Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Another interesting day this end... We had a temporary cover problem on reception. One of the Managers says 'fret not an ex colleague of mine who's a really good chap is not working at the moment I can get him in at short notice and he'll be great to fill the slot'. 'Great' says I, 'but we don't have time to screen and vet him so he'll need to bring in at least a current Criminal Record Check'. Bright and early this morning he turns up in the office and the minute he passes me his CRB I know I've got a problem as it's more than one page long..... the list of offences runs to three pages including carrying an offensive weapon in a public place, possession of class A drugs, threatening behaviour, actual bodily harm, and considerably more, complete with a stint in one of HMs residential establishments. Guess who had to then tell him he wouldn't be working for us and politely ask him to leave the building....?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Having made it to the last 2 for final interview with a major built asset management consultancy the aforementioned lurgy meant I had to cry off. The headhunter was lining up another date but instead came back with the news it looks like they're going to offer the other candidate the job as they want to make a decision by the end of this month. So much for thinking it was 50:50.... Anyway, I'm taking it on the chin and being pragmatic... the Middle East has rubbed off on me as I tend to now see stuff as 'Inshallah'. Much as I could have done the job, it was a good step in terms of career and more dosh, it wasn't 100% what I wanted to do.....more manpower planning and strategy and I'm definitely an operations girlie nowadays.... Not sure I would've have fitted in here ->

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Being of strong Northern stock

I tend to drag myself to work no matter what but when I woke up today simply couldn't open my eyes...well just the left one actually. When I did drag myself to the mirror I was greeted by a worse than usual image...my left eye had swollen and looked like I'd done a couple of rounds with a heavyweight. Quite clearly it wasn't going to disappear without some treatment so I headed to the Doctors. Quick diagnosis...cyst under the eyelid and a scribbled prescription later he was about to boot me out of the door when I said, "and while I'm hear can you listen to my chest as I was really breathless last week"....bronchitis! And there was me feeling like a right wuss last Thursday!

Thursday, 19 January 2012


but I have had great fun being in character for the last couple of days. In the preceding couple of days I'd been given a briefing document about my 'persona' as well as a heap of background reading on Irish Travellers, illegal immigrant fruit pickers, Hare Coursing and Animal Rights Groups etc. My orders were to stick to the storyline, be as realistic as possible, but embellish as needed (providing I didn't take things too far!). To ensure things were not too rigid, further instructions were sent periodically by text. I'm not permitted to divulge the full programme for the two days but let's just say that it involved being picked up and guarded by eight strapping booted and suited guys in central Birmingham (bystanders obviously wondering which minor Celeb I might be); being accosted by a reporter hungry for a story re. my pro-blood sports stance like some sort of heinous political activist (whilst passers by took photographs on their phones); and culminating in being shot at in a remote Herefordshire orchard....upon which I realised how seriously unfit I was as one of the guys offered to sling me over his shoulder when I clearly did not scarper quickly enough (even though my chest felt like it was about to explode from the exertion)!!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

For the next 48hrs I am a Pikie scrap metal merchant employing illegal aliens and passing my spare time hare coursing!!

No comments please...it's role play for the Close Protection training course.. I somehow doubt it'll get me my Equity card for 'Snatch 2' with Brad Pitt

Sunday, 15 January 2012

AS revision time

has been seriously sent off-track due to this mothers bad influence. It is not enough for Miss Sensible to try to juggle her AS levels, a part-time job, horse riding and playing sax...due to having been indoctrinated by my ipod catalogue she and a couple of her friends are also trying to perfect a lost art....that of being able to recite the lyrics of the entire 12" version of 'Rappers Delight'....Oh how my misspent youth has come back to haunt me, but it was great fun singing along with her in the car the other night:

"I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don't stop the rock it,

to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat,

now what you hear is not a test - I'm rapping to the beat and me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet..."

I can guarantee anyone of a certain age reading this will now have that tune circulating in their head on a loop for the next couple of days... :o)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Our people are our greatest asset....

and sometimes a bit of a liability...
  • Case 1
A chap we deployed to hostile environment tested positive for drugs immediately upon arrival. In the ensuing conversation he informed the medic he had been for dental treatment the day of his flight and was given Valium as a relaxant. Unusual practise but I'm no expert, so we asked for the confirmation to corroborate this and a covering letter was duly sent from a dentist...but not the one he had stated he had visited. Adopting the mantle of Mr. Sherlock Holmes I was just about to start to look into this further when the aforementioned employee handed in his noticed and 'fessed up....resulting in him boarding the next flight home. Slightly ironic really as he alleges he took the Valium as he doesn't like flying!
  • Case 2
Panic phone call from the office manager in Dubai. One of our female employees had got drunk and caused a disturbance, resulting in her being thrown in the Clink. By the time the Office Manager had got the call from the girl who'd been detained they'd already moved her to another Police Station and no one would say anything other than she'd be held until a Court date was arranged! The detainees passport was obtained and provided to the police station as a form of guarantee but they still wouldn't release her and by this point the Dubai end is in a right flap, so I consulted Rallyman as I was way out of my depth. He explained the usual process and asked all the relevant questions only for him to pronounce that the only reason the employee is probably still in the Nick is that she's non-European...his take is she got became inebriated, someone perchance thought she was a hooker, or made a remark…..she told them where to get off or threw a drink at them... Anyway, current state of play is that we've been assured the release paperwork will be done at some point tonight but she's still languishing in a cell as I type... Probably won't be doing that again in a hurry...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I wonder if my bordeom threshold has been lowered

as a result of this job. Perhaps I'd be bored if I did something 'normal' now.

In the meantime I mistakenly volunteered to role play a Client for the Close Protection training course and got this message...

1. You will be picked up by a Close Protection team at a major train station between 1230 – 1330Hrs Wednesday 18th January 2012.

2. You are requested to be dressed in smart business attire, carrying a suitcase please.

3. You will be accommodated in a hotel for night after several “twists and turns” in the scenario.

4. You are requested to take a short swim the following morning at the hotel. (Swimming attire required please)

5. The second day will again see you in smart business attire for more scenarios.

6. After this, you are requested to dress down (i.e. clothing to facilitate a walk around town/walk across some fields), please note we are close to the Welsh border so we can experience all three seasons in one day! (Outdoor clothing required please).

7. The scenarios will culminate with a rapid extraction back to the team vehicles due to a 'shooting incident', the exercise will finish

I will contact you again next week with further details & background reading for the role

Not sure what worries me most; the 'twists & turns', 'shooting incident', or wearing swimming attire in front of 20 Squaddies!!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Resistence is futile

there appears to be not one iota of healthy food in this house... how did we accumulate so much chocolate, cake and pudding!?!? I've been working from home today and each time I have ventured to make a cuppa the temptation has seriously tested my willpower...

There's Stollen, Liebeskuchen, Florentines, gingerbread cake, mince pies, shortbread, enormous lollipops, chocolate reindeer, and huge tubes of jellybeans. Looks like we're trying to audition for a set in Willie Wonka.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Navel gazing

over last year, I didn't do a particularly good job at living by the philosophy I espoused this time last year instead of a New Year's resolution.... Those of you who know me well have heard first hand exactly where I fell short, and have patiently listened to my rants or mopped up tears when required, for which I am eternally grateful...
I am blessed with wonderful friends.

Methinks I am too old to put up with some of the absolute piffle (to put it mildly) I have dealt with this last year. It's also about time I finally shed myself of the 'could do better' phrase which has haunted me since school report days ;o)

Stand by your beds...I mean business...