Happy Christmas everyone.

To anybody who reads my marathon mumbling is happy Christmas to you.
Continue reading “Happy Christmas everyone.”

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Happy Christmas everyone.

Holy shit! The impossible has happened. I’m a dad

If there was ever a title for a blog post that I thought I would never writes then this is it.

As of this afternoon it’s been officially confirmed that sometime, by a major, major miracle, I’ve managed to get someone pregnant. I don’t say someone in a derogatory way but I’m not about to name her on this website, ever!

Sorry for anybody reading this who has no idea of my history, many years ago I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Before they could take a sample of my spam I had to start treatment as it really was a matter of life and death.

Life and death: that’s going to be the main point of this story.

After a couple of chemotherapy treatments I was allowed to go and try to freeze some sperm just in the event that having children would come to pass in my life

This gave me a flashback to a conversation I had back in school with two of my best friends Phil and Zach. We were talking about the life, the universe and everything else in between and being teenagers and going through the hassles of puberty things seemed bleak. Well they seemed bleak for me as I was from i’m incredibly disjointed family to say the least. My family life consisted of my parents battling over custody for me and yet when they were awarded it we did nothing of any substance. Actually no, that’s not fair to my dad because he did what he could being a typical single working bloke.

Going back to the conversation I remember saying that I never wanted to have children. The reason being is that I never wanted to bring life into this world that may experience the same shit that I had to deal with. To this day, more than 20 years on I could take you to the exact spot where we had that conversation.

The irony wasn’t lost all me when the news came through that my sperm wasn’t “active”The first thing that went through my head was be careful what you wish for in this life you might get it.

I remember getting the news and being told that I was never going to have children. I was still young, only 20 years of age and it didn’t really sink into me. My girlfriend at the time, Samantha, was incomplete tears and I never understood why. Well I guess it took me longer to realise what that actually meant in the real world.

Of the few partners Dinehart has only been one that has come close to give me a pregnancy scare in the past but she was notoriously random with her periods. The day she told me she was six weeks late well I can honestly describe how I felt.

In a way I suppose I felt nothing but I was more bracing myself to see what happens. I didn’t want to tempt fate and I knew exactly how much she wanted to have a child. I’m not entirely sure that she wanted to have a child because she was with me and apparently love me or if it was just some thing that wanted in her life, another baby.

And another moment of my life that I will never forget two weeks later she walks into my office and tells me that her period has just started. Inside I was absent crestfallen. In one polarising moment I understood what having the family was all about how it would make her happy, for a brief free moments I imagine is bringing up my dad and telling him that he’s going to have a grandson. When she told me her period has started that hit me like a ton of bricks inside but I never showed on the outside, something I regret to this day. The lesson learned from my experience was that sometimes it’s good to have a poker face, other times you just need to open the fuck up.

Whilst I’m going down memory lane I remember talking to the big acts about children and I seem to remember us actually trying. well I remember at least one instance when we had done the deed and she laid on back with her legs in the air helping the swimmers. My contribution to this was to bring her a cup of tea and I went into the front room calmly I realised that somehow we were trying to have kids.

To this day I don’t know if she wanted them because she was with me or just because she wanted kids yes, that’s a pretty shitty thing to say but if you knew anything about our relationship then you know to expect things like this on a regular basis.

Spinning forward to the present day this all happened by text message.

Why is it that whenever I get a message saying “I have news” it’s never good. The last time someone had news for me was a girl that I really, really liked and we got on well. From the moment I saw heard there was an instant connection and then awhile later the “I have news message” comes through and low and behold her partner has proposed to her

The moment that I got told there was “news” my mind immediately went to thinking I am my god, I’m going to be a dad.
Anybody remember yesterday’s post where I said that normally when my sleeping pattern goes a regular, I can’t get to sleep or I wake up incredibly earlier than normal it’s a sign that something major is going to happen.

Well, low and behold, looks what happened.

Right now as I write this at this time of the morning I still can’t believe it. Despite her having blood tests that apparently accurately say how long she has been pregnant for I still can’t grasp the concept. Surely with a few partners five had before and the regular sex that are used to get I would’ve had a similar scare by now?

