Apart from starting university full-time, I somehow managed to acquire and start The New Job (Competence and Compliance sounds kind of snazzy; however, having to deal with and assess the antonym of the former is one of the less glam parts of the job). The New Job was slightly unexpected and unplanned – unexpected, in that I did not count myself as getting shortlisted; unplanned, in that it was not something I had originally planned to apply for because I had my doubts about being shortlisted. But my existing skillset as an instructor meant that I met the criteria, and so (with a little encouragement) I threw my hat into the ring.
I told very few people that I had applied for The New Job, because I knew that amongst my peers (some of whom are much older and simply expect jobs/opportunities to be handed to them whenever they ask) there would be some change in their behaviour(s) towards me. Some had already taken to subversive forms of bullying by way of how our work was allocated; others were a bit more direct (but these ones don't last, as I'm just as direct back, and normally to an extent that causes the other party to back down and stay out of my way). Thankfully, some of the resident ageist/sexist/racist bullies had retired in the course of the six years I'd spent in my current workplace, but these vile characters were soon replaced by younger versions, desperate to lap up the protection afforded by the names of workplace bullies.
Boss Man always tried to maintain that I had a choice, but that perhaps I should really start to accept that I could be much more capable and useful if I would just believe in myself a little and apply myself. "Shit, or get off the pot," he would bark at me. He then gave me a choice to stay; he offered me flexible working to accommodate my university hours, but I felt that I had to accept The New Job out of respect for him, really.
It still feels weird moving away from what I know, and that I met a certain benchmark in order to get there. Either way, The New Job saw me walking away from The Old Place in a blaze of glory-come-firestorm, where my immediate managers could do very little in terms of anyone that happened to be in range of a massive work rant that challenged the current establishment of instructors. "Well... you were only saying what other people were thinking," said one manager. So why is it nobody has the balls to say these things?
It's probably just as well that I finally accepted The New Job; my new work colleagues seem to like my black and white view on "seniority" and "experience", as they are views that buck the trend and are actually backed up by two-years worth of academic and applied study within the industry. It does however mean I now have no less than three phones to answer and a work iPad Pro that I'm scared to use (because of the amount of work emails I now get, plus the various tasks I have to complete with it; I also have a remote access 'token', which allows me to load my work Windows desktop onto my Mac). The pay rise is nice, but it's not everything when you've the prospect of a massive student loan to pay off. I get to pick my own hours, provided all my work for that week gets done. I get to pick my own annual leave (so the first thing I did this year and next year was book Christmas week off, just to prove a point to some of the losers that used to give me grief in The Old Place, hence how I have time to sit down and write, outside of work and studying)... it's great that everything works so well with university too. Plus 99.9% of weekends off! But I can work weekends if I want to, and I probably will here and there to make things easier with uni as all my lectures are in the week.
New Boss Man is just like my Old Boss Man, so settling into the new office (when I have office days) has been fairly easy. Given some of the studying I did with regards to Railway Group Standards and ROGS, I've been able to apply some of that in professional discussions, so that was an unexpected bonus. I still get to drive trains now and again, only I'll be covering quite a number of other lines, so it's a lot of new knowledge to take in over a short space of time. And that's on top of all the new knowledge I have to take in whilst in the office, never mind uni!
As it goes, I'm still enjoying university and now that the first term is over, it's great to see what bits I've enjoyed so far (First Language Acquisition being one area; aphasia and language affected by brain trauma/injury being the other area). With the language aspect of my degree; I'm enjoying writing practice, especially the meanings behind kanji. Mental that I'll have to know something like 500 kanji by the end of next year in order to pass the first year of Japanese, but it's nice to be able to translate stuff for myself instead of using Google Translate or a crap website plugin. Now that my annual leave is more flexible, I'd planned for a few weeks here and there in Osaka, but as I'm involved in a massive project at work from next year, I thought I'd play things by ear. I spend a lot of my free time reading and writing in Japanese now in preparation for next year's exams (if only to practice speaking too; I'm often in JP Books in London, as it's so much less occupied by weebs and strange men than Japan Centre); some of my linguistics students are already considering placements on the JET Programme and I'm wondering if I should be doing the same.
2018 is going to be quite the year.