Monday, 31 October 2016

Why Being Unemployed Sucks

Welcome to the land of Unemployment. Population: No idea because the government like to fix the unemployment figures to make it look like their austerity measures are working.

I won't go into the specifics but I quit my job earlier this year and found another job a few months later. But then the application was delayed due to problems in getting a reference so I've spent most of this year without a job. And for anyone who hasn't had to experience long-term unemployment while desperately wanting to work, it sucks. So much.

So this is basically everything that sucks about unemployment because so many people think it's a party of rainbows and sunshine.

The first is that you have no money. Obviously. Because when I left my job, I had enough money to last me around 4-6 months and I got a job within that timeframe but hadn't factored in that I wouldn't start straight away. And then for the last couple of months I've had very little spending money. I've had to scrimp every penny and have had to let my Mum do some of my shopping because I can't afford to do all of my shopping myself. And being 24, that's really embarrassing.

I may have all this time to do arts and crafts or go mountain climbing but I've got no money to do it. So I've been sitting around all day, just doing nothing.

The second is that people expect you to be free. Sometimes, I babysit so I've been asked to babysit so much during my unemployment that I've considered never having children. It starts out with people asking if you can get something from the shops from them or watch their kids for half an hour. And you find yourself spending all day waiting by the phone for someone to call you and ask you for a favour.

The third is that you start to forget what day it is. When you work, you keep your eye on your rota at all times. You know what days you're working. So when you wake up, you know if it's Monday or Wednesday. But when you're unemployed, you wake up every day thinking it's a Saturday because you know you're not going to be doing anything significant.

The fourth is that you can't treat yourself. This is mostly tied to the first point of not having any money but the worst part about not having money is that your laptop is on its last leg and you know a time is coming where you need to splash the cash for another one and your mobile is broken and needs replacing but you can't replace this because again, you have no money. Some people think that these are luxuries that you can live without when you're unemployed but they've become necessities in this life. You need a computer to be able to send job applications and emails. And you need that phone because without it, people will think you're dead or something.

The fifth is that it really hits you're self-esteem. Go and tell someone you're unemployed and you can almost see the judgement in their eyes. It's crushing and you don't have the money to make yourself feel better. I know they say that money doesn't make you happy but I'd rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy.

The sixth is that you have little or no savings. I used to pride myself on having savings that most people my age don't have but during my days of no work, I've pretty much lost most of my savings. It's nice to have a little security in case the economy decides to do a 2008.

The final point is that you revert to be a university student. Since I've done my medical school entrance exams and have sent my application to medical schools, I've gone back to being a university student. I've been going to sleep when I feel like it and I wake up whenever the neighbour's dog gets loud. I sit around the house in my pyjamas and eat ice cream out of the tub. At my age, this is not a good look.

But now that I have a job (the salary isn't much and it's hard work but at least it's something and it'll help me get more experience to get into medical school so it's all good and honestly I'm looking forward to it) I'm starting to recover from this experience. And this time, I'm going to keep a strict budget to ensure my savings recover.

Also, I've been waking up before the sun sets too which is nice because relying on my sun lamp to trick myself into thinking it was daytime was getting a bit tiring.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Walking Dead Problem

If you love TWD and the premiere, then beware because we're not going to agree with anything here.

Okay, so I just finished watching the premiere of the 7th Season and this is basically everything that has led me to conclude that I will no longer be watching this show.

I started watching during the 2nd season when they were back in Hershel's farmhouse. Back then, the show was about survival and was still pretty much in the childhood years so I forgave the repeating storylines.

You know:
The group seek safety.
They find safety.
Introduce the big bad wolf
Build up the tension between the big bad wolf and the group.
And they clash.
Rinse and repeat.

But now it's the 7th season and it's still following this formula. I don't read the comics so I don't really know where it's going so I rely on the episodes to tell me.

I know what the story this season is but I can't tell you much else about what's ahead. Because we have very little indication of what the arc is. Every good story has one.

Twilight: Girl falls in love with vampire but oh noes, she's a human and might be his next meal.
Harry Potter: A boy with anger and separation issues will defeat an evil dark wizard.
The Hunger Games: A very average girl takes down the big bad Capitol.

