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

Mugs galore

Well there’s more news on the job front, but before I get to all that misery, I’ve been busy making MUGs, mugs, glorious mugs!

Practising handles and also learning slowly how to get the dimensions right – I can’t easily gauge how much something will shrink by (I know it’s about 15-20% shrinkage in the kiln but almost impossible to see what that will look like!).

One of my first mugs – very pleased, and it looks a little small but almost mug-sized – but then it shrank…

Continue reading

Rollercoaster

Well this has been quite a week. I should point out before we start that I’m an emotional being, and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve so my emotions are often BIG, whatever they are.

Monday was filled with immense joy, because I ADORE my pottery classes and all my mugs came out perfectly for once and it was so wonderful and fun that I came home bouncing around the house trying to sprinkle my flatmate with all my excess pottery joy. (A separate mug post will probably be imminent because I’ve very proud and I love my mugs…)

Tuesday I woke up feeling queasy, then threw up, and then continued to throw up for about 6 hours or so. But by afternoon I was feeling much better, so whatever it was, it arrived fast and left just as quickly. It was a strange and unexpected but thankfully brief interlude of unwellness.

Wednesday I felt fine again. Perfectly normal day all round.

Thursday started off ok, then a sense of impending doom overwhelmed me and I spent the afternoon weeping sporadically while descending into a pretty epic panic spiral, which only I can truly pull off with flair. But my friends and colleagues cheered me up and by the end of the day there was wine and skittles so it was all ok in the end.

Friday has so far been extremely average and now I’m quite tired after an exhausting week of emotional drama, but looking forward to some fun and hanging out with some fab people this weekend and basically not thinking about any of it!

I’ve done a handy chart for your reference:

Continue reading

Feminist Economics

Notwithstanding the fact that I’ve become increasing firm in my feminist views of late, this excellent article from the Economist highlights how women have been traditionally subjugated in the way we think about economics – even down to the ways we calculate GDP…

What would the world look like if women’s contributions to things such as unpaid care work were counted equally against paid labour? Which countries would have the highest GDP then I wonder?

The radicalisation of Maya continues – First I became a total convert to my local Green party, then I became a massive and vocal supporter of my worker’s union (UNITE THE UNION!), then I went to Cuba and became a pseudo-socialist, and now I think we may need a radical feminist overhaul of our economic processes….

Where does it all end?

 

May 30th – Additional!

Just also found this linked but equally interesting little article about how advancing women’s equality could add $12 trilliion to global growth!

Reality Check…

Well, I have had my official Stage 1 meeting (in December), and I have been given a long list of homework to do in the next 2 months, including:

  • Read at least 3 books from the reading list
  • Complete a family tree
  • Create a chronology of my life (including every address I have ever lived at….)
  • Fill in the DBS forms for a criminal records/background check
  • Complete some e-learning courses
  • Create an Ecomap of my support network
  • Complete a household safety checklist
  • Obtain criminal records checks from any country I have lived in for over 6 months (THAT could take a while…)
  • Get 3 references
  • Have a full medical

The more reading and e-learning I am doing, the more I am starting to more deeply reflect on the process, what is involved, and the impact of adoption is starting to sink in.

It’s almost like they’ve done this before. (No seriously, I must say well done to the Local Authority for such a well-planned process so far, and it really feels like it is all very logical and well-thought out etc).

What is interesting is that starting out on this adventure, it was really, frankly, all about me. I want a family, I want a child/children, I want to adopt siblings, I’m busy fantasising about how lovely it will be, and whether or not they will be white, black, Asian or mixed race etc. Continue reading

2017 Book Challenge

This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to read more books, so my Dad and I have decided to do this reading challenge together to get some new reading inspiration!

The list itself is fun, and we’ve both put together a list of books we plan to read in 2017. I’m going to post here all the books I have read (which I’ll update as I go along) with a short review of each book.

My first stop was a trip to Waterstones to buy some new books, as frankly, any New Year’s Resolution that involves shopping is a great idea! Continue reading