31 October, 2010

Yes it does...

An update- since I have been a bit of a slacker on the blogging front- thanks for the prod Bluenoser

The day I finished up at work, I received a call from one of the managers in the section of the business responsible for the training of staff. Bear in mind that I worked in that section in 2006/07 delivering training in one of our specialised (not the bike brand) customer management applications and there are over 2500 employees with access/user permissions and new employees/users coming into the organisation on a regular basis. There has not been anyone filling that role permanently since I left.

The call was almost a plea- "Could I come back and deliver the training? We have nobody qualified- and the only people who have been doing any training will not be released by their business unit to train anyone else." Talk about "silo mentality".......

So how do we get around the restrictions that are in place for employees who take a redundancy? Normally you may not come back as an employee or a self-employed consultant/contractor for a period of up to two years. Easily done says the manager- "just come back through a labour-hire firm. Here is the contract manager's name and number- we'll call him and let him know you are coming in to register."

This was on Friday. On Monday morning as I am getting in the car to head to said firm to register, I get a call. It is the labour hire firm. "Ahh yes we had a call from Ms X that you might be coming in to see us. Is that still your intention?" "Yes- I am on my way. See you in ten minutes."

So I sat down and filled in forms and provided them with an hourly rate and daily rate for my services. They add their percentage on top and bill the company accordingly for hours worked and pay me directly. No invoicing required on my part- no dealing with Accounts Payable.

I set my rate at what I thought might be a bit high but after discussing it with some of my former fellow-employees, they said I should be pretty well on the mark. The company didn't even blink and have started the other necessary paperwork to bring me back in as a non-employee and to set up the training sessions. I would expect it will be a couple more weeks before training activity starts in earnest. Venues need to be booked, attendees confirmed, travel and accommodation arrangements made, etc....

I should add that in between registering and submitting my rates and getting notification that things were moving ahead, I had a call from another former manager who, like me, had taken a redundancy and is now working for an independent electrical contracting company as their new regional manager. He needs a work planner/scheduler/estimator- would I be interested? Paul and I had worked on a project together in 2006 and he was always straight and fair with everyone on the project. So I agreed to meet with him and his local manager the next day. 

The Readers' Digest version is that the job was mine if I wanted and they would match my previous salary. "Let me have a think about it." The end result is that I turned down that offer and have decided to go with the training delivery. In retrospect, I think some of the most satisfying time has been training and assisting people in their roles and that coloured my view heavily in making my decision.

In the meantime, I have lots of things to keep me busy around the house and lots of km's to put beneath the wheels of my bike.....

Cheers- ride safe

27 October, 2010

Does it get better????,,

A new beginning:

Almost a fortnight ago I accepted a redundancy and joined the ranks of the unemployed. I had grown jaded and disaffected in my role. Moving from secondment to secondment and seeing the focus of various business units moving away from our core business focus to new, enlightened "targets on the horizon for the next 10 years". Finally I decided I had had enough.....

After making the decision to part ways with the company with which I have spent the longest, continuous employment in my life- it was like the world had been lifted from Atlas' shoulders. It had been fully 18 months since I have had the fully restful sleep that I (and vicariously Dee and Rusty) have enjoyed for the past two weeks.

Morning rides have not been constrained by the requirement to be at my desk by 7:15 such that I can now complete a circuit, and have a "well-earned caffeine fix" with the other cyclists in town. Tuesday just-past, I even sat in on a group ride- something I have not done, aside from weekend social rides, in almost two years.

And I surprised myself. When you ride on your own for considerable periods, it becomes difficult to gauge your performance vis-a-vis other cyclists. So Tuesday I headed out with a group of about 30- took a couple of good pulls on the front and managed to hold pace at about 37 km/hr. Coffee afterwards was most enjoyable but we'll just have to see if I can back it up again on Thursday.

It also provides the opportunity for a ride at different times of the day. Monday was a ride to the dam at 10:30 in the morning- a chance to have a bit of a lung busting ride mid-morning. It was really enjoyable and a memory I'll not soon set aside.

So I'll keep riding early in the mornings and catching up on chores (Dee does have a list- of sorts) around the house and luxuriating in this brief interlude in employment. And you know what?? Painting really is a restful thing to do............

Cheers- ride safe


17 October, 2010

A weekend well spent....

Yesterday was a bit of a sufferfest on the bike....the heavy rain on Friday night cleared when a cold front went through just after midnight. How do I know when it went through, I hear you ask. Well, maybe that's not you asking, it's just crickets in the backyard.

The door to the TV room had been left open (and the windows) and I neglected to use the little hook and eye that keeps the door from slamming shut when the breeze picks up. So...........at about 12:30am, we were brought out of fairly deep sleep by the slamming of the door as the wind kicked around to the SSW at about 35km/hr.

And there it stayed for most of Saturday (or at least all of Saturday's ride) with a few gusts to around 55km. And although we cover most points of the compass on our ride, it seemed like we had a cross or headwind from about 320 of the 360 degrees available.

Oh and Dee probably made the right choice when she forewent (is that actually the past tense of forego?) yesterday's ride.

The rest of the day was spent in the yard edging garden beds and pulling out weeds (Owww!! my legs hurt from bending so much), cutting down the last of the bananas (of which there were none salvageable as the flying foxes has chewed through the protective bag on the stalk- D'oh!!!), harvesting more pawpaw, mowing the lawn, trying to keep the mint under control (and I'm talking culinary mint- not the one that makes coin) and  picking up palm fronds.

Today dawned clear and cool (if you consider 17C to be cool) and no wind!!!!! So instead of going for a ride, we headed north to Ingham and the Tyto wetlands for a morning of walking and bird-watching. This was followed by a lovely brunch and coffee at Passion for Pepper. I would love to provide a link but they don't have a website. Suffice to say, we're already planning to head back...soon!!

Cheers- ride safe

15 October, 2010

Clouds on the Horizon

It's a bit oppressive at the moment. The wind which has been lashing for most of today has suddenly dropped off and the sounds of insects in the yard is drowning out the rest of the neighbourhood sounds- only the noise from passing vehicles can be heard above the din.

Looking out the front door to the west, the sky is various shades of grey- from a pale foggy type grey to the ominous blue-grey slate of pending rain. A quick look at the weather radar and it doesn't look like there's anyway we can avoid a bit of a "shower"- I reckon 20 minutes at the most before it hits. "Recheck".... make that 20 seconds

I am hopeful that it clears by morning for the regular coffee ride. This morning was a washout- it bucketed down around 1:00am and then again at 4:30 just as I was getting ready to head out. I don't mind getting caught out in the rain but I have a bit of difficulty getting my butt in gear and on the bike when it's coming down and I'm still in the house.

Cheers- ride safe