I was wrong. That cone WAS there for a Reason!!

IMG_4403In the gorgeous quaint little English village where I grew up there is a pub. Now, said pub is a local place for local people and it is on the other side of the village to where I lived. Just to note, I’m a big girl now, (quite literally, weighing in at a clean 16’10 stones!) so I live with my bwoyfrwend not my rents these days. I know, I can’t believe I actually have one of those, and he’s amazing in bed too. Anyways, back to telling you about a lesson I learnt the hard way.

It takes about 15 minutes to get to the pub and about two hours to get back from it. This one week I had noticed that some selfish stupid prick had positioned one of those big orange cones that workmen use ON the road on a blind bend. Now, in the village there are lots of ponies, children, cyclists, dog walkers and few pavements so being the responsible adult and good hearted citizen that I am, I made it my mission that Friday night either on the way to the pub or back from it to take that fucking cone off the road. Honestly, it was in such a dangerous place I can’t tell you.

So off to the pub with my sister we went, she’s five foot, skinny, striking looking, long straight hair, strong nose. To be honest, we didn’t walk which is why the cone got moved on the way home. Dropped off, cash in our purses, we had a very good night. To be brutally honest, I can’t remember who we saw, what we spoke about and if there hadn’t been a cone involved, it would just be another drunken night of debauchery¬†I’ve forgotten about.

Its funny how something so not fucking funny can make you remember details. Walking up the road, singing and laughing towards this fucking cone I decided now was the time. Now, we were both totally shit faced and its surprising how you dont really realise how shitfaced you are until something like this happens. I marched with such aggression and pace towards this cone ranting as I went at how selfish some people are. Now it was one of those big orange motorway cones, and I knew from my previous experience with cones that it was going to be heavy so I needed to approach this cone with some force to grab it and move it up onto the banking to a safe position so that it would fall down on the people or animals I was gallantly trying to fucking protect.

At no point, had I considered, that there was a purpose to this cone and I regret that to this day. But in my defence, there had not been any workmen that I had seen in the area and despite there being other cones around the village just placed on the road, I had asserted that, they had fallen off a truck.

Well I grabbed that cone wrapping both my arms around it and walked forward. I walked forward with that fucking cone in my arms to disappear down a twenty foot manhole. Apparently, the council had removed all man hole covers and replaced them with fucking cones. The only bit of luck that I had was that I had lost my footing and had fallen at a funny angle because one leg was kind of wedged into the hole. If Id not Id probably still be down there, ten years later.

It was about half past twelve and was dark, there were no street lights but it wasn’t so dark a person couldn’t see. The shrieking from my sister, falling about the road clutching her fanny laughing and trying not to pee still haunts me to this day. I cannot describe the pain but it started to burn, and in the distance I could see car lights approaching. Just what you need when your stuck and slipping down a fucking manhole on a street with no car lights and a woman who is so drunk she can barely stand up for laughing, is a car coming towards you. “Oh look honey, a floating head”, especially when they are probably driving back from the fucking pub!

Screaming at her to help me, she tried pulling me out, but, between laughing and trying not to piss everywhere, it was a disastrous situation. I dont know if you have ever felt you hip seize up like its going to lock, but my body was in shock because of the pace and depth of the fall, I had and continue to have no upper body strength and adding to that the fact I was totally shitfaced and surviving only on adrenaline at that point, I started to panic.

As I was slipping down this hole doing what I can only call Irish splits, and you need to know I’m extremely claustrophobic, I started to scream which only made Ruth laugh louder and harder. “Ruth Im fucking falling, help meeeee. Get help”. The car had turned off and we were there, no phones, in the dead of night with me sliding into a very serious 999 situation. Did you ever watch that programme back in the day. Fuck my life. I started to vision it being boring before help arrived and by that point they would be digging the road up around the fucking sewer to get me out. I swore that id never touch a drink again. honestly, if I didn’t drink, id have no stories like this to tell you.

