gamiila: (who's there?)
Oops! Seems I've been away from LJ for two whole weeks - how did that happen? Oh Facebook, you've got a lot to answer for!

I think this 100 things to blog about-challenge is a brilliant idea! I'll have to have a think about what topic I can possibly devote 100 entries to...100 Rubbish Ideas I've Had, perhaps?

I had an interview with Verizon Business yesterday, for a position in Sales Channel Management. I think I did well, but won't know for certain until the end of next week when they said they'd let me know, as they still had a few more candidates to interview. Be interesting to see what decision they come to, as the other two both appear to have a background in Sales, but I'm the only one with previous experience in the field of Channel Management.

Earlier in the week, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] suze2000 and her husband Darren in Amsterdam for an evening. They'd expressed an interest in getting acquainted with traditional Dutch cuisine, so I guided them to a small bistro that specialises in just that. Darren showed himself fearless of sampling our jenevers and (liquorice) liqueurs, and suggested we end the night in Wynand Fockink's, a distillery and tasting room dating back to 1679, where we arrived just before closing time and then enjoyed half an hour's worth of a lock-in.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to report that my face has almost gone back to normal again; obviously I'm now sporting a scar, which is very noticeable to me (mostly because there's some pain and discomfort there), but as long as I keep from smiling too widely, you wouldn't know I'm missing a tooth.

Other than that, I can't think of anything else noteworthy to relate, and so I'll say goodnight.

Gnashers

Apr. 12th, 2012 04:58 pm
gamiila: (Annie)
This coming Sunday, it will have been 4 weeks since my accident. My bruises have faded, the swellings have gone down significantly, and my lip, now sporting a fresh red scar, seems to be healing well. The deep gash on my shin has also finally scabbed over, and will probably leave a scar there, too. But my teeth...oh Lord have mercy! my teeth are in a right state.

I'd knocked one out, or so I thought. I haven't found it, and so at first I assumed I'd swallowed it. But as my face started to heal, I became aware of something hard and painful stuck up my upper jaw. This morning, my dentist confirmed my suspicion: instead of the tooth having been knocked out, it's been knocked upwards.

I expected him to start making preparations to extract it from its current position. It is causing me a (minor, but still) amount of pain and discomfort (it exerts pressure on the side of my nose, which is a most uncomfortable feeling), but he's decided to leave it in and let nature take its course - eventually, he told me, "the body will dissolve and absorb it" - though it may take a while.

We also found out that the tooth he put back when I saw him last month, hadn't re-rooted itself sufficiently secure yet, and so the splint holding it in place couldn't be removed. He recommended leaving it in for another 8 weeks, then check again. So in the end, and much to my chagrin, all my dentist was able to do for me today was clean and polish my remaining teeth, which needed this attention desperately, due to the side effect of the mouthwash I've been using for the last 4 weeks: it stains the teeth a particularly nasty-looking dark brown.

But at least my palate is healing nicely and I can now open my mouth wide enough to admit an electric toothbrush, and once it's finished charging (I went and bought one especially), I'll be returning to a more conventional method of dental hygiene. The horrid mouthwash is in the bin.
gamiila: (boobs)
The results from my breast cancer screening have come back negative; which even though I didn't expect to hear any different, is still good to know. Never having had a mammogram before, I was a bit nervous before going there, but you were all right and the examination really wasn't all that uncomfortable and certainly wasn't as painful as I had feared.

It's been 12 days since I've hurt myself, and my face seems to be returning to its more usual, non-swollen, shape. The bruises are starting to fade away, too, and my upper lip appears to be healing well: the stitches came out a week ago and appear to have done the trick of knitting my torn flesh back together, apart from where the gash runs through the vermillion zone. This part started bleeding again 2 days ago; it's not bleeding now but it's very sore and tingly. The swelling inside my mouth has gone done a lot, too, but I still can't eat solids very well unless I mash everything, and I've noticed that I can't taste very well, either. At the moment, I can only distinguish between 'bland' and 'very faintly sweet'.

Meanwhile, the gash on my shin refuses to scab over, howevermuch Betadine I keep pouring onto it.

