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Feb. 17th, 2010 @ 05:47 pm Lent and France
I think I might write in this thing more, as a kind of 'memories of moving to france' thing... we'll see how that works out.

Anyway for my 1st post in months... errrr... welll Lent starts today, and my things are... giving up coke and crisps. I don't really care whether I fail this, but I'll attempt it anyway. But the main important lent thing will be actually TAKING UP something, and that thing is FRUIT. I'm going to try to eat at least 1 piece of fruit a day for 40 days. Of course normal people aim to eat at least 5 fruit/veg per day, but lets not go mad.

Wharrrt else... I'm going out tonight for a 'Farewell to Terry' thing, and Patrick Genissel is there as well. So that should be a barrel of laughs (they are boss/VIP type people who unfortunately require good behaiour). But then tomorrow I'm going out with Martyn, Andy and Joe since I think it's probably the last time I'll ever see Martyn... and then of friday night it's the proper work leaving do and then on saturday morning ATHENS!!!!! So good times, before scary times moving to france on 28th Feb.

I made a cake and brought it in to work today. I can't believe how much everyone always loves this cake I make, Pascal asked me for the recipe today - it's always a bit of an anticlimax because it's such an easy recipe, but hey, people like my (cake) cooking! More importantly, Pascal likes my cake cooking!!...

I was going to try and think of one more interesting thing to say for this post, but I can't. So I will just say BYE
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Dec. 19th, 2009 @ 11:22 am French stuff

Learning french
Learning french
I am learning french right now

That is clearly why I''m distracting myself by writing in this thing for the first time in months. Although it is actually quite fun learning french for a purpose, the purpose being that I am going to be all alone in the smelly country of cheese trying to live my life and work my work in another language. Tres passionnant! Mais aussi tres effrayant. Of course when I say all alone, I actually won't be as there'll be some others going over there with me who speak the english (although most of them are actually french people) but it would be nice to be there and actually know what people are saying.

It's creeping ever closer now, so I suppose I should probably at least start thinking about things. Like where I might live, what sort of flat I want, what I need to take with me or buy when I'm there, etc. I can totally imagine this all being left til a week before, but NO. I can't do that this time. Can I?...

It'll also be weird being so far away from everyone else I know apart from work people - even in Nottingham I still went home every month or two, and saw school friends etc - now it's not quite so simple as an hour or two train journey.

Oh and I've got to buy a new car. probably in france as well...

Many things to do

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Oct. 12th, 2009 @ 05:37 pm France
Time for an update on the job situation,,, 

I had the 1st France interview the other day, which went ok I think. It's hard to tell really, and compared with how some people's interviews sounded like they went, I guess I got off lightly. It was with the UK HR boss, the France HR boss, and the France R&D boss, so some scary people there. And Nigel (UK HR) is a COMPLETE ARSE so that didn't make things any easier. It sounded like he'd decided he didn't like certain people and did his best to sabotage their interviews by making inappropriate comments and questions. He said one or two things to me that I didn't like, but as I said, they were nothing compared to what he'd said to some other people.

Well I actually wrote the above paragraph about a week and a half ago (livejournal saves drafts apparently), and since then I've had another 'follow-up' meeting with Nigel and Terry which went.. really well! The basic point of it was to talk about the possibility of me doing a part time PhD, which we'd mentioned in the 1st interview. Basically my two options at the moment are to work in France with Servier, or to do a PhD. I said this to them, hinting that the phd would be very important for my future progression and ambitions etc... and Patrick seemed keen enough to keep me that they're going to let me do one while I work at Servier - which is cool because not only do I get paid a proper employee (rather than a poor student)'s salary, but it's also going to be relevant to my job, rather than a random obscure thing, and I get to keep the career progression going, rather than having to start again at a company once I finish 3 years of Phd.

And the meeting on wednesday was basically terry and nigel saying that this is definitely a likely possibility, and not only that, but they were really trying to persuade me to stay, saying that the french people were really impressed with me after the interview and that basically, things could pan out exactly as I want them to in the future!

