D4D

Abusing fuckwits for 30 years

Archive for the category “Work-related”

Connected

This weekend I’m off seeing friends Oop Norf, and because of working from home, opted for the easier option, leaving home early, stopping off at a services most of the way to where I’ll be, and working from there for a few hours.

It actually worked out pretty well – surprisingly so, in some ways – and meant I didn’t get stuck in tons of shitty traffic.

The surprising bit was that where I stopped, up at Hartshead Moor services, my phone had a full 4G data service – surprising, because Hartshead is pretty much the bum-end of nowhere. But still, 4G.   That meant I could connect from laptop to iPhone using WiFi, which then gave me data via 4G, without having to pay a penny to the on-site extortionists of BTOpenzone et al.

That, to me, is a complete win. I’ve got unlimited 4G data through my phone contract (I know, it’ll still have a ‘fair-use’ limitation or whatever, but I’m well within that anyway) so it’s saved me the money of a connection through BTOpenzone, and won’t even hit my phone bill.

There are some bits of this modern life that I really quite like…

Business Progression

This week has actually been pretty positive when it comes to sorting out things for my own company again.

As mentioned earlier in the week, I had a look at an office to rent – and signed up for it. Annoyingly, it’s not available until mid-February, but that should still work out fine for what I want/need. It’s only a little place, but it’ll give me the time, space and office I want, and allow me to do a lot of other stuff too.

At the same time, I chased up the farce that has been the application for my company business account. It’s a long story, and one I won’t bother with ’til I know more, but it’s been bloody annoying. Standard bank incompetence, and hardly a great way to get business in, but well, we’ll see.

What with those achievements, plus the car MOT and so on, it all feels pretty positive! Most unnatural and surprising…

Office Space

With the way work is going this year, I’m going to be looking again at renting some office space for the time being.

Last year I rented a desk in a shared space for a while, and that worked fairly well, but wasn’t perfect for a number of reasons. So while that’s still an option, I’m looking at stepping things up a bit this time round, and actually doing a proper office.

As with all large towns, there’s a number of options available in both Milton Keynes and Bedford, and I’m looking at my first one tomorrow.  It sounds promising – designed for small and start-up businesses, monthly contract, central Milton Keynes and so on – but I need to see it and figure out the necessities.  I’ll write more about it in the coming days, I’m sure.

Why do I need some space like this?

Well, I’ve got a lot of work coming up, and while working from home is OK, I find that it’s occasionally difficult to keep up motivation when there’s no real push to be “at work”. Also, I find it’s suddenly very easy to not actually interact with anyone for several days a week, and that’s not ideal either.  I know I could easily become very hermit-like and insular, and I don’t actually want to do so.

So renting an office space will at least give me back a commute, a journey to/from work, and because the building is shared with a number of others, it’ll probably allow me to make some connections and interactions along the way. Never a bad thing.

Renting a desk is OK – but limits me to the times the main office is open, which I found more restrictive than it could’ve been, and limited the available hours I had.  I’m hoping that a rented office will give me more flexibility, enabling me to do longer hours when necessary and so on.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens and how it all shakes out. I’ll know more by the end of Tuesday…

An (In)Auspicious Start?

This first complete week of the year has been both good and bad.

Up until yesterday, it didn’t feel all that great, particularly with the dose of Ick I’ve had for most of the week. I hadn’t got done a lot of the work I wanted to complete, and there was a bundle of organisational stuff that still needed doing this month.  Which was all fairly bad, and not exactly contributing to the “start as I mean to go on” intentions I’d begun the week with.

Then yesterday I started sorting out the organisation stuff – chasing up a couple of things that’d been annoying me and hanging over the Christmas break – with positive results, as well as sorting out things like the car’s MOT, and a couple of other bits that needed doing.

There’s also been a dollop of good news today that means life is going to be chaotic – but profitable – over the next three months. I’ll write more about that over the weekend, I think, but it’s all good.

So while the first bit of the week was shit, it’s ended on a pretty good note. So all told, I’m currently pretty optimistic for 2015…

What Kind Of Year Will It Be?

As regular readers know, I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions. It’s partly my knee-jerk response to the whole “Everyone else is doing it” ethos, which means I won’t. But also New Year is just an arbitrary day for making plans – and I tend to do it from birthday to birthday, for no better reason than that it’s an easy day to remember as a start/finish date.

Anyway, with that said I do have plans for 2015. Sometimes plans work better on a calendar year instead of birthday-to-birthday – although there’s also a couple of ideas and plans this time that would also work better to a fiscal year, April to March. But for the sake of argument I’ll stick (for now) to my usual resolution/plan structure, while also acknowledging the whole 2015 thing.

