Reepacheep's Ramblings V.10

Blatherings from someone who is not big nor clever

Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Stuff is ticking along nicely. Work is standard, fun and busy. We have seen quite a few crows recently, which makes me so happy (they are one of my favourite animals). I have done things of varying significance, none of which I can’t really remember now. There’s been gigs (Anti-flag at the Electric Ballroom was excellent), and drinking, and both at the same time.

I have a boyfriend. He is lovely.

I seem to have seen an extrodinary amount of films at the cinema recently, it appears to be a good time for films that I like. I really enjoyed World War Z (I have not read the book which may have helped in liking it more than some). Despicable Me 2 is fantastic, much funnier than the first. On Thursday evening, Sam and I are going to Vue Leicester Square to watch Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and at 12.01am The Worlds End. That’s right, back to back Cornetto Trilogy. I am SO EXCITED.

I won a Frank Turner t shirt via a facebook competiton run by The Forum. It’s been a while since I’ve won something.

I have unintentionally made a habit of putting a you tube video into my posts recently, so I shall leave you with what has become our theme tune at work:

I mean no ill with the above title, it’s a Blink 182 song. I try to play it every Christmas eve, like a little tradition. Look it up. It’s nicely offensive.

I sit on the eve of a new year, sat in my tiger Kigu (Crimbo pressie, innit), so thought I’d update briefly on my life. I’ve had a pretty busy month, as Decembers usually are, because that’s when everyone decides to come out of their collective shells and make an excuse to be sociable. I’m not complaining, I very much like being sociable and as one gets older it seems that the opportunity starts to diminish. Work has also kept me on my toes, with many many hours of overtime – emergency sugeries/procedures on a rabbit, a monkey, a bird, and a hamster with a massive testicle to name a few.

Gigwise, December is always a bit slow – bands travel back to their respective homelands and generally leave punters to make their own fun. I went to a double-whammy Bronx gig midway through the month with Dan, Sam, Matt and Sian where we watched (side project) Mariachi El Bronx at Kings College Students Union at the normal time a gig should be, then a few hours later at around midnight we found ourselves in a small bar called the Rhythm Factory in East London to watch the actual Bronx smash our faces in. Quite literally, I was unintentionally punched in the face and left the gig with a cut/fat lip. And a massive grin as I’d had a lot of fun.

Me, my sister and her boyfriend appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. proof, y’all.

Christmas also brings about the traditional Christmas feast with chums (aka #xmasfeast2011). We chose The St Margarets as our food-provider this year, and I thought it was rather nice. I wore a dress – the first time I have worn one out in a social setting that wasnt a wedding. I even managed to wear it again for my work Christmas meal a few weeks later.

My grandmother had a hip operation a few weeks ago, and so is unable to drive up for Christmas day with my grandad, and so mum and I went down to Sussex to visit them to make sure they were alright. My nanny showed me literally the largest bruise I have ever seen, which although impressive must be incredibly painful. I wish her a speedy recovery as she is not the sort to be sat around for long periods of time!

Actual Christmas was the usual – I go to work Christmas day for a few hours to clean and feed everyone, we have breakfast, presents and eventually went to my aunt and uncles for a meal. I’m never that enthused with the day itself, I guess I’m too old, and lack children. Though I do like spending the down time lounging, occasionally venturing out the house to see people, eating copius amounts of cheese and mulling any alcoholic liquid that comes my way.

As for 2012? Who knows. 2011 was alright – I can’t complain to be honest. I’m alive, I had fun, but I dunno, I felt everyone else has something exciting happen to them, whereas I was just… here. I shall have try to do something about that.

I wish everyone a good night tonight, whatever you may be planning and a prosperous new year :) x

Do you see many exotics?

Posted by Kim under work

Recently my working life has been taken over by the fact that my (new-ish) boss had decided that we needed to put our practice onto the radar of more vets in need of a referral service dedicated to exotic pets. You see, when vets go to university to learn about being a vet they are taught the fundamentals of treating cats, dogs, horses and a lot of farm stuff. However, when it comes to strange little animals (birds, reptiles, fish, rabbits – yes, even rabbits! Those really common little furries) they’re pretty much left in the dark, unless they take the extra time and dedication to study them, usually with little to no help from their school.
This is where we come in. We are a first-opinion and referral clinic for exotic species – our case load is about 75-80% exotic species and the rest local cats and dogs due to convenience to them. So we see a lot of cool stuff ranging from the aforementioned to invertebrates, to primates and small zoo animals. If a vet is scared or totally clueless as to how to treat something strange, we’re called.
One of the promotional campaigns we decided upon was to exhibit with a stand at the London Veterinary Show 2011 which is a massive CPD conference purely for vets and veterinary services – 3000 delegates apparently signed up to attend this year, with 300 exhibitors. It’s a pretty big thing.
We have been busy ordering stuff and planning and making things and promoting with the run up to the conference and finally the time came (Wednesday just gone) where Matt and I packed out his car with stuff and drove to Olympia to set up our stand. We worked from 7-10pm to put together Ikea furniture and put up posters to make up our home for the next two days. We drove home that night, exhausted.

