Friday, 26 June 2015

Coffee Date Interview 18 - Paul Monis


Name: Paul Monis

Job Title: Aircraft Maintenance Project Manager

1. When is your most productive time of the day? 
Afternoon, between 1400 and 1800

2. When you were little, what did you want to be? 
A foreign affairs journalist

3. What eats up most of your time at work? 
Chasing responses to queries

4. How do you relax / wind down after a hard day at work? 
I cycle to and from work most days so find that the perfect stress reliever.

This is what happens when you say to
your sister in-law (!),
"you can use any photo of me".
Paul's first day at school with
 big brother Andy (ie. my husband)

5. What are the 3 “nevers” in your life?
Never assume someone has understood your point regardless of what they say!

Never leave a junior colleague unsupported or feeling vulnerable

Never assume that the current way of doing things is the best way

6. What drives you crazy at work? 
People who don’t complete their actions before the next meeting, then sit there surprised when they get questioned on progress, it drives me mad!

7. When the going gets tough......? 
Trust your instinct, most often your initial judgment will be the correct course of action.

8. What song will guarantee to make you feel better? 
It’s a Wonderful Life by B.O.T.A.R

9. Star Wars or Star Trek? 
Neither, I never really got sci-fi to be honest!

10. Countryside or Seaside? 

11. Ketchup or Brown Sauce? 

12. Pudding or Cheese and Biscuits? 
Can I have both?

Yes of course you can bro in-law...I'm baking later on today in fact! 
Lisa x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 21 - Hay-fever,guinea pig on the run and more microwave meals!

What a week! I am suffering from my annual hay-fever blitz but it seems particularly awful this year. 

Someone told me that if you wear loads of mascara it traps the pollen and stops the irritation in your eyes but all that happened is I ended up looking like a panda because my eyes are watering so much. I have spent a fortune at the chemist on products to help but I think I should have just bought a giant pack of tissues as nothing seems to work apart from staying inside.

Just got into work on time as Amelia has taken top letting Rita out in the garden for an early morning run. She escaped from her pen and we spent ages trying to round her up into her cage ……..I had no idea guinea pigs could run so fast. Hope this isn't going to be a regular occurrence!

At least the air con in work relieved my hay-fever symptoms…..bliss!

I decided to stay in at lunch time but heard the ping of the microwave and my heart sank when I saw Graeme hovering ready to take out his lunch. Thinking that all I needed was the first thing I could smell for a week being a vindaloo curry.  I was pleasantly surprised to smell a minestrone soup. It seemed safe to wander over to get a cuppa and got chatting to him……..apparently his wife has been in hospital for 2 months following an operation and he has been fending for himself hence the lurid microwave lunches. He looked really happy and said he was relieved to have her home; she was now up and about and had put him on a healthy diet. He even offered me some soup as he said he had noticed me sneezing and looking unwell.  He said he was trying to not come too close as he was worried about passing on a cold to his wife.

Gulp……felt really rotten for moaning about him heating up his lunches when he must have had a lot on his plate …….(literally) and worrying about his wife. 

Just shows you that sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own life you forget to notice others.

WorkThe well being survey results are being published next week.

We are all going bowling tonight so I can enjoy an evening without sneezing.

Skyped Jo and she told me about her amazing holiday and have arrange to get together when she’s back.

Resolved to give thanks about all the positives in my life and not concentrate on this pesky hay-fever when there are others very close who are dealing with much tougher things.

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.  However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Coffee Date Interview 17 - Sandra

Name:  Sandra 

Job Title: PA at large multinational firm

1. What drives you crazy at work?
The lack of personal responsibility – even buying a pen is an issue! I spend a huge amount of time chasing people for things that are for their own benefit.

2. What are the 3 “nevers” in your life?

· Cruelty

· Cheating

· Adultery

3. What eats up most of your time at work?
See Number 1 – other people not doing what is required.

4. What’s the biggest compliment you’ve had a work?
Well being paid for doing it I think – they have kept me a long time!

5. What was the worst job you ever had and what did it teach you?
Hop picking – never to do it again.

6. What one thing would you change about your job or place of work?
The need for joined up thinking with processes

7. What are the 3 “always” in your life?
· Take your makeup off before you go to bed

· Have Champagne in the fridge

· Keep an open mind and up to date

8. What’s your top tip for staying on top of things and getting stuff done?
Lists - I used to have a notice once that said “Efficiency means Peace of Mind” – Concentration.

9. Coffee or Tea?
Morning coffee / afternoon Tea

10. Star Wars or Star Trek?

11. Pudding or Cheese and Biscuits?

12. Early Bird or Night Owl?
Early Bird

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 20 - Stressed and Fed Up

We seem to be busier than ever, I spent most of today trying to fix up the new schedule with the Kitchen Appliance Company. Kitchen Yard were a dream to work with but I seem to be just coming up against a brick wall when I try to tie them down to a realistic POS delivery schedule and they keep emailing amendments to the order. Clipboard Clive has reverted to emailing me spreadsheets to complete, which is impossible as THEY KEEP CHANGING THE ORDER! Aaaaaaargh!!!

OK now breathe …………think I need to check out those relaxation exercises again, I did a few stretches at my desk and it released a bit of tension in my neck. I am slowly increasing my coffee consumption though and it’s been so hot I have been feeling really dehydrated.

