So the interview was a disappointment for me. I was hoping it would be a more obvious fit, but I didn’t end up feeling that way. It started with the interviewer being a few minutes late, and then when his video camera came on it gave me an incredible view of his chin. That was my first impression: this man hasn’t thought to angle his camera sensibly. It’s just… I don’t know. Maybe I’m putting too much importance on this, but it suggested he didn’t care how he was coming across to me.

He also asked some woolly questions like “what is your main strength?” which I just found awkward and weird for a software development interview, and actually made me feel he didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t know what else to say.

Overall I came away feeling that it was just a job rather than a job that I particularly wanted. I already have a job, so… I know I’ve talked about money a lot, but I have more money than I know what to do with anyway. I wouldn’t move just for money.

I was completely drained at the end of it. I had a headache for the rest of the day. It wasn’t great.

The next stage, if there is one, is that they will want me to do a “take home programming test” which involves implementing a ‘simple’ piece of software for them so they can see what I can do. I have always avoided hiring processes that involve this kind of thing in the past, because it’s just working for free and even as part of an interview process I struggle to convince myself it’s a good use of energy versus putting out another application. I think the problem for me is this: An interview is a mutual thing. The company puts in their time and you put in yours. A take-home piece of work is not. The time required on my part is vastly higher than the time invested by the company. If the company seems reluctant to invest their time, what message does that send to me? If you’re a high prestige tech firm then you can get away with this kind of thing, but if you’re not, then you’re just de-prioritising yourself on your candidate’s list of possibilities, which means that the people you’re left with are the ones who didn’t have better options elsewhere.

If and when they send me the full details of this I will review it based on how much effort I think it will be, but if it looks like more than about 90 minutes then I’m out.

Interview thoughts

I’ve been preparing for my interview on Tuesday a little bit. Probably as much as I can. I’m feeling kind of nervous about it, but I shouldn’t be. The stakes are low. I’m not in a rush to leave this job, it’s just more of a medium term aim. It also looks superficially like a good match, because the tech stack they use is similar to what I used in my previous job, and they do healthcare software which I used to do in my previous job too. And that opens up a good talking point for me: I want this job because I want to feel like I’m working on something that helps people, as well as wanting to work with modern tech.

Also, in the past, often when I have not been offered a job, it has turned out for the best.

Last summer I interviewed at a place that was essentially a huge landlord for the hospitality industry (the job was developing the software they used to manage their customers/tenants). Between the phone and on site interview, it became public that they were being taken over by a much larger company. So that was a bit of a concern, because I suspected that the department I was interviewing for would probably be phased out in favour of the parent company’s. And then, 9 months later, we had a pandemic that has largely shut down the hospitality industry. That was a pretty good company to not work for.

Then there was the one from 9 years ago. I interviewed at an online retailer (that I’d never heard of). They were a very new company, and a few months later a lot of complaints started appearing online about them. Then newspapers started running stories about them… they went out of business a couple of years later. Which would be bad enough, but I later learnt the person who interviewed me had spent the past few years before setting up the company in prison for sexually abusing a child. Hmmm. That was also a pretty good job to not be offered.

I think this is just a first stage interview and there’ll likely be another stage if they want to go further. But anyway, it’s a bit weird to think that in a week or two I might have a new job. Or I might not. We’ll see.


So it turns out I have an interview on Tuesday. Suddenly, the reality of changing jobs has hit me and I’m thinking “why am I doing this?”. Eehhhh. Well generally speaking in the past I’ve always had better luck at being offered jobs when I didn’t really want them. I think interviewers mistake my apathy for confidence. Though whether that will hold over a video call, we shall see. Anyway, I’ve quietened the little voice in my head that keeps telling me to make sure I’m doing what’s best for me and not my employer.


I have written before about the Mandalorian, but I’m going to write again (no spoilers). I enjoyed Season 1. It was good, solid TV. It wasn’t gripping because it was episodic, but it was very good for an episodic program. It feels very quality over quantity. Now I’m up to date (S2E3) and I’m really excited about the rest of Season 2! I’m totally hyped.

