Still alive

I haven’t been on here much for a week or two because I’ve been distracted with a little project. I had this idea that job adverts are really boring and depressing to trudge through, so why don’t I make a bot that crawls job sites, pulls out relevant information, and just shows me the ones that might be interesting? And then I had another idea that was something along the lines of “well that’s a search engine, isn’t it?”. When you write extremely boring enterprise software for a living you can forget how fun it is to program things that interest you.

In tangentially related news I had the LinkedIn email last week where it tells you that you appeared in 37 search results and your searchers work for these companies. I usually just open and discard these emails on autopilot, with no memory of actually doing it, but this time I opened it and was greeted by the logo of my old employer. I found that a bit stressful. I ended up having a nightmare about still working there and haven’t really felt like I’ve settled down again yet.

How strange is it that it’s almost a year and a half ago and they still cause me so much stress. Part of me is fascinated to know who performed the search though. In theory it would be the HR lady but she could barely switch her computer on at the best of times. On the other hand I always suspected that she was an android, so maybe she was just overcompensating so as not to arouse suspicious, and really has a direct mental interface with LinkedIn.

And on the subject of androids… Battlestar Galactica! I am now probably about a third to half way into S3. I am finding it alternates between completely gripping, possibly the best TV I’ve ever seen, but then it seems like the writers go on holiday every so often and they have to quickly make up some stories that take up screen time but add nothing to the plot. It’s quite frustrating really.

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Lejog

Since last year I’ve been doing a running challenge called Lands end to John o groats, i.e the full length of the UK. Aptly abbreviated to lejog. Or at least it would be apt if it was French.

It’s about 874 miles in total. Every time I run I put it on the website and see my little map marker move further along.

It’s taken me a lot longer to finish than I envisaged as I spent the first few months battling my hip, then I lost another few weeks when the neuroma in my foot started complaining. But I’m really close to finishing now. I’m about 37km away. I’m hoping to finish it on Sunday. This means I need to run about 16km tomorrow and then a half marathon on Sunday.

Can I do it? We’ll see…

It might slip to Monday.

Dosing

I went up to the full citalopram dose a few weeks or maybe a month ago when I was anticipating interview stress. I’m prescribed 20mg but since I restarted it I stuck to 10 until recently.

I don’t know if I really feel any difference between 10 and 20 in terms of mental health, but it something I really do notice is how tired it makes me. On 10 I don’t really notice it at all, but on 20 I feel like I could go to bed any time after about 7pm.

Over the weekend I had a think about what my goals really are. I decided that I’m fairly comfortable at work right now and I don’t need to move until something changes. When work wants me back in the office I’ll try to negotiate permanent work from home a few days a week and take it from there. But until then I don’t really need to stress myself.

So I decided to drop it back down to 10mg again. I’ve done 15 for the past few days and in a few more days I’ll go to 10. I felt quite irritable and impatient yesterday but better today. Ironically feeling impatient made me want to start job seeking again, but I think that’s just the withdrawal talking.

Weekends

The weekend was pretty good. I am definitely feeling better than I was last week. On Sunday I woke up at 7:45, which is unusual for me recently – usually I’m awake at more like 6:00.

Sunday was mother’s day (in the UK, don’t worry, Americans) and I bought her a little ‘bee hotel’ which is a little wooden thing filled with little wooden tubes where supposedly bees and insects go and live. She has to work out what to do with it now. It has a string on the top to let you hang it from something but we think it would be better on the ground. It needs anchoring so it won’t get blown around. She has some ideas about trying to build something around it to accommodate wildlife too, but I’m not sure what that will look like at the moment.

Sunday was also half marathon day, just because I felt like it. I hadn’t planned it. I got to 14km and thought “why not?”. I haven’t run that far since the last half I did in September (which was disastrous). My left leg has felt heavy today but nothing too bad.

I think I might have a break from job seeking for a bit. The recruitment sector as a whole is icky. I had a recruiter email today with the message “Thanks for the application you’ve made to the role I have online. Could you let me know when you’re free to speak, and what number to call please?”. 🙄

I’ve had two more email me with roles that are supposedly working from home 3 or 4 days a week, but they haven’t even bothered to tell me where they are based! As if that’s some minor detail. Well it’s in Penzance but you only need to go there twice a week, which is pretty much never, so it’s not important really. And don’t get me started on LinkedIn. It’s 50% a recruitment site and 50% Facebook for awful people. Every time I log in and see the main page I feel like I need to go and have a shower.

Turtles

Last night’s dream: I remembered that I had a turtle a few years ago. Or at least something that looked a bit like a turtle. It was some kind of little green thing. Actually I don’t think it’s a real animal, but we’ll call him a turtle. I don’t know what happened to him. I used to let him wander around my bedroom but then I forgot about him for a few years, so one day I started wondering where he got to. He probably hasn’t died because surely I’d have noticed a terrible smell. So where is he? Is he hiding in my bedroom still or has he wandered off? I looked under my bed but I couldn’t see him, so he must have found his way out into the garden somewhere.

