The Work Thread

>Looking at rents Jersey City may be more realistic.

I was the 'man on the ground' in New Jersey for several months in a urban aggregation called Secaucus. Secaucus blends into Jersey City, which blends into Hoboken. All those cities are part of the vast metro-plex surrounding Manhattan.

I think your life will be very different in New Jersey, if only because its a very gritty, urban, post-industrial, landscape. There is a remarkable amount of ethnicity and economic diversity there. Like London or Tokyo, almost every square inch is paved. There was a perpetual, petro-chemical taint to the air.

I would think twice about leaving your bright, sunny, powdered sugar Florida beaches for the sooty leaden skies and grey concrete of New Jersey.
Yeah, I am not thrilled with it, however there is no work in Florida. Not just in what I do but in general, unless you are part of a few fields like medical, engineering, or biomed, you are limited to service sector shit: call center agents, tourist shit, etc.

I dislike the cold and will miss the beaches, the hot women, family, being able to spend 10 months of the year in shorts and flip flops. But I am trying to focus on the good parts, the amenities of a city, public transit, interesting work, decent schools for me and the Kid.

I'm fine being a minority if that's what you mean by the ethnicity part, I have never felt uncomfortable, but then I am also mistaken for Spanish a lot too.
So.. my interview is 8.30am on Wednesday.

I'm not hugely pleased, as we have a big team away day that day for the new parts of the team to meet. It's half an hour away from the office, 9am for coffee and pastries with a 9.30am start. So chances are I will be bowling in late and I really really ~hate~ going in somewhere new late - huge anxiety attack hate. So I will be going into the interview even more stressed than would be normal.

In my favour is the fact that I have excellent excel skills, and have done a lot of work (on top of my normal work) recently to automate a lot of the data stuff and save a lot of man hours..
Against me is I am only 3/4 time, not full time. It's a full time post, and the person I am "up against" is full time. They're a band above me, and have experience of the role from a managerial pov.

Confidence can go a long way, depending on the type of interview. You are cheaper than the full time person also, does that matter?

Got an email early this am from the girl with ADL, apologizing for not getting back due to a family emergency that has her out of work. Promising to get back to me this week about it.... Well, she hasn't told me to fuck off yet so that's good.
Don't have a huge amount of confidence in it either. The only other spare posts are the band beneath me, and I just think it would be easier for them to put me down a band than put her down two bands.

I have said that if it came down to it, I would go full time - but would have to do full time hours over 4 days otherwise childcare would be a lot more than my earnings, rather than the same / a little bit more. I don't really want do that - working 4 x 9.5 hour days, plus be a Mum would be bloody hard work. Doing 3 x 9.5 hour days is hard enough.
A really big part of the thesis that I am about to finish wound up being on how the needs of women to fulfill so many conflicting roles was as much a determinating factor in housing choice as was housing cost. Families were choosing more expensive housing that required two incomes to better allow the female of the houshold to fulfill her other roles of nurturer, mother, provider, and sexual partner. The two income household phenomenon that was created by expanding labor capacity also had a huge inflationary effect on home prices.
After a series if back and forth email with the girl at the ADL I think I have my application ready for them. The friend has been pretty responsive and has made several crucial suggestions to steengthen my application. More imrtantly she noted that once I am in NYC there are many more opportunities for work in my field that I will learn about. Florida boasts great opportunities in either the lawn care or call center industries and that is about it. She has actually got my hopes up regarding this job. I am going to try and not think about it too much unless I am asked to interview.
Looks like I'll be moving to a new office soon. My boss has assigned me to share it with an incredibly negative co-worker, and I've sent her an email requesting that she consider moving my current office mate to the new office with me. Believe it or not, I think my current office mate would like to continue sharing an office with me.

Mojo would be appreciated.
Offices? How.. quaint.

I've never worked anywhere with separate offices. It's been open plan all the way.

Just interviewed for a new job. That's open plan too. The directors just gave up their offices to sit amongst their teams, which is something I've seen at two other companies too.

I welcome this. Some people (including me, at times) find it hard to work in an open plan environment, but as someone that finds it impossible to do smalltalk I really benefit from the increased and broader communication. I can stick on headphones when I need peace and quiet, or work from home, or take my laptop to the canteen.

Don't feel bad about wanting to avoid negative people. Moods are catching - your boss needs to be aware of the stress, unhappiness and drop in productivity this individual would cause, none of which benefit him, you or the company.
I worked in two big call centers over the years, one had the cubicle approach, where you could only see the 2-3 people in your pod. That lead to a strong sense of isolation, clique-y-ness, and god help you if you didn't dig your podbuddies. Then BoA had an open plan kind of design. Manager at one end of the row with a glass barrier to block some noise and a row of desks. Between calls you could stand chat with people around you, trade insults, quips, help with sales etc. All in all that was a pretty fun environment. I can't see it working anyplace I needed to do any actual work. Now I share an office with 4-6 grad assistants. We share sources, read each others stuff, and make suggestions. The environment has been invaluable to me, I have benefitted greatly from the mutually supportive arrangement.
Got a paper accepted, which makes me happy. *Knew* that once the distorting pressures were removed and I could send them to the journals they actually fit, they'd start being accepted.