But TWD doesn't. A group of humans seek to survive in a zombie infested world isn't really much of a plot. Because we don't know if they will survive. They might all die. We have no indication that the story will come to a conclusion.

It reminds me of that book that gets really popular and then the author and the publisher decide to make it into a series to milk the cow as much as they can but since it was meant to be a standalone or they didn't intend on going this far, the storyline is all over the place and no one knows how to control it.

I may be wrong. There may be this big conclusion coming. But we're 7 seasons in and I don't feel it.

Is there a military safe zone? Did the Canadians survive and decide to let America rough it out for a bit and televise it for entertainment Hunger Games style? Is Mexico building a wall and making the USA (or what's left of it) pay for it? Is there a cure for zombies?

This is what I want to know. We still don't know what caused this. And it bugs me. Was it a virus? Did scientists go too far? I want to know facts about this world. I want worldbuilding god dammit. Because that's what you do with a story. You have a world. TWD dead is basically just torture + zombies + Bear Grylls drinking his own piss.

This isn't a story. TWD doesn't have a story. It has a formula. The story relies on the violence and the deaths. Too much has happened and not enough is being resolved. Deaths of main characters is not resolution btw.

I've just sat through an entire episode of torture porn.

I feel no satisfaction from TWD. A few seconds after Glenn's death, I felt indifference and skipped parts of the episode just to get to the end. And with a series I have watched like this, I've never done that, until now.

I waited all this time (I know it's not 13 years in Azkaban but it sure felt like that) for an episode that was really just filler for an entire season of a recycled formula.

I know there are people out there who say, this show is about people dying because there's no law and the world's collapsed. But look at it like this: The Simpson family is a big part of the Simpsons but if that family started dying off, would it be the same?

I don't watch violent stuff just for the fun or thrill of it. I lack psychopathic tendencies. So that's my problem. If there's a show that has violent parts then fine but when the violence becomes takes over the role of the plot, I'm done.

So basically:
- the violence is just there for shock factor and considering the horrors in Syria, I can't bring myself to see this as entertainment.
- the lack of storyline. no development. no over-reaching arc that defines the series. just nothing.
- no conclusion in sight (i don't watch tv shows forever
- main characters dying. one or two is okay but this is reaching Grey's Anatomy levels of irritating.
- we're not going anywhere. will they ever find refuge? will this zombie outbreak end? and why are the nuclear power stations not going into meltdowns? will anyone try to save the world?

I just noticed I let go of capital letters there.
And this is the end of my rant.


Thursday, 12 May 2016

Twilight Rewritten - Chapter 4

Okay so it's been a long time since I last did one of these.

Thankfully, I quite like the book a bit more now. Maybe that'll help me get to the end.

Thanks for reading!

Throwback to the previous chapters:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 

Bella is dreaming of Edward. She runs after him. However, she doesn't mention falling down so I guess that's an improvement.

Bella is the centre of attention due to nearly dying. Isn't she just so special?

Tyler follows her and constantly apologises. He sits with her at lunch. Mike and Eric are not happy about this. Bella should seriously contact an attorney and get some kind of restraining order because this is harassment.

No one cares about Edward after the accident. LOL!

Bella says no one watches him the way she does. Okay, this is a pretty sure sign that someone is a sociopathic stalker.

People still avoid him and the rest of his family. The person they should be avoiding is Bella. Edward will save your life. Bella would probably fall over, land on you and kill you.

Edward goes back to ignoring Bella. She's miserable because he doesn't love her like everyone else loves her.

Bella reckons that he regrets saving her. She says there's no other conclusion she can find. Or maybe he's noticed her perving on him in the lunch hall and is starting to feel as uncomfortable as she feels when the other boys at this school follow her around like golden retrievers.

The emails she's been sending to her mother have alerted her about Bella's depression. Well, I wouldn't call this depression since that's pretty insulting to people who are depressed. And also, I would think this would be enough for Renee to maybe think about visiting Bella. But maybe not. Anyway, can't have too much interference from parents and authority figures because this is a YA novel.

