A Gun At My Head?

It’s been a big year, many changes occurring but nothing too bad or irrecoverable.

2 days at court with the legalities of finally reaching a settlement with my former partner.

She took the stand and laid it on thick. But she lied and I could prove she lied.

At lunch on the second day after I’d shown the evidence they wanted to talk and we settled out of court.

Yep I took a hit, not as bad as it could’ve been after already giving her a 6 figure settlement but she was holding a gun to my head and it was worth taking the hit to keep the house.

Who gifts 6 figures? Seriously?

Not even the judge believed that.

It was my own fault, blindly trusting someone with my hard earned cash, giving them a loan to help them move on, only for it be used against me as a bargaining chip.

I should have got the legal steps in place at the time. My bad.

I made the mistake of treating people the way I expect to be treated. My word is my bond. If I make a promise then that promise will be kept.

It’s a done deal and life goes on.

The gun is no longer at my head. The mortgage has been paid off. There’s still money in the bank.

Life is good.

Now that the stress has been removed it’s time to have some fun!!

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Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea?

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Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea?

Alternatively titled ..  Dead Man Walking .. or should that be Dead Man Wanking?

Why wanking?    Read on ..

It’s been a while since I wrote any of my nonsense,   I’ve been busy,   working too hard over the past year and not even had a week off since the Easter furlough back in April 2018,  when for one reason or another I didn’t get off on holiday anywhere.

Even at Christmas and New Year,  I only had 2 days and 1 day off work respectively.

That’s pretty unhealthy really.

There’s been reasons,  a big project consuming my time,   it went live in April and if you use the global companies services in the UK,  then you’’ll most likely be processed by it.    I’m quite proud of it.

Add on top of the 10 hour day an extra 2 hours for commuting,   It’s way too long,  for far too long.

But that’s about to change,

I’m a contractor,  self-employed,  I love working myself,  but the powers that be here want to reduce their budget and have employed a couple of staff replacements.     They guy who is my direct replacement is a complete prick,   loud-mouthed,  thinks he’s clever,  tries too hard to impress,  talks when he should be listening and sticks his foot in it big time.

Now I’m a dead man walking,  my contract is up in 2 weeks’ time and I’m not being fed any new work,  just handing over to big-mouth.

Or is that dead man wanking,   as all I’m doing now is fucking about and trying to keep myself looking busy.

The good thing about this job is I’ve banked a few quid,  well I had until a few weeks ago when I paid the mortgage off.

A 6 figure mortgage is a  £700pm payment  vs 6 figures in the bank and £40pm interest.

A no brainer really,  why pay the bank when they don’t pay you?

No mortgage ..  Free at last,  free at last,  thank The Lord almighty,  I’m free at last!.

Well I ‘m mortgage free,  still got a few quid in the bank and it will be fantastic to have a break for a while.

I might even take off the full summer,  I think I deserve it.

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PS – Weren’t the Celtic shit at the weekend .. getting well beat by the new team in blue that plays out of Ibrox.

A clear out is required.,  drop the dead-wood,   the has-beens and the never-beens.

On the plus side, we have the money in the bank to make the changes,   but is there the will?

 

 

Work Stories – Resign Yourself?

 

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I currently work for this global communications company based in Central Scotland, if you live in the UK, you probably use or have used its services as they have a tight grip on some of the best available premium content.

You might know the place, very technical, a bigger technical base than any of the banks that I’ve worked for with the exception of JP Morgan.

I’m a contractor, self-employed and run a small personal services company ( ooooh-err missus ) for tax efficiency purposes.

Did you hear that? Tax-efficiency purposes?

What does that mean?

Well efficiency in a physics sense is defined as the ratio to energy in vs energy out.

In this context, it’s the amount of money that my company earns vs the amount of cash that I abscond with . take home .. by reducing my tax and national insurance rather than paying full PAYE.

Continue reading “Work Stories – Resign Yourself?”

Be careful when buying from SLRHut

Loathe as I am to criticise anyone, I hate feeling conned.

Yep conned.

I’ve been looking at drones for a few years and waiting on one becoming available which had the functionality I was looking for including 4K video at 30fps or more, GPS home function, automatic tracking etc and at the right price.

A thousand pounds was my expected price point and I was looking for a good bang for my hard-earned buck with extras such as multiple batteries etc.

I picked the DJI Mavis Pro Fly More Bundle from SLRHut.co.uk and purchased through PayPal.

Having placed the order, I received an immediate email saying to call them on the above 0293 number, which I did but after being auto answered by their machine, the next agent was unavailable 20 minutes later.

I tried again on the way home from work and wasted another 20 minutes on the phone to no avail.

When I got home, I received an email from them saying that my drone had been shipped and the provided a link to a tracking service. Unfortunately the link doesn’t work which further raised my suspicions, so I emailed them.

