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I usually dream about being late for work, but this time I dreamed… - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
I usually dream about being late for work, but this time I dreamed about being late for school. And other garbage. In the dream I woke up late so I knew I was going to be a bit late for school, but somehow didn't manage to get in until 10:45. (That was the end of morning break at the High School.) When I got there I couldn't find my French textbook and I knew I hadn't done the work anyway, and I wondered about trying to do the work really quickly and be even later to the lesson, but I knew we also had Music later, and I hadn't done the work for that either, but in the end I found the French textbook in the back of my locker, and ... I don't know what I decided in the end, because the dream shifted.

In another bit of the dream I was trying to write a Perl script to do something handwavy with SGML records (so, just like every day at work, then, only it was a bit clearer in the dream). The computer I was using was a giant clunky thing with a green screen. I was typing the SGML records in by hand to start with [I have actually been keying in some stuff that I'm trying to webbify at home, so maybe that's where that came from] and every time I'd finished typing in a record, the computer would switch to Windows and some kind of pointy-clicky record-input software, and I had to keep asking the other person in the room (I've no idea who they were) how to switch back to DOS because I wanted to be able to write bits of Perl at the same time. I wish I could remember the Perl -- I didn't seem to be having any trouble with multiple hashes, just with this bizarre Windows/DOS problem.

Then I dreamed that I was trying to organise some sort of school concert, or show-type-thing, and I was trying to find some music that was suitable for everybody but the only piece I could find that might do was a huge ornamental copy of the score, with folded-over pieces of tissue paper in lots of different colours, which I'd done for some Art project and now couldn't remember how it was all supposed to fold up; and then I was trying to play in a string quartet but I couldn't find my bow, and I found it just in time but the other three members of the quartet were all clustered really tightly round one music stand and I couldn't see the music, and one of them said "We're never this crowded when we play around the piano", and I suggested they spread out a bit around the stand, but they weren't listening. Then some of the other people taking part in the concert-type-thing started bringing food and stuff and putting it on the stage, weird arrangements of food, like eggs-and-bacon in a mug (that's the only one I can remember, but they were all weird), and I realised it was some kind of Harvest Festival or something, so I started trying to co-ordinate where people were putting their food as well, but they kept just putting things down any-old-how, and I wanted it to look purposeful, but I couldn't keep track of all the food that was coming in.

The only other bit I remember is that I was in bed with somebody and he was doing all sorts of silly things with bits of coloured string which were supposed to be fun, and he kept making silly jokes, and I was saying "Can't we just cuddle or something?" and "Can you stop being so silly please?" because I was feeling miserable and not in the mood for silliness, and every time he'd say "Yes, of course" and then do "just one more" silly thing, and I was crying because he wasn't taking any notice of what I wanted, and I think I woke up round about then.

So anyway, I went to sleep with a headache, probably a result of spending most of the evening crying and the rest of the evening arguing with sion_a; and I woke up still with a headache, and now I'm in work with a headache, and achieving approximately nothing except updating this journal.

Current Mood: headachey and miserable

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From: (Anonymous) Date: November 3rd, 2003 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Not on immediate topic

Assistant Shop Managers Oxted Part time, 15 hours p/w Ref: 2081/6 Part time, 37.5 hours p/w Ref: 2081/5 Salaried position + bonus Join us at Sue Ryder Care and you'll help your Shop Manager to make the store a fun, attractive place to be for customers and volunteers alike - and increase our income in the process. As you continue our modernisation programme, you'll perform a huge range of tasks, from helping to recruit volunteers, to making the shop look great; from processing stock to cashing up. A strong communicator, you have experience working in a team and you know all about great customer service. If you're also numerate, enthusiastic and confident that you can tackle some basic paperwork, get in touch. To get more information on this rewarding, varied role, write to Sue Ryder Care Administrative Office, 1st Floor, Kings House, King Street, Sudbury CO10 2ED, telephone 01787 314209 or fax 01787 319516. Closing date:7th November 2003. Interview date: 18th November 2003. www.suerydercare.org reg. charity no. 1052076 Care That Liberates Lives

This is in Sudbury, which is technically within a 50-mile radius of Cambridge. I think you could do this job very well if you could face the commute. It would be worthwhile. If you could commute to London then you are in hog heaven with charity jobs.

There *are* charity/public service/social service jobs out there; this is just one I pulled up in your area.

More on CVs in a bit...
Re doing things: a friendly but very tough-minded French guy I once worked with looked me in the face one day when I was bemoaning the Dearth of Decent Men and said "Katherine, if your clothes don't fit then you are shopping at the wrong shops." If what you do isn't working then doing it all over again, only harder, doesn't make any difference at all. You don't know that doing things differently *will* help but you do know that continuing in the same vein as before probably will get you more of the same.