So anyway I declined the job yesterday by emailing the recruiter. I worked out that the extra hours actually equated to an extra month of work per year. I work 37.5 hours a week as opposed to 40, and I get 4 extra days of holiday. Add all that up and they wanted an extra 160 hours per year or 21.3 working days, or in other words, a full month. So I said to the recruiter that the money was fair and appropriate for stepping into a more senior role with more responsibility, but not for more responsibility AND an extra month of work. He wanted to go back and negotiate more with them but this was already offer number 2, so I said they’d already had plenty of time to put forward a realistic offer and they weren’t making me feel valued.

I’m starting to feel calmer again now. This is my Garmin stress of Wednesday versus today:

Though, even today is still high. When I’m properly content, it’ll be come down to 14-16ish.

I often get a big spike early morning which gradually comes down throughout the morning. I’m not sure why. I used to think it was recovery from running first thing, but it’s still there even if I don’t run.

False start

I’m sorry, readers, for the emotional rollercoaster, but I’m going to decline the job after all.

I got the formal offer through today and it turns out the working hours are longer and the holiday allowance is lower than my current job. Once you account for all that, the money per hour worked is only slightly higher than I’m on now, so it’s not really worth it.

I haven’t put all the details in here but yesterday was a bit of a mess. This job was originally advertised as working from home 4 days a week with a salary up to a certain number. I asked them about the working from home yesterday. They wouldn’t commit to anything other than being “flexible” but they’d expect me in the office a certain undefined amount of time. So, okay, I can probably work with that, but it felt like a bit of a bait and switch.

Then they came to me with an offer which was a lot lower than what I’d asked for (and, it turns out now, worse per hour than what I’m on now). They gave the excuse that they “hadn’t expected to find someone as senior as me” and hadn’t really budgeted for that much – but what I’d asked for was less than the upper number on the advert! So I just said no and felt a bit perplexed that they’d try to lowball me when I already have a job and can just say no.

A few hours later they came back with what I’d asked for, but it made me feel they probably wouldn’t be interested in keeping my salary at its market value in future.

I’m not disappointed though. Between all this and having a surprise second final interview, I feel like they’ve been messing me around so I’m a bit relieved to just give a hard no and make them go away.

OFFER?!

So in the end I did get an offer after all. It came via the agency and it’s only verbal at the moment but it should all be formalised in the next few days.

The technology confusion resolved itself fine (she was actually thinking of something else), so that pretty much took away my reservations.

It’s a good salary bump too so I’m happy. It’ll be a more senior role than I’m doing at the moment. Overall it’s feeling like a good career move and I’m not going to fish for a counter offer after all.

The never ending interview process

So after my final stage interview on Friday, I now have a really-final-I-promise stage interview tomorrow. According to the recruiter, I’m the only person to go through to this stage so he is cautiously optimistic they’re going to make me an offer, but who knows. I am not sure about this role, so I’m more on the side of cautiously pessimistic that they’re going to offer it to me.

The interview is with my potential manager and the non-technical officer who confused things on Friday. As we are now off-script I do wonder if they’ve decided internally that they don’t want to use the framework I have experience with, but they still want to hire me (which is a hard no from me). Or it may be that they realised they made a mess of it and want to convince me that my choice is fine. Or maybe they just don’t really know what they’re doing.

CHOICES!

I have felt so tired this weekend! I don’t know if it’s just the stress of the interviews this week catching up with me. Probably.

Where I’ve got to with this is that I’m not really sure it’s the right move, but I’m also not sure that it’s the wrong move. My hesitancy comes from the interviewer on Friday throwing a curveball on the technology issue. They are obviously confused over this and they will resolve it between themselves. If they offer me the job then they have resolved it in my favour. If they resolve against my favour, then they won’t offer it to me. Well, assuming they behave rationally, which isn’t a given.

But at the moment I’m thinking that if they do make me an offer (and it’s attractive) then I’ll first see if I can get my current employer to match it.

I need to do better at not letting job seeking get on top of me. Yesterday the whole afternoon disappeared without me really doing anything, I think because I was just sitting around and subconsciously worrying about it. It’s not really a big deal.

Today I spent a little while playing a computer game (Oxygen Not Included) and felt so much better for it.

Maybe not?

The interview went…

I don’t know. I was interviewed by the chief technical officer, another chief non-technical officer, and the same person as last time. As soon as I mentioned my preferred framework the non-technical officer piped up that their outsourcing company had tried it and found it too limiting and she seemed reluctant to use it in future. Which would be fine if my preference for this framework was some big mystery I’d kept secret up until this point, but I’ve been pretty clear on my CV and in the first interview that this is what my experience is with and what I’m interested in! (also: it’s not limiting but that’s besides the point)

So I don’t get this at all. Possibilities:

  1. There is a communication issue between the manager and the non-technical officer
  2. They were expecting to offer me a job using technology I’ve never used before (and have expressed no interest in learning)
  3. They have no idea what they’re doing

I’ll have to wait until next week to see if it goes any further as they are interviewing someone else on Monday.

Update: I spoke to the recruiter again. He’s managed to speak to the company and apparently they feel I came across well, and what the non-technical officer said about not wanting to use the framework was not correct. Hmm hmm hmm. I’m confused. And, it seems, so are they.