Reality bites: interviews and goodbyes

Mon 11 – Sun 17 Dec 2017

Work stuff


Doing assessmentsAfter the euphoria of my new job, the reality sets in of fulfilling the new role and the knock-on impact of this. Last week was all about doing internal interviews for posts in the new team I will be overseeing with Dilhani.

It’s a re-organisation about change. But not everyone can get the job they want and it’s really tough telling people they haven’t been successful in the interviews. I don’t ask for sympathy, it was my choice to do this. But it can be a devastating blow to be turned down for a job. We’ve all been there but it is a horrible experience.

Sad manAnd trying to explain to people why they weren’t successful is difficult. It’s often subtle differences that set people apart and simply because someone did a stronger interview not that the declined person did a bad one.

Though inevitably there are elements of people not having the right experience, lacking a big idea what to achieve with the post, and not realising the aim is to do something new rather than simply continuing what happened in the past. Advice to anyone doing an interview – make sure you say at some point ‘I really want this job because…’ (note if you can’t bring yourself to say that then why are you bothering?)

Goodbye Nissa

My wonderful job-share Nissa has left. She has decided to take the redundancy offer. Nissa is going to set herself up in a consultancy. She can give excellent advice around using tech, learning strategies, doing monitoring and evaluation well, and so much more. I would highly recommend her. It’s been great working with her for several years and we did so much together particularly around promoting tech for good / social tech. I am going to miss her and so are lots of people at our place. We stood and clapped her out of the office.

Work Christmas lunch – goodbye old team

lights on the treeOn Thurs we had the Christmas lunch for my old team that is disappearing in the re-organisation. Great to be all together for one last hurrah. We had a curry which was great though I also love traditional turkey Christmas dinners as well.

We did a game where you got someone in the team at random and had to identify three great things about them. Drinks afterwards and the game where you have a post-it on your forehead with a famous person’s name. You then have to guess who it is just using yes or no questions. I was Cher but I think the best one was Rebecca as Mr Kipling LOL.

Tech for Good

Tech for GoodMore enquiries dealt with around applying to our TfG programme. If only I could persuade applicants not to leave everything till the week before the deadline. 5 weeks this programme has been open. Hopefully all these conversations and emails will lead to good quality submissions.


seagull on a brighton railingDown on Sun morning, with Dave, to see my old chaps. The train was too expensive so I went by coach which was fine and empty. Though the driver insisted none of us take hot food on board and that everybody wear their seat belt for the whole journey.

Off the coach and to see Bob in his nursing home. We stopped at Card Factory on the way to get all the family Christmas cards. The weather was dry and not too cold so thankfully we were able to go out for a coffee with Bob. I thought Dave and Bob had not met but they had and got on really well. Indeed it was nice to have someone new with me to meet Bob as our topics of conversation are quite limited. We had coffee and did a Tesco shop to get Bob tissues and boxes of chocolates as presents.

Bus up to the hotel to check in then a light lunch and Dave went off to tour the shops whilst I went to see Brian at his flat. Brian didn’t want to come out as he has lost his voice and could hardly speak – this has been going on for about 4 weeks. Though I am sure his smoking is not improving things. His doctor has assured him it’s not cancer and he has an emergency referral to see an ENT consultant. I suspect he feels embarrassed to see people with his voice the way it is.

Pavilion at nightMet Dave again after seeing Brian. We were supposed to meet my mate Rob (Swing It) but he had a hard day with his mum and his dog – both elderly. I took Dave to Pinocchio’s, a well-known Italian restaurant in Brighton. Then back to the hotel for a drink in the bar and early night.

Health and Efficiency


The new jog-run trainers I boughtI couldn’t find my GPS watch I use to time and measure my jog-runs on Sat morning. Turns out I had left it in my shorts and it had got washed at the laundry when we got the washing back on Sat. Though it still works. 🙂 As I couldn’t find the watch on Fri night, I decided I would just do a run the next day covering my normal course but not worrying about measuring it.

Sat morning – up at 6.30 and round to the early opening Starbucks. It was very cold. Back to get changed and I realised I didn’t want to go for a run that morning – primarily too dark and cold. No point in beating myself up so I didn’t do it. Thus no video because no jog-run.

I think I do need to put a lot more emphasis on improving my diet and losing weight. This is equally (if not more) important than exercise.


range of dumbellsI ended up working 3.5 days last week with interviews. Knock-on was that I only got to the gym Tues & Thurs morning. Good sessions, I’m trying a new methodology: 3 sets for each main body part with the number of reps decreasing each time (12; 10; 8).

Personal Development

A very bad week due primarily to lack of time with interviews to be done and social events due to the time of the year. I love Christmas but it does mess up my routine – perhaps that’s why I love it. Some Duolingo done on odd days but no coding practice. 🙁 Emails no worse but no better. Still trying to get back on top of them for work and personal stuff.

Dave’s birthday

birthday cake to celebrate my half centuryLast week was Dave’s (Poggy) birthday. We were both busy during the day with work stuff. But we met in the evening to attend a drinks reception for the launch of a new book. This took place at a penthouse in Mayfair – a real wow place. Something I will never attain nor will the vast majority of us. 🙁

Books and Reading

‘Cold Skin’ by Albert Sánchez Piñol

This book came highly recommended though as I started it, I realised I had already read it. However that was some time ago and it is a very good book that demands re-reading. Fundamentally it’s a horror / sci-fi story about a man marooned on an Antarctic island with one other person and they are battling monsters. But its also a story about so many other things. Chief amongst them is madness. Indeed, is this all just a hallucination based on loneliness? Does the author actually end up killing his colleague and simply apportioning blame elsewhere. There’s also a story of forbidden desire as well as becoming the monster we are fighting.

The Week Ahead

  • Break up from work on Wed not returning till after I come back from Gran Can in mid-Jan
  • Post off final Christmas cards
  • Finish interviews and appointments
  • Goodbye to more people leaving work; we have a Kwaanza event on Wed afternoon
  • Deadline for Tech for Good applicants is Wed at noon and then we move onto shortlisting – a task that will fall to my successor running our Tech for Good work
  • Catch-ups with Peter from The Royal Foundation (a fellow tech enthusiast), Kieran who is a young entrepreneur, Jason from Crowdfunder, Stuart from Google, and my old mate Jamie
  • Dave’s mum arrives the day before Christmas Eve
  • Hopefully 3 gym sessions (max) and a jog-run plus a reduction in what I am eating
  • Some Duolingo, coding practice, and more emails dealt with
  • At least one book read and some Dr Who listened to

And Finally….

Some things never age:

Putin and Trump







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