Sad farewells, and weird feelings

Following nearly 3 years of long-hours, I left my “second-job” last week.

I decided a while ago that I would step down as a member of the PlusNet UserGroup – not because of PlusNet or the group, but primarily because of petty-minded in-duh-viduals who decided that personal attacks on people were perfectly acceptable and that volunteers should slave away for people who weren’t even customers, when customers were asking about different things.

Last week, I did it. I gave the group 2 weeks warning to give a chance to get some final bits sorted and then finally removed my own forum admin rights and became a normal member.

Boy was it weird the first time I saw the forums without the NDA sections and found myself wondering what was happening in the discussions I left behind… the first few days I came close to PM’ing people to say “LET ME BACK IN” but I’m kinda glad I’ve stuck it out as it will give me time to devote to other things and life is likely to be busy this year anyway.

Have to admit that I was slightly miffed (yeah, conceited I know) that it never got a mention anywhere – but in some ways it’s been nice not to deal with the vultures and snide gits that are out there (and yes, I know they are likely to comment on this elsewhere but I can always respond now without it being perceived as an official remark from PUG)

And so, I move into a new phase – developing new sites, new areas of interest and focus and maybe finally managing to get around to doing some decent coding again 😉

UPDATE – Sunday 25/02/07 – Turns out that the UserGroup were in the process of writing an article but were waiting for me to announce that I’d left rather than announce it for me…. still finding it weird being on the outside, but I’m also finding I have a lot more time now when I’m on my PC – just need to start using it for something other than work!

One month on…

I can hardly believe it, but it’s now over a month since I started my new job!

I have got to say that I am *really* enjoying it. The job itself isn’t to different, in many ways, to my old job but the atmosphere and attitudes are completely different. There are a lot of things to adjust to and adapt to – but I’m finding the transition surprisingly easy, and even-more-surprisingly comfortable.

The 2 guys I’ve got working for me are really good and so enthusiastic it’s really encouraging. Both are older than me, but I’m sure they are teenagers trapped in those bodies. There’s a lot of work to do, and we have to make sure things are working as it’s a 24/7 business, but despite any pressures or problems no-one get’s stressed in the department and we all get on with the job whilst keeping a smile on our faces and a laugh at the ready (along with a regular dose of tea or coffee!)

Working out priorities and direction for the department this coming year is proving to be a fun task as there is sooooo much scope and potential. My boss seems a really good bloke, although he’s been off ill for a while, so I’m hoping to share my thoughts and “vision” for the coming year to see where we can go and how we can work things for the future.

The drive each way is really enjoyable. It’s about an hours trip each way but I find that the hour in the morning gives me a good chance to wake up and pick up any thoughts or plans from the day before, whilst the trip home allows me time to wind down so I can be chilled when I get home to the wife and kiddies. Of course, having decent presenters on Radio 1 at both times is really good and helps the miles fly by as well!

Anyway, that’s my update one month in to the new life – and it’s looking good 🙂

The dawn of a new era

Well, I have now started my new job! The nickname of Mr Potato Head has been firmly applied to me and I am definitely facing a new set of circumstances.

The first couple of weeks in a new post are always a time of learning and picking things up – and that’s definitely going to be true here. However, I was very pleased that in my first two days I have actually proved useful on both days at various points – not something you always expect to be right at the start.

There is definitely a good feeling for me at this job – there’s a new set of challenges and plenty of scope to grow and develop things…. obviously there is always the internal politics to be aware of but so far things look pretty good.

I’ve got a site visit on Friday, and another at a different site next week, which should be good – I was grateful as it is my sons 5th birthday on Friday and my boss immediately approved of my request to hold my site meeting at 10am rather than 9am so I could see my lad open his presents… something I am very happy about as I will be missing his party 🙁

I have got an hours commute in each direction – but I have to say that I am enjoying that. Yeah OK, I love driving full stop but the drive into work allows me time to wake up and get my mind buzzing… the drive home gives me a good chance to wind down and think about the day but also get to a point where work isn’t at the forefront of my mind when I walk through the door.

Before you all think that I am wearing rose-tinted specs – I know this is still the “honeymoon” period – but things do look promising and I have a good feeling about this. It’s been a long time since I felt this kind of anticipation and excitement (and yes, nerves as well!) about work – but I am enjoying that feeling…

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A day as a journo and a weekend as a statistic

What a weird feeling.

The past week I have technically been on holiday from my (now ex) workplace but from Friday evening I have been technically unemployed… yup, I have been out of work for the last 48+ hours. Somehow I doubt that I’ll have made any impact on the jobless statistics though – not really anyway 😉

Not that I’m worried about that ‘cos I start at my new job tomorrow 🙂

Still, it feels strange to be moving on after nearly 7 years in one place. It’s the first time that I’ve managed to voluntarily leave a workplace to move on after industry downturns led to redundancies in the past. Got to admit that I enjoyed handing in my notice as it was totally unexpected – I think you’ve got to try and enjoy that occasion… there isn’t any point going in upset and depressed about it.

I’m nervous, obviously, about the new job – but really quite excited as well. A new challenge awaits and it’s good to be back in industry rather than in education.

On another subject – I was at PlusNet Towers on Thursday, carrying out a load more video interviews for the PlusNet UserGroup. Great fun and really good to see everyone again.

Felt a bit more prepared for these ones – squeezed in 4 sets of interviews in between talking to people about other things as well – at least I had some questions and a structure prepared. Hopefully they should appear on the UserGroup site in the next few days…. be interesting to see what the reaction is to these ones!

What a difference a week makes!

Following my visit to the City ground last week (to enjoy watching Forest humiliate Charlton :D) I managed to scrounge a ticket for this weekends game against Yeovil – courtesy of my dad and brother both winning a pair of tickets each.

Well, it was the kind of game you came away from simply grateful that you drew – let alone won! Yes, we won 1-0 and, thanks to the right results elsewhere, returned to the top of the table… but the way we played was disappointing.

Gotta single out Thompson (no. 18) as the player who disappointed most. He was fine in defence but the minute he crossed the centre line he seemed to lose any idea of what to do or where to go. Shame it took until the second half to substitute him really.

The goal was one of those fluky circumstances – thanks to the Yeovil goalie for dropping the ball for a second time… but the game was always going to be about that I think – luck played more of a part than skill.

Just gotta hope that Forest pull themselves together before we meet Chelsea.

(And huge thanks to my Dad and Bro for letting me have one of the tickets !!!!)