You know how I said I was going to keep my old laptop? Well after keeping the new one and playing around with it for a week, I have decided that the old one will go, and I’ll keep the EliteBook. It is just as good as the other, and whilst it is a little smaller I feel I can work with it quite well.
As for the weight factor …. it’s not that much lighter. Maybe 10/12 ounces. So wish me luck with it.
The day started quite well, this was yesterday and I know I’m a day late but I’m still recovering!!! So it was explained to me that it was a meeting with H****, the person who had done a ‘sensory assessment’ for R*** to explain the results of the assessment and how we can move forward. That’s how it was explained and that’s what K*** thought was going to happen.
It was quite a pleasant drive, and the traffic was a lot lighter than the last time we drove that way, a couple of weeks before. As a result, we arrived a good 25 minutes early. We of course tried to convince ourselves that it was better to be early than late. Eventually H**** appeared and invited us into the meeting room. As we entered the room, my heart sank and my brain went into overdrive or maybe meltdown, I’m still not sure which.
The room was set out with 4 tables, each with 2 chairs, and each table had a number of ‘tactile’ objects. “What’s this?” I asked K***, already knowing what it was. K*** shook her head and said she did not know. I could feel the frown lines on my head beginning to deepen. It was not just a meeting, it was a course. It was a ‘session’ and I hate that kind of thing, even when I know to expect that kind of thing. Another 3 nameless people came in along with the community nurse, J** that we knew. There was one of the large ‘boom box’ type cd players, pumping out some quite loud music. The ‘meeting’ started with H**** giving a brief introduction whilst the music was still belting out. K*** told H**** that she could not hear and received a smile and a nod in response.
The music was then turned off, and we realised that it was part of the ‘session’. It went on for nearly 2 hours with a couple of ‘exercises’ in which we were made to feel a little stupid. The first one, and the most stupid of all, was when we had to wear a blindfold, rubber gloves and were told to unwrap this object, then cut it into 4 pieces and place one piece in our mouths. I tried for slightly less than 30 seconds before stopping. It was supposed to show give us an indication about sensory deprivation. I felt stupid and angry, especially when we were told that ‘two people had done it yesterday’!!!!!
As I mentioned earlier I hate this kind of interactive group work. I have never understood why anyone would think it has any kind of benefit. To my mind, the only people that get anything from these ‘sessions’ are the people that organise them. So to all you that put normal people through the torment of ‘role play’ or ‘group session work’ or whatever you like to call them, just ask yourselves “Does everyone like this kind of thing?” I think you may find the answer is a huge NO!!!
The much awaited online programming course with Future Learn started on Monday. It was a course, which would (hopefully) teach me how to program a mobile phone game for the Android platform. I enrolled before Christmas and had downloaded all the necessary software that I was going to need well in advance. I had got through about a third of the first weeks tutorials and everything seemed to be going well. But, I could not get it to work, without getting errors. I posted on the forum the problems I was have, and received some, what appeared to be good advice. So yesterday, after taking some of this advice, I proceeded to update the software I had previously downloaded. Two hours and 4.5 gigabytes later, I tried again. Same problem. There just did not seem to be an answer to my particular problem. Very disappointing. After another three hours of trying this and trying that, I gave up. Literally gave up and left the course. It is not what I wanted to really do, but it seemed the best thing at the time. Now I’m not so sure.
Future Learn is an online private company owned by the Open University. All the courses are free and some can lead to certification. It is still in beta stage, so maybe that is why I experienced a problem. This is the second course I started and not finished. The first one, I thought was about Richard 1st, but it was really about England in that period. Although it was interesting, it was not what I was looking for. I have another course starting at the end of April, to do with fiction writing. Maybe third time lucky !!
So, the 2nd disappointment was work related. More specifically ICT work related. We are all to get new computers. Laptops to be more precise, or Netbooks if you want to split hairs. The ones that had been decided on was the HP EliteBook 2570p. Now I, and others have been told, that this is what we need for our new work system. Because we are to be more ‘mobile’ we will ‘need something that is easier to carry …….’ Now, I know that I’m going to be a little incapacitated for a while in the future, but I think I’ll still be able to walk 300 yards with a laptop on my back. But, in order to be objective, I’m going to test the thing out, over the next few days. However, I think I’ve made up my mind already. I’m going to keep my original laptop. The Elite Book will go to someone else, or maybe I’ll say “keep it for me …. for later …. if I need it …. after the ‘op’ ….”
Well that’s it for now.
