Phew…. so much to catch up on….
Lots of new things have taken place since my last Blog entry (TWITTER GUIDE). To fill you all in, I shall quickly list what I will discuss today!!!
- TWITTER GUIDE: Over 12,000 hits on my web blog in a day….
- Resignation from My old job.
- My New Job with Percival Aviation.
- The death of PC’s grip on me…. the change to Apple Macs…
I use Twitter as you will probably know by now. When I first started tweeting I felt lost in this new world of micro-bloggery – but there were no real guides around. I wanted a simple “Bullet point” guide – nothing too complicated.
I figured a lot of stuff out on my own, and some with help from others. I began to share the knowledge with other users as they joined. People would ask me questions and I would answer.
There were two problems though – I was answering the same questions over and over – and it was hard to do with only 140 characters in a tweet entry. Obviously I needed to write something up for new users so I could point them at it.
I love to help folks, so I went about writing the guide. After writing it I got a lot of feedback (positive) on the guide – people saying it was what they really needed, people sharing the guide with other people, lots started calling me a Guru!! Well, I’m no Guru – I just wrote up the jumble of notes and shared it – not much guruing required – but hey!
With the positive feedback coming in from people who follow me on Twitter I decided that it must be a pretty good guide – and as such it needed a wider audience. After all – if people thought it was that useful, then surely I should try to get it out to as many people as possible.
Many people were sharing the guide – but I needed it to be shared by Twitter users who have HUGE followings…. so I asked Stephen Fry, Phillip Schofield, Robert Llewellyn and Jonathan Ross to spread the word.
Before asking these great friendly folk for help, this blog had a top day of 407 hits! WOW!!! I’m usually happy with 20 hits a day – after all, my blog isn’t really a focus group thing – it’s just the rantings of an everyday guy.
After asking for the guide word to be spread my site went mad…. the numbers went up in their hundreds every few minutes! Within no time I had peaked 500….1000….4000….8000….and by the end of the day I had over 12,000 people hit my site!
With no help from me the next day I had another 6000 hits. Since the initial flood I am now getting 300 to 500 hits a day every day….. I feel the pressure is on for me to really turn out the goods now!
Out of all of those many thousand people I only saw one slightly negative comment (ONLY ONE!!!). Someone simply said “I have passed this guide on to my friends, but I didn’t really understand it myself” – I thought that was great! Although they weren’t sure, they still thought it was worth sharing – so thanks!
If you want to see the reviews and retweets, then check HERE.
I’m so glad that the guide is helping people. I don’t earn anything from my Blog, so it is all done purely to help – The thanks I have been recieving has been payment enough! Thanks every one!
Onto my resignation….
I damaged my