Mike's glad that Edward and Bella aren't talking. Don't get your hopes up mate. They're gonna be married like next year or something.

There's a school dance coming up. The girls get to ask the guys. Jessica asks Bella if she can ask Mike because she thought Bella might ask Mike. Which is weird because Bella hasn't been pretty receptive to Mike. Maybe Jessica has perception issues.

The next day, Jessica is quiet and avoiding Mike. She sits as far away from him at the lunch table. I wonder how big this lunch table is.

Mike walks Bella to class because she's lost all motor functions and cannot walk herself to class.

Mike says he said no to Jessica because he thought Bella would ask him. Bella feels guilty although she really doesn't need to because her ice cold interactions with Mike should be enough to tell him that she isn't interested. Bella tells Mike to go with Jessica because she's so selfless. She's not going to the dance, she repeats again.

She lies to Mike that she's going to Seattle. It's too important to go another time. Maybe it's for the brain scan she desperately needs to determine any potential injuries from 17 years of falling over.

Edward overheard the whole conversation and they stare at each other during class. They could try talking to each other but even that is too much for them so they stare. Bella gets flustered. She's pretty hung up over a guy she's had maybe two complete conversations with. Calm down girl.

The school bells rings. Class dismissed. Edward and Bella have another small conversation. Finally. All that looking at each other was starting to get boring. Edward says to Bella that's it's better if they're not friends. They argue. Edward says Bella doesn't know anything because she thinks he regrets saving her. To be fair, it's Edward's communication issues that have led Bella to this conclusion so really, Eddy Boy's at fault here. Maybe when you can read minds it leads to communication deficits in your personality. Oops spoiler. But who hasn't read this book or watched the movie or have been forced to watch the movie?

Bella walks into the doorjamb. If you're not a builder/carpenter/whatever then she walks into the door frame. She drops her books. Eddiekins picks the books up for her because he's super fast like a vampire or something (ha!) and she lacks the relevant motor functions needed to do this herself. She says thank you "icily". Kinda rude. But if I was Edward I would have just left the books on the floor. She's got gym next.

Bella thought gym was brutal. I don't know why cos her team never passed the ball (hahaha) and she fell down a lot. She also confesses that she took people down with her. But she was worse because was falling over because her "head was so filled with Edward". She really needs a third leg to stabilise herself.

Bella almost runs back to her truck. There's no mention of her falling over.

She notices someone leaning against her car and starts freaking out because it might be her soulmate but no it's Eric. Thank God.

Cliché Eric asks her to the dance. She points out that she should be asking him.  She rejects him because he isn't Edward Cullen. Edward walks by and laughs.

He cuts her off and Tyler uses this opportunity to ask Bella out to the dance. Well technically, Tyler asks Bella to ask him out to the dance. Bit soon no? Considering he nearly killed her. He says it's okay because they have prom. She really needs an attorney.

Edward drives away. Bella knows he was laughing as if he heard the whole conversation. Yeah, we get it. He can read minds. Give it a rest with the foreshadowing!

Bella drives home while pissed off. Big change in personality there.

Bella gets home and makes chicken enchiladas. It takes her a long time. One, why is she doing all the cooking? She's like 17. Or 40. I keep forgetting which. Two, why does it take her so long? I make enchiladas and literally, they're done in like an hour. Although I do cheat and use ready make sauces and stuff. Bella probably buys the ingredients fresh when she's doing the groceries as any normal 40 year old does. Oh wait, I forgot again. She's only 17.

Jessica calls. She's afraid to answer it because it might be her parents. Her barely around and frankly negligent parents who should be facing legal proceedings in a family court. Jessica is "jubilant". At least I know what that word means without having to look in a dictionary. She then proceeds to set up Angela with Eric because slightly shy girls should only be allowed to go out with nerds. And then sets up Lauren with Tyler because super bitch should totally go out with the guy who nearly killed her. With any luck, maybe Tyler will run over Lauren with his car.

She cuts the chicken carefully because she doesn't want to go back to the hospital. At least she's being careful. Maybe she can keep this up.

