Category Archives: Leeds

Putting on the Brooks

In the last week or so, I’ve actually got around to starting to look for options, beyond the ones I already knew about, for my trip to LA. Sadly the only thing that the Rooftop Cinema was playing, that was old enough for me to be interested (in other words, early 50’s at the most modern) was already a sell out, so no go. I would say the one modern film I’d love to see, and havent yet, is La La Land, for obvious reasons, and ironically, thats playing there the weekend that I come back to the UK. But fine, it was sold out already, anyway!

So, play Plan B, which I probably would have looked at anyway, which is the Egyptian Theater. Bit further away from where I’m staying, but still only about a 20 minute walk, and…oh joy! My only Saturday evening in town, not only is there 1 movie there that I would love to see, but 2! And all for 1 price!

http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/diary-of-a-lost-girl-beggars-of-life

These wont be the first Brooks films I’ve seen on a big screen, Pandoras Box, in Leeds, was the first. And now I get the chance to see 2 of the 3 next most famous Brooks movies (Prix De Beaute would be the other for me) in Hollywood, in a historical setting! Fine, I’ll advertise it too much, and it will be a sell out, and …No, sadly I’ve failed to find any Harlow movie being shown on a big screen in town, while there. If anyone knows differently, second half of May?

I did think about taking a flapper style dress with me, and trying to find a black bob wig, but in truth, these 2 movies are pretty removed from Brooks, and the flapper look. One is a pretty dark movie, the other has Brooks trying to look like a boy, so…Besides, I’m not sure my knees should be seen in public!

But yes, I have now got 1 definite date on my holiday calendar lol! There are numerous things I will do at some point, but no planned date yet, including Dodgers baseball!

No, I havent gone for the obvious OMD, Louise Brooks video here, which might surprise some. And in truth, this is more 30’s, than 20’s, but fine, its catchy, and when I might get to use it, if not now…?

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Bradford, a provoking city

No, not in a bad way, and certainly not for me, but then again, I’m one of the fans of the city, so maybe I dont get it, but anyway…

Ever since I was a child, and even more so today, there seem to be lots of people who want to put down Bradford, and praise Leeds. Now, dont get me wrong, there are parts of Bradford that arent all that pretty, but there are a few of them in Leeds too.

As to the city centres, a lot of people rave about Leeds, but I’ve never been a fan. Maybe its because I’m older, have grown up with that as a place of work, whereas Bradford has been a place to visit, but in truth, my feelings about Leeds, as a city centre, date back long before then. In truth, I prefer Wakefield to both, as a place to go shopping, but fine, I’m weird that way lol!

I have now, at least, seen the new super shopping centre in Bradford, the Broadway, as I believe its called, though I havent been in it yet. I know the shopping park, opposite to work, a bit better already, mind! Mainly for lunchtime food stores, but hey, I’ve looked at a few other stores, just not bought anything quite yet, even though I have £30 worth of vouchers to spend in the Arcadia Group stores, in their unit there. I guess I’ve got so used to charity shops, Primark, and Peacocks, that paying ‘normal’ prices for clothing, even when its not going to cost me, is going to take some getting used to!

Its ironic, the area where I’m working, I can remember when it wasnt a nice area to go to, about 40-50 years ago, but things have changed dramatically on that front, at least! I still think that I might prefer to have a mobile phone (eek!) when I’m finishing at 8.00, when its all a lot darker, and things, so might have to break the habit of a long while, and get a cheap, basic one again. I suppose, also, if as that offer earlier that year came up, if I ever take the plunge to get back into acting again, I’ll need one anyway! Still, all for the future…

But yes, when it comes to the old Bradford v Leeds argument, call me awkward, but it will always be Bradford, of choice, for me. Yes, in a small minority lol!

Video time. Probably, for me at least, the most famous Bradford group that I know. First hit, not sure if the singing is live, but I think it is, doesnt seem to quite match single version.

One day, to live a life the way it’s meant to be

Here in the UK, this seems to be Pride weekend, certainly is in Leeds, and from what I’ve seen advertised, it is in a few other cities too. Yes, I’m too old nowadays for these sort of things, and besides, this year at least, I havent really got the money to go this weekend anyway. But as I say, its for younger folk than me really, anyway. Doesnt mean I’m not supporting them in spirit, mind.

Its funny, I was born, and indeed lived life at a time when homosexuality was regarded as illegal. Thankfully, things have changed dramatically since then, and fine, even if a few religious cranks (mainly in the US) think its a ‘disease’ that can be cured, the vast majority of people at least accept it, to various degrees. Hopefully, in a few years time, transexuality will be treated in the same way. Its getting there, the latest generations seem to be finding it ever easier to accept who they are, and in time, older generations will generally get to acceptance of it, I’m sure.

