Doggos

So we went to see the lady about the cockapoo puppies and we have put down a deposit on a little puppy who is black with three white paws.

Unexpectedly, I feel very nervous and unsettled about it now. The problem is that I had a lot of allergies in the evening after we visited. So naturally my brain decided that I’m allergic to dogs, even though this was hours later and I was fine while I was there. Actually I’m allergic to something in the air around this time of year, possibly mold spores. It happens every single year. It’s been bad all week. I’ve been taking anti histamines most days this week to try to keep it under control. My parents are complaining about it too, so it’s not just me. Even my mum, who usually isn’t very affected by this kind of thing. I don’t think I’m allergic to dogs, but I’ve never lived with one, so as it’s suddenly popped into my head I am worrying about it. My dad’s aunt used to have a dog when I was a child. Unfortunately we never used to visit her often, because she lived hundreds of miles away, but I definitely spent some time with her dog and in her house and I didn’t have any problems. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

We have been busy trying to get everything ready. We have a little pen set up in the corner of the living room now, we just have a few more things we need to get before we go and collect him next weekend.

I hope he will be happy here, but he’ll be scared and confused at first. A little 8 week old puppy separated from his litter mates and his mother… it’s going to be tough for the little guy to start with. I think I’ll be sleeping in the living room next to his pen for a few nights so that he’s not completely alone… I thought about having him sleep in my room to begin with, but it’s probably too confusing for him. We want him to feel that space in the living room is his little area, so we don’t really want to be moving him around. I think we need to keep things simple and consistent for him, at least until he gets used to us.

Assuming everything is ready, we’re going to pick him up next Sunday…

Constants

After much anticipation, my current job matched the offer of the new job and also gave me a title promotion (Senior Developer). I accepted. It felt right. I’m happy with that.

I guess I’ve had a thing about feeling valued because of my last job. I think that being treated poorly there has made me focus a lot more on making sure that I’m getting a good deal. I’m also really pleased that now if they ever contact me, I’ll be able to tell them they can’t afford me!

I feel so exhausted now, tonight. It’s felt like several weeks of stress and maybe that’s catching up with me. I don’t really feel like the tablets have been doing much for the past few weeks.

Games

I thought about it. The thing that gives me pause about the new job is the hours. 40 hours a week vs 37.5. It’s not much per week but it adds up to an extra 3 weeks working per year. The salary more than covers it though. That’s really the only downside. About the current job, I’m busy but in general find it stress free. There are occasional exceptions, but they are not the norm. We had a meeting on Wednesday (before I handed in my notice) and the MD said he wasn’t expecting to get everyone back in the office full time. So, really, if it wasn’t for the salary shenanigans, I wouldn’t be considering moving.

I feel like we are playing silly games with the salary. When I gave my notice, the reaction was very much “oh, you want more money? Why didn’t you say?”. Well, I did, and it still wasn’t competitive? Then they’re shocked when I get a better offer and leave 🤷 Like, really, you’ve been running a company for 20 years and you didn’t know that people leave when they’re underpaid? Don’t give me this rubbish.

I have some distrust over these shenanigans, but overall no other bad feelings right now. So I think the outcome really depends on how the MD handles it tomorrow and what he actually offers. If I feel he’s continuing to play games then I’m better off elsewhere, otherwise let’s see exactly how the two offers compare.

Drama

I handed in my notice and apparently sent a few people into a panic. My timing was terrible, as the MD was out so couldn’t handle it, but instead got my manager and the (I don’t know his job title? but he’s kind of the second in command) to discuss it. They both seem to think the MD will give a counter offer.

Anyway, the MD is going to review it over the weekend and get back to me on Monday. I’m not really sure what to expect with this. Despite my manager’s optimism, the MD has consistently low balled me when it comes to pay. On the other hand, he’d be silly not to match the offer, because it is the going rate for my level of skill, and hiring is hard and my departure leaves the company quite understaffed.

