If there’s blood pouring down your walls, it’s my fault
Written by James 17th Dec, 2005
… for yes, this week, I actually did some work!
OK, so it’s not the programming work that I should be doing, but it was nonetheless work that needed to be done sooner or later. It was the highly tedious task of transferring about 1,000 domain names from one Nominet tag to another. One at a time. Incredibly tedious, also slightly RSI inducing, but at least I’ve achieved something this week that a) needed to be done and b) will make life easier. Phew.
Office update… we may have a serious case of muppetry as Steve Wright would say (yes, I’ve taken to listening to Radio 2, kill me now). Long story short, they gave me the wrong forms to fill in when I went to see them on Monday. Not a disaster, in the week it was going to take the cheque to clear they could post me out the new forms and I could post them back. Except they didn’t post them until Wednesday, and even though I posted them first class on Thursday they hadn’t arrived by Friday (not that surprising given the state of Royal Mail and the time of year).
When I spoke to them on the phone yesterday they gingerely asked when I wanted to move in. Funnily enough on the day that had been agreed, Monday 19th. The reply was one of those “Right….”’s that we all utter when what we mean is “Ohhh crap…”, followed by a “we’ll get back to later today to confirm”.
Do I really need to finish this story? Surely you can tell where it’s going? Correct! No phone call, no e-mail. So I haven’t got a clue what’s going on. Frankly if they can’t get this sorted by Monday then I’m going to tell them to stuff it until the new year, as frankly it’s already dubious as to whether it’s worth bothering this side of Christmas.
Eventually this plan will come together. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
What else happened this week…. well there was the stoic party on Tuesday, which was nice enough. Most of the time was spent by Matt and I bitching about the state of our careers (whoops, said the dreaded “C” word), with most others looking on in horror at these grumpy old men bringing down their party. Oh well, if they’re going to invite me they shouldn’t be surprised!
Another Christmas do last night, this time with friends at a local pub. Everyone was horribly late for various reasons including traffic, overdue coursework, and trips on the London Eye – much to the irritation of the few that did make it on time! A fairly nice meal, pretty good value for £20, nice to see people again. This really is the only downside of having left university, since I now rarely see people that I would once have seen every day. Of course it doesn’t help that I haven’t moved on to a new “group” via a PHD, job, or something else. Oh well…
Also this week I finally started Christmas shopping, albeit as a means of getting out of the house and killing time. I started in Ealing on Thursday, which was an unmitigated disaster – didn’t find anything for anyone, finally resigned myself to just buying wrapping paper, and then had a complete sense of humour failure in WH Smith when the quque failed to move at an acceptable speed and gave up. As it turns out I already have plenty of paper left over from last year, so never mind.
Undeterred I continued on Friday in Kensington and actually bought some stuff. Nothing very exciting, which depresses me somewhat – I have this grand vision of Christmas where I buy delightfully thoughtful gits for everyone that they never knew they wanted, but it turns out I’m not that thoughtful and end up buying fairly unimaginative things that have been specifically requested. At least it avoids disappointment I guess.
The plan did go slightly awry when I started spending money on myself, in the form of a brown moleskin jacket from Gap, which I know I’ll hardly ever wear, for £80. And I’m ashamed to say that this reckless spending made me happy, so much so that I didn’t even get annoyed by the chugger who blocked my path outside the shop (still didn’t stop though!).
Which brings us to Saturday…. it really is getting too cold to sit outside Starbucks for an hour reading the paper, not least because my fingers get so numb that I can’t turn the pages. Must buy gloves.
I have to say the news is all rather depressing – people being released from prison only to murder people, kids getting run over in hit and runs, and a 2 page ramble on moral poverty at Christmas (is it so bad to be selfish for a couple of weeks per year?). Although the most vile thing has to be the picture on page 29 of today’s Guardian in their weekly snooty look at the world of showbiz – someone carefully holding a cup to Mariah Carey’s lips as she takes a sip through a straw. Frankly I’m amazed she can even go to the effort of inhaling in order to draw up the fluids. As the commentary points out, the poor assistant is doomed to having to admit when asked what it is that she does, to replying “I’m Mariah Carey’s cup-holder”. Ugh.
Off to Lorna’s for her annual Christmas dinner – while most shudder at the prospect of 8 or 10 people, somehow this party caters for about 30. Who in God’s name thought this was a good idea must be mad, but it always works and the food is great, so long may it continue. More Christmas shopping tomorrow, office fiasco on Monday, probably extending into Tuesday, maybe get down to work on Wednesday just in turn for the Christmas break to start on Friday. Marvelous.
And once again the weekly ramble about nothing, of interest to no-one, and largely devoid of humour draws to a bumbling close. Tune in on Monday to hear the outcome of my own, more farcical version of “The Office”. The fall-out could eclipse that oil explosion and may well be audible on the moon.