More proof, if proof were needed, that I was born under an unlucky star came earlier this week when I had to go out for a couple of hours and when I came back, discovered that Leila and Manasse had both been locked in the wardrobe. This happens occasionally, although it's usually just the one cat who's stupid enough to sneak in and hide while I'm grabbing my coat, and they're usually smart enough to settle down and wait patiently for release. Not this time, though. This time, one or both of them decided to climb up to the topmost shelf, and USE MY BRAND NEW RED LEATHER JACKET THAT I'VE ONLY WORN ONCE as their means of getting there. One of the sleeves is now all puckered and torn, the jacket completely ruined.

Still, some people have real problems, and I shouldn't complain, really.
gamiila: (painful)
The stitches came out this morning, but that hasn't improved my looks one little bit. My lip: still swollen and showing a bloody gash. My cheek: still swollen and covered in a big purple bruise. My jaw: the same. My knees: grazed and bruised. More bruises on my left shoulder, elbow and breast, and another bloody gash on my left shin.

The dentist was able to put back one (eye) tooth; but I seem to have swallowed the tooth that came after it in the aftermath of the fall. Despite starting on the disinfecting mouthwash within 24 hours of knocking my teeth out, my palate has become slightly infected as a result of which I have become slightly feverish, while the pain in my mouth is wearing me out. I can't eat, making me feel weak as a kitten. I survive on 2 or 3 mugs of yoghurt a day, which I painfully suck through a straw; it wards off the hunger pangs but can hardly be described as a satisfying meal. Still, I expect this new diet will allow me to lose a little weight, so it looks like some good is likely to come out of this sorry situation, after all.

Obviously, I've had to suspend the 365 Photo A Day project...for the foreseeable, at least.
gamiila: (always ends in tears)
And the day started off rather well, too. The 4th Sunday in Lent, Laetare Sunday. The Sunday of Joy, liturgical colour: pink...I went to Mass in my new church, amazed to find the church choc-a-bloc. The morning Mass was devoted to the commemmoration of the 28 Belgian and Dutch children and teachers who died in a bus accident after their school skiing trip in Switzerland earlier in the week, and was attended by some 800 people, as well as the Belgian ambassador and a representative of the Dutch government. The radio and TV news were there as well. After Mass, I got roped into the Welcome Desk team, and later that afternoon, when I returned for the Stations of the Cross (a devotional procession around the church), was asked to act as second reader. Everyone liked my reading and and I was told they could do with another lector on the roster.

That evening though, I went to change a lightbulb in the living room, and ended up in A&E.

A&E )

I knew that stepladder was past its sell-by date. And yet I chose to use it...It collapsed beneath me and I fell with some considerable and frightening speed, hitting the side of my face hard on the parquet flooring. There was blood everywhere, streaming off my face from a gash in my lip and the inside of my mouth. I got to my knees rather painfully (I'd banged them hard and all), and went to see what damage I had done to myself. The cold water I splashed on my face eventually drained away pink more than red, and what I saw convinced me I'd better go to hospital. I grabbed my keys and went to bang on my downstairs neighbour's door, asking him to drive me to A&E.

Of course, it was busy when we got there, and we were stuck in a treatment room waiting to be seen for two hours, before I told him to go home to his wife and I would call for him to come pick me up again when I was done. He'd hardly left or a resident appeared, apologising for the delay. I told her that was quite alright, and listed my injuries: two of my upper teeth knocked out, a great big tear across the roof of my mouth, and an upper lip that had split right through. Although I looked a fright, I didn't think I'd broken any facial bones, which she, having a look, could confirm. Then she left me for another hour to consult with the otolaryngologist and the emergency dentist, after which she returned to tell me they'd decided that the injury to the palate would probably heal best on its own, that the emergency dentist would be willing to do some emergency repairs but had quite a backlog to clear that night and recommended I ring my own dentist in the morning, and that all she needed to do now was stitch my lip. Which she did beautifully, even if she did warn me that I'd probably have a scar as the cut had gone right through the vermillion zone.

So now I'm at home, after a wakeful night, waiting with a hurty, swollen, black and blue face for my dentist to get to work...
gamiila: (tree)
fish stall )

I sometimes wonder why we've never thought of fish & chip shops. We have chippies, and we have fish stalls where we can buy fish in batter (like this one), but no one's ever thought to combine the two; and if we want a fish supper, we'll either have to make it ourselves or find an English or Irish pub somewhere.

