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Ever play 52 Pick-up?

1st December, 2006


It is hard to believe so much could happen in two months.   At the beginning of October, 
had a meeting with Big Boss & HR Manager – my job is ‘under threat of redundancy’ – did I have any reasons/ideas to stop it happening?


When you get over the feeling someone has punched you in the gut and they thinks you are trash and totally worthless – takes about 10 minutes, actually…  Realistically, you know this is all crap and you ARE worth a hellova lot more than the cheap bastards are paying you.

Then as the meeting progresses, you start to smell the dead herring that has been lurking under the Uberbitch’s desk and has made it’s way downstairs to the Revenue Manager’s and now in here…   Yes, I had been expecting this, ever since the re-organisation of the office and the decision to put everything on one floor.   Lots of closed door meetings in her office…   [Ho, ho, I said to Lynnie, next step in the game…  Watch your back, she said – [Uberbitch has been trying to find a reason to get rid of me for the last three years]…

So the negatives wore off quickly and I made the polite noises and played the game…

Yes, we would have another meeting next week and discuss the alternatives, etc….   All political and a bit like a chess game.   They had no intention of keeping me and it was just having to do the ‘right thing’ on paper, to avoid any comebacks legally etc, etc.

It was eventually decided the HR would float my CV around the Company and see what was available – stressing sincerely that it was the job that was redundant, not me personally.

Well, yes I know that – but I am out of a job, when all the posturing is done.

I decided to play along and made the right noises and I have to admit that I was so sweetly reasonable and professional [and ‘adult’ he said], it was kinda fun watching my Boss squirm… *ok, I’m sick*  It did net me the maximum co-operation and redundancy package…

Over the next few weeks, it was both irritating and amusing to see them scramble to try and have me do as much work as possible, before I left – Uberbitch among them…  They picked a good time, just before Christmas, huh?!   So the two biggest job as it happens, had to wait as various things had to happen first.   I just didn’t do anything to help them along, is all…  Who was going to help me?  Of course not, don’t be silly…

This redundancy has actually enabled me to get out of the business and out of the depressed and depressing North of England, to relocate down south, closer to London but still out of it.

Cambridge, I thought, would be perfect.   Why Cambridge?  It is a bustling University town, lots of jobs and about 45-50 minutes on a direct trainline to London.   Most of the concerts,  conventions etc are held there and it is handy if I want to go in for a day – in half the time and at half the price I would pay from here [specials are available too].   Final good reason, Jude lives there and Lynnie is 2½ hrs away on the bus….  We could see each other a hellova lot more than we do and have a James day out in London with more sweet ladies from Bristol & Semmington, if we feel like it – and as a bonus, Milton Keynes & the Collectormania events are £5 away on the damn bus!

So all in all, not sorry to leave here at all.   I have been thinking for a long time ‘how the hell can I afford to move?’ and this is as good a way as any.   Yes, it is taking time and a lot of effort but well worth in the long run.

I started applying for jobs down there and signing on at every Agency online that I could find.   Some were helpful and some were like old trams running on worn old tracks and about as useful…

I have been pleasantly surprised at the help and support – so far – from the people in the Jobcentres, nice change.   And I can ring up on the first day after my official Notice runs out and They will start the Jobseekers Allowance & Housing Benefit by PHONE – useful as that will be the 22nd of December – and a fair trek from where I will be.   Useful with a f**ked up leg.   Damn, I have to notify the National Insurance too….

Then the news – JAMES is coming in May, 2007!!   Bought tickets to the talk & photo op straight away, booked hotel online and paid for it – just have to go now…   I owed my favourite roomie, so I shouted us both.

This hasn’t kept the money in my pocket of course, but who gives a f***….  This is IMPORTANT.


