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SQ & BB

Post 561

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, the pen arrived today and is working well - much better than the old one smiley - ok

Yeah, since the cyberincident I've focused on doing as much as I enjoy rather than feeling pressured to do something new for the Front Page every week, and that's fine smiley - zen

That conversation does rather indicate that the bully doesn't have any self-insight, otherwise he might understand why that particular blend of behaviours isn't appreciated, but hopefully he will act on his promise to find somewhere else smiley - goodluck Somewhat reminiscent of A87948878

Yes, the exhibition was very good - there was a letter from Florence Nightingale to the family of a deceased soldier, and mockups of a Great War field hospital room, and a 1960s children's ward. Some very poignant exhibits that related to how my nana was treated in her youth A88051241 (mental hospitals, etc smiley - cry) but also exhibits about how research has helped to improve treatments. It was good to see the different smiley - nurse uniforms and awards, and I even met a retired smiley - nurse who had been awarded some of the awards and is one of the volunteers who looks after the exhibition when it is on display smiley - ok


SQ & BB

Post 562

Bluebottle

Excellent news about getting your new pen smiley - orib - who doesn't enjoy the delights of stationery?

Ah yes, the head-biting bully. This particular person has a habit of saying barbed, unpleasant things in a calm, smooth voice, which is in some ways harder. Others notice if you are being shouted at or threatened, but if the other person is talking slowly and pleasantly then if you don't pay attention to the actual words you wouldn't pick up on the behaviour.

Hard to imagine sometimes what experiences our grandparents had - particularly this week when D-Day has been in the news (not that any of mine were there).
My dad shared a memory of growing up in the 1950s and visiting his dad at work in the blacksmith's next to where he lived (in fact you can see the blacksmith's in this news article: https://www.islandecho.co.uk/british-newspaper-archive-now-available-at-local-libraries-and-record-office ) only to overhear my granddad's co-workers arguing, "D-Day? smiley - bleep D-Day - I was at the Somme, lad - that were a Proper battle!"

My weekend has been a quiet one, though we did see 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' at the cinema yesterday and at parkrun I got my best time this year - there was our running club's volunteer event, where all the volunteer roles were taken by people from the club. I volunteered to do set-up and also Course Inspection, so that means I've another credit, but the marshals and pacers were people I knew, so running round there was always someone calling out, "Go Matt!" and it all makes a huge difference.

This coming week is a week-long strike, ahead of the exam boards next week. If the prep work for the boards isn't done, students won't get their results on time.smiley - prof

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SQ & BB

Post 563

SashaQ - happysad

Yes indeed smiley - oribsmiley - biggrin

Wow, that is nasty behaviour - so if you get upset in response, you look like the one who's being unreasonable... Also difficult that that sort of behaviour is easy to hide in a job interview, so he gets recruited, but hopefully that means he can easily get a new job and get away from you smiley - goodluck

Yes indeed my nana had a hard life, but I'm glad my sister and I were able to help make her later years more comfortable. My grandad wasn't involved in D-Day, but was twice on ships sunk by torpedoes so he was one of the lucky ones to make it back home... That is a great photo of the blacksmith's in the article smiley - ok

Congratulations on getting a great time at parkrun while being cheered on smiley - ok Excellent that you could do the run and also get a new volunteer credit smiley - ok I had more clothes recycling to do at the weekend, so I went to M&S and went to where the Shwop box was last time and it wasn't there so I had to do another quest to find it smiley - laugh It is nice smooth terrain for running round, though, so I enjoyed it - I measured the distance and it was about 300 metres from the car park to the lift, then all round the bottom floor, then back to the lift and back to the car park smiley - ok Yesterday was good birdwatching at the sheep farm - not as many rooks as usual (more crows instead) but I did find a few, so I added them to my list smiley - ok

All the best with the strike - just shows that student success is a team effort, and the prep work is important so deserves to be valued smiley - goodluck


SQ & BB

Post 564

Bluebottle

Of my grandfathers, my paternal grandfather's eyesight was so bad that he was unable to serve in the armed forces - being able to see what you're shooting at being a good idea - so he stayed home and like my great-grandfather was in the fire brigade, as you're less likely to accidentally kill the wrong people with a hosepipe. Still very harrowing as during one bombing raid in Shanklin, where he lived, direct hits were scored on the church by the convent and the fire station, with bits of nun and many of his colleagues all over the place, leaving 45 dead.

