Monday, 29 October 2012

Building Skills

I've had the Rosetta Stone program for about a month now.

I do believe I've learnt more usable Japanese in that time than I ever did in over six years of French lessons at school.

Thoroughly enjoying it so far.  I'm hoping that over the next two months I'll learn enough to 'show off' a little at interviews .. if I'm asked of course!  ;)

First Pay Slip

I've rediscovered my very first pay slip.

Wow ... £3.96 per hour - I thought I was rich!

I used to work weekends and school holidays at a local hotel, cleaning the rooms.  I remember loading up these massive trolleys that were nearly as tall as I was!

Hard work but having that first job and earning your very own money - that was such a nice 'grown-up' feeling of accomplishment.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Right Time? Wrong Time?

The last few months of the year are upon us.  It got me thinking, is there a 'right' time of year to apply for work?  Or at least a good or better time?

Oh, sure, there's job advertised all year round, but certainly at this time of year you tend to get mostly seasonal / Christmas temporary jobs.

Around this time last year, when I was still stuck in a horrible two/three day-a-week job, I reached the end of my tether and pounded the streets of my home town, looking for work.

Only Christmas temp work was around, and I was too late to apply for most of them!  I consider myself very lucky to have got the job I did and then be kept on after the Christmas period.

So if retail is what you're after, this time of year is certainly a good one to apply.  There's always going to be the risk that it is just temporary, but a few get lucky and are kept on.

But what about non-retail companies?

This time of year is busy for most, if not for the product or service you provide but also people booking time off, people fall ill, Christmas events are organised, paperwork needs to be wrapped up for the up-coming end of the financial year etc.

Wherever you are, it's sure to be busier than normal.

Which probably doesn't make it an optimal time to think 'Oh, hey, maybe we need to hire someone for that post.'   The people with the power to hire and fire may consider it a lower priority.

Possibly companies will wait until the new financial year - see what the budget is and then consider whether hiring is a viable option.

I've also been pondering whether it's even worth bothering writing or emailing potential employers at this time of year.  If you're busy and there's no vacancies, you're probably not going to pay too much attention to a CV that's just turned up.  It'll be filed away and forgotten about.

Personally, if I ran a company, if it wasn't an urgent situation requiring the hire of a new person, then I'd say forget it!  Busy time of year, not looking to hire at the moment, caught me at a bad time.

I can imagine the odds are even worse if it's a training position you're looking for.  Which certainly applies to me!

Who wants to start training a new person at this time of year?

I can't help but think that it's a hassle that people could do without.

So with this in mind, I've reached a decision.

I'm going to continue to check websites, newspapers etc for specific job adverts - if I spot one that's suitable, I'll apply.   But I won't be contacting individual companies for the time-being.  It just seems rather inconsiderate, doesn't it?   'Hi!  I know you're busy and all, but wanna hire me?!'   No - not happening.

But I shan't be slacking during the 'break' however - my time spent learning a new language is paying off and I've got my head firmly back in the textbook!

My intention is that by the new year, my language skills will be proficient enough to effectively 'show off' in an interview if questioned about them, and that my basic dentistry knowledge will be more sound.

Keep busy.  Keep improving!

Perhaps 2013 will prove to be a more successful year!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Firebox: Novelty Flavoured Toothpaste

On a mission to locate some Christmas presents, I stopped by for inspiration. 

Whilst there I came across these!

Yep.  You've read that correctly.  Bacon-flavoured and cupcake-flavoured toothpaste!

They are 70g and fluoride-free.

According to one of Firebox's comments, they are novelty products and a bit of fun - they are not intended as substitutes for 'real' toothpaste.   (If you're interested in either of them, but have any concerns you can always run it past your dentist to get an opinion on it.)

And just to clarify, the bacon-flavour is not suitable for vegetarians but there is a very happy comment on the cupcake-flavour from someone with diabetes who is pleased as punch as it is sugar-free but is still something sweet that she can enjoy.

Check out if you're interested!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Lush: Toothy Tabs

I have returned from my long weekend away - much refreshed and feeling so much better for the break!

I now have a week off work to look forward to in November.  If vague plans become a little more concise, I may be flying off Europe over the Remembrance Sunday weekend.  May not happen but it's something to look forward to!

Anyhoo - back to blogging of dental related topics.

Upon my return I found the Lush Times Christmas issue waiting for me.  Naturally, I had a flip through the pages, wishing there was a Lush branch nearer home.  The closest one requires either a specific trip to the area or else I order online which is what I did for my shampoo some time ago.

Then, lo and behold ...

Toothy Tabs!

I have no idea how long these have been about but it's the first time I've come across them and it's only right that I share!  :)

Toothy Tabs are solid toothpaste tablets - you pop one in your mouth, suggested between your front teeth, you nibble at it and it produces a foam much like a typical toothpaste.  Wet your toothbrush and proceed as normal!

Sounds like a cool idea to me.  There's also no "chemicals, preservatives and unnecessary packaging".

The packaging is made from recycled cardboard and of course you can recycle it yourself once you're done with the pack.  No more left over toothpaste stuck in the tube that you can't squeeze out, not to mention the non-recyclable tube that gets sent to landfill!

BIG thumbs up from me as far as that's concerned!

Lush have also included Fairtrade ingredients in the "Atomic" flavour and all of the Tab varieties are suitable for Vegans.

Eco-friendly aspects aside - do they really work?

Lush dutifully performed trials using the different varieties of Toothy Tabs (they come in many different flavours) with regular trips to the dentist over a three month period.  You can check out the video here or else drop by the Lush website and search 'toothy tabs' should that link go AWOL at any point.

The tabs performed well in the trial so that's very encouraging.

AND if you happen to be at all concerned about your fluoride intake - either from your current toothpaste or other sources - this should help alleviate your worry ... Toothy Tabs are fluoride free.

So.  What lovely flavours are there?  Here's a quick rundown.

Ultrablast - peppermint, spearmint and lavender
Sparkle - vanilla, lemon and grapefruit
Breath of God - fennel, vanilla and sandalwood
Chou Chou, I Love You - rose and lemon  (I hope I've got that right, the blurb isn't 100% clear)
Aquatic - Earl Grey, lime and jasmine
Dirty - spearmint (the classic minty fresh flavour had to be here somewhere)
Atomic - clove and cinnamon

You may want to check out Lush's website - they may come out with new flavours in the meantime and you can check out reviews and current prices.  At the time of writing the tabs are priced between £2 and £3.50 depending on the variety (Dirty and Aquatic respectively.)

Each pack contains 40 tabs, so for £2 to try a pack out, it's not much is it?  Sounds like they're worth a go!

As much as I'd love to rush out and get a pack, remember I mentioned earlier about my lack of local Lush branch?  Yeah, I'm not spending that much on petrol and parking just for a pack of Toothy Tabs alone.  Just being realistic here.  If my shampoo was running low, I'd take the opportunity to order it online and throw in a pack of Sparkle or Breath of God.  But my massive bottle is nowhere near being empty - over 20 washes out of it and the contents isn't even down to the top of the label.  Not going to run out for months yet!

Hmmm, pondering ...

It occurs to me that maybe I could order one of each and give them to people at Christmas - I'm making up little gift bags for everyone this year, each with lots of little gifts inside rather than one big gift which I've done in the past.  Might not be a bad idea to consider these as little extras.

Lots of unusual and intriguing flavours to try out

Anybody reading this tried Toothy Tabs before?   I've clearly been slow on the uptake as according the comments on Lush's website, they've been around for months already!

Have you tried them yourself?  Any preference as to the variety you'd recommend or not?  Please share!  :)