So fine, you’re expecting me to say that I’m proud that the Pride festival takes place, and all that? Right? Wrong! Dont get me wrong, I’m glad that LGBT folk can go out on a weekend like this, and show their pride at being who they are, but I’m still sad it needs to happen. Why? Because for the same reason there isnt a Hetro Pride weekend, in an ideal world, it wouldnt need to happen! I know, maybe its like the football fans on a Saturday, they like to go out and celebrate, and if it was just that, then great, but in our hearts, we know it isnt. Oh, the amusing thing in my new job, when discussing this, I had to settle for the Bi option, lol!

Its like all the fuss the press make, when someone comes out as gay, or lesbian, one great day, it wont be news, and no one will really care! Probably not in my lifetime, but compared to how things were, 50 years ago, we’re getting there, and life’s a lot better for LGBT folk. But one small day, in the future, we wont need Pride parades to prove it, I hope!

The biggest irony, Leeds NHS have made great show about Pride weekend, and how their Trans related unit will be taking part in the parade. Irony, their waiting list is by far the worst in the whole of the UK, and their reputation is dreadful! Yes, another reason why I cant be bothered to get my bits ‘bobbed’ around here!

Just one closing thought, though I’m not entirely saying it was Trans related, but here’s something to think about. Job hunting, as a woman, with my old male passport, I went 0 offers, out of a lot. As a woman, with my new female passport, 2 offers out of 4. Hmm?

Video, a bit of live Ultravox. Fans might have worked out the song from the blog title, though as it was a minor hit, others might not have done?

The blind leading the blind?

Fine, I was going to do something different, and something I cant believe might happen, but as the gentleman hasnt been seen all weekend, it might well be that he’s seen sense re me, and doing something remarkable, so lets put a hold on that, for now at least.

So, in that case, lets focus on the obvious subjects, me, and work. Well, unsurprisingly, I survived 2 weeks of customer service training, and 2 weeks dealing with customer service issues, but lets face it, with my work history, it would be more worrying if I didnt! But fine, now the fun stuff starts, even if, by irony, I’m not going to have to put these talents to the test. For better, or for worse, entertainment wise, the better job offer approaches, so I’ll go through training, but then…move on, unless something strange happens. I must say the pay issues make me feel less guilty about going, as does sly digs about my inability to get to Leeds for 7.30 am starts (not mentioned at the interview, was told 9.00!), and keeping the role.

Yes, tomorrow is the start of Technical Services training. Now, this should be fun, because as a few friends at least will know, my technical knowledge is limited, to put it mildly. The running joke I make, is that I’m more interested in being controlled by technology, than being in control of it! So yes, this could be, err, an experience! Looking at it positively, if I gain any knowledge through this part of the course, it can only be a good thing, right? But yes, the idea of me being a tech expert, is about as likely as me being a ……., which is what I thought I’d be writing about, so…? 😉 No, Stacie, you arent allowed to tell people what that is, either! 😛

Fine, I dont know how much of what I will learn will be of use to me in the outside world, as opposed to the job, but we will see? All the same, at the end of the fortnight, I might know a bit more about technology than I do now! Not that its hard for that to happen, but anyway…OK, one thing I’m not looking forward to, that 9.00 start all week. Means leaving here early, which means getting up very early, but…I’ll survive!

The video choice? Well, you might say that if I was giving out tech advice, this might be a fair description of how things would be? No, not the original, but a Postmodern Jukebox delight, set in a 50’s diner, pure heaven!

Welcome to the house of work!

Yes, I know, tomorrow is the big day, and thats why I wanted to write something here tonight, in advance. For those of you that have only got here in the last 15 months, you’re in for a shock. Recently, I’ve been blogging every 2, or 3 days, pretty much without fail, but this is where that comes to an end. I’m not planning to stop the blog, but in truth, when I’m getting a weekend as my days off, as I will be for a while, most likely its going to go down to 1 blog a week. Maybe a longer one, but in truth, as I’m likely to present the news and views in one go, that will probably be it. There might be some weeks when there is enough material for 2, and certainly if I’m doing 5 from 7 again, then you may well get a couple a week, but that will be it!

In truth, I’d hate to think I’d have to give up on the blog, after all this time, so I doubt it will happen, but as to the regularity of them, sorry, no more. Well, until I can afford a holiday or something, but otherwise…Yes, I’ll miss you, readers, but it comes to a matter of time.

