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Another Quiet Week

This week has been another ‘quiet’ week – or at least one where I don’t seem to have stopped long enough to do a decent post. Which means ‘quiet’ here and… less so in reality.

It started off well – driving home on Monday from a long weekend in Dorset. A ‘quiet’ ‘break’ that resulted in 600ish miles of driving – but also enough necessary downtime and peace to have made it worthwhile.  In fairness I could’ve split the driving, or whatever, but it’s never the driving that tires me, so *shrug*

The place in Dorset will definitely be re-visited though – it was great, and all told thoroughly enjoyable.

The rest of Monday was less fun – once I’d got home I started feeling pretty rotten, and ended up having a sleep on the sofa. Felt a bit better when I woke up, but rapidly got worse again, and ended up with gastric explosions of an epic standard. At least it had the good grace to wait til I got home, rather than expelling my innards into a hire-car.  Thankfully, there was only the one major dollop, so I was able to sleep etc.

Tuesday was a day on-site with my current client – could’ve done without it, but needs must and all that.

Wednesday and Thursday were back to almost-normal, but also included taking the bloody Saab back to the garage (another Engine Management light issue, which was why I had the hire care for the weekend) and going to the cinema, as well as a day where it seemed like people were all trying to kill me. (More of that in another post, perhaps)

And now Friday, and back on-site, as the boss is then away for two weeks.

And that, my friends, is a ‘quiet week’…

Low Steppage

Because of the issues with the car last week, it meant I actually got out a lot less than usual.

I’ve written before about my general aims to get out more, walk more and so on – although I do a lot of walking anyway, in comparison to most people.   As part of that, a couple of years ago now I started using the FitBit activity trackers and so on, which allowed me to keep an eye on things.

I have a 5,000-step-per-day ‘target’, which I normally blast through (although some days are closer than others) and average around 50,000 steps per week. Last week, for the first time since getting the FitBit,  I did about half that, and didn’t reach my daily target on most days.

A lot of that was simply that I was working from home, rather than in my office in Milton Keynes. That meant I didn’t go out for a walk in the morning, nor to get lunch and then take the ‘long’ way back to the office – all of which contribute to those totals.

Additionally, I wasn’t feeling great – just a bit burned out, and with this nagging cough (nothing serious, it just keeps tickling and being a twat) it meant I didn’t want to go out as much as I usually do.  And then not doing my usual weekend stuff of going to the cinema, walking round Milton Keynes etc. – it all conspired to make it my worst week in two years.

Of course, my worst week’s activity is still a lot better than that of a lot of people, but it’s annoyed me anyway.

A Remembrance of Shitbags Past

Yesterday, I got a call from an agency about a new job role – ‘Lead Developer’, great salary and good upcoming projects. It sounds like a fantastic role, and the company in question certainly know the value of buzzwords and marketing when it comes to this kind of thing.

Sadly – well, amusingly – it was for the same job/company as I worked for in Summer 2014.  I didn’t write much about it at the time, because it ended up going down the route of taking legal advice etc., so wasn’t worth causing extra hassles by writing here and naming/shaming.  (Not least because the owner of the company, known around here as ShitCo, wouldn’t feel any shame whatsoever)

It was not a good job – and was probably one of my worst jobs in the last decade. Not least among the issues was having taken the job on a salary offer of £x (and that was the salary on the contract , when it eventually appeared) but then the company deciding to pay me £10,000 less.

Coupled with working idiot hours and so on, yeah, it wasn’t a good role or time at all.

I ended up leaving after three months, with no notice (although my contract did say that was OK within the initial trial period) and nothing lined up to go to. Not that that’s ever stressed me out, as regular readers will know – and indeed, I was working two weeks later, at the contract I’m still working on now.

So yes, speaking to another agency about why I wouldn’t be interested in that role was entertaining – the agency couldn’t understand why they were looking for a fourth ‘lead developer’ in less than a year, but our conversation made things somewhat clearer for them, it’s fair to say.  And the words “lying” , “scheming”, “disorganised”, “manipulative” and “unholy motherfucker of the first order” never even passed my lips.

Leaving 2015

It’s the end of 2015, and for the first time in a long time, it’s been a good year. It’s had its ups and downs for sure, but the general direction has definitely been upwards and positive.

On the ‘ups’ side, we have…

  • worked all year on the same contract, which has made things a lot easier
  • built up some savings, for the first time in at least a decade
  • started up my own company and business, plus laying the groundwork for next year’s developments
  • been out to a good range of restaurants, and had a long weekend in Edinburgh
  • done some writing, and developed some ideas for working on in 2016

On the ‘downs’…

  • When I say ‘worked all year’, I mean it. Holidays and breaks have pretty much not happened. Certainly nothing more than that long weekend in Edinburgh
  • I’ve not built up the savings as much as I could/should have – but that’s been down to stuff with the car, the restaurants, and actually having a decent year of non-monastic living
  • having my own company again means I also have to deal with HMRC, Companies House, and bastard accountants
  • I haven’t actually finished any of the writing things

So it’s all swings and roundabouts, but all told it’s been a good year with a lot of stuff I’m really pleased about and/or proud of.

A Christmas Lunch

ScroogeWeirdly, today I’m going to a Christmas Lunch with my current client company. It was completely unexpected – I’ve heard them talking about it on the days I’ve been in their office for the last month, but hadn’t been invited. Fine by me, it’s hardly something I’m going to take offence at.

But last week the boss invited me, and changed my day in the office in order for me to be there.  At which point it’s kind of churlish to refuse. (Even by my standards)

So there we go – my fourth work-based Christmas thing ever. At least it’s only a lunch thing.

Ghost Town

ScroogeAccording to the BBC, today is the peak day for travelling around the Festering Season. Schools break up, companies close down, and people piss off on holiday – so there’s travellers alongside the commuters and so on. Supposedly, there’ll be more than 13 million journeys of at least 20 miles, which makes it even less of a joy than usual. (Which seems about right for the Festering Season, but then, I’m a cynic)

That figure’s an odd one though – journeys of at least 20 miles? Does that even qualify as a journey these days? In my head (which we all know is a strange place at the best of times) 20 miles is barely a trip, let alone a journey.

Round here, it’s been weirdly quiet all week – regardless of whether it’s on the roads, in town, or in the office, a lot of people seem to have already stuffed off. Which makes it all very peaceful. I suppose it’s easy for small companies (2 or 3 people at most) to take longer breaks and so on.

As it is, I’m working right through ’til the 24th (as usual) and so are the companies I’m working for at the moment. I don’t mind – but then, I’m not travelling, or doing much over the Festering Season.

 

Slightly Less Festering Than Usual

ScroogeThis year, most of my working week has been spent in my own small office, away from people and corporate bullshit. It’s been highly beneficial to me in general – despite realising I’ve been doing this all year with no breaks – and I’m far, far calmer and more content than I’ve been in a long time.

The run-up to the Festering Season has reminded me of this again – primarily because I’m just not filled with as much loathing of the Season as I usually am. I’ve not been nagged about being a Scrooge, or had to listen to all that interminable “Oh, but the run-up to Christmas is the best” bollocks, along with all the witterings about who’ll do what (or did what) at the annual work Christmas Do.

In short, doing my own thing has been hugely beneficial all round.

I still don’t like it as a season – it’s not something I dislike just because of the bullshit of others – but I’m certainly feeling less hateful than usual. It’s really quite odd, but in a good way.

Mind you, I’m still glad it’ll be all over in two weeks’ time…

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