. And now I’m the fool. Waiting to play house with a grown man. Nothing good can come of this. Not for you. Not for her. Not for me.”

She turned into his grasp, breaking his hold.

“ I will no longer be part of this.”

She turned and walked up the bank bridge. Breathe, she told herself.  She breathed non-stop, like her first marathon.

She reached the top of the hill. She did not look back.