Tag: money

Work

For a few days after I came out of hospital, with my injured wrist and my bloaty head (both mostly recovered), I did well at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I went outdoors and exercised every day, building up my stamina and mileage. I avoided sugar after 10am. I ate meals at set times, following a schedule that was dictated by the need to take antibiotics on an empty stomach.

Then, work. A new contract came in. It looks like a big project. We are yet to find out how much the customer is willing to spend. If they pay the full amount we are asking for then I’ve just covered my expenses for the rest of 2017. If they pay a quarter of that, it is still worth having and I can justify going on holiday, so yay for work and money.

As a result, I’ve been extremely busy writing proposals and whatnot. My lifestyle instantly plummeted into something horrible where I ate chocolate cake and ice cream like it was an Olympic event and sat at my desk for 18 hours/day.

Anyway, the paperwork is done now. I’ve gained a couple of pounds but it’s my own fault. My flat is completely and utterly trashed and I need to clean up right now even if it is midnight because that’s how urgent it is.

When I found my wallet just now, after having lost it for several days, part of my brain instantly went ‘That’s enough housework for today! Let’s play video games!’ But I am resisting because I am being responsible.

There is an exciting week ahead featuring opera, ballet and possibly a couple of dates.

I’ve been so focused on the end, I don’t know what the beginning looks like.

Monday. My first real day of not working for the World’s Worst Company. There is no more paperwork, no more emails, no nothing. My job now is to take control of my new life and drive it forward in the right direction so that I don’t end up in a state of career malaise again three years from now, or less than that, god forbid. Let’s see what’s changed.

15 Months With The World’s Worst Company: Lessons Learned

  • Apparently I have a lot of values around things like delivering good quality service, taking care of customers and making an effort. These are good things to know about myself. Especially considering that my motivation hit somewhat of a low point following the violent crime of 2014, causing me to wonder whether I had any effort left in me. It is ironic that I ultimately responded to this state of affairs by taking the most demanding job I’m ever likely to have.
  • What I learned from doing superhuman amounts of work and achieving impossible things for 15 months: I am tenacious. I have a lot of energy. When I know I am doing the right thing, I will let nothing stand in my way. I am capable and can deliver against as many targets as I need to, even if that means surviving on 3 or 4 hours of sleep at night.
  • What my customers taught me. It’s okay just to be happy to be alive. The past is another country. History is far less important than the future. Not every new invention needs to redeem humanity or save the world. Some inventions are there just to bring small moments of happiness into people’s lives and there’s nothing wrong with that. Angst is out of fashion, so is introspection. Capitalism may or may not be inherently evil, but it is what we have and there’s no point wishing otherwise. Health is irrefutably important and is a moral duty, to society as well as to yourself individually.
  • I value my time and I like money. Life without a steady stream of money is scary and depressing. A stream of incoming money makes life brighter and happier. Doing things with my time that do not match its monetary exchange rate pisses me off. If I’m going to invest large amounts of time in work then it needs to pay me at the upper limit of what it is capable of paying. It is important to have some time off work and some sort of life outside work. Doing otherwise leads to compensatory behaviours like smoking and buying too many clothes and other wasteful personal luxuries.
  • I am fantastic with large audiences. I am incredibly engaging and passionate and can hold the attention of large groups of people. I am a crowd-pleaser. I please crowds. I am funny as all get-out and I know how to make everybody feel loved.

Small Amounts Of Time With My Commercial Clients: Lessons Learned

  • I want to work with people who are happy and ambitious, who like their jobs. This is very important.
  • I love business travel, it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. A business trip to a new country can give a lift to my entire year. Going to a new country and staying in a nice hotel solves any and all emotional problems.

Graphics from when I was doing life planning in 2015, prior to taking the job at the WWC:

What I see from the big plan, the one with all the squares on it, is that the structure of this thing is unchanged. I hoped that the job at the WWC was going to solve my problems by turning the red zone of the plan (everyday business activities) into something that lined up with the blue zone (my personal values, mission and philosophy). Of course, that didn’t happen but it did give me a boost of energy and shake up my point of view, which is why we have all the above discussion about values, in light of the experience that I’ve just had. When I look at the detailed lists of values that I made in 2015, it’s all very worthy stuff. Quite a serious frame of mind is evidenced. I see now that some things hold good – integrity is a big one – but some things are missing that I can now see are really important. And these things include getting paid at a level that I think is commensurate with my skills, taking and enjoying opportunities such as travel, and having fun. I don’t see a lot of fun in that 2015 plan, but I learned that fun is really important and I am good at making it, even in adverse circumstances

What I need to do as a next step is take a look at that red zone of everyday business activities because it has reached another point of change now that I’ve finally escaped from the World’s Worst Company. I need to take a fresh look at my everyday work and career and make some judicious decisions about what those things need to look like.

