There are two ways that I could approach this article. I could easily say that I am just doing this to be fashionably late with me looking at my 2018, almost whilst saying “doing a year review within the year is so last year”, or I could be honest and say I am just a terrible procrastinator and have been meaning to do this for the next year
So, as usual, I start with a song…..
So yeah, let’s start with the year just gone….
So 2018 was a mixed bag really, so I think it’s easier to start with the biggest thing that happened in the first few months of the year…..me leaving Odeon. Now before I begin, I must clarify that this isn’t an anti-Odeon post at all. I still love the company, and I have a lot of friends that still work for them, but I’ve just needed to say this for far too long.
Now this is something that I have hinted at a few times and I have been debating whether to ever actually talk about it as it would realistically mean that I would never be employed by them again. However, one thing I’ve decided to do in 2019 is be less concerned with the past. So before I say specifically what happened, I should say that all of this is just from my perspective, I’m not going to mention anyone by name in a negative sense, but those who were nearby at the time will know exactly who I am on about. Third party people might have a different opinion/perspective, but this is mine.
So basically in 2017 I transferred to an Odeon in the south west of the country. I won’t specifically say where, but the ultimate aim was to get the skills I wasn’t attaining from working at the cinema I had previously been in in Greenwich. Working in a smaller cinema would allow me more opportunities to do this than in Greenwich’s 18 screen beast. All started out relatively well, but soon the relationship between myself and the General Manager took a nose dive. It got to the point where I raised an official complaint against him, and out of the four supervisors (his immediately sub-ordinates) he had (including myself), three of us officially complained about him. His response was to sit me down and we chatted about our differences and I thought that would be the end of it. He didn’t.
He put me in an impossible situation by putting me on a Performance Improvement Plan with goals such as “Have a better relationship with the team” (which I have checked with a person with legal training) isn’t actually legally enforceable as you can’t get rid of someone because the team don’t like them), but the problem is that he constantly changed the goals and targets, making it impossible to pass. For example, at the end of month two he said he was going to extend it to the final month because I hadn’t done something that is expected of supervisors, which would be fine in theory……but he wasn’t making sure the other supervisors weren’t doing it either. I got proof of this in the form of all of the paperwork and for the other supervisors (now five others due to two internal promotions) all to sign that this person had never actually spoken to them about said issue, yet the General Manager wasn’t interested and even said I shouldn’t be bringing other supervisors into it. The irony of the situation being that on the shift that he had managed on his own, he hadn’t done this specific thing either. I argued that he couldn’t legally or ethically hold me to a different standard to other people in the same role, meaning that he either had to punish us all, or none of us could be punished. He didn’t care.
It got to the point where in February I was offered a new role and was seriously thinking about taking it. I didn’t want to leave Odeon, especially for something I wasn’t even remotely passionate about, but this General Manager bullied me out of the company.
Later on that same month, I also quit working for Wetherspoons. They had, on six or seven occasions in the space of eight months, failed to pay me for shifts that I had done. I only usually did one shift a week so it was pretty easy to see when I hadn’t been paid. Every single time they said it would be sorted and yet that would take weeks. On the sixth or seventh occasion I specifically said that if it happened once more then I simply wouldn’t turn up to shifts. Why should I work shifts you’re not going to pay me for?
Anyway, on a Saturday soon after I left Odeon I was shifted on for a Saturday 8-4 (I think) shift, but I had given myself food poisoning a few days earlier. I still went in as I don’t like to let people down, but I was sent home after an hour as, to quote the manager, I “looked like death”. Skip forward six days and I hadn’t been paid. Admittedly it was only one hour, but that’s still one hour (that I still never actually got paid for).
At this point I thought “fuck this” and purposefully didn’t turn up to my next shift. I got an email a few days later saying I was required to attend a hearing for no-showing a shift. The email on the right is what I sent in response. They didn’t respond, but I instead got a “we hear you’re leaving” email.
I quickly moved back to Lincoln and ended up working on a contract for a company in Worksop. It was so mind-numbingly dull, but thankfully it kept me in employment whilst I was looking for something I wanted to do, and I ended up getting recruited by Empire Cinemas, but would need to honour my contract in Worksop first.
At this point I know that I only have a few months left on my reference from my doctor to change gender. This wasn’t a case where I could simply go and get another reference from him because he had decided to retire, and if I didn’t have it done by the end of November then I would basically have to start from scratch. To do this I would need to get the money together (the op comes to just below £14,000) and lose the weight. I applied for a loan for the op and amazingly got accepted, which I was astonished by.
So I start at Empire and have four months to lose around 35 pounds, which takes me a lot less time than I had anticipated. Infact, I had got down to the required weight by early September, but surprisingly not only kept it off, but lost even more.
I had my surgery on October 11th. I’ve already covered it on here several times, so to read about it click here.
Since then I have been signed off from work and have been bored out of my mind for the most part. My sick leave officially ended yesterday, although I don’t return to work until Sunday as my two days off this week were given as Friday and Saturday, which is nice.
2019 – Hopes for the New Year
First of all, once I get back in the swing of things I’m going to the gym again. Because I have not been allowed to exercise I have put weight back on. I went into hospital weighing around 14 stone 4, give or take, and came out weighing 13 stone 13, I weighed myself the other day and I was 15 stone 4.5. Considering I’ve not been allowed to exercise, I’m actually really pleased with that. I’m certainly going to take it a bit easier than I did when I was actively trying to get down to surgery weight, but I hope to be 13 stone by the end of the year, which is a loss of 32 pounds. If I can lose 35 pounds in three months, I can certainly lose 32 in twelve.
I had a holiday to America, specifically Boston and New York for two weeks, in February, with activities planned such as going to watch an ice hockey game at all of the local teams (Bruins, Islanders, Rangers and Devils), but unfortunately due to my surgery and subsequent infection, forcing me to be signed off sick, I will be unable to afford it. Fortunately I hadn’t yet paid for anything other than plane seats, but even then, I am gutted that I can’t go.
However, I will aim to go to America at some point late in the year. I’m thinking October sort of time because at that point the NHL season will have started again, and I even got a retweet/comment from my team (the Flames) when I responded to their “what are your plans for 2019” tweet. I’m going to wait until the fixture for the next NHL season get released and go from there, and even if I haven’t to delay it until 2020, I will go at some point.
Other than that I haven’t really got that many hopes for 2019. I definitely, as mentioned above, want to move beyond my past. Now that I’ve said my piece about how I left Odeon, I feel a lot better and now I can finally move on. I have no idea what the next year will bring.
I want to end the year by living closer to Lincoln than I do currently. Empire are due to open a new cinema in Peterborough at some point, so hopefully I will be able to get a transfer there, or alternatively I wouldn’t mind going to the one in Wigan either. I’d previously lived in Wigan and it’s not bad in terms of location. It’s not too far from the hockey in Blackburn, it’s on a west coast mainline train system, and isn’t actually a bad place really. It’s not great, but it isn’t bad.
;So I’m going to leave that there.