My maternal grandfather, having been an apprentice at shipwright J Samuel White's on the Island, was recruited into the Royal Navy at the rank of Chief Petty Officer as ship's chippy on HMS Birmingham, though he told me he was in the Merchant Navy, though the two aren't mutually exclusive. He was definitely a member of HMS Birmingham's crew when he met my grandmother, though.

Students simply can't get their results without Registry doing the exam board preparation, and it is telling that of about 30 staff in Registry, only 5 aren't in the union. They make the bulk of union members, with Accommodation another sizeable percentage, and the rest are predominantly staff who used to be in registry (including me).
They believe the work they are expected to do is far too complex for their official job grade - which to be fair is very true - and that they have no leadership. Again, true - there are 3 registry team leaders for the 30 staff, two of whom are part time and none of them know what they are doing and don't answer when asked for help. In fact, there is a member of staff who was on the SITS Project introducing the new record system who was in charge of the Registry area who has been trying to teach them how to use the system, but the team leaders for an unknown reason have refused to speak to her, and she's leaving at the end of this week. So she has vital knowledge, they've refused to learn it, and everyone else is left struggling. Doesn't make for a happy work environment...

The strike was well attended yesterday and again I enjoyed catching up with people I've not seen for ages. Sadly the roadworks meant that there was a giant dustcloud of dug-up tarmac where we'd normally stand, so we moved to outside the Spark building, which was in shadow and with a very cold breeze was FREEZING smiley - brr and we ended up moving to the top of East Park Terrace, where we could attract passing traffic and they would wave and beep, but we weren't really near the university and so not having an impact on the staff - particularly the VC - inside the building.

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SQ & BB

Post 565

SashaQ - happysad

That is shocking that a church was bombed, and amazing that your grandfather was one of the lucky ones, too, when other colleagues didn't survive... smiley - rose My grandad met my nana on board a ship, too!

That is telling that so many staff are in the union for good reason... What a strange situation not to value the SITS knowledge that the member of staff has, but I hope she is going to a job where the knowledge will be appreciated smiley - goodluck Sad indeed that it has escalated to strike action when better management communication and negotiation would have made a huge difference... Glad you had a good meetup with colleagues on the strike, but that is disappointing about the roadworks disrupting things. The weather is strange - can be quite warm in the sun, but the wind is definitely smiley - brr

A bit of a strange situation today - 'my' bully invited me to a 1:1 meeting without saying what it was about - I asked my boss if he knew what it was about, and he said he had contacted the guy but hadn't received a response. I sent the invitation to my boss, but the outlook calendar notified the guy, so he invited his boss, too... At least it isn't just me against him, but the meeting could go well or not well, we shall see... smiley - goodluck

My boiler is due for service tomorrow - this time last year I received notification on a Saturday that the company had booked an appointment for me on the Monday morning and the engineer arrived at 9am while I was just on the phone to the company to ask what the appointment was for smiley - laugh This time I received the notification a week in advance, so I'll be ready at 9am and that will likely mean the engineer turns up at 11.30am... Will be good to get the boiler checked over, anyway, after that problem with the rainwater dripping on to it smiley - goodluck


SQ & BB

Post 566

Bluebottle

Sadly war is war, and terrible things happened on all sides. The best thing we can do is try to learn and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Yes, my colleague is 'going' to Cranfield University, although in actual fact she's going to be working remotely, so her office will be exactly the same home she's living in now.

smiley - goodluck with your meeting - has it happened? Hopefully it is supporting and you are actually listened to. So often communication is key but the first thing to go.

