Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Travelling The Country

July 27th, 2010 No comments

Over the last two months I have travelled over 1000 miles for work, from Glasgow to Slough to Leeds and London several times. I have started staying in Marriott hotels enough to warrant a loyalty card and already have nearly enough points for free night!

Travelling for work is hard, it means early mornings, late nights and a lot of eating alone. I don’t think I will ever really get used to booking a table for one. Although it’s a tough life and I am glad I only have to spend a day or so a week on average away from Leeds I am starting to enjoy certain aspects of it. The variety of the work is something I really love, along with meeting all sorts of characters. It is amazing to think that I spend a lot of time chatting to strangers in the hotel bar or at service stations whilst I am refuelling on relentless.

I am starting to look at moving on from my current job as I want to progress my career, but I am starting to think that I don’t want to move somewhere where I lose the opportunity to travel and experience the things I have experienced over the last few months.

I mean, as I write this I am chatting to a really interesting guy that works in real estate. he is currently setting up a deal to buy a warehouse and turn it into a contemporary opera space in East London.

Overtime doesn’t pay

November 1st, 2009 No comments

I hope my weekly Twitter updates have been keeping you up to date on what I have been up to over the past few months whilst I have been up to my ears in overtime at work? If not, then you will be please to know that there will be plenty of substantial posts hitting the site over the next few weeks!

I have managed to squeeze in over 100 hours of overtime over the last 2 months. The proceeds from which were supposed to be funding my holidays, both here and abroad, seeing as I havnt been on holiday since going to Prague several years ago! The problem is that overtime never seems to work out that profitable! By the time the tax man and student loan company have had their share I’m rarely left with anything at all. Annoying.

Blogging from work.

August 31st, 2009 No comments

So I’m blogging from work, always a good sign of productivity! Working through in 2nd line today, really wish we worked through here permanently. They have big desks and no barriers between desks which makes for a far better working environment. Will try and a pic later via Twitter so keep an eye out for a twitpic tweet on the sidebar.

Change of direction

July 14th, 2009 No comments

I am using this site less and less to update the blogosphere of my daily activities, so I think a change of direction is necessary to make sure that this site doesn’t become a ghost town.

I haven’t blogged in a while so i will just bring everyone up to date:

1) I have had to take some time out from my studies to address a few situations, namely my finances. This credit crunch is a real bitch. Sidetracking slightly, why is it a credit crunch exactly? What’s crunching?

2) As a result of my sabbatical from university, I have had to step down from my roles within both the AHS and Leeds Atheist Society. This was a massive disappointment for me as long term readers will be aware I have been involved with both organisation since their inception. I hope to contine playing a role in some sort of capacity, even if just as a regular old member. The main issue being my need to give the leadership room to develop their own style and direction.

3) I have gone full time with my job at O2. I am now a performance adviser and basically I do the same job, with more responsibility for no extra reward. Well I technically get increased job satisfaction and a job i enjoy most of the time, but not exactly going to make a dent in the old finances!

4) I have moved in with Liz, just the two of us, into a nice little cottage in the Seacroft area of Leeds. It is one of the original village buildings from before they added all the council estates that now mean that Seacroft is a suburb of Leeds rather than its own little village.

5) As a result of the above, I have less than I used to to write about on here, hence the need for a wholsesale change in direction.

I would like to start concentrating on developing a few ideas I have for essays and the like on my particular subjects of choice, i.e. management, secularism, atheism and humanism. Some of this blog is going to get dedicated to that and related stuff, like pics, tweets etc. I also think I am going to put some more syndications on here, sharing posts and ideas by other atheist writers, bloggers and speakers.

I have also started thinking recently about whether there is scope to get more involved in actually devleoping the atheist movement into one that makes a real difference. Chris has focussed in on Humanist Action Group and is working towards turning that into a real charity. Whilst I could piggy back on to that, I wonder whether I could ever really make a difference. My areas of interest is with young people, I think it with this group that real difference can be made. I used to do a lot of work with Lancashire County Council and their youth and community section. I was involved in a number of youth participation programmes too. I also wonder whether I could use some of my contacts in parliament to do soemthing with lobbying and maje a difference that way.

