Quarantine Day #5

I realise that I hadn’t posted on here in yonks, so I decided that, seeing as we are in the midst of a global grounding, I might as well pick my blog up again. Because I miss posting here, y’know.

Yep, so it’s only day #5 for me because I live in the UK and we took longer than everywhere else in the world to take this pandemic seriously. And that’s not even a joke!

Last Monday, I was back in work as normal, although some of my team were already working from home as the schools had closed. (That took an age for the government to decide on too!) Monday evening brought a speech from the Prime Minister. At last, he advised people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. He didn’t mention lockdown, but we all knew that was what he meant. I’m unsure as to why he was so reluctant to come out and actually say it. He’s probably regretting it now, as he has tested positive for the virus.

Anyhoo, my team took to the group WhatsApp straight after the speech, and it became obvious that the management were reluctant for us to all work from home. Unfortunately, though, they now had little choice – the government had spoken. And, to be honest, after a few weeks of trying to act nonchalant, I was starting to worry, especially about my parents. And, secretly, working from home has been my ambition for a long time.

So, on Tuesday, I took my laptop into work for the IT guy to prepare for WFH (as all the cool kids are calling it). I managed to wangle an additional monitor and, once they let us leave (which they clearly did not want to do), I raced home excitedly and set everything up in my spare room-cum-office.

Wednesday was my first day working from home. I love it! I have seen numerous people on Twitter complaining about it, but what’s not to like?! I can work flexi hours, turn up late, wear my scruffs and no makeup everyday, and nobody can tell me off for it. Because they can’t see me! And I can still get all of my work done without co-workers pissing me off.

For an introvert, it is the ideal situation. It’s just a shame that people have died to allow this to happen.

Admittedly, it is an extremely scary situation, and I hope you are all doing what you can to stop the spread of this terrible virus. I may be happy to stay at home, but I am very aware that I am, on this occasion, doing it for a good reason rather than just being antisocial. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for unwittingly passing the virus on to someone else because I couldn’t follow simple instructions.

If you don’t need to leave the house, then don’t, and hopefully we can get this under some control very soon. Stay safe.

Winging It: Life, And How Not To Do It

So, I decided to take the weekend off from blogging. In fact, I took the weekend off from most things. I temporarily forgot about my to-do list, and basically just relaxed. To be fair, I think I deserved it.

Since my public meltdown on here the other week and the support I received from some of you amazing people, it feels like all of my worry and anxiety and stress has kind of deflated. It doesn’t feel as important anymore, as if the very act of writing it down has neutralised the negative feelings. Instead, I feel a lot more chilled out, and also a little indifferent. Why should a job I don’t particularly care for have so much influence over my life and my emotions?

Of course, I am merely avoiding the issue and I know it will raise its ugly head again very soon, unless things change. We have a new member of staff starting next week so things may improve. But after 18 months of the same or similar levels of shit, I’m sceptical. I think it’s time to move on, and my current indifference is merely an emotional plaster that will eventually peel off.

If only life was easier and we all had jobs that we loved, and relationships with 100% trust and loyalty, and happy home lives with enough money to pay the bills and holiday every year. If only.

I’m guessing there must be people out there who do have all of this, and if you are one of those lucky people, I am jealous.

I’m at such a crossroads in my life right now that I need to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’m 42 this year – why haven’t I figured out where I am going, what I want to do, who I want to be with? Should I have this figured out by now? Or am I destined to waste my days away in passionless jobs just to pay the rent, coming home to my cats and my books and my wine. Actually, I don’t mind the latter, but do I really want to be alone forever?

Ok, I need to compile a short-term bucket list. What I want to have achieved by the end of 2019.

Yep, 2019. Plenty of time then, so I don’t really have any excuses. Here goes..

