Tuesday, 14 January 2014

They call it "gardening leave"

Technically, I'm still employed, but they made me stay at home "until further notice" and disabled my access to the building and the commercial systems of the company. (I guess they know me too well - then again, it did happen to all the "non-essential" team members.)

So I'm on a quest to sort out my real life, aka, the house and financial accounts. I got up at 7:00 this morning for the meeting with my accountant at 11:00. I'd also scheduled the plumber for 9-11:00, which, I know, is a risk, as both guys would probably show up the same second. They didn't. Plumber showed up and gave me a stupid quote for my toilet (£200+), but he fixed the kitchen radiator, so great.

Accountant shows up just as I'm typing up the last few receipts into the spreadsheet (envelops and stamps and other assorted postage). We sign the agreement, he takes away all the data and paperwork. I'm DONE. (Or rather, he's crunching the numbers in the next few days and will let me know what kind of sums he arrives at.) This will be the first year where I'm a) in control of all the crap and b) not overpaying tax out of terror I'm doing something wrong and they'll throw me in prison for it. YAYNESS.

After dealing with all the paperwork, it's nearly 12:30, and I headed out for lunch (hadn't had breakfast yet, so picked up a bottle of milk from the supermarket, and a coffee and sandwich from the lunch place down the road). Somehow, it was 14:00 already and plumber (now hired specifically to fix my toilet) shows up. He starts work and while he's grinding and hammering away, I decide to try to log into work - and I discover Norton 360 is having issues, so I try to fix them. Half an hour later, I've reached the extent of my knowledge. I also receive an email saying there'll be a work-related conference call at 16:00. Great.

So I spend the next 45 minutes or so chatting to several Norton employees who try to help me and who get disconnected/lost when I restart the computer. As we all know, re-installing software means several restarts. Sigh. I'm about to give up when Norton actually calls me and a guy's on the phone who walks me through the whole, very complicated process with the patient of a buddha. Meanwhile, the plumber is hammering and grinding away, switching off water mains (outside, for several houses), getting more parts from the van, and at least one part from the plumbing supply shop not far away.

I start eyeing the clock. 16:00 is getting closer and closer, and I'm still in the middle of a Norton reinstallation and my plumber's epic battle with my toilet. The clock hits 15:55. The doorbell rings, I need to sign for a package while balancing two phones (one Norton support, one conference call). 15:57: my new friend in Bangalore finishes and my computer works. 15:58, plumber is done, and the toilet/refill cistern thingy works. I pay him, promise more work, apologise for not paying him nearly enough after that battle. I log into the phone conference. It's 16:03. While I listen to the work-related conference stuff, I clean out the trash, check on the toilet and start filing everything away.

Super productive day, and I haven't written a word and not gone into London. Hard, hard work. Next thing: I have a pile of papers to shred, and then cook food for when Dude gets home. Then I'll hopefully write/edit.

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