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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:34 pm 
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I've held off mentioning this but I feel more comfortable now in letting you know my recent situation. Its long winded but bear with me.

As some of you know, i'm a registered gas engineer with 20years in the game. Back in April last year I made the decision to hand in my notice with my current employer (boiler manufacturer) and try my hand at chasing the money in London. Self employed status set up and landed a position with a company that is in direct competition with Pimlico plumbers, I was supplied a van, pda and whatever work they sent me.


Things got off to an ok start but I soon realised that to make any decent money ment I had to loose every moral I have and leave my conscience at home. So, approaching Christmas and after a deeply long chat with my wife we decided enough was enough. Landed an interview with a company that has a local social housing contract, got offered the job on the spot.


Started early January but I quickly realised it was a mistake. I was promised a senior/tech problem solver type role but it turned out to be just a basic breakdown engineers role like everyone else was. Issued 15-20 jobs per day, there is no way I was ever going to clear these while doing the job safely. Its also not possible to consistantly keep that kind of pace too.
Place my CV online again and very soon after I got a phonecall asking wether i'd be interested in going into the renewable energy sector as a domestic heating engineer. I mentioned it wasn't something I ever considered and have zero experience in that area. The conversation went very well and it was put to me that I didn't need any experience as full training and support is provided. I agreed to a full interview and was offered a position a few days after that.

Mid Fedruary and I attend my induction day where I was issued a brand spanking new Renault Traffic in gleaming black loaded with specialist equipment. The following day I was buddied up with another engineer before travelling to wales for a 2 day training course. Then things kinda went wrong, no further training was planned and whilst being buddied up a few days each week I ended up being the guy watching rather than getting my hands dirty and being coached. April comes and was called into a meeting with my boss who's less that impressed with my lack of knowledge. ''well I did say I knew nothing before you took me on'' I said. I then asked for proper training and for me to take the lead role and my 'buddy' to coach me.

Bombshell day
It was a beautifull sunny midmay morning and I had only 1 job to do. To change the heat transfer fluid to a solar thermal system (this takes around 3-4hrs) at a property near Brighton. I was flying solo that day to decided to absolutely nail this one. Job went perfectly and customer happy...job done!
Packed up and made the phonecall to the office where they said as its 3pm head on home to Kent.

M23, M25 dispatched, but midway along M26 my phone rings. I answer hands free and it was my boss, saying that the supervisors and himself is dissapointed in the lack of knowledge I have and is terminating my contract. Firstly I was shocked by this and second I was shocked as to when and how it was done, while driving at 60mph on a motorway approaching rush hour, now he could've waited till I got home at least.
Anyway, to cut this rather long story a bit shorter I binged on sending CV's online but no decent positions out there. Landed interviews with 2 boiler manufacturers, one of those agonised over choosing either me or another guy. After a 2 week wait I was told it was the other guy that got the job....Fiddle sticks!!


A radical a swift change in direction is now due! Spoke to another agency and was put forward for a subcontacting position for a major energy supplier, one of the big 6. Now having worked directly for them before I knew what I was getting myself into. Attended a technical test in July, passed easily but had to wait until Sept for my 8day induction/training. This provided plenty of time to get all my paperwork in order, oh and the small details like getting my own van etc.

This week i've now completed the induction and awaiting my 'go live' day sometime this month. Phew!


Its been a long 4 months without working but it has allowed for some serious family tiime and enjoying what has turned out to be an awsome summer weather wise even though financially it has been mega tough.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Good luck with the new venture Mark. Hopefully it all goes really well, but at least you know the devil you're getting into bed with :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Location: NETTLEHAM, LINCOLNSHIRE
Car Model: 99GL, Fiat 500 & Volvo V70
Hopefully your luck has changed, all the best with the new job.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm
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Location: Wigan, Lancashire
Car Model: 9000 Anni, 9-5s by the score
Sometimes you have to experience the "other options" to get a better view. I hope this setup puts you in a better financial position than you were last April when you first made a change. You also know much more of what's out there and there's some proper "baby wipes" out there and you'll know how to spot them better now.

