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February 2012

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It’s been just over 6 months since I quit my job from hell & started the long journey of getting my life back. I detested my old job. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t ALWAYS hate it. When I first started, on my birthday in 2010, I loved it. My co-workers were amazing, I still keep in touch & meet up with the majority of them to this day.

The job sucked the life out of you.

I learnt so much technical wise, I loved the fact I got to fix computers day in and day out, getting my head around fixes for the latest computer viruses, the crazy psychopathic customers I used to talk to such as “Mr ‘The Chinese are trying to hack me & steal my money’ X” or “Mr ‘Oh I never look at porn even though I clearly got a porn site related virus’ India”. Who could forget 9am on one Saturday morning when a customer had a webcam problem and while remotely fixing it, it turned on and there he was naked with the camera aimed at his penis. Not something you *really* want to be before eating your breakfast if you can help it LOL

I miss those parts of the job from hell.

I hated the way you were treated like shit 90% of the time, the way the place became depressing, the feeling you got in the mornings when you knew you were working til midnight that day, the way the place made me so physically ill that every month I’d come down with a chest or stomach infection and worse… being diagnosed with IBS and the doctor demanding I take a month off work but saying no as I knew that I would have been fired if I did. The way the management made you feel so guilty for taking a day off ill, being put on “probation” because you were ill, even though it was the place itself running me down. Staff quitting, new staff arriving, staff quitting, a crazy high turnover rate of staff in & out, all saying the same thing.

The place sucked life away from you.

Then out of the blue, I got a phone call from the HR Manager of an IT Company asking me if I was interested in a job with them. Instantly I said yes, I interviewed for it. 2 weeks later, I got the job after being headhunted.

It was a blessing in disguise.

March 1st will be 6 months since I started with them. I love every minute of it. It took me quitting my old job and starting my new one to finally realise what I wanted to do with my life. I know that I’m on the right track career wise, I am happier in myself. Instead of being ill every month, it was over 5 months since I was last ill, I recently got gastritis and am still on medication for another 3 weeks but I’m so much stronger than I used to be. It’s crazy to think that stress in a job could make you so physically ill.

It’s refreshing!

Refreshing because I’m now in a job I love, I don’t hate a single thing about it, I have no complaints. I’m in a job where they actually treat you like a human being, they don’t make you feel bad if you take a day or two off ill which I did recently. They don’t shout at you like you’re children, I get amazing benefits, better pay, it’s closer to home and I’m learning so much more than I could have possibly imagined. I am not stressed up to my eye balls, we have quiet periods when I can breathe and play some games, read up on tech news, brush up on knowledge base fixes, laugh and joke around. I even get weekends to myself again, which is something I still feel so weird about after the job from hell!

I am finally happy & long may it continue!

Or just simply known as Roast Beef in English, is one of my favourite things to cook. I cook it the French way, based on a simplistic French recipe that needs little ingredients but tastes amazing! I’ve cooked this numerous times and each time, with a different style of potatoes… creamy buttery mash or rosemary roasted. The beef literally melts in your mouth & the combination of flavours are amazing. A must try for any meat lover.

Ingredients:
1 kg Roasting Beef (I used good quality Silverside today)
4 cloves of garlic
A bunch of fresh rosemary & thyme
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp crushed garlic (out of a tube or jar, to be lazy!)
A little butter
Salt and Pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 240°c for 15 minutes then turn down to 180°c.

2. Make a few holes in the roast and add the crushed garlic. Rub the butter, fresh thyme, rosemary, mixed herbs, salt and pepper forming a crust.

3. Wrap the beef in aluminium foil & roast in the oven for 50 minutes until it’s nicely pink in the center. If it’s too pink, add 10 more minutes onto the cooking time and test it. I’m not a fan of a meat being too bloody so this cooking time is perfect for me (after numerous calculations!).

4. Let the beef stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing thinly.

5. Make a jus using the juice and herbs from the roasting tin, adding a little red wine, salt, pepper & 1/2 tsp of cornflour to thicken.

6. Serve with your chosen sides & enjoy!

Sadly I completely forgot to take a photo of dinner once it was all plated up with mixed vegetables & my garlic rosemary roast potatoes. Instead, here is a photo of the dish the last time I cooked it with creamy buttery mashed potatoes 😀

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 5 people (but hey you can cook it for yourself & have tons of leftovers!)

My immune system is terrible. Any bug that is going around the office, I catch. I’m a chest infection gold medalist, 6 times in under a year is my record. On that sadly, I’m not proud of. I don’t know why I keep picking up bugs… air conditioning at work? sitting close to others who have the dreaded man flu? or just plain bad luck?

My local GP knows me by name without looking at my encyclopaedia thick medical records & I’m quite lucky that he’s only 5 minutes down the road. I can normally get an appointment within 48 hours or an emergency one on the day if really needed.

Most recently, in between quitting my hell of a last job (blog post on that coming up soon!) and starting my new dream job, I got a really bad dose of the flu which turned into a really bad chest infection, I couldn’t breathe without coughing my guts up, I started choking from coughing so much, got into a panic attack because I couldn’t breathe properly then started crying in pain. Not really a great first impression when you start a new job? But there I was, stuck in a hotel away with work, so ill I could hardly move but I couldn’t take any time off ill and out of antibiotics that I was prescribed by my doctor back home.

I called NHS24 for help and they suggested I find UK medical centers nearby the hotel I was staying at & register as a patient but the only problem with that was I had to wait nearly a week for an appointment. So, with no antibiotics, I had to try battle through a killer of an illness with the help of a local pharmacy picking out cough syrup, pain killers and a nose inhaler for me to help control the pain. It was the longest month of my life being that ill & touch wood I haven’t been ill since!

I hate the fact that GP’s in the UK do not have work friendly hours, which was featured in this BBC broadcast. They operate between 9-5pm and sometimes, especially in my case, I couldn’t go to a GP between those hours as I was hundreds of miles away from home & even though I went back home on a Friday afternoon, it was too late to ever get an appointment.

I don’t understand why they do not open on a Saturday to cater for those who can’t make appointments Monday to Friday due to other commitments. Growing up in Kuwait, our local GP was in a hospital nearby and you could go 24/7 without even making an appointment! Just wait in line & you were seen practically straight away. I miss those days! Maybe each local district in the UK is different, but it’s something that should really be looked at UK wide.

Now, due to working in another city every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future, I’ve had to register with another GP just so that if I do get ill again during my week away, I have a backup. I don’t want a repeat of what happened to me & being unable to do anything to help.

Do you have this problem? Do you have another GP you are registered to? Does your GP surgery open on a Saturday? OR are you one of the lucky ones who never needs to visit a GP? If so, I hate you. Yes. I do.