Archive for March, 2010

Joyfull tiredness!!

March 7, 2010


I’m loving being tired – it’s what I call tired from a positive place.  I’ve spent along time being tired that hurts, tired that you can’t get away from, despite hours of sleep your mind and subsequently your body is exhausted – it hurts just to think. That kind of tiredness descends on you sneakily, without realising what is happening until one day you wake up and realise it is there – you can’t shake it off without enormous amounts of strength of both mind and body.  The perception of the mind is that what you need is sleep – however sleep actually makes it worse fooling the body into thinking relaxation is on its way – but the frustration of not being able to sleep fully makes the whole situation worse and so starts a self fulfilling negative cycle, you are tired so you try to sleep; sleep makes it worse; so you try to sleep some more; you feel worse so now nothing seems like the answer.  Exercise definitely makes a difference – in a really positive way, but if you rely on that means of lifting your mood and then you can’t utilise that (due to a knee that needs replacing) then you start falling and so the blackness descends.

I have never been one for being in bed for any other reason than sleeping.  I have also always been able to break out of a grey mood or even a black one through exercise and / or giving myself a good talking to.  I now truly understand what depressive tiredness is – it is exhausting and it’s bloody awful. I will always struggle to understand those who stay there for continuously long periods of time blaming their illness for their mood without at least trying to move out of it.  Although maybe if I had given into if from the start then I wouldn’t have found myself in the mess I was in? Who knows?  Because my point is that I came out the other side through determination, will power and lots of laughter – although I have now accepted that sometimes being under the duvet is enough for that day and actually it doesn’t matter – in fact it may well be a positive thing. I tend to plan my duvet days now though which means I can make sure I’ve baked a fresh batch of chocolate fudge cake prior to being there!! I think things are improving!!

Right now I’m tired – but it’s great, I haven’t been this tired for a long time and I certainly haven’t felt this kind of tired properly for ages. It’s amazing and funnily enough totally energising. The company I work for and more importantly the people I work with are challenging me on a daily basis. I feel valued at work and valued at home. My son is on the right path and I can confidently say that is down to me – lots of others have supported and helped, but ultimately his progress and positive outlook on life is down to me and I’m proud of that (exhausted) but proud.  I love work and can’t see a time when I will ever not thrive in the culture it generates. I’m making a real difference to the business from the people that work within it to the performance at the bottom line. It’s just great. I’m tired, proper brain drain, up at 6am still working at 10pm tired. In between spending quality time with my son is proving invaluable and achievable. However the important point is that I would not (and didn’t) have believed anyone who told me I would be able to be here – even 6months ago.  That’s that point of my book – how did I get be choosing when to be under the duvet making my own cake from not being able to choose that place at all.

I am also working really hard on getting my book out there and interest is really growing – keeping up is challenging but manageable.

I feel very lucky to be this tired – not something you hear everyday!

PS I’m being filmed by ITV Hatrick productions next week – I’ll let you know how it goes!


A Job’s a job…. is it?

March 4, 2010

Despite what he had done, my husband refused to leave our house, apparently he had every right to be there legally, so why should he move? Moral rights didn’t come into it – how he was further suffocating me and making my life 24 7 hell was not even thought about. Oh and apparently he was also there for our son……. But as soon as his girlfriend arrived in the UK he didn’t need to be there for his son anymore? He was being an out and out bully. He hadn’t got his own way and this was one of his petulant means of revenge.  Renown for his dogged determination to wreak revenge on people who had slighted him within his workplace, he applied this aptitude to myself, with complete determination. Knowing what he was doing I even offered to pay for his girlfriend to arrive back in the UK sooner, buy her out of her contract and therefore speed up his departure. This was met with an incredulous response of “Don’t be so ridiculous – why would you do that?”