She's angry because Eddie doesn't like her. She's paranoid that Eddie's noticed her obsession. To be fair Bella, we've all noticed. And then she's sad because she's like boring while Edward is interesting and mysterious and good looking unlike Miss-I-Attract-Half-The-Male-Student-Population-In-Forks-But-I-Don't-Care-Because-They're-Not-Edward-Cullen.

Charlie comes home. He's suspicious because he can smell something Mexican. Oh hello there Donald Trump. I didn't know you were in this book!

Bella says that southern California is probably the closest place with edible Mexican food. With a quick Google search, I know the Mexican demographic in Seattle is 4.1% but this statistic is the 2010 census of the USA. Maybe it was slightly less in 2005 or whenever this book was written but that's enough of a percentage that surely there must be some authentic Mexican food in Seattle. Or is this an alternative world where Mexicans only exist near the US-Mexico border?

Bella tells Charlie she's going to Seattle. She doesn't want to ask his permission because that would set a bad precedent. She's 17. What does she know about setting bad precedents? He tries to be a protective parent. Fails considering she's always nearly dying in some terrible accident.

Charlie worries she will get lost in Seattle. Bella tells him that Phoenix is 5 times bigger. She knows this because she's a genius. Bella probably remembers how many square miles every major US city is. How does this girl have any friends?!

He asks her if she's going to the dance. She says she doesn't dance. She'd probably die or kill someone if she did with all that falling over.

She insinuates that she got the clumsiness from her father. And he's a cop. Just what America needs right now. Clumsy cops.

Bella goes to school.

Edward appears "out of thin air".

Bella asks how he does that.

Edward blames Bella and says she's "unobservant". One, ouch. Two, not really because Bella as a narrator points out everything as if she has nothing better to do that describe because there are pages in this book where she basically just describes EVERYTHING.

Bella walks away and sloshes "angrily through the rain". I was starting to miss the weather references.

Bella asks if he has multiple personality disorder. Which is an extremely inaccurate diagnosis and probably made by someone with a grossly anorexic knowledge of clinical psychology.

Edward offers her a lift to Seattle. He insults Bella's truck.

She calls him a "Stupid, Shiny Volvo owner". You know, now that I think about it, the only people I know who drive Volvos are middle aged mothers.

Edward tells Bella she should stay away from him. Which is stupid because he's the one who approached her.

And that's the end of the chapter.

I'm still editing Chapter 5 but I have a few other posts that I'm also working on.


Monday, 29 February 2016

How To Cope With Being Banned From Amazon

It was late afternoon on Sunday 28th February 2016. I was looking through Amazon for a lamp for my bedroom. I was trying to decide between a number of lamps and because I hate returning things, it took me longer than it should have for me to decide upon the white one instead of the silver one. I added the lamp to my basket along with some light bulbs. They were cheap so I figured if they turned out to be crap that it wouldn't really create such a big dent in my wallet that I wouldn't be able to pop down to my local Tesco's to grab some more. I headed to the checkout when suddenly, it was saying that my email or password were incorrect. Weird. So I thought I'd go back to it later on during the day.

Around half an hour later, my brother came into my room and asked what my password was. I was studying so I told him to ask me later. Around 8pm, I logged into my hotmail account and saw that Amazon closed my account. Thinking it was a measure to prevent hacking, I opened the email calmly. I read through the email and instantly started freaking out. I had returned so many items that I was now banned. Forever.

Now I'll provide some context. My brother likes to build up and repair computers and last year, he needed to order something on my account. The thing arrived but it had already been opened before being packaged by Amazon so he sent it back. And then they sent another one. And we had the same problem that it wasn't being packaged properly. My brother contacted Amazon customer advisers who said to send it back. So he did. And we continued to have this problem. The thing was also the wrong colour. He ordered black. Amazon sent brown. So for two months (estimate) we sent the thing back. Eventually, we got a refund and ordered another thing. Except, we continued having problems. The thing was advertised by Amazon as having another thing included in the thing. But the another thing wasn't included when the thing arrived. So Amazon said we should send it back and they would send a replacement. We did that and got the replacement. Same problem again so my brother gave up with returning things to Amazon.