Well as you can see, there are a number of directions this blog could take. I don’t know yet which one I fancy, or which one will come to fruition. Maybe inspiration will hit me, or maybe I will try all of them until I get one that works!

Because a pithy title is escaping me!

August 7th, 2008 No comments

The summer time blues, of Eddie Cochrane fame, have been something that many people I know have experienced and is a phenomenen that I am personally familiar with. I have always found it bizarre that so many people, especially in Britain, suffer from this highly oxymoronic state of mind. Most British people spend all year waiting for the sun to come out and as soon as it does they all get depressed! How silly is that?

On a totally different note I am currently experiencing a massive increase in workload. Planning for the upcoming Atheist Society events in fresher’s week is now in full swing. Membership cards and committee hoodies are in the pipeline, events are being nailed down, room bookings being made and equipment sourced. It is quite scary that we are only six weeks away! Then there is paid work, O2 is going swimmingly. I have just completing my second week in ‘grad bay’ so should be fully live soon enough. I am hoping that I impress enough over the next few months to get up the ladder a bit. The biggest news is the fact that I have just been given my first freelance software development contract! Designing and implementing a user interface for a university research department. More on that as I get into it.

I am quite enjoying this new found level of activity. I have been busy before, of course, but it was usually the hectic kind of busy where you don’t get chance to breathe or sleep or eat. This is the kind of busy that keeps you occupied ten hours of the day solidly, but that doesn’t feel that much like hard work. Whether I am still saying this when A-Soc gets into full swing and Rationalist Week is upon us again I don’t know. In the meantime though, I am going to enjoy it and hopefully see my bank balance rise into the positive numbers for the first time in several years too!

First Day

July 31st, 2008 No comments

Yesterday was my first day in O2′s Home Broadband call centre. Now, although I have worked in a number of call centres before, doing a variety of jobs, this is the first time I have been a little nervous walking onto the floor. The reason for this is that all the other call centre work has been relatively mindless – selling, or data entry etc, whereas this one actually requires some technical knowledge and real problem solving skills. luckily it is also the world’s quietest call centre. Just over 2000 calls in a day! I have worked in places where that is less than an hour’s work!

After a welcome meeting fromt he grad bay manager, we went out and took real calls. Luckily (or frustratingly) most of the calls I got were relatively easy, mainly sales enquiries and package info. Although there were a couple of trying calls which took a little while to solve.

All in all it was a good first day, i can’t wait to get my teeth into some real problems and hopefully impress enough to move up a grade to 2nd line!

I made a girl cry…

July 24th, 2008 No comments

I am coming to the end of my O2 training, hence the lack of posts over the past few weeks, and we are focussing on the more difficult aspects of the job this week. Namely, IP Stream – or home access – broadband. This is the slowest of our packages and is offered to customers more than 9km from their local exchange. It is the hardest package to deal with due to the fact that BT still control their lines and not us which means a lot of faffing about. Our regular trainers can’t teach us this as they haven’t done the course themselves so we had to get a specialist in.

Her opening line was “I don’t really know anything about broadband and I am not an IP Stream expert…” and that was the start of the end!

By the end of four hours of ridiculous training, that had no logical progression, little relevance to our role and and incompetent trainer we had questioned and debated her to tears.

Now whilst I feel bad about that, it wasn’t entirely her fault – a lot of the the problems we highlighted to her had started in the previous weeks, but I didn’t feel bad about letting her know what I thought about the training and her delivery.

Yesterday, was supposed to be the second day of this two day course but she didn’t come back and we were informed that we were not going to receive any further IP Stream training before going live next week and we would have to learn on the job!

We’re better, connected!

June 11th, 2008 No comments

Some of you may recognise the tagline I used for my heading for this post… that’s right, it can be seen on some of the O2 advertising from a few months ago.

They now own my services! Yep, I now work for O2 part-time in their technical support department for the newly launched O2 Home Broadband. I am currently in training, which should last for another 6 weeks but it seems like a decent enough job. I am only first line support at the moment, basically a phone monkey, but hopefully some vacancies will open up in second line support soon enough. It is a good place top work in all honetsy, relaxed dress code, good perks and a good bunch of people.

