An unusual day. On the bright side, it was my weekend off. But I did have one errand to do for work, which is get the company car serviced. So due to odd way the car has been sorted out as a temporary measure until my new employer can sort out a new fleet of cars, I’ve got a hire car that has come from Enterprise in a round about way. Now the lovely people of Enterprise have a contract with Kwik Fit, so it was to Kwik Fit I headed. Iwas told it was going to be about 3 hours. So rather than spend 3 hours sat on not particularly comfortable sofas, I decided to go for a walk.

I’ve only been into Gloucester Quays once, and that was while working. So it was nice to have a slow bimble around the place. There are all sorts of shops in there. There is one that sells professional quality cook wear. A couple of cafes. A music shop. The Cadbury’s Chocolate factory shop. And loads of clothing out lets. One in particular seemed to delight in seemingly massive discounts. Apparently this dress started off life at £485, then it went to £30, but could be yours for £20.

Discount Dress in Gloucester Quays

Now that kind of discount seemed to good to be true. When faced with a bargain like that, I found my self wondering how a dress could be worth nearly five hundred pounds in the first place. And how the hell was the store making any profit?

I had probably inadvertantly stepped in to another dimention. Because a couple of minuets later I saw this.

White stileto shoe

“But what am I looking at?” I can hear you cry. Well maybe this will make things a little clearer.

Disgarded ladies shoe on the roof

That’s right, a lady’s high heel shoe. How the hell did it get all the way up there. If some one threw it then it must have been one hell of a throw. The roof isn’t overlooked, so I wonder what the hell has been going on. Was Cinderella having a hot air balloon ride over Gloucester? Was there some kind of 007 style roof top chase? I was staring skywards contemplating this. I then realised that I had drawn other people’s attention. So they started looking up, then one or two started pointing. This drew other peoples attention. So what had started out as an unregarded shoe, was now becoming the centre of attention. Feeling happy with myself, I continued to bimble on.

It wasn’t long untill I stumbled across a bizzar little shop. Well with this stod out side wouldn’t you want to go in?

Is it an Orc

I mean what kind of antique shop has an Orc out the front? I had to take a look inside. There was all kinds of things. Furniture, clocks, clothing, military stuff. Even a trumpet. Very nearly tempted to spend the £120 for it, but thankfully thought better of it. It was certainly a shop of curiosities.

Well time passed and I went to collect my company car. My suspicions were raised when I realised that the car was exactly where I had left it. My forebodings were proved right when the man from Kwik Fit explained that they need to seek authorisation from enterprise before carrying out a major service. and unfortunately they couldn’t get hold of the person listed on the system. It was a mobile number and it was going straight to answer phone. What a waist of time. I had other things I wanted to be doing. I was going to see my friends down in Hampshire and it would have been nice to have spent more time with them. Sod it. If the car goes pop it’s not going to be my fault.

So after that fiasco I headed home, grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed off to Hampshire to go and see my friends. It was good to catch up with them and chat. A very chilled evening ensued with much good company and entertainment.

Thank crunchy it’s Friday

Finally the end of the working week. Yippee! So a hassle free day of work and bright sunshine. All kinds of good. Frag fest was a giggle, although I still can’t aim straight. An early night as the company car is due a major service. I’m so glad I don’t have to run my own car. It’s bloody expensive.

Out of the Blue

All in all, a good day. Work today held one of those odd moments that makes no sense. It was going to be a straight forward job. Swap out a touch screen on a hospitality site just out side Cardiff. I got the part from Bristol and made it to the site. Swapping over the screen achieved nothing. Bummer. So I borrowed another screen of a till in the function room. The kind of till that only gets used on Mothers day and over the Christmas period. i found there was nothing wrong with the original screen. It worked just fine. So I tried the data cable and low and behold things started working. No worries, just order a cable. So being tidy minded I put the faulty cable on the function room till, and was a little stunned when it started working as well. The manager was OK with how things worked out, so I left them alone and went to the car to fill in the various forms and labels that needed to be done. I was nearly finished when an elderly gentleman approached me and he started telling me about his old 386 PC he had at home and the problem he had getting his printer to work on windows 98 second edition. In the space of 30 minuets I learnt that he was an accountant and now had his boss’s old PC that ran XP. Random!

All in all a very plesent conversation, but completly out of the blue.

Easy sunny day

I had an easy going day. Swapped a touch screen at a site in Cirencester. Noticed a land rover with “Pussy Wagon” writen in the dirt all along the passenger side of it. Met up with another engineer to get a 1kg weight off him. Also got my reload software off him that I lent him last month. Then tried to get to the bottom of a random printer fault at a site less than a mile from my home. All kinds of good.

Sky rats

Today was my first day back from being on holiday. A nice gentle start. The first job was in Gloucester city center to replace a keyboard. There was some mild peril in the form of angry seagulls. Apparently they have been nesting on the roof of the car park and have been dive bombing anyone they don’t like the look of. So any human with in 100 meters. Made getting to and from the car a little daunting. Resisted the urge to bat the sky rat out of the air with the keyboard box.

Next gig was on the outskirts of Hereford. Just replace a till. There was a little confusion over what till number it was, but eventually everything was up and running.

It’s too hot. So glad of air-con in the car.

Back From Holiday


But first I need to subject you to my Cornwall holiday pics.

Saint Mawes. A nice little costal town, and where I happened to be staying. Along with it’s calf killing 1 in 3 hills there was this strangly inviting door…

I really wanted to know what was on the other side of it, but held off in case it was not as good as to what my imagination was conjuring up.