When I started the job hunt, I was hoping to find something for about 25-30 hours a week, doing something fresh, closer to home, and getting some writing done in the extra time. So yes, I’ve ended up going into a call centre, for 37.5 hours a week, in Leeds. Fine, I know, but in the end I’ve got beaten down, and everything.

OK, I’d love to think the training methods are going to be something, err, interesting, but I’m pretty sure that dream wont be fulfilled either. If I knew how to save, and post a rather delightful gif, I would, but as I dont have a clue…sorry. But yes, 4 lucky people, wearing helmets, with lots of sparking electricity, and a wire clearly downloading something into their minds, yes, you get my drift, would love that to be me!

I’ll be honest, I have mixed emotions over this. I’m delighted to finally be back in a job, and I know its something I can do, and at least its a different medium (broadband company), but even so, there’s so much there, that 15 months ago, I was eagerly looking to get away from, ah well…And yes, thats what I regret, obviously, but money talks, and all that!

The one nice thing, my first job where all my paperwork says I’m a woman, from the start, thats going to be special! Feel free to wish me luck, by the way.

The video. Well, I did think of ‘The Carnival Is Over’, but decided to go with this instead, as the blog title gives away

In, out, or shaking it all about?

You know the witty comment about you wait forever for a bus to come along, and then 2, or more come along at once? Yes, happens in other fields too, seemingly.

As you know already, last week, after 14 months of struggling to find a job, I finally got offered one, due to start on Monday. All fine, all good. Anyway, as you’ve guessed. there’s more to this tale. Last month, I was interviewed for a Civil Service job, in Bradford. I was told it would be a couple of weeks before I heard anything, but that was 5 weeks ago, so fine, despite their reputation for always contacting you, I’d accepted the inevitable. No, life isnt that easy! Yesterday, I got an email from them, provisionally offering me the job, subject to checks!

Now dont get me wrong, I can live with the job I’ve been offered, but seriously, if both offered me a job on the same day, no contest, the Bradford one! No Sunday work, which is a ghastly day to travel, and a new commute, which would be nice. I dont mind Leeds, as such, but after 10 years, fine, a new trip would be nice. But equally, these nice people put me out of my misery, so…

Fine, I can work this through, and will. I can start this job on Monday, as planned, and see how it goes, given I’m sure Civil Service security checks wont be sorted in days! If its enjoyable, and the shifts work out, then I can withdraw the other one, and stay there. If its OK, and within the trial period (12 weeks) when I hear, then I need to make a decision, one way or the other, but only then. I know me, I’ll probably stick, but for now, in my mind at least…

Yes, I know, irony, 14 months of nothing, and then I get this! I’m laughing about it at least, which I guess is the main thing?

The other ‘amusing moment’ is the dear old Conservative Party. So after all the fuss, and everything else, when the names for next PM candidates are announced, Boris Johnson isnt amongst them! I know the joke was that no one wanted to bite the bullet, and withdraw us from Europe, but when the leader of the ‘Leave’ group decides he doesnt want to be in a position to do it, what does that say? Mind, there is talk that he never wanted to come out, just wanted to oppose Cameron, so just maybe that was true? Anyway, all things will just get more dragged out now, I guess. Five candidates, one of whom thinks Homosexuality can be cured (in that weird right wing way), so lets hope he doesnt win! Mind, if he wants to mind control me in an interesting way, then well…no, not really!

OK, the video. Well, its got a Bradford connection, its got a political connection, given how much that idiot Trump loves Mexicans, so…

Stepping Off The Train Again

OK, lets try looking ahead, instead of backwards for once. Next week, for the first time in about 15 months (apart from a fortnight I’d rather forget), I will get back to the delights of commuting to work again. Yes, the word, delight, is being facetious, believe me. Its been clear to see that the ‘new’ Trans Pennine Express is no more efficient than the old one was, but hey, at least I know what I’m in for.

The main thing I know I’m going to miss, and in truth, the only thing I will probably miss, is my extended internet time, which I’m certainly not going to get, after next week, at least 5 days a week. I’m guessing I’m going to have to cut back on some things, possibly even cut out others, but I will see how it goes, before I make too many cuts. However, it has to be said, the amount I do now, will not be possible in the much reduced hours I will have, as from this time next week.

Equally, I must admit, having more money again will be nice, though I’ve got so used to not spending any, its going to be weird being able to do so again. But fine, thats at least a month away, possibly 2, before finances reach any sort of level where that will be possible. But it will come, I’m sure. The main blessing will be having the funds to get another chest of drawers, and maybe another small portable wardrobe, and sort my clothing out a bit more than at present.

