L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

We'd managed to get a free washing machine from the estate of a local pensioner who'd sadly died, only after my dad had helped install it we thought it wasn't working because it wasn't draining.

BUT

It turns out that the reason it wasn't draining is because my dad forgot to take the thing that blocked the pipe between the sink pipe and the washing machine pipe out.

So, that's good, because now I don't need to look for another free washing machine, or get rid of this one.

Mildly annoying though, because I could have been doing my washing here instead of having to keep taking it to my parents' still for the last two weeks. xD

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

So right now I have 3 main sources of work-related income: doing maths tuition, working in an office for 2 to 3 days a week doing scanning and filing, and doing a new part time job I picked up in October that's an average of five and a half hours a week and mostly work from home. (I get some smaller bits of money too here and there, like I probably still do enough work to get around £10 per month for my dad's business, but the three I mentioned are the most significant amounts.) And my level of dissatisfaction with the office-based job has been building for a while, because it's between 12 and 18 hours a week, plus commutes, on site in an open plan office, where I need to perform full professional behaviour the whole day (and suppress the visibility of my Tourette's), and it's also really boring.

It's served a good purpose the last few years - it was the first place I worked after I moved back up here after dropping out of my failed teacher training course, when I'd been earning nothing at all for around 5 months after dropping out, and really just needed something simple and easy to build up my confidence in myself as a worker, and then later I was able to switch to doing it on a technically self-employed basis, with my clients for doing admin work at the time being that business and my dad's business. And especially since I've switched to that self-employed mode, it's provided a stable-yet-flexible core of work that gave me a decent base income while still giving me time to learn the things I needed to learn in the rest of my time.

However, now, at this point, I've been gradually and continuously working on my social skills and business skills for around 5 years. I am significantly more capable of projecting confidence to potential clients and employers, and have figured out how to get people to "buy" into me as a person more. I've been running my maths tuition business successfully since the end of March 2019. I aced the interview for the other part time work I picked up, beating out 2 other candidates despite not having previous direct experience with that type of role, only things that were tangentially related. Due to this new work I've got, I've also become a lot more comfortable with business phone calls and emails.

I don't think the office work is helping me grow any more, basically. It's not a terrible office to work in - the other people there are all decent people - but really the only positive about it is the money, and it's sucking up more time and brain energy than I want it to, especially in winter when I do 3 days because that's their busy season.

Now, what I think I really WANT to do, which I'm more directly able to pursue now I've moved out and don't have my parents pressuring me to do this or that and fulfil their idea of a model citizen, is to do more writing. So I'm planning to set a goal of working up on evenings and weekends to earning £100 per week from some sort of writing-based income, and I'm going to start looking into ways of doing that ASAP. And once I get to that, I'll give the office one month's notice of me stopping working for them.

(Don't want to just drop the office immediately before I do that because with the new rental, it'd mean I'd eat quite a bit of savings this year while I got the writing idea going. So I'd like to roadtest the writing plan before I let go of the office income.)

But yeah, I'm just so fed up with having my brain bored out of my skull by scanning 15 files of identical format in a row, and similar tasks... It's definitely time to move forward, I think.

bigato
Posts: 2768
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato »

Have you considered the possibility of asking them for adaptations before you actually quit? Things that would improve your quality of life doing this job? Doing it from home maybe? Or asking about moving to a quieter part of the office or another place with less stimulus if that would be a possibility? You probably can think of more adaptation ideas. Maybe even asking about other job inside the same company. I mean, if you are going to quit, you have nothing to lose anyway.

bigato
Posts: 2768
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato »

Today a friend with adhd mentioned that she started using the app called “forest”, which by her description is kind of a gamified pomodoro, and she says it’s doing wonders for her. I figured you might be interested.

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Well, it's not really a job that it's actually possible to do from home, because 75% of it is physically scanning the paper files that the other people in the office have prepared, and it's also a very small office building (roughly 14 employees in total, and there are only 2 of us doing admin and the other one is the main office administrator) so there are no other parts of the office to move to). So I don't think they really have any way of making the environment better for me, and I already have flexible working days and my break distributed how I want since I've been self employed there. But really the issue isn't with how the company is treating me, it's with me being incredibly bored of using my brainpower to scan a lot of boring files in a row and produce a lot of almost identical invoices (the company doesn't seem to do mail-merge). xD So long term, it's just not really in alignment with my web of goals any more.

I haven't heard of the app, but I'll check it out. :)

bigato
Posts: 2768
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato »

Other approach would be to automate your current job out of existence and hopefully getting some money from it. Would you be interested in tackling that problem? Because by the sounds of it, there a lot of inefficiency that could be solved.

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Eh, probably not, to be honest. Some of the things could be automated (though some couldn't), but I'm not really interested in that company enough to want to bother doing it. I think there are some flaws in the company that I hadn't noticed before too - I'm charging by the hour, so I always just leave at the time I said whether the work is done or not, but there's a lot of grumbling amongst the salaried workers that they're becoming overworked.

I've wanted to earn money from writing for ages - like, if I had a magic lever of make me suddenly completely FI already, I would still write at that point for fun. I know it can be tough to get going, but I think that's because most writers don't bother learning how to market their work, so they just get lost in the sea of writing nobody's heard about. So I think given that I've been reading about how to market writing in bits and pieces over the last couple of years, I have an advantage there. Obviously nothing is a given though, which is one reason why I'd like to get it going before leaving the other place. But at the other place I think I'm mostly just interested in going through the motions while also sneakily reading more articles about stuff I actually want to know about when I'm doing a task that mostly doesn't need the computer screen.

