This life of mine
Friday, July 10, 2009
  In case anyone wondered where I've been ...
... this is what’s been happening with me in the last couple of weeks.

Well, the work on the flat has begun, and it’s amazing. All the old striped wallpaper has gone and the walls are now a lovely pale yellow/peach colour that’s very popular in the UK – magnolia. It’s popular for a good reason. - it looks lovely.

The new wooden floors are down and look incredible, a light golden oak that really reflects the sunlight. The living room doorway and glazed bit next to it have been knocked through ready for folding doors to go on. Storage has been built in the hall and is awaiting the sliding doors. My old built-in closet in the bedroom now has lovely mirrored doors. It all looks absolutely fabulous.

The cats hate me, as their pampered little lives of sleep have been disrupted by the builders. They're also getting used to the new wooden floors. Funniest sight of the week was Bailey running through the flat and realising that she couldn't stop in time or turn before she skidded on her fat little butt and went into the patio doors. She had the exact same look on her face that Wile E. Coyote has when he runs off the edge of a cliff. I LOL'd. If I'd been quick enough I'd have run over and opened the door so she'd have sailed through it. (On second thoughts, no, I'm far enough in the doghouse with those cats as it is.) Bailey has already thrown up on the new floor, I suspect as some kind of message to me.

I’ve spent shedloads of hard-earned buying new stuff – I have a sofa and a mattress on order, I’ve bought curtains, light fittings, curtain poles and I still need to get lots of accessories – table lamps, new bedding and curtains for the bedroom, a new headboard, rugs, a new TV, all the little bits and pieces, such as a new waste bin for the kitchen, and lots of storage boxes so I can put everything away behind the sliding doors.

I’ve seen a fabulous painting for the living room wall. It’s a real painting, and I love it, but it’s a mass-produced thing, so not what a connoisseur would call ‘art’. But I know nothing about art except what I like, and I like this particular picture very much. It'll look lovely above the sofa.

But in moving phone points, my builder has somehow borked both my phone and internet. There’s a lot of crackle on the phones, and the net speed has fallen from between 5,000 and 7,000 kbps to about 120 kbps. The connection also keeps dropping without warning. It’s like dial-up fun all over again. I put microfilters on the phone points tonight, which seems to have stopped the connection from dropping (quite so much) but it’s still very slow. Tomorrow I’ll haul the computer into the living room, take off the master faceplate and connect the compute through a microfilter into the BT test socket. If I get high-speed on that, then it’s an internal wiring/filtering issue.

It’s been both a damn nuisance and a blessing, as it’s given me time to focus on all the sorting out of accumulated belongings into what I’m keeping, what I’m giving to charity and what can go in bin bags down to the dump. I lead such an exciting life.

Work has been … interesting.

While the builders are in, I have to go into the office five days a week. 5.30am starts every weekday morning are killing me. I'm really missing my two days at home, and it's also had quite an effect on my physically, because my tendonitis is really bad. At least I have a good argument for making sure I can retain my two days a week at home (where I use voice-dictation software to dictate my casework straight into Word). Employers hate disability claims and if I had to be typing five days a week over the long-term, I'd be in serious difficulty. There's too much ambient noise in our huge open-plan offices to use the voice-dictation software at work, because it's very sensitive. If one of the cats walks into my home office and meows, the words 'the owl' appear on screen!

Earlier this year there was an online ‘confidential’ staff survey. You didn’t have to give your name, but you had to give your job title and the area of the business where you worked so it was fairly easy to pinpoint who had answered which question.

So, on Tuesday, a group of us were ‘invited’ to discuss the survey results with one of the managers. The nearest thing I can compare it with is the episode of The Office where Michael Scott gets hold of Toby’s grievances file and then has a meeting to discuss everyone’s grievances. It was excruciating. As I have no chance of any advancement or promotion, I didn’t give a shit, because I have no career prospects to destroy, but a lot of people were very unhappy about having their so-called confidential answers to the survey discussed.

And yesterday one of my old complainants contacted our Help Desk to complain about me. The case that I dealt with involved her making allegations that her bank manager had, on the instructions of MI5, murdered her mother, because her father had been a Conscientious Objector during World War Two. Anyway, she’s now complaining that I am stalking her (er, yeah, right). that I am a friend of Vanessa Feltz and the police are going to arrest me. (I didn’t know that being friends with Vanessa Feltz was a criminal offence. I have never met Vanessa Feltz, btw, although I did see her outside the BBC in Marylebone High Street one day shouting at someone on her mobile phone.)

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’m looking forward to the MeFi meetup next week, and will be sure to wear my Three Wolf Moon t-shirt. It can only bring me joy and riches. I’m at the hairdresser tomorrow and am sorely tempted to ask for a mullet …
 
Comments:
Sounds like all is well.... mostly. Good to hear things are progressing on the flat. What a disruption that can be!
 
Hi, Jan. I saw this today and immediately thought of you:

http://www.dlisted.com/node/33150

I'm sure no one rocks that shirt better than you do!
 
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