Latest posts by Minks

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Mums Running Club

Posted: 18/09/2014 at 11:11

It's a shame you had to take that decision, CM.  I hope it doesn't create a precedent of staff feeling they can get what they want by threatening to bring a grievance against you.  I think it's appalling that you don't feel that you have any support in place (from HR or your own manager) to confidently make the decision that's best for the business rather than what's best for one member of staff.

Saying that, I'm in a quandary over a decision I have to make about one of my staff.  I had a member of my team who was on long-term sick leave for over a year, and in that time, although she was no longer being paid, the job was technically still hers so I couldn't take on a permanent replacement.  So I've had a temp in post for just under a year.  Recently the postholder was dismissed on medical grounds and I now have permission to appoint a permanent replacement.  So advertised the post internally and interviewed 3 candidates last week, one of whom is the temp currently doing the job.  One of the applicants was unsuitable as insufficient relevant experience, but the other does the same role in another department and is a good friend of the other member of my team.  She is also a friend of my temp.  Both could do the job.  I'm leaning towards the one who does the job already in another department, mainly because it will make my life a lot easier - she won't need any training (other than minor stuff to do with the differences between the ways different departments work), she has already worked for the organisation for about 20 years and has no plans to leave, meaning when my other long-term member of staff retires in a few years I'm unlikely to have to replace two people at the same time which would be hell as I don't know the role well enough myself to train someone up.  But my temp has done a good job, the faculty like her and she's capable of doing the job.  However, she's Hungarian and is finishing her PhD and I doubt that long-term she's going to want to be an admin assistant for the next several years.  What I don't really want is a succession of short-term appointments because that's bad for the department in general and certainly bad for me!  But I know I'm going to feel bad if I don't offer her the role. Gah!

JG, definitely think about applying for other stuff.  You might find you enjoy a change of direction.  And much as you hate confrontation (I think most of us do) you need to know where you stand so you can move on if need be.

Pip, fingers and toes crossed it all goes ahead.  Moving is so stressful.

Makes sense about the whole sugar thing.  I rarely crave sweet things.  On the rare occasions I eat chocolate it definitely makes me want more of it.  My cravings are always for savoury things - usually crisps.  I do have to restrict myself or I could easily get through a large bag of Kettle Chips in one sitting!

Mums Running Club

Posted: 17/09/2014 at 12:18

JG, I would go and see someone in person (rather than via email or telephone) and ask them straight what's happening.  It's really unfair that they are sidelining you in this way especially as they have not given you any reason to think that you have not been doing a good job in the past couple of years.  Don't stew on it - even if it's not what you want to hear, you can at least think about what to do next.  Good luck.


Mums Running Club

Posted: 17/09/2014 at 10:17

Have been reading but not posting - sorry.  Every time I get to the end of the posts there is no time to write one of my own!

Caro, so glad the figure was high enough for you to receive your chemo.  Not that it's pleasant but I'd be totally the same on not wanting to push back the time I'd be undergoing treatment.  Hope you feel a bit better this time round, and so pleased you now have your sister with you.  Is that 3 rounds done and dusted - so halfway through? I am SO impressed that you are still managing to run and cycle so much.  And even more impressed with your 3rd lady result at Parkrun - still a super-speedy time too despite all the chemicals bouncing around your system.  You really are an inspiration.

Lotte, wow to Dylan - that is amazing.  How old is he now?  He could have a lot of real potential for the future if he can run that fast now.

Brookie, well done on the walk.  I'm with CC - walking 26.2 would be a lot harder for me than running it simply because of the amount of time I'd be on my feet.  Would far rather run it any day!  Was it the Thames Path Challenge you did?

I am a bit peeved as I'm planning to enter the Royal Parks Ultra next year.  However, found out on Friday at work that our department is going to be hosting one of the top accounting journal conferences next October, over a Friday and a Saturday.  We don't have dates yet as that's a lot down to what space we have available on campus and I have put in a request for rooms, but obviously I want to avoid the conference taking place on the same weekend as the ultra.  Emailed the Royal Parks organisers and they can't give me a date for next year yet, so a bit difficult for me to try to arrange anything.  Grrr.  The conference will involve Friday afternoon and a full day Saturday, including the conference dinner Saturday night which I'll have to attend, so it would be pretty tough to have to do a 30-mile run the day afterwards.  We shall see, but I hate not being able to plan ahead!