  1. Enrol on the life coaching course I’ve had my eye on. I know what I want to do but I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities, mainly because it is something I haven’t done before. Ask me to lead and organise a team of people, or process a pile of timesheets and I will amaze you. But life coaching? Zero confidence in myself. So, get qualified, join the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists) and go from there.
  2. Book a holiday. Anywhere really, although preferably somewhere nice and hot with interesting places to visit and a beach. And cocktails.
  3. Get a new job. Yes, I know the #1 thing is going to happen, but I still need to pay the bills before I build up a solid client base. And I can’t keep dragging myself into the hellhole I currently work in.
  4. Open myself up to the possibility of love. Ok, this is probably the one I’m least confident about as I don’t have much faith in people. But it would be nice to have someone in my corner for once.
  5. Have more faith in me. I’m a mess really, aren’t I? If I had more faith in myself, I wouldn’t even be writing this list. I know I have strengths but I get scared when it comes to applying them to something I really want. And then I run away and hide.

Life coaching? I think I need someone to coach me before anything else. After all, I can’t wing it forever.


First of all, I just want to thank those of you who took the time to read/like/comment on my weekend post. I wasn’t in a good place at the time and needed to get a lot of frustration off my chest. Afterwards, I did consider deleting it on more than one occasion – I wasn’t sure if I explained fully how I was feeling, or even why I was feeling the way I did. In hindsight, I thought that it would seem a little trivial to those of you who are depressed for real, authentic reasons. But then I realised – when you suffer from clinical depression, anything can be a trigger, no matter how big or small. Nobody was going to judge me on that.

For me in this case, it is a result of working my heart and soul out for a company that takes me for granted, and will continue taking me for granted until I decide enough is enough. My problem, or my greatest asset, whichever way you want to look at it, is that I pride myself on doing the very best I can, whether I am happy or not. If I have a job to do, I will knuckle down and get it done. And that is where I have gone wrong with this company – they are taking advantage of my work ethic rather than awarding me for it.

So I need to leave and take my loyalty and my integrity elsewhere.

Of course, it isn’t that easy. I can’t wake up one morning and think, “sod it, I’m not going back”, much as I’d like to. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

So my only other option is to find another job. Easier said than done, but I will persevere. They won’t break me.

I just need to be careful that I don’t break me.

Happy Monday! 💙

Not A Normal Monthly Overview

Well, around this time of the month I would usually be posting my monthly overview, covering achievements from the previous month and goals for the month ahead.

This time, I won’t be doing that. I didn’t post at all throughout May, and would like to take this opportunity to explain why.

For those of you who are familiar with my blog and have read my posts, you will know that I am not happy in my current job and haven’t been for some time.

You will also be aware that I suffered from depression in my younger years.

Anyway, let me start at the beginning.

I have been working for a recruitment agency since January 2017, in their accounts department where I process weekly payroll for the contractors. I was employed as a part-time payroll administrator to work alongside a full-time administrator, a full-time payroll queries manager and another payroll manager (yeah, I don’t know why either) who was currently off on maternity leave, to return on part-time hours.

Now, for those of you who have worked in this environment before, you will be aware that payroll is a repetitive, boring task which is well suited to someone who likes routine in their job. This is not me, for a start. I am, however, a very hard worker, and will accomplish any job quickly and efficiently if that is what I’m paid to do.

I have to admit, there were red flags right from the beginning, but the hours suited me so I persevered.

My co-worker Emma*, the full-time payroll administrator, was a friendly girl but infuriatingly chatty, which became a real issue on our busier days. She was also incredibly lazy, and clearly felt that she was above completing payroll tasks now that there was a new member of staff to do them instead.

I found myself working harder to complete tasks on my own rather than raise the issue of her laziness with the management, who spent a lot of their time sat around chatting too.

I began asking for extra tasks to do to break up the mind numbingly dull repetition of timesheets and expense forms, but the managers were totally ignorant to the fact that I was doing the majority of the work and then some.

When Emma confided in me that she had been offered another job, I encouraged her to go for it, pointing out how terrible our current jobs were. In the back of my mind, I was a little gleeful – once she left, there would be no doubt who the real worker was, and I would at last get some recognition.

Yes, in hindsight it does sound ruthless, but that wasn’t the case. I was just sick of doing all the work while somebody else took the credit for it.

Everything went to plan. Emma left and was replaced by Jen*, an older lady and a typical administrator. She wasn’t as fun as Emma but at least she was there to work, and not to gossip. I took on the task of training her up and we quickly became a formidable team. The department improved in leaps and bounds.