Eventually she managed to drag me out and we lay on the road, me in a state of pure hysteria. Crying with jolts of laughing and then returning to the tears. I looked like I had come off a motorbike. My jeans on my right leg had been torn off along with my skin, I was bleeding and my leg was filthy. It was a fucking mess. But, it wasn’t long before another car came and we waved it down, there was no way I could walk, I had no skin left on my fucking leg and I was now wearing a bizarre type of hot pants / jeans and felt like Id broken my wrist trying to survive the horrific fucking ordeal.

It was a family friend who picked us up. They genuinely thought I’d be attacked, raped and left for dead. I couldn’t speak for sobbing, Ruth couldn’t speak for laughing, they were ready to ring the police. Well, as you can imagine, I didn’t sleep well that night because in the trauma, I had forgotten to cover the fucking manhole with that sodding cone. I then convinced myself, thinking it through that someone was going to fall in it, or crash because of hitting it and then I would then be charged with manslaughter and sent to jail for the rest of my life because my fingers prints were all over the fucking cone and it was all my fault.

Its a funny story now, but I had to get a tetanus jab the next day, I had to shower for three weeks with one leg out of the shower and the other one in – its not very easy to do. I couldn’t really wear anything on my right leg because of the gaping wound. But I learnt my lesson.

That cone was there for a reason and that hole was a fucking big one. So, if you want to do something for the safety of your local communities, id suggest sticking to the speed limits because you sure as hell dont want to end up losing your leg, dignity and the right leg of your favourite jeans for trying to hump move a fucking cone!

Shitty Interview Experiences

IMG_4402So, Im a freelancer, a contractor or interim HR person. I have always wanted to do what I do now because of the variety and freedom of choice. the level of influence and the opportunity to do really quirky new edge stuff based on a far more psychological approach to managing your people resource.

Now Im doing it the reality of shitty interview experiences is becoming more and more apparent. I am a little bit like marmite – you either love me or hate me and if you hate me you’ll actually end up loving me. Dont ask me why, but most of my best friends are people Ive worked with who just hated me. I’m 5’11, 32 years young and I have a huge wealth of experiences both personally and professionally that have impacted me, taught me things, burned me, broke me. You name it, I have pretty much done it or know someone who has and have learnt through listening to them about their experiences.

When it comes to an interview, the experience is paramount because whoever is in the chair of interviewing whether it be one person or more, they are the face of that brand in that moment. I got a call on Monday this week from the recruiter to say that the hiring manager was really impressed with my CV, wanted to go straight to second stage being a F2F interview and they were keen to see me asap. Well, if I were a peacock, id have been flouncing my tail feathers all over town that afternoon, evening and the following day!

So Tuesday evening the interview is confirmed for the following day at half eleven. Now the interview was to be in the city with the hiring manager, who for note, was a male. So I buy my tickets to the city which is a 2 hr trip door to door for me for the following morning requiring me to get up at stupid o clock. Fine. Happy to do it.

Now I’m a shit sleeper at the best of times and when I have something to get up for, I won’t fall asleep until 20 minutes before my second alarm goes off and not only do I fall asleep, but I go to Narnia I fall that deeply.

Exhausted I drag my sorry arse out of bed, shower, do my makeup, get dressed, a nice darkish red, 3/4 length sleeve heavy red dress over black tights with a big fat glitzy choker, Toms to travel in and black paten stilettos for the meeting. I make my train WITH a coffee. Things had got off to a great start. For once, I was not a bedraggled mess, sweating like a nun in a Thai sauna in the centre of Bradford, I was relaxed, calm, and in plenty of time.

The receptionist at said organisation was a totally delightful angel. Bright, chirpy, already knew my name and who I was there to see. She couldn’t have been better at her job. Im sat, waiting in the beautiful big reception area with lots of bankers and very important city people marching through looking very important with their little black moleskin notebooks under their crutched arm. Very important indeed.

My interviewer turns up, 3 minutes late, says hi shortly followed by “I literally have a bare 30 mins so we need to make this short and snappy”. Well fuck me. For twenty minutes he asked unprepared questions, clock watched the whole time, shuffled my 45 page CV around on the desk in front of him and then had the audacity to ask me if I had any questions for him.

I had a total Bridget Jones moment, you know where she zones out and pictures her preferred and desired approach to resolving or acting in that minute. I put my hands flat on the desk and lent in towards this smart arse 30 year old prick with a twitch and asked him if he was for real. ” Are you fucking kidding me? Ask YOU questions when you clearly dont want to be here, you clearly and especially do not want to be here with me and my fabulous fucking necklace and you’re giving me an opportunity to ask you questions? Well yes, let me rain down on your parade right now and ask you how the fuck you work in HR? How the fuck do you have a job?”

Instead I smiled politely and asked him if he really had enough time because he was clearly so busy and important and I didn’t want to encroach on any more of his precious time.

On my way out, the rage started to rise. I felt so angry. You’ll probably start to see a theme developing in my blogs as I often talk of getting angry. Why are there so many fucking idiots who have jobs or are in positions where they think they know what they are doing and even worse, think they are good or better than that at it? Shortly after the anger I started to cry, with tears streaming down my face I found my way to the tube, took myself sobbing like a retarded whale to the wrong platform in anticipation of meeting a total babe of a friend for lunch at Victoria. She cheered me up no end. Fabulous friends are like that and I’m very grateful that there are some really amazing people in the world and I seem to know a lot of them.

After an evening of wallowing and venting, a good nights sleep (induced by a Magnesium flakes bath and a bottle of red wine) I have woken up refreshed and levelled. On reflection, and I am a deeply reflective individual, I have decided that even more so than ever, that things happen for a reason. I have turned down jobs and opportunities before, even when I haven’t had something lined up, but this time, whether I am offered or not and between you and I its highly unlikely, I am going to get in there first and withdraw my application and give feedback. Life is too short to be sad or unhappy and sometimes you have to be brave and follow your instinct. On the one hand, I could look at it as this, if I got the job and took it, I might be able to influence him into being a more competent and self aware professional, but he has had such a negative impact on me, I dont want to gift him that opportunity. Your time and energy is an important thing and you should see it as an asset. Dont waste it on people who are too ignorant to realise your value.

Yes that may be a bizarre way of looking at things but for people like me, who have always had to work hard at being accepted because we are bigger or smarter, faster or slower, and totally and naturally uncool, we need to protect ourselves and part of that comes from realising that the world is a big place, and while we are all minions in the grand scheme of things, some of us actually are mermaids and learning how to swim with a tail and breath under water is hard, but eventually you come up for air and people realise that you’re quite rare.

So keep your heads up, keep smiling, keep going. We know that Rome wasn’t built in a day because Brian Clough wasn’t on the job, but with a little bit of humour, a huge heart of empathy and kindness and the confidence to say fuck you my love, everything going to work out just fine. I promise xx

A Gilpin Kinda Weekend in the Lakes

So I have never been to the Lake District until this weekend. Myself, the boy and two of our friends had booked to go to Berlin for the weekend but that got shot to shit because of strikes or something so we stayed in the UK.

We travelled via Manchester staying in the Lowry. Service was a bit crap tbh, very slow but I don’t recall having ever stayed in a Queen sized bed and boy was that a delight!

For a curvy girl like me, there are many a place where I dont feel very comfortable and the Lowry staff were probably more judging than the WAG wannabes throughout the hotel.

On to the Lakes, a bare hour and a half we arrived to a last minute booking at The Gilpin. With its Michelin starred restaurant and double AA rosette award, it was perfect. Dinner bed and breakfast in a master suite for one night was £415 and it was money well spent.

A very civilised venue, calm, welcoming to all sizes, shapes and individuals even those of us who turned up with a horrific shitty blue Ryan air carry on suitcase. The staff were wonderful throughout our entire stay. The food, the ambience, the inclusion was perfect.