Friday, 24 January 2014

i fucked up

So I've fucked up at work.

Basically, that work I did last weekend was for a framework submission.  There's a lot of background, but basically it seems I made an error right at the beginning that meant the template document we were working from was wrong.

Specifically a group of questions were missing.

We then worked on this basis, but when I finally came to upload it I discovered this omission. But this was Sunday lunch time. And I didn't know what to do.

I had two basic options:

1.    I could call my boss.  This would have caused an almighty flap and waving of arms and I would have gotten in trouble.

2.    Or I could just generate answers for the missing questions and upload it and cross my fingers that no-one would notice.

So I did the second.

And it backfired mightily.

Yesterday it transpired that the portal was messed up and they sent us an e-mail listing the questions out and saying they would be assessing it manually.  Of course, this list included the questions I'd missed... and someone noticed.

Initially (and this was where I compound the error and it becomes a fuck-up) I lied and said I hadn't seen the additional question.

What I hadn't realised though was that my boss would instantly launch into an attack on the people whose tender it was saying we'd never seen the questions and the whole competition should be pulled.

And so I had to come clean.

I mean, I could have gone on lying, but there was too much evidence that I was lying.  Truth be told I kinda new it would all come out eventually.  I never catch the lucky breaks.

So I fucked up and I await the consequences.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

box damage

Before Christmas I ordered a few bits and pieces on amazon.  They were pretty random and included some glycerin soap (for shaving), ear plugs, a page-a-day sudoku calendar and 100-disk cake boxes of both CDs and DVDs.
Nothing particularly unusual there, but the condition these turned up in was.

The box was utterly destroyed.

I don't just mean a bit bent and damaged - it was so badly beaten up that there was little in the way of structural integrity to it: it kinda flopped like a sack when you picked it up.  It also had a huge hole in it, through which you could see the box contents drifting about.  It looked like it had been used as a football or dropped down an entire flight of stairs.

Every item was damaged except the ear plug, though in the case of the calendar and soap it wasn't significant.  The significant damage was to the CD & DVD cake boxes - as you can imagine from the state of the box, they'd been pretty much destroyed.

For one of them the spindle that holds the CDs was completely snapped, for both the outer cover was damaged.  On both a significant proportion of the disks were scratched and several actually had dents and chips on them.

I took some photos, so you don't have to just take my word for it:

I complained, obviously, and amazon were quite good: they sent replacement cake boxes straight away via royal mail (I wasn't fussed about the other bits).  They initially said I had to return the broken ones, but I then sent them the photos and they said not to bother and just throw them away.

I blogged the other day about how the amazon free postage service was causing me some problems and this was the real killer.  The other issue I've had was with delivery times: it's taken way over the estimated time for stuff to get to me.

The manga I mentioned buying took a full week longer than the estimated date, and the estimated date was already 1 week after when I paid.  In other words, it took 2 weeks for them the books to get to me.  And 1 of those boxes was also bent, and the other was basically so loose you could just slip the side open and take out the content if you had wanted to.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

manga mania

I bought some manga!

Now that may not seem anything particularly unusual -surely I buy manga all the time, right?

Well normally that would be the case, but for about the last year I've been on something of a "fast".  There have been a couple of reasons for this.

The first, and most important, was financial.  Unfortunately, with the adjustments to the VAT laws, the little loophole that amazon was exploiting to discount its manga has disappeared.  This means that all the mange I buy has gone up by several pounds.  This isn't a lot individually, but obviously if you buy dozens of them it soon adds up.

It also makes the situation a bit complicated in that the amazon prices now aren't guaranteed to be cheapest.  Also, I've had a few problems with the free postage service recently so if the free postage is now basically not worth using then shopping around becomes wise, and I couldn't really be arsed.

However, also, more obviously I've been struggling financially, so I didn't really have money to spare for manga.

The other key reason was that I wanted to catch up with some of the normal books on my shelves.  I've got quite a few that I hadn't read, but in particular there's a couple of series I've been reading that I was getting way adrift on.  I'd gotten to the state where I was reading so many manga series that they were all I was reading - whenever I got the pile low, new volumes would turn up (all pre-ordered on amazon, you see).

So why have I bought some manga?  Well, it's been a long time since I read any and I have been doing okay with the normal books, so I fancied a change.

Also, for Christmas I got quite a few amazon gift vouchers, so I needed to spend those anyway.  I also got a bonus payment so I figured I could loosened the belt a tiny bit and it would be okay (I actually only spend about £60 to buy £120 of stuff, so I figure that's not a bad deal.

However, the manga I bought was quite focused on series that have either ended or that I have been collecting and selling the volumes as I go.  That means that I will recoup some of the outlay later - indeed, it sort of helps me down the road, as selling incomplete series is particularly tricky on e-bay and it can be a little risky to leave it too long to buy volumes that have been released in case they sell out.

Monday, 20 January 2014

up - not down?

So I weighed in on Sunday morning and I'd gained a pound.  My weight is now 20 stone 13 pounds.

I really couldn't make head nor tail of this.

I mean, don't get me wrong - it wasn't the perfect week by any stretch, but I at least figured I would come out neutral at worst.  Gaining a pound seems bizarre.

In terms of walking I actually did more steps than my targets.  And this is with my newer upwardly revised targets of 7,500 steps on Tuesday - Thursday.

Eating wise I was pretty good all week, though things went a little pear shaped on Friday.  Obviously, we went down the pub as I mentioned and had carvery (we always have carvery nowadays - the boss is not an experimental eater and assumes we're all fine with having the same thing over-and-over, but also it's relatively cheap).  However, that evening I also had packaged sandwiches, crisps and 4 small ├ęclairs bought from Tesco.

I usually shop on Friday evening, but on this occasion it was after a 12 hour day where I'd not slept particularly well the previous 2 evening.  Usually, lack of sleep seems to "help" the weight (you obviously burning more energy in "wake" mode) but I don't think it did this time, so Friday was a bad day, but I honestly didn't think it was so bad I would put on weight.

There are a couple of excuses I could give.

Saturday I seemed to be a bit constipated (Friday's food was obviously quite rich) and on Sunday had (not wanting to get too biological) some large bowel movements after I'd weighed myself.

I also didn't go for a walk on Sunday.  There were several reasons for this - I had to go in to work to finish off and wanted to do it early.  But also, when I was finishing at work someone came in to do the cleaning and I thought best to leave, rather than go for a walk then.

However, I was also swayed as I have been having a bit of trouble with my ankle, as it's been a bit uncomfortable when I've been walking just recently.  I suspect I might have strained it a bit last week - I need some new walking shoes more urgently than I thought as the souls are worn smooth and it's been quite icy on a few mornings recently so I've been slipping.

Lastly, the scale doesn't give detail beyond pounds.  I could easily have been 12.4 pounds last week (round down to 12) and 12.6 this week (round up to 13), which would appear like a more significant gain than it really was.

However, these are all excuses - I mean, I could have been 11.6 last week (round up to 12) and 13.4 this week (round down to 13), for example - so I'll just have to see if it helps me stick more closely at it this week.