Now, the reason I had to go out and get a job. I have a new house! We signed for it last week and move in around the 23rd June, just after Chris and I get back from the Secular COnference in Edinburgh. It is a really nice house with plenty of room, which is a bugger for wiring it up with networking cable. At the moment it is looking like a good couple of hundred metres!

I will upload some pics of the new house just as soon as I get them off my phone.

Congratulations to all the Computing lot too, they all graduated!

2007: A Year in Review

January 7th, 2008 1 comment

The Christmas festivities are over, the New Year hangovers have subsided and 2008 is nearly a week old. This seems like the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2007 and the people, events and ideas that made it.

Christmas and New Year are always a time for reflection and nostalgia and this year was no different. My family was all together for the first time in a while, including some of the new additions. I had an enjoyable time with several highlights – firstly, I caught up with some old friends and relived some of those moments from my youth that I miss. I also had a good time Christmas Day as I actually felt part of the family for the first time in many years. The end of December was also a good time for me, I spent it with Liz and her family and really felt accepted.

Anyway, back to my review of the year.

January was an interesting month, fisrt it saw the blossoming of a new friendship, one that would lead to something quite special – although i didn’t know that at the time of course. This month saw the final plans for the new academic year’s housing plans and all the arguments that surrounded that decision. This is probably the time that I cemented my friendship with a number of people whom I now consider my closest allies.

January’s exam period was hard for me, not just for the obvious reasons, but because it saw the dawning in my mind that I had lost my passion in Materials Engineering, that the course was no longer the inspiration I required. I began to toy with the idea of leaving university, or at least changing course.

I don’t remember much of February apart from starting at McDonald’s and buying a new car. I also went to Langdale in the Lake District with my mum.

March was an interesting month, I saw Barenaked Ladies in concert in Leeds which was amazing, visited Sarann in the Lakes and most importantly I started this blog.

Now here is the definition of a rollercoaster ride. I reached some of the lowest points of my life but also touched some of the highest highs. I ran Rationalist Week, spent a week in a self-destructive spiral of drinking, partying and depression, I met a girl and fell in love.

May was a busy month. Liz and my relationship went from strength to strength, went to see Soweto Kinch and The Who live in concert and Blackpool won in the League One play-offs and got themselves promoted to the Championship.

Festivals were the order of the day/month for June. I went to Sunrise and Farmyard Party to work in a chip van with Sarann. I had a great time but it meant not seeing Liz for a lot of the month – the first real test for our relationship. I think we ended up stronger than ever! Chris ended up in hospital with a serious bout of appendicitis and I spent a lot of time helping Matt sort out his car.

July was quite boring compared to the surrounding months.I went to Workhouse in Wales, had minor computing issues and moved in with my new housemates – Sarann, Michelle, B and Chris.

Always a quiet month, with uni still a month away and the excitement of breaking up long since faded away. I spent most of the month taking stock and seeing what was what in my life. I did go to Solfest, however, which was definitely a personal highlight of the year!

I made only seven blog posts in September, which gives a good indication of how little I did. I did start a new course at university though and turned twenty-three – which also explains the lack of blogging! The combination of Fresher’s week and birthday celebrations will do that to a man.

A difficult month for me. A lot of things happened in my private life that left me somewhat adrift. I did get a new computer though, which is always nice!

November saw things pick up a bit with the A-Soc London trip, Atheist Week and the discovery of the Lancashire Hotpots! London was worth all the effort that I put into it, it turned out better than anyone had predicted and nothing really bad happened. Liz and I went from strength to strength and I even managed to find time to do some uni work!

A month of WoW and family. Not a lot to report on really, except what is already included at the top of this post. It was a good festive period all in all. I think it set me up for 2008 quite nicely.

Weekend is over, back to work now.

November 4th, 2007 No comments

Tomorrow is Monday and although it is technically half-term (or reading week) my to-do list is getting on to several sheets of paper long and some of the contents I would definitely rather put off for a little longer.

The main tasks though are making sure I am up to date with coursework and a few other administrative jobs such as confirming everything for London trip and ensuring that my CompSoc tasks are all written off by close of business Monday.

I start back at work this week too, probably Wednesday if all goes well. So at least the money will be rolling in again if nothing else.

Anyways, driving Liz back home today and going to check out the grand re-opening of the Chequers, the until recently dormant village pub in Potterhanworth. Should be fun.