Farce

Well yestaerday was an exciting day.

I was off ill due to a prolonged cold that caught up with me on Sunday and knocked me out on Monday morning.

Then I had a call about the job. Good news/bad news/good news.

Good news…

I got the job. Both my new emploers and their customer thought I was the best person for the position – goes without saying :-)

Bad news…

I lost the job because my new employer instituted a recruitment freeze from last Friday.

Good news…

I have been asked if I want to work for a larger company that is setting up a new office in our area. This would mean a serious promotion and a chance to show how much I can actually do.

The only downside is that I wouldn’t start until September.

The Lord giveth/the Lord taketh away/the Lord giveth again!!!

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I meet the main customer that I will deal with. This is the final stage of a long drawn out process.

I am at the stage where I really want to leave my current job as quickly as possible. It is not doing me any good and is starting to have an adverse affect on my personality. I am getting more and more short tempered with colleagues and suppliers.

Let’s hope that I manage to charm the guy tomorrow and get to move on.

Step Forward & Surprise

Had my interview with the Regional Director today. Went well. I now have to meet the main customer that I’ll be dealing with. If they like me then we’re away.

During the meeting I was also offered a job in Heathrow. It would mean a job 2 levels above the one I’ve been offered but would meaning working away from home, for perhaps 4 days a week. It seems that I have all the experience that they need. They had 100 CV’s and interviewed 20 people but none were right. I was the first person who ticked all the boxes and am the ideal person for the job.

However I’m not sure that I want to go down that route. I did it for 4 years but it wasn’t right after I got married and I stopped 2 years later.

I did say that if they moved it to Cardiff I’d snap the director’s fingers off… It seems that the job could be done from anywhere but someone decided it had to be Heathrow.

Update

Well, I flew through the first interview and was offered the job on the spot. However this has to be rubber stamped by the Regional Director on Thursday afternoon.

My present company seem to be going out of their way to screw up my relationship with some of my customers. Some people have managed to do work that was shoddy at best and downright lazy at worst. They wonder why parts of the business are struggling?

We just have to wait and see how things pan out on Thursday now :-)

New Beginnings From The Past

Some of you on Facebook may have seen my cryptic updates in the last few days. I can enlighten you here as people I don’t want to inform don’t know about this site.

Last week i received a phone call from a friend/business relation. He was asked to contact me by my old empolyers to find out if I was interested in a position they had available. At the time I wasn’t very impressed but said that I’d speak to them and see what they had to say. In the 2 days since, I’ve felt more disconnected at work and mentally I have one foot out of the door.

I had a conversation with the branch manager on the way home tonight and have an interview lined up for Wednesday morning. We’re both off to the race at Ffos Llas in the afternoon with our mutual friend.

I’m not sure that I’ll take the job but will see how the meeting develops, as there are a few things I want to ensure before making a final decision.

I have always refused to go back to a previous employer but would have moved back to their Cardiff office before I left the company 4.5 years ago, if the chance had been available.

Looking forward to seeing how this develops.

Now to watch West Ham hopefully beat Cardiff City.

IRONS!!!

Mutually Assured Distruction

I hadn’t realised how long I’ve been away. I decided to take a short break from blogging and then decided on time away from Facebook.

Work has been bust, frustrating, quiet and annoying. I work in a “customer facing position” which means I have to interact with people (customers, suppliers and colleagues) whether I’m in the mood to or not. This had led to several frustrating conversations over the last few months. Yet all my customers and most suppliers and colleagues say how happy I am and always ready to laugh and joke.

Most of the time I would like to converse via the means of an AK47 or a tactical nuclear strike. In fact, my default position for any problem is now to say that “it would be easily solved with a tactical nuclear strike”.

Screaming kids? Annoying colleagues/customers? In considerate motorists? Wotld debt and inequality? Striking tanker drivers, trade unionists (of which I am one) and foolish government ministers? All these problems would be solved with the aid of a tactical nuclear strike.

That’s where God has changed. What happened to the Old Testament God? Why don’t we have the plagues, the droughts and famines, thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening me!!! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Figaro!! Magnifico-o-o-o-o!!!