During this time, the second payroll manager (why?) Lorna* returned from maternity leave. I had been pre-warned about Lorna by Emma, who claimed that she was terribly lazy and shied away from hard work – pot, kettle and black came to mind but, as Lorna trained Emma up, it wasn’t difficult to detect a pattern.

Everything that I had heard about Lorna was true, and she and the other payroll manager Kirsten* proceeded to spend the majority of the day sat chatting while Jen and I worked our backsides off. We spent a great deal of time complaining amongst ourselves, but there didn’t appear to be anything else we could do. The management team were a clique of women who had worked together for years, and so it was pointless complaining because they were the best of friends.

Eventually, Jen lost all motivation and I found myself again taking on the majority of the tasks, plus extra jobs, while she dawdled and faffed around. After persevering for a few weeks, I appealed to Kirsten in the hope that she would step in as manager. Instead, they fired Jen, leaving me as the only payroll administrator.

This was at the end of March. For two months now, I have been toiling away at a two-person job with barely any help. When Kirsten or Lorna do deign to help out, it is grudgingly and Lorna in particular will do the bare minimum in very bad grace.

A couple of weeks back, I did complain about the lack of support I was getting, but nothing has changed. I am, quite honestly, losing the will to live, so to speak, and something needs to change. I have been on my own now for two months and, as I only work part-time, it is just too much.

The life coaching company I was attempting to start back in April has run aground – I am exhausted, and can’t find the motivation anymore. I haven’t even posted on the Instagram or Facebook page for weeks. How can I promote a happier life when I am just not happy?

This past week, I took annual leave but haven’t had the energy to do anything. Mid-week, I spent a lot of time in such an unhappy state that I cried. This is not right, and I need to do something about it.

Yesterday, I applied for another job.

I decided to write this down today as a therapeutic exercise. I needed to get it all off my chest so I’m not bogged down by negative thoughts all weekend. I also wanted to explain the reason behind my absence. I do apologise if it has put any of you on a downer; that’s assuming you actually read to the end. I’m trying to state facts rather than going off on an emotional rant!

Hopefully I will be back to normal very soon, and I’m sorry for the depressing post.

Nearly Christmas! #WeekendCoffeeShare

[Photo Credit: loretoidas on Flickr]

If we were having coffee today, I would offer you a nice cup of Nescafé Fine Blend, as its all I have in at the moment. Other than that, I have Yorkshire Tea, which as you may recall I prefer to drink. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, although I have been meaning to try a few different blends in an attempt to find something that suits me. Coffee does seem like a hobby I have missed out on, and one that would suit me down to the ground.

I haven’t been around much recently, which does happen more often than I’d like to admit. I tend to get distracted by thoughts in my head, which I could in fact jot down in my blog in an effort to organise my mind. I’ve always been the same though, and like to keep things in my head, where I mull it over for days, even weeks, without uttering a word. I don’t tend to confide in people, and I have never had much luck with a journal. I lose interest very quickly in writing my thoughts and feelings down in a book where it could be found by all and sundry, and tend to log it all in my head instead. Probably why I get burnt out so easily and need so much time alone. My New Years resolution will be to begin a journal and to take it seriously, for once. I need room for others in my head and in my life as I am becoming far too solitary.

Work has been pretty meh recently. Nothing much to write home about. It is so monotonous that nothing ever really changes. Some days I get on with it, other days I am bored out of my mind. I do like to be challenged at work and this rarely happens. However, things may be about to change. Our office manager is pregnant, due to give birth in April, and she is currently sorting out her affairs and putting cover in place to pick up certain jobs when she goes off on maternity leave. I have been asked to attend a meeting next Friday with her and the payroll manager to discuss duties, which is interesting. I’m not really sure why I am included in the meeting. As a part time payroll administrator, up until recently I was treated as a spare hand and it took my full-time co-worker leaving for them to realise who had been doing the bulk of the work. How the times have changed! I’ll be interested to discover what extra tasks I am being entrusted with. Might shake things up a bit.