It quickly became apparent that trying to job hunt from up here, with Real Estate agents who DON’T OPEN ON SATURDAYS! was an exercise in futility and frustration…  So the first order of business was to get down there.  I organised myself and bought train tickets for the 11th November for a look-see – and arranged to meet a willing Agent, who was very nice, at the same time – and my lovely Lynnie came & kept me company for the day [Sadly, Jude was working].    After my business meeting, she & I took ourselves off for lunch and then walked around the city centre.   Gave me a nice overview of what was there and I like the ‘flavour’ of it all, market day too.


I opted to finish work immediately and did my last working day on the 17th – HOORAY!!!  Sooooo glad to step out of the shitty place…  metaphorically speaking.   Still living here till I found somewhere else, difficult for them as this is my home too.   So I arranged to go down to Cambridge the next Tuesday, stay overnight and on Tues/Weds, fit in as many viewings of flats/rooms as I could arrange in that short time.

To my delight, Jude could not only meet me but at the actual station and insisted I stay with her.    I was to consider her my private taxi – needless to say, I am indebted to her for all her efforts.  What a little honey, this lady really is…   I would not have seen what I did without her – and it really pissed down on Wednesday too!!

I managed to set up five viewings – starting at 12pm Tuesday [which was cancelled by the letting Agent, due to an arsey tenant] – the next one wasn’t until 3.30pm and gave us a chance to chill out, have lunch and talk like maniacs…

To my delight & relief, I was able to pick somewhere to stay that suited me and was clean, all on the ground floor, with an ensuite bathroom - no lead feet above me, waking me up at all hours!  Bliss!  No 5am garbage collection, drunken guests departing at 2am, revving engines or sodding Fire Alarms at 3am!!  And best of all, doing my own cooking again!  I am starting to look like a shoestring chip and baked beans….   Rice & veggies!  Curry!!!


Having said, yes, I want to take the room [5 in the house, with shared kitchen & laundry] – and the landlord liked me - the next steps took time.   It must be said Real Estate has to be one of the biggest expanding businesses in the area and hundreds of houses like mine – filled mostly with students [which explains the Estate Agents’ attitude].   They have had it too good for too long – they would not survive up here, not working Saturdays.


The filling out of application forms for credit check, tenancy agreement – Guarantor’s credit check! followed.  I have been made redundant, remember?   But if I am out of work at the end of the official notice, my Housing Benefit can be made payable direct to the Landlord – so relax, guys…  Paresh, half of my landlords, says the last guy got Housing Benefit but never paid him a penny!  I am willing to give him a note signed and witnessed to the effect if he likes!! 

But hopefully, my guarantor should be enough – when they have done the checking but as long as it is goes through, I don’t frickin care!  I will personally strangle whoever cocks this up for me but Anna has signed a form saying she will pay for me if necessary, in addition to the credit check form, just for the landlord…. 

Bloody hell, WHAT NEXT?    What more do they want?  This has taken the best part of two weeks already, shilly-shalling about - Do you know, they actually rang my ex-landlady, who I haven’t seen for 3½ years, to ask what sort of a tenant was I and how did I pay?!!  They want to know your damn shoe size and what sort of knickers you wear, this lot…  and they all sound about 12 years old… [“Oh sorry, didn’t mean to ring you – looked at the wrong part of the form!  I’m having a blonde moment today,” said one]…   Bloody annoying, humiliating and frustrating…


It better be ok, as I have just paid the deposit and rent-in-advance by bank transfer, signed & sent off the tenancy agreements, booked the removal men for 11th December [that’s costing an arm & a leg] and cancelled the phone!!!    [BT had the nerve to whine that they needed two weeks to terminate but will cut off the line on the 11th and debit the amount].


I am taking on NTL cable in the new house, as the line is already in there and have a nice little package [now why did I think of James!] comprising of Broadband, Digital TV and Telephone [all evening & weekend calls free] for £35.49 per month.    They come with the modem, tv box etc and set it all up – but I won’t know what my phone number or my email is until the tech has been and gone on the 12th…  All calls to my mobile during the changeover 11th & 12th.   *pulls out hair by the handful*

I do have to buy out my contract with Tiscali but it is about the same amount it would cost me to have a BT line put in, without the TV etc…  So dropped the rate to the lowest and will cancel at the end of next week – so if they get arsey, I won’t be cut off for long!  *mutters, 9 by £…*  more money out….