I’m told the dress wear will be smart casual, so I have no problems on that front, and in truth, many of my tops, and blouses havent seen much action (other than those worn in LA, last year) since I left work, so all should be fine. First day, I need to wear the dress, but pretty sure that will be that, for posh clothing! No, pretty certain I will not be wearing high heels, before you ask!

It would be nice if I could do something fun this week, before I get back to the grind, but in truth, I cant afford it! I will get out tomorrow, to get my hair colored, but thats the biggest, and only excitement at present! With luck, the hair dryer will turn into a brainwashing unit, but…no, fine, I couldnt be that lucky! If anyone wants to treat me (ha ha), then feel free to offer, it would probably do me good!

But yes, this time next week, I should be on my way home, after my first day back at work! Yes, after 15 months, actually getting to say that, quite precious. Funny thing, it will be my first job where everyone has only known me as a woman, wow! Something to think about, for sure.

OK, the video. Well, yes, there is a clue in the title, though its a line from the song, not the name. Given that I used the original before (nearly 5 years ago, mind), I’ve found a rare bird, a live version.

Hey, who knows? At some point I might even get to meet the legendary station cat at Huddersfield, Felix!

Decision Day

So fine, when I wake up in the morning, I guess the first news I’ll go to look for, is whether we are still in, or out of Europe. Yes, I’ve voted, and yes, I hope sanity prevails, but no, I’m not telling you which way I voted, dont want to get into a political row on here, or anything. Pretty sure it will be close, and I’m equally sure the losing side will claim it was rigged, but anyway…At least it will be over, hopefully?

But fine, to more cheery news, I’ve been offered a job at long last. Yes, I know, I was expecting another rejection, but hey, I was wrong. Yes, its a call centre, and yes, its in Leeds, but I’ve got past the point where I can get too fussy, I guess? Besides which, I can keep eyes peeled for something better, if I want to, but doubt I will somehow, knowing me.

The irony, at some point early in the job hunting process, I applied for a job at this company, and didnt get it. Yes, one of those glorious competency based questions days, no great surprise. So what happened that was different, you ask? Well, now, another company run the call centre for them, and thankfully their competency based questions were of the easier kind, and I survived! I start on Monday week, the 4th of July, a date filled with irony for an Ameriphile like me!

The other irony, sorting out the finances! Yes, I know that in the end, a job will solve that issue, but in the meanwhile, I have a fair bit to pay out, before I get my funds topped up. The big one, and one I really cant get around, paying my fares to work. I either have to pay out just over £150 for a monthly pass, or £160 for 4 weekly passes, before I get paid! On top of which, I’ve had to let personal care take a back seat while money was tight, but yes, I’ve already booked to get my hair done next week. It would have needed to be done soon, regardless, but now, clearly it needs to be done before work. Oh, and thats not the only hair that needs doing, because I havent been waxed since September! Brows are the most critical one, though under arms really need doing too, and in truth, wouldnt do any harm for a full body tidy up. But practically, cant afford it, as things stand.

I did briefly consider a fund raising thing, but given how much of a failure it was before, cant see any point! Mind, if anyone thinks otherwise, or just wants my Paypal details, shout, please!

Right, video time. A golden oldie, bilingual version, written by a silent movie legend.

Trying to preserve my sanity

Yes, I know, I missed one last night. Sorry, but health issues have got to me the last couple of days, and last night, about 8.15, I started to collapse with nervous exhaustion, so retired to bed. To be honest, it had all pretty much built up by Thursday evening, and I pretty much knew I’d had enough of the job. To say the company (I still refuse to divulge the name, though maybe I should, to stop others going to work there) dont believe in good customer service, would be a massive understatement. Yes, just the opposite seems the rule, in fact.

It got to the point, where, to avoid us giving any useful information to our clients, they took the system away from us. We werent allowed to give customers any information from it, we had to simply take messages, and call them back. Like a few others, I was not using it to give information to anyone, but as a means of checking I had the right case, I kept the screen up. Clearly we were still being too efficient for their liking, as the next day, they switched off our computers! All we could literally do was hope we had the right details. Seriously, this is not great customer service. That was exacerbated by the fact that despite the fact we were promising customers a call back, within a maximum of 24 hours, it was clear this wasnt happening on a regular basis, and many tended not to believe us, seemingly quite rightly.

After a day of sheer frustration doing this on Thursday, I’d pretty much had enough, and wondered if I wanted to bother going in on Friday. Ironically, having decided that I’d battle through to the weekend, and then make my decision, my body decided to step in. Lets just say Thursday night involved a few visits to the bathroom, and leave it at that. Despite this, I got up Friday morning, at my normal time, but quickly realised that was going to be a step too far. Exhaustion, a still far from happy stomach, and everything else, I retired back to bed, and slept for about 3 hours, until about 10.00.

