Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy St George's Day

How cute is this from the Google home page in the UK in honour of both St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday?

I love it!!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Lady of Leisure

I took a semi-impromptu day off today as I had one more carry over day left that I was supposed to use or lose by the end of March and while Bossman is good about approving us for an extension, I knew that if I didn't grab my chance when it came up I would never end up taking it, so this weekend when chance popped his cheeky head over the fence and reminded me that as we are between scopes right now - waiting on a couple of quarterly new ones being signed that will take me to 215% booked for the year if approved by the clients. That's a minimum 86hour week to do the work right there. Ahhh aint life grand!!! – and that I could swing a rare day off I decided to grab it with both hands, especially as the weather forecast was fairly nice.

Speaking of work I had lunch with a friend of mine today who has been paid not to work for the last 4months or so. Yes, you did read that correctly. PAID NOT TO WORK!! The company he works for is a subsidiary of very large company who are in the midst of selling the subsidiary to another very large company. The thing is that the company doing the buying is only interested in the brains of the organization and not the products they were developing so much, so until the deal is done they have been told to stop work, but still continue to be paid in full. The deal has been dragging out, but he's confident that his job is safe, although he is looking around for other positions as he is bored with nothing to do all day while still getting paid. Poor love!!

I was also reading in The NY Times today about a law firm who is offering its associates the option of accepting a third of their base pay to not show up for work for a year. Apparently a third of their base pay is about $80,000 on average.

Nice one!! Not that I could afford to survive on a third of my salary, but being paid not to work for a few months is the stuff of my dreams right now. I definitely think I could hack it for a few months as a lady of leisure. I had a trial run at it today and had a lovely day. I got up around 8:30am, had a cup of tea and watched morning telly for a bit before dragging myself to the gym. I was quite surprised by how many people were on the treadmills as I passed the room with all the cardio equipment as I heaved my unfit carcass up to the fifth floor studio for a 10:30am body conditioning class. I'm not sure if it was normal for a Monday mid morning or whether there are a lot of people who've been laid off from their jobs and are now free to work out in the off-peak hours.

At the gym my fantasy of winning the lottery and buying a pied-a-terre at The Brompton kicked in again – I almost missed my stop on the subway the other day by losing myself in a fantasy of coming into about $10million (after taxes of course) and being able to plonk down $3.3million for a 3 bedroom apartment (who was it that was saying NY real estate is now affordable thanks to the recession. I should cocoa!!) and then keeping $5million or so back to be pay myself an annuity of $100,000 a year for 50years. My fantasies are quite low key, my lifestyle doesn't need to be too lavish as long as my home is paid for, there are no yachts or country piles in the Hamptons, although this morning, while trying to take my mind off the pain of bicep curls, I did update my fantasy to include a chocolate Labrador, as obviously I would have time to walk a dog if I didn’t have to work, except for donating time to charity work naturally. Interestingly no man has appeared in the fantasy to date. No, not even David Boreanaz can you believe!! I am thinking this is because I subconsciously realise that the hetero male of the species is often more trouble than he's worth and quite frankly I don't need a man making my fantasy apartment untidy with his socks and pants strewn about the place. The New York Mega Millions draw is at $92million this week, so perhaps I’ll see if I can get lucky and make my dreams come true.

After the gym I headed down to Union Square to return a top to Anthropologie - I had bought two sizes of a blouse I liked and have kept the smaller of the two sizes, but I still can't work out whether it looks a bit pyjama-ish or not. What do you think?

I am keeping it regardless so don't be too cheeky in your feedback :-)

Next I popped into Banana to buy my Dad a gift card for his birthday. It's so much easier shopping for him when he actually tells me what he wants instead of saying 'Owt, get me owt, I don't mind' when I ask. Eye-roll. The parents are coming over at the end of June and flying to Miami for a week at the beach and then, appropriately as re-invading Brits, arriving in NYC on the 4th July, so he'll have some spending money for clothes. He's rather partial to Old Navy is my father.

I still had over an hour before my lunch on the Upper West Side, so I walked up there and burned about 350 calories (3.5miles kids), a calorific deficit which has come in very handy this evening as I've eaten 2 Cadbury's creme eggs. Authentic English ones - as opposed to the Hershey phonies they sell over here - that my mother posted over. Unfortunately one didn't make it and the inside of the jiffy bag was a mess of fondant, but the other 5 were perfectly fine when I'd rinsed them off.

Not the most riveting of posts, but all work and no play is definitely making Fish a dull girl. I shall leave you with a song from the Fleet Foxes album which I love at the mo!!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Drowning not waving

Ooh dear. I didn't realise my last blog post was in February. I was laboring under the delusion that I had posted only a few weeks ago, but no, it's more like six weeks ago. Wow, time flies eh!! It's the job, it's doing me in. I appreciate we are in times of economic uncertainty and that I am lucky to have a job to complain about when US unemployment has hit 8.5%, but I am so very tired of working 10+ hour days and not having a life outside of the office.

At the moment I am booked 150% on project work. Client #1 pays for 100% of my time and Client #2 pays for 50%, which means a minimum 60hour week. I say minimum, because we always end up working more hours than we have scoped, especially for Client #2 who is incredibly demanding and whom I have rapidly come to despise.

I feel like the whole situation is setting me up for failure on Client #1 since I am not capable of spending 40hours a week on their business on top of the work for Client #2 without serious risk of a total mental breakdown, but pretty soon they have to wonder why I am not better informed about their business given they are paying for 100% of my time.

I have spoken to my boss about the situation and he is trying to get me some support, in fact we have 3 vacancies in our department right now and good candidates waiting for the offer letters to be posted. Unfortunately all our hires have to be approved by the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer at the holding company, which means approval isn't likely to arrive anytime soon and our candidates are likely to find other positions.

Lately I find myself watching Lost and fantasizing about being stranded on an island, far far far away from fricking PowerPoint and aggressive clients, but that's just me ;-)