Also had a chat with the Dean at Griffith on Saturday and thrashed out the last couple of issues, which they were very good about, so I *am* officially on the move in 4-5 months. Exciting times.
And yeah, edit, we used to gripe a bit about having 6 of us in one room during my doctorate, and there was one grumpy old bugger who had a chilling effect, but it was invaluable. I think I learned as much if not more from my fellow students as from my supervisor (who was also very good).
Originally posted by editengine:
After a series if back and forth email with the girl at the ADL I think I have my application ready for them.

For some reason my brain keeps reading the acronym as Aryan Defense League. So wrong.

Florida boasts great opportunities in either the lawn care or call center industries and that is about it...

Made me smile.
I probably mentioned it before but don't remember... there was some shuffling around in my office a few months ago and I'm now the Configuration Manager. I haven't done a thing having to do with this job since I got into it (like, back in November I think), but that should change in the near future. Either that, or they'll change my title to something more like my job really is--Service Level Manager. Which I'm cool with, actually.

I've asked to get both some SharePoint training and some more ITIL training so I can be more useful. So far, I know enough about SharePoint to break our portal (and I have the permissions, too!) but not enough to really do anything to help our 'customers' and that is, quite honestly, a mistake on my supervisor's part. We have so many problems with our network lately, and with our hosting agency, they might never notice I deleted an entire site collection...
I have applied for a lot of gov jobs and gotten no response, there is a veterans preference for gov jobs and a lot of guys coming back from military service are completing degrees and entering government service would be my guess. Its good policy to provide a preference to veterans but it means I may be out of luck when it comes to the $80 job I'd like to start at.

Also, once in NYC it supposedly becomes exponentially easier to get a job and there is an excellent PhD program at CUNY I would love to get into.
A friend of mine is an administrator with the local school system. He said that a professional male with my stature would be sought after in a 'high-need' school full of kids who often lack male role models and have discipline issues.

I'd like a researcher position with a non-profit of some sort as well. Regardless, I want to get back into volunteerism in some way and teaching satisfies that desire.
Originally posted by editengine:
A friend of mine is an administrator with the local school system. He said that a professional male with my stature would be sought after in a 'high-need' school full of kids who often lack male role models and have discipline issues.

Did this conversation start out with "Hey, it looks like you can take a punch, or a 9mm to the shoulder"?
See, *this* is why I favour redundancy, Plans B, C and D if possible.

There's been a bit of a shake-up here. One of my bosses, through no fault of his own, just lost the pub contracts. They were happy enough with our work, until another cleaning company underbid him. The way the client handled this was a bit sleazy though, simply informing him that effective immediately, someone else would be cleaning these buildings from now on, and by the way, give us our keys back.

For me this means two shifts a week, gone, but if I'd had only one full-time job, cleaning only one pub, it would have been crippling. As it is I'm not desperate... but I am worried.

So I went to see one of our former cleaners, who's staying on at the same pub, different company, and asked who he's working for now. They love him there, btw; glad he could stay on.

This visit was highly informative. Scored a business card.

Also spoke to my boss the next morning, gently. He's understandably not happy about losing this contract, less so with *how* he lost it, but does understand that I have to work for a living. Believe it or not, the cleaning business in this town is cutthroat, highly competitive, and dirty tricks abound. He understands this and, in fact, thrives on it. Very shrewd businessman. But you can't win 'em all. Should be able to find some hours for me, although he's not exactly sure when, or where yet.

Someone from the Other Company must have liked my resume and cover letter too, because they want to talk to me. :-) Time and place were left open-ended; as soon as is convenient. :-) For me. :-)

I'm such a slut. No word on that security clearance yet, but I'm getting a little better at industrial espionage.


Cool GR, glad you got the gig.

I am working on getting a job myself.

I have set up an FB page to try and help, I can post long form essays here that I am hoping might drive traffic from my twitter feed which has a lot of work related followers.

If you could help me out by clicking the link and 'liking' the page, that Zuckerberg guy swears that if I get a lot of 'likes' money will fall from the sky, naked women will beg for my services, and Bono will ask my opinion on that nasty third world debt issue.
Thanks, so am I. :-)

So, while this third job was still hypothetical and had not yet fully materialized, my two preexisting bosses, knowing that I was short a few hours [one knowing because I'd asked if he'd give me a reference], took pity on me and offered me some. I of course accepted gratefully, and am now experiencing some scheduling conflicts. Nothing impossible, just a few minor obstacles.

The next couple weeks promise to be weird, and busy, but things should settle down again after that.



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