I've been called up for a clinical breast examination later this month as part of the on-going national screening programme, and I'm a little apprehensive about it. Mum reckons it's easily one of the most unpleasant exams she's ever gone for; and I can't help remembering that 2 years ago, when I got called up for a cervical smear test, I spotted for 3 days and hurt for a week. But what's a little discomfort if it can help detect cancer in the early stages, eh?
gamiila: (she always wished for shoes)
It's been a while since I did a proper shoe post. What can I say? 2011 has been a very disappointing year for footwear fanciers so far; a least, I haven't come across any shoes that have made me break out in that cold, cold sweat of sheer covetousness in recent months. However, I did take advantage of the summer sales to expand on my collection a little.

First, I picked up these off-white leather ankle boots which I thought would be perfect for summer (back in June when I still harboured thoughts that there might be one):



but because it's been raining all the time, I haven't had a chance to wear them yet.

Next, I bought these suede slingbacks that I thought looked comfortable and decent enough for office wear:



and they were; only the first time I took them out of the box, one of the cats puked all over them and I've been trying for weeks to get the stains out without ruining the leather, with mixed results.

Lastly, I acquired these:



because, as I explained earlier, I like mocassins; and these were just too much of a bargain to ignore: marked down from 235 euros to just 19,95! They're by Karma of Charme, which means they're hand-made, but even so, can you imagine the margins they must be making on their products?

I took myself to the hairdressers' yesterday, as I was in dire need of a cut. Before the girl got to work, I shamefacedly admitted that I thought I might have developed a dandruff problem in recent weeks, as lately my scalp had felt itchy and tiny flakes would come out if I ran my hand through my hair and ruffled it. She had a look and told me "It's not dandruff. It's more like a kind of eczema, an allergic reaction of some kind." She gave me a couple of samples of hair products meant to soothe the scalp to try out, but if they don't, perhaps it's best I should speak to my GP. Great :( I kind of wish it was dandruff now...

On Thursday, just before I left work, my boss reminded me that I should start to look for another job again, and asked if I wanted his input to help with updating my cv. I told him thanks and I would, but even though I knew the chance would be slim, in my heart of hearts I had hoped there'd be an opportunity to stay on. Oh well. Back to the job search I go, then.
gamiila: (*pout*)
Mum asked me what plans I had for celebrating my birthday. As always, I replied that I didn't have any. There's no point when, like mine, one's birthday falls within the 6 week period that all the world and his wife are off on holiday. It used to bother me when I was a child and no one would remember to send me any cards, let alone come and give me any presents; but after nearly half a century I think it's fair to say that I really know no different, and I've given up inviting people and watch them not turn up years ago.

I'm glad I seem to have missed another DDoS attack on LJ in the past week. It makes me feel better about not having been here since last Sunday, and even then it was just a drive by post. As this will have to be: I've been suffering from acute conjunctivitis since last Thursday and cannot really read/type all that well. I hope it'll have cleared up sufficiently by Monday to enable me to go back to work, and so I take care to take my eye drops every two hours as prescribed, and apply the ointment I've been given every night before bed. I do think my eyes are starting to look better already, but I am worried that the problem may have been caused by my contacts, or rather, me not applying the proper care and hygiene there. You know how it is with routines; after a while, you start to get sloppy. Well, I'm paying the price for it now...

I should be updating my cv really, but I'll postpone it until I can see better, I think. I'm going to have to think about what sort of job I should start looking for as well, as even though I knew I was only on a temporary contract, I have preferred not to think about that too much over the last 3 months. However, several people who have also been on 6- to 12-month contracts have since had their last day in the office, with coffee and cake and farewell speeches, so that doesn't bode well for my own chances of staying on.

And still, the weather hasn't improved :(.
gamiila: (painful)
Four years after my surgery, and my ankle's starting to give me gyp again. It doesn't like to be sat on (I tend to fold my legs underneath me), or even stood on, which is or should be a pretty basic function for an ankle to facilitate; it protests at being shoved in heels and has a tendency to swell and throb painfully after a day in flats. Several times during the day, it feels as if it catches on something and locks momentarily, only to carry on again after I somehow force the anklebone (don't know which one) to grind against the upper metatarsals. The thing is, I can't remember having done anything to it - no tripping or bumping or twisting of any unusual kind (of course, I still trip over and bump into things on a regular basis as the surgery I had did not remove my general clumsiness). I could take it to the doctor's but -remembering my surgeon's dire predictions- I'm not sure it'll do any good.