Thursday morning I have to be up at 6am, put on smart clothes and meet Matt and his sister (who works in PR at a massive agency that deals with very important things non vet related but she was ideal to have around in terms of how to get and use information from potential referrers) at the surgery to start our adventure.

The premise obviously wasn’t to sell anything – this made it a bit easier on us – but for us to capture the interest of vets that were in need of a place they could send on cases that they didn’t like dealing with, either because the animal or the illness was beyond their confidence level. We offered some advice if they asked, and some neat looking syringe shaped pens with our logo and phone number.

Now, being the sort of person that take a while to warm to new people, having to approach new people and encourage them to consider using us totally put me out of my comfort zone. However, I had a lot of fun! We had a good talking point in terms of the cool animals we see, and tt was interesting to see how miffed some vets are of the sort of work I take for granted every day (“you’ve done surgery on a fish? HOW?” “I can’t stand seeing birds, I’m totally scared of them!” “What on earth did you do to that snail?”). Plus people who we deal with on the phone on a day to day basis (like our laboratory and other local vets) came by to show their support. The stands around us were nice to chat to – we were even given cake by a neighbouring company! It was a brilliant experience.

We had also sponsored two lectures which meant we had to ninja-flyer them just before they started which was a bit of a logistical nightmare as it meant putting leaflets on the seats of a 1000 capacity room that was already full of people who hadn’t moved from the previous talk. The way I leapt through the chairs meant I lost my exhibitor badge somewhere in the throng, luckily it was the end of the last day of the show, so no one cared. I hope we encouraged a least a few vets to consider using us, reconfirmed relationships with existing referrers and all together made us look like a good bunch to work with. It looks like my boss is going to do it again next year too.

I’ll tell you what, standing in a 3mx2m box promoting yourself for 10 hours really takes it out of you. I went to bed before 10 on both nights!


Posted by Kim under work

I got bitten by a rat last Thursday. It clung on with its teeth for a good 30 seconds. It didn’t stop bleeding for about 6 hours, and at the moment (3 days later) it’s still bruised (although the swelling and it being purple have gone) and I have currently no feeling in the side that the rat’s teeth were deepest. It was a rather comical moment, if absolutely excruciatingly painful – afterwards I had tears of pain/shock mixed with tears of hysterical laughter. I managed to flick blood across the room and up the wall, which I’m quite impressed with (as my workmates and I can’t quite understand how). The rat is absolutely fine, if not more leaning towards the taste of human flesh.

I don’t recommend being bitten by a rat. It sodding hurts. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve let an animal bite me badly (the last time was when a parrot bit the top of my boob/chest as I was trying to stop it from escaping), and I don’t really want to experience it for a while again.

Indeed, my post is about work. The title is a Million Dead lyric, and it’s definitely not how I think of my job, but as I love that line it’s being used.

The Tuesday that has just passed marked the 5th Anniversary of my full time employment at my Vets. I mention full time, because I worked there part time as a weekend assistant through my time at university which racks up a whopping 8 years spent at the same veterinary surgery. I feel as I have accomplished something pretty good, I started there as someone who cleaned out kennels and have progressed to the highest point I can reach – head veterinary nurse (this means that I can ask other people to clean out the kennels ;)). I have learned a lot, obviously veterinary related, but also how to deal with other details, such as people, day to day runnings of a business, and how to get over a fear to talking to people on the phone. Ironically 9 years ago, I applied for a job as a weekend receptionist at the very same vets but quit after two weeks as I discovered Ihad a massive aversion to talking on the phone. Ironically they asked me back as a nurse, though when I asked them if they remembered me, they didn’t! Now knowing what my boss is like, this really doesn’t surprise me.
So yeah. I have worked with some brilliant people, Some not so brilliant people, but I have never not gotten on well with my co workers. My boss is a different entity entirely. He can be such a BASTARD but other times he’s a really good bloke. I would have to say, that recently he has been edging towards the better end of the scale, though in the past I wouldn’t have believed that I’d say that. I guess that’s what happens when you nearly die (long story, I’m sure people close enough to me have heard it).
So my anniversary was marked by a gift of Jagermeister, and iTunes gift card and a promise of a raise :). I would say my bosses know me pretty well now!