In other work-related news, we had our Christmas lunch on Thursday, which made a nice change from a Twix and a packet of crisps (I know, I’m so healthy!) There was even wine, which always goes down well in any situation. Our Financial Director sat with myself and my co-worker Jane, and downed a full bottle of red on his own, in an hour. A man after my own heart! Of course, I’m well-behaved these days and stuck to one (large) glass. I was driving, after all, plus I’m not really comfortable enough with the team just yet to be getting sozzled and shouty.

I only have one more week and a day left in work before I finish until the new year, which is exciting. I have never before worked for an establishment that actually closes at Christmas, so this is all very new. I do have to work on the 27th but that’s it until January 2nd. Bonus! Maybe I don’t hate this job so much after all!

In other news, I have completed my Christmas present shopping and now just need to shop for cards, wrap gifts, and do a food shop when I get paid next Friday as I am hosting Christmas at mine this year. This is worrying in itself, and I’m not really sure what I need to buy, or even how to cook it. I’m no domestic goddess after all. Hopefully, everyone will live to tell the tale!

Well that was my week in a tidbit. I hope you enjoyed your Fine Blend. You never know, next time I may be drinking coffee with you instead of my habitual cup of tea.

Aaaand.. Relax! #WeekendCoffeeShare

[Photo by Natalia Klenova]

Good morning/afternoon/evening to you, on this Remembrance Day. If we were sitting down together with hot drinks, I could offer you a coffee but I will be drinking tea. I always worry a little when making coffee for people as I don’t drink it myself, and am unsure about measures, etc. But I will make the effort for you, if coffee is what you prefer. I apologise in advance if it is undrinkable!

So today, we are going to discuss the week just gone, and I am going to put a few things into perspective. I find that writing things down is very therapeutic for me, as you may have noticed from my monthly overviews for September and October. I do have a tendency to ramble as I work things out in my head, and my writing can often come across as erratic and meandering. I hope that isn’t a bad thing, and if it is I can only apologise again, because that’s just the way it is.

I generally find it so much easier to blog at the weekend. There is so much more time, especially if I have nothing arranged. When I am relaxed, my mind works better and more clearly, and I find myself wanting to write, rather than it being a chore. Mind you, even when it initially feels like a chore (letter-writing in particular), as soon as I start to write, I can quickly get into the rhythm. It is just a case of getting over that first hurdle, when you aren’t feeling the motivation. During the week, my mind is more often that not in a completely different zone, filled with work and school and other dull, everyday things. But when the weekend is stretching away in front of me, and I know I have few commitments – that is when I want to write.

I told you – rambling. That’s generally how I write.

Anyway, how’s your coffee? Top up?

So, how was your week? More often these days, I find myself wishing for the weekend to hurry up and arrive, as I plod reluctantly through my working week. This isn’t good. I get very bored by repetition and too much routine, and my job is the same week in, week out. Boring.

It is a shame because, alone, I am never bored.

There was one highlight though, as I toiled half-heartedly through my working days. My manager took me into an office with the HR manager on Wednesday morning. At first, I thought they may have overheard my incessant moaning recently. But no – my manager has noticed what a ‘fantastic job’ I’m doing, apparently. Says the department is running so much better since my colleague, who had been with the company longer than me and was seen as the ‘more experienced’ team member, had left, and that I’ve been doing a fabulous job of training up the new lady. In short, she didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know, but it is nice to finally be recognised for my efforts. I’ve only been working there for 10 months! Anyway, I’ve been given a pay rise, which is always nice, and also much needed right now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the job any less boring, but at least I am appreciated for the work that I do. That makes me a little happier, because I do work bloody hard for that company, and up until recently it has been overlooked in favour of mediocre team members.

Okay, so it may sound like I have a massive ego, but that’s untrue – I am merely aware of how hard I work, and I like to be appreciated for it. As we all do.

Other than work, my son has been continuing with his high school education, and not doing the best of jobs at it, I might add. This week, he has been put on report. Bearing in mind that he has only been there for two months, this is a bit of a worry. However, on the other hand, it is only two months and I think he is finding the transition from primary to high school a little difficult. After all, it is a totally different environment. He is adamant that things are going to change though, which is encouraging. Only time will tell if this happens, but I am going to remain positive. It is only early days in his high school education, and I hope eventually he begins to knuckle down and take it more seriously. Personally, I just want him to be happier than I was throughout my years of high school education. Obviously though, being on report is not my idea of ‘happier!’ Luckily, the reasons for him being put on report in the first place are minor misdemeanours (turning up for lessons late and without his workbooks) are easily rectifiable. 12 years-old boys are not generally known for their organisational skills!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your coffee, and our chat. I’ll see you again next weekend.

