Sunday, 14 March 2010

In theory...

Recently I exchanged a number of emails with my supervisor and the Human Resources person where I work, which resulted in a deeply philosophical conundrum.

The background to this is that I am leaving in June as I don't want to renew my contract here, but have accrued 16 days of leave that I am due.

First, I wanted to know what would happen about that leave I'm owed.

Instant and very clear answer from HR. I will be paid in lieu. Great.

Next I wanted to know if I could take a single day of that leave during the semester. There is one working day coming up when (for that day only) I have no teaching. I also won't be required for exams or for marking sessions. Could I take that single day off?

The HR person said "Certainly, if your supervisor approves it."

The Supervisor said "It's unprecendented and it can't be done."

I said "OK, but HR seem to think differently."

Supervisor replied "HR was talking theoretically about institution policy. Honestly I've asked "higher" and "higher" says it can't be permitted."

I thought of emailing Supe to elucidate the difference between a theoretical policy of yes which always in practice comes in as a no, and an actual and admitted policy of no... but I decided not to.

Just as well.

I'm pretty sure Supe doesn't see there is one.

(It occurs to me to hope that the payment in lieu will not merely be a theoretical one...)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

A roof over my head

Been very quiet for a while. Partly work and then holiday in England, during which I was offline for a massive 12 days (and saw the sun once, for half of a morning). Then back at work and job hunting - ah dear. I may just have possibly ever so very slightly mistimed my resignation, as the job market is pretty poor at the moment in my target areas and lots of people I would like to work for not hiring. Hey ho... Will be attending the job fair at TESOL Arabia next weekend and hope there will be a couple of possibles.
In the meantime, work on the tiny hovel in England has restarted and moved into phase ... what is it now? Phase 97? 324? I've lost track. Anyway, after the stripping of the carpets and the cleaning which was more like archaology, and tearing out the hideous fireplace, and putting in the woodburner, and new windows, and new doors, and a new boiler, and central heating, and underpinning the walls... we're now getting a new swing-a-rat kitchen and swing-an-undersized gerbil bathroom, yippee yiy yay!
Naturally as things get replaced or improved new defects occur - I was alarmed by a leaky roof blackened with mould, and news that the roof over the bathroom (a flat roof cobbled together in the 80s) was in a bad way. So we're getting a sedum roof put in (aka a living roof or a green roof), which I've thought was a great idea ever since I heard of them. Basically the roof is planted with a dense carpet of small plants that don't need that much care, so that instead of yet more tarmac - bad for runoff and flooding - there is at least something busy photosynthesising away. It won't reverse global warming, but it is quite a nice thing. Pity I can't grow veg on it (not strong enough for any depth of soil - the roof I mean, not me) as our garden space is the size of a tablecloth.
So it looks likely that come July I'll be back in the UK and jobhunting at a bad time, but I will have a niceish house to do it in. Count blessings... ONE.