Sorry lost myself there :-)

At Easter we celebrate the death of Jesus and the resurrection that followed. After all what point would the resurrection be if we had no crucifixion to precede it?

And this is the thing… Easter saw the change in |God’s image to mankind. Out went the scolding God of the Old Testament and in came the kinder, gentler God who seeks to forgive and not punish.

I know, I know, this is an over simplification but that’s how most people think.

Sometimes it would be nice if God returned to type and threw a few thunderbolts and plagues. I’m sure that many people would be happy if they could still hear the voice of God – not that of some televangelist or boring preacher – directly. Mind you, people who claim to hear it are usually written off as nutters.

Yet I think that this is what my absense has been partly for. I want to get some peace and quiet so that I can recharge but also find a way to reconnect to that God I miss. The one that I used to feel very close too but seemed to lose for a while.

As such we have returned to our old chapel in Newport, where I grew up as a Christian, and which has always felt like home. Slowly I am beginning to find that life is a challenge but one that I can beat, with God helping. One where nothing is really that problematical – well easily overcome with either God’s help or a tactical nuclear strike.

All Is Not Lost

I hadn’t realised that I have not posted in 3 months. It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say, more likely that I haven’t wanted to say anything on a public forum. The same applies to Facebook. I spend more time farming than actually interacting with people.

Over the past few months I have wanted to avoid people rather than interact with them. I have enough of poeple during work hours and just want to shut myself off when I get home. Not easy to do when you are married but I do a good enough job at it.

I am currently getting through life by setting short term goals. These are the current highlights:

June 4th Father’s Birthday
July 23rd Wedding Anniversary
August 6th West Ham’s first match at home to Cardiff
August 11/15th Wife’s DAY of FUN & Family Weekend
September – Start of new football season
October 1st Sister’s no longer 40 day :-)
November 10th Billy Bailey in Cardiff
November 11th Wife’s birthday (mustn’t say how old)
November 17th Wife’s 40th birthday weekend in Prague

Today must be the penultimate day of June because we have had an e-mail about the work’s Christmas Party – which I will not be attending.

The Parable of The Short Tempered Christian

Every night I have to cross the Second Severn Crossing to get home. This should be easy but every so often you get stuck for no apparent reason. Tonight was one of those nights.

I car-share and only have to drive every third week; this week is one of those weeks.

My 2 colleagues know I’m a Christian and I’m often asked about my faith. I’m only to happy to share my faith with them and answer any questions they have. Tonight was not one of those nights.

As we queued to get to the toll booths we had people trying to push in front of us. Some just pushed and others indicated. Now I had one of those days where things have gone well but something started the “going home whinge”. By the time we got to the toll queue I was in a very bad mood but for no apparent reason.

A woman in the lane next to us had tried to push in front of a few cars in front of us with no joy. People in the lane on the other side had just forced their way in and I was getting annoyed. I made it clear that I was going to move forward relentlessly.

The colleague next to me asked why I wasn’t a “Christian Driver”. I pointed out that I could find no eveidence in the bible that we had to be. I said I’d seen nothing about giving right of way to someone else’s chariot or ass. However I relented and let in the lady in the next lane and saw that a car in front of her had broken down.

I tried to brighten my mood but could only do so for a short time. My colleagues started to playfully suggest that I should do something to get them home quicker, as they would if they were driving. I pointed out that this was slightly impossible (in slightly different words) as the lanes were all congested.

Then the people who had changed lanes moved back and we moved forward faster. However as we approached the booths we found that the people to our left had actually been queuing between lanes and were trying to take advantage of this fact by moving back over, without indicating.

This time I decided that nothing was keeping me from that toll booth. So I moved forward and left no gap for anyone to get in front of me. The guy at the front looked rather upset as about 5 other cars in front did the same but he hadn’t indicated, just tried to force his way in. Having driven in London for 10 years I know how to stand my ground.

Again my colleague commented on my “Christian Driving” (or lack of it).

When I’d dropped them off I started thinking. Was this the way to advertise my Christianity to others? I don’t suppose it is. Yet, aren’t Christians allowed to have an off day as well? Aren’t we subject to the same highs and lows as anyone else?