Monthly Overview – September

Yet again, it’s been a while since I posted, and my posts have recently been very few and far between. Again, I do not have a reason, apart from supreme lethargy. I have little motivation, energy, or enthusiasm for anything these days, and I definitely need to give myself a good kick up the backside! I am also behind with my monthly overview as we are now well into October. I have no excuses. Life has been particularly heavy-handed recently, both on my purse and on my emotions. I definitely seem to be having a stroke of bad luck. 

As with my August overview, I am hoping that, by listing my achievements and short-term future goals, I can boost my enthusiasm levels, but even now, a few lines into this post, I am racking my brain for one single achievement. Yes, it has been that bad. I can’t complain as I have a home, a job, a family that support me. Yet nothing seems to be going right. 

Okay, so I am going to apologise right now, before this goes any further. This has all the hallmarks of one of ‘those’ posts, the ones where I grumble and moan throughout. It could very well go in that direction as I am in a particularly pessimistic frame of mind today, so let’s do things a little differently this time. Instead of listing my achievements, I am going to list my failures, the things that haven’t gone too well. Let’s call them ‘happenings’, for want of a more neutral term.

My recent happenings:

  • I bought a PC bundle for my son’s birthday in October. He has been asking for one for a while now, and I decided to be ultra-organised by purchasing it in early September with plenty of time before the big day. While this may be an achievement of sorts, what transpired later (this last week) wasn’t. The PC doesn’t work; Windows 10 refuses to boot, and my son has yet to use his birthday present (it was his birthday on Tuesday). I am currently waiting for the company I purchased it from to email me back about fixing the problem, exchanging the product for something that works, or giving me a full refund. All very stressful.
  • My cat Masai didn’t seem his usual self in early September and I decided to take him to the vets to get checked over. They immediately admitted him to do a variety of tests and kept him in overnight on a drip and with a catheter attached. It appeared that he had a very full bladder as a result of cystitis. He came home the following morning with a week-long course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and in a very bad mood. Poor thing.  Luckily, he is insured or else my purse would have suffered a lot more than it did.
  • My car went in for its MOT and failed. This happened in the same week as the above. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy with the way things were going back then.
  • Work seemed to be going okay.. that was until we were informed that we were being moved out of our cozy little room into the main office with all of the recruiters. I work as a payroll assistant for a recruitment agency. It is a fast-paced environment and we are often very busy. The quiet of the accounts office was ideal for getting on with our work. However, now we are out in the main office which is extremely noisy, with recruiters loudly talking on the phone and amongst themselves. Too much distraction. I honestly don’t understand the reasoning behind the move. It doesn’t make sense, and I’m not comfortable with it. Even more reason to find a new job.
  • My little blog hit 100 followers. Yay! Okay, now this is an achievement, although my lovely followers are now probably regretting their decision after reading my depressive ramble.
  • My smallest Facebook page, A Little Bit Of What You Like, is edging slowly towards the 60,000 mark, which makes me happy. It is by far my prettiest page.

  • Oh, and I nearly forgot! I completed the Memory Walk in Croxteth Hall Park, Liverpool, on September 3rd, and raised just over £100 for the Alzheimer’s Society. I even received a medal!

You may have noticed that I ended there with a couple of achievements, which is a result. I knew that by offloading my grievances, I would make room for those little gems to peep through the gloom. It’s sad that social media makes up a large portion of my achievements though, which isn’t entirely true. As I mentioned earlier, I have a home, a family I love. A job that I don’t really want, but which helps to pay the bills. And I walked for charity. Things could be worse.

Goals for October:

We are already well into October so my goals will be few. Looking back at my August overview, I didn’t really achieve any of the goals I set for myself, apart from the Memory Walk and the MOT (which didn’t go too well!)