And this is whether what happens. For less than 24 hours I’ve been a father to a child
But nothing is ever simple in my world. The girl in question I’ve known for quite a few years and it’s unfortunate that she already has a child, and a loving partner, and Steve just bought a house together. All of those trimmings you get in life once you’ve made your decision is to be with someone.

This is put us both in a shit and horribly, horribly practical realisation. What should she do? Is she has the baby then it’s pretty obvious she’s going to lose everything in her life.

If she doesn’t have the baby then she has to live with the guilt of doing the process that has to be done. Yes, I’m being exceptionally careful to not to use the dreaded a word.

Selfishly my inner monologue is telling me that sometimes these things happen but. What happens if this is the only time in my life I will ever get a woman pregnant

Before anybody jumps in and tries to lecture me about that’s not the reason to have a child, you’re missing the point. it’s a very small part of the equation. Of course in the ideal world I would love, absolutely love to have Felicity Tarquin in my world. Yes that is the name I’ve chosen for it as that’s 1 million times better than calling what’s happened an “it”.

As much as I fight against the status quo and try live my wife as an individual that doesn’t stop me falling into the cliched trap of wanting to have a family.

Right now I’m trying to think of every possible way that Felicity Tarquin could live. It even got to the point I wish I was in ginger because if I hand black hair then at least A new life
Would be born into this world. And although I wouldn’t be a conventional farmer I can live my life knowing that I have bought someone into this world and they would have everything that I ever wanted. are very kind and very loving and very secure family.
That was the only condition I would ever have a child in my life once the building blocks are in place.

I know that there are couples out there who don’t live in an ideal world and they still make things work and they still family values into their children but one thing I have loads as I’ve gotten older is that the more secure and loving family, generally the better someone turns out.

Yes I know that’s an incredibly idealistic and may be somewhat narrowminded view but you can pick apart and general statistic till the cows come home. I don’t care if the family straight, bisexual, Swingos, gays or anything else that doesn’t appear on a politically correct statement. As long as the living environment is safe, secure and loving that Keynes for more than people will ever imagine. And I say this because this is something Inever had.

Anyways I realise that this post is fast becoming a drunken ramble and so is time for me to sign off and continue all of this tomorrow.

I just thought I would share this joy with the world

Holy shit! The impossible has happened. I’m a dad

Is the only way for a small business to survive to rip people off?

It’s 7 o’clock on Black Friday and here I am walking through an airfield in almost pitch black.

In the last week or so my sleeping pattern has been erratic to say the least it’s over I’m not getting to sleep till about 3 AM or I waking up absurdly early. Normally when my sleeping goes to pot this is a sign of life wanting to kick me square in the balls. I’m right in a way well, I’ve had some news that I can’t even share on my open platform into my life. Not yet anyways.

With today being black Friday and the last working day for many small businesses it’s a good time to post about an experience I’ve been having over the last couple weeks.

Where to start on this one. have a bit of Pentatech shortly, I’m an IT engineer and I have been for the last 15 years. all of that experience has given me a solid ground and troubleshooting methodology.

So just recently a position came up with a very, very small IT related position.

When I say small it’s a one man band type of their working out of a Portakabin and a van.

Now should’ve started ringing during the interview especially at the “technical part”. When asked to go to generic question or what would you do when a PC refuses to boots as most people although this isn’t a quick or easy answer

There was a special moment when his eyes glazed over and I knew I had already lost him technically.

Needless to say after 20 minutes of “interviewing” I got the job.

It is outstart in a little under two weeks he was going to Vietnam. The purpose of the trip is to look up how to start a charity over there giving away laptops which here in the western world we would deem unusable. So in short for minimum wage, and I really mean minimum wage, he wants someone to look after his entire business until February when he gets back.

Ring that I have nothing else to do with my time I thought I’d give it a shot and see how this plays out. After all everyone keeps telling me that “a job is better than having no job at all.

