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I submitted my application to the Local Authority (aka Council) about a week and half ago…and now I play the waiting game. I recently called their HR office and was told that they only shortlist candidates once a month and the next selection will not be for another month! And then interviews scheduled for a few weeks later. Ok, so it’s great that I have some dates to work with so I’m not waiting for the call to come in everyday, but I still was not happy to hear this. Waiting around for another month…I’m not sure I’m going be able to handle this…

I have been trying to keep myself busy, which at times, has not been easy…because let’s face it, keeping yourself busy costs $$$$. And there is only so much cleaning I can do (or want to do) in the house. I am looking at volunteering opportunities, and there are some great ones. The only catch is that the ones which are really interesting involve building relationships with clients. And I cannot, in good faith, volunteer and then leave after a few months. Many of them also require a criminal record check, or CRB or DBS, as it is referred to here. I do not have an issue with this except for the fact that this check will probably take some time to complete. I’ve inquired about various administrative opportunities that hopefully don’t require a check because I am available NOW to volunteer.

Many people will tell me that I should take advantage of this time because it’s “relaxing” and that I shouldn’t complain. I know they tell me this because their lives are so chaotic. I do think this is such an unfair statement. “Relaxing” was great at first, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to sit around and do nothing all day. I need to feel productive. I need to be financially independent. I need to feel mentally stimulated. I am only able to appreciate down time when it is balanced out with being busy.

I did, however, attend the 2 day Community Care Live Conference in London a few weeks ago. Not only was it exciting because it was free, it was also very exciting because I ventured into London on my own…figuring out how to take the train and the tube to the conference. It was my own little adventure and it felt so liberating! It was also a great opportunity to mingle with fellow social workers and gain an understanding of the current issues within social work. I spoke with a few recruitment agencies, some who said that I should not have a problem locating a social work job, given my experience. That was very encouraging to hear and made me think about applying to other Local Authorities just in case, as a backup. I also visited booths run by other Local Authorities who were also encouraging me to apply and that they would consider sponsorship for the right candidate. Now, of course, I have gotten follow up emails from the Recruitment Agencies asking to speak with me to “discuss further opportunities”. I sent my CV and contact information, but I have yet to receive a phone call. I guess I’m not really surprised.

I’ve never been to a conference where the networking tool was so technological. All of our ID badges had a code on it and so we were scanned every time we came back into the conference. And anytime one of the representatives at a stall wanted to enter you in their draw or access your email information, they just scanned your ID tag and voila! All done. But I guess I didn’t win any of the draws that they had!

So trying to stay positive…on a brighter note, I am looking forward to attending the Royal Ascot Horse Race this month. This is an event where woman have to wear one of those fancy hats or fascinators (I won’t wear one as hideous as Princess Beatrice did at Kate and Will’s wedding!). A fascinator is just a smaller headpiece placed on your head with a headband. I think this British hob-nobbery is pretty much as British as you can get and I am excited to dress up for it!

Also, on a side note, I still look both ways when crossing the street because I still think I’m going get run over if I don’t. And there have been many, many times where I have thought that there was a headless driver, or no driver, in the car in front because I forgot that the steering is on the right side. Actually, the other day, as I was about to get out of the passenger seat on the left side, I reached for the ignition as if I was going to take the keys out! It’s amazing the things we do automatically without thinking. Old habits die hard I guess.

I miss my car…sigh…