And then in November, I got an email saying that we had returned too many things and that I should be aware that my account could be closed. Up until this point, I had returned 3 things from Amazon over a nearly 5 year period and had ordered over £1000 worth of products. I was happy with everything so far from Amazon and this recent blip in their service didn't faze me the slightest. But that email threw me off. I was so busy working and studying for my Medical School entrance exam that I spent a whole day completely shell-shocked.

And then I decided to not return anything. And we didn't hear any complaints for 3 months so I assumed all was well.

Until my brother a week ago decided he wanted to return some slippers that were too big for him despite being advertised as his size.

I wasn't aware of this because my GAMSAT exam is less than 3 weeks away and that's all I can think about. I had warned my brother not to use my account to return anything but as always, he decided not to listen to me. Two collections for the Amazon parcel passed as one had not turned up and the other came before we were told he would come and therefore, he arranged to have it sent back again, making another return request.

And then came the email telling me I was banned.

My first emotion was one of feeling really pissed off. I've let my brother use my account a lot because I try to be kind since he's been going through a rough time but his problem with his things last year meant my account looked really bad and now because of his actions I've been banned. And now he's worried about how it's going to affect him. I've gotten no apology from him but I have a feeling it's somewhat out of his emotional capacity as a human being. I then grabbed all his chocolates and ate them. Immature yes but now I have to pay full price for the stuff I used to get for a pretty good price on Amazon. And I lost my Amazon Prime and Amazon are refusing to acknowledge my emails about this so I feel they won't refund me what I paid for Prime which I'm pretty sure borders on the realms of illegality.

Now I'm left to find somewhere else to do my online shopping. Amazon was amazing. I was able to get such a wide variety of things from there. I never had to do so much searching. Looking around my bedroom, half the stuff I have came from Amazon so I feel sad knowing that I'll never be able to go on Amazon again because under my account so many returns had to be made for only a few items.

And that's what pisses me off the most. Most of the stuff I buy, I keep. Actually I've only returned 1 item in my 5 years of being on Amazon. Once from my sister. The others, my brother who refused to get his own account because mine had Prime.

I've signed up to a number of online sites to order stuff from but all the stuff I buy costs ridiculous amounts on these sites. No way am I paying nearly £2 for a single pair of ear plugs when on Amazon I could get 20 pairs for £5. No way am I paying £20 for 12 pens that only cost me £13 on Amazon. And I would be stupid to buy some hair blow drying product that was over half it's retail price on Amaozn. And a lot of these sites charge for delivery unless you spend stupid amounts on a single order although considering their prices, it wouldn't be too hard to get to the minimum spend.

So it's not worth me using other sites when I have to pay so much for delivery. Especially when I try to remind myself I live in the town centre and less than a 5 minute walk away from 2 shopping malls. But when I'm busy trying to get into medical school and get another job while studying for entrance exams, I don't really have the time to fumble around a single shop for 20 minutes looking for something specific.

Now I'm destined to spend the rest of my life banned from the internet version of a lost and found box.

I guess there is one advantage to being banned from Amazon. I now get to justify spending more time every day looking for stuff I need online. Just another reason for me to never leave my bedroom.

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

How To Resign From Your First Job

I've only ever had a temporary job before the one I've had now so I've never had to think about resignations. Until now.

I won't mention where I work and what I do but I will just say a few non-identifiable things about this job. When I applied I was told it was n hours per week but then when I started they gave me a contract instead for n+6 hours per week and then I eventually ended up doing around n+12 hours per week. Recently I've been doing n+3 hours per week so my hours don't stay the same which makes calculating my predicted wages a bit difficult and it's annoying because I also get cuts in my payslip which means I've been earning less than what I should be according to the hours I work

The job was also kind of misrepresented since I asked the manager the kind of things people in his department do and he didn't really give me any good indication of what the job would involve. In fact, looking back at my interview, my manager answered the questions I had for him pretty poorly. Also, I was told that I would be trained in my role and yet it never materialised since my manager preferred to sit on his mobile phone all day.

