A good manager and the ‘joy’ of moving

Mon 5 – Sun 11 Nov 2018

Last week was one divided into 3 very clear blocks:

  • Mon & Tues was time in Torrox with my old colleague Phyllis/Philip then travelling back to London
  • Wed & Fri I was at work and a lot of pre-holiday tension boiled up but my line manager responded brilliantly. Such that I felt in control of things again and not doing things that were not my area.
  • Finally Thurs and the weekend were all about sorting out moving flat

I do love a good election 🙂

election time

We also had the American mid-terms which I checked through Tues. America has got a seriously fucked up electoral system. Onerous to register, hard to vote, archaic machines, local controls, gerrymandering, and in-built biases such as the candidate also being the returning officer overseeing the election (hello Georgia).

Some excellent outcomes not least the Democrats taking the House of Representatives and winning several new Governorships. Shame about the Republican gains in the Senate and some very good candidates not winning such as Beto O’Rourke, Stacey Abrams, and Andrew Gillum. Meanwhile Trump is a narcissistic lunatic terrified of being impeached and acting like a ferret trapped in a hole being poked with a stick.

Farewell Andalusia

street in torroxWoke up late on Mon morning in Philip’s house at Torrox. I was in the lower ground cave room as when I stayed previously. It’s where they used to keep the donkey! After the good weather of the weekend in Torremolinos, it was heavily raining. This left off just before lunch and we went to nearby Nerja so Philip could go to the gym and I had a wander. Lunch together afterwards al fresco in the newly revealed sun. Back to chill and then out in the evening for an Indian in Torrox Costa.

Plane flyingLast Tues was all about travelling. Good weather so to the town square for coffee then Philip gave me a lift over to Malaga airport. All good and the flight back was fine though busy and we were delayed getting off at Gatwick.

Into London and met Dave for dinner; our chance to catch-up. Then unpacking and chilling. Actually an early night, in bed by about 9pm.

A Good Manager

Wed into work to deal with the curse of modern working – emails. Nearly 300 to fight through despite trying to keep on top of them whilst on hols. Some issues stressing me were still ongoing and had taken a new turn. My line manager stepped in and was excellent. The issue causing me problems was not really my problem in the first place – the risk of trying to be helpful. So it’s been moved to someone else. And we had a great catch-up in the afternoon where we agreed the stuff I should be focusing on from now onwards. Feels almost too easy, hopefully the solution sticks (says the pessimist).

My worst managers

the bad manager from The Devil Wears Prada It is so much better when you have a good manager. I’ve had good and bad as I think we all have and there is always the issue of managing your manager as much as they manage you. The worst I ever had was early in my career and it was someone put on by his own senior, inadequate manager. Still he was a shit, once making us return to work after the Xmas dinner to get some finance stuff completed on that exact day to meet his deadline – a bit sadistic. That was a very jolly occasion.

A colleague gently chastised him in an email and he came down on her like a ton of bricks. There was a bit of small man syndrome going on as well. I hope he’s a more chilled person now.

And then there was another manager who always used to disappear a lot as he travelled between the two offices he managed. There was a rumour that he was actually running a carpet fitting service on the side. 🙂

I hope I am a good manager to the people I oversee

I think I’m approachable and, hopefully, trustworthy. That what I commit to do is indeed what I do deliver. My philosophy is that ultimately we all want to do the best job we can and to have a nice life. Such that work should be made as easy as possible but noting that it is probably never that simple as the working environment is a complex eco-system with various players.

The Move

Sorting the utilities

There was a big work thing on Wed evening I had to duck out of so that I could help mum with packing. We actually collected the keys to the new flat on Thurs morning and finally had a proper chance to look around. And from then on we were allowed to take stuff over ahead of the main move the following Tues. Much of Thurs was actually spent with me on the phone trying to sort out swapping over utilities. Not as easy as it sounds as we are effectively moving into a new build with no-one who has lived before. Thus lots of ‘it’s not registered on the system’ and trying to find serial numbers on meters in the new flat to help locate it.

The weekend

cardboard boxesSat and Sun was an intensive blast of moving stuff from the old flat to the new one. Dave helped which was fantastic (I did make sure he was fed and I was extra nice to him 🙂 ). Slowly but surely my beloved collection of retro gay fiction was moved. I am still leaving plenty for the removal people to shift on Tues. But I feel a bit less embarrassed by the amount of books they will have to move – a symptom of my hoarding issues.

Health and Efficiency


JoggingI did manage to get my jog-run done on Sat morning, very early as usual – before other people are around. Run itself went well with a decent enough time of 51mins & 15 seconds for 7.5 km. Pace was quite slow with a time of 6.50 mins per km.

Managed to dodge the rain which was impressive and it was really mild. The latter I am convinced is due to global warming and we are all doomed. 🙁


Weight scalesI suspect the main reason for my relatively slow time was the indulgent holiday lifestyle of lots of food and alcohol. Plus, of course, my gym is still closed for redevelopment. I’m actually up to 14 stone 4 pounds so I seriously need to lose some weight.

Issue is – do I consider it important enough to do what needs to be done? Though there is also the fact that I eat when stressed and, short of stopping working, I don’t quite know how to deal with that one.

Personal Development

  • Duolingo – pretty crap (1 out of 5). Simply no time with work and the move. Try to do it before I go to sleep but I am sooo tired. 🙁
  • Coding practice – absolute crap (0 out of 5). Nothing done – is it ever in this area? Am I clinging onto this ‘ambition’ whereas I should just let go of it with things as they are at the moment?
  • Emails – OK (3 out of 5). My main time filler LOL. I always do personal and work emails on holiday not least to avoid a landslide for when I come back. The fundamental problem with emails is how to stop so many of the bloody things?

Books and Reading


So I’m getting on with this, the final book in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. It’s good but deep and starts to make sense of stuff in the first 2 books – isn’t that the point of a good trilogy? But still not finished so I will write it up in next week’s blog.

The Exchange

ExchangeI did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Exchange on Thurs to sell some of my hoarded books. The ones I look at and think, ‘why did I buy you?’ Yes, intriguing writing but how do I ever think I am going to have time to read it all? Most of the stuff moved on the weekend was books and, once we are properly in the flat, then I am going to have another sort through and get rid of more stuff to tackle my hoarding.

The Week Ahead

  • The Move happens. Mon mum’s beloved gas cooker is disconnected Mon morning. I’m off Mon afternoon for packing and then on Tues I’m not working and the removal men come during the afternoon. Tues evening it will all be over (in theory).
  • There will still be stuff to sorted – shelves to be put up, new furniture and white goods to be delivered. Plus double-checking the utilities are re-connected correctly. I suspect my day off on Thurs will be spent sorting these.
  • So work on Mon morn, all-day Wed, and all-day Fri. The latter looks like the day when I will have time to do stuff whereas the other two days are all about meetings. 🙁
  • Might get a jog-run during the week but I suspect I will just focus on my normal weekend one
  • Wonder if I can push down my weight a little bit by being sensible in the coming week?
  • I will finish ‘Acceptance’ and move onto the thrill of a new book
  • Hopefully some progress in all my Personal Development areas – languages, coding, emails

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