The day itself was fairly tedious because there was nothing to do. I'd managed to drag my negative flex to something like -3.35 (compared to the -8.30 it was four weeks prior!) which I was comfortable enough with to have my long lunch.
Lunch actually had a pretty good turn-out, although I had to ring up the restaurant myself to place the food orders because Naz was out on training and Jas had no time, but that wasn't too painful, as it transpired. IIRC, there was me (obviously), Eve, Naz & Jas (henceforth "The Twins" - I can't remember who coined this now but it spread like a virus!), Emily, Sam, Kemi, Tasha (who had gone on maternity the week before), and Caroline, with small people in tow. Basically, all the South Team girlies. It was all very pleasant and lovely - Caroline is still on maternity so had come out especially to see me off. :)
On getting back to the office Karen came up to my desk and told me to go downstairs at 3.00pm. I asked, "Is it a secret?" and she laughed and wandered off, then came back and said, "[Useless] wants your help with something." Heh. In the end I went down around 2.45 (after handing a thank-you card to Karen and a goodbye card to pass on to Noor, who was still off sick at that point), to give Ian the goodbye card I'd written for South Team and to say hello to Sian, who had popped in for the dual purposes of (a) introducing baby Alfie, and (b) seeing me off.
Ian found me a chair and made me sit in it, in the middle of the room, then did my presentation - in which he basically spoke about how long I'd been at Legal, the quality and speed of the typing service I've provided, my IKEN expertise, and my choir membership. I should point out - it is very unusual for support staff to be given a leaving presentation by a senior lawyer, especially one as distinguished/respected as Ian. Ordinarily the presentation should have been done by Karen, but she's only worked with me a matter of months (yet, despite that brevity, she has achieved more than Useless managed in two years - hence the thank-you card!); in her absence it would have been Sue (who was on leave) or Anthony (also on leave and has never, ever worked with me). I am ridiculously grateful that she deferred the responsibility onto Ian, given my relationship with South Team - she had clearly picked up on the team dynamic.
Oh yeah, as leaving gifts I got Rachel Khoo's Little Paris Kitchen from the WPO's, and a £15 Debenham's voucher from everyone else - which I will use at some point to put towards proper mixing bowls. I am so middle-aged.
Paul met me at work around half-four and I wandered downstairs in a doomed attempt to round people up for drinks. Unfortunately, because of half-term, quite a lot of people were off and/or stuck at Court / preparing for lengthy hearings. This also meant that my leaving card from the fee earning staff was incredibly sparse on signatures, which I suspect is also because it only got sorted last minute on Friday. Nevertheless, Ian had said he would come out for drinks later on in the evening. I did the rounds of the floor and said goodbye to everyone, hugging people I knew well and merely waving at those I didn't. I even deigned to hug Useless - for all her faults as a manager, she is likeable as a person.
It should also be noted that Forgetful did not sign my card, did not come downstairs for my leaving presentation, and did not say goodbye. None of these things surprised me, but it just goes to show how far our working relationship had broken down. Utterly ridiculous.
Drinks later were something of a wash-out because of aforesaid half term. Paul and I wandered down to Colmore's Bar and found a table, and we were joined by Ian and Kemi about half an hour later. I highly suspect Kemi only came along - having stated before that she had other plans so couldn't come - because she realised it would just be me, Paul and Ian, and wanted to make up numbers. I'm really really grateful for that, too. Ian B (the senior from the Education Team) actually came into the city centre on his day off to have a drink, too - just a shame the turn-out was so poor. I'm actually kind of pissed off that Legal "let me go" during half-term week, as there were too many people on leave - including Boss Dave.
Another somewhat disappointing thing was that Sharn did not actually come out for my leaving drinks, and now I'm confused again. When I added her on Facebook and messaged her with the news that I was leaving, she expressly stated that she'd like to come out for my leaving do and that I should let her know when it was. At that point I said it would probably be 22nd February. When I'd decided on Colmore's, I messaged her on Facebook to confirm the details - I think she read that message because Facebook ticked it. I left my mobile number in the message. On the day - no sign of her, no text, no response to the message, no nothing. Not even a message a bit later apologising or whatever. And obviously, I'm too much of a coward to bring it up myself.
But actually, it's probably just as well, because if she'd turned up after Kemi and Ian(s) had left, that would have been really bloody embarrassing. "Hi, I'm leaving and nobody cares."