  1. Get healthy. This is still a work in progress. I have cut out the bread apart from the odd sourdough sandwich, and I’m eating healthier snacks, such as oatcakes. Jogging will be resumed on Sunday mornings around Risley Moss. Slow and steady steps.
  2. Seriously think about my career. I’ve been talking about it for two years, ever since I took voluntary redundancy, but I’m still no closer to a happy work life. I know I have to work at it. I just need to motivate myself.
  3. Get this PC fixed. On Monday, I will be on the phone to the seller in an attempt to get it sorted. I am no IT expert and I certainly didn’t expect to purchase a product that wasn’t fit for purpose, so I’m determined to get a positive result next week. For my son just as much as for the sake of my stress levels.
  4. Organise days out for my week off. Half term week is fast approaching, and I have time off work to spend with my son. I’d like to arrange some fun yet frugal activities to keep us both entertained. I’ll try looking on https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/north-west/cheshire/warrington for some ideas. We also like to visit http://www.lymmvillage.co.uk/about/landmarks/lymm-dam for a walk and an ice-cream, and to feed the ducks.

So that’s my September overview – better late than never! Hopefully, October’s will be delivered on time. 

Happy October! #WeekendCoffeeShare

My #WeekendCoffeeShare this week is actually going to be a #WeekendTeaShare, in my case anyway, although I can offer coffee if you prefer, or lemon tea, or even hot chocolate; I have a plethora of hot drink options to offer. The choice is yours. I myself will sip at this lovely cup of good ole Yorkshire Tea as I summarise the past five days.

I opened the week suffering from a bad cold, which rather surprised me as I am rarely ill. I started with a sore throat and runny nose on the Friday and snuffled my way through the day at work. Saturday was the same, which I anticipated, but I stocked up on cold and flu capsules and assumed I would be better by Sunday. Generally, I am only sick for around two days, which has been quite annoying in the past when I have considered milking an illness. You can’t really milk something that no longer exists! Well, some people can, but my inbuilt honesty won’t let me do that. This time, however, I woke on the Sunday morning feeling like death warmed up, and looking like it too! This continued well into the week, and even now I can still feel the remnants of the cold in my stuffy nose and slightly sore throat. I must be getting old. Either that or I’m just not looking after myself properly. I have been aware for a while that I need to exercise more. Since taking an office job last year, I basically sit on my backside for the majority of my life, which can’t be great for my health. That’s one for my to-do list; get off my arse and do something!

I’ll think about it, anyway.

Today is the first day of October, which I am excited about. I love October. I’m not really sure what exactly I love about it. The vibrant reds and golds in the trees. The fallen leaves. Being able to wear snuggly jumpers and put the central heating on without looking odd. Halloween. A reason for the weather to be crappy. Hot chocolate and stews. My son’s birthday. Spending 15 minutes defrosting the car before work each morning.

Okay, not the last one.

For the past two years, I have enjoyed a holiday in October; Cyprus in 2015 and Crete last year. This year, I unfortunately couldn’t afford it. Previously, my son was in primary school, and his head teacher was fairly lenient around holidays in term time, as long as your child’s attendance was good. However, now he is at high school, all of this has changed, and holidays during term time are unquestionably NOT ALLOWED. So we will have to wait until I win the lottery or something.

Apart from holidays, I am also a big fan of Halloween. I love the whole idea of it more than I actually love the actual day, because it inevitably rains. I love buying pumpkins and attempting to carve (destroy) them. I love decorating the house with fake spiders webs and Keep Out signs. I love seeing the kids out trick-or-treating, even though, as I mentioned above, it’s usually in the rain. Sometimes, I even love to dress up and go out with my best friend Michelle. Not this year, unfortunately, but I’m still looking forward to Halloween. I dream of hosting a fancy dress party, but my natural aversion to people has so far prevented me from getting any further than searching up Halloween on Pinterest.

Anyway, I digress. My week has mainly involved me being ill, and work being the same old, same old. As of tomorrow, we will be out in the main office with the recruiters instead of hidden away in our own little Team Accounts room. Apparently we don’t mix enough with everybody else, hence us being uprooted. I find it extremely unfair, but that’s mainly because I like hiding away from the crowds. This coming week is going to be an eye-opener! 

I’ll keep you posted. 💜