I am referring to those ‘Special Offers’ and ‘Freebies’ that seem to be on every type of food these days. You know the kind of thing ‘Collect 5 special tokens for your free …..’ and other such amazing offers. Tried one Friday. An offer from a frozen food company for an attractive ‘free’ bowl. According to the blurb on the packet all I had to do was go to website, click on the offer and enter two codes and the bowl would be on its’ way to me in 21 days. Three ‘easy steps’ I was told. Simple! Nope! First, when you get to the website, you have to find the offer, which was in this case (in)conveniently on page 2. Then once you click on the button, you are whisked off to another page where you have to ‘register’. Usual thing: first name; second name; email, phone number; mobile number; full address; password and confirm password. You are then told that your email needs ‘authenticating’ and you need to look for a confirmation email with a link. Of course, that ends up in your spam-box. You click on the link and hey presto you are taken to another welcome page telling you all the benefits of being a registered user. But no link to the offer. So it’s back to the Home page and of course, now you need to login. Once logged in and navigated to page 2, I enter the first of the codes and click the enter button. Tap tap tap ……..tap, enter! I get a message “Sorry, that code is invalid or has been used“. I double check the code and enter again and get the same message. Now the code cannot have been used before as the pack was still in the freezer until that morning.
A quick email to the website results in an automated response telling me that my complaint will be dealt with within 12 hours. Still waiting!
So, what does this mean? It means that the company, now have all my details, phone address and I have no ‘free’ bowl. Another email is going off today to demand that my details be removed from their database. Do you think that will happen? I’m not going to hold my breath!
It’s not so much the work, more some of the people I have to work with. There’s a lot of stressful things going on in my life at the moment. What with the “Life changer”, the ‘restructure’ and the new service, things are quite worrying. The whole of the public sector is going through a really bad time as we pay for the mistakes of the past years. So it becomes very hard to be understanding of the microcosm attitude of some of my colleagues. I’ll not call them friends, because despite their ‘crocodile tears’ and concerns, I still feel I’m an outsider and that they don’t really care as much as they try to make out. Saying that, there are some who I genuinely believe do care. I will only identify them by their initials (not that they are likely to read this, but you never know) and they are SB, MS, JB and DC. If they do read this, then they will know who they are.
I’m sick of the little ‘chats’ the others have between themselves, when I seem to be out of the office. The sudden ‘quite’ when I come back into the office after the private phone call with my manager. Do they really need to make it so obvious? Today was a great example. I went to have a chat with someone, about a work issue, and when I got back, three of my colleagues were sat together talking about something. I don’t know for sure what it was, but am convinced it was about the new changes. There was no attempt to either include me or bring me up to speed with what was happening. And this kind of thing seems to be happening more and more. I am now watching my back a lot more closely than ever before. I’ve identified my friends and am just watching the battle lines being drawn. This could be a rough few weeks, but I know which side my bread is buttered. Interesting times ahead.
Now here’s where I apologise for the number of clichés used in this post.
Well today went better than I expected. After a 1 hour wait, I saw the surgeon (or at least his registrar.) We had a very relaxed meeting/consultancy and quite a lot of things were discussed. It would seem now that, after all my doctor/consultant said, it may be possible to repair rather than replace the dodgy valve. A repair would be very much more preferable to a replacement, or so they say. It all depends on the day of the operation on which way they go.
Was told, that I should hear in the next two weeks or so, about the actual date of the ‘procedure’ which should be in three to four months. I now have more time to plan things out both in my head and at work/home. That makes me a lot happier!! I’m no longer thinking that this is a ‘life or death’ situation that the urgency of the past three weeks has hinted at. So I’m more relaxed about the whole thing. This ‘worst case scenario’ can often be more of a hindrance than a help.
So stay tuned, but it could be a few more weeks before Life changer + XX gets another outing.
I did not mention it, but at the end of the angiogram procedure, the consultant told me that my arteries were ok. He also said that I would be contacted by the surgeon, and I thought he said within 3 to 5 weeks. The appointment letter came today, and the appointment is tomorrow!!! As I say ‘… bloody hell that was quick’. I’m now thinking that what he meant was that I would be contacted by the surgeon AND in 3 to 5 weeks I would have the operation.
It came as a massive shock, and I still have not got my head around it. It has still only been 3 weeks (that number keeps cropping up) since the ball started to really roll. I’m beginning to think that it’s a plan to get me in and get the job done, before I have too much time to think about it!
So now what’s happening is the well intentioned but less informed messages of support. Comments like “… they may keep you in and do it straight away, if they have a cancellation…” which seems to be the favourite of my manager. I don’t think it happens like that these days. Might get ‘bumped up’ a day once I’m in, but the way the NHS is at the moment, there’s just not the staff/time/money to do things like that now.
K*** is taking it very well, at least on the surface. I know from some the emails she has sent to R***’s support nurse that she is very worried. There are two counts for her worry. On one hand she is worried how I will cope with R***, given his sometime violent nature. But on the other hand, she is equally worried how R*** will cope with me being ill. It could be a bad time for all. However, we may all be getting this wrong and R*** will be fine and understanding. It’s something you cannot tell with R***, but I don’t intend to worry about that.
Work is being very good about all this. They have done me a favour last week with my time off, and I’m very grateful. So tomorrow, I’m working from home in the morning (will set up after this) then taking flexi time in the afternoon. Can’t beat a bit of give and take.
Get ready for tomorrows update, if they let me home!!