Enough sentimental crap. TLDR: I have been at my current job for a long time. And I bloody enjoy it.

On a separate note, I was given two bottles of wine over the course of the week from the same lady as thanks for coming to vist her cat to check it’s eye. She’s the loveliest client ever – she’s always friendly, she appreciates when we do something for her and her cat. It’s this sort of person who I am willing to go the extra mile for (wine or no wine – as she is always really nice to us, I am the same back. A small matter of taking 10 minutes to walk around to a client’s house for piece of mind. It makes for a happy professional relationship!). There is another lady whom boards her bird regularly, she sometimes does it over the weekend because she knows I am there, and would rather I play with it than have someone just come to her house to feed it. This makes me happy too, as I feel estatic someone actively wants me to look after their bird, even though she only knew me from talking to her once or twice, and teh fact that she’s seen her bird adores me too (I have had threats that I’ll get the bird in her will!).
Whereas on the opposite end of the scale I dispise myself for having to bow to the beck of people who are downright rude. For instance, one of my tasks at work is to fill in insurance forms. What happenens is a client will recieve treatment, pay for treatment and then submit a claims form for compensation. Now, usually I can get them done within a 2 week period of recieving them – it may only be one side of A4 but this is due to the fact that these forms are but a little part of my overall workload – I have to organise the other nursing staff/receptionist with rota’s/tasks/etc, I have to ensure our stock is of a sutable level (eg medicine/medical gases/food/equipment/whatever we need to ensure the surgery can function), answer phones and obviously be a vet nurse (I shan’t detail this as the list would be LONG). Throw in the recession and the fact that people are more likely to claim for treatment and I get given at least one or two forms a day. This means at any one time I have 5-10 to complete. They take a while too – I have to make sure I provide a history, the invoices and make sure the vet agrees with what I have written. This means that forms do get left close to their deadline (insurance companies have usually slapped a 30 day period from the time the client gets the form in which the form has to be completed, which is the bane of my existence), and insurance companies happily inform the client of this. CUE ANGRY CLIENT.
“WHY HAVE YOU NOT DONE MY INSURANCE FORM? I SENT IT IN X/Y/Z”. I understand you would like the money, but you must understand that you’re not the only wise spark to submit a form. Your form goes at the bottom of the pile, like everyone elses. If you dont give me the form with a few weeks to spare on the claim period of course it’s not going to get in on time (I’ve had this before – someone’s claim is due to expire in a few days, and suddenly the form appears, expecting it to be written on the spot. They then shout at me when I flat out say it’s going to take a week). Go take a running fucking jump.
Long story short, a form arrived whilst I was on holiday. The guy then rang up to ask if it had been sent the Monday I was back. Surprisingly it hadn’t, as I don’t take my work home, and having a week’s worth of stuff to catch up on – including another 10 forms to appear too. He then proceeded to shout at one of my nurses for a good 5 minutes whilst she tried to apologise. She was a little shaken, and lead to me having to do the form pretty much straight away to make sure he didn’t do that to anyone else again. It made me so angry he got his own way by being a dickhead. This just leads to me hating doing anything for him, and that little extra I may help out? It’s reserved for someone that may appreciate me.

Today’s moral of the story: Be nice to those who are there to help you. There’s no reason to be a cock – you may get what you want, but the result will only be on par, and for a little niceness you’ll both get a far better experience from it.

EEEeeeek I haven’t posted for nearly a month. Terribly sorry.

I have had a moderately busy time, weeks have been spent working away – summer means holidays which means less staff which is a pain in the bum. For instance last week I worked from opening until closing nearly every day (I should have been on 8-4 shifts, but due to how busy we were and a lack of an extra nurse I was working 8-8 far too often). Sigh. I think I may have mentioned it before, but I don’t mind having to work longer hours, but when it eats into any social plans I have, it gets me down.


Hmm, what else. I have been to the Pit a few times, that’s always going to be fun! I have been to a couple of BBQs – namely Drew and ITDans. Drews was pretty drunken, we somehow managed to “throw” Drew onto his garage roof, so Becca and I ended up cooking. The day after we dragged ourselves into Giraffe for brunch (yum) then wandered along the river to Dans for BBQ/dinner.