Funnily enough we had our boiler serviced last week - we'd had several certificates from the previous owner who had self-serviced it, but we recently realised that he wasn't actually doing a good job when we had boiler issues earlier this year and the radiators stopped working. So we had a full service and was told that the boiler was fine, but the flue seal from the boiler was improperly sealed and a potential hazard, and it would cost £60 to rectify. Which we agreed to - we want a safe, hazard free boiler - but somehow the £60 has led to us being charged over £120, which is over twice as much as we were verbally quoted.smiley - grr

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SQ & BB

Post 567

SashaQ - happysad

Yes indeed smiley - rosesmiley - peacesignsmiley - peacedove

That is impressive that your colleague is moving jobs without moving offices!

My meeting is tomorrow, so hopefully it goes better than I fear smiley - goodluck I just have to be confident in all the experience I've gained in my job, so I can put my case forward and take it from there smiley - goodluck

Glad you had your boiler serviced properly, but that is annoying that the quote wasn't fully clear smiley - grr Needs must, I suppose, but it would have been better if the costs had been explained to you up front rather than by surprise... Communication is key indeed...

My boiler service went quite well, with just one niggle. The guy turned up at 9.20am, which was good, and did a thorough job of testing everything - he thinks the water dripping inside when it was raining outside was backflow from the condensate pipe, which is narrower than usual, but not a major problem, so that's reassuring. He topped up the boiler pressure, which had been low, but then bled the radiators and forgot to top up the pressure again so it is low again smiley - laugh Luckily that is something I have learned how to do, so not too bad, but just a bit annoying.

The other funny was that after last year's boiler service I asked for an invoice before I paid the bill, but the office staff never sent me one, so I didn't pay the bill - they found the debt today and sent the invoice while this year's service was taking place smiley - laugh I paid that straight away and now I'm waiting for the invoice for today's boiler service, which could be a while smiley - laugh


SQ & BB

Post 568

Bluebottle

I hope that the meeting went well and was positive overallsmiley - goodlucksmiley - hug - yes, you've been in your job long enough to know what you're doing, and remember that you have colleagues who value you even if individuals do not.

Ah, obviously your boiler repairers aren't that fussed about being paid - I wonder if you could have asked them if they are doing any "Buy one boiler repair, get one free" deals...?

Tomorrow I'm still on strike, but there's a leaving do I want to go to. Also I have cricket tickets for the evening, though the weather forecast is not optimistic. So I wonder if there's a way to find out in advance if the cricket is cancelled, as otherwise I have the hassle of leaving a leaving do early to catch a train to the airport where there's a shuttle-bus to a match to pick up tickets from the box office for a match which will be cancelled.

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SQ & BB

Post 569

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you smiley - hug Yes the meeting was positive overall, thanks to our bosses being there - if it had just been me and him, he would have told me what he was doing and made out as if it was authorised by the VC to force me to go along with it, but my boss got him to admit he didn't have authorisation yet and then gave me space to speak. Still a few challenges to navigate in the next few days, as his boss mentioned there is a committee meeting next week, but the guy wants us to meet again in 2 weeks - I worry that is a ploy so he can submit his project first, but I will liaise with my boss smiley - goodluck My boss also mentioned that the guy is being encouraged to find another job, as his current job seems to involve adding layers of bureaucracy to projects to justify his job, so it has come to the attention of the powers that be.

Yes, very strange that the boiler repairers are so relaxed when it comes to being paid smiley - laugh I would recommend them as they generally do provide value for money, but sadly it is a bit far for them to travel to you smiley - blue

All the best with the strike smiley - goodluck and good luck with the cricket tickets - if it is rained off I hope they do let everyone know in good time so you can plan smiley - goodluck If it goes ahead, I hope you enjoy it and the leaving do smiley - biggrin


SQ & BB

Post 570

Bluebottle

Well, that's hopefully promising that he has gained a reputation that is known, and so that should stand you in good stead if there are any future disagreements, especially if your own boss is on your side. smiley - goodluck

Today has been the sixth day of protest in a 5-day strike, with no-one striking but a protest held outside the uni as they are holding an open day, which I didn't participate in but the hope was to keep the uni off guard. Last I heard, the uni's position was to release an internal statement that wasn't true.

