Who Am I? Part Seventeen


This is the building on the Kembrey Park Industrial Estate (known as “Cherry Orchard”) where I worked for the utility company in the Corporate Accounts Dept.

1998 was a pretty good year. As the months went by I decided that I wanted to move on from the call centre and I watched the staff notice board closely to see what other vacancies came up. I saw a job advertised in Corporate Accounts and went for it. I was successful in my application, so after two years on the call centre I was on the move. It meant I would be working in a different building but on the same site. My feelings were that I wasn’t getting any younger, and having wasted my education and early working years, I decided that this was my last chance of building a career. I was now dealing with my own designated list of commercial customers. On the surface it seemed ideal, but some of the accounts were an absolute mess and of course, there were accounts that were in dispute. So, it wasn’t all plain sailing but it was better than having customers screaming in my ear.

I was settled in the flat and had a very close female friend, Maggie, who I spent a lot of time with. We’d been friends virtually since I started working full-time, and became very close during 1997. We went on holiday a few times together and in the summer of 1998 we became an item! There was 15 years between us, but Maggie was very mature for her age and we had some great times together.

Another change happened as the year was drawing to a close. Within the same office as the Corporate Accounts team there was the Key Accounts team. It was a very small team of two customer agents who looked after the biggest customers. These were the big corporations whose bills would be for hundreds of thousands of pounds, or even in excess of a million pounds. As well as the two customer agents there was three key account managers who were not office based. So, the agents would have their designated customer accounts to administer and the account managers would be on face-to-face terms with the customers “out in the field”, as they say. One of the agents was taking a team manager’s job and I was asked if I would like to take her place in key accounts. I agreed to move, but I only had to move a couple of feet as the girl I was replacing sat opposite me! Things appeared to be going swimmingly well. I had more stability within myself; and sinking into the depths of darkness seemed to be a thing of the past. The job might not have been the best paid in the world, but I was now earning more money than I’d ever earned in my life. I’d also developed a taste for red wine and Gorse Hill was a bachelor boy’s paradise with several supermarkets for buying my booze and a plethora of restaurants and fast food joints.

Me and Maggie had a good thing together but we were not joined at the hip. We would go for long country walks and meals, and during the time we’d known each other we visited the Lake District, Cornwall, Devon, the Peak District, Wales, Northumberland and the Isle of Wight to name just a few of the beautiful places our travels took us to. We both also liked our own space and sometimes we would not see each other for a week to ten days. Life was good and as we entered December 1998 I was given another opportunity. The manager of Corporate and Key Accounts approached me; I had only been in my new position for a couple of weeks, and he said that the industry was gong to go through drastic and exciting changes in the coming years. In line with these developments the organisation was forming a new Customer Marketing Division, which would be based in Reading. He said that I was under no obligation to move, however, the key account positions would be moving to Reading to form part of this new all-singing-all-dancing marketing division. He painted a rosy picture of sexy new jobs, with salaries to match, and gave me the impression that all else would be swept aside by this incredible tsunami of positive change that was going to engulf the industry. I was tempted, very tempted; and also excited, but commuting to Reading presented an obstacle. An 80 mile round trip every day! It would cost me a fortune in fuel.

A few days later I went to the spiritualist church and the medium came to me with a message. He said, “you are hesitating about something. You have been offered a golden opportunity”. I will never forget those words, “golden opportunity”. Had I known then exactly what that meant I might have declined the offer of the new position in Reading. But I was only thinking in worldly terms and on Monday morning I told the manager I was up for it. It’s a funny thing in life, that the soul’s definition of things is completely different to the human definition. As it happened it was a golden opportunity that I don’t regret, but it took me to a place of great pain first in order that I could free myself from the self-imposed shackles that had been holding me back for years.

It was agreed that the company would provide me with a rail warrant for the first six months. After that I would have to fend for myself, but I intended to use that six month period to nab one of the sexy new jobs that were being created. It all happened really quickly, two weeks before Christmas in 1998 I started the new job in Reading. The writing should have been on the wall from the off. Our Customer Services Director at the time, a lady called Jane May, took us all out for a celebration lunch to launch the new division. At that time there wasn’t that many of us, but the bill still came to £950, which was mainly for wine! Jane was a very nice lady who was always warm and friendly towards the staff, but soon after the official launch, she went off sick and we never saw her again. We were now into the early part of 1999. But I will finish with another little anecdote from the tail end of 1998.