And... you got some good family time. Not always easy to achieve while working and it's a rare situation when someone get's a few weeks with everyone never mind a few months.

Looks like it's Onward and Upwards. Well done

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:35 pm 
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You have my sympathies Mark. I know a bit of what you are on about.

My job is kinda specialised. I find leaks in mains water pipes. Even customer pipes. I draw the line in houses though! I do main to point of entry these days. I can't be doing crawling all around some gezzers house looking for a leak on the heating.

The leaks could be in the street/field/someones garden. Dunno. Not bovvered, I haven't forgotten how to find them!

There is a massive hole :D in leakage engineers at the moment. This is because a lot of the good ones have given it up.

This could be due to the way that we are treated whilst we are at work. Dunno. They are short of leakage bods in Cumbria, the Midlands and London. I know this! Probably everywhere inbetween! I'm guessing this bit. No matter!

I do know a lot of bods that have jumped ship from one firm or another because they have been promised all sorts of stuff when they were having the interviews. When they get to the new jobs, it all goes downhill from here.

I have given up interviews. I know what I can do. I know what I can bluff my way through doing. I've forgotten a lot of stuff!

I know what I won't do.

Good Luck for the future Mark. Don't get put off by old poison blokes like me! Just do your job. It should be enough!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Thank you for sharing your story. I know from the experience of family members how difficult times can be at the moment even if we have full employment. Getting the right job is not always easy. Well done on getting sorted, obviously been a turbulent year, 4 months not working can drain savings. Hope you get your start date soon and enjoy your new job.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:31 pm
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Location: Just outside of Wiganshire
Car Model: 9-3 Turbo X / 9-3 Convertible
Best of luck Mark, hope everything goes your way :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Sounds like one hell of a rolllercoaster ride Mark... Glad it's working out so far, good luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 6:41 pm
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Location: somerset
Car Model: 93 2007 Tid vert 93 2000 vert
The problem as I see it Mark is the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.
I'm in a similar position, leave a good job I've been in for 22 years @£35000 a year.
For a job at Hinkley point power station, could be on well over £50000, but its only for roughly 7 years.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Location: Wigan, Lancashire
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databar wrote:
The problem as I see it Mark is the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.
I'm in a similar position, leave a good job I've been in for 22 years @£35000 a year.
For a job at Hinkley point power station, could be on well over £50000, but its only for roughly 7 years.

But the reality of today's work-place is that jobs-for-life are few and far between and working for a major organisation is no guarantee that when the next lot of New Brooms turn up keen to make their mark that cuts are made and length of service is no protection.

Oddly I was pondering jobs and employment after an incident at work this week, call that an event as it wasn't that dramatic. Somebody has reported a bug in a web-based Stock Availability enquiry. The very young yoof who wrote the code has come to me. He's a good coder but has the nativity of yoof that it's not his part of the system. He's come to me because it "must be the original data". Ahh kids...

What he lacks to the nous and experience that come with age. He's no debugging skills either. So it'll be down to me to mentor him into being able to sort his own stuff out so that he can say "I've done x, y and z and the results show that it's the original data that is at fault". I know it isn't because I have examined the data that is "wrong" on the Web-side and it's only wrong on the web-side. It'll be a mix of things as always, probably the ancient network that hosts the data. I digress.

But, if/when the bean-counters take a look at our support systems and decide heads must go then it is unlikely that he would go as he's the .net specialist and every man and his dog swoons over .net. I on the other hand am not a .net specialist and am a dinosaur. Except the dino's are the fixer of broken code, printers, systems because they have done that in a time when you *had* to be able to do so. This is turning into a rantette. It's been an annoying week putting other people's fires out.

