2018 Book Challenge

I enjoyed last year’s book challenge so much, and it really re-invigorated my love of reading, so I have decided to do it all again this year!

Last year I managed a total of 45 books (including some non-challenge entries) and I’m not sure whether or not I’ll achieve the same this year, but who knows?

The official list my dad and I are using is here, and I’ll be adding to this list as I go along. Continue reading

Random acts of kindness

As tempers get ever-more heated at my office, people are hunkering down in their respective corners getting increasingly defensive and spiteful. The sad thing about feeling under attack is that it makes people lash out and blame others and attack each other even harder.

The vibe in the office has been one of ever-growing hostility, sadness and despair over the last few weeks. Restructures are never easy, and I’ve been through several, but this one in particular feels somehow far worse than any we’ve gone through before. There is a bitterness and resentment that is slowly seeping into everyone’s consciousness, as if an evil villain has released some kind of toxic conflict vapour into the air.

I have been through my own rollercoaster of emotions, ultimately touching on all of the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) when thinking about my job, and the prospect of losing it.

I have days when I accept that it is all out of my hands, and days when I feel angry and want to fight back. But I also realised that our senior management are bearing the brunt of everyone’s visceral anger and hatred and frustration. And I suddenly saw how tired and exhausted and worn down they all are. And then I remembered that despite being “management” and being the ones having to propose cuts to this team and that team, they are also just people, and I remembered that they are people I happen to like.

I have spent so much of the last few weeks joining in with all the panic and anger and sadness and bewilderment and confusion and defensiveness that I forgot that some of the colleagues I admire the most are also suffering the most.

So I decided to try a new tactic. Continue reading

Restructure Hell: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

Ok, well things at work are either looking up or looking down, which is terribly confusing really.

Last week, after realising my job didn’t appear to be in the new proposed structure, (we tried to counter-propose to put it back in and failed), I started talking to my team, to the union rep, to friends and colleagues. And the response I got was:

  • Of course you’re in there!
  • Of course you’re in there!
  • But your team is actually getting bigger! What are you worried about?
  • Counter-propose and tell them why they need to keep your job!
  • But you’re already in there!
  • What are you worried about? You job is there!

And so on.

Literally everyone thinks I do a different job (an “advisor” role), – which is in the new proposed structure, when in fact I do not. The problem with this is that¬† Continue reading

Waterboarding, and other childhood memories…

So, as part of my Stage 2 / Homestudy, I have been taken on a long trip down memory lane, and asked to delve deep into the childhood of Maya. My social worker asks very specific questions such as “How was discipline administered in our family” and “what were the most traumatic moments of my childhood”, “what were your relationships like with key family and non-family members growing up”, and so on…

What is fascinating is that I have dredged up quite a few memories which I had totally forgotten about, and looking at them with fresh eyes, I see things now that I didn’t as a child.¬† Continue reading