Side note number one. What is it the lesser you get paid in the world the more shit you have to deal with. This is a universal constant. The amount of shit you are expected to gobble up and just accept it because you have to count yourself lucky that you have a job is simply bewildering. If I get the chance I will write about my new debt collecting part of the role.

Huge alarm bells started on day one. I tuneup and he’s in the middle of a laptop “repair”. The repair is simple, disassemble the old laptop and puts the motherboard into a new case.

I hate anything to do with laptops when it comes to repairing. There are so many screws and to date I have yet to put one back without a couple of screws leftover.

All is going well until the time it comes to insert the DVD drive. Very quickly it’s apparent there is a slight change in the case and there is a plastic rage that’s is there which isn’t on the old one.

My world I would’ve been straight onto eBay and picked up the right parts for the job for just 5 pounds.

Not with this company. His solution was to go and borrow a hacksaw and start cutting away at the inside of the case.

I kid you not that on my first day I’m watching my so-called employer take a hacksaw to the inside of a laptop case to make the DVD drive fits.

On the fifth and final reassembly of the laptop I noticed that he chats away a couple of dust protectors for the inbuilt trackpad. Despite me being quite vocal about they are needed to stop dust and crafts from getting into the Switch mechanism he threw them away anyway guess what. The trackpad button stopped working a couple of hours later. Dust has gotten into you Switch mechanism causing the button to be on all the time.

Quite why I didn’t run for the door I will never know but I guess the lure of easy money was still strong.

It too late that my employer also does web hosting. Sporting a very small chance to intermixture revenue for the company I start to ask him about the service that he has. It turns out he has absolutely no idea but still manages to stiff people £200 a year for very basic web posting.

The second alarm bells start ringing when he asks can I design websites. In my head I’m thinking yes I can, I’m quite proficient at doing a decent looking website these days but there’s no way I’m doing that sort of work when I know he’s billing me out at £35 per hour and I receive £6.50 per hour.

I simply nought and smile saying that I’ve had a little experience and I will see what I can do.

After he finds the long lost passwords to his own WebServer I started having a dig through the traffic I was impressed that one of these websites was thundering through 40 GB a month. As I looked at the website in question there was one glaringly obvious question. How does a very simple full-page HTML-based websites with no backend database connection go through 40 GB a month.

The answer is: very easily when the server has been hacked. No fair enough the quality of porn on the server wasn’t actually too bad but despite shutting down the offending website the service deals remain on an metric fuck ton of blacklists. This answered another question I has why he doesn’t have his own domain name based email address instead of Google.

Figuring to myself that I’ve been a little bit lacklustre with doing anything over the last few months I would stick with it and see what I could do.

Turns out that another one of my jobs, not mentioned in the interview, was to populate a couple of websites that he’s already “designed”. Are used the word designed very loosely as it looks like a page that would be hosted on geocities.

In my head I think this is money for old rope as I have a few Indian friends he would jump at the chance of earning a couple of times per hour doing basic data entry.

On this particular job nobody knew the username or password for the website, not even the client. It turns out that the Bosshard is employed someone fresh out of college to set up this website and wasn’t able to get the username of passwords from him

So no I have to jump onto the backend of the server, won a few SQL scripts to change the username and password and eventually get entry.

Then I discover the Joomla! installation is hopelessly out of date and has never had any security patches applied. It then transpires that you can’t update Joomla! without updating the server. Something that’s never been done in the three years he’s had it.

So now I’m left with having to learn how to update server, make backups and do you have boatload of admin stuff for the low, low price of £6.50 per hour.

At this point I’m still thinking its money for old rope and I’m quite enjoying learning something new but in the back of my head something still doesn’t feel right.

At this point it is two days before he is due to leave

The rarest of where things happened and a customer walks in with a laptop running incredibly slow. It’s taking about 12 minutes on a reasonably suspects laptop to boot up into Windows.

Long story short all I had to do was disable a service that is well known for having problems and tying up the processor. Time to fix: 12 minutes.

The boss looked mortified that I could fix something so quickly and this resulted in an hour long conversation about, and I quote, “how do I know it’s fixed”.

