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The castanets, the chicken and the coach!

Today I had career coaching. I learnt I’m a secret castanet player with a love of coconuts and crap music. This was a transformative experience and one that will definitely enrich my CV and career prospects!

I set out in the morning, arrived early and grabbed a coffee and a danish. An overzealous lift of the plate saw my pastry shoot off onto the sofa next to me.

I made my way to my meeting and waited in reception (bit too long if I’m honest) and watched as the receptionist was as unhelpful as she could be to every visitor, basically dishing out ‘fuck this shit’ looks to everyone who inconvenienced her.

The lady I was meeting came down to collect me. I got off the low sofa and stepped forward to shake her hand and say hello. At which point the heal of my shoe got wedged under the sofa and as I moved forward my foot came completely free of it! There was a point where we both knew I was only continuing to hold her hand to steady myself back into my footwear!

Here’s how the career coaching conversation panned out and what I could have said that was more congruent!

Coach: ‘The purpose of today is to find out who you are’. My thought: Shit…really. We already know I can’t wear my shoes properly. What-else is there to know? What I said: ‘Great’.

Coach: ‘It’s an opportunity to ask any life questions you have in a safe environment’. My thought:  I don’t really have any life questions since I had it validated that chickens do actually eat mice as I’d suspected. What I said: ‘Perfect’.

Coach: ‘Let’s get to know you, what’s your story?’ My thought: Have I got one, shit I don’t know. Can’t you just read my blog. I like animals…like a lot… I trap, neuter and release feral cats. I’m part of a local badger club. What I said: ‘Great’.

Coach: ‘What do you like doing?’ My thought: Stroking the cat’s snout gently while she’s sleeping and trying to follow her or my boy cat when they are out and about to see where they go and how long before they notice me. What I said: ‘Leading high-performing teams and driving organisational effectiveness’.

Coach: What would you do if you could?’ My thought: Wake, drink Presecco in bed upon immediately opening my eyes and stay in my dog pyjamas all day. What I said: ‘I want to get back working in a commercial, fast paced dynamic organisation’.

Coach: ‘What get’s you all fired up?’ My thought: Singing the Spanish bits to Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and pretending to snap castanets. Animals and coconuts. What I said: ‘Working in a progressive organisation and delivering value to the business’.

Coach: ‘When are you at your best?’ My thought: Dancing to Chain Reaction, Reet Petite or sniffing coffee now I can temporarily smell. What I said: Developing and leading high performing teams in a global, matrix organisation where I have full autonomy and can be an authentic leader.

Coach: ‘What do you fear?’ My thought: Bumping into someone I’ve de-friended. Running out of tigers. That dream I had where Hitler was looking for me, wanting me to be his secretary and I was hiding in a green wheelie bin.

Coach: ‘Have you thought about setting up on your own and any business ideas’? My thought: Should I tell her about ‘Letter blox’, my idea to revolutionise the humble letter box so it doesn’t accept junk mail…no…my nephew Dean, let’s call him that because that’s er, well, his name, told me never to verbalise it to anyone because ‘only a twat would’ because it’s a stupid idea. Primarily because it doesn’t work! What I said: ‘Not really’.

That all clear, she told me I basically needed to re-write my CV. At this point it was like being in bed with a dementor from Harry Potter as that bloody thing drains my peace, hope and happiness. A CV is soulless and evil! I would rather unload and re-stack the bloody dishwasher repeatedly and hoover properly even with the pipe than do that again! And the narrative of ‘it needs a bit of work’, did not mirror the amount of notes I took, which concluded, ‘re-write me’.

The only thing I could do to make it bearable was to go and write it right there and then. If I went home, I’d put Judge Rinder on and that would be it, other than trying to dodge the sad donkey day time TV appeal.

So I found a pub. Bit grubby, the sort of place where you just know the baked beans would be darker than they should be, and had a glass of wine and cracked on. My only distraction a bloke eating crisps noisily.