I went out for a meal with my mum the other day, and during the conversation found myself surprised at how the tables had turned. There was a time when Mum was my fount of all knowledge; now it was she who was asking me how to go about adding channels to her TV subscription. And, there was a time when I thought my mum wasn't scared of anything, but the moment I suggested she try acupuncture or hypnotherapy to find relief from her constant hiccoughing (or hiccupping or whichever is the correct way of spelling it) which she confessed was getting worse and worse and subsequently more exhausting, I learnt I was mistaken. Not even when I suggested I go with her could she be persuaded to give alternative medicine a try; while with conventional Western medicine not having been able to treat her I don't see what other option she has if she really wants to get better.

Anyway, I have been rather absent from LJ lately, the reason being that I'm so busy with work these days that I hardly have time or opportunity to form a semi-coherent thought that has nothing to do with that, and I just don't have that much of a life outside it. I haven't seen any good movies, been to any gigs, and just generally haven't got much to tell. I do, however, keep up with my flist, or try to...though by the time I do there hardly seems any point to me adding a comment as others will have said all I could think of two or three days earlier.

And, before I run out of steam completely: should I be interested in this Google+-thing everyone seems dying to get invited to?

Not well

Apr. 10th, 2011 10:32 am
gamiila: (sick)
All through the winter, when the weather was cold and the heating was broken, I was fine; healthy as a horse, in fact. However, now that spring has sprung and the temperatures are slowly but surely creeping up, up, up, I've come down with the mother of all colds. My head hurts, my eyes burn, my nose runs and my throat feels like it's made of sandpaper, and I have these minutes-long sneezing fits that wear me out while making everyone around me laugh because they say I sneeze like a cat (and why should that be funny? I don't get it). I doubt I'll feel any better tomorrow, but I don't want to be calling in sick on the first day of my second week on the job -- though equally, I don't want to be spreading my germs among my new co-workers, either. What to do? I wish I knew. "Eat kiwifruit", my friend advised; but I think it's a bit late for that. Though, come to think of it, I do like kiwifruit even without hope of benefit from their medicinal quality, so I'll put them on my grocery list for today anyway.

But first, the ironing! Oh, my weekends - how eventful they are!

IJmuiden

Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:41 pm
gamiila: (camera)





I spent the weekend with friends in IJmuiden, an industrial town a little further up the coast, near Haarlem. The weather gods were kind and I spent most of my time there out of doors, taking pictures of the old village, the park and the harbour. I've re-activated my Photobucket account and you can browse the album here, if you're interested in seeing pictures of quaint old houses, inquisitive goats, and ships passing in the daytime.

I'm currently feeling a bit out of sorts due to sleep deprivation, the result of constantly waking up at night because of itchy legs. Real itchy legs, that I have scratched to a bloody mess. I can't find any reason for them itching worse than normal: there's no rash, there's no bedbugs, and my cats don't have fleas. It can't be an allergic reaction to any soaps or detergents, as I don't use any (I've always had very sensitive skin and can't use shower gels and the like, because they will cause an allergic reaction). I've bought a cream to soothe nappy rash, and it does seem to help a little to keep me from going scratch-crazy during the day, but it's come to the point where I dread going to bed at night, knowing I'll be lucky if I can snatch two or three hours sleep. Honestly, itching's worse than pain, and what purpose does it serve? I can't find the answer on Internet.
gamiila: (eyesight)
After receiving my long and eagerly awaited text first thing this morning, I went into town to pick up my new varifocal contact lenses. Unfortunately, they're not the real thing yet. They're sort of learner lenses, to see if my brain can get used to processing the image correctly, or at least in such a way that I can function normally. I'm told I will have to try these out for a week, and then they'll test and tweak them some more until they're absolutely fine. As I've already noticed that these are a little bit weak, this'll probably mean another two-week wait for my very bespoke new contacts to arrive...But! I'm already much happier with these than I was with the set they'd sold me earlier, that allowed me 20-20 vision at 50 mtrs distance, but were completely useless when it came to reading a book or off a computer screen. Now I can read the instructions on the packet again, and you don't know how happy that makes me!