I fight my corner and win but it was a shallow victory. The more technical I got the more his eyes glazed over not understanding a simple thing. He didn’t even know what the ping command was for.

The next day he disappears off to Vietnam leaving his whole company in my hands.

At first I can put up with the constant questioning of how I’m fixing things. Then internally I start defending him as he has been bitten before by people who said they could do the job but had no clue. After a month i snap as he then started asking me the most basic of basic troubleshooting questions.

This is the point where I wanted to walk away. It turns out that he “fixes” systems by doing the following.

When possible bootup the old system and collect all Microsoft-based product keys.
Make a copy of my documents.
Charge £35.
Reinstall windows.
Charge £50
Do not install any Windows updates.
Copy the backup of my documents onto the new laptop.
Charge £35
Hand laptop back to customer.

Then it starts to get more interesting. If they have been using Microsoft office we then reinstall that but we don’t see the set up their email account.

His “fix” is fundamentally flawed because anyone who is slightly technical or helped out a friend or relative fix a computer knows that people do not keep the usernames and passwords for pretty much anything.

Now don’t get me wrong I know that businesses have to make money and the above solution is a sort of solution but surely in this day and age it’s the last thing you do when you’ve looked it all the other options?

This is what really pissing me off is that more than one person I’ve spoken to who allegedly works in IT says that this is the first port of call rather than the last.

I’ve been told to apply this fix to anything I can.

Slow PC.
Fieriest infection.
Malware infection.
Hardware problems.
And yes if you can’t print as well charge them for it

In a very small way I understand where he’s coming from trying to make as much money as possible

But

many, many times I said why don’t we look at attracting new customers, sending out special offers to the existing customers he has hard. Doing little things like saving over Christmas card just to stay fresh in the minds of previous customers. In short increasing the number of customers to aid more money

I was told “no, just charge you any you can the most amount of money you can”

To give you another example. Going back to one of his website clients he wants to charge me out at £35 an hour for six hours work when the job realistically took me two hours. I don’t have a problem with this at all because things like this are what they are.

Why do have a problem with is when I walk in and see the clients to get payments For the work and an outstanding invoice it turns out the job that I have just done was supposed to have been done for months ago before I even starte.

Suddenly I’m faced with having to dig myself out of the situation that I didn’t put myself into and also become a debt collector.

It to write this is not the first job he’s done but hasn’t collected money for. It’s just in this particular instance he hadn’t done the work and wanted to get the money coming in.

In amongst his partying in Vietnam and setting up this so-called charity he then asked me to start collecting payments for work that he has done two months prior to me starting. This means that these invoices are formance old and he doesn’t know if one of them has been paid or not.

So now I’m having to chase up the stats by emails and sending letters and telephone calls and yet he still sends me a message on Skype asking me why haven’t people paid.

Rights therein then my suspicions were confirmed that he is just a scamming fuck wit. Seriously he doesn’t have a clue and he can’t understand why people aren’t paying him money for a job that he said he had done but hadn’t four months ago.

He wonders why people are a little bit upset with him when he’s asking them if they have paid him. Can anybody else see the problem with that?

There is going the extra mile in a job role But how many miles do you go as part of the course before you realise you’ve just done a marathon for nothing.

So as the Black Friday evening approaches I’m off to the Portakabin for the final time to collect my stuff and walk away from all of this.

In those immortal words I’m not being paid enough for this shit.

Is the only way for a small business to survive to rip people off?

Mark my words

The second I can think of a suitable domain name for life as an unemployed which ties in nicely with the new universal credit believe me and mark my words I’m going to create that blog.

Only for the fact I’m absolutely sick of not being considered for jobs because, and I quote, “it looks like you haven’t been able to hold down the job”

Here’s the thing, I’ve been self-employed pretty much since I was a teenager. Being told that it looks like you’ve had lots of jobs is like selling a plumber I can’t hire you because it looks like you’ve done lots of plumber jobs.

In an instant they forget about the relevant experience, how I’ve worked my way up from shifting boxes to starting my own company right through to working in Dubai.