A few days later, I received an email from them saying that the shipping company hadn’t updated their system. Which is nonsense as the link is faulty.

Yesterday I received another email saying my product had been deliver and to confirm my satisfaction with the purchase.

So I called them again. Another 20 minutes on the phone and no agent available.

Today I received my mobile bill in, not something I usually look at as all calls and texts are free on my tariff. However this was different as it had £40 pounds worth of additional calls to guess who?

Yep SLRHut customer service, the one that never answers. A complete scam in my opinion.

I’ve contacted them again, via email, and also raised a dispute via PayPal to have my money refunded.

Now I can’t really tell you not to buy from SLRHut, But I wouldn’t.


Update 5th April 6am

I’ve had a response from SLRHut via PayPal, apologising for the delay and providing better tracking information.

For reference if it’s helpful, they send via USPS, which was not mentioned in their original emails and their links to the pit tracking facility didn’t work.

Having checked the tracking, it was indeed picked up from SLRHut on 20th March, Bounced around the US Postal Service for over a week, departing the US on 30th March and arriving in the UK on 1st April.

That’s 4 days ago and still no sign if it, But I’m pleased to know it’s on its way.

I’m still disappointed with the overall experience as SLRHut. They have a .co.uk website and UK telephone number, so would appear to be UK based.

However, they are clearly US based with significant delays in delivery and nonexistent customer service with a telephone number which is auto-answered, expensive and an agent is never available.

Advice – Don’t use their customer service number but contact them via PayPal or your credit card company as they respond to disputes and cancellation requests.

Or perhaps don’t use them at all.

If there’s any doubt, there is no doubt.

On a separate note, never buy anything online with a debit card. You have very little comeback and it’s more difficult to negotiate when the seller already has your cash.

Much better to use a credit card or PayPal who will deal with any disputes.

Work Stories – Objectives?

Don’t you just hate the bullshit that you sometimes have to go through as an employee?

Six monthly appraisals and annual objectives,  what a pile of shit,  a tick-box exercise designed to show that the company are making an effort,  when in actual fact they don’t really care about you or your circumstances.

It’s bullshit … and I hate bullshit.

This is my first staff job in 20 years,   Prior to taking this job I’d been self employed,  IT Consultant with various banks.

Why did I go staff? Continue reading “Work Stories – Objectives?”

The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC

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A few months ago,  before this years Scottish Premier Football League started,  I blogged that Celtic were a sure thing to win the league and were worth investing in as at a win-ratio of 33% after tax were much better than money in the bank at 2%.before tax.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

At that time,  the odds were 1 to 3 on .. ie put on £1000 and it gets you £333.

Our apparent nearest rival newco Rangers,  were best priced at 7/2.

A relative ten-fold difference and an indication of who the bookies thought would win the league even before a ball was kicked. Continue reading “The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC”

Stepping Stones – Education, Investment, Careers, Family.

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18 Months ago  I wrote the following about my son and his journey through education,  getting a 2:1 degree in Cell Biology from Glasgow University and his frustration at being unable to get a job and I could see that it was getting him down that all his efforts hadn’t produced a result but some of his friends who had chosen other paths were starting to make a decent living as police officers,  joiners, etc.

As his dad,  I was worried about him,  particularly as the 18-25 year age group is the highest suicide rate for males.   Possibly because at that point in their life they realise that it hasn’t quite turned out the way they expected or that it looks on tv.

So I funded him through his Masters degree at Strathclyde Business school and we were both delighted at the volume of jobs that were waiting for him as a result.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/train-stories-the-journey-continues/

When he was given a few offers,   we talked them over and decided on a job in Edinburgh with less money than one in Glasgow but with better long term prospects.

Frankly the job at Barclays Bank in Glasgow might have paid a few grand more but it was a dead end,  mopping up and investigating claims but not using the business analysis skills that he learned in his masters.

So he started at a software company in Edinburgh on a lower salary of 20k and has been involved in the design,  analysis and testing of their products.  Becoming a project lead for some of their key products.

Ironically he has picked up some more technical skills like database design and SQL as part of his role.   I say ironic, as that kind of technology and IT bored him when he was younger and he wasn’t interested in learning them .. but now he sees their value,  not only in the work-place,  but also as a means to making a decent living.

After a year,  they had bumped him to 25k,   more than he would have had with Barclays.

Unfortunately 2 weeks ago,   RBS closed down their separation and sell-off of their brand Williams And Glyn as a separate business,  causing his company to lose a lot of work and he was given his redundancy notice.

As expected,  he was worried,   he stopped in at mine after work for a chat and a bit of advice and perspective.

I told him that he should view this as a stepping stone,  that he had been making progress,  that he was investing in himself,  learning to talk the talk and walk the walk and that he now had sellable skills and experience.

Did he believe me? Continue reading “Stepping Stones – Education, Investment, Careers, Family.”