But am I open to counter offers? A few days ago I said I wasn’t, but if they do match the salary then I’m not sure my case for leaving and starting a new job is so compelling anymore. The MD also laid out a few days ago that he wasn’t expecting to go back to full time in the office, which was also a big fear of mine. So if the salary is equal, the main points are the hours (37.5 currently vs 40 in the new job) and the tech (more modern, CV friendly in the new job). Well, and the stress and risk of starting a new job.

I suppose I need to decide on my thresholds and see what Monday brings.

Happenings

I’m not at all happy with the weather the past few days. I tried running this morning and it was absolutely horrible.

Parkrun is back at the weekend but I don’t think I’ll be doing it. The COVID case numbers are shooting up very quickly, which puts me off. It seems like Parkrun has promised to return a number of times and then didn’t, but ironically now it looks like they’re actually going to do it, it’s happening at a time when there’s a higher chance of contracting COVID than any time previously.

I phoned the recruiter and said I was happy to progress. The next stage is to wait for the employer to send everything through. I’m not used to such a slow process! And it’s playing on my anxiety. Apparently they do some kind of background checking. The recruiter told me there would be a credit check (why?!) and a criminal record check. I’ve never had to deal with this for a job before so I don’t know what to expect. From my research it appears it will be the basic DBS check, because my role is not eligible for the standard or enhanced checks.

But since I’ve never done this and don’t know what to expect then I guess I should wait until this clears before actually handing in my notice? Obviously, I’m worrying I’ll fail the background check despite there being no reason I should. I’m worrying about references too. I’m sure my current employer will be fine, but the previous one… I have low expectations of them. I keep telling myself that they would gain nothing by starting a fight with me and potentially exposing themselves to a hefty lost earnings lawsuit, but eh. What if they just refused to give a reference? Thanks, anxiety.

Uncertainty…

I’ve had no interview feedback today which surprises me. Pretty much every time I’ve come out of an interview thinking they’ll offer it to me, they do indeed offer it to me and usually very quickly afterwards. I feel a bit unsettled to have not heard anything. However, it is a larger firm than I’m used to dealing with and large firms tend to move slower.

I don’t think I actually mind whether or not I get the job. If I get every job I go for then that just means I’m not aiming high enough. And equally, I’m not in a rush and this job isn’t perfect. If I don’t get it, there will be another comparable one along at some point. Either outcome is fine.

And yet I have been quite stressed again today. I’ve also been very hungry. Since I haven’t been running much lately I haven’t been getting hungry, but I guess anxiety will do that too.

I’ve been trying to force my body to relax a bit more. I spent the afternoon working on my laptop…. while laying in bed. It helps!

Interview…

I had an interview today. It went OK I think. I got really nervous about it, but I don’t know why. I also got really nervous about seeing the physio last week, because…? The tablets make me more functional when I’m nervous but I’m not sure they reduce the nerves at all.

He asked me some technical questions, and I got the hard ones right and the easy ones wrong (duh). Not because I didn’t know the answer, just because I’m not used to having to suddenly remember and regurgitate obscure technical trivia over the phone. I’m not too worried because I was able to speak in depth on the harder stuff. Apparently the next stage is a technical test, which is usually where I look at it and go “I’m not spending the next week doing this!”, but we’ll see. He said it would be about 45 minutes, which is reasonable… assuming this estimate bears any relation to reality (big if).

I’m not too sure what I think at the moment. The recruiter told me it would be predominantly remote, in the office around once a month. But the interviewer had other ideas and said they were thinking of it being more of a hybrid role with 2-3 days a week in the office. The plus side is that it’s within walking distance (just about), so 2-3 days in the office there is much better than 2-3 days in the office at my current employer. But that’s not really the right comparison, is it?

Freedom?

So apparently we’re out of lockdown and most restrictions disappear on the 19th, or two weeks today. In the same press conference, the Government predicted that cases will rise to about 50,000 per day by the end of the month. I think this is completely bonkers.

