Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Tuesday 23 October 2012 M&S

Catherine has been at M&S two days now, on induction, and loves it. Everything is planned and orderly; you have defined responsibilities and work within the limits; there are procedures for handling everything from frozen foods to complaints; there are policies on bag re-use, recycling and avoidance of waste; even the black stock-issue trousers are designed with loops for clipping your name-tag to and a pen-sized pocket for carrying your pen. What Dave would see as over-regulation and the death of initiative, Catherine welcomes for its sense of security. The training is full and systematic; everything has been thought of. There is always someone to ask when you  need advice, and they're happy to be asked. They welcomed her as part of the team right from the start; everyone is friendly, whether aged 17 or 70; she likes everything from the security checks to the eco-friendly waste disposal system to being able to get a cup of tea from the breakfast bar on arrival; in other words, she fits in well and gains poise and confidence all the time.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Saturday 20 October 2012 Shapira

The film maker Yoram Sabo, Andrea his agent/facilitator, and his cameraman, another Yoram, arrived from London about 10.30am. I'd been prowling for an hour and a half, straightening pictures, wiping table, sweeping leaves, not to speak of the spring cleaning Catherine and I inflicted on the whole of downstairs yesterday (about time too; the worst was realising that if I were a proper housewife I'd be doing it every week). I tried very hard to pretend the camera wasn't there and concentrate on the conversation, but in many places self-consciousness won, leaving me as incoherent as I feared I would be. I wasn't prepared for the questions to turn to my book and my relationship with my father, nor to The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, and I didn't defend him nearly as well or clearly as I might.

But on the Shapira issue, it soon became clear that there is lots I - and JMA - didn't know about the man and his story, whereas Yoram is completely hooked on following up the leads, step by tiny step. Trouble is, they lead to more questions, not answers; eg where is he buried, and why don't we know - are his grandson Francois Perrault Harry, or his daughter Myriam Harry, hiding something?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Thursday 11 October 2012 CSV progress

Catherine's been to Birmingham for her CSV interview - at last, after applying in June and spending weeks fretting because she hadn't heard from them, except to be told each time she enquired that they would contact her in due course, ie fobbed off.

And now they say she's unlikely to get a placement until January. Despite this, she came back feeling a lot more positive, because now she can plan what else to do instead. The best idea seems to be to stop fretting over CSV until after Christmas and apply for a full-time short-term paid job, particularly with M&S, who are actually advertising for Christmas staff, and probably Debenham's, WHS or similar as well. Also, for the first time in 3 or 4 weeks she got through most of the day without feeling ill (we have now hit on food intolerance, as a possible cause of her chronic digestive problems, and need to check the idea out with a GP).

To update - she was offered the M&S job on the spot after a demanding interview - 29+ hours a week up to 5 January, which makes everything seem more positive.