Maybe I should have been more inclined to let people move out in front of me. On the other hand does being a Christian mean that we should be a doormat for the world to wlk over? How do we know when we are being to far over on either side of the equation?

More importantly, have I damaged the image of a Christian in the eyes of my colleagues?

Who Is Right?

These are from the BBC report regarding the government’s announcement regarding the proposed legislation to allow Gay marriages to take place in places of worship:

Men and women the world over just live together without ceremony of any kind: why can’t same sex couples do the same? It’s far easier to walk away from the relationship too. We can’t help who we love but it is again the minority we hear from bleeting and baaing about what they want. Get on with living together and shut up. The law of God and the Bible will not be rewritten for you – having a ceremony of whatever kind is hollow in the grand plan – can’t you just live your lives? Kathleen Steward, Leicester

If you are a Christian, you believe that homosexuality is immoral. Why any church would allow a gay couple to get married in their church is beyond belief as it’s a contradiction of what the Bible tells Christians. If you read the article carefully however, the title is very misleading. Most churches are not allowing the marriage of gay couples. Only the very liberal and left wing churches are considering it. Scott, Walsall, West Midlands

The church has to move with the times or die painfully over a long period. There should be no distinction between couples, as long as they are happy and are willing to commit to each other then why marginalise gay couples. This form of apartheid has gone on for long enough and the Church should open its mind to higher and more important values. Mark Woolfson, Leeds

We are falling behind a number of EU countries that have actually moved from a formal partnership to a marriage. Why doesn’t the UK be one of the trend-setting innovators to allow gay marriages in religious settings; church, mosque or temple. Craid Chadwick, Leeds

I do not agree with Mark or Craid. The church has no need to adapt its teachings to comply with any government legislation on this subject. What right do we have to compromise on the teachings of God? Just because some disagree with them, does not make them wrong!

I agree with Kathleen, God’s law is not rewritten just because parts of society may not agree with them. Some things are not to be compromised on.

That does not mean that I condemn people who disagree with my opinion. That is not my place to make a judgement; I have plenty of faults of my own. Yet I do not see why my faith should be compromised to satisfy a minority. Nor do I believe that politicians have the right to dictate to the electorate. Democracy is supposed to be about the views of the majority but no one ever seems to bother finding out what those views are.

Civil law is different to moral and divine law. People cannot be expected to go against their beliefs, no matter which side of the fence they are on.

Kindle Review

I have a Kindle. I have had it for a month now. Kindle is good.

I have read 11 books already. Everything from Ancient Rome (fiction and history), a couple of Pratchett books, the Red Riding Quartet and several others. Today I read while being driven home from work, with my cover light illuminating the page.

This is a great piece of kit and one that I’m really pleased to have bought. I now have over 40 books on the machine and have found myself reading more than one at a time. It is just like reading a book. The font and black and white print make it feel just like a book; even using the cover enhances the fact.

The choice of books is exapnding all the time. A few weeks ago there was only 2 Elmore Leonard books available but now there are a great deal more.

The downside….

You cannot buy books from Amazon.com. As you do not live there that option is not open to you. A great disappointment as there are several books there that I want.

Though you can subscribe to newspapers and magazines some of these are overally expensive; they are not formatted to the Kindle but cut and pasted; photos are removed but the headings remain.

It has web options and speech text but these are more like Beta than finished versions.

The plus side….

Free books. Yes, FREE!!! Tacitus, Plato, classics and others that cost nothing. Even some new books are available.

No more carrying countless books on holiday or running out of things to read. You just order more if that happens, not even to physically enter a shop.

Less clutter at home. Fewer physical books to put on shelves, stack in piles or trip over :-)

No one knows what you are reading or how far in you are. This is a problem for some as it removes Book Snobbery, unless you say: “I’m reading Euripedes in the original Greek” or “I’d never read a Dan Brown novel”.

It is environmentally friendly, fewer trees will need to die in future.

For those worried about not owning the physical book and turning pages, don’t be. I thought that this would be a problem but now I wish I’d done this years ago. It is as easy as a book, as comforting as a book and as engaging as a book. I have the entire Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire in my bag every day, an English Dictionary and an American Dictionary. I can even download The Bible.