What I need to do immediately, as in right now, is get on top of the financial situation. The WWC was chaotic from a financial point of view. It brought in some money but it was also very expensive and it left me with no time to do my own financial planning. I need to pay urgent attention to this task list:

  • Get some outstanding invoices paid. Plus at least one new invoice to issue.
  • Get an overview of the upcoming tax situation, send stuff to my accountant.
  • Mortgage and pensions guys are waiting for things from me.
  • Personal finance – take a look at a loan that apparently is still outstanding.
  • Generate some new business to keep the money coming in later in 2017.

This means poring over bank statements, so I’d better get on it.

Note to self: when I started this blog, I used TLYW Achievement Points to propel myself along. It was successful in getting me to go to the gym and do all manner of things. So I might re-start that, I could have a new page for it. But I need to attend to financial matters first.

It’s almost over.

I’m so ragey and tearful and I don’t think it’s all down to caffeine withdrawal.

This morning I had a phone call with someone at the World’s Worst Company about why I am leaving. I listened to myself talking. I listened to myself explaining how much it meant to me, to have the chance to return to an industry that I had been missing and wanting for 16 years. How much it meant to me to have the chance to revive a career that is what I was supposed to do with my life and had to turn my back on because of money.

Then I listened to myself explaining why I am about to turn my back on that career a second time. How I’ve taken 15 months of abuse from this company that I can no longer forgive. How I can’t wait any longer for it to get better, because it never gets any better. How we’ve abused our customers in a way that I can’t continue to be a part of. How the entire organisation seems to run on a tacit agreement that everyone should do as little work as possible. Everyone keeps quiet about it so that everyone can keep getting away with it. Everyone pays lip service to quality and customer satisfaction just as long as it means that nobody has to do any ACTUAL work. I can’t adjust to that and I am never going to adjust to that. I’m not retired and I couldn’t be that lazy and defeatist if I tried. I was born to work. And that’s why I can’t spend any more time with them or being required to represent them because they are professional work-avoiders.

I listened to myself talking and I am so angry. I am so angry and so bitterly disappointed. Then I ended the call and then I had another cry.

Let’s count how many more days until I am out of this nightmare.

  • I will down tools and stop being on the payroll at midnight on December 31st, that’s 7 weeks and 3 days away.
  • I can work from home and stop going to that horrible office in early December. My last day on the premises will be Friday 9 December, that’s 4 weeks and 2 days away.
  • Between now and then, I have to be physically on the premises 14 more times.

What do I have to show for this, 15 months of sweating blood for this company and sincerely doing everything I could for our customers?

  • It paid my bills for a few months while I was getting my business back on track.
  • I have a lot of clothes.
  • I met the Person who I’m not supposed to be in love with. My prize. If that’s all I take away with me, that’s enough. Plans are in place.

I looked for my career and it was not there and I have to accept that. I found love and I wore some nice dresses, and that is something. Now I need to get through the last few weeks and then I need to rest.

Sleep

I get some sleep. I have dreams in which (a) I do some work, such as looking for things on my hard drive and (b) I lose my temper and don’t make it through the next 5 weeks at that awful job without having a meltdown.

This is so hard. I need to be out. I need to get out. Meanwhile, I have invoices from July that my commercial clients still have not paid. Please pay up now. You’ve had months.

The Entertaining Book Shop

I just awoke from an actual nightmare about having to go back to work at that HORRIBLE job. Oh god, I don’t want to go. It is horrible. I am focusing on the fact that they are going to make 20 people redundant. It can’t happen fast enough. I wish they would make me redundant but I will have to stick it out for another year before I’m entitled to any redundancy pay. I’ve just looked at the financial forecast for that company and we are forecasted to lose 8% of our revenue in the coming 12 months because of lost customers because it is a TERRIBLE COMPANY. I wonder how many of our staff even read those figures. I bet they stop reading when it gets to the numbers. Maths is hard.

Now I’m awake I have to go and see my newest and richest client about even more new work. FFS. If they want me to go abroad again it’s going to be very hard to turn that down in light of the competition. Hopefully I can do the work in the UK, fingers crossed.

Here’s a South African photo to cheer us up. It is a book shop. Just to make it even better, it is a CHRISTIAN book shop. How much do you love that? It is at the Gateway mall in Durban, if you want to go.

IMG_0531

 

Church.

I have been doing Tax all day. Fucking pain in the ass. It’s 10.30 at night and I’m talking to a customer services representative from Norton, trying to track down a VAT invoice.

Why is this my life? It was really nice weather today. I wasn’t outside. Let’s try and remember what all this is for. I fucking love this song, it might be one of the most cheerful and inoffensive songs about money I’ve ever heard. The hook is hooky, the lyrics are memorable and the video has bonus Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

It ain’t my fault that my money on the rise and it ain’t my fault that it’s stacking to the skies.

That’s what it’s for. I am broke and I have tax bills but I am rich on paper. Keep playing the game.

Don’t be afraid, cause there’s money money everywhere.

ETA: He is a lot more than 30 lbs overweight and he does not give a damn.

D/R Period: Money