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Friday, March 21, 2008

The ups and downs

I've been playing with my zoom lens. 1 second exposure, zoom out whilst the shutter is open.

This was yesterday...

Strange feeling of finality today. It could be due to my having taken part in my last ever SEAS open day, an event I always enjoy a great deal.

As with every time, it was interesting watching everyone file in. I saw myself, 4 years ago, doing just the same. Seems like 5 minutes ago, and yet, a lifetime too.

With that over, and everyone away on their Easter holidays, I feel like the rug has been pulled from beneath my feet. It strikes me how much I depend upon familiarity and routine for a sense of peace.  Perhaps what is disturbing me is not simply the fact that with the holidays my routine has been changed, but rather, it's the fact that although I remain in a very familiar place, somehow, everything is different

Hotplate

Despite being very fond of them all, I don't socialise with my classmates much. But now I'm not seeing them every day, I'm missing them.


Hokkaido

It's important that I have times like this, when suddenly life seems to have no meaning and nothing really matters, as without these experiences, I wouldn't be able to relate to others when they were having hard times. I can understand how people can feel that there is no meaning to life...

This is Today

I stopped writing at that point, as I felt too crappy. I think it was partly tiredness, partly the isolation, partly unhappiness with not getting things done that I'd wanted to get done. 

Oh, then the car got another puncture, had to change the wheel for the second time this week. I finally sorted out my parking tickets this afternoon. It was a bit of battle with the staff (who are in desperate need of customer service training), but eventually my appeal was referred to the department manager.  Comparing his reply to the correspondence I'd had with the clerical staff beforehand, I was struck by the differences between the two. Here he was telling me that my appeal was being rejected, but doing so in a way that actually made me want to pay, and feel good about it. The manner in which the clerical staff had dealt with me though made me feel like a piece of shit, and made it very hard for me to want to co-operate with them. What a graphic example that was of what the difference is between an inspiring leader and, er, someone who is unaware of how others are feeling.

After the ticket extravaganza had been dealt with I sent the manager the letter I'd written detailing the appalling customer service I'd received. I explicitly pointed out that this wasn't being sent in anger or pettiness, but rather, it was being sent in the hope that it would mean that others would not have to go what I had gone through (in the past week I've spoken to several university staff members who have had similar experiences to my own, so I know it's not a personal thing!).

Returning home I couldn't help but laugh when I opened my post: a payslip from the University of Sheffield for £123 - the EXACT amount that the two parking tickets had come to!

I love working for free...!

Anyway, my friend is home now, and the car is gone. Phew. More work than a baby.

Finished the audio version of Michael Palin's 1969-1979 diaries today, wonderful stuff. You know, I'd never truly appreciated just how popular Monty Python had been in the 1970s. With that book finished I couldn't resist but sign back up to Audible.co.uk; got £80 worth of audiobooks for £14.99 which I'm happy with. They'll keep me going for a while (I'll tell you about them in due course).

Went to the cinema last night to see The Bank Job. The acting wasn't superb and the story was pretty simple, but I enjoyed it as it was based on the true story of one of the UK's most successful bank robberies - the details of which are still protected under the Official Secrets Act. Why? Apparently such information could do a lot of to the damage to our royal family and government. We only have to wait another 50 years to find out the truth!

Tomorrow morning I should be receiving a phone call from somewhere in Indonesia. Or maybe it was Bangkok. I think an Anthony Robbins wannabe is going to try to sell me a $1000 self-development package. Eyes Wide Open Joseph, Eyes Wide Open.

I'm starting to regain a sense of clarity now my list of things to do is shrinking. It's good. It's all good.

love joseph

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2 Comments:

Blogger Shari said...

It's funny that you were paid the same amount as your parking tickets as I recently had a similar experience of "balance" between work and expense.

Since leaving OBC, I've had about 900,000 yen in back health insurance which I had to pay out based on my new wages (which are very small). Upon making the final payment of 300,000 yen, I received a statement for my second year of freelance work. Over two years, my OBC work paid about 1,000,000 yen, so I made just a bit more than needed to cover the back bill.

I guess you get what you need sometimes and little more.

21/3/08 12:04  
Blogger Joseph said...

Initially I thought I had been given more than I needed - the cheque was £3 more than the fines ...until I was contacted by the parking company who told me that they'd forgotten to add the £3 admin fee!

I'm just glad that the work I did for the university to earn that money didn't really feel like 'work'!

21/3/08 17:37  

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