Having done my CV, it was free time. So, after walking around in a bookstore for no apparent reason, I came home.

Quick change of attire and Tony (husband) and I spent time trying to get the perfect picture of Winston (dog’s) bum cheeks that have grown since he has been growing out his fur for a competition. They have grown at such a rate, it’s like watching the speeded up version of what happened to my own arse between 30 and 40!

They are hilarious and we wanted to capture them for our future enjoyment (there’s probably a register for that). He was onto us though, he kept following his butt round in a tight circle following his turkey twizler but never letting us get a picture. Nonetheless we spent a joyous afternoon trying. This is the sort of shit you can do if you get your work-life balance just right! It gives life a real sense of meaning and purpose!

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Trump and the pineapples!

I need a job because I spent too long this week talking to the greengrocer about his views on the Trump administration during the exchange of two pineapples.

A job to me means many things – caring, kids, volunteering, housekeeping, looking after you…

Here’s my fun take on why since being made redundant I need to get a paid job and to learn to love Mondays again and it goes beyond Trump and the pineapples!

Top reasons I need to get a job:

13. I am thinking of following my tortilla wraps on Twitter and facebook.

12. I have far too many selfies with me as a bumble bee.

11. I’ve taken the dog out for so many walks his become lazy, no longer cocking his leg up for a wee but favouring the sit down release method instead.

10. I am showing the same level of excitement as the dog when the doorbell rings. I’ve yet to show the same level of interest in a used toilet roll and socks.

9. I only know what day it is if facebook shares a memory on my timeline.

8. I am showing an unhealthy interest in getting up in the loft and sorting it out, when it’s been treated like David Bowie’s nose for years in that we’ve been shoving all sorts up it.

7.  The only thing I have in my diary is an engagement with the dog to give him his monthly worming tablet.

6. I had a random conversation with a man about the origins of the poodle and his dog Spike, long since departed from this world and who was once chased by a bull in Torquay.

5. I have had long enough to ponder and establish that there is a clear need for agreed branding and regulation relating to the colouring of salt and vinegar and cheese and onion crisps. They should not swap between blue or green depending on brand.

4. I spent too long thinking about why the Argos screens in the collection area have never worked and remain an under-performing system since the mid 80s. I have never successfully once had my number called out to inform me my item has arrived. They are always behind. I just see my item, point to it, get it, secure another small red pencil and leave before my number is even on the flickering screen!

3. I have taken an entire walk with a local dog walker annoyed about the increasing number of poo bags left in our local meadow, and waited with him while he circles them using a yellow spray can to make a point! We also went looking together for the person leaving them in distinctive blue like freezer bags and I was far too engaged in the search.

2. I enjoyed way too much spending time with the dog sitter when collecting our dog Winston, even though Tony (husband) was openly punching me by the time we left to stop me engaging further in conversation. When we had an overly extended and informative discussion on the numbers of nesting woodpeckers spotted nearby, I think he openly sighed. I was just about to go in for my second cuppa because I was interested in learning more about the lesser spotted woodpecker when I got the ‘don’t you dare and shut up chatty mchatty look’ which lasted all the way back to the car.

But at number one, the real reason I need to get a job is…

I just can’t bear to watch the little loaded up donkey with overgrown hoofs on the day time TV fundraising appeal!

Of course there is the obvious concern too about not being potentially made homeless but I have to say the donkeys are worrying me more currently! Little respect for a species that many believe carried Mary safely on her way to Bethlehem. A willing helper who hung about waiting for the kid to be born so he could plod them back to Nazareth and we repay them by loading them up like Buckaroo!

But not working isn’t all bad. I don’t have to worry about spoiler alerts as much, particularly when I still haven’t seen the last Broadchurch, and I am using it as an opportunity to learn new skills, like trying to take the perfect picture of a coconut.

PS – the picture at the top is my Winston (aka fancy snout), helping me work on my blog.