I expected after handing in my notice that work would get a lot easier. What I’ve actually found is that I’m suddenly extremely unmotivated, and, so far, I resent still being in a toxic environment for the next four weeks. I think I was upset I didn’t get a counter offer. I had started to feel very unvalued here and this just seemed to confirm my opinion was accurate. I think I resent being here slightly more now, because I see it as a one-sided relationship that needs terminating. As the meditations tell me, I deserve better.

I’ve been very confused about my emotions over the past few days. They have been a lot stronger than I thought they would be. As usual I have too many things going on at once and I don’t know what’s causing what. Finalising the offer and arranging my start date with my new employer felt a bit stressful (just because), handing in my notice felt extremely stressful, anticipating a counter offer and trying to figure out my terms was stressful (and unnecessary), and… I ran a half-marathon on Sunday which has definitely increased the stress my body is under (recovery) – my resting heart rate still isn’t back to normal! I don’t know what’s causing me to feel what.

Anyway. I have set my finish date to 15th November and my start date is the 25th, so that’s all sorted, I get a week off between the two jobs, and I can just sit and wait now.

So far nobody knows I’m leaving except my boss, my project manager and HR lady. Boss might have told Becky too, I’m not sure. I’m curious to see if Becky tries to make things up with me before I leave. It’s a lose/lose situation, because I’ve always been of the opinion that she’s not actually a nasty person, she’s just a bit broken in her own way and I’ve just been an unfortunate victim of her own problems. So if she doesn’t try to part on better terms then I’ll feel I was wrong on that. On the other hand, if she does try to make up with me, I’ll probably tell her to fuck off, because… too little, too late, you know?

I don’t know what I’ll tell people when it becomes public knowledge. I’m leaving because I got a better offer?

Actually, I went and got a better offer because I’m leaving.

Whimpers rather than bangs

Boss and HR lady had a meeting this morning. HR lady was very animated. I was with someone else at the time and commented that I’d never seen her animated before. She’s usually very stoic. I think my resignation took her by surprise and she took it a bit personally. Which shows some self-awareness, I suppose…

Then my boss spoke to me. He was quite conciliatory, but he didn’t ask why I was leaving (probably sensible), and didn’t make a counter-offer. He was feeling his way around it a bit though, but when I said I had accepted the other offer, he seemed to consider the matter closed.

I feel like… my boss seemed disappointed, HR lady was surprised… this was not an outcome any of the three of us wanted…

…therefore I should have done more to avoid it…

No no no. This is me all over. I can’t feel guilty when other people treat me badly. I can’t think “if only I’d given them more opportunities to treat me well”, especially when I did give them opportunities! This is not healthy.

Now the fun starts…

So I now have a firm offer letter and contract which I’m going to accept this weekend and then give my notice on Monday morning.

But what happens then?

Will I get a counter offer? Probably – my employer is supposed to be reviewing my salary anyway.

Then what?

The problem is this: Mostly, I quite like where I work. The problem is Becky. I don’t know if she is a solvable problem, but I do know that my employer really hasn’t tried. This in itself is an additional problem because it says they don’t consider my well-being important.

The last time I spoke to HR lady, she told me “bullying isn’t legally defined, so we can’t do anything about it” (she used the word ‘bullying’, not me) and said I needed to “take more responsibility” for my own happiness at work. So I did, in the only way that I could, though I suspect this isn’t what she had in mind.

Any counter offer I would consider accepting has to put forward a plan to either improve Becky’s behaviour towards me or to reduce my exposure to it. I don’t know how that’s going to work, but if they want to keep me it’s up to them to figure that out.

Interesting times. I’m not quite out of the door yet.


I had another call with a recruiter this morning who’s now put me forward for two jobs, both of which sound like possibilities. On top of that, I have three more recruiters who want to speak to me about relevant looking opportunities. I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honest. I can’t realistically do more than two interviews a week because it involves working from home or taking time off work, so next week is fully booked. Normally I would have replied to one of those three recruiters today, but I’m trying to throttle things a bit.

So I think, realistically, for the first time in my professional life, the employment market seems good for me and I should find something else quite quickly.

In related news, since I worked from home on Wednesday my boss has suddenly started being very nice to me. I think he thinks I had an interview (I didn’t – it was a GP appointment), which is going to make next week interesting…


It’s all happening! As of today, I have:

2 interviews scheduled for next week (both face to face)
1 application that has been has been deemed ‘a match’ by the recruiter and forwarded on today
1 application that’s been forwarded that I’m really pretty pretty sure I should get an interview for. If I don’t, then either they’re not still hiring or the hiring manager already knows me and really hates me (lol).
1 application that has been deemed ‘a match’ by the recruiter, but he wants to call me first, as recruiters do (I have asked him to call me tomorrow morning)
2 recruiters wanting to speak to me about about roles, one of which looks very relevant

In related news, when I got to work I had an email from my boss apologising for the delay on the salary negotiation business and saying that any increase in salary I gain will be backdated to 1st October. But I think he’s missed his chance. I’m actively looking now and I don’t think I’m going to stop until I find something else.

