In telling this story I should point out my state of mind; that my job hunting thus far has not secured me so much as a sniff from another company yet, although agencies are responding in a variety of ways (mostly OK) but not grinding me down too much just yet.
Earlier today I decided to pay a visit to the company just down the road from me, which is a factory producing steam boilers. I had identified them as the source of a low droning noise, which switches on and off regularly every few minutes, both day and night. Being a light sleeper, it was keeping me awake at night. When it first started, it wasn't too loud and was only a problem in the summer months when I wanted the window open, but now it's loud enough that it's quite bothersome even in the winter with the windows closed.
I was polite and friendly with the manager there, who was polite and friendly back. I explained why I was there, and mentioned that I'd come directly to them in the first instance. He showed me around the site, allowed me to identify the noise with him, and assured me that someone will be in touch, either a production manager or an environmental manager. In the mean time, there is a service due on the equipment this weekend when they will take a look at the issue and see if there's anything to be done about it, and also close the windows in the room with the boiler that is making the noise.
They are due to be out by Christmas this year anyway, which is fine. I was thrilled to have such a positive outcome with the company and mentioned in passing that I had recently been made redundant. The manager showing me around said that they were sometimes looking for mechanics and if I wanted I should apply through the agency they use.. not my line of work but I was grateful for the consideration.
So, really, just a reflection on the human touch being so important in how the outcomes of things go. Everyone knows this, but doesn't really have time or energy to put it into practise. Possibly I had today as I have more time/energy on my hands than I might otherwise do..