The funny thing with these contacts is that (on the face of it) they don't look any different from normal lenses. Whereas with varibifocal glasses you usually see a divide between the bit used for looking into the distance and the bit needed for reading, the surface of these lenses is completely smooth -- and you don't have to worry about putting them in at a specific angle or anything. The secret, I'm told, is in the way they're crafted; with the centre optimised for distance-viewing, and the edges for close-ups. The result is that you're constantly getting two images that the brain has to meld into one; which I'm relieved to say seems to be working perfectly in my case, and I don't see why I should wait another week before we can do another check to see if I take to them. But the optician was adamant I needed to give it all this time, and so I shall. Reluctantly.
gamiila: (in the corner of your eyes)
Ten days after ordering them, I picked up my new contact lenses. All seemed well until a couple of hours later when I picked up the Radio Times and found I couldn't read the print. I thought perhaps I just needed to get used to my new contacts, but this morning, I still couldn't manage to read a thing. So off to the optician's I went...only to be told that age had crept up on me and I now needed reading glasses. No real explanation as to how come this problem had only come to the fore with my new contacts while I had had no such problems shifting between the near and far distance with my old set -- just pay extra and order variable focus lenses...and then hope that my eyes can adjust to them. In the meantime, I'll just have to get used to this fog that seems to settle over everything that's not in the middle distance and beyond.

Woke up this morning and my arm and shoulder felt good as new. I had no problems getting dressed or picking up the coffee pot, so I cancelled my doctor's appointment. I've no idea what made it hurt like a mother for 6 days, but I'm glad that whatever it was seems to have gone away again.
gamiila: (Default)
I went for my last checkup with the ESWT-therapist this morning, and the ultrasound proved what I'd already suspected: there's not a trace of inflammation left in my tendon. My tennis elbow took less than three months to heal using this method, and I couldn't be more pleased, or impressed. Pity the insurance won't cover it, but if ever I have a recurrence of the problem, I'll insist on the same treatment again.

Coming back from my appointment, I decided for once to take the longer route home, adding maybe 10 minutes to my walk, and the reason is this: the old windmill that keeps us from getting our feet wet. As you can see from the detail shot, it's been controlling the water levels in the neighbourhood since the mid-1600s. And judging by its name, 'The New Fenlands Mill', there must have been an older one doing the same thing before that.

the old mill )

Scorchio!

Jul. 9th, 2010 04:41 pm
gamiila: (Default)
It's hard to imagine that as little as four weeks ago, I still had the heating on. It's 29C and muggy today, with little or no wind. It was the same yesterday, and I was so hot and sweaty I asked the hairdresser to cut my hair really short this time, and she obliged...now I wonder what on earth possessed me.

This morning at my physio's, the ultrasound showed no (zero, nada) pockets of inflammation in the tendon of my right arm. Michiel officially declared my tennis elbow a thing of the past, though just to be on the safe side, I asked him to have a look at it again in three weeks time. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to train up my arm by doing some simple weight-lifting exercises.

These days you can't go anywhere without perfect strangers trying to engage you in conversation and sound you out as to what you think Oranje's chances at winning the football world championship are. Front page news this morning was that of all the newborn baby boys registered in the last month, twice as many have been given the name Wesley as was the case pre-World Cup.

I've thought about going to Amsterdam, to watch Sunday's match on the Museumplein's big screen, but a million plus people are expected to make that trek and what with the heat and the undoubted chaos that will ensue, I've decided to stay and watch it in the comfort of my own flat. I won't be alone as Allan has said he'll come down from Amsterdam to watch it with me -- he can't be doing with the madness that is likely to prevail either, so it seems.

Owners of houseboats moored in the Amsterdam canals are nervously awaiting the outcome of the match: if Oranje succeed in bringing home the Cup on Tuesday, they'll make a circuit of the canals, and the police again expect upwards of a million people to want to come down and line the route. Last time this happened, in 1988 when Oranje won the Europa Cup, several houseboats were sunk beneath the weight of daytrippers jumping onto their roofs to get a better view, and the insurance didn't cover it. And it won't if it happens this time, either.

