Saturday, March 18, 2006

And I'm left wondering why the world is full of fuckwits and evil-doers.

"Hi David, it's Mr. X from The Agency.", and so starts another day full of dread. It wouldn't have been so bad had I not spoken to him everyday this week, and everyday brought another blow to my mental well-being.

First it was "be honest with me David", which was Monday morning. Tried to blag my way out of the situation, but realistically, I couldn't have said anything else other than the truth. I suppose I've got my mum to thank for that. That, and the fucking integrity that got me into this mess in the first place. So, I explain that I'm looking for another job, and that I'd appreciate it if this didn't get as far as my current employers. At least he was decent enough to forward my CV onto a couple of places.

Then, after that it was "they want to talk with you". Tuesday bought its own terrors. Why the hell 'they' (my current boss and the prj mgr) couldn't just speak to me direct, I've no idea, but anyway, that was the case. Arranged a meet for Thursday afternoon, 1530hrs, which ruined my plans to go to the beer festival, as that was the only time A + me could have gone. Apparently, the role is only ever going to be a code slave role, and they're looking for someone who's a dedicated (certifiable!) code-slave. Not where I'm at. So what does that mean? They're going to fire me? Well, technically they can't, as I've not done anything wrong. But that option is the one that I focus on, and it fills me with fucking dread. How am I going to pay the mortgage without a wage? I really don't want to loose the house, and it would put a lot of unneeded stress on the relationship between A + I. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.

Wednesday: had a reasonably nice day in Manchester, a pleasant talk to a "Creative Group" company, and, of course, the earth cafe for lunch. I love that place. "It went well enough" was my comment to him. Still fucking shaking with fear.
A books us tickets to see Scuffer on Thursday evening, wasn't that enthusiastic about it, but it does mean an opportunity to go to Little Tokyo for tea!

Thursday: I'm fucking shaking even thinking about it. Was possibly one of the most fearful days in my whole life.
Fortunately, A dragged me out for a walk in the snow, which at least took my mind off of the possibilities that lay ahead of me. Was really nice watching the wall of snow drift up the valley towards us, and BUGGER, hit us, leave us cold and wet, then quickly pass on towards Manchester. Crazy weather this week. Absolutely crazy.
Anyway, the main event. The fucking show-stopping event of the bastard year. How did it fucking deteriorate into this?
So, I put on my best suit, sneak in the back door. Surprise my fellow work mates, but avoid the "What are you doing here" questions. Summoned into a room with Mr. X (agency), my boss and the prj mgr.
Bat around the issue with my boss for a while, him making statements rather than asking questions. Bastard raised questions about the quality of my code, which I think I at least managed to score one run off. He backs off when I asked for details about the issues he has. Eventually, it just gets to the point where he's makes a statement of fact, and I just sit there as tell him I don't really know what he expects me to say. Implied in that was "Do you want me to argue a point of fact that I agreed with, and make myself look like a wanker? Are you trying to trip me up and therefore give yourselves a way to fire me?". I thought I handled that part of the session reasonably well, coming away with a no-score draw.
So, round two starts with the prj mgr going all "Good cop" on me. "What I really need to know is are you going to stick around for the duration" (or words to that effect). Something inside me responds to this line of questioning. It's direct, and honest, and I answer it in the same way. To be fair, if I think I hadn't, I might have lost it at some point during the meeting and told them exactly what I thought of the bloody pair of them. Very uncool in front of Mr X (agency), who's in the position to help me find alternative employment.
So, after the "I'm looking for another job" reply, I'm told that my boss needs to talk to HR, and that I'll have a response by tomorrow morning. I'm then escorted off the premises. I was so full of rage, full of fear, full of dread. I walk up to the bus station in a real state, and manage to get the bus back. Txt A, rather than phone her, as I didn't want to start crying on the bus.
Get back in time to leave again. At least the play keeps my mind off of the whole affair, left quite happy by the time we get back home (the pint on the way home might have helped :)

"He's not in the office today, he's off skiing. Can I take a message?". Bollocks. Friday doesn't start well, especially as we discovered the boiler is fucked, so we're left without heating or hot water until someone can come out and sort it (which was meant to be in the morning, but turned into late afternoon). I'm constantly glad A sorted out the cover for the boiler and central heating, especially as this is the third time we've had to call them out.
A leaves early for her parents in the south. Should have fucking checked the situation, as there's a train strike, and what with one of her connections breaking down, it takes her over 8 hours for the planned 4.5hr journey.
Eventually get a call from Mr X, who's in Geneva, and he lays out the situation. "One week's pay, and an end to the whole affair, or else they'll get nasty." Nasty means disciplinary action, and eventually being sacked. Shakingly, I phone A, and she's not a lot of help, really, apart from saying that her folks have offered to help if we're in a financial whole (at times like this, I'm so glad she's upper middle-class). So I phone my little bro, who's the trade union representative at his work, and also an outside ear. Suggests I take the money and walk away. Also suggests that I could always ask my former employer if they've got any temp work I could do; they've three places vacant at the moment. Thank fuck I've got people like my bro I can speak to. It sets me straight, and I phone a few agencies to see what work there is. One puts it like this: I'm a reasonably cheap option (£29k cheap? fuck!), with extremely marketable skills and experience. Gives me the confidence I need. Phone my boss, who's off, eventually get to speak to the HR woman. She's quite unresponsive to my trying to wangle any other money out of them. Arrange a 9am meeting with her for Monday morning - which means going into work to hand in my notice. At least I can walk away intact, if a little bruised.

Apart from that whole debacle, there's at least three more job interviews lined up, with two more on the cards, so workwise I guess I should be able to sort something out. Heating's fucked until they come and fix it on Tuesday(?): cold and alone (woe is me ;) Life's sweet though, especially as I'm looking at having next week off two (well, looking for work, but you know).

I'm so glad that whole week's over.

Should probably blog this kind of thing is smaller bits, as its taken me about two hours to get all this down.

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