What I won’t do is go into reams of details – I know what I want to do, and I’ve got most of it written down in to-do lists and the like – but it can all be summed up in four key points, which can be summarised as:

  • Create More – includes writing, photography, and web-based work/business plans
  • Do More – includes activities, day trips, longer weekends, and perhaps even a holiday or two.
  • Save More – working to rebuild finances, build up some backup savings, and restore the credit score.
  • Weigh Less – the goal is to lose another two stone in 2015, which is what I also lost in 2014. So it’s feasible.

And that’s “it”. Obviously there’s details, sub-plans and sub-goals in there as well, but they’re the key points. They’ll do me for now.

I’m hoping that 2015 will continue in the positive direction that started in the last quarter of 2014.  I’m quite sure there’ll be some hiccoughs and roadbumps along the way – that’s realism rather than cynicism, my life is never a truly smooth process – but with any luck at all it’ll be a positive year, and lots will get done.

And if not, if things go wrong, then I’ll just do what I can, and keep on in the same way as I had to with 2014.

But I do hope that 2015 is positive and constructive. That’s the intention, at least. But we’ll see.

What Kind Of Year Has It Been?

(With apologies to Aaron Sorkin for nicking/appropriating a title he’s used in every series he’s written)

2014 hasn’t been an easy year, with some real ups and downs. Some of the downs have been pretty bloody down, and back in August/September was about as low as I’ve been in a long time, with the finances right back to Ground Zero. The last couple of months of the year have been a massive improvement, a real resurgence that’s left things on a very positive note, and that’s nothing but good.

But man alive, there’s been a lot going on.

Work

I’ve had two spectacularly bad jobs – both permanent roles – this year, the second of which took three months to escape from, cost me a buggerload of money (the owner decided to arbitrarily cut my offered salary by £10K, a drop of just under a thousand a month, with no warning or notification) and affected me a lot more than I’d ever have acknowledged.  In small ways it’s still ongoing – I’ve invoiced the dickhead for the money he screwed me for, and my New Year’s present to him will be a claim through Small Claims Court (well, now Money Claim Online, but who’s counting?) so that should be fun.

I’ve also had three contracts (plus one that over-ran into the start of 2014) with two being OK and one being less so. That one was an easy life, which was more about being a bum on a seat “in case anything happened”, rather than actually doing stuff. Easy, but not my kind of thing, as has been written about elsewhere.

The final contract of the year – which flows into the start of 2015 – has been the catalyst for getting things on a more positive footing. It’s been work that suits me, as well as being one where I’m able to work from home for the majority of the time, which also suits me.

Finances

As per the work notes, the London job cost me a lot of money, with the savings I’d made up ’til then getting used for keeping things afloat while I still believed that The Dickhead would actually pay what was owed. Even while everything was down at lowest possible, I still got through – no borrowings, no late payments etc. So it’s not as bad as it could’ve been, and yet again showed how far I’ve actually come – but it’s still annoying to have been knocked back after a year of being successful on it all.

I’m back on the up now, things in credit and so on. I still need to build up the funds again, but that’s happening, and will continue to do so through into 2015.

Creative / Writing

This year’s writing and so on hasn’t been great – because of everything else going on, it just hasn’t happened as much as I wanted it to.

Writing-wise, I have done some stuff. I’ve entered some small pieces to some competitions, although without any decent results. However, at least it’s been about getting things done and submitted – which is more than I managed in 2013.

Photography’s been a lot slacker. Along the way I’ve got out of the habit of carrying a camera all the time, and it’s proving harder to get back into doing it. I love the SLR I’ve got, but it’s a pain in the chuff for most of the time.

The daytrips of late have been partly about taking photos again as well, although they’ve all ‘only’ been taken on the iPhone, but at least I’ve been taking photos again, and they’ve been pretty decent.

Summary

So while 2014’s been a ropy old year in many ways, it’s ending up with a lot of promise, and lot of optimism for 2015.  Whether that will be justified or not, who knows? But I’m going to give it my best.

And really, what more can anyone ask than that?

 

 

City Link

Sometimes it’s odd how things work out.  On Christmas Day, the courier group City Link announced they were going into administration. There’s still  lot of ongoing fallout, and unions wazzing on about how City Link are still a viable concern – because of course, who would know better than a fucking union?

Anyway, as I said, it’s odd how things work out.

A year or so ago, I interviewed with City Link to do a long-term contract in order to boost their website and on-line presence in a number of ways. It was a very cool job, and normally I’d have jumped at it. Indeed, I was offered it – but the downside was that it would’ve involved commuting round the worst section of the M25 on a daily basis – and that was what persuaded me to not take it.

Yes, sure, it would potentially have been a good year’s work and so on. But the revamped stuff hasn’t yet been released – and now looks like it never will be. So it would be pretty difficult, when now looking for something new on zero notice, to say “I did [x], but you can’t see it because they never released it”

All told, even with the way 2014 worked out on the shit-jobs front, I’m pretty glad I didn’t take on that one…

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