If you and your Best Beau want to have kids then you will. If you don't have them then you and he together didn't want them as much as you thought you did. There is NO "right" time to have a child: there is always a reason not to. Men are usually more reluctant to sit down and work out what fatherhood and family planning actually means; like "how old a father do I want to be?" and "how much money do I actually want to devote to raising kid/s" and "what am I prepared to give up, actually, and for how long?"

Practical: you get very good maternity pay and benefits if you have been working with a firm for 13 months. That's one good reason for doing what you don't want to do for a while in order to get what you want to get. If you haven't done that work then you end up on statutory pay (if you have been working at all) which is lousy, or on pure benefit which is worse by far.

Either your Chosen Person will get on the stick or else he won't. In the meantime, you will be doing what you need to do in this world to start creating enough stability to start a family.

You Can Do This Thing.

best wishes,

Katherine
j4 From: j4 Date: November 3rd, 2003 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not on immediate topic

This is in Sudbury, which is technically within a 50-mile radius of Cambridge. I think you could do this job very well if you could face the commute. It would be worthwhile. If you could commute to London then you are in hog heaven with charity jobs.

I think I could much easier face a commute to London (45 minutes, direct) than to Sudbury (about 2 hours, 2 changes)! Commuting by car outside Cambridge isn't really an option for me at the moment, with a car that's a wee bit unreliable and has a top speed of 50mph...

It's a shame, though; it sounds like a good job. I'm surprised to see an assistant shop manager job that doesn't ask for retail experience, though (and working for Oxfam over the last few weeks is the first time I've worked in a shop, so I don't really have much retail experience).

If you and your Best Beau want to have kids then you will. If you don't have them then you and he together didn't want them as much as you thought you did.

We-ell... yes and no. There are quite a lot of complications in our situation at the moment; and I don't think wanting a thing -- however much you want it -- is a good reason to screw over the lives of one's dependents to get it.

There is NO "right" time to have a child: there is always a reason not to.

Very true. Though I think some times are wronger than others. And a time when neither of us has a stable job and we don't live in the same city is a Very Wrong Time.

Men are usually more reluctant to sit down and work out what fatherhood and family planning actually means;

Tee hee... he's already got 2 kids (aged 7 and 5), and I don't think he's under any illusions about what fatherhood and family planning means. (And I don't think he's any longer under any illusions about what marriage means, and what it doesn't mean...) Which is where the complications arise -- he's already got commitments to his existing kids, and by extension some level of commitment to their mother (even if only giving her money).

like "how old a father do I want to be?"

He's nearly 40 now.

"what am I prepared to give up, actually, and for how long?"

Well, he's not prepared to give up the kids he's already got, and to be honest I'd be horrified if he was prepared to do that. See, if he'd do that then he wouldn't be the man I want to raise kids with, but since he can't do that, then he might not be able to raise kids with me. If you see what I mean. (At least, not until his existing kids are grown up. Which is a LONG time to wait, though I'd be prepared to wait it if that's what it took.)

Practical: [...]

Good point. I hadn't thought of the maternity pay issue. Thank you! (And that's yet another way in which my current freelance work is getting me nowhere, of course...)

Either your Chosen Person will get on the stick or else he won't.

Well, like I said, a lot of it's outside his control; he's not really in a position to make firm decisions, as without a job he's not in a financially stable enough position to make decisive moves away from the kids' mother and still do right by the kids. Which is why he's with them at the moment rather than spending the kids' shoe-money to stay in Cambridge with me. If ... no, when he gets a job in Cambridge, then we'll see what happens. I can't pressure him to make decisions at the moment; it wouldn't achieve anything except to make us both more stressed.

I guess all I can do for the time being is try to get myself sorted out so that I can be a better girlfriend for him. And maybe, hopefully, one day, a better mother for our kids. <sigh>
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 3rd, 2003 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)

(off topic agayne) On CVs

Re CVs: if you are targeting a very specific job, trim your CV to fit their specs. If you are trying to sell your CV to various people (e.g., submitting it to half a dozen charities on spec) then you include more.
Most UK employers use your GCSEs and school record to see if you set the foundations for being of some use in later life, or if you got your A Grade in Underwater Basket-Weaving. You can re-write your CV starting with Name, etc, then using keywords to describe your EXPERIENCE (e.g., academic librarian with further experience in programming...) and PRACTICAL SKILLS (languages, book-keeping, underwater basket-weaving, etc), then jump into your chronology, followed by AWARDS, then PERSONAL INTERESTS (not "hobbbies", why put yourself down like that?) and any organisations you have belonged to which seem respectable ("Goths For Anarchy" maybe takes a back seat here, but Greenpeace or the Lizards and Arthropods Chamber Music Quartet would do). Create a cover letter explaining what you might offer the organisation, use your language skills to indicate that you make great tea, and send it off. They might not have anything right away but they will remeber you. Follow it up with a phone call in a month and keep calling.