I broached the subject with Darren about me increasing my hours and ended up having a "rowette" or as Darren put it, a sensible discussion about me increasing my hours, as he thinks I will struggle to do everything. He is worried because Amelia doesn’t go up to senior school for another year and we would have to sort out more childcare. He reminded me that I arrived late for her school play and she was really upset…..I did point out that he was also supposed to go but didn’t make it at all!!  Talk about stones and people in glass houses, …..but that doesn’t seem to count. Think I may have to park that one for a while.

Met up with Jo.  It was soooooo nice to catch up with her again as I haven’t seen her for a couple of weeks and she is off for a cycling holiday in Italy for 2 weeks ……….think I may have holiday envy. But hey I have got our trip Cornwall to look forward to …..can’t wait.  Oh gosh, I must think of who I can ask to look after Rita while we're away.... sorting child care if I increase my hours is one thing but I hadn't banked on having to sort out holiday guinea pig care too!!

Busy busy busy

See above

Forgot I had promised to bake a couple of cakes for the fete this Saturday

Well being
Feeling tired and stressed

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.  However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Point to Ponder

Why is childcare (and guinea pig care for that matter) never a truly shared responsibility?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Coffee Date Interview 16 - Duncan McNeil


Name: Duncan McNeil

Job title: Chairman / Founder Pumpco Ltd

1. What drives you crazy at work?
Bureaucracy /unnatural hierarchy

2. Best light bulb moment?

3. What’s the first thing you do on arriving at work?
Think through the day

4. What’s the biggest compliment you’ve had a work?
We won the NHS work against Accenture (Andersen Consulting), when I saw their lead a little later he said, “I knew we wouldn't win when I saw that you were there”.

5. How do you relax / wind down after a hard day at work?
Pub or music.

6. What song will guarantee to make you feel better?
Most classical plucked strings, 2nd movement of Concierto de Aranjuez if pushed

7. What made you laugh this week?
United Airlines safety briefing

8. When you were little, what did you want to be?

9. Del Boy or Rodney?
Who :) (probably Del)

10. Bright colours or neutral tones?
Once bright, now pastel

11. Early Bird or Night Owl?
Early Bird with stamina

12. Wine or Beer?
If not fine wine then fine beer

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 19 - Away Day

Still waiting for the results of the well being Survey (think that has died a death)!  It's really frustrating as we were repeatedly badgered to complete the survey, not that I mind if I thought something would be done as a result but it's not looking likely.

We have another new client enquiry from a kitchen appliance supplier on recommendation from Kitchen Yard and they have invited us to present some sales options and then have lunch afterwards. Their head office is in France and will be having their sales launch there in October and will want attendance at that as well.  Oooh la la!

Clive said he thought this would be a good networking opportunity for me to meet up with clients face to face as he thought that builds a better working relationship. I was that shocked he asked me but pleased to agree to go.

Clive hasn’t acknowledged that his change of heart was anything to do with our meeting ……but then I was never going to get a grovelling apology!

Clive has suggested I may need a P/T assistant and is recruiting next week, he has also broached the subject of me increasing my hours if need be.  That's one to think about.

WorkThings are looking up.

If I do decide to increase my hours I’m going to have to get Darren on board.

Out with Jo tonight

Feeling great.

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.  However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Point to Ponder
Is it possible to accept an apology you never got and move on?  

Friday, 5 June 2015

Coffee Date Interview 15 - Kate Widdows

Name:  Kate Widdows

Job Title:  Clinical Nurse Specialist - Multiple Sclerosis

1. When you were little, what did you want to be?
When I was really little I wanted to be a ballerina, but from the age of 14 I knew I wanted to be a nurse.

2. When is your most productive time of the day?
First thing in the morning and late evening.

3. What’s your top tip for staying on top of things and getting stuff done?
Writing lists, and it's very satisfying crossing things off.

4. What made you laugh this week?
An unrepeatable joke shared with my colleague at work.

5. What one thing would you change about your job or place of work?
I wish we had less paperwork to do and another computer would be good as we have to share currently. 

6. What are the 3 “nevers” in your life?
Never go to bed on an argument, never go a day without telling my children that I love them, never leave the house without putting mascara on! 

7. When the going gets tough......?
Go for a walk and come back to it.

8. How do you relax / wind down after a hard day at work?
Cycling home helps me to wind down, but I also like watching Netflix box sets with my husband.

9. Wine or Beer?
Both have their place but just not together.

10. Roller Coaster or Ferris Wheel?
Ferris Wheel

11. Pudding or Cheese and Biscuits?
Oh again both have their place, but probably pudding....

12. Marmite- yes or no?

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 18 - Half Term Holiday

Having a few days off over the half term holiday, we went out on a 15 mile family bike ride.

Marcus planned the route so it did take in a few hills but it was great to be out and the weather was fine we only got caught in one shower and we were conveniently near a pub so had a lunch and saved the sandwiches for later.

Marcus had really researched the route and was encouraging when Amelia found it a bit tough going which made me very happy.

Darren was moaning last week about having to kit Marcus out with new cycling stuff but he has shot up since Christmas. It seems funny that he is taller than me now; I was worried that he was spending too much time in his room chatting to friends on-line but he seems to have really got this cycling bug.

He says he is going to join the local cycling club to give him extra stamina for football.

A couple of days off work last week was absolute bliss!

No big dramas so far this week.  I think I'm still really calm after my time off at the end of last week.

Mum’s coming to stay soon so need to prepare for that.

Meeting up with Jo next week.

God my legs still ache !

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.  However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Point to Ponder
What family activity have you been meaning to do for ages but haven't got round to it yet?  Could this weekend be the time?  
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