What a lot of details to sort out;  moving areas is worse, of course   I will need a new doctor, dentist etc – but I have decided to stay with the surgeon who is going to repair my hernia – didn’t tell you about that, did I?!!!  Wanted to get my hip done first.

Luckily, it is day surgery and if I rest up overnight, [at my cousins’], I should be able to go home the following day, I hope…  They have to give me a weeks notice, so it doesn’t cost me a frickin fortune on the train and I can sort out which tablets I have to stop taking etc.   *Ho hum, something to look forward to*


Now I have to do the bit I hate – stop all the payments on direct debits and standing orders and call in the payment protection insurance….  No more money till I have a job…  It always pisses me off that other people can have such an adverse effect on your life – because they can….   One of the few good things about living-in, you don’t pay Council Tax – you don’t pay much on Jobseeker’s Allowance, thank heavens but they do actually insist you pay some of it – unbelievable as it may seem.   I just have to hope Cambridge Council arrange themselves better than Harrogate, who are primo f**kwits….


Can I go lie down now, please…   Woke at about 5am this morning and my brain started to go round like a rat in a trap…  gave up at 7am and got up…  I had a nap later in the morning just before lunchtime.    Now I can worry about the guarantor form….  Not finished yet….


Wow, it’s after 1am  really must lie down and disengage brain…

Well, at least you can see why I haven’t been posting lately!!

Stay tuned for our next exciting episode……………

Kissy, kissy


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 2nd, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
Not quite over yet but i have fingers, legs, toes and eyes firmly crossed....
i'm hoping when i'm in [and working!], we can arrange for all of us to meet up in London for a day or a couple of days - before James comes, for choice... Would you like that?
later, babe
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 2nd, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
OMG_ I wondered where you disappeared to! Sounds like my move to Florida-something you only do once in a lifetime! But, you really have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow further south and so close to friends and London. I'm sorry it's been such a hassle, but glad it will end well for you. Hoping the move goes smoothly-can't wait to hear about your new digs and activities..

Keep well

Dec. 2nd, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you, petal
As you say, the move to come but yes, i am hoping it will be what i want and need. Be lovely to have friends again and places to go see [some nice museums & galleries etc in Cambridge] - pretty area too... There is a sinful shop in Cambridge that just sells Chocolate - the real stuff 75% - 85%! and once in a blue moon 100% pure!!! Whoa, mama! It was PACKED the Saturday Lynnie & i were there.
Stay well and safe, my dear - you are often in my thoughts!
Dec. 2nd, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
OMG I hate this time of year - so many employers treat you like shit! Keeping all my fingers and toes crossed for you sweetie!! *hugs*
Dec. 3rd, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks, honey - sweet of you!
They do treat you like shit, huh.. doesn't matter what country. And this way, it won't matter about taking some time off to into hospital AGAIN... Luckily for me, only day surgery but it's the icing on the damn cake!
Roll on 11th!
*blows kiss*
Dec. 2nd, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
Good luck in Cambridge I'm sure you'll settle very happily there
Dec. 3rd, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the good wishes - i need all the luck i can get!
We all have our ups & downs, don't we? You have had your fair share of 'em for sure!!
Stay well
Dec. 2nd, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
My brain is fried just reading that! Hope all goes well for you. Cambridge sounds wonderful, especially the choccy shop!
Dec. 3rd, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
i think my brain has gone extra-crispy at the moment... Still sifting through stuff to-take or not-to-take but will be finished well within my time limit, i hope! Have a week to cope with any hiccups or snags.
i'm looking forward to exploring all of Cambridge in the months to come - but have marked That Shop for my special attention!
Dec. 10th, 2006 09:41 am (UTC)
Holy cow! I'm tired after reading about all that. *hugs* I hope everything works out for you. I'll see you in May. ;-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )