It's what I was thinking, anyway.

Posted by September Blue Saturday, 24 January 2009 1 comments

After a long, long wait on the other side of a large desk, while people fetched people and those people fetched other people who thought that actually my paperwork had been left with the first set of people anyway, there were things to sign. One of them had the word 'Contract' at the top.

"Oh," said one of the last people, "we need to see your passport."
"But the letter you sent me said -"
"And we can't process this until you give us a P45, either. So when you bring those in we can go ahead."
"But you said - all right, listen. I don't have the passport which you specifically told me you wouldn't need to see until later, which I meant to bring it in anyway and forgot because yesterday was so hectic I didn't even have time to eat lunch before getting the train here last night, and I don't have a P45 yet for the same perfectly standard reason I told you five minutes ago was why I don't have a P45 yet which, by the way, you told me was absolutely fine, and I will get the passport, and I will bring that in, but already today I have to find my new office and meet my new colleagues for lunch and view two flats and try to get to the letting agents before someone else gets the one I want and try to convince my current letting agents that they won't be charging me rent until April, and I have to phone all these people and print off all these things and fill in so many forms, and I'm leaving four jobs I've been doing for years and a lot of people I like and a city I know to move to somewhere that is new and strange and different, and now you are refusing to process the paperwork because I can't give you one thing you already told me you didn't want to see just yet and one thing you know I can't get until March, and I am overwhelmed and exhausted and I have not stopped for days and days and days and now it's raining and my feet are soggy little lumps of melting ice. Please, please, just take the contract."
"Do you have an original birth certificate on you?"

No, HR, I do not have an original birth certificate on me.

Today, I go to put down a deposit on a flat I really really want. I will be bringing my passport.

| edit post

Come on, HR

Posted by September Blue Tuesday, 20 January 2009 2 comments

My new job starts very soon. I lack a contract. This is annoying.

I'm sure there will be a contract (I was only offered the job last week, and these things can take a while to get rolling at the best of times; plus, even in the darkest circles of academic gloom, I've never heard of someone being interviewed for a position for which the funding's already in place, offered the job, arranged start dates with, and then told 'You know what? Actually, no'), but there is not a contract right now. There's nothing on paper right now. And so, I'm handing in my notice at the library, telling my current department that I'm leaving and they'll need to find someone to cover my teaching, looking for a new place to live, and telling the letting agents that I'm ending my lease, all on the strength of a couple of phone calls. The time-frame doesn't allow much alternative to that, but I'm not loving it. Just a piece of paper, HR! Please!

All right.

Posted by September Blue Monday, 19 January 2009 6 comments

There's a short version and a long version of what I've been up to for the past few weeks. The short version is just a row of exclamation marks, so moving on to the longer one:

I got a job.

An academic job.

A real, live, those-things-still-exist? academic job.

It's a fixed-term postdoc position (scientists, bear with me, you're far from home and things are different here) working on a big and fascinating project. The work will be really interesting, the people seem lovely, the job pays about two and a half times as much as all my existing jobs put together, and I could go on, but I'm still so stunned that they actually wanted to hire me that it's difficult enough to stop the confused blinking long enough to even type this.

It starts really soon. I'm hoping the confused blinking will have stopped by then.

I don't want to go into too many details about the project here - it's an unusual project that would be fairly easy to identify if I did - or about the university where I'll be working, although I don't think it'll give much away to say that their HR department could possibly get things moving re: contracts in a more timely and efficient manner than it's doing at the moment. Because, really, unless I'm holding that contract, I'm still not going to believe this is true.