After four weeks in my new job, I am getting used to having all my weekends free. I have worked weekends for as long as I can remember, certainly since moving up to Box Hill and starting work again in 2007. It is then a novelty for me, perfectly timed to coincide with the onset of spring. Spring of course really starts if you follow the Pagan calendar as do Coran and I, on February 1st, so we are already halfway to summer on which the clocks moved forward. When I go to Iceland in a little over 10 weeks, it will be an hour earlier - they have 24 hour daylight in the summer, so don't need to change their clocks.
I am though thoroughly looking forward to this trip. It doesn't seem like I was only there in October - just five months ago. My flights and accommodation are all booked, and all that remains are a few buses and excursions, which I plan to book during the final two weeks before departure. That should not be a problem when many people turn up on spec - I prefer to know what I am doing, and have a proper itinerary - as ever organising everything (as much as possible) to plan. When you organise all your own holidays as I have always done, you develop a need to be like this, which comes I believe from knowing that certain things only run on certain days of the week - the bus from Brjanslaekur for example to Isafjordur, had it been running this year would have been from memory, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It is not though running this year which means that I have had to change my plans. I had hoped to get the bus to Stykkisholmur in the Snaefelsnes Peninsula, gateway to the West Fjords and sail across Breidafjordur Bay, catching the bus on to Isafjordur via the famous Latrabjarg bird cliffs on the other side. This though was not to be, so I am instead spending an extra night in Reykjavik and doing a Snaefelsnes day tour instead before flying in to Isafjordur early (around 9am) the following morning. I am used to getting up early for work, so all this activity will not be a problem for me. I am though beginning to wonder at the wisdom of landing back in England a mere 12 hours before starting back at work the following day - that is airline timetables for you - it was either that or get up far too early to catch the 6.45am flight from Keflavik - a little too early for me.
So, the new job is great. I have a lovely boss, and a fellow (male) cleaner who for the most part keeps out of my way and lets me get on with the job. The Carers and other staff too are great, and even the CEO shook my hand and said how pleased she is to have me there. This is something that has never happened in all the years I have been at work, something I was at pains to inform her of. We had a meeting with some members of the Board earlier in the week to inform us of the changes that are being planned to the site - some of them are quite ambitious, so unlike my previous job, they understand communication. If my experience so far is anything to go by, they also understand honesty and respect - which is something I never got from anyone in the old place, apart from my friend in the laundry, who unfortunately for her is still there.
They are still doing their best to make her life difficult, and although I have not spoken to the Union Officer, she acknowledges, so my friend tells me, what a lucky escape I had, and how I seem to have landed on my feet - but then again, I usually do. You always get the experiences that you need, and like it or not, that includes what happened there. From what I have been told, things there have gone as predicted, from bad to worse. The new rotas start tomorrow (today in fact, as their week starts on a Sunday, they could not even get that right), and my ex boss leaves in less than two weeks time. Something tells me I will not be invited to her leaving do. They are it seems though running on agency staff, as almost everyone else has left, or succumbed to Norovirus which swept through the home the week after I left - the staff were sick of being treated like crap! That Union Officer was right then when she said I had a lucky escape.
After three weeks in this new job, I finally had a response to my grievance. As predicted, it was a total whitewash with them blaming me for all of it. I was upset to begin with, but I am okay now, as I have moved on to pastures new and found them out for what they are. They do not deserve even a second though, so I am not sure why I am even writing this - I suppose it is a gradual process of letting go, and the more I write and talk about it to others, the more I am able to do this. Unbelievably, they had the audacity to suggest that when my boss shouted at me, calling me antagonistic, I actually provoked her - for once I am almost speechless. I had I was told, five working days - until this Friday just gone to appeal.
After I thought about this for a while, I sent off a long email detailing my thoughts, and just to let them sweat wrote right at the end that I did not intend to do that - appeal that is. There really is no point, as I have achieved what I set out to do (i.e. speak my truth), and I do not believe that dragging this out any more will in any way affect the outcome. They have made up their minds, and that as they say, is that. My former boss is leaving in less than two weeks time, so it is best to just leave things and put it all down to experience. She has her conscience to deal with, as do all the others that took part in this, and the truth as I said, will out, for I know that my complaint will be just one in a long line of them. Unlike those whom I leave behind, my honesty and integrity remain firmly intact.
That as they say then is that. It finally really is all over, and I can relax and enjoy working for a company who knows how to treat and communicate properly with staff and residents alike. For today though, the sun is out, and set to remain that way, so I am off for a nice long walk up to the viewpoint to partake in some even nicer coffee and to finish my book. It's not such a bad life.