Settling In

A daily routine develops as one proceeds through the daily requirements of life. The morning comes quickly as the night settles in. It has only been a couple of days but the pattern is easy to foresee. The requirements and necessities are there for me to see and adjust for. 

For example, getting to work in the morning. I have a choice in how I am to get there. Either I get the 0655 or 0659 train that will get me to work in time to start at 0830. The next train times are at 0754 or 0759! I wouldn’t be able to get there in time for 0830 if I got either of those. Why is there no other train halfway in between? This is part of the charm of the British rail system. Getting there for that time necessitates a certain wake up time and a certain go to sleep time. My life revolves around this time now. 

The housing that this hospital has for its employees on site is full at the moment is full. It explains why I had to be placed so far away and why I have to travel such a far distance to work. By talking to some of my new colleagues I found out this information. They are a nice bunch of people so at least I am greatful for that. They inquired on my behalf about the housing situation and sent me a form to fill out in order to be placed on the waiting list. 

Work begins daily with a little bit of QA. This is standard practice in any Nuc Med department. This is to ensure that the system is running within operational limits and that the images that are acquired are accurate. This can be an elegantly quick procedure or it can spell disaster for the day. At least one can figure this out in the morning and not later in the day but that is not guaranteed with the system we are using. I’ve already had one instance where there was an issue with acquisition. It wouldn’t go from SPECT to CT in the way it was supposed to and we had to abandon the CT. Fortunately the solution was to delete some of the excessive data that was stored on the camera and I ran a dummy acquisition to test that the system was working. The subsequent acquisition worked fine and we ended up with a great result for the patient. The spacing for each examination is generous thus there was enough time to finish the rest of the slate. 

That’s the thing that I noticed here the fact that there is plenty of time to get everything done. Not to say that there isn’t plenty of work there is sort of but there are plenty of bodies to ensure that the tests run smoothly within the eight hour day. At the beginning of the week I’ve felt myself to be tired and some of this may be due to the fact that my sleeping pattern hasn’t adjusted yet to the new schedule and the time shift. Towards the end of the week I started to feel a bit better with a bit more energy and motivation. 

At work I’ve begun to get to know my colleagues better and I’m becoming integrated into their system. Many of the things that need to be done won’t be shown to me directly so I’ve taken it upon myself to be pro active about figuring things out. I am supposed to be a professional so I’ll act and perform like one. My colleagues especially the senior ones are good at their jobs. They understand the system and like to be efficient with their work. This aligns with how I like to work. This job I’ve mentioned to them requires personalities that are compatible with each other because of how much time is spent together. They have a sense of humor so it should be alright going forward. From what I gather the contract will take me until August giving me plenty of time to formulate my next move. 

After the job is done for the day I wait for da bus to take me to the station. It should come around every ten minutes but on a couple of occasions this week it didn’t. The queue was quite long on one of the days. Everyone’s eyes were fixed at the bend where the bus maneuvers into a bus stop half a block away. We were picturing it coming around that bend and examining the reaction of those standing at the other bus stop for clues to its approach. It’s a fairly quick ride through the city. I’ll eventually start walking to the station after work. I should be able to get there before the 1728 train back to Stafford. 

The train ride is about twenty minutes depending on the service. It’s important for the trains to be running on time and when they don’t it’s chaos. For example on Friday the 1728 was “diverted” away from the station by one of the operators. Privatizing the services caused a breakdown in communication between the different operators of which there are three that pass through the station. There is a central body coordinating all of the operators but there is always confusion. Maybe it’s the people too. They had busses in place to carry people to Stafford and there was a rush to get on. I was one of them but I never got onto that bus. Frankly I don’t really like long distance busses and I wondered if there was another train that went to Stafford. There was! And it was in fifteen minutes! The platform was packed with passengers and when the train pulled in there was a rush to get on. There is often a rush to get to the train platform. There is a schedule to maintain but that doesn’t mean that it is kept as evidenced by reports in the papers bemoaning the state of the service. There is a randomness to my commuting woes but that is okay. There is no need to panic when something doesn’t go right. 

Once in Stafford I either go to one of the super shops or eat out somewhere. I’ll be eating from the super shops more often than not. There is a wide selection there and the food is cheaper. I’m living out here in this neck of the woods for a reason and that is to conserve funds and become free of my debt burden. Once at my flat I eat and relax for a bit. Thanks to the power of technology I’ve also had some conversations over the interwebs. There is wifi available to me at the flat but I can only have one device connected at a time. The service also disconnects or throttles sporadically causing issues when communicating or surfing. 

Friday night after getting back from work and having my meal I decided to go to one of the super shops to get myself a sleeping bag. When I was there last I noticed that for ten quid I can get one. It’s nothing fancy but I feel chilly in my room in the mornings. The bedding provided is inadequate to keep me sufficiently warm. There was just enough time to make it there and back before having a video chat with Barbs. It also allowed me to put my washing into machine in time for it to finish before bedtime. On Saturday I need to go to London to finish off my mandatory training. It’s an early rise. Anyways after getting back and setting up the laptop I had just a few minutes to make myself a cuppa tea. As I exited the room I felt the door shut behind me. I’ve been airing out my room since the laundry is hanging in there and a draft pulled the door shut. Damn it! I felt my pockets and realized I had no keys. I’m locked out again. I told Barbs five minutes and now I’m locked out. Luckily I had my phone and I frantically searched for the number to call in this situation. If you lock yourself out between the hours of 0800-1600 go to the Accomodation office and speak with the manager. Otherwise call switchboard and get one of the maintenance people to open up the door. There may be a charge. The number to switchboard was not provided. How the hell am I supposed to call them to let me in? I searched online and found a number and tried it out. After listening to the menu I held on for switchboard and got patched through to the right person. They would be here to open the door for me shortly. In the meantime I called Barbs and she laughed as I explained my predicament. At that particular point in time she needed a good laugh as her school was causing her some grief. The politicization of certain issues leads to laws that are based on slanted ideology and not harm reduction. I admire her passion. It was nice to see her but we had to cut our convo shore due to her being on lunch and me getting up early. 

Settling in is a process that is constantly evolving. There are adjustments that continually change the relationship between the environment and myself in order to achieve comfort in an efficient and economical manner. 

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