But what I’m most concerned about is the removal of the work from home guidance. Personally I like working from home, but, ignoring that, I’ve only had one vaccine dose so far. So I’m definitely not getting on a train before I’ve had two doses. And even after that… I just can’t see myself commuting regularly. Commuting is horrible and while there may exist pleasant offices, my employer’s is not one of them. My ‘office’ at home is a hundred times nicer than an open plan office.

I don’t know whether my employer will start pushing for me to come back to the office, but he was starting to talk about it when we did salary review a few weeks ago.

I re-arranged my ‘office’ over the weekend so I feel ready to start interviewing again. I’ve been getting inundated by recruiters lately, so I went back through the last few days’ email. I found and replied to six that looked potentially promising.

Breathe again…

So I got a reply to my email and the end result is I’m getting a 5% pay rise from July, which is my 2020 pay rise, and there’s a 2021 pay rise to come. So it’s a good outcome, but I am still somewhat underwhelmed because the 2020 pay rise should be backdated to, well, 2020.

Anyway, it puts me in a better position to start interviewing again now. I read today that the number of vacancies is currently at the highest point since the pandemic hit, so it’s as good a time as any.

I found this highly stressful and I’m glad it’s over now 🙄

I booked an appointment with a running clinic nearby for next week. Unfortunately I had the dreaded numbness in my toes this morning when running so I just decided to get on with it, like I was considering doing the last time around. Apparently they do proper gait analysis, and the practitioner is a runner with a (super fast) 1:10 half marathon time, so I think it’ll be an interesting experience even if they don’t actually fix the problem. I don’t know if there really is a fix for the problem other than a neurectomy (where they surgically remove the end of the nerve), but that doesn’t make sense at the moment since all I’m getting is a phase of numbness every few months, which is obviously better than the permanent numbness that the surgery would leave me with.

I’ve been feeling it slightly for the past few days, but it’s been very minor. A slight loss in sensation is just an odd vague feeling that you wonder if you’re imagining, but today it was getting towards proper numbness. The weird thing is though that it seems to come on after about ten minutes of running, but then a little while later it improves. That seems a bit strange if it’s purely a nerve compression issue. That sounds more like a muscle warming up.

Anyway, my left leg feels like it doesn’t work quite as well as my right. At this very moment the left side of my bottom is aching, and the left ankle always seems a bit stiffer than the right. And I get a few twinges of plantar fasciitis in my left heel every so often at the moment. So hopefully he will say “at yes, you’re a bit unbalanced” and figure out how to rectify it.

Emails are hard

I didn’t send that email this morning after all… I felt too stressed about it. I’ve had a week off, it’s really hot and I haven’t slept well, and I did a lot of running last week. The thought of having to spend all day working was bad enough, without sending it and then having to deal with the outcome, so I just didn’t.

But I told my mum and she got a bit grumpy with me. I’d already talked about it with her and she’d suggested some wording. She thinks I should be hassling them and that it’s pretty bad I’ve been here for a year and a half without a pay rise. She’s right…

I checked my offer letter and contract yesterday and it’s not quite so clear as I thought. I was definitely told verbally at the interview that I’d have a review at six months then annually thereafter. But the offer letter actually says my first review will be “scheduled after six months from my start date”, which is the same words but arranged in such an order as to have no meaning. The word “after” makes for awkward English and makes the timescale completely unbounded. It’s obvious what I’m supposed to understand from it, but it’s not obvious what their intention was in writing it. Is it just clumsy phrasing or do they think they’re being clever? Probably the former, but the fact they haven’t delivered on it makes me wonder.

I chickened out of dealing with it today but I did send the email before I logged off, so it’s done. In the end I revised it to be more simple. I just said “It was my understanding that blah blah blah….did I misunderstand this?”. Which is just as effective, I suppose.