Friday, February 20, 2009

School is out!

Well my first week of training is over. It's been useful but also slightly alarming. Alarming because it's shocking how quickly I regressed to being a kid again.

Today, when the teacher was out of the room I made a paper airplane with stupid, mildly offensive message on it and threw it around the class room. This caused a small paper airplane war to break out and then cease suddenly when the teacher returned but with a lot of giggling. It was just like being back at school, but with more beards.

We were reading a woman's magazine in the afternoon. It had a feature on dieting and we had to examine it for various forms of writing. The piece was well put together but the thing that made me cackle was that:

'1 in 3 women have a tempestuous relationship with food'

I just love the idea of a man having a tempestuous relationship with food. You know, he'd phone up for a take away pizza and it wouldn't return his calls.

Then a week later it would turn up at his house and demand attention before disappearing again. He'd fret over it for a while and then start ordering other foods, perhaps find one who he really liked then just as he was about to settle for the food the old one would reappear and say it was sorry and it wanted to get back together. After two hours it would cry and then run off to Crete with a dance instructor.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pork maketh the man

There are lots of strange things magazines do, but I think my favourite thing is naming their readers. Most magazines will have an idea of who their reader is, and what they like. They then use this to work out if their readers would be interested in a story.

For example the typical reader for Zoo is called Lee. Zoo knows all sorts of things about him, and when they are working on a feature they will always think 'what would Lee think about this?'. It's a useful tool, once you get your head around it.

Today we had to work out the readers for a fictional magazine as part of a training thing. There are two sorts of readers, a lady and a man. The lady is called Lisa, she is a mum who is married but still wants to be stylish. She likes taking her children to museums and eating unusual foods when she goes out.

To pair Lisa up we had to come up with a male reader. After spending some time working out all about him, including where he went on holidays and where he shops for food, we had to come up with a name. We called him Pork.

This was making me, and my co-workers snigger all afternoon. I'm such a child.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tom Baker and Valentine's Day

I've been in training for most of the week so far, I mention this because it's been tough training from people who seem to know what they are doing. This is a new experience for me as most of my teachers thus far have been utter berks.

This teacher sounds almost exactly like Tom Baker which makes the long lectures on various subjects rather entertaining and slightly thespy. I try not to think about if he is putting it in now or not*. The lessions are very hard, I mean really hard which I think I rather like. I'm mentally exhausted by the end of the day, but that's because it's all new.

Work, aside from training, is going well. I've had various 'effects' on the company which are positive (they are a bit dull to explain but let's just say they are a good things) and I'm still really enjoying it, possibly a bit too much.

Valentine's Day was a success. I arranged for flowers to be delivered at The Hitchcock Blonde's workplace on the Friday and then brought her a few different things which she liked, but no-where near as much as the box they came in. I'm not sure what that says about my gift buying skills.

The actual day was spent drinking wine, riding on speed boats and watching films, including Fatal attraction. It was a good day, and I think the first time I've ever had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day, so it was an entirely new experience. I might even do it again.

*Google Tom Baker and 'putting it in' to get this joke.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The joy of trudge

Well I'm still enjoying work. Which I suppose is to be expected after only a few weeks, but still it is jolly pleasant. Jolly silly, but that's a key part of appeal.

The snow attack was an interesting adventure, it got pretty bad up here. So bad that all public transport stopped running and cars were struggling so most people just didn't go to their jobs. Even with the transport issues I decided that I might as well walk into work, I don't have a net connection at home so I couldn't really work remotely and it didn't seem that far on the map.

Two hours later I arrived. It wasn't that far but trudging through knee-deep snow does slow you down a bit. It was worth the trudge though, because I was one of the few people who made it in. Everyone who actually bothered to make it into work got brought breakfast and then lunch so it was a pretty good day all in. In the evening someone gave me a lift home in their car (the roads had cleared) and so it all worked out rather splendidly.

Years ago when I worked at an awful company I walked into during a transport strike and it earned me serious brownie points and eventually a raise. Ever since I've always taken the view that it's jolly well better to come in rather than stay home.

Of course the choice to stay or go in was made easier because well, I've got nothing to do at home. The capsule wardrobe didn't include many books - well any books really - or a radio, god how I miss radio 4. I can't even listen to it on the internet either, because I don't have a connection. So as you can see a trudge into work was really just the most entertaining way to spend a day.

Apart from the Trugining there isn't much to report, I've got the classic first month-of-work-thing in that I'm as poor as a church mouse - thank goodness for cheap potatoes. After paying a couple of months in advance in rent for a flat and the like I'm broke but it's all part of the change from freelancer into human being. It should have been an easy move because I did some work for a newspaper in January but they have decided to change their payment system and so, well I'm not going to get paid for a few extra weeks what fun eh?

Given that, and another cancelled piece after I wrote it for them, which I won't get paid, I think I'm going to decline the offer of work next time they call. I know it's dangerous to turn down work but it's like a non-functioning relationship you have to say stop otherwise it will never change.

Plus it cuts into my trudging time.

Government to turn internet off at night to save power

In the latest move to conserve energy the government is going to turn off the Internet at night.

"Most people are asleep at night, so it is the most logical time to do it," said Caroline Killjoy, "I go to bed at 9pm and so I never use the Internet in the evenings so I doubt anyone else does. We will turn it on again at 9am when people get into work.

"We think we will be able to save enough energy to boil an egg, it's important to do our bit to save the planet."

The goverment has introduced this to counter-act the fact that most of the lights are left on in offices across London even when no-one is here. When we questioned Carlone Killjoy about this she made the following statement

"We looked into getting them to turn the lights off, but it's just so pretty when the banks have their lights on and anyway they said no."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Operation Mostly Goat

I'm ensconced in the new town now. It's is, well it is quite nice actually the flat is pretty good in a modest sort of way and thanks to it being 'bills included' the heating is turned up to maximum. I was uncomfortably warm last night.

It's an absolute delight not commuting so far, it really is. While I miss the Hitchcock Blonde deeply the effect on my health of getting a reasonable amount of sleep is amazing. I feel like a new man, or two new men.

Right considering this is an *ahem* borrowed internet connection I think I should sign off before I get caught.