Train Stories – Working From Hone?

Beep  .. 

Morning ..

Morning …

Beep .. Who’s there ..

It’s David .. Andy

Sorry is that David?

Yes I’m here

Who else is ..

Beep .. Its Colin

Hi Colin

Beep .. Good morning Trish here .. Is there anybody there?

Hi Trish,  it’s Colin,  we have David, Andy and ..

Hi Trish,   its And..

Beep .. Hi John here,

Hi John …

Beep ..

The last day of week one in this bank I”m working at .. My team are largely working from home as they do on Fridays.

Unfortunately I can’t do that as I don’t yet have my remote access SecureIID through yet.


The office abnd the building in general is pretty empty ..huge offices,  thousands of people and most aren’t in.

Sitting here in the office,  on our usual 9:30 call,  the first 5 minues wasted by people ot dialing in on time then going over the pleasantries and the stuff they missed.

Working from home is such a bonus,   particularly on a Friday and a long lie after a long week.

Followed by an early start after the weekend as no travelling .. 

And if you’re really clever,  you batter in and get your work done then more or less have Friday off.

Well that’s my plan!    🙂

This clip sums up a typical conference call perfectly.

The sun’s in the sky …

My last day of freedom ..  Back to work in Edinburgh on Monday.

Been a great few weeks of sunshine, holidays,  hillwalking, pretending that I’m training but mainly sitting in the garden while I wait on the security clearance.

They say that the weathers going to break this weekend,  so today I’m getting the roof down on the car,  heading north and climbing a mountain.

Just cos it’s there.

Nothing too strenuous …   Got some dancing to do at a 50th later.

It’s Friday and I’m feeling good!

Feel good tunes

Music from the blog

The sun’s in the sky .. You know how I feel …




Train Stories – Ginger?

Have you ever been sitting there minding your own business and someone just stares at you constantly?

The 1753 from Ednburgh Haymarket heading back to Glasgow and he was on when I boarded. 

I noticed him as I walked from the front of the carriage towards the back to find an empty seat.

There was no eye contact.   

He’s sitting on the opposite aisle seat about 3 rows back. 

I’m facing backwards,  typing into my phone. He’s facing forward looking right at me. 

I’d started putting together a poem,  a humorous piece of romantic nonsense about all the things you hate about your partner but you’d miss if she was gone. 

Those irritating phrases she uses, the lack of urgency when you’re in a hurry,  her hair blocking the shower and you cleaning it out cod she doesn’t like doing that. 

You know the kind of thing. 

You may have noticed that I never mentioned the old toilet seat cliche?   I mean does any woman or man actually find that annoying when the seat is up or down?


Just put it down or lift it up and get on with your very fortunate life and consider yourself lucky that it’s the only thing you’ve got to waste time moaning about!

Now as I write this I can feel his stare. 

Over the course of writing this I’ve looked up 3 times and our eyes have met. 

On the third occasion he was already staring when I looked up so I maintained contact for a moment. 

At this point, the social convention is that the person caught looking at someone else turns away.  

If they don’t and the person being observed holds their eye for a moment It’s a challenge … A silent who-the-fuck-are-you-looking-at?

The polite thing is to look away and avoid the confrontation. 

But not this guy. 

He held my eyes until I looked away. 

I looked up again a few seconds letter to see if he had relented and turned his focus elsewhere but he was still staring. 

That’s just weird. 

He’s about 50,  light gingery grey hair about 3 inches long hanging to his eyebrows and a grey beard.  His face is postmarked and unshaven. He looks ruddy skinned as if he has spend a lot of time in the sun or in a bar. 

He looks dated,  his hairstyle is dated, his tan jacket looks as if it’s seen better days.  He’s wearing jeans black motorcycle boots. 

Just thought I’d give you that description officer in case he gets off at my stop and I’m never seen again!  

He’s still staring .. Seriously. 

I am not joking. 

I laughed a little as I wrote that about the police officer and looked up for a moment and he is focussed on me  

Should I walk over and ask him what he wants?  If he has a problem?  Or leave it be?

Why is he staring anyway?

The only other time I’ve ever felt threatened by another guys stare was when I was in a gay bar in Glasgow with a friend of mine and her gay friends. 

These two guys were staring constantly and I felt like a piece of meat!!

I wondered if that’s how it is for girls when guys are staring at them in a bar?

Then one of the guys came over and started a conversation with me .. I was polite but couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

That was the no-kidding point and I was swimming in the wrong pool.   

Exit stage left pronto. 

When I met my friend the following week she laughed and said  that I should take it as a compliment as at least someone found me attractive. 

Should I take this as a compliment too?

I don’t think so. 

This is weird and making me a little anxious, even the big transvestite guy doesn’t stare like this. 

The old flight or fight reaction is starting to kick in,  I can feel the adrenaline surge and I’m not about to run from anyone. 

Bring it on Ginger. 


ps for the record this is true and happening as we speak. The train is currently at Shotts and the guy is still staring. 

I’m getting angrier by the minute. 

The Work Life Balance .. A guilty confession!

Dilemma Time ..

I’ve been on this contract in Edinburgh for almost 6 months with an expiry date in 2 weeks’ time.

I actually quite like the work, but the management regime leads quite a lot to be desired.

The place is full of graduates with a few more experienced heads ( like me!   🙂  ) to keep things ticking along.

The management here like graduates, because they come cheap,  their keen and are easily moulded.

In contrast, they view contractors as expensive resources that they would rather do without.

It’s about attitude, the grads will just say yes and will work all the hours extra for no pay. ..  but if I don’t like something I tell it as it is .. in as diplomatic terms as possible .. even if that makes me unpopular .. then I do my work and go home and sleep without giving a shit.

But I get the job done. 3 separate pieces of work here with different banks all in and running.  The proof is in the proverbial.

Now they’ve started to hint about offering a contract extensions.

No actual extension offered as yet, more a chat asking if I would be interested.

Contract negotiations are often a case of .. who blinks first  ..

If you want to talk it up and improve the deal,  then don’t make it obvious that you are interested or they will play it hard-ball.

Of course the answer was yes .. always tell them what they want to hear in the early stages of negotiation .. let’s see what they come back with.

But now the dilemma starts .. do I want this job?

Do I need it?

I’ve made enough money that I don’t need the hassle, but as a working class boy with a sensible head, it’s hard for me to leave a well-paying job when I don’t have anything else set up yet and I have 3 kids and a decent social life burning it at the other end.

Then there’s the travelling time .. add on 3 hours travelling from Glasgow to a 9 hour day and what do you get?

Too long a day.

Remember this is work, it’s not life, you need to keep it in context and when work starts impacting on your real life then you have to change it .. right?

C’mon .. go with me here .. I need to change it.

What I really should do is get my CV updated and get it out there.

What I really want to do is have a holiday and lie on a beach!

You know what would be perfect .. finishing here in 2 weeks time .. having a week on the beach and then starting a new contract back in Glasgow.

I’ve just heard the following song Mirror Man by Ella Henderson on Radio2 .. she really is a talent .. and gorgeous too!

I had a look at her tour dates and she’s due to play Glasgow with Take That soon …

Oh dear, I have a bit of a guilty confession ..

I like a few Take That songs and often play them on piano .. . A Million Love Songs, Back For Good, Could It Be Magic.

But would I really want to embarrass myself by being in a concert full of screaming women out to enjoy themselves on a Saturday night?

Too right baby!