Anyway. In the two weeks following that I slept a lot, didn't write any fic (OF COURSE), made a rainbow cake for Lisa (surprisingly successful and straightforward!), and invited Eni to Birmingham before she headed off to colder climates. I inflicted POTO on her (mwahaha), resulting in an idea for a JC/POTO crossover, stuffed her full of food (both home-cooked and a meal at the Kings Head), mocked her lack of skills playing Assassin's Creed, and latterly surprised her with a belated birthday present of a trip to Cabdury World - which was impressive mostly for the fact that I've managed to keep it completely secret for about four years. :P
I then ended up seeing her again about a week later in Derby because I was taking her Farscape DVD's off her hands.
So. I'm now in week five of the new job, and I still don't have a line manager, because she's off sick. The reason I couldn't start on 4th March like I planned was because she was on leave and wouldn't be around to do my induction. OH THE IRONY.
This being the Council, it's taking fucking aeons to get me set up on all the various systems. For the first couple of weeks I was having to log in with my acting manager's details - my acting manager, incidentally, is Amanda who I used to work with at Ladywood, so that's been both fortuitous and somewhat annoying. She assumes I already know what I'm doing, which to a degree I do, but it's been six years since I was last in Child Protection and a lot of things have changed!
So far I've had my CareFirst training, and now have access, but only certain areas of it. So now I have more training tomorrow so I can get access to the 'assessments' area in order to do certain important tasks within my job. Everyone else is on Outlook, but because Legal used IKEN I've had to bring my migration forward, which was delayed in the first instance because they had to revert my Lotus template back to a standard (non-IKEN) version, so my Outlook migration will now be on 30th April. Until then, I can't get any diary access because Lotus and Outlook do not communicate with each other properly (obviously).
For the first three weeks I was sitting at a colleague's desk, which was a mess of clutter and papers; as soon as her return from sick leave was imminent they miraculously dug out the laptop I was supposed to be using. Now said colleague is back and - of course - her desk is tidy as anything! As for my allocated desk - the plug sockets don't work (it's been reported to building management frequently, apparently), and the previous occupant apparently buggered off (a) with the key to the pedestal and (b) without taking any of her crap with her. So I still have two carrier bags of desk stuff at home because I don't want to put anything in there until I can lock it.
In about week two of the job I was getting seriously pissed off, but it transpired to be PMT so I let it go. Yesterday I was back to pissed off again. I've been into five Conferences now, observing two, taking notes on two and actual minutes (whilst shadowing) on the fifth, which was yesterday. Being in Conference made me feel a bit better - that's the part of the job which is actually interesting - but I was still grumpy this morning.
Last night I was gearing up to message Gaynor about the potential Legal Assistant jobs, as I'm still getting emails from Legal and nothing has yet been forthcoming - I am starting to suspect the timescale they kept telling me of "end of March" was just to make me stay, but if it wasn't and I had stayed on that promise, I would be very annoyed about it. Yesterday I'd reached a point where, even though I didn't regret leaving my awful WPO job, I did regret leaving Legal Services - I suspect if I made even the tiniest noise about wanting to come back they would accommodate me, and I'm still in two minds as to whether I would go for a Legal Assistant job if it came up either imminently or in a few weeks/months, but I might have to pull some strings to be allowed to do so, as they would be Legal Services act-ups, not properly internal.
Anyway, as I say, events of this afternoon have superceded it, because an urgent conference got booked in on Friday morning and there's no-one available to cover, so Amanda has asked me to do it! The minutes I took yesterday were checked over by the CPA I shadowed and - aside from some information being in the wrong place - they were mostly fine so have gone off to the Chair to be checked/signed; Amanda is confident I can go ahead on my own now, but yeah, we'll see what happens... Without access to certain things, still, it's going to be very difficult / create more work for other people, but at least the ball is rolling now.
Basically, as much as I really want to do well in this job - and indeed believe I could be very good at it - it's very difficult to maintain momentum on wanting to throw myself into it when progress is so slow. The past five weeks have been very, very frustrating, not helped by the fact that I arrived in the midst of a panic of backlogs and got lumbered with bashing out distributions.
On the plus side - the journey to work hasn't been too bad, even with the awful weather, and the people seem really nice. Also, I'm back in credit with my flex, FINALLY, purely by virtue of - shock!horror! - having stuff to do to pass the day. So that's something. :P
If any of this is nonsensical, you can blame swim!brain. Gym yesterday and swimming today. Let's see if I can keep that momentum going for a bit.
PS: New work icon!