Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Figuring out my next move

I played tennis yesterday and will be playing again tonight. And tomorrow. I’m very much looking forward to Wednesday, my next tennis-free day. I don’t enjoy the game anything like I used to, and when I play at night I take ages to get to sleep and need gallons of coffee to get through the next day. Four or five years ago, tennis was the highlight of my week. Now I really only do it for the exercise.

Richard came over to Devonport on Saturday. We didn’t do all that much I suppose. The warm weather didn’t lend itself to vigorous activity, and we mainly just lay in the park and dozed. We also had an ice cream and talked about possible flatting arrangements. I’m still a bit apprehensive about sharing a four-person flat, especially when I’ve only briefly met two of my potential flatmates. Instinctively I feel it should work out fine, but we’ll only get a better idea of our compatibility (or otherwise) if we all meet up. Hopefully that can happen this weekend. It was good to see Richard, and there’s nothing wrong with just having a relaxing afternoon.

Work seems to be gradually drying up – at this stage my last day looks like being 10th December. Some months ago I registered with Edge, an employment agency for people who have had mental health issues. They had a long waiting list which I reached the top of a couple of weeks ago. Last Thursday I had a chat with one of the people from Edge – he came round to my flat – and we talked about what I should do once my current stint comes to an end. He was quite adamant that the mental health industry would be too stressful for me right now, and should therefore be avoided. However he pushed English teaching to the forefront of my mind once more, and came up with a new idea – working in medical statistics (clinical trials for new drugs, for instance). We also talked about my CV. For some reason, there is huge emphasis put on CVs these days. This chap gave a recent example of one of his clients who applied for what he called a “donkey job”. There were dozens of applicants for six places, and apparently CVs were the deciding factor in who was successful. I said it would have been better to have put everyone’s names in a hat and picked out six at random. Probably just as fair and less time-consuming for everyone involved. In fact, the Lotto method could also be used for some non-donkey jobs, and would in many cases be fairer (and would certainly be more easily understood) than the current selection criteria. At least people who are less connected (like me) wouldn’t be discriminated against. He also suggested I need to be socialising with different people three or four nights a week, but I’m less sure about that. It’s likely that would just make me more stressed. All in all though, our meeting was very useful.

I rang my grandmother yesterday. She has taken a definite step backwards in the last two weeks. She was confused, but worse than that, she sounded quite unhappy and for some reason she was itching to get off the phone. She might get moved to a different home, one that caters specifically for dementia patients. Somehow she had got wind of this possible move, although she didn’t know the reason for it. After some very positive phone conversations with my gran, this one was quite upsetting.

It is now seven years and one day since I arrived in New Zealand to live. I remember that day very clearly – it was a crystal clear Canterbury day; the brightness of the sun (far brighter than you ever get in the UK, even in the height of summer) was almost intoxicating.

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