And the Registry team leaders who have been refusing to speak to the SITS project Registry strand lead, and so don't know how to do their jobs using SITS, didn't go to her leaving do. I did - I caught an early train, arriving about 45 minutes before everyone else in the hope that others would arrive early - and sadly they didn't. So by the time they did arrive it was time for me to leave, but at least I'd made the effort.
Catching a train to the airport and then the free shuttle smiley - bus to the Rose Bowl, the cricket pitch (everyone calls it the Rose Bowl even though it was named after its sponsor and was previously the Ages Bowl after sponsor Ageas and is now the Utility Bowl after the latest sponsor, but everyone will ever call it the Rose Bowl).
I arrived in good time, met up with a work colleague and settled down to watch the match - there were a surprising number of children around the venue playing cricket, so you had to constantly watch out for flying cricket balls from all directions.
A short while into the match I felt a bit peckish, and knowing that when I was there last year at half time the queues were unmanageable, decided to get food when there wasn't a queue. So I went to the smiley - bus that had been converted into a chippy when, as soon as I added ketchup, the skies opened and my fish got soaked - and what use is a wet fish, eh? And so the match was abandoned, and as everyone dashed out of the Rose Bowl I was left trying to eat a soggy fish in a car holder that was disintegrating in the downpour. The bus back to the station didn't seem to be running yet but my work colleague offered me a lift, which in the weather I couldn't refuse.
So on the whole I wish I'd stayed at the leaving do, but that's hindsight for you.

Hope you're having a great weekend and that you're having drier weather. smiley - hug Hope tomorrow goes well even if it feels bittersweet.

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SQ & BB

Post 571

SashaQ - happysad

"Last I heard, the uni's position was to release an internal statement that wasn't true." - hmm smiley - erm All the best with everything in the coming week smiley - goodluck

Glad you made the leaving do when others didn't, but that is a shame that the timings didn't work out very well. Also sad that the cricket didn't get to go ahead because of the weather and was cancelled at the last minute, but interesting about the children's sessions. Glad you got a lift with your wet fish, so that was better than it could have been, even though it wasn't as good as it could have been either...

It was funny food shopping yesterday - when I went to the charity shop, town was weirdly quiet, but by the time I got to the supermarket the car park was weirdly busy. Luckily someone left not too long after we arrived, so we could get a disabled bay. It was busy at the checkouts, too, but we had a laugh with our favourite staff member while we were queuing, so it wasn't a problem.

Today was different from planned, but overall good thankfully smiley - hug - we planned to go out for a family lunch, but unfortunately mum had to spend a few hours in hospital at the Urgent Care as she was bitten by insects on Friday and the bites swelled up overnight. My sister and her partner visited anyway, so we got some jobs done and then enjoyed tea and cake with mum after she had picked up antibiotics and antihistamines - the swelling had already started to go down by this evening, so hopefully mum will be feeling much better tomorrow smiley - goodluck

10 years to the day since D died, too smiley - cry Weird sensation - like ages and like no time at all at the same time... Probably because, although so much has happened in the last 10 years, she has been beside me in spirit during that time smiley - loveblush

I hope you had a good Father's Day smiley - teasmiley - cake The weather is certainly changeable - I did get a bit damp going from the supermarket to the car park, but not too bad. Today was rather chilly this morning 11 degrees, and then in the afternoon it was rather warm 21 degrees - luckily I wore layers so could adapt somewhat. I hope you had reasonable weather if you went out and about smiley - goodluck


SQ & BB

Post 572

Bluebottle

smiley - hug Sorry to hear it has been a doubly-sensitive time of year, and awkward with another hospital trip for your mum smiley - nurse - you'll be getting a loyalty card at this rate - but good news that it wasn't serious overall and I do hope she's well on the mend by now.

We celebrated Father's Day with a trip to see 'Inside Out 2' at the cinema, which had the advantage of being in the dry as well as a very good film. If you've seen the first one and enjoyed it, you'll enjoy this one too.

