Day off, and what do I do?

Are you like me? You have a Monday booked off to enjoy a long weekend then promptly log into your workplace webmail to check what’s going on. Not once, not twice, but multiple times throughout the day.

It’s sad, really. But that’s exactly what I did today, and I answered one or two emails too. Ugh! Someone take my iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro and lock them away, clearly I am incapable of just stepping away for even a day.

Why is it I do this? Nothing was critical and urgently requiring my attention, yet I felt compelled to do so. No pressure by my employer for me to do so I might add, all my end.

Perhaps I need an app to block my access to these sites / apps for specified dates that once I enter lock out dates and/or periods I cannot get around it. Do these even exist? I’d probably need to stop myself uninstalling said app too LOL

Small steps I guess.

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Burning candles at both ends

As we neared end of the work year I grew more anxious for it to end and holidays to begin. It has been a year marked with losing another three family members, after losing three in 2016; the final loss in 2017, that of my little brother to suicide was certainly the most difficult to deal with.

I think also working full-time and then providing out-of-hours support to one of the schools has led to my burning the candle at both ends. Come November I was really starting to feel exhausted, plus this month was also my brother’s birthday – it was hitting home the fact I couldn’t text, call or email to celebrate his birthday, nor would we have a get together.

Physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted my end-of-year annual leave had finally arrived, three glorious weeks that would commence with our office Christmas party. It was great to have a nice sit down buffet meal at the nearby resort, we had a great time. Before leaving our Director handed out the staff awards, two joint awards nominated by Schools and then the award nominated by our staff, I was so surprised when my own name was called out.

Ironically this would be the only Christmas celebrations I’d get to partake in this year. The following afternoon I would get ill and not recover enough to attend our family’s early Christmas celebrations at Burswood’s Atrium restaurant. By mid-week I was starting to feel somewhat better and headed out to wrap up present buying.

I had been invited by my other brother to his place for Christmas and had purchased a few items to take on the day. One week after I’d gotten sick “WHAM!” I was struck with

stomach flu and Norovirus; I had never experienced diarrhoea as I did over this weekend, over 30 bouts causing me to get a little dehydrated despite trying to keep fluids up.

Sadly, I was again nowhere near well enough come Christmas Day to join, instead was sleeping or laying on the couch. I honestly wonder what part my being exhausted contributed to being ill and missing family events, or was it just bad luck? At least in 2018 the level of out-of-hours I’ll work will be reduced, so hopefully I will not find myself in the same boat. I look forward to a better 2018, preferably death free as I’ve had my fill of that frankly. Good riddance 2017!

What a week

It has been a busy week in this party of one.

Last week I was told I would be working on refreshing the Research Ethics manuals that are currently under review. My part involves redesigning and making these manuals look fresh, they’ve licensed similar manuals from another university and wanted to use these as a basis for improving our own. The source documents are particularly wordy, especially the comment insert boxes which I think are over-the-top wordy. I sent through an initial design for the first document on day one just hoping for some feedback, little did I expect glowing feedback and no requests for changes, does this ever happen?

The most challenging issue I have with these documents, apparently there will be 46 in total, is that they will all interlink, and will be PDF’d. I did an initial test after creating the second document the following day, queue alarm bells, it just didn’t work within Microsoft Word, the links were trying to call the word documents and in specific locations. Perhaps it is my lack of knowledge within this area, I don’t typically need to do such things. Another annoyance was how the footer was behaving, on some pages text would but up against, on others there would be a decent gap, it was bugging me on so many levels.

I decided today I would move to InDesign and see how this application handled interlinking, I knew for sure I was not going to have the footer issues. It took me hours to get my document in, build the hyperlinks up, and get the commentary boxes in place; it is certainly nowhere near as fast to get the document to the same state as it was in Word, but the look is far better for the extra effort. I now need to prepare the second document to allow me to check linking between the two and InDesign performs – CROSSING FINGERS!

I met this afternoon with representatives of our IT department to discuss process mapping I’d been working on recently within our department. I’ve worked within Visio for a few years, however I’ve always done so without any formal training, they will be training me to work to their formal EPC specifications and storing the diagrams within their server. All is still created within Visio, however to a formal structure with naming conventions to maintain consistency across diagrams. Some of the diagrams we have outside of their system are highly detailed and difficult to read when scaled to fit an A3 page, I noticed they mentioned breaking down but it will be interesting to see how they go about this – will be appreciated by all the ability to read once more.

Been a bit of tiring week too, worked a 14 hour day Wednesday between work, then working at home for one of the schools on their website… utterly exhausted after that one, slept like a log. I am grateful for the weekend now and chance of a sleep-in. Thank heavens is winter and sun not rising early right now! Enjoy the weekend, I shall, not raining – woot!