So pleased for you, Sonya - birth sounds horrific though and I don't even want to know about manual placenta removal! Must be fab to have a boy though after two girls, and a big surprise - much like TTid and Fay.  Can't believe she's a month old already TTid!

CC, sounds mental with the upcoming move.  Hope all goes OK.  All you can do is get stuck in I suppose and get on with it.  Really hope the knee comes good soon too - you will need running for stress relief if nothing else!

My dodgy back/piriformis is playing up a bit again.  Saw chiro last week and he unlocked a few things which helped a bit, but it's felt a bit sore after a couple of runs recently and I've had really sore and stiff legs post-run.  Of course I haven't helped myself any by doing too much fast stuff, so have backed off a bit now as I'm entered into a half on Sunday and don't want to end up with a full-blown injury which stops me running at all.  I may have to just run the half rather than race though - the bigger picture is still 12 races for the year and I have 5 to go!

CM, hope the back is a bit better.  Sounds awful.  But could be stress-related and I'd agree that everything you mention seems linked together.  Terrible doctor appointment system where you are.  Ours is bad but not that bad!

Camlo, that race sounds amazing.  Well done - it sounded hard both physically and emotionally.

Mums Running Club

Posted: 06/09/2014 at 14:10

Congratulations Sonya - whopper! Looking forward to the gory details and a name soon 


Where is the running mum thread??

Posted: 06/09/2014 at 12:20
Help! We need our thread back!!

Mums Running Club

Posted: 29/08/2014 at 09:19

Kit's a bit like that too, JG and CM.  He gets extremely frustrated with things when he can't do them and can't always control his emotions, so often the frustration manifests itself in tears.  He's bright so usually picks things up instantly and finds most things come easily to him - so it could well be, as JG says, that he's just not used to having to try hard at something if he doesn't get it first time.  He can't tie laces either, CM - not an issue yet as his shoe size means we can still get Velcro fastening styles but he does need to learn.  I just try to help him through when he gets frustrated by suggesting that he walks away from whatever it is that's causing the problem, takes a break, calms down, then tries again.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Also lots of reassurance that he can't be good at everything and that's absolutely OK as long as he always has a go and tries his best.

Caro, have provisionally booked in races both the weekend before the Jill Oliver and the weekend after.  However, as it's so close to home I might be able to do it if we're not doing anything else that weekend.  If you do it I'll run it with you and we can finish together - but see how you feel and whether you're up to it or even want to do it on your wedding anniversary!  Ours is 30th (10 years) and we haven't arranged anything yet.  Hubby is racing (Fours Head) on the weekend closest to it and I'm planning a half the weekend prior.  It falls during half term week so we could take a couple of days off work but no idea really what to do.  Not a great time of year unless we go abroad - which we haven't ruled out but no decisions made as yet.

CM your workplace is like a sitcom - only probably not very funny to you!  Can't believe wrong WiFi code given to so many people - whoever is responsible for updating information needs to be shot, and why is there no system in place for checking these things are correct before they go out?  I have to do stuff like that on a smaller scale for the conferences I organise and am absolutely paranoid about checking stuff a million times to make sure there are no errors, and I always give things to a colleague to check too in case I've overlooked something.

Tangy hope you're not too sore this morning.  Sounds very ouchy

Lotte, a win AND a 10 mile run on top?  I don't know how you do it.  Respect.  Know what you mean about work - it's a means to an end for me really, although I do mostly enjoy my job and I like having a part of my life where I'm known as me and not just as Kit's mum.  And nice to occasionally be reminded that my brain still works and I am capable of making independent decisions.  I could do without the commuting - once school is back and all the logistics of everyone being in different places at once starts it all gets exhausting and having to travel for over an hour each way doesn't help!  Especially if there are any problems on the trains/tubes. Shudder.