We also had a family meal on Saturday, to celebrate the end of my son's GCSE exams, so now we're waiting to find out his results, when the local colleges have their taster days and also when my father-in-law is moving house, and when we know, we'll be able to start trying to plan the summer around then.

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SQ & BB

Post 573

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you smiley - hug Yes - when my mum was in hospital last time, the smiley - nurses remembered her from the previous trips smiley - laugh This time was much quicker, thankfully - unfortunate that the out-of-hours medical centre was closed, but the urgent care unit in the hospital was able to provide prescriptions relatively quickly for people who needed them smiley - ok Mum's arm now matches her other arm, and the swelling on one leg has gone down, so she's just waiting for the other leg to recover smiley - goodluck

Glad you all had a good cinema trip and a good meal out smiley - ok All the best to your father-in-law with the house and all the best with your summer plans.

I got feedback on that project I did in 10 days instead of 10 weeks and was thanked for it being clearly presented, so that's a relief. Now I just have to work out how to handle the other project - it was indeed a ploy, as I couldn't get anyone to tell me where the committee meeting was, so I've missed it smiley - blue Hopefully my boss can help me sort something out on Monday when he's back in the office smiley - goodluck


SQ & BB

Post 574

Bluebottle

Well it's a good sign that she's on her way to fully recovering, so halfway there. Not good if she is seemingly seen as a regular customer, though, so hopefully that isn't somewhere she needs to visit again for a good, long time.

I'm afraid I've been a bit naughty - I discovered that Sir Paul McCartney is going on tour in the UK for the first real time since 2010 (with a brief appearance in Glastonbury in 2017), and reasoning that he's in his mid 80s, he hasn't toured for a decade and there's a good chance that he won't be with us in a decade - and even if he is, probably not still touring - so this may well be the last chance I'll have to see him live. So I bought tickets to see him in the Millennium Dome, which despite the advertised price were a third more expensive due to inexplicable fees and I ended up paying more than we can really afford...

That's frustrating that people are playing games at work, it would be nice to think that people are better than this especially in universities, which are supposed to be intelligent and understanding, but I guess not then.

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SQ & BB

Post 575

SashaQ - happysad

That's annoying about the fees bumping up the price so much from what was advertised, but I can understand why you were tempted to get tickets for such a special event. Sir Paul went to the same school as my dad but was 4 years younger, so it is quite strange to see he's now 82.

I had a good chat with a colleague today - we're going to work together to find out what's going on, which is helpful. Our bosses are also on the case, so hopefully we'll be able to sort things out without too much more trouble. After the meeting the IT guys sent us an e-mail with all their questions about the proposal - I can understand why they are attracted to shiny expensive IT systems, but they seem to have forgotten that the organisation is about people, not computer processes, so something cheap and cheerful can be good enough...

smiley - tea


SQ & BB

Post 576

Bluebottle

That counts as a bit of a claim to fame - I probably told you that I went to the same school as Sir Anthony Minghella, but not at the same time. I knew Laura Michelle Kelly too.

I had disappointing, but probably inevitable, news at work today - the VC has said that there will be several redundancies across all the university. People will find out on 1st July if their roles are at risk and be out the door, never to be seen again, by the 31st.
Surprisingly the mood in the office all afternoon was sombre, at best, if not outright depressed.
Our uni tends to always go for the cheap option when it comes to IT, with our IT department notoriously disapproving of any change and believing that any new system is inevitably a security risk...

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SQ & BB

Post 577

SashaQ - happysad

Interesting about alumni indeed. I think I've told you I went to the same school as Liz Carr, and never met her as she left the year before I arrived, but I used the ramp that had been installed for her on an almost-daily basis smiley - biggrin We had an e-mail exchange a few years ago, and I am glad to be able to follow her career smiley - ok

Sorry about the redundancy rigmarole starting again smiley - blue Best of luck with it all smiley - goodluck We're fortunate so far here that we're 'only' going through a round of musical chairs, and there should be seats left for everyone who wants one smiley - goodluck but it is still challenging with all the external factors going on, too. Not surprising the mood in your office is sombre indeed smiley - blue

Yes, there's definitely a happy medium somewhere between ineffective cheap IT options and expensive systems that are all singing all dancing but not playing the right tune...