However he haunted me at work. We worked for different departments, but he knew what was happening with my team and department on a daily basis. The crunch came when the business section I was working in lost a large tender. This meant that potentially  I could have been put on notice of redundancy.  Actually this would not have happened to myself as I was operating in the part of the business we retained, but my husband still saw fit to instruct his solicitor to send me a letter requesting details of my mortgage / income insurance to ensure I was covered.  Enough was enough, I had received a phone call from a headhunter the previous week and returned his call stating the reason I wanted to leave the business I was in. That same week the UK Managing Director asked to meet with me in the London head offices. He expressed his sorrow at finding out what had been done and was extremely to the point over not wanting people who treated others in the way I had been treated within his organisation. However there wasn’t much he could do from a disciplinary perspective, but hoped I would stay and see it through as best I could.

I just need to update you with a small interlude with a scene setter that will give you an indication of what I was dealing with. He returned to work before myself. Obviously my boss and my PA knew why I wasn’t at work and what had happened. Others in the business didn’t. On his return to work I received an email (from his work address) requesting that I ensured I did not discuss what had happened with anyone else from work as he did not wish to be the subject of office gossip. I responded asking what I was supposed to reply to people who asked why I was off work and how was married life? Simply state that all is well and move swiftly on to talk about the business – was the response I received. There then followed a farcical situation of him at work, with his wedding ring on, telling all about his great skiing trip and that I had flu but would be back to work soon; whereas my PA and team knew what had happened and were totally confused?! (as I said previously you can’t write this kind of stuff)

I went for the interview with this other company. It was a big job, big money and lots of responsibility. They were (still are) a blue chip organisation with £bns turnover. The role was demanding, but in my view highly motivational. I was very honest from the start about my personal situation and that there were likely court appearances and interviews with professional people. My to be line manager was accepting of all of that. I also explained that I was now a single mother, which brought with it new challenges that I was going to be working through. All fine, I was re-assured that they were a pro-active employer and could support me through. I was convinced and made the jump. Frying pan and fire spring to mind.

Day one

No induction plan – no-one to explain anything to me, not even how to get around the building or park my car

No laptop, blackberry or network address – no means of communicating with anyone!

Big pile of requests from my boss – he wanted a strategy, updated pipeline, kick up the arse for certain members of my new team…….

Requests to present the strategy for my part of the business – the following week infront of board members and the operations team.

Training on the system – nothing on how to log on, fill out expenses, book travel / hotels, enter diary dates, etc etc.

However I must have done something right as 4 weeks later I was asked to present to the International CEO – I did as requested. Next thing I know I’ve now got 3 more direct reports and am told to recruit another 2.

Some old HR issues suddenly appeared. My boss commentary to me on how to deal with them “Just tell * & * to sign the f***ing document or I’ll sort them out.” On investigating said document and the history of the situation, we were in a legal mess and the members of my team had every right to stand their ground. I hold my values very close and will not compromise them just to sort out someone elses mess – to be fair not even my own mess. Operations wanted my team to complete work that I was categorically told we did not do. Then I find out that my opposite number in operations (who was clear with me that she did not think I should have that job) was having an affair with one of the guys on my team, and he had been sponsored by her to apply internally for my job. Having not got it the two of them had been scuppered in their plans………. oh the trauma!

At the same time I was trying desperately to make progress with the legal side of things. His team were adamant that he was not paying me anything, or as little as possible and my energy and self belief were at an all time low. My duvet was pulling me more and more, weekends without my son were spent under it, hiding coming out to make tea and chocolate cake – that was it. I then received a call from my son’s school, he was exhibiting some very strange and concerning behaviour – which needed alot of attention. Something had to give and it did, me. Work could not have cared less, infact; my boss’ team were not performing (co-incidentally the patch I was running was on target!) he needed a scape goat and I made an easy one. I could have fought and stood my ground, but actually I suddenly realised I didn’t want to. I desperately wanted to be there for my son and support him; plus there was a budding author in me that felt my storey needed to be told. So I sent to see my boss – lets just say I received more that I was legally entitled to and so I stopped work. Just like that.

The relief was enormous; guilt tremendous; challenge was huge; but the rewards of a smiling happy son indescribable.

& so my book was born……. we are getting nearer and nearer.