I have celebrated a number of birthdays. Steve’s earlier in the month – we went to the Borderline and danced the night away to Indie. Leanne held her annual Birthday picnic on Clapham Common, which is always amazing fun. I came first in a sack race and won a rosette and a plastic water gun for my troubles (quite funny, as I am the shortest person by far, yet manage to leap the fastest/furthest). I wandered up the road to Balhamish way to wish my neighbour Kaitlin a happy birthday in a really nice pub called The Avalon.

Some rugby has been watched too. The Stoop held part of the Premiership 7s tournament and so mum and I went along (as it is free with our season tickets). Quins came 2nd which isn’t too shabby, as they are through to the final.

No gigs since Glastonbury, which is slightly disturbing. Though, festival season is pretty hit and miss – bands either wait for their festival slots or put on last minute warm up shows. I have tickets to see Trio in August before Reading, much excitements!

WoW raiding has stepped up to heroic modes (basically its harder). We have also merged with another raiding group.

This week includes Sonisphere from Thursday, which I am very excited about. I haven’t tried a new festival in a while, so thought it was about time!

I think of little things I can write about on a whim (musings and suchlike, other than about my life), then I remember that I haven’t updated this thing in ages and it puts me off. So now I have some spare time on my hands (i.e waiting for an ICC10 PuG to start), I shall update and hopefully get on top of it before I bugger off to Glastonbury for the week and once again have things I want to write about.

Rome was lovely, I had a fantastic time. We mainly went for my cousin’s wedding which in itself was really nice – the ceremony was held at campa d’olo (please excuse spellings as I know they are probably offensively wrong) and was very quick (and understandably all in italian!). We had a toast in the venue’s cafe before getting back to a hotel right next to and overlooking the Spanish Steps.
The food was amaaazing. As was the wine – I definitely built a better appreciation for good wine the short time we were over there.
The rest of the trip was spent wandering around, viewing the sights (i.e Vattican/Trevi fountain/etc) and eating. As the whole family were staying in close vicinity it was good to be able to meet up with them, have a meal together and just bump into them in the street – seeing as my grandparents live in the countryside usually it was quite bizarre to see them so often. In a nice way.
Our apartment was neat too – we had the run of a very tall building which had 5 bedrooms several bathrooms, kitchen, living room, balcony and a hell of a lot of steps between each one. It was a workout!
I would love to go back to Rome again some point soon, I really enjoyed myself.

Umm, other significant points recently… I went to Becca’s on the Friday night after returning from Italy for a girly evening along with Tash and Sophie. Good times.

Was sent to see Beatsteaks on the Saturday for Planet Loud. I really like the band yet don’t own any of their music (apart from the track Summer which I lovelovelove). They are masses amount of fun and I don’t think I’ve been at a gig where the ratio of German people to others has been so high (seeing as the band are from Berlin). I saw Flatliners, and Supergrass at some point too. Flatliners have picked up a few more fans since we last saw them, their last gig at the Underworld had about 30 audience members, this time around there were considerably more. Supergrass’ last UK show was a blinder – they had formatted the set so that they played in chronological order – from most recent album to their oldest. This meant that the beginning of the gig wasn’t great, but by the end it was amazing – it’s funny realising how many songs one recognises.

Sunday was Rage Against the Machine day! I met Scott and Rob at the station, stood about drinking cans of alcamahol until deciding to venture into Finsbury Park. Drank more, ignored support bands, then danced like a spaz to Rage. Hella good. The end of the evening was a bit rubbish, had to leg it to Holloway Road as they shut Finsbury Park station due to crowds and then just literally rammed onto the last tube of the evening. No matter, made it home.

The past few weeks aside from gigs have been pretty rubbish to be honest, I have been stuck working late shifts since my week off and that means that I haven’t been able to go out a great deal, as I usually get stuck working overtime. I’d come home eat dinenr then have a few moments to myself before going to bed. I even missed badminton because of it, which is ridiculous. It really annoyed me at one point, but I guess I’m over it. I got a pay rise (not much, but it’s a start) which is nice.

Last Saturday I saw Green Day at Wembley Stadium. Frank Turner supported and the gig was massive amounts of fun. Met Scott’s sisters for the first time (which is handy seeing as I’m sharing a tent with them at Sonisphere and possibly Reading).

I’ve been going ot the Pit with Kat a lot recently too on a Saturday night and slowly started to integrate myself into the regulars. I bought myself a proper corset on a visit to Camden, and although hilariously hard to wear the first time(bending down is pretty much impossible, sitting down is questionable lol) I have got used to it. Shame there aren’t really many apropriate situations to wear it in.