I was still involved with the theatre productions put on by John Williams. Towards the end of 1998 he’d organised another night of theatre in Highworth. He gathered a group of actors together and we were to put on an extremely truncated production of Macbeth, to take place about two weeks before Christmas. John became the butt of the group’s jokes and it was obvious that the dynamic was not as it should be. To cut a long story short, the performance was absolutely awful, and it remains to this day the last time I ever set foot on a stage. I had made up my own batch of fake blood to use in the production, and in the dim light of the stage during the crucial moment, I’d managed to spill most of it onto the boards. On top of that the evening had ended with a distinctly icy atmosphere between John and the actors. He phoned me up a few days later; he wasn’t happy! He said he’d been given grief by the people who ran the community centre because of the fake blood all over the stage. He also expressed his general displeasure. A few months later I bumped into him in a supermarket in Swindon. There was no animosity between us, but it was the last time I ever saw him and my theatre days were over.

Soon my life would change forever!

PS See you when I get back from Nepal…

 

Just About Sums It Up…


???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I will be leaving for a working trip to Wales today and wanted to leave you with something special before I set off. I would like to be able to say that the following words came from within me; but if I did I would be a liar! I came across this fantastic piece of writing on a website called Pearls Of Wisdom – awakening personal and global consciousness. It truly is a wonderful piece of wisdom and just about sums up how I feel about religion and spirituality. I hope these words inspire you in the same way they inspired me:

For as far back as we can remember, religion has been a source of contention, being the cause of many wars and countless deaths and sufferenings in the name of God.  Most religions say that they are the only true religion and that all others are wrong.  This is a result of the false belief of separateness – separate from God and separate from each other and nature.  We are all a part of God because we exist.  God can be interpreted in many different ways.  Religions tend to teach that God is a separate entity, whilst other belief systems speak only of a ‘Creative Force’.

The notion that God is a separate external being, and that we are born ‘sinners’ who have to get back into the good graces of God (fear-based belief system to keep us in a powerless state), makes god a judgemental vengeful God.  Yet, God (the creative force) is no such thing. God is LOVE, and there is no judgement.  And the only ‘hell’ is the one we create for ourselves here on Earth.  There is NO one true religion, each religion has its truths and there are many paths we can choose to take that will lead us to God.  

We are ALL God, each of us.  We are of the same ‘stuff’ that God is made from.  Each a spark of the Divine Creative force (Love).  We are here to experience life in the form of matter.  We are all spiritual beings having an adventure, and we will all eventually return to the same place.  There is no judgement and there is no separateness.  Heaven and Hell are what we create for ourselves.  It is time now to have respect for each and every different religion or belief system, and allow each person his/her right to follow the path or belief system of their choice -without preaching at them or trying to convert them, or even killing those of a different belief system.

For the man who prays in his heart, the whole world is a church – Sylvain of Athos 

I will be back before you know it! In the meantime check out this fantastic website:

http://www.sapphyr.net/index.htm

Looked After In Every Way


I really do feel truly blessed.  I recently wrote about my physical-self being looked after in my post I will protect you like the eyelids protect the eyes.  Well it seems that even my possessions are looked after in the same way too.

I returned from my trip to Wales at some time after 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night.  As Monday was free I decided to make a lazy day of it.  At some stage during the late morning there was a knock at my door; it was my neighbour with a rather strange look on his face.  He was holding something in his hand that looked unbelievably familiar.  I noticed that it was my car keys, and as I began to wonder what they were doing in his hand, he explained that he had seen them dangling from the driver’s door of my car.  Oh!

Not only had I left my car unlocked in the street for the best part of 13 hours, but I had also left the keys in the door for all to see.  Needless to say, I thanked him profusely.  The thing is…… it wasn’t the first time I’ve done this.  Yes, I must confess that I’ve left my car unlocked with the keys in full view on no less than four occasions now, and this is the second time I’ve left it overnight with the keys dangling from the driver’s door.

I really don’t know why I am so lucky…. but I’m not complaining!