I’ve admitted defeat with my hip and have a physio appointment next Friday. It’s been very odd. For example Saturday it was fine for about 7-8k then over the next few km the front/side of my hip started feeling very dull and heavy. Yesterday it felt 100% fine for about 4k then very suddenly the side stiffened up, and I could kind of feel it down at the outside of my knee too. I think those are two different things. I think the front/side is muscular fatigue and the side down to my knee is the IT band, though it’s probably more that my pelvis isn’t stable for whatever reason I haven’t been able to figure out myself.

If I don’t get anywhere with this physio there’s another one that’s not quite so easy to get to which looks more promising, as they have a specialist running clinic that has treated Olympians.

In other news, I talked to a recruiter who’s put me forward for something that on paper looks like a good fit. We’ll see what comes of that. I have a lot of recruitment stuff in my inbox but I don’t really want to be dealing with it every day, so I don’t really know how to manage the time I will need to spend on it. If I respond to all of it I’m going to be snowed under with recruiters wanting to speak to me and then at some point some of those will turn into interviews. I don’t want to end up with more than about one interview a week, so it’s a bit hard to know how much to respond to.

This is a good start anyway.


I think the Citalopram is starting to work already. I decided to stay on 10mg rather than go up to 20 again. I think when I came off it I should have reduced from 20 to 10 and stayed there for a few months before going further, so that’s kind of what I’m doing now. I can always bump it back up if need be, but I think I’ll be OK with 10.

Today my boss annoyed me a bit. The chunk of work I’m working on at the moment is progressing haphazardly because he’s not communicating requirements clearly and I’m finding it frustrating going around in circles. If I ever end up responsible for hiring people I’ll have some kind of written test during the interview just to check they can express themselves clearly in writing.

But despite finding it frustrating, it didn’t bother me too much personally. It motivated me to reply to a recruiter email, which suddenly feels a lot more interesting again, and less overwhelming. That’s a good sign. I read somewhere today that vacancies are picking up again and are currently the highest they’ve been since March. I think it’s time to start being a bit more active.


Today was the first day of the full citalopram dose again. I started myself off on 10mg and today went up to 20, just to make it a bit more gradual. Oh my stomach really hates me today. Hopefully that will settle down tomorrow. I do think I feel a bit more relaxed though. I’m not sure if that’s placebo or optimism or what, but it’s there.

Today was another day spent with me expecting my boss to call me all morning, but he didn’t. This happened a few weeks ago, and it turned out he was on holiday. Apparently he didn’t consider it important to tell me this. I’m guessing it’s the same today…


I have to say that the way the US election turned out yesterday was one of the funniest things I’ve heard. Donald Trump’s lawyer gave a press conference in the car park of a small garden landscaping centre called Four Seasons Landscaping, seemingly because the only explanation that makes sense is somebody got it mixed up with the luxury Four Seasons Hotel and they had to go with it. There is much political parody and satire, but I don’t think the writers of any of them would ever have dreamt up this. I’m impressed by Rudy Giuliani. I don’t think I would be if I was American, but being sufficiently separated from the situation, I can admire his professionalism and enthusiasm while advancing completely unconvincing arguments that lesser men would find distasteful. He’s a great PR man. Not sure I’d want him as a lawyer though.

I spoke to my GP on Friday and they said it was fine for me to restart Citalopram using the tablets I already have. Then I felt better on Friday and thought “maybe not then”. Then in the middle of a run on Saturday my mind just made the decision to start them again.

I think that I feel a lot of stress with working from home and also thinking about my next job and when is the correct time to start moving on to that. I feel stress with my current job because I don’t perceive that the project I’m on is being managed as well as it could be, and the requirements aren’t very well thought through. I guess that’s normal, but I feel that work gets dumped on me without really being thought through. In my previous job I was more involved with discussion around requirements and their implications. Ironically, I had a more senior level of responsibility in my previous job, though a much less senior level of salary. I think with working from home (well, let’s note here that it’s not WFH, it’s poor communication from the company) I feel more disconnected from what’s actually going on, but not disconnected from the responsibility to continue to deliver results.