ETA: It looks like the good burghers of Amsterdam needn't worry: Paul the Octopus has predicted another Spanish win.
gamiila: (Default)
Over the last few days, I've been watching most of the group matches in the World Cup Championship, which I never would have been able to do had I been in work. And maybe that's why I'm not enjoying it as much; almost 8 weeks after losing my last job, I still haven't managed to find another and I'm quietly despairing that I ever will. Even though I keep telling myself I shouldn't let it, every rejection letter I receive nibbles away at my confidence a little bit more, making it that little bit harder to show some in my next application...and the next.

Thankfully, I had my first meeting with my 'work coach' at the Dutch Job Centre equivalent, i.e. the person assigned to help me get back into work mainly by monitoring my applications and determining whether I've done enough to still qualify for benefit (which luckily, after having perused my letters, he considered I had) earlier in the week, and managed to convince him to allow me to follow a training course and workshops which I hope will help me focus better at the job in hand of restoring my confidence and becoming better equipped to reach my objective.

Yesterday, I had what in all likelihood will turn out to have been my last ESWT-treatment, as the ultrasound they took showed that the inflammation in the tendon was significantly reduced, by which I mean it was almost wholly gone, much to my surprise as it still hurts quite a bit. I'm going back in for a final check-up in 3 weeks time, and in the meantime I'm expected to do a set of daily excercises that I had to go and buy dumbells for. They're only small ones, weighing a kilo each, though they feel much heavier in the hand of my bad arm.

Anyway, back to football: I don't think it's wholly down to my depressed state that I'm not overly enthousiastic about the tournament so far. Although many of the supposedly top teams seem to have put in decidedly lacklustre performances, others not rated nearly so high have shown some surprising resilience. I wouldn't have placed any bets on Greece staying in the competition at all at the start of their match against Nigeria, especially after Uche scored so soon after kick-off. But then Kaita got himself sent off, and Greece somehow pulled it out of the bag in the second half. And Switzerland won convincingly against Spain.

Last night's match, between France and Mexico, showed the French side in complete disarray and Mexico walked off the pitch the deserved winners. Now I'm watching Germany-Serbia; I'd had high hopes for Germany but they failed to convince and then Klose got sent off (through a questionable decision by the referee), so...be interesting to see whether they can rally in the second half. They field a good solid squad so they should be able not to concede too many opportunities for the opposing side, even if they are down to 10 men.


ETA: Well, that shows how much I know! Germany never really got back into their stride after the first half, and Serbia beat them fair and square. Luckily, the US against Slovenia proved a far more entertaining match, and I couldn't be happier for the Americans that they managed to draw level from trailing 2-0 behind in the second half. Poor refereeing got them their third goal disallowed, but even so, they've done enough to show the world that they're no longer the footballing lightweights they used to be.
gamiila: (Default)
This Extracorporeal ShockWave Treatment I'm receiving actually seems to work! Only three weeks in and already the pain in my arm is much reduced. Not only that, but my ultrasound yesterday showed a definite lessening of the extent of the inflammation!

Even though I pushed for my doctor to refer me for this treatment, I must admit I was a little sceptical of it. I couldn't see how soundwaves could do anything to heal the tendon, and although I still don't understand how it works exactly, I can't quibble with the results: no longer do I lie awake at night biting my lip because my arm hurts, and during the day I can actually lift a carton of milk again! Not fully without pain yet, but I'm sure that day won't be too far away now.

ESWT

May. 27th, 2010 05:43 pm
gamiila: (Default)
Went for my second ESWT(which stands for Extracorporeal ShockWave Therapy)-session earlier this afternoon; and I sincerely hope the next 4 to 5 days following on the treatment won't be as painful as they were last week. The pain had just about subsided to ignorable level when my poor old elbow was blasted again. This week's ultrasound didn't show much of an improvement compared to last week's, but then, and considering the pain I was in, I hadn't expected it to so soon. We'll see if there's any next week, after which there'll be a 2-week break, and then another 3 sesions.

A couple of years ago, I woke up to find a mosquito bite on my face, in a spot slightly below my left eye. I didn't treat it in any way, just waited for the itch, the bump and the angry redness to go away, which it did eventually...but every so often, and for no reason that I can think of, there it is again, minus the itch, in the exact same spot. It came back again 2 days ago, and I wish I knew of a way to get rid of it once and for all, because I'm terrible at covering it up with makeup. People will ask me whether I've been to a kid's party, what with that green smudge on my cheek. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions on how to deal with this phantom bite?

