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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 03:13pm on 31/03/2011 under , , ,
I have a new job, hurrah.

It's within the same company, so you could call it a promotion. I'm moving into "Group Tech Support" which is kind-of an odd dept. They/we do testing & validation of new software and products, support other departments and deal with some of the more... tricky customers.

Basically it's what I'm really doing now, with FAR fewer customers and more of what I really like, the troubleshooting, playing, tinkering and breaking of things.

The fact that it comes with a 17% pay rise was just a small factor in my decision to say yes.

I start Monday, and am a very odd mix of ecstatic and worried ;-) I don't think I've anything to be worried about but change is always slightly un-nerving.

Annoyingly enough, I got a phone call from a recruitment agent yesterday evening talking about a position for a company nearby to my current place, talking about what on the surface sounds like a "too good to be true" position with a salary to match. I don't think it's even worth considering to be honest. I decided a while ago that if I'm going to change company I'm going to do so for somewhere that's closer to home.
Music:: Orbital - Waving Not Drowning
location: WA4
Mood:: 'rejuvenated' rejuvenated
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:08pm on 19/02/2011 under , ,
day 2 - where you’d like to be in 10 years.

There are numerous aspects to this, mainly work (career) and physical location. Also relationship-wise, hobby-wise, family-wise and so on.

Work - I used to know, but now I don't. When I was working for T-Mobile I had a potential future career progression and due to the nature of the business it would have been inevitable I would have ended up in Hatfield.

Now I don't know. I'm working in a small company and career progression isn't going to happen. The industry I work in (CCTV) is small and very incestuous and I don't see a future for myself within it. I need a change.

Along with this goes location. I like it in this part of the world (this part of the world being the North-West (well, kinda) of England, or more technically I'm now in North Wales) and have no plans to leave it. I look occasionally at jobs that would involve moving to the South and I can't see enough advantages to make it worthwhile (I do see some advantages, but the disadvantages really are huge). I just wish that more of the people I knew lived nearby.

My current location makes finding a new job kinda tricky. If I was based in or near a big city (Manchester/Liverpool) there are LOADS of jobs I could probably blag my way in to. But Wrexham? If you want mechanical engineering jobs, plenty of those around. Picking & packing jobs? LOADS. Tech support, IT, anything vaguely IT-support related? Nope.

What do I want to do career-wise? My goal is to avoid people management as much as possible and keep towards the technical side of things whilst also avoiding direct customer support, and perhaps head towards product management. This provides a nice mix, in my mind at least, of a requirement to keep technical skills up-to-date, innovation and keeping an element of support/training but not necessarily direct customer support.

I keep applying for anything I find interesting. Unfortunately even though I see my skills as being highly transferable (a support job is a support job), employers have their pick of the crop and why bother training me in a specific system when someone already knows it.

Relationship-wise I should probably add that by then [personal profile] pipsytip and I should be married by then. What could change between us? Who knows eh?

Family-wise, no plans. My family are fairly distant in general and I have no direct wishes to change this. I would like to see my parents more but who can afford to do a 400 mile round-trip every few weeks? Or should I say, I can't.

Which leads inevitably on to - financially - I will be debt free. Except for good debt (e.g. a mortgage). I explain this fairly regularly to people, but when I stop paying ~£300/mo in debt repayments - excluding student debt which adds yet more on to this - I will be able to do so much more.

Hobby-wise, I would like to seriously get involved with some kind of open-source project that I believe in and could contribute to seriously. I look every now and then at volunteering for various things but whenever I get involved with anything like this it takes over my life. I know Warcraft is a poor example but I don't do things by half.

I could go on, but I don't think I should.

The rest of this meme... )
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:32pm on 09/02/2011 under ,
I was made irrationally angry this morning by a pair of statistics quoted by someone on the radio this morning. (about 2hrs 42mins into today's program - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00y5cks/Today_09_02_2011/)

It was somebody from the London Pension Funds Authority talking about the planned increased to employee contributions for their pension. He said, roughly, that the change would have the largest effect on "middle-class employees" earning £35-£40k. This is probably a reasonable thing to say because (making a number of assumptions) they're going to lose a considerable amount of their take-home pay (he quoted 4%).