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Checking in again after forgetting to post for a while again. Am still here, have not caught COVID or anything like that.

Income has taken a hit because of the lockdown, but I think I can still hustle my way to gaining replacement work/clients and being in a decent position by the end of the year. Might end up eating into my savings buffer a bit, but of course, the advantage of having 1 year's savings buffer when I moved in the first place was precisely in case of stuff like this.

My diet went a bit less good recently because I've switched to things that don't need much prep time because I was ending up throwing away fresh produce if I bought too much because I wasn't managing to get the energy/spoons to cook it. But I've stabilised that now with a nutritionally balanced diet that's still under £15 per week for the grocery bill, but doesn't need me to spend a lot of time cooking. Part of this features a bunch of pizzas, so now I have a bunch of empty pizza boxes.

I made one of the pizza boxes into a dustpan and brush since I hadn't got one of those yet, and successfully used it to clean the kitchen floor. If anyone else can think of anything useful one could make out of approximately 30 cardboard pizza boxes I'd appreciate suggestions.

Overall though I'm happier than when I was living with my parents, because at least now I can actually relax in the times when I'm trying to relax and not get constantly bothered by them.

I suspect the low energy I had in March/April might have been some sort of decompression or something because it was the first time in a couple of years that I hadn't been constantly busy, so I think my energy will come back enough to start working towards my goals again.

bigato
Posts: 2768
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato »

Hey! Nice to hear from you again!
I really hope you find a better option for your health that does not involve so many pizzas! What about a rice cooker or instapot where you also have a thing that you can hang over the rice, to steam cook some vegetables, along with the rice? I'm thinking about getting one myself in case they make me move back to the city. I hear you on not having energy to cook sometimes. It's easier for me now because I don't think they even deliver food here where I live now, but I just found a vegan person today who delivers vegan food, so maybe I'll need additional effort avoiding buying food read-to-eat!

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I am at least trying to buy pizzas with a few different toppings, so there's some variety that way. And I am eating other food as well. But I switched all the fresh fruit and veg to canned fruit, and/or veg I can eat without cooking it. It's not optimal, but it's sort of nutritionally balanced, and it's better than what happened before I switched which is that I lost half a stone in a couple of months through not eating often enough when I didn't particularly have half a stone I wanted to lose...

Hopefully though at some point I will have more energy to try and get into a regular proper cooking habit.

I don't really want to spend money on a rice cooker, so I don't think that would work for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

ertyu
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

BookLoverL wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:06 pm
If anyone else can think of anything useful one could make out of approximately 30 cardboard pizza boxes I'd appreciate suggestions.
this sounds like a fun project. the part that would make me hesitate is that oil and sauce that's soaked into the cardboard might attract pests. So, I'm thinking, it would be important to use the clean parts of the cardboard only, and that limits the size of the pieces you've got to work with.

this might be neat -- > http://fruitschaal128.semdesign.nl/english/

also, i wonder if it would work to wet the cardboard and/or make it into a sludge then use that to shape things...

lots to be found when you search for diy cardboard or diy cardboard bowl

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

There's not too much oil on the boxes, because it's the type of box that had the pizza inside a wrap inside the outside cardboard. (I'm a little ashamed of the plastic it's using to do that, but anyway.) But yes, the boxes are mostly clean, though a little flimsy.

The bowl thing looks pretty cool, I'll check it out!

ertyu
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Mostly clean boxes are good news: more material to work with!

The internet is full of diy cardboard projects, I remember seeing people who built actual sturdy furniture. Turns out cardboard is really a steady and solid material when you glue it together. Post pictures!

Frita
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by Frita »

Check out this Gehry chair: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardboard_furniture The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Arts in Denver has one. It is quite beautiful.

Can you make your own pizza? I have found that it is less expensive, healthier, and a fun hobby. (We make/eat pizza every Friday. Sometimes I make calzones or individual pizzas and freeze to heat later.)

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks for the chair link!

Part of the reason I switched to having a lot of pizza was because I was having trouble getting myself to cook, so if I could make my own pizza I imagine I could cook other things properly too. But I am getting supermarket pizza from a budget supermarket, so it's like... £1.25 per pizza or something.

Frita
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by Frita »

BookLoverL wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:13 am
Thanks for the chair link!

Part of the reason I switched to having a lot of pizza was because I was having trouble getting myself to cook, so if I could make my own pizza I imagine I could cook other things properly too. But I am getting supermarket pizza from a budget supermarket, so it's like... £1.25 per pizza or something.
Well, shoot, I was thinking of takeout pizza in the brown cardboard box. BTW Homemade pizza is one of the few items my spouse can make. His other dishes are pasta and grilling meat.

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

My usual dishes when I do cook are of the meat or fish + steamed vegetables variety, myself. So, I can do the basics but not really anything fancy. I also learned how to bake bread in January, but I haven't been doing it because of low energy.

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Dream of Freedom
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: Nebraska, US

Re: L's Journal

Post by Dream of Freedom »

You could cut off the top and use it as a tray when working with small delicate items so they don't get away.
You could unfold them to cover a tabletop or floor so that you don't get them messy during various tasks.
Make a sign.

BookLoverL
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks for the ideas!

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