Saturday, December 01, 2007

The new job

In answer to your questions: everything seems to be going OK so far. Yes, I can see out of a window with a beautiful view over Edinburgh and down to the sea. My chair is all right, though it has no arms. I keep trying to rest my elbows on thin air.

I used to work in this place a few years ago, so I know many of the names already, and the staff fridge is near-empty, so plenty of room for my cottage cheese. Nobody but me seems to drink coffee, but I have supplied myself with some of my preferred brand (and some herbal tea). One of my favourite coffee shops is also just over the road. Other comments (about guinea pigs etc) have been responded to below!

The job is in the records field. I'm not going to tell you where it is, except that it is about 30 minutes by bike from my house, all uphill. Despite this, I have now cycled in twice, and intend to keep at it - it wakes me up a bit (I'm not at all a morning person) and it's a lot less frustrating than waiting for a bus. I'm really good at just missing buses.

The great advantage of it being uphill on the way out, of course, is that it's downhill all the way back. And I hope once I get my new whizzy bike, I'll be able to get up the hill a bit quicker.

I'm currently riding a purple hybrid mountain bike which I've had since I was thirteen. Yes, fifteen years. It carried me well through several years of university, but Oxford was a lot flatter than Edinburgh, and I'm beginning to feel the weight of the chunky steel frame and the limitations of the gears (five) as I toil up that hill. The road bike I have my eye on is nice and light and has 21 gears. I will try to find my old faithful a new home, though.

I haven't yet joined the gym, partly because I haven't got my staff card yet (which I'd need) and partly because... am I really going to have the stamina to cycle AND gym? Theoretically, of course, I could go to the gym on any of the four days out of seven that I'm not at work. But would I? I'm not exactly overburdened with spare time at the moment. I think I'll give it a week of biking and see how it goes. I'm pretty tired at the moment, but that happened last time I started working after a break, too, so it may pass.

But now, the news I'm sure you've been aching to hear: the guinea pigs have names!
On the left, Pumpkin; Cupcake in the middle; then Brownie. I suppose we really ought to have called Pumpkin "Gingerbread" or something. Excuse the fuzzy picture: it was taken on J's phone!

I did probably iron that top at some point, too.

The guinea pigs are already making their personalities felt. Pumpkin is the cheekiest (and obsessed with burrowing under and into things. Such as the gap between one's body and arm, which isn't always convenient.) Cupcake is the most docile with us - she'd let herself be picked up straightaway without running away, which the others didn't. She's also fallen asleep on someone at least once so far. However, she's quite assertive with the others. Brownie isn't bossy - she does definitely still have the loudest squeak, though!

They all like carrots, cabbage, hay, and running around like mad things.

At the moment, Pumpkin weighs one pound three ounces, Cupcake one pound four, and Brownie one pound four and a half. Which is a lot less than me (186 still on Wednesday, but that was almost certainly hormone-influenced). I will update next Monday with the current number.


old_black said...

What a comprehensive reply!

The job situation sounds good; I hope the work matches that. And up hill on the way to work isn't that great, but the downhill on the way home would be a blessing for me. I run 11 km to work but only run 4km of that after work (then catch a train for the remainder) because it's largely uphill, and at the end of the day I just don't seem to have the energy. [All that sitting on my backside all day apparently really takes it out of me!]

I'm interested to hear about the paucity of coffee drinkers. I know Great Britain is characterised as a land of tea drinkers, but is that still the case today?

The other issue to do with work that I have found to be most significant, is how independent are you allowed to be? Does the boss manage you fairly closely, or are you just given general parameters and told to manage yourself so that the appropriate outcomes are achieved? [Obviously you can't get too specific in talking about other people...after all, they're probably reading this right now! But what I'm getting at is, Do you like the level of independence that you have now, or will you be looking forward to a change in the future as they get to know you better?]

Anyway, whether or not you get time to reply, it sounds like you're off to a good start, I hope it keeps up!

K said...

A less comprehensive reply: the lack of coffee drinkers surprised me, too. We do tend to drink a lot of tea in Britain, but not to the exclusion of coffee.

And I don't yet know how independent I'll get to be, since I'm still receiving training. I think it'll be more the general parameters once I know what I'm doing. I am personally quite happy to be closely managed or not, as appropriate.

I should warn you, though, that I really don't ever talk about work in this blog except in the vaguest terms, because - as you say - anyone can read it! I will happily answer questions in the LJ if you ask them there, though.

old_black said...

On another difference between continents . . . how good would the weather be for bike riding to work? I hear from my brother in Dundee that they get quite a few rainy days, but it's only fairly light rain. Is that the same where you are? and so would the weather be bike-rideable most of the time? I'm a real wimp as far as riding in the rain is concerned! (actually, I'm a real wimp. period.)

Isabelle said...

Nice pic of your and the babies. Remind me why you haven't yet bought this bike, by the way? The one we gave you money to buy for your birthday in September...?

Nice to read such a cheery post.

Loth said...

I have nothing but admiration for anyone who cycles anywhere in Edinburgh. I had a bike which I rode for precisely 6 weeks before falling pregnant and being banned by husband (he thought I might fall off. He was right). He then had an argument with it when it was in his way in our old utility room, broke bits of it and I haven't had it fixed yet. 9 years later. Maybe I should send you the bits and you can rebuild it!

Suse said...

Oh I do love your pigs. I grew up with [guinea] pigs and quite miss their little weet weet weet greetings.

I am also incredibly impressed with J's pig palace. Seriously. It's beautiful.

And thank you for the canterbury bells link. You're quite right.

Carl V. said...

Good for you biking to work! That's impressive, especially if it is uphill. I imagine it definitely wakes you up in the morning. Sounds like a nice place to work and I hope all continues to go well for you.

Stomper Girl said...

The guinea pigs are cute, but how good is the hutch!!!!

I think cycling to work is a great option, combines your exercise and your travelling to work and frees you up for reading and playing with your pets. My partner does it too, and finds it a really good way to slough off the work-day tensions.

And yes, a lounge is a sofa in Australian!