Face and Family Time

This weekend, Mrs Bob and I have been treated to a rarity. A WHOLE weekend off without having to use holiday time. So, I did the chores first. I went to the barbers on Saturday afternoon to catch up with the only guy I trust to style and sculpt my beard. The fact I’ve followed him from hairdressers is a sign of how good he is. Mrs Bob stayed home doing some cooking, and later we played Lego Harry Potter together and just had a lovely, chilled out night.

On Sunday, we decided to get up earlyish, and pop to the local farmers food market event in town, as it’s usually got some goodies that even both of us, with our various dietary requirements, can eat. This was a nice trip out – not too peoply and busy, and I got to chat about comic books and TV shows with the local bookshop owner.

After we’d had our fill of gluten-free, organic, vegan-friendly food and coffee, etc, we came home to relax with a movie, Split, which Mrs Bob really wanted to see, and some more gaming. Then, after a home cooked meal, we settled down with an evening drink and some more us time … and a lovely surprise! A FaceTime video chat with my eldest daughter. She’s just got her own apartment for her and my granddaughter, and she’s also at college, so it’s not often that we get a chance to catch up with her. It was fantastic to see her new flat, how well she’s doing and how grown-up she’s become. We’re both so proud of her. This was a beautiful way to end a really perfect weekend and made this old man very happy. I even suggested that, as I’m now going to have weekends off like most people, we could do it next Sunday. I’m starting to think about the future and maybe having my granddaughter down to stay for a holiday when she’s older. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old(er) age; maybe I’m starting to see the bigger picture and what holiday visits to my grandparents (on my mums side) meant to me and want the same happy memories for my granddaughter. Whatever the reason, I feel I’m maturing as a human being. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it.

Stay Safe X

Plain Sailing

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I left my last place of employment. Let’s start at the beginning.

I raised a grievance regarding a colleague, whose behaviour has been negatively affecting the premises, and other staff, for some months. This behaviour had been occasionally witnessed by the owners but various members of staff raising verbal concerns had fallen on deaf ears. This culminated in me having to work on a major calendar date that was my day off, (leaving my wife at home alone), because said person could not work it, due to illness. On the day, said person turned up to party the night away. Nothing was done. So, I raised a formal written complaint, because I was at the end of my tether.

Shortly afterwards, I was called into a discussion about my complaint. During this, I was told that while they agreed with some parts of the complaint and disagreed with others, they had taken my comments on board and said that they had some bad news.

They explained that due to financial constraints they could no longer afford to employ me. They said that maybe I’d find a better fit in an establishment with more rigid guidelines, due to my autism, rather than an establishment like theirs with a more relaxed vibe. (This upset me somewhat, as my autism should have nothing to do with it). They said that should business pick up and they were in a position to re-hire me, they’d be in touch. This made me feel better about the whole situation, alongside the fact that I wasn’t the only staff member to be let go at that time. So I picked myself up and got a much better job with more hours and a decent (salaried) pay increase and thought nothing more about it.

Until one of my old regular guests came in and mentioned that an old member of staff had returned full-time into my role. I thought this was nonsense, until another person told me the same. As I know the person they said was in my old job, I asked them if they had returned and was told, “Yes I have your old job haha”. While this upset me a little, as I had not been told the truth as to why I was let go, I’m in a much better place of employment now. There are lots of great staff who all pull together instead of pulling in separate directions, and it feels very professionally run. I’m given free reign in my role, and I’m told by other staff that I will be backed to the hilt by the owner if there are any issues.

I guess the moral of this story is if you are different, don’t rock the boat as you may fall out.

Stay Safe X

Season Three

After some nineteen months two Christmases, many happy hours behind the bar and in front of the roaring wood fire, even being snowed out of the village during the bad weather we had earlier in 2018, I’ve had to call time on this chapter of my working life.

This was a not a decision of my own making, or of the owners of the establishment, but more of circumstances outside of my control. While I’m sad to be moving on from there, the job helped me to escape from a previous job where I was desperately unhappy and treated poorly. I shall, however, take with me some very fond memories and some great new friendships.

Where am I going from here? Surprisingly I’m going to a venue that I applied to 19 months ago and was unsuccessful. The owner remembers me from my interview and contacted me. He wanted someone with my particular skill set, so I went down to speak to him and after agreeing terms and a start date, I’m all set to move to pastures new.

To all my friends, colleagues & regulars at my last place. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the village. It’s now time to close this chapter in my story and invite you to join me as season three begins and the journey continues. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you in the future. If not, then thanks for some great memories.

Stay Safe X

New Years Revolutions

On New Year’s Eve, we gathered together or stayed at home to watch the world say goodbye to the last twelve months and everything it had brought with it, good or bad. We also celebrated the turning of the wheel and the start of another year on this planet, most people will have made some sort of resolution about their life over the coming year, be it losing weight, more exercise, giving up smoking or drinking less. Whether they stick to it is another matter.

This year, I decided that I would no longer sit idly by and let people walk all over me. I’ve been allowing it to happen in a certain situation for nearly 19 months. The person concerned has got away with murder and I’ve never once complained about them or their attitude and actions, which have really impacted on me.

It happened a bit early for me though, on New Year’s Eve. The person was again rubbing my face in the fact that that they are apparently better than me and could do what they want, when they want, without consequence. So, as the bells chimed and rang in the new year, I made a decision and took a stand for myself and for my dignity. This was my year, I decided, and I was starting it right. With that, I finally told certain people that I was unhappy with how I was being treated and asked that they look at the evidence presented and make the playing field level, rather than being stacked against me.

The outcome became irrelevant in the end, because I had finally taken a stand and made my voice heard. It may not have sparked a revolution within the establishment, but I’m setting a precedent for myself. From now on, I will stand up appropriately for myself – if I’m unhappy ill say so instead of being forced by my nerves and anxiety to keep quiet, and suffering from headaches, bad stomachs and being grumpy to live with.

So I guess I have done the “new year, new me” thing after all!

Happy new year to everyone reading this, and apologies for the late posting. I hope it’s a really good year for you all.

Stay Safe X