Due to a very busy personal life I have realised, well reminded by Kel, that I have neglected by blog of late. When I say ‘busy’, I mean planning a wedding and an injury Kel sustained at a very wet Scout camp in Ennerdale a few weeks ago, all are factors to a lack of walking and as a result, a lack of blogging.
However, I have been up to other stuff and thought I’d share something with you. An incident of note at work and it was quite a disappointing turn in my career, if not my life.
As anyone who knows me would tell you, I love my wildlife. I’m no David Attenborough by any stretch of the imagination, but I can hold my own when out and about when it comes to identifying certain animals. Plant life however I’m still learning and have to rely on Kel for most flower identification.
Anyway, a new role had been advertised and I couldn’t believe my eyes when it appeared on my computer screen whilst trawling the mountains of emails at work one evening, Wildlife Liaison Officer!!
I had a few weeks to research what the job would entail and what issues we had here in the very rural county of Durham. I came up with the main or common problems and put everything down on paper. I contacted various other agencies and sought advise and solutions that would assist me if I was lucky enough to get the role.
The day came for me to don my suit and nervously make my way to Headquarters to sit on the ‘interview’ couch near the personnel department. Now, in normal life I’m a very confident person. My job day to day requires a very robust approach to dealing with members of the public; a lesser person would fall at the first hurdle. But when it comes to interviewing, I seem to fold like a tissue and reduce to a sweating, stuttering mess.
I entered the tiny room and confronted three people who normally I would converse normally and have a bit of ‘craic’. Not today, they had my career in their hands and they knew it!
I did however have an ace up my sleeve, an ace which hopefully none of the other 6 applicants would have latched onto. I had concentrated on the fact this was in essence a new role, that means no one (in our Force, oops I mean Service) had sculptured its portfolio yet. So as I sat and waited for the usual “what can you bring to the role” and “what’s the main issue’s you’ll be dealing with” questions, I had an arsenal of answers telling, yes telling, these people how I was going to do the role.
Solutions cascaded from my ever growing confident mouth and I left the interviewees smiling and nodding. They couldn’t stop me chatting!
I left the room smiling but realising that there were still 6 others to take the seat and maybe, just maybe they will crush my impressive performance.
This was a Friday and I had to wait till Monday for the results and to whether I would be the new face of the Force, Christ again, I mean Service in the rural community.
Monday came and I was enjoying a rest day after working a busy weekend on nights. I received a phone call and my heart started beating heavily as I stared at the words ‘blocked’ on my iPhone. A friendly and excited voice answered my nervous “hello”.
The words “you’ve been successful” were absorbed with a mixture of 90% shock and 10% “hell yeah of course I’ve got it”.
I put the phone down and realised I was alone in the house as Kel had gone shopping with her mother. I text like I’d never text before to numerous recipients and received a collection of ‘well done’s ‘ and ‘you deserve it’s ‘.
Now, as in all agencies that work with the public there is a very strict vetting procedure and in my line of work and the slightest of mistake could come back and bite you in the arse at any time.
This was the time and my backside is now covered in teeth marks. A couple of days later I received a call telling me an incident that happened on FaceBook two and a half years ago has made me not suitable for the post of Wildlife Liaison Officer. I was gutted!!
The moral of this story is, and I have learnt, whatever you do now can affect your life years down the line. Unfortunately for me, I have a tendency to speak my mind and this tendency has come back with big shark teeth and I doubt if I’ll ever sit down again.
Years ago when I was in green, training staff and I too used a saying that I will use now and forever, it’s used when you have no idea of ‘how and what’ and just take things in life on the chin.
‘Character building’ !!!