Back on track. It's probably better to take a job at £50k for a possible 7 years and put money aside and be mindful that in 7 years you *may* be looking for another job. I know contractors who've been at a place longer than any of the permies. It will enhance your CV, make your base-line salary £50k and broaden your experiences. On the other hand you could be made redundant from the 22 year job in December. maybe to make way for the next generation who are younger and cheaper.

(I am assuming no costly relocation costs.)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:21 pm 
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Re. DeeDub8

The problem is as you have pointed out is the young generation have no experience, in my industry, Joinery, there are no
young people coming though.The work is getting computerized but the manual skills
are lost. which means work for me.
A bit like Si if you have skills you will always in work, hopefully. :D
Of course nobody has a crystal ball, to know if it's a good job to go to
but you have to weigh up the pro's and con's of a move.
I'm 52 and 15 years to retire, so have to do a bit more to retire with good pension.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:46 pm
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Location: Mulbarton,Norfolk
Car Model: TTid's only now :-(
DeeDub8 wrote:
databar wrote:
The problem as I see it Mark is the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.
I'm in a similar position, leave a good job I've been in for 22 years @£35000 a year.
For a job at Hinkley point power station, could be on well over £50000, but its only for roughly 7 years.

But the reality of today's work-place is that jobs-for-life are few and far between and working for a major organisation is no guarantee that when the next lot of New Brooms turn up keen to make their mark that cuts are made and length of service is no protection.

Oddly I was pondering jobs and employment after an incident at work this week, call that an event as it wasn't that dramatic. Somebody has reported a bug in a web-based Stock Availability enquiry. The very young yoof who wrote the code has come to me. He's a good coder but has the nativity of yoof that it's not his part of the system. He's come to me because it "must be the original data". Ahh kids...

What he lacks to the nous and experience that come with age. He's no debugging skills either. So it'll be down to me to mentor him into being able to sort his own stuff out so that he can say "I've done x, y and z and the results show that it's the original data that is at fault". I know it isn't because I have examined the data that is "wrong" on the Web-side and it's only wrong on the web-side. It'll be a mix of things as always, probably the ancient network that hosts the data. I digress.

But, if/when the bean-counters take a look at our support systems and decide heads must go then it is unlikely that he would go as he's the .net specialist and every man and his dog swoons over .net. I on the other hand am not a .net specialist and am a dinosaur. Except the dino's are the fixer of broken code, printers, systems because they have done that in a time when you *had* to be able to do so. This is turning into a rantette. It's been an annoying week putting other people's fires out.

Back on track. It's probably better to take a job at £50k for a possible 7 years and put money aside and be mindful that in 7 years you *may* be looking for another job. I know contractors who've been at a place longer than any of the permies. It will enhance your CV, make your base-line salary £50k and broaden your experiences. On the other hand you could be made redundant from the 22 year job in December. maybe to make way for the next generation who are younger and cheaper.

(I am assuming no costly relocation costs.)


This sounds remarkable similar to me.

1988-1989 as a sandwich student, 1990-now as Permy. All at the same company.

Seem to be one of the few who can fix things 'odd'.

Swapped jobs around a bit this year, and just need to get to august 2023 before I can retire at 55.

Redundancy does look too bad either. used to be 4 weeks per year pay, but it's now only 2 weeks per year. 62 weeks pay partly tax free would help me along nicely in a couple of years though.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:15 pm 
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good luck chuck
and i bet you remember the time with your kids more than the few shiny things you would have bought with a few extra quid
good summer by chance
imagine how long it would of felt if it had rained everyday no fun

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:32 am 
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Location: Scottish Borders
Car Model: 03 95 Aero Wagon
A positive end to the last year which is good news. Time with the family, as others have said is absolutely priceless. I work PT from home which allows me to do school runs and be with the kids a lot which is perfect for all of us.

I wish you the best of luck with he new role.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:14 pm 
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I believe things happen for a reason. Best of luck.

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