Going to see My Mum

Earlier this month it was announced that anyone working for at least 5 years where I work now gets an extra 3 days of holidays. And guess what, that applies to me!

I was super stoked about it. As you all know I do love going away and the more time off the better.

My mum had been talking to me recently saying how much she misses me and that she wants me to go back to live in Portugal. Moving back to Portugal is not on the cards at the moment so the next best thing would be to just go and see her.

When I was getting ready to go to work that week I thought I could just book a long weekend to go see my mum. Asked my boyfriend if he wouldn’t miss me too much. Checked the weekend with the cheapest flights. Asked my mum if she was free on those dates. Booked the time off from work and finally by 10am I had bought flights to Lisbon.

Luckily my new supervisor approves the time off quickly! Now I never miss out on the best flight prices due to waiting for time off to be approved.

Looking forward to some quality time with the family. My brother even volunteered to pick me up from the airport as my mum will be working on the day I arrive. It’ll be great to spend some time with him and his fiancée. Might even take some engagement shots of those two at some point as they got engaged last Christmas.

This time I am not taking my laptop with me. Just my camera so you guys will have to wait until I come back to get some visuals of my four days in Portugal.

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Starting over after Redundancy

It was 2012 when I found myself unemployed after being made redundant. Odd feeling not having a job to go to every day and not knowing when I would have one again.

With all the free time I now had I was not only looking for a new job but also meeting up with friends and spending quality time with my boyfriend. For the first time I claimed benefits. Thought I would do it since I had been paying taxes for a while. Thankfully I had savings as £71 a week is not a lot of money.

I was keen on a job vacancy I had seen a few times online. After a few years working far from home I was tired of spending too long on my commute to work. Therefore I thought I could try to find something a little more local. In the meantime I sent CVs to other places too. Just in case I did not get that one.

Went to a couple of interviews. One was a complete joke and the other one I didn’t get the job (it was an hour away anyway).

For the job I really wanted I had already done some tests at the recruitment agency and was waiting for an update. Once I got the call to say I was getting a phone interview the next day I was super happy and quickly prepared for it. The phone interview went well and I was invited for another interview in two days. Again it went well and I got offered the job on the same day.

Not even a month after my notice period had finished I got a new job! I was over the moon with that.

It was a new start. I was excited. Even if it meant taking calls again I was invested in starting over. I had the choice between the telecoms customer service and energy. Since I was going back to zero anyway I decided to get into a new industry. It was a lot to take in but I was happy.

Yes, it might sound scary to start over after you have a few years of experience in the same industry but if it feels right just do it. I don’t regret my decision and still enjoy working close to home.

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Redundancy

Redundancy came into my life years ago. Not long after I moved to London I found out what it was all about. Redundancy was not a common thing back in Portugal so I was not familiar with it.

The first few times I went through the process it was stressful and slightly scary but I managed to keep my job a few times. It became almost a routine thing. Having “yes or no” meetings became the new “normal”. Adapting to new job roles was becoming second nature. Not a big deal at all but seeing people go was still tough.

After many lucky escapes it was my turn to GO. I remember the call. It was on a Tuesday morning and I was home. Even though I expected to be made redundant at some point the call took me by surprise. Thankfully that call was made by someone I respect a lot which made the situation that little bit easier.

It was effective immediately! Picking up my stuff with security walking me through the office was far from a nice experience.

Once that was done I initiated the appeal process along with my best friend as she had also been made redundant. Usually companies are very careful about the redundancy process as there are some legal guidelines to follow to ensure the process is fair and clear to everyone involved. This time things were not done the right way so we appealed. Didn’t take us far but after all we did what we thought was the right thing to do.

Finally experiencing being “let go” was hard but it made me stronger.
Therefore I am thankful for it.

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Why Not?

I have done a few different things in my life when it comes to work. Different jobs in different industries and different countries.

The most rewarding experiences happened when I was in a position where I managed people. Managing people is not easy. You have your ups and downs. It can be a struggle at times, it can be tiring but it is definitely not boring. Also it pays off for all the struggles every time you get a thank you or see people happy around you.

You cannot imagine how amazing it feels to have someone you recruited, trained and managed a few years ago ask for your address so they can send you a thank you postcard for being their first mentor.

Even though I love doing it I made a conscious decision of staying away from such positions when I changed to a different industry. I wanted to focus on learning. I wanted to be a little selfish and focus on myself. Five years in I have learned a lot about the industry and about myself. For a moment I thought about getting back to managing people. I got excited with the possibility of doing it again.

Why not? You might be asking. I gave up on the idea because I know I would be super focused on the new role, it would consume all of my head space and I would have no time or energy left for this blog or for photography. For those reasons I have decided that now is not the time to make that move.

To everyone that encouraged me to apply for a team leader role, a big thank you for the vote of confidence. I really appreciate it.