Mood: Improving.


I saw my GP today about anti-depressants. She suggested upping the dose, but I decided to leave it for the moment. She said that she would have expected me to feel a bit more level, but equally, finding another job might be a better course of treatment.

So there we go – medical advice: Quit my job.

I chose to leave it for the moment because I’ve set a lot of wheels in motion and due to the unpredictable nature of job-seeking, I might have an offer by the end of the week. Or maybe I won’t get one for four months. It’s worth getting a better feel for the market before deciding to make any adjustments, I think. I’ve sent off two applications today, and responded to another recruiter who emailed me asking to set up a call with me.

I figured out what I wanted to say to HR lady when the opportunity arises. It goes like this, and will also be CCed to my boss (and hers):

The last intervention the company staged to this situation was in March. In absence of any management of the situation since then, it unfortunately became necessary for me to begin taking anti-depressants.

You will understand therefore that I no longer trust the company sufficiently to feel comfortable in pursuing this matter further.

And that last line just says it all, doesn’t it? It’s something that keeps tripping me up in relationships. People lose my trust, and then I spend months circling around that fact and trying to work out how to rebuild it, when in reality… I can’t. It’s up to the other party. They caused the problem, they have to resolve it. I can move on, I can forgive them, I can go on without resentment… but I can’t rebuild the trust so the relationship can’t continue.

Posts from the email drafts folder

Yesterday I saw my counsellor for the first time in about a month. For readers who aren’t aware, my employer is currently paying for a block of five sessions of counselling for me because they don’t really know what to do about Becky and it’s kind of a token gesture that they give me a bit of external support instead of having to actually do anything internally. I probably sound ungrateful but there’s a lot of politics involved here and it’s not a straightforward case of “employer does the right thing”, because actually, they cancelled the sessions and didn’t even tell me (they left it for counsellor to tell me, which I found very unprofessional and disrespectful) and then re-instated them after I queried how that was consistent with a previous assertion they’d made about wanting to support my mental health. It’s frustrating that they can’t do the right thing without first doing the wrong thing and forcing me to confront them over it.

Everything is always a fight with this company.

And on that subject…

One of the things that came up with my counsellor was the impending confrontation between me and my employer when they inevitably decide not to renew the funding for the counselling, again. Yesterday was session three of five (I thought it was four, which was why I was getting a bit nervous). Talking it through with her, I came to the conclusion that by the time it comes up, it’s the right time to start pushing for some improvements internally. She has previously pointed out that it’s HR lady’s job to smooth things out between me and Becky. I’d been thinking about that. It is her job. I’m actively job-seeking again now, just because HR lady isn’t giving me any route towards de-escalating tensions. HR lady has the authority to change this. I don’t. So the company is going to lose me, just because… she can’t be bothered? She doesn’t want to aid confrontations? I don’t know, but she’s not acting in the company’s interests and she’s not acting in my interests.

Essentially it’s phase 2 of the salary negotiation. First we secure a market-rate salary instigated by means of a “We both know I can find something better” ultimatum, then I start another negotiation instigated by a “we both know I can find something better” ultimatum. It’s kind of cocky, because my position in the first negotiation is helped by the subtext of the Becky situation adding credence to my implied threat to leave, and then afterwards, I’m going to say “oh also, I need this completely separate situation fixing too”. But it works, because they’re both valid and stand-alone points. Anyway, the company has given me this ammunition; it would seem impolite not to use it.

I actually started actively job-seeking again today and had a call with a recruiter, so I’m comfortable making ultimatums.

I was thinking about it today and ended up drafting an email in anticipation. I feel a bit happier seeing my points laid out on paper, because it shows me I can form a convincing argument. Once it’s written down and it still looks convincing, you know you’re onto something.

But… Let’s be honest, the reason I’m writing this is because this whole subject gets stuck in my head and it makes me angry. The antidepressants aren’t really helping with this, and maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe my anger is justified and normal, and it would be unhealthy if I wasn’t experiencing it. I think that’s probably right on some level, but… I don’t want to be angry.


This weekend has been a bit different to normal.

Saturday AM: Parkrun (Okayish time, wasn’t pushing it, but got overtaken on my sprint finish by somebody doing a more impressive sprint finish, which I was a bit miffed about).

Saturday PM: Went to see Downton Abbey. It was my mum’s birthday on Friday so that was part of her birthday celebration. I love Downton Abbey and I enjoyed the film. My one criticism is that I’m pretty sure that Maggie Smith wasn’t just a walking punchline in the series (though she did get a serious scene towards the end). I liked that despite being a film, it was still Downton as usual. It continued naturally from TV, and it also wrapped itself up in as much as a series about a family’s progression through life can ever be wrapped up. They could easily follow it up with more films (and I hope they do!), but they didn’t set it up for a sequel.