Sooo! This is another one of those moments in life where something bad (redundancy) could turn into an even better opportunity -

1. Getting a phd - that wouldn't have happened here
2. Career progression prospects looking good - they've said I seem good for management and project leader stuff in the future
3. Living and working in a foreign country - really cool experience, exciting, looks good on the CV, prospect of being bilingual and speaking a foreign language all the time will be really good!
4. Closer working with the modelling group - it was always difficult having to do stuff via email, now they'll be right there
5. Better salary - even more than I'm on already, PLUS the relocation package meaning I live in france RENT-FREE for the 1st year, so my salary is ALL MINE!!! and they pay for me to ship my stuff over there, pay for an agency to help set me up with everything I need to know, french lessons etc, and also cheaper cost of living
6. Really good amount of holidays!! (after the 1st year anyway, and still not bad for the 1st year)
7. I know some people there already, and quite a few people from here should be going too so I won't be a loner

There are actually probably more plusses, but I can't think of them right now. It just seems cool that they actually seem to want me as well, saying nice things, rather than just being like "well here's a job if you want it, or not, either way".

I have the 2nd interview next week, which is in Orleans, so we get to go there for 2 days and see what it's like (tho I already know, having been there last year), and find out more about the job etc. Woopy woopy.
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Sep. 17th, 2009 @ 08:44 pm Just when you think it's all falling into place.............

Soooooooooo.. that's what happens when you think your life is good just the way it is...... you and your whole department get made redundant!!!

The french parent company who have been bailing out the UK company have decided to cut the funding, so they've closed the whole of CBR - that's 54 of us out of a job - and are making 120ish people redundant from sales and other departments. We obviously knew the UK company was doing craply, but it was still really unexpected that they'd completely close the whole of R&D in the UK... there was an emergency company meeting which was only scheduled the week before, so we knew we were going to hear some bad news but I thought it was going to be some redundancies, or pay cuts or pension freeze or something.

It's mainly so unexpected because the company's always been saying "We have a no redundancy policy, we'll never make people redundant, the staff are more important than money, bla bla bla". Completely unrealistic, but for some reason they kept saying it. In fact, the very morning of the meeting, Andy and I were joking about it -- we opened the company intranet homepage which has a quote from Jacques Servier on it in big bold writing saying "Our group's capital is human, not financial". And Andy joked that we should get that printed on t-shirts to wear to the meeting in case we got fired, wha ha ha. Then on the monday after the announcement, we were telling Jim about this, and opened the intranet page to show him... and shockANDhorror - a BLANK SPACE where that writing used to be!!!!! Everything else the same.. but the quote - GONE!!! Hmmm.

Anyway, job hunting - I don't like it. I've applied for a pharmacometrics position in astrazeneca but I'm actually much more excited by the prospect of moving to france. Because some of the positions from CBR are being moved to Orleans and Paris, so tomorrow we find out which ones are available. And I'm actually really quite hoping there's a position I can go for because I'm really coming to the idea that it would be well cool to move to france for the forseeable future - I'd love to be able to live and work in another language, I like Orleans, I know and like several of the people there already from the training I did last year, the money is better than any of the jobs that I'm seeing here in england, it'd be a continuation of what I've already been doing, and yeah, it could be a cool thing to do, and may be the only opportunity I get to do something like this before I get reasons not to do it, like mortgages or families or things.

So. We will see tomorrow...
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Jun. 20th, 2009 @ 02:44 pm Easter
Birthday turned out really good actually, probably the nicest one I've had in years! Not for any particular reason, it was just quite nice at work with lots of people coming over and distracting me with birthday joy (distractions always welcomed by me at work), then several of us (me, Olivia, Liz, Tony, Jim, Harris, Adeline, Andy) went to the pub straight after work for a fun couple of hours. Then went out in the evening for WAGAMAMAS and WETHERSPOONS with Olivia, Liz, Becca, Andy, Chris, Clark and Malvina. I managed to not get stupidly drunk for once, actually make it to the end of the night, remember it all, and not do anything foolish. Although Nic will probably be annoyed as we were supposed to be meeting up with her and her friends in liquid, but we decided to go to havanas instead as it was free and nice, as opposed to liquid which is expensive and hideous. So yeah, despite being annoyed that my TGSG friends who had moaned at me to actually DO something for my birthday and invite them to my pleasure dome, then when I actually did, all proceeded to decide that they were busy after all - it all turned out rather spiffingly. I'm still so happy/amazed that I've found a job where not only is the job great, but the people are so so so so great as well. And it's not even just the young people, but pretty much EVERYONE at Servier is cool. Yey for random job application all those years (2) ago!

OH MY GOD I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT BORNEO I thinkk I'm going to wee myself in public. I need to go shopping tomorrow for stuff.
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Jun. 15th, 2009 @ 08:06 pm Doctor required in slack tongue clinic
I've started playing Theme Hospital again. It seems this game can never quite leave my life. I don't even own it any more, but we were having a reminisce about stuff like that the other day, and Danielle piped up that she actually has it here. So... Theme Hospital in my house, how am I not supposed to play it?!

