As has become traditional round here, it’s time for a list of what I’m aiming for and hoping to do in the coming year. Some will be familiar (because I keep starting and not finishing) but I’m also hoping to get rid of a couple that never really happen, and maybe add a couple to replace them.
- Keep on working on losing weight.
This one is a long-term thing, and one I’ve written about before. For me, it’s a struggle – I’ve worked with a number of resources this year so far, and feel better-informed than I was, but there’s still a long way to go. If nothing else, this year so far has eliminated a lot of options and bullshit.
- Keep on improving fitness/health
Linked to losing weight, I’ve had more success with this one over the last 12 months, but there’s still stuff to do and improve.
- Continue doing the stuff I enjoy
Various bits here – but basically, do stuff I want to. Not as a “fear of missing out” (“FOMO”) thing, but just as in “I really want to see/do [x]” and doing so. (This is, of course, in direct contrast to ‘doing less’ in the list below, so it’s a bit of a balancing act!)
- Be more sociable
I’ve realised this year that I’ve been utterly crap with seeing friends – I’ve been doing a lot of stuff, but at the same time it hasn’t been overly sociable, hasn’t involved going to see friends at all. And that needs sorting.
I’m getting rid of some of the longer-running goals. They’re still things I want to work on – I’m not giving up on the plans, just on the having them as goals – but it affects me more when I see my ongoing failure to complete/do/start them year on year.
So I’ll note them here as reminders, but they’re not part of the main “What I’m aiming for” list. See if it works better for me as advisories, rather than as targets/goals. And those reminders are…
I want to do more writing – I’ve got the ideas, but it’s finding the time, inclination and drive to get them actually going. I hope to schedule more in – I’ve also invested in some tools that should allow me to do so – but we’ll see.
- Business plans
As with the writing, I’ve got the ideas, but need to allocate time and energy to getting them to work. In some cases I’m frustrated by time, in others by funding for getting them how I want them. We’ll just have to see how things go.
- Doing Less
This is kind-of related to the above two – if I could sort my brain out so that ‘doing less’ was better, then I’d hopefully have more time to spend on the writing and business ideas.
- Plan Better
And the final one, which controls all of the others – make better plans, notes, and be better organised.
This last week has been (and continues to be) pretty non-stop, even by my standards. It’s been a weird mix of work, social, and work-related social.
I’m still trying to calm things down – and weirdly, at the moment my weekends seem to be freer than my weekdays, so I suppose that’s some kind of progress? But as usual, something has to give – and this time it’s been writing on D4D™.
I’m aiming to find a better balance of things, but right now it’s all on some kind of weird mutant seesaw/roundabout combination, and figuring out the physics of that is pretty tiring in and of itself.
I’ll get there, though.
Yesterday, I got a text message from O2, telling me that they were going to be closing their TuGo app (an app that allows phone calls to be made/received through my wifi connection, when the mobile phone signal is bobbins) at the end of November. It gave some options for enabling better alternatives, including their ‘4G & WiFi Calling’ through a range of phones, so it will no longer need a separate app.
That’s all well and good – and TuGo has always been a bag of shite anyway. So I started to go through the process, as ‘detailed’ by O2 of how to get it all set up on my phone.
Except that once I’d enabled it on my phone (or tried to) it told me I needed to do it via the O2 website, to activate it on my account. Bit of a pain in the arse, but OK, let’s get it done.
The page detailed in the message doesn’t actually contain the information necessary. I can see a link explaining how great the 4G and Wifi Calling is, but nothing to activate it.
So, I start up a LiveChat with one of their Tech Gurus, who tell me that it’s still showing I’ve got Tu connected to my account, and that needs to be removed before I can do anything. No worries though, they’ll sort it out. Give it about half an hour, reboot the phone, it’ll be done.
Except it wasn’t.
So I got back in touch with O2, this time by phone instead of LiveChat. Oh dear, oh dear.
I (eventually) got through to another of their Tech Gurus, who again says that Tu is still connected to my account, and that I have to uninstall the TuGo app on my phone in order to get rid of the connection. No idea why the previous tech person said they could do it, that’s not possible, it can only be done from your phone, sir.
So I uninstall the app, in the usual way. Oh no, sir, you haven’t uninstalled it. You’ll need to go back to the app store, reinstall the app so you can uninstall it. (Eh? What?) Yes, you’ll need to reinstall the app – you didn’t uninstall it, “you just deleted the little picture on your phone”. That’s a direct quote. From a Tech “Guru”. Who doesn’t appear to even know the word “icon”.
So. Let’s see how this goes. Phone call goes to speakerphone, so I can go through the process while the “Guru” is still on the call, and telling me what I need to do. I reinstall the app – and in order to get in to it, I have to rebuild the connection and association with my number – because uninstalling the app has got rid of all that information . Which is exactly as it should be.
I rebuild the connection, then go into the app’s Settings and Delete the Account. The Guru says “Oh there we go, I can see you’ve now uninstalled the app”. No, I haven’t, I’ve deleted the account. The app is still installed, I can see it. “No, it’s uninstalled”
All the way through the call, that “Guru” couldn’t tell the difference between “Delete the Account/Connection” and “Uninstall the App”.
It’s resulted in two further interactions with layers of O2 management, telling them the problems, fixing the issues, and generally getting it more sorted.
And all the way through this, all it would have taken was for that “My Device” webpage saying “You’ve still got an active connection to TuGo – you need to remove that before we can progress. Here’s how.” That would’ve fixed everything, and I wouldn’t have needed to speak to O2 at all, let alone a total of four times.
Sometimes I just despair of people, and companies.
Today, the news is full of the ‘shocking’ news of Monarch Airlines ceasing to trade. I’m more surprised that anyone’s surprised, to be honest.
Now OK, Monarch are (semi) local to me, I know people who work(ed) there – but no-one who was in key positions, finance etc. However, it’s no shock to me at all that they’ve gone under – in many ways I’ve been more surprised that they’ve gone on as long as they have.
The Wikipedia page contains a summary of it – but it’s stuff I was aware of anyway, having watched the news and so on.
Three years ago, they were nearly bankrupt. They got a last-minute bailout/buyout by Greybull Capital, which was all that allowed them to keep trading. Three years ago.
This time last year, rumours came up about their potential bankruptcy. They got a last-minute extension to their ATOL licence (similar to the activities of last weekend) after another £160-odd million fund injection from Greybull and other investors.
Between those warnings, the drop in customers in markets that were key to them (tourism to Tunisia and Egypt, primarily) and other competition, and the general atmosphere post-Brexit, it was no surprise at all. I fully expect a couple of others to collapse as well.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a shitty situation – for the people who work there, and for the passengers and customers who are currently wondering what’s going to happen. But it still shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Personally, I know that I wouldn’t have booked anything with them, regardless.
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining – I suspect RyanAir are ecstatic about all those extra Monarch pilots and crew suddenly becoming available (and without even needing expensive relocation packages) that can fill the gaps in their current schedule. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if RyanAir didn’t aim to buy up a lot of the Monarch stuff – planes, staff, routes etc., and make money off the misfortune of Monarch.