He then continued in almost the same breath, to say that the average pension is ~£4k.

He's suggesting that local government employees who earn £35k end up with a pension of £4k?

That is not comparing the same thing with the same thing. The LG employees on the ~£4k pensions are the part time cooks, cleaners and administrative staff on low wages. He tried to (perhaps he didn't, but he managed to) link very well paid people with very low pensions.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
location: LL11
Music:: The Joy of Teen Sex
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 07:24pm on 27/04/2009 under , , ,
Jane's at work, I'm on holiday. Whenever this happens it generally means I tidy. Proper tidy, rather than just tinkering around the edges which is normal.

So today I have cleaned the kitchen, the living room, the back room (and was THAT a challenge? I couldn't even see the bed in there) and moved everything into the bedroom that should be in there. This now, however, means that everything we own is piled on the bed and needs arranging.

We need more storage, but have no place for it to go!

It's been a good day, lots of stuff achieved that I've meant to do for a while around the house. Getting behind things and under stuff and making sure that everything's got a place. I now have a list of things to do tomorrow after picking up the freshly altered suit from Shrewsbury.

Speaking of the suit, I've been looking at getting a new suit for ages. However the arrival of a fair amount of Quidco money, the funeral of my granddad (on Thursday - he died relatively peacefully last Saturday morning, I forgot to mention here) and a wedding to attend in August persuaded me to spend some cash on a half-decent one.

I went into Shrewsbury on Saturday afternoon to try and find one, but I couldn't find one that fits my lardy backside in the places I would normally look first. I could have ordered online but I needed guaranteed arrival by Tues (we're off to London on Weds). I found 38 Above in Shrewsbury whilst wandering and they had what I need in stock. And they were really nice in the shop. They do unfinished trousers (for the taller gentleman, presumably) so had to ship them to a tailor and would normally be delivered back to the shop on the Weds, but as I needed them sooner they offered to pick them up from the tailor on Tues for me! Yay! It's also no more expensive from there as it would be to get a good one delivered from various online sources.

I've also implemented a new backup plan on the new install of Jaunty Jackelope (which so far, I've been really impressed by).
location: home
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
Music:: Doctor Who - The Impossible Planey
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:09pm on 12/03/2009 under ,
Oh, my!

Quidco have eventually paid me for my disputed claim! £120 quid! Bonus :) I gave in with them after a few months chasing and threats of legal action, which I couldn't be arsed to actually follow throw with.

So that should get paid sometime in March. Looking forward to it :)

What should I do with it?
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:04pm on 16/11/2008 under
I decided - in a concerted effort to get more paid off my credit card - to cancel my minimum payment direct debit and set up a standing order with a fixed amount every month.  This is good, as it means I will pay it off a little quicker.

This would have been a good plan, if I could have told the difference between November and December while setting up the standing order.  I've been thinking I've been a bit rich this month and couldn't figure out why.  Only when I went to the garage yesterday, and came back with a valid MOT certificate and a credit card receipt that said "Declined" on it (that's confusing enough as it is to me, they didn't seem to notice that the payment failed) did I investigate and discover my blunder.