Saturday evening: Then we went to a restaurant for dinner afterwards. I had a burger because I’m doing a survey on burgers (actually because when you run as much as I do, burgers being full of protein, iron and calories make a lot of sense, but as this means I virtually always choose burgers when I eat out, it feels like I’m doing a burger survey). It was by far the worst burger I’ve had when eating out. It was small and burnt on the bottom; I was underwhelmed and had it not been for a mix up with the chips giving us a double helping, I’d have been left hungry. I did not leave full of iron and protein, I left full of chips. But I do like chips, so…

Mum had salmon though, and she was quite happy.

(note: the best burger I’ve had is in a fairly expensive restaurant near Torquay, but in second place, and not requiring me to travel 200 miles, is The Boss Burger from Boston Tea Party)

Sunday: 10k race – the reason I wasn’t pushing it at Parkies yesterday. It was a tiny local race that I only found out about a couple of weeks ago because I saw a sign on a lamppost. The course was two laps around a few little country roads and then around some housing estates – not the most interesting course, but not the least interesting 10k course I’ve run recently (cough Birmingham). Not flat but not hilly either. The weather was promising rain and threatening thunderstorms, but we’d had a lot of rain ahead of schedule overnight and at the start time it was just cloudy and muggy. Not exactly warm, but the sweat just sits on your skin so it’s not ideal running weather.

There was a water station half way around and I elected to pour the cup over my head, slightly underestimating just how wet I would get and feeling faintly ridiculous for the next few minutes as all the spectators presumably thought I’d fallen into a river along the way. By the end of the second lap, however, everyone else looked the same because it started raining very heavily. I was ahead of the curve. Someone tried to overtake me on my sprint finish but I was having none of that today, thankyouverymuch. Overall I smashed my previous 10k personal best (from May) by a minute and a half, taking it down to 41 and a bit minutes.

I’ve done a few 10k tempo runs lately which have all seemed like harder work than they should have been for the paces I’ve been hitting, so this was a nice confidence boost for the half marathon in three weeks today.



I haven’t posted for the last week because I’ve been on holiday. My parents asked me a month or two ago if I wanted to join them on holiday, and I’d usually say no because who wants to do that?, but this time I said yes because maybe I do?

I didn’t know how it would go and I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I don’t have the best relationship with my dad. I’ve always found him difficult and he’s got more difficult since he retired and doesn’t get as much human interaction as he used to. My relationship with my mum is really good, but we’re both quite sensitive to each other’s moods and we can be a bit volatile because of it.

It went pretty well though. There was one day I got grumpy because I was bored and hungry, but other than that it was good. I strongly suspect that the antidepressants helped out here and kept me a bit more amiable than I would usually have been when we weren’t doing things that I was particularly interested in.

We went to an English seaside town, which I won’t name for anonymity. The town itself was a bit tacky and touristy but we were staying in a village a mile or so outside of it which was nice. We went on some long coastal walks, which I really enjoyed.

I have written here before about my love for running, but I love walking just as much. I’ve always been quite active, but when I had problems last year I ramped it up as I found it theraputic. I still walk A LOT and get kind of grumpy if I don’t. Covering about 80 miles a week on foot (walking + running) is normal for me. I’m slightly addicted to Pokemon Go as well.

We came back Saturday after finishing the holiday with some Parkrun tourism (mum’s a Parkrunner too), which was really enjoyable. I won’t say which Parkrun, but it was smaller than my local one and I got a Parkrun PB on the flatter course with a very low finish number, which I was really pleased with.

It was interesting to see the difference in Parkruns; my local one is almost like a military operation in how it’s run whereas this one was very relaxed and maybe a bit more inviting because of it? But it’s also much smaller, so there’s that. Anyway, it’s inspired me to start branching out to do more Parkrun tourism.

Now I need to get up to date with everyone’s blogs.

Health bits

I got more of my blood test results back today. My iron levels are borderline anaemic, and they’ve dropped a lot since January. I think I need to be on iron tablets again.

I wonder if this has affected how I’m feeling mentally. When my iron levels were low last year I ended up having a breakdown. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I also don’t feel I’ve ever really recovered from it. I don’t want to repeat that, so I will be back at my GP the first appointment I can get.

Work was tough today. I didn’t work hard at all and spent probably two hours in the kitchen chatting to people today, which should have made it an enjoyable day… but… the reason I did that was because I was struggling. I was in the kitchen alone early in the morning when Becky came in. She got part way through the door, saw I was in there, then made a huffing noise and turned around and walked out again. We always have to have the amateur dramatics with her. She always seems to want me to notice her. I know it reflects badly on her and not at all on me, but it upsets me. I was feeling unsettled anyway and this just pushed me over.

I don’t even know why she’s taken offense to me again; I haven’t spoken to her for months. I think that might be the problem. I think she wants a better relationship but doesn’t know how to achieve it, so she gets frustrated and goes out of her way to make me notice her being rude to me in the hope that I’ll do something differently and then via some magical process which requires no change or effort or communication on her part everything improves. Or maybe I’m just projecting because I thought about doing that too, but then I remembered I’m not 5 years old and it would look a lot like bullying.

But I’m not playing stupid games, so here we are.

I wish I’d seen my counsellor this week.