It’s gotten to the stage where I have to massage the dates on my CV to cover the fact that I was severely ill for a couple of years. Could you imagine that, going into an interview and explaining that you have three years out of work because you had cancer.

Dam right they can’t discriminate against that but they can certainly find other reasons not to hire you.

All this of course tell the job centre on a fortnightly basis and the only result I get is more “one to one coaching sessions”

These coaching sessions involve nothing more than my coach searching for jobs on the government website, something being in the IT trade I’m obviously not well equipped to do (sarcasm)

Tries I might I still can’t get through to them that I am not a programmer. I don’t mention programming skills anywhere on my CV nor have I mentioned it in conversations. However because my CV has the word Apple and android in it that obviously certifies me to go for a developer job.

The system is flawed. try as I might I can’t get the message across that when someone requires IT skills it completely different to IT support skills.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not completely oblivious to how my job history may look in the eyes of some Hache are departments but surely times have changed? I guarantee that if I put time I only had four jobs the next question I would get past would be why did you leave and why did you not get promoted?

I haven’t ventured into the realms of reverse sexism in the workplace but believe you me it exists even if nobody wants to talk about it.

I’ve personally seen many women get promoted to a team leader role when quite frankly they don’t have the experience all the technical backgrounding of similar candidates. No I’m not saying they got the job based on gender but I’ve always been left wondering why does this pattern exist?

Granted yes my view of the world is very small but that shouldn’t make it any less relevant in this day and age.

Back to my issue anyway so the agency asked me to put gain all of my accomplishments and achievements to really show the personality within the CV and I’m left wondering why? It’s going to go to a company that hasn’t spent any time talking to me and so I’m placing my face in someone to present me in the best possible light after 15 minutes of conversation

In this instance I honestly think the agency tried as hard as they could and the once I even got back a phone call to say why I hadn’t been selected. That’s a great change from years ago where there was less of a relationship in fact thinking about it a lot agencies seen now to take on the jerry Maguire style of representing their talent.

Thebut now it seems like if I put dying all of my accomplishments I can walk into a room and people take a look at me and go how, how have you managed to do all this. In every interview I’m just open and honest, I have assumed that’s okay I’m certainly not about to bust eight £300 on a shirt and tie combination because he should be the person and. The package not just the external wrapping.

I had one interview where I had to fight tooth and nail to convince someone that I would get on my hands and knees delay cabling. Despite giving him several detailed examples of digging in the sand to find an ADSL cable in 45° heat when working in Dubai he just wasn’t buying it.

And it’s true what they say about body language if you can’t read someone’s body language don’t trust them if you haven’t got feeling when you walk into a room during an interview trust it if you walk out of the interview not knowing how it went then you probably haven’t got it.

The above is all of the stuff I want to write on my new blog I wanted to be in honest and true version of what it’s like to be in my situation.

It’s not like I haven’t try to toe the corporate line and I played the corporate game only to be told it doesn’t matter. Employee handbooks are a complete waste of time, that it that is unless you’ve been employed for two years. you’d be amazed at how many people think either a, they can never find me or b, I have rights.

I also want to cover other aspects of being unemployed like claiming housing benefit.

Are you put into claims for housing benefit and both got completely ignored, the reason why is the first one was for two months, the second one for three months but there was a gap in between the two claims

As it stands right now I’m behind on my rents by two months thanks to an office administration fuck-up which they’ve put down to moving offices. I believe that a lot more F during my last phone call and then subsequent trip to the housing benefit office there was onlookers “oh my god we really dropped the ball on this one”

Thankfully I’m finding that having a calm, pleasant and friendly demeanour is getting things moved along a little. What I don’t want to happen is for me to have to become a complete arsehole in which case we are out right now could be the case.

Anyways I’ve been rejected yet again but at least I know why. Is it better to be in a situation and have plenty of jobs and relevant experience and still not be able to get a job or should I have one job for 10+ years and then be told I don’t have enough experience?

Dandified do dammed if I don’t.po

Mark my words