More annoying than my mistake has been the slightly weirdass attitude of the credit card company.  I called up this evening as soon as I figured out what I'd done wrong and asked to make a payment by debit card to sort out the overdue amount (it's only overdue by about 3 days now) and was told that they couldn't take payments by debit card, but if I called the "collections" department then they could, however they don't open on Sundays.  Eh?  Why not take payments by debit card?  Any other payment method takes 3-5 days ish to get to them, or requires a trip to a branch of the associated bank branch.  If I'm offering to make a payment, take my money damnit!
Music:: Doctor Who: Grand Theft Cosmos on BBC7 (iPlayer)
Mood:: 'disappointed' disappointed
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 04:29pm on 29/08/2008 under ,
I'm sat at home, the painter's still here btw after arriving at 8:30am, and someone knocks on the window and asks if I'd be interested in any fish - they're a door-to-door salesman. I don't think this is particularly weird because I know it happens in certain parts of Oswestry :)

I spent a few minutes with him shouting over the traffic about the stuff he's got and well it looks great. It looks absolutely brilliant but it's pricey, my it's pricey. In short, I just spent £70 on two boxes of stuff - 10 chicken breasts and many many yummy-looking fillets of various fish. They looked really good and I was thinking no but the internal foody said yes.

He swiped my credit card on his (ancient) swishy-swooshy carbon-copy machine-thing and then noted down the 3-digit number on the back. Now I said to him why do you need that, as it's meant to be for 'card holder not present' transactions and he said he'd been asked for it by his processing company. I'm going to give my credit card company a call and ask for a new card I think...
Mood:: poorly
location: home
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 01:39pm on 13/03/2008 under ,
I left the car at the garage at 9am, and they said they'd call as soon as they knew anything. I popped in on the way home, only a minor detour, at 1130 and was told there was no news yet. Walked home, took about half an hour, and got a phone call at about 1205 saying they'd finished it.

Grrrr.

Sure they did it on purpose.

Anyhow, just under £150 all told, but they've a 10% off labour costs thingie on their website, so got 10% off that whoohoo. I guess it's worth it for knowing how fast I am travelling, right? Someone tell me that I'm not mad...

Now I am relaxing briefly, while I try to stop my legs from complaining at me.
Music:: Building the Biggest - World's Biggest Railway - Discovery Knowledge
Mood:: tired
pmsumner: (coke)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 01:59pm on 18/06/2007 under ,
I took it in to get new tyres a few weeks ago, and the guy there had trouble getting a couple of the bolts back in after removing the wheel, and I've been driving on 3 ever since - not a huge issue really. I was suspicious as it's the same wheel as we had problems with before, when the garage in Manchester tightened the bolts so tightly they sheared off when attempting to remove them next time.

Anyhow, at the service apparently they could only get two bolts back in. That is an issue. 3 is safe enough for the short term, two is extremely unsafe. I asked how much it would cost and they're telling me that it needs a new hub, new bearings and new something-else's which I can't remember now. A grand total of... well let's just say that it's over £300.

The service itself is about £180 which I expected, and they did some diagnostics on the rough idling which they can't find a specific fault for, and are unable to fix. Hrmph. As well as the speedo, which has been working consistently since about Tuesday last week.

I guess if I looked at it overall I'm probably spending £1000/year on the car, which for a car of this age can't be that bad all told, but I can't help feeling that it needs replacing. But with what money? According to Jane it's as simple as "saving up a few months". One day I'll sit down and show her exactly how much debt I have...
Mood:: 'grumpy' grumpy
Music:: Frasier - Pramount Comedy
pmsumner: (dust puppy)
For the interested, I used http://www.quidco.com/ to buy my car insurance this time. A promised £120 cashback never materialised. So I made a query through their website, and today I got a letter stating that they hadn't received proof of my 5yrs no claims. I was confused by this as I don't remember ever being asked for it before! I'm sure I heard in the past that insurance companies have a big database of these things that they share amongst themselves.

Anyhow... I checked my paperwork and indeed there is a small section which I missed that says to send in proof from your previous insurance provider! Eh? Weird indeed. Unfortunately I have only in the last 2-3 days thrown out my paperwork from MoreThan because well, I kept it for a month after it expired, what possible use could it have?

Have had to call MoreThan and ask them to send me a letter... Ho Hum. Well that should come by the middle of next week and I'll then be able to fax it to Lloyds and they can give me my cash! £120 is a lot of cash :)
Music:: Radio 4 again
Mood:: 'cranky' cranky

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