Sick and tired of the grey skies and unseasonably cool temperatures. Here we are at the end of May, still wearing our winter clothes, can you believe it? And it doesn't seem as if summer will be making any sort of move in this direction any time soon, as the forecast for the next week only promises more rain and even colder air.

Kerching!

May. 20th, 2010 10:34 am
gamiila: (Default)
Why is it that as soon as one stops earning, one gets hit by one hefty bill after another? The cold, long winter has added 250 euros on top of my usual annual bill, the rates need paying, I'm behind on the service charges on my flat, and now it seems this tennis elbow I've been lumbered with since March is going to cost me ca. 600 euros to sort out over the next 5 weeks. My GP thought it might be a good idea to refer me for specialist shockwave treatment, which isn't covered in my health insurance. A quick phone round has taught me that no health insurer will actually cover it, as it's considered 'experimental treatment'. However, I can't see that I've got much choice: I want my arm back to normal as soon as poss, and so I've booked my first session for later this afternoon. I also have to travel all the way to Z. for it, so there'll be regular travel cost to factor in as well.

Spent all day yesterday writing and rewriting a cover letter to go with my cv in order to apply for a job with the municipal debt relief programme, which I would love to secure. I don't think I got it exactly right, but I sent it off anyway, and now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed I've done enough to get invited to the assessment round.

Meanwhile, I've heard back from the agencies: they can't help as I'm too well-qualified, too experienced...too expensive, is what they mean. Oh well.
gamiila: (Default)
Because of my tennis elbow, I've been partially off work for the last two months. And because of this, I had an appointment with the company doctor this morning, that for reasons known only to The Biatch, she insisted I keep...and because technically, I'm still part of the workforce (though she's had all my profiles wiped the minute I was escorted out the door last Monday), I have to do as my senior manager instructs me.

So I travelled up to Amsterdam early this morning and met the company doctor for the second time. I told him straight-off I didn't know what I was doing there, as I'd just been laid off and any report of today's meeting he'd have to file with my soon-to-be ex-employer would serve no purpose. After that, most of what we talked about concerned my dismissal, and though he professed not to be an expert on employment law, he did give me some helpful hints. He also set up an appointment for me with a company psychologist next week, regardless of the fact that I will no longer be a company employee by then. He saw I was distressed and needed help, and said the company could jolly well provide some counselling for me seeing as how they'd put me in my current predicament. He also urged me to contact my Union, which I will do later today -- he didn't know whether they could help get me more compensation or concessions, but they could at least put some very awkward questions to HR, and make them feel as uncomfortable as me.

I'd promised one of my soon to be ex-colleagues I'd stop by for lunch after my meeting with the company doctor, and as I sat outside basking in the sunshine waiting for her, several others from different departments came out and approached me, to commiserate with me. News of my dismissal and its aftermath has apparently gone through the building like wildfire, and no one can believe it. It fair warms the cockles of my heart to know how well-liked I am, and how high an opinion they hold of me.

The next person to come out specifically to talk to me was another member of the Board of Directors. He said he'd glanced outside his upper floor office window, seen me, and known he had to come and speak to me. He related that when C. got back after our chat, he had been livid...and there had been a fair bit of discussion in the boardroom about my case. The Board had had my file brought up, seen that it was exemplary, and after that they'd wasted no time in calling HR, The Biatch, and The Biatch's manager to account. He didn't expand on the particulars, but he gave me to understand they'd been given a right old bollocking; The Biatch has been put on her last warning; and C. has lain down some new guidelines to make sure that what happened to me won't ever happen to anyone else. (Cynical aside: shame though that I have had to be sacrificed; couldn't they have hired me on their own cognizance, and then worked out what role I was to play in the organisation later? But then I suppose I am just a lowly cog, and the Board don't usually deal with the likes of those). Anyway, he ended by giving me his contact details, and told me not to hesitate in using them; he'd always be available for help and advice, and he even asked me to send him my cv once it's finished.

Then my friend came out and we had lunch. The Biatch came out as well, but after seeing me, walked the other way.

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gamiila

December 2012

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