A Difficult Month

Hello there. It’s been a while. I hope you are all well and keeping yourself and family members healthy.

I was on a 2 weeks annual leave from the last month of August to the first week of September. It was a relaxing moment being with your family. I had plenty of time for DIYing with the help of my children and watching Netflix with my family. I really enjoyed that 2-weeks off after a hectic schedule working with the Hilerod Hospital project.

On my return to work, I was surprised to find out in one of my emails a piece of big news about company restructuring which will affect the UK wide structural technicians from apprentice level to my level; principal level. Oh, by the way, I am working from home since the lockdown started back in March 2020.

Out of 26 UK wide technicians, 9, unfortunately, must go, making the total technicians to 17. See Figure 1 below. The performance review and high-level scoring are currently happening. A letter will be released next week (week starting 21st to find out whether an individual must leave or stay.

Figure 1: Current and proposed UK Technician resource structure

I know there are lots of businesses out there that are highly affected with this pandemic; from the airline industry, hotels and restaurant, small businesses to engineering and construction industries. Ramboll, an international engineering consultancy firm, though the management has done their best to reduce the impact to the business by furloughing some staffs (some are still under furlough until the end of October) to reducing our salaries by 10% until further notice, is no excuse.

It’s understandable for each one of us all the measures that our company is doing to save the business. For now, we are hoping for the best. I’m keeping my best spirits high knowing that within myself, I did best last year and in the previous years. My last year annual appraisal was great (see Figure 2 and 3 for the summary and overall performance assessment respectively) and looks like I have a better chance to stay. Another factor is for being the only Principal Structural Technician in London with ICE EngTech certification. I’ve got some colleague who has this, but they are from different offices. I think 3 or 4 of us in total.

Figure 2: Annual Appraisal Summary
Figure 3: Annual Appraisal Overall Performance Assessment

Our D3 in London office sent an email which is the same as what I am thinking. To all my structural technician colleagues, if we, unfortunately, selected for redundancy, let us keep our head up, keep our dignity and don’t get mad with the result of reviews that the HR and the high-level managers have done. Leave with the high hopes that another door of opportunities will be opening for us. Don’t blame yourself for not having a good performance. I believe we have done all our best. We even give extra hours just to complete our tasks. When I say extra hours, it does not necessarily mean that we are not working smartly. We tried our best to automate some work whenever possible with the use of Dynamo and other means.

Think of it as leaving because of the current circumstances and not because of our performance. It’s not our fault. It’s a high-level company decision and not a reflection of our commitment or dedication. Don’t take it personally. Who knows, we all be called to come back sooner than we expected.

Today is also the feast of Our Lady of Sorrow and my dear brothers and sisters, let us pray to Mother Mary, our sorrowful mother, that in our own sorrows and pains she may always be with us to accompany us, to stand by our crosses and to assure us of her motherly presence and love, and in the sorrows of other people, in the pains of our neighbours, let us also assure them, like Mary, that we are there for them. Let us be the face of God’s mercy and compassion for others. Amen

It’s a difficult month. Good luck to all of us.

Work From Home Setup

Getting ready for tomorrow’s work from home. It’s going to be my 4rth week working from home and the second week of homeschooling for my children.

We don’t have control over the current situation. All we can do now is to follow the health department and government advice to mitigate the risk of getting infected. We each have a part to play by staying at home so we can protect ourselves, protect the NHS and everyone in the healthcare industry, protect the key workers and saving lives. Let’s accept the fact that this is what it is, and things will get easier. Keep positive thoughts flowing and avoid to listen or watch to0 much media as the information you’ll get will make you feel more worried. Keep what you are doing to stay safe and healthy.

I wish you all safe days ahead.

Isaiah 26:20 (NIV) Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.

Side by side with my homeschooling children
Improvising should I find myself tired of sitting

By the way, I would be glad if you could share a photo of your work from home setup. Thanks in advance.

Have a wonderful day!