Hmm not much else to mention as far as I can think. I should be prepping for Glastonbury right now (we leave tomorrow at 6.30am!!). I am looking forward to this week sooo much :).

I’m starting to slip again with posts, though I’d say it was a pretty legitimate reason. Namely I seem to have not been in the house much. Or if I am in, it’s pretty dull affair and I sit playing World of Warcraft. Wednesday evening of last week some workmates, some others and I went to the Hare and Hounds for their pub quiz. We won!!! Booyah. We may have had a little help from Mr G Oogle, but who doesn’t these days :p.

It was Ellen’s birthday on Saturday, and she had chosen a rather neat little bar right be Leicester Square to celebrate. It’s called the London Cocktail Club, on the pretense that the majority of your party have to be a member at the bar. Good idea, although there was no visible enforcement of this, I guess it gives them the authority to kick anyone out they think is causing trouble. The cocktails were tasty, though at £7 a go most people had a couple of them, then moved into the slightly cheaper beer. It was a fun night, saw a few people whom I’ve not spoken to in a while and generally had a good time.

After I had slaved my way through Sunday’s work, I joined a bunch of people (Rick, Kat, Bjorn, Gerald, and a bunch of people that I vaguely know through Kat/Demian) at Amelia’s house for a barbeque. Although the weather wasn’t great, by the time I got there the raid had disappeared and at least it was a tiny bit sunny. Ate drank, was merry, etc. There was a lack of chairs, so I had decided to sit on the floor (I tend to find myself doing that), and was soon joined by Gerald and Bjorn. It soon became the Kiddies Table (yunno, that small table of kids you usually find at any family gathering meal)- along with Kat we chatted absolute random bollocks – cartoons, Bjorn stuck rose thorns on his head, and general hilarious things that seemed funny at the time whilst drinking. There was a pause in conversation and we catch the other half of the party’s conversation, the particular highlight being: “so what do you think the impact of the economy will do when you head into business?” and promptly wet ourselves laughing.
People start to drift away and we decide to leave Amelia’s back yard, try to say goodbye to Kat, but end up sitting in the middle of the road on deck chairs drinking some more, getting quite a few bemused looks. I end up back a Rick and Gs, though a hour later we turn up outside Amelia’s house to watch her uncle on Come Dine With Me (awesome). He didn’t win, but still quite exciting – he was the bald chap called Nick if anyone watched it.
Once again I wander back to the boy’s flat where we continue drinking (into our 6th or so hour). Rick flakes out, goes to bed, and G and I are left chatting until we run out of booze – at this point it’s about 1am(?) and having work the next day after 10 hours of drinking going home seemed the best course of action.

Yesterday wasn’t fun. Still feeling the alcoholic effects, and the joy of being massively understaffed, plus not leaving the surgery for roughly 10 hours so no lunch (luckily I had a packet of crisps stashed in my locker) and then spending the majority of the day with the vets doing ops isn’t quite how I like my working day to pan out. I was grateful for dinner when I got home!

This week shall pan out as such: Badminton, Pub quiz (possibly), Curry, Tina’s birthday, Quins and seeing if I can enjoy the bank holiday somehow. Somewhere in between all that I have to do boring things like clean out my fish tank and Emo.

Thus we prove that the surgery can no longer be run by just having two nurses.

A couple of years ago, Brenda and I ran the surgery absolutely fine without a receptionist, when Rick and Donna had just left, leaving just us two and the vets – I look back and obviously there were times when it was a bit too busy to be comfortable, but it just meant a bit of overtime.

Kat has been away this week, and Hannah only works Wednesday-Friday which meant Louise and I had to run the place the beggining of the week. By run, I mean we have to be receptionist – answer phones/take payments/entertain clients when therye waiting and  nurse – clean/feed/treat everyone/help in surgery and also cleaner – make sure the place looks ok. This is near impossible to do right when you’re on your own for 4 hours in the morning or evening (two nurses have to cover 8am-7pm, so we overlap in the middle of the day). Granted the vets are here, and luckily Matt did pitch in help clean everyone but it’s a struggle. The place looks ok… but only OK. Everyone is fed and treated fine, but damn it’s been stressful.

I wish we could have a full time receptionist again. It would be so much help.

Venting. Over it now.

Yay for early weekend! However not yay for working Friday-Sunday. Monday shall be my only rest day. This won’t get in my way though – tonight I shall celebrate Ben’s birthday in a pub in London taaahn, tomorrow I shall see the Lawrence Arms at the Peel, and maybe the Pit on Saturday.