Yesterday, for a while at least, I felt better. Then as I say, mid evening, I crashed completely about 8.30, went to bed, and slept for 12 hours straight, barring 1 brief visit to the bathroom. And yes, I still felt tired when I got up, despite that.

Today, I’ve realised one thing, if I go back, I’m probably going to kill someone, possibly myself, as my sanity is beaten up beyond belief. So, I’ve done one thing, I’ve emailed their HR department, telling them I wont be going back, and please just arrange to pay me for the hours I’ve done, and leave it at that. Yes, I’d heard what a lousy group of companies they were to work for, but its been beyond even my belief just how bad they are.

Oh, and for information sake, 2 others from my group had walked out, even before I left!

Oh, and the crowning moment? Well, yes, obviously, if I’d chosen the other option, and done the trial, as I should have done, I’d never have been through all this. Double irony, because of my stress, and stomach issues, I cant do the trial starting a week tomorrow, as my issues might affect the results! That was going to be my money get out, but now… Yes, I rang them Friday, as I knew by then that I really didnt want to go back, and wanted to get things started. Even knowing that, I cant go on with them.

So yes, today, I’ve gone back to sending in job applications, and hoping for a lucky break. I know, it might not be the wisest move overall, but for the sake of my sanity, it was one I had to make. I think I’ve got past bend, and was reaching break, and thats not a good thing. So…If anyone has a few spare pounds lol…

I’m not saying its bad, but when I’m looking at jobs in a betting shop, it has to be bad!

And yes, just think, right now, I could be resting up in a clinic, as a guinea pig, and the most stressful thing I would be doing is having blood samples taken. Boy, can I really mess things up!

Right, the video. I’ve gone and done what was written for me, in my heart, that I knew I had to do, for better, or worse.

(Not) doing the thing that I want to

Yes, fine, I think if I tossed a coin at present, called both heads, and tails, it would wedge on the side of the coin. As in, any decision I settle on at present seems to be the wrong one! yes, thats right, I’m sat at home, typing this up, feeling that I made the wrong call yet again. Ah well…

Lets go back to last week, when I got offered a not very exciting job, for about 5 weeks, guaranteed, or I could take a gamble, wait to see if I got on the clinical research trial, and earn more money, in less time, and have way more fun. Thats right, I took the boring percentage option, and got it wrong, big time.

I had low expectations of the job, and I’ll be honest, I havent been proved wrong on that fact yet. Its fair to say I know how the poor men in the trenches in WW1 felt to some degree, we were pretty much employed just to be shot down, and save other faces the hassle. Oh, and the Capita fascination with trying to achieve ridiculous targets still happens too. I’d heard about this issue from people in the tele-betting dept in Rotherham, where morale was low, or worse. This week I’ve experienced it, and its not good. As in, my rest time is far superior to any of the other ‘infantry’ but they still want me to improve on it. So my write up time is on average, 2 minutes better than anyone else, but the challenge isnt to stay that way, its to make it even shorter. Oh, and their attitude to Customer Service seems to be to keep the calls short, however that affects the service to customers. Fine, thankfully 3.5 weeks to survive, thats all.

Oh, and the other issue, yes, you’re right, I did get selected for the trial, so at this moment in time, I could be doing something interesting, something new, and happy. Whereas now…Yes, I made the wrong call, again. Ironically, if I’d seen a message from the clinic earlier on Wednesday, I might still have had the option to do it, but by the time I saw it, and called them, they’d called up the reserve. Fine, I’ll do one in the New Year (my contact there tells me there will be some interesting things happening in February), for definite. But now…

And oh, that fact isnt helped by the decision of the Bus Drivers of Huddersfield to go on a 1 day strike on Monday. So guess what, on top of everything else, I’ll have to get up early, and walk a mile and a half into town, oh joy! And to think, I could be safe, in a nice warm clinic, instead of walking into town, in the rain (according to forecast), what fun!

So yes, I wouldnt describe my mood as sunny at present.

Oh, lastly, a moment of silliness. Given I will be on my own over Christmas (the others go down south before I finish work on 23rd), I jokingly took a look at flights to LA, leaving on the 24th. No, I cant do it, cant really afford it, but wondered just what the premium was for flying that day. There was one, but not as much as I was expecting, to be honest. Utterly impractical, as by the time I got there, all shops would be shut, so I’d be going hungry over the Christmas holidays, not really on. Oh, and seemingly my lovely apartment isnt rented out between November, and April anyway.

So, all in all…I did contemplate a certain Britney Spears video as apt, but preferred the irony, and class, of this instead. Lou Reed, live, take that, and party!