Truro was a good giggle. A big town that also had an unusuall shop that had this array of rabbits. I’ve no idear what the hell they are for…

Falmouth has the National Maritime Museum. Very cool and well worth a visit. Here’s the indoor model boat sailing thingy…

They’ve got all sorts of boats hanging from the roof.

Mored up outside what this 55 meter monster of a pleasure curser – Steel.

But this is more my sort of budget…

Truth be told, I was more excited as this was the same kind of car that I first owned. This anoyed the member of staff working there, who felt I should be more excited about the little boat.

It’s safe to say that there were a lot of boats there.

There was even a bit on light houses. I played with the fog horn a lot Smiley

And I found a hat to try on…

In Fowey, some one missunderstood the concept of letter boxes…

Some of the entrances to the cottages were nicely unusual…

Or in some cases painted and decortated to a nautical theam…

No matter how old you are, if you go to the sea side, you need to go on the beach…

As well as leaving your mark for the sea to wash away Smiley

All in all a great holiday. The only thing that felt was a little weird was that in some areas the locals will welcome you with open arms. But in others there was outward contempt and resentment. Pitty really.

Time off – YAY!

Strewth! I’ve been tired. Saturday and Sunday saw a lot of mileage. Thankfully Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t too bad. So today was nice as it didn’t involve an alarm clock. Just a nice lie in. A trip in to town to get a hair cut as i was beginning to look a little woolly. Got Dad a birthday present. And resupplied the fridge. As is traditional, i discovered that i had missed some items off the list. Why does that always seem to happen?

So it’s just about time to go on holiday. Hora! Just got to squeeze a quick trip over to Bedford, then it’s off to Cornwall for a 5 day break. Really looking forward to it.

Just in case

Yesterday I drove 160 miles to get to my first site. It took me 5 and half hours to get there. This includes the hour for lunch and the numerous times I had to stop and pull over to triage various calls. When I got to the site at New Quay I was told thus. The till had been working since the day before, the manageress had called the help desk to cancel the call. The help desk said that they would still send out the engineer “Just in case”.

I remained professional in front of the customer, returned to the car with as much control as I could muster. I then had what could probably be described as a sense of humor failure. Needless to say, the call planners also shared my displeasure. And in fact passed on the discord to the help desk.

So by the time I had totally failed to fix another call in Swansea, it was no surprise that I got home for 10 at night. Sunday will more than likely follow the same trail. The first site has 4 calls logged against it. So a little drive over to Pembroke Docks. Joy! Only 152 miles to the site. Considering one of the calls was logged with an impossible error, this should be a worth while and fulfilling day. Roll on Thursday.

Get your vote in

So it’s time for the UK general election. So with the polling stations opening so early it was easy to cast my vote before heading off to the parts depot to drop of yesterdays kit. Then over to Cardiff to to replace a failing hard drive on a retail site. Or I would have if the part had turned up. So after an hour of waiting to find out if there was going top be a part Iwent on to the next call. A doddle of a job. The staff had already swapped over the part, so all i had to do was take away the old one and fill in the paper work. Unfortunately I picked up a puncture on one of the tyres. So after some ringing around I eventually made my way to a Kwik Fit to get the tyre repaired. Lunch was a brief affair, with me heading back in to Cardiff to plug in a customer display unit. I love these easy jobs. With that ut the way it was back up the valley to try and fix a PC that wouldn’t turn on. No luck on that job, defiant going to need a part for that. So get one ordered and then head home. A simple and straight forward day.

Back on the grind

The ballence has been addressed. If it’s been quiet on the work front, then today saw a return to form. So first gig was go and get the parts from the local depot and collect a power supply. From there it was off to a retail site near Abbergaveny to go and fix the PC there. Turning up with a big smile on your face can really confuse people. I really do think that I’m supposed to be turning up at these places miserable, because it seems to be what the customer is expecting. Never mind. I swapped over the power supply and was chuffed to see that the PC booted up ok. So what ever it was that had killed the PSU hadn’t fried the rest of the PC.

So up to Hereford. Grab a spot of lunch, then go and replace a chip and pin at a retail site. However the promised part on the pre 10:30 was completly ficticious. So I had a go at cleaning the unit but it was having none of it. So I left site feeling a little silly, with the help desk chasing the courier.

So then a long drive to Bridgend to go and tinker with a retail site over there. The site had two problems, both of them scales related. The first one was a very easy fix. Turn off the scale unit, and then turn it back on. So much for the checks being done. For the other scales, the part had been delivered and all I had to do was replace the unit. Then all that needed to be done was the mass amount of paper work that this particular customer generates.

Only one more job to go, it was a bit odd. The PDA was showing several calls for one site up in Merthyr Tydfil. But one had a part arriving in a couple of hours, and the other call for the site had the part arriving for tomorrow morning. I rang the call planners to make sure I was reading things properly. Apparently I was. I was required to drive to site and swap out a chip and pin on one of the sites till. And then tomorrow drive back to site and swap out the other chip and pin on the other till. There was something in the tone of voice that told me it would be fruitless to do anything as silly as bring logic in to it. So I drove to the site and found that they had already swapped over the unit, so all I had to do was take away the old unit. With the paper work filled in and the emails sent off I drove home.

It was quite late in the evening when I finaly got home. I had a couple of hours to get something to eat and unwind for a couple of hours. So it’s back to normal.