My lunchtime project today was to clean my sofa, as I had a funny few weeks with my jumper that I just drape on the sofa when I'm not wearing it. One day I was about to put my jumper on, but shook it out first for some unknown reason - thankfully I did, because a quite big spider dropped out of it and ran under the sofa smiley - yikes Then a week later, I was about to put my jumper on, and I spotted a slightly smaller spider sitting on it so that was taken outside. Then yesterday I was about to put my jumper on and I thought I would shake it just in case, and a small spider dropped out of it. I only managed to clean half the sofa before the handheld hoover battery ran out, but there is already a goodly pile of dust and stuff that has been collected in the receptacle, so it is a very satisfying job smiley - zen

I hope you all have a good weekend. I don't have particular plans just yet, but hopefully will get out and about birdwatching (and/or dragonfly-watching) smiley - ok


SQ & BB

Post 578

Bluebottle

I've seen her pop up in a few different things here and there too, so definitely an impressive and interesting person to correspond with.

Definitely sounds like your jumper needs regular washing, and is so comfortable even smiley - spider consider it homely.

This weekend has been largely ordinary ahead of the trying to be in two different places at once which will occur next week - where I'll be planning on completing my parkrun alphabet by popping to the Netherlands on Saturday, but have to be outside work at 8am on Sunday morning to organise the staff trip to Tankfest.
Not sure to what extent a work staff event is necessarily welcome now, and my son is in full-blown refusal to go into the outside mode due to painful hayfever. I suspect the week ahead will be full of trying to ascertain if anyone in the various teams and departments are tempted now to go for voluntary severance and jump before being pushed, which potentially leaves room in the lifeboats for the rest of us.

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SQ & BB

Post 579

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, the jumper had been washed in between, but it certainly is comfortable for me and smiley - spidersmiley - laughsmiley - ok I wondered if it was my deodorant making the jumper smell homely, rather than washing powder scent that should be offputting... Anyway, it was very satisfying cleaning the sofa and hopefully the spiders will make their homes elsewhere for a while smiley - goodluck

Sorry your son is struggling with hayfever - the damp weather must have kept the pollen down, but I've certainly noticed I've been a bit sneezy in the last couple of days when it has been warmer.

Wow, that is a bit of an epic weekend coming up for you! I hope the staff enjoy the trip to feel part of a team even in difficult circumstances smiley - goodluck Yes, much better for the organisation to try voluntary severance first rather than compulsory smiley - goodluck

I had a good weekend. We did more Shwopping in M&S and then it was quite quiet at the supermarket, so that was good smiley - ok Today I had an excellent session birdwatching - quiet at Burton Mere as well, so I had a good chat with the volunteers. I then went out and encountered a group of people who had found a Bittern. Unfortunately the bittern wasn't visible from the accessible window, so one of the other birdwatchers kindly helped me to stand up at the high window so I could see it smiley - magic I was then able to take a photo while sitting down, by holding the camera high above my head smiley - ok


SQ & BB

Post 580

Bluebottle

There's been a couple of months of voluntary severance where posts are cut, not just jobs lost. That didn't really achieve much.
So we're at the stage where we know that 50+ people will have found out this time next week that they have until 31st July to empty their lockers and return their work laptops, and be forced into signing that they are accepting 'voluntary severance' in order to make their stats look better that they haven't actually made many redundant. So a week to go to find out who is competing with their close colleagues and friends for a dwindling number of jobs and whether I still have a job, and whether my friends do too. If either my close friend or her partner lose their jobs then it is likely they'll move away from Southampton and look for a house overseas. So not just job titles but ways of life and friendships are endangered and uncertain.

I went to the cinema on Sunday and saw 'Garfield' and on the same day my sister has had five kittens, so that's quite cute news. Coincidence, no correlation.

Congratulations on seeing the Bittern over the weekend - funnily enough I've twice cycled through Bitterne today.

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