So I made the decision a week ago to walk into work today and hand him my resignation because I wasn't put down for a shift today because I'm a coward and so I could walk away straight after resigning instead of working with him for the next few hours. And I was shaking because I was so scared. I've had arguments disagreements with him before over the hours I was doing and the days since the rota would change week by week with little notice and it's tiring. Sometimes, I was put down for shifts I had mentioned I could not do before. So I decided it was time to leave.

I wrote a pretty standard resignation letter. I mentioned that I was resigning, my notice period, my final day of employment and that I was thankful for the job. Even if you didn't like the job say that you did because it's the professional thing to do and you don't want anyone to ever be able to turn around and question your professionalism. If any future employers call and ask about how you resigned, the last thing you want is for your potential employer to see a not so professional resignation letter. Any time you resign from a job, keep calm because freaking out isn't worth it. And if your fellow colleagues can't conduct themselves with dignity then that's fine as along as you keep your calm and walk out with your head high.

When my manager took the letter he just put it in his draw (he'll probably ignore my resignation until next week when he remembers and will start freaking out). Anyway, I mentioned that I want to work in healthcare so I want to focus on doing that. My current job does involve healthcare but it's a pretty retail based environment and I want to work in an area that is strictly clinical healthcare.

If your manager asks why you're resigning or where you're going then be careful what you say. Future employers will call asking for a reference. If you tell your potential employer you left because you went travelling and your manager says it's because you didn't get a pay raise or some other reason, then your potential employer is going to want to know why there is a discrepancy between what you said and what your ex-manager said.

I actually resigned in front of quite a few colleagues which was embarrassing but there was no other place for me to go and resign with dignity. But if you can, make sure you can resign away from other colleagues. They don't need to witness your escape from hell fall from grace.

Anyway, my notice period was 1 week so I'm going to serve my notice and just hope things don't get hostile next week. Someone quit about 7 weeks ago (with an additional 1 week notice) and wasn't replaced so we've been short-staffed. With my resignation, they're going to be even more short-staffed so I knew the reaction wouldn't be good. It's going to put a strain on my other colleagues and I feel really guilty because they're really nice people who are more resilient than myself but I needed to leave because I felt like the job was taking too much from me and my annual earnings were around £9000 per year. That's around $13,000 so by no means was it a decent wage. And the stress was leaving me with too little time to study and I've been worrying about my entrance exam (GAMSAT) because I haven't had enough time to study. In my honest opinion, education is more important than money.

I have quit without having another job lined up which is also terrifying. I'm starting volunteering at the local hospital soon and I'm studying for my entrance exams for Med School so my lack of employment isn't really a concern for me at the moment. I'm just hoping that once this exam is done, I can start looking for healthcare jobs I'm interested in. But I'm going to be a bit more picky with jobs. I want my next job to be one that I can stay in until I go to Med School. Leaving this job is kind of sad, even if I didn't enjoy it. You don't just leave a job. You leave the people. Although for some people, resignations are because you want to leave the people and not necessarily the job.

Additionally, quitting this job was one of my New Years Resolutions so at least I've managed to get that one done! What can I say? I'm an optimist.


Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015: A Summary

So, I'm back! Good thing I didn't delete this blog. :D

I've changed so much over the past year. I'll summarise it as fast as I can.

1) I graduated from university. I officially have my Law degree! It was a hard final year but I managed to do well enough to leave with a 2:1! I don't want to be a Lawyer though.

2) I'm now preparing to apply for Medical School in September 2016 (please don't judge me!) so I'm studying for that at the moment.

3) I am writing again. Yeah I know I said I was no longer writing last year but since graduating, I've had lots of time so I've been writing here and there.

4) I am currently working in a part time job. Won't mention where but I don't really do much half the time so I get lots of writing ideas. And I daydream about my future a lot!

5) I am now 23. I feel so old!

So that's a pretty okay summary.

2015 was a good year for me, I think. I only had one resolution (to get a 2:1 in my degree) and I got that which has never happened (the whole actually fulfilling a resolution) so that's nice.

I'll probably writing more on here in the future. I think I'll try and stick to once a month at least.

Right now, I'm studying for the GAMSAT which is an exam that's required for anyone applying for graduate medicine. It's taking up a lot of time but it's been going okay.

Finally, hello again everyone!