Sonya, hang in there - can't believe you're still waiting.  Remember that horrible huge feeling and I didn't have littlies to run around after so feel your pain.  Hopefully not much longer now.

JT, sounds like a lovely holiday - bar the nits   Glad the running is going well too.

Right, really MUST do some work!

Mums Running Club

Posted: 28/08/2014 at 11:39

Bah, end of my post got cut off then website crashed!  Wouldn't have bothered to run last night but had promised IMTB that I would, and he was happy to go even if late, so kind of felt I had to given he'd waited for me.  Actually enjoyed it and although I'd been on my feet all day it was good to stretch my legs and get the blood flowing.  And we had a nice chat and it was good to have company - haven't run together for over a month now I don't think.

Can't believe my little man goes back to school next week - Year 3! OMG. The summer has flown - not that the past week has felt anything like summer ... who stole the sun?

Mums Running Club

Posted: 28/08/2014 at 11:11

I am laughing at your posts, CM, but really - WTF?? Does no-one take anything seriously in your place?  Here that would certainly have resulted in some disciplinary action I'm sure - I don't think our pay has ever been late and you are a much bigger organisation than us.  The senior management sounds seriously suspect - really appaling that when you tried to invoke the major incident procedure you couldn't get hold of anyone.  What if it had been a REALLY serious major incident - the kind that could have had a major impact on people's lives?  There needs to be a few high-level meetings I reckon ...

Caro, that sounds horrible. Can you take a smaller dose of the lactulose than recommended? Being bunged up is dreadful - I get a bit like that when we go to the in-laws; I think it's the change in water but I get dreadfully constipated.  It usually takes a run to get things moving (!) - luckily it's very remote there and there are trees, bushes and fields aplenty! Hope you don't end up feeling so rubbish this time but be prepared for it just in case.  And if you feel like doing absolutely nothing that's completely OK.  You have to work through this as best you can - it will be great to have your sister around to help you through the rest of the sessions.  When does she arrive?

You'd be great at 800m Lotte - that's a fast time!  You should give it a go - do a distance you don't usually do and get out of your comfort zone a little   Any more thoughts on the Royal Parks Ultra?  I just want it to be done and dusted so they open next year's entries!  Need to get in quick as it's SO expensive once the early-bird registrations have been filled.

Trying to plan my autumn race schedule.  November is proving awkward; too much other stuff on.  Have emailed hubby all the potential race dates but he hasn't replied (typical) and I don't want to go ahead with entries until he's OKed the dates (he does the same with his rowing races to be fair).

We had a family day at Legoland (Windsor) yesterday.  It was a great day out but man, SO expensive.  And I nearly lost the will to live with all the queuing.  We had a 50% off voucher but it still cost us £71.50 to get in, and then they have the audacity to charge extra for parking which I think is appalling.  Admittedly I had gone there fully expecting to be fleeced from start to finish but even so, I was shocked at how expensive food and drink is.  We took a packed lunch but I still spent £10 just on coffees!  We queued anywhere from 30-75 minutes per ride (only one was 75 minutes; the rest were no more than an hour) but given we were there for 9 hours, literally half of that time was spent standing in queues.  Kit absolutely loved it though so it was all made worthwhile.  I think if we go again we will do all the most popular rides early in the day before they get too busy.  Also take more drinks and snacks.  There is a 'fast queue' system but it's SO expensive - for £30 per person you can reduce your queuing time by 50% (woohoo) and for a whopping £70 per person you can get straight on any of the rides without queuing.  But that is extortionate!  On the plus side, despite what we'd been told by other people, we got out the car park in 5 minutes and had no traffic issues in either direction.  Kit was a very happy but VERY tired boy last night - I think the best decisionwe made all day was to buy him his dinner before we left at 7pm so we didn't need to worry about it when we got home - there's no way he'd have eaten at 8:30pm, far too tired. 

Having been on my feet literally all day I still managed a 5-mile run with IMTB at 9pm last night!  I'd kind of promised

Mums Running Club

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 13:58

That's so great about your sis taking time off to help you through the chemo Caro - couldn't ask for greater devotion than that.  Let me know if/when it's OK to visit again at any point though; would love to see you if it's not too much for you.