So I am back on them, as of yesterday morning. Yesterday evening I had some nausea but nothing too bad. Today I’ve felt absolutely terrible because I’ve suddenly had terrible allergies? I took the tablet about 10AM and from about 12-4PM I felt like I had a heavy cold, but it seems to have settled now. It’s probably a coincidence, I’ve been having minor trouble with allergies for a few weeks.

Anyway, I feel a bit more settled for making that decision.

I also tried to contact a physio last week but I got no response so I’m not sure if they’re actually open at the moment 🤔

Bad days…

Today has been yet another dreadful day and I’ve been considering starting back on Citalopram. Since I stopped it about three months ago this is the first day I’ve really actually seriously thought about it. I don’t know what the protocol is for this though. I still have quite a few weeks’ worth of it. Can I just start taking it again or am I supposed to talk to a doctor? As far as they know, I never came off it and I guess my prescription is still active (though I don’t know how many reissues I get).

Anyway I probably won’t start imminently because tomorrow is a new day and I’ll probably feel better, but I think I need to start tracking my moods seriously. Sometimes it feels like I have a lot of bad days, but I don’t really know.

The big day?

Today I had one of those incredibly frustrating work days where you spend hours looking at something without really achieving much. The problem with working from home is that it’s very tempting to keep on working past your hours on such days, just to try to make a little bit of progress. I stopped myself from doing that, but it was a conscious decision not to spend my evening reading Elasticsearch documentation. Even now as I’m getting ready to sleep I still have that slightly fidgety anxious energy from being frustrated and wanting to do something useful. But at least I recognise it, I suppose.

Around this time four years ago I remember thinking that I’d be a bit disappointed if I woke up the next day and Hillary Clinton won. It just seemed like a boring outcome. Which I suppose is also why she didn’t win. I haven’t been following it this time around and I think I’m completely fatigued on UK politics from the last few years, but I’m still curious to find out the result. My prediction is a safe win for Biden. And some tantrums.

Edit: 😳😳😳😳


I’m in a lot less pain than I was last week since I started stretching my hips out more. My lower back is feeling a lot better and so is my hamstring. Unfortunately my hip is not showing the same improvement and I’m not sure whether it just needs a bit more time or a bit of rest or what. My timing here is pretty terrible as we are going into another lockdown this week, so whether I’d be able to see a physio – who knows at the moment. Though I actually had a fairly pain free 12k run on Sunday by 1. Stopping and stretching every couple of kilometres, and 2. Trying to keep my cadence high.

Cadence (number of steps per minute) is a weird thing. If you ever try running without shoes you will naturally hit a very high cadence because your body will make sure that the ball of your foot is striking the ground underneath you. But as soon as you put shoes on, most people’s cadence slows right down and their heel hits the ground in front of them, with the leg outstretched. There’s a lot of debate about foot strike, but I think everyone agrees that a stride length that has your contact point much in front of you is a bad thing because it puts everything through a greater range of motion than it’s really ‘designed’ for.

Usually my fast pace cadence is about 180, which is the magic number that comes up a lot in the literature, but my leisurely slow runs can drop down to about 168 easily. Anyway, on Sunday my pace was slow but my cadence was 174, which is pretty good and might be why it felt better.

So, job seeking:

Awkwardly, my boss has added me to LinkedIn. I got the email on Friday but I’ve been so bored of the whole thing that I haven’t logged in since then so I haven’t accepted yet. If he’s actually looked at my profile he might cotton onto the fact I’m starting to look around. We’ll see if he mentions this… probably not.

The recruiter from last week still keeps trying to phone me but today he finally left a voicemail. He rambles a bit and then says “I don’t know where you are with your job search, but if you could give me a call back that’d be great”. Whyyyyyy.

The thing I’m noticing is that salaries are lower than when I looked previously and I wouldn’t move unless it was a decent pay jump. Or rather, some salaries are the same, but there’s a lot more at the lower end of the market. Sad though it is, it might just be best to sit tight for a few months and wait for things to pick up. Because, obviously, in a few months, COVID will be over and brexit will have transformed the UK into a glorious, prosperous nation again.

This is what happened last time though. I tried, I failed, I got bored, then a few months later I tried much harder and succeeded. Though I was on antidepressants the second time around.