At least it's not as bad as when I picked it up again during my FOURTH YEAR UNIVERSITY FINAL EXAMS. On the CONSULTANT DIFFICULTY LEVEL. I would do half an hour's revision, then reward myself with 5 hours of Theme Hospital. Ah good times.

I think I might play it right now...
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Jun. 4th, 2009 @ 08:42 pm My new laser!
Woohoohoo, I sailed my lovely new laser for the first time in Datchet last night. It was cool, although it took me ages to try and remember and work out how to rig it all by myself from the memory of having seen it done once. It's not like you can go out there with it done wrong and just say 'oops', if something's not tied down, or breaks or something, you're pretty screwed. Anyway after a while I did manage to get it right (although I had forgotten to put the pin in that holds the tiller onto the rudder, so when I got in the boat and started sailing away, the tiller just came off the rudder. Argh).

It was... er, semi successful. It was actually very windy so not ideal conditions for only my 2nd sail in it. And I did the thing that apparently all laser sailors do, which is repeatedly get the mainsheet stuck round the bottom of the boat when tacking and gybing, and therefore not being able to let it out when the wind was strong, which it was, and so capsizing. And then I was trying to be skillful and gybe around a buoy... only the mainsheet got hooked around the buoy, causing me to capsize, but it stayed hooked round it. And because it is an insanely long piece of rope, I was stuck to it, but too far away to go and swim and release it - because with the wind as it was, the boat would have just buggered off without me as soon as I freed it! So I just had to stand on the centreboard like a fool for about 10 minutes before the safety boat even noticed to come and un-stuck it.

Still, apart from that, very good! I clearly need a LOT of practice before salcombe, but I plan to sail every wednesday evening and sunday that I possibly can til then, so who knows. I may come 2nd last..!

I just bought some sail numbers for a mere 27 QUID. This boat is darn expensive. And I still need to think of a name for it. Jen has suggested "Ol' Madeye".
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May. 16th, 2009 @ 12:17 pm (no subject)
Almost a month til I'm 24. So when I do hit that old-haglike age I will (hopefully, aka if I can be arsed) write an entry on this thing about where I am in my life, what I've done, not done, and want to do.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to inform myself here that I'm going to do that. Except maybe to remind me that I still have a month before then to shove in some stuff.
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May. 14th, 2009 @ 07:55 pm Food

In the last few days I have eaten:

3 and a half packets of bourbons

A curry pot noodle

A 5 chicken selects McDonalds meal

A scone with lots of butter and jam

A box of flapjacks

A pain au chocolat

A packet of Nick Nacks

A lamb skewer thing


Mmmm healthy eating is good.

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Apr. 12th, 2009 @ 07:24 pm (no subject)

Ahhhh. Snowboarding was cool. I wish I was back snowboarding right now.

Well in further developments to the below post, I now have the promotion, woopy!! It's not even totally about the money (although 30k a year will certainly help to encourage my mad, uncontrolled spending of money) but it's also nice to just be recognised as having a different role to what I was doing and hating a year ago.

I'm actually convinced that liking/loving your job and therefore being genuinely enthusiastic about it is one of the most effective ways to get up there. Other things help of course, but it's amazing how enthusiasm and motivation for the job, doing things out of the ordinary line of duty, things that only someone who is passionate enough about it to go further into the background of the job would do, spending extra time doing not just what they're told, and actually genuinely wanting to do all this - does actually get you noticed, and considered for important stuff, which leads you to more responsibility and higher-up roles. 

And all of the above actually gives you back as much as you put in - as I said, if you genuinely enjoy it and are learning, these are rewards in themselves. As are the financial ones of course.

Having said all that, I still don't think I could ever have been enthusiastic about the job I was doing a year ago, despite it being at the same company etc. Which is why I am sure I would have left, and searched out something that I did like, if I hadn't been graced with the wonder of PBPK. I wouldn't say I knew I'd be such a career-motivated person when I left university, although I have always thought that if I found the right one, then I might be. But it certainly has turned out like that. I look at the fact that I'm only 23 which is still relatively young, and what I've done so far in this job, how much more I'll be able to do in the following months and years, and it gives me such motivation to do as much as I can right now, as early as I can, so I can achieve as much as possible in my time. 

Haha, this livejournal has morphed from being a journal of my stupid amusing drunken incidents, to bla-bla-bla-ing on and on about my career! How things change.
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