Camlo, nightmare about hubby - glad he got away with just a few cuts though.  It coud have been a lot worse.  Yes, IMTB did brilliantly - 1:25 for the swim, 5:37 for the bike and 4:32 for the run.  Now it's all over of course he thinks he could have done better on the run (and having trained him, so do I).  But he did the sensible thing and was reasonably cautious having never run that kind of distance before so definitely there's potential for shaving some time off.  He's already decided to do another one same time next year so it looks as though our days of long runs home from work may not be over!  But next year they will also have some purpose for me as I'll be training for the ultra.

JG, I am allergic to autumn!  I know it sounds weird but as soon as we get the heavy dew in the mornings and general dampness I start to sneeze.  I am bad with dust (good excuse to never do any housework!) and mildew is a nightmare.  I can never help out with jumble sales (bummer!) because the damp, dust and mildew covering all the crap people get rid of just sets me off big time.  I'm fine with pollen, dogs, cats etc. though but it gives me a second reason for disliking autumn!

No I don't fancy the ice bucket challenge either, so hope I don't get nominated!

Been for a nice walk in the woods this morning with Kit and a friend from school, and his mum.  She then gave the kids lunch and I'm having them this afternoon so she can get out and sort out school uniform for her eldest.  Means I can get stuff done indoors too as Kit will be occupied.

Fantastic training Lotte.  If you feel like doing the Royal Parks next year instead of this year we could meet up as I'm planning to do it too.  Kept getting invitations to do this year's but managed to resist as haven't really done the training I'd want to do (despite all the extra long runs with IMTB).

Mums Running Club

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 09:55

Good to hear from you, Lotte and CC.  I haven't managed to post much either.  Back to normal work routine now though so more time to post

Glad to know I'm not the only skanky one here!  I quite often wear the same kit a couple of days in a row (generally not in very warm weather though as stuff gets minging) and quite often do the school run in running gear having just got out of bed!

CC, sympathies on the house situation - although as you said, it might force a solution to this constant limbo you have been existing in for the last four years (four years! Man you are a saint!)  Definitely at least get a roof sorted where you are for the time being - there's nothing worse than that level of insecurity. Hubby needs to get his head out of the sand and do something about his job situation, especially if he's likely to be made redundant in the foreseeable future. Sorry that things there are still unresolved and that you are not clear about your own feelings.  Which, I think, is perfectly understandable given the situation.

Hubbies are getting a bad press here at the moment. Mine does complain that we are not intimate regularly enough and that I am not always affectionate. But then he never really 'talks' to me other than daily chit-chat so I have no clue what's going on inside his head. Rather worryingly I talk more to IMTB than I do to hubby! And hubby really doesn't like my friendship with him - even though it is just friendship. Sigh. Problem is that for the most part marriage is necessarily dull - life is routine, there are things that have to be done, and it's easy to lose the important stuff in the day-to-day nitty-gritty.

IMTB really nailed his IM - 11:50, very impressed.  Already talking about doing another next year so I fear another summer of 15+ mile slogs along the towpath is on the cards - especially if I do the Royal Parks Ultra too.

Pip, hope all is OK with you too.

CM, job sounds a nightmare most of the time - but even in its worst moments I doubt you can be as miserable as you were at your old job.  Keep that in your mind when the going gets tough, and get as many people as you can onside. I find that being nice to people at every level of the organisation really helps when you need to call in a few favours.  I have very much flown by the seat of my pants on a number of occasions and it's only by virtue of the fact that I've been here a long time and know a lot of people that I have been able to save a situation without anyone really knowing!

Caro, boo to more chemo.  Hope that they can give you something to lessen the side-effects next time. You are doing so amazingly and taking it all in your stride. Perhaps I can come and visit you again soon when the kids are back at school?

TTid, baby Fay looks gorgeous.  So love little newborns!  You seem to be doing great despite continued building chaos.  Hopefully the end is not a million miles away now 

The change in the weather is really getting me down, and there's only a week left of the school holidays.  Have had a fab summer and hate the thought of autumn and the dark nights (already drawing in quite noticeably here). Need to get organising something to look forward to!

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