I am super passionate about blogging and photography at the moment and don’t want to lose that just yet. Maybe you are thinking that this is silly. That I should try to step up at work. Maybe it is silly! Honestly I think it makes sense and I am following my “heart” on this one.

Another big thank you goes to everyone that has been complimenting or just asking questions about my photography work or my blog. I really enjoy talking with you guys about it.

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Work Christmas Party

This year the work Christmas party came early as we were also celebrating a big anniversary. The venue was new and oh so fancy this time! The Roundhouse in Camden!

The theme was the 1920’s and it was really nice to see so many people putting in the effort to dress up accordingly. There were props available as well to spice up the outfits. The room looked stunning. Food was delicious and the entertainment could not be faulted. Dancers, a live band, a good DJ and David dancing on the table.

Even the transport to the venue was in style with old double-decker buses. I missed that though as I chose to come home to get ready before heading to the party.

Leaving work early, being able to relax a little and get ready at home with my best friend was super nice. We got Uber to take us to the Roundhouse so we didn’t have to walk too much in heels or freeze to death outside. Temperatures dip below 0 that night.

At arrival we walked around a little to find a table. The room was packed already even though we were not that late this time. We sat down just in time for the big speech! It is quite cool to be part of a company that is growing so fast. We were only about 300 when I joined and now we’re past a thousand.

Once the speech was over we went to find the bar and doubled up on drinks not to be queuing all the time. I stayed on clear drinks only and it was a smart choice as I did not suffer much the next day.

We barely had to queue for food which was great as I was quite hungry by the time we got to go get some. The food was delicious. Belly satisfied we headed to the bar again.

The dance floor was on fire with the music pretty much on point as no one seemed to be bored (unlike in previous years).

As in true work Christmas party style the night didn’t go without some incidents. First, I had red wine poured all over my arm, yuck. That wasn’t major really. One wet wipe after I was good. Accidents happen.

But the weirdest thing happened to me this year. This random guy started dancing with me, which is fine but suddenly he got really close to me and bit my face! Not just a nibble but a proper bite, it hurt! I was in shock and just got myself out of there! Apparently I was not the only person he bit. If you don’t know how to behave you should stay at home.

We were chased out of the venue once the party was over. Even though it was very cold I stayed outside just chatting for a while. It’s good to catch up with people you don’t see every day.

I got Uber again to get back home. Luckily it was a nice Mercedes this time and not another Prius. I will really miss it if they stop operating in London. #saveUber

Thank you to everyone who organised the party. I had a really good time 🙂

Note: In case you were wondering, I picked the black dress for the party.

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Too Many Dresses

The party season is here! In my opinion way too soon this year. Picking up a dress is a major task for me. I am happy this get all dolled up situation is just a once a year affair. I am thankful for Asos though. It is a blessing not to have to try on dresses in super hot tiny changing rooms. Getting sweaty while trying to fit in a fancy dress is just not ideal. Yuck.

On the other side I have spent a ton of money to be able to try all the dresses at home. Too many dresses. But it’s fine as I will get it back soon enough. I lost count at how many dresses I have tried on so far for the work Christmas party this year.

I just can’t get over how convenient it is to get clothes delivered to you next day and how easy it is to return whatever you don’t like. No questions asked. Absolutely love it and I am not even that into clothes.

Two dresses are definitely keepers. Just need to figure out which one will be chosen to go out on this special occasion. Lets hope I can make my mind up before the party.

Which one do you guys prefer? Simple LBD (little black dress) or the one with the pattern? Leave a comment or let me know when you see me around 🙂

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Customer’s Responsabilities

As a customer you have the responsibility of not hurting someone who is just doing their job.

Unless someone has been clearly rude towards you I believe you have no right of mistreating someone just because your life is not going the way you want. Or because you have whatever issue with the brand that the person represents at the time.

Yes, you can be frustrated with a service or product. Yes, you should complain about it if you have a reason to do so. No, you should not disregard the feelings of the person that is there to help you.

I have done customer service for a few years. I am lucky enough to not be too sensitive about what customers “throw at me” but on a few occasions I let it get to me and it ruined my day.

Unfortunately not everyone has that “thick skin” that is so useful to work with customers. You might say that they should then get a different job but that is not always an option.

What if we all became better at respecting each other?
That would be so nice.

Also be a smart customer as from the second you disrespect someone their instinct will be to do the bare minimum to get rid of you quickly. If you treat someone well they are way more likely to go the extra mile to help you.

Personal story time:

Once upon time a customer took it to social media to rant about the company I represented. I would not have had an issue with it if my name was not included on the post.

The ironic thing was that I had been super helpful all along and was actually resolving it for her. There was no indication of dissatisfaction on our phone calls so I didn’t even see it coming. It goes to show how people can be so “brave” behind the screen but not actually able to speak out their concerns.

It took me a few days and a couple of attempts to actually get Twitter to remove the post. Time of my life I could have used to do better things, like watching Stranger Things.

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