My Shop (work in progress!)

Monday, 29 October 2007

I have my nose in an electronic book

I treated myself to a Nintendo DS on Saturday. I have Dr Kawashima's Brain Training and Lost Magic, a role playing game, for it.

At the moment my brain is aged 64 as I am rubbish at maths, but I have discovered that I am quite good at Sudoku. Vince's brain is 29 which is only two years older than the rest of him. We have nicknamed Dr Kawashima "Kimonagi-san" in honour of our friend, James.

Vince and James work together and they were discussing cleaning tips (!) and Vince mentioned something that he had learned from Kim and Aggie. Obviously James has never seen How Clean is Your House? as he thought that Vince was talking about a wise Japanese person called Kimonagi! Perhaps he envisioned the domestic version of Confucius.

Hmmm you can tell that my boss isn't in and I haven't got a lot of work to do!

Ooooh shiny!

Picture from Argos website.

When Vince and I moved into our current house just over a year ago, it came part furnished. This included a rather large and ancient microwave. It was the size of Greater London, the countdown numbers occasionally went out and it didn't beep anymore when it had finished cooking.

There had been a couple of times when the microwave had reacted a bit and smoked when we'd tried to microwave something, even though there was no metal in it. However, on Saturday morning I was trying to make some cappucinos to take back up to bed. It was Vince's birthday and he was just about to open some presents. I tried to heat up some milk in the microwave in a Pyrex jug but again the microwave started to crackle and flicker and I could smell smoke. I stopped it and opened the door and saw something drip from the roof of the microwave. I think it was metal! I looked to see where the stuff had dripped from and there were two very small flames, each the size of a match flame just before it goes out.

I had to throw away the milk as the inside of the microwave had dripped into it. I managed to salvage the Pyrex jug and get whatever it was off it. I unplugged the microwave, made sure that the fire had gone out and that I didn't need Vince's help in putting it out, and then consigned it to the appliance graveyard. Our landlord is going to take it to the tip for us.

We could have asked our landlord to buy a new one for us but we decided that we'd like to buy our own as at least when we move we'll have one. The above pictured microwave is the one we bought from Argos. We waited about 10 million years for it as they couldn't find it as it had no catalogue number on the box.

Unfortunately all the taxi companies in Carlisle seemed to be fully booked so we had to walk home carrying it between us. It was heavy, awkward and really hurt our hands. It looks very snazzy, has a clock on it which gives the kitchen an eerie blue glow and it beeps! You can even do multi-stage cooking in it and has special programmes for certain foods which goes by weight!


Image courtesy of Dorling Kindersley

Yesterday Vince and I bought a lead for our cat Marwood. We live in a built up area so we don't want to let him outside in case he gets run over. However, we also think that it's sad that he can't go out so we bought the lead.

You might think that it is very difficult to take a cat for a walk. And you'd be right!

Getting the harness on him was the easy part. He was alright on the lead in the house and walked reasonably well on it considering it's the first time he's ever been on a lead. Being outside was another story though! We took him out the back door into the little alley way that runs behind our house. He wasn't to keen on being outside and he fluffed his tail up to twice it's normal size. There were lots of new sounds and smells for him to discover and he seemed quite overwhelmed by it all.

He didn't really want to venture out much past the door but we persevered and we managed to get him to the top of the alley where it joins our road. He didn't really walk, we pulled him a bit, then he would do an acrobatic roll and then stop. We got him almost to the front door when he stopped, miaowed a lot and would not be moved again. Vince had to carry him the rest of the way which was only about six feet!

Once back inside he became his normal happy self again. We gave him some of the treats he so loves as he'd been such a good boy. We left the harness on him for a little while so that he could get used to the feeling of it, he kept trying to lick it off! Ideally you are supposed to train them from kittens so they adapt to it. He did really well though considering it was his first time!

I now feel even more justified keeping him in the house. Seeing how scared he was out there made it obvious that he couldn't do it on his own.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The NHS is Stupid

I have been working as a secretary for a consultant psychiatrist since June as a temp. It was a steep learning curve but I think I've got a pretty good handle on the job now. I now know who everyone is in the office, I know how to contact my boss, where she is etc. I've even got used to her South African accent when typing her letters. The main component of my job is typing letters. Surely if I couldn't do the job they would have got rid of me and asked the agency for somebody else?

The job I'm doing has come up as a permanent position so I applied for it. I can't get an interview because I don't have a certificate to say that I can type! The NHS is just shooting themselves in the foot here because they're now going to employ someone who doesn't know how to do the job, my secretarial colleagues are going to have to train them like they did with me. This takes up their valuable time. Everyone in the office is so stressed at the moment. My boss is on the verge of a nervous breakdown as it is without having to get used to a new secretary. Just because they have a piece of paper to type won't necessarily mean they can do the job.

But the NHS is like that. They have lots of red tape. If they give me an interview without having the qualification they can face litigation. I can't get the qualification in time. They can't take me on and make me getting the qualification part of my personal development. So obviously I'm not capable of doing the job
even though I've been doing it for the last four fucking months!

My boss has sent a complaint to the head secretary and head of the department. She has no say in who her secretary is it seems. She was very angry when I told her that I had to leave and why. My boss has a junior doctor who I'm also secretary for and he was annoyed and sent an email of complaint too. Another doctor that I occasionally do typing for praised the fact that he doesn't have to make any changes to the letters I do for him and to keep up the good work. When I told him that I was leaving he said "Well that's red tape and bureaucratics for you" and offered to give me a reference even though I don't really work for him.

I am especially annoyed today as apparently the trust that I work for is "excellent" according to an Annual Health Check published by the Health Care Commission. Another local trust was considered "weak" so god help the poor bastards that work there.