Year out: never explain, never apologise. Just account for it. "The over-achievement culture at Oxford, as I saw it, seemed to me to be an essentially frivolous exercise, and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue participating in it, so I took a year out. During that year I did [list activities]." The End. Your De**ess**n is none of their business and it doesn't define you for all eternity. F**k it.

Re Belbin, I would guess - and it is only a guess - that maybe you just haven't applied for the kind of jobs which might want to use them or Myers-Briggs. If you were in the milieu which needs to use a variety of assessment techniques for its candidates, rather than one which is restricted to a narrow-ish set of intellectual and technical skills, you might have heard of it. That's not a personal comment, BTW, just a surmise. Small companies don't usually need to use either of them, either because they have no career structure anyway or they "know their people" too well. Ha!

I once dreamt I was going to sit my viva on a Saturday afternoon but had only written 2.5 chapters (of 9). My moral tutor said "go home and write as much as you can between now and 2 p.m." --- and my 'home' had been turned into a seedy East European brothel and there were no desks or even so much as a table. And no peace and quiet, either. I woke up believing myself to be scribbling away on the shelf by the payphone. :-)

:-)

Katherine

j4 From: j4 Date: November 3rd, 2003 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: (off topic agayne) On CVs

CVs -- argh. I wouldn't even know how to begin restructuring it like that. I'd have no idea what to put in or leave out. I'd end up in some kind of metatextual existential hell, writing and rewriting my life for ever, increasingly convinced that I'm just making it worse by working on it, but equally convinced that it's no good as it is. Unable to carry on, unable to stop. Trapped in the Secret Diary of Samuel Beckett.

Not to mention the fact that if I put all that crap in it'd be half a dozen pages long! Nobody reads CVs which are that long!

Yeah, okay, what I really want is for somebody to write my CV for me, so that even if I do get a job I can feel like I've cheated, and feel a failure for not even being able to write a CV...

Not really keen on the idea of applying on spec to companies who aren't advertising jobs, either -- a) I don't think I can muster the arrogance required to tell people "I'm so fantastic that you should employ me even though you don't want to employ anybody"; and b) it seems particularly daft with charities and NFP companies -- surely they're unlikely to have the funding for random jobs if they're not advertising them? I suspect they're more likely to reply saying "Dear insert name here, Have you considered volunteering for us? YOU could change LIVES by giving up just FOUR HOURS of your time!"

Your dream made me giggle, though. I hope you're not offended by that. It's just such a quintessentially dreamlike dream, but with ADDED BROTHEL. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 3rd, 2003 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Scoo-o-o-oooo-o-re!!!

A giggle? yay-hey! That's the best news I've seen in ages.

Your CV isn't at all bad but it doesn't do you justice, either - you manage to conceal or play down a shedload of Good Stuff.

Example: "Unpaid" is a self-deprecating and Not Smart first word to use in one of your job descriptions. Say what the job enatiled (as you do) and then, in parentheses, add (voluntary).

Pretend it isn't you, and then edit the s*d as if it belonged to someone you like, as a School Exercise: "change all these sentences from negatives into positives". You don't have to be Brutally Honest all the time; average non-histrionic honesty will do for every day useage. Be brutally honest in the privacy ofyour own home.

My geology prof (who was drop-dead gorgeous and stunningly intelligent and so suffered from Undergraduette's Syndrome every term) had a sign taped to his desk: The best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother. But there are a lot of ways to love; it is very much a matter of will-power; and if he is doing the right thing by not dumping his kids and their mom then he is at least doing the right thing, no matter what he and you have going on, which may or may not be a new chapter. As you say, in the meantime, you need to get on with being better to yourself and doing what you can to achieve your goals of raising a family (with or without him, that is all yet to be) by getting yourself sorted in a job which doesn't destroy you.

Get on with editing that young woman's CV - it's a grammatical exercise, not a psychological analysis, you can do it with one hand tied behind your back!

best wishes, as ever

Katherine

Sending CVs on spec isn't "hire me 'cos I'm wonderful" it's "hire me because you need to know I'm out here and have these skills".
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: November 3rd, 2003 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I got my CV re-written for me. I went to a job fair at Reading town hall which had a CV clinic run by an Adult Guidance worker from CfBT. It might be worth hunting for job fairs in your area, looking at the info and, if necessary, phoning the organisers to find out if they are providing advice clinics. I saw the info in the local free-sheet.

I struck lucky; the lady I spoke to had studied theology back in the day and was so keen to help me she gave me her email address and invited me to contact her again for some more input, which I did.

CfBT don't operate in Cambridgeshire, but a quick Google or two gave me this which may be of use.

I am exhausted and have to go out shortly, so I haven't looked at your CV, but I will when I am not dead tired and feel I can be useful about it.
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