Month: May 2015

Calvary

What a great and original film. Set in beautiful Sligo, an intelligent and very different story. If you get a chance, please watch.

Sunshine on my shoulders

I have always loved the Gower. From the age of 16, I spent at least two weeks camping here with a group of like minded teens until our twenties. The scene of many legendary days and nights and the forging of some life long bonds, along with some bitter sweet memories.

I am lucky that we have had a family flat in Swansea for the last 13 years which has enabled me to rediscover this glorious peninsula and share it with my wife and sons who all now love it too!

The first summer I spent here there was a heatwave, man it was hot. Highlights  of that first trip – the purchase of The box set of Springsteen and the EStreet Band’s live ’75 -’85 opus and hearing the Piano vocal Thunder Road for a first time, sharing that with one of the gang who became my closest friend and best man. The inability to use sun cream causing horrific sun burn and peeling by the end of the trip. Crazy golf in the park in the pouring rain on the only day the sun did not shine, one of our party in the wildest coulered leggings I have ever seen. Midnight walks and swims at Three Cliffs bay, and before the burning – the perfect peace to be found with sunshine on my shoulders.

  

Human Touch

Having negotiated an exit and confident in the knowledge I would be able to get a new role quite quickly I Sat back, worked on what I Had to and waited until release date.

I was sad to leave behind such great people, both in my Team and in the wider business but it definitely felt the right thing to do. Something I hadn’t given any thought to was the sudden loss of Human contact. All of my working life I had been surrounded by people, either Customers, Colleagues, my own team . As an Area Manager there is a lot of time spent travelling, often alone but there is always the phone, the lifeline that allows you to keep in touch with your team ( some of whom may be 300 miles away) and own teammates who also find themselves on the road at silly O Clock book ending the day.

The most noticeable surprise to me in my first couple of weeks of garden leave was the sudden loss of contact. A few texts, a couple of calls but nothing compared with the deluge that was normality. Soon it would be on to the job search, but this was my first surprise in my new life.

“That feeling of safety you prize, well it comes at a hard hard price.”

How it all began – The Killing Floor

After three days years of great success with my last employer, All change hold on to your hats! As is often the case (I guess), a change at the top changed the world pretty quickly. Within 4 weeks my line manager had disappeared citing a family bereavement.

My colleagues and I all new something was a miss. Sure enough, two days before Christmas came the call from my manager to confirm that they were leaving and the circumstances surrounding this were dark and sinister. Actually, I just made that up, transparently, they had been offered a lesser role which was unpalatable. I felt very sorry for her and also knew that a similar situation was likely headed my way. I decided to keep this feeling from my wife and grin through Christmas. Christmas was great but I did feel a sense of foreboding.

Sure enough we were all called into “that meeting” in early Jan to be told our roles were at risk of redundancy. Numb – I heard “Killing floor” in my head as I walked out, and we were all, all 7 of us numb – knowing there would be an agenda, knowing we would be pitted against each other in some god awful assessment. The feeling of dread did not go away, rather it dwelt and hung like a waiting tempest clinging to every area of life until decisions were made. We had been told to re apply, and we would be interviewed against the new job description and voluntary redundancy “may be considered.” When I had my one to one I asked for my figures and could tell that this had not been part of the master plan…