Archive for June, 2007

Boxed in

June 17th, 2007

Back in October of last year after being locked in a stressful half year haze of soliciation I finally completed on the purchase of my first home, a one bedroom flat in London. I was quite lucky that the flat is located within reasonable distance of buses and the tube network, and most of the flat has been left in good condition.

The kitchen however was one thing that absolutely needed changing as it’s been around for about ten years; the cooker is outdated, the styling is far from modern, the walls were yellow (yes, yellow…) and the lighting… well that’d be a strip light.

I looked around at all the various providers in the UK (MFI, Magnet, etc), MFI by far had the largest range within my price range but lost my custom simply by the attitude of the sales person when confronted with the small size (1.9m x 2.1m) of my kitchen. Magnet have a gorgeous range but given the cost versus the amount of time I’m likely to live in this flat, it would probably have no return.

At the time the sales were in full swing and though not my first choice, a colleague of mine had a relative working as a kitchen sales advisor for B&Q’s kitchen department. I was spoilt rotten as he drove all the way from the Cardiff store to visit me and helped me plan out the layout for the new kitchen which nobody seemed to actually care about, have to love the Welsh (or anybody out of London) for their politeness.

So we’re six months down the line now and my living room is basically full of flat pack kitchen parts stacked against the walls, appliances, and that’s not where it ends as not everything would navigate the tight hallways in my block of flats, so some of it is out in the hall.

I’m feeling really boxed in and this is only really the beginning of it as my living room looks in to my kitchen, so on my week off whilst the kitchen is being fitted I’m going to either be trapped in my bedroom to give the fitters space to get on with it, or I’m just going to have to get out of here.

The fitters are already running late, we were supposed to be starting on Friday to skim the ceiling. It’s really important to try and get the ceiling work done first so that no painting is required once the new units have been fitted, obviously this reduces the risk of damaging them before the work is even completed.

Two hours after the fitter was meant to arrive I’d heard nothing. After a few phone conversations with his boss it turns out that his car had broken down, but nobody had communicated with anybody, and certainly nobody had bothered to communicate with me.

I hope that tomorrow morning we get off to a good start so that I can enjoy my new kitchen without too many issues, and it goes without saying that the sooner I can reclaim my space, the sooner my stresses will fade away.

A change (for the better)

June 11th, 2007

The past year I doubt anybody has really seen me out and about much, I’ve invested most of my time in decorating my new flat, my career, but socially I’ve been a bit of a hermit (I hate that word).

Over a coffee in Soho square not so long ago a friend of mine told me a story about some Russian friends of his family that were visiting the United Kingdom; they had some ‘interesting’ views if not a little rude on the way British women present themselves and how they considered the average British person’s priorities to be wrong. Are they right?

I got promoted earlier in this year to be technical co-ordinator at one of our company offices, it’s an awkward title and an even more awkward role; essentially it was meant to be my task to transform the way project managers and account managers thought about the technical requirements for projects and ensure that technical architects and developers are engaged at the right time to be able to plan and deliver projects successfully.

An excellent opportunity, but one that requires a great deal of trust and respect from senior colleagues before you can give a respected opinion and start changing peoples mindsets. This is one opportunity that did not turn out as planned, unfortuantely I ended up being spread into the resourcing system gaps like wood filler.

I’m one of those people that likes to learn whatever I can and solve problems, so I’m good at filling the gaps… it just got too stressful though with no sign of anybody actually wanting to plan for the future or take any weight off of me.

At my company due to our size we are broken down into smaller teams called ecosystems, and thankfully my management have listened and I am now being moved into another of these smaller teams where I will most likely be on much larger projects and have a lot more that I can contribute to.

I also benefit from the fact that the office this team is based in is thirty minutes closer to home. So that’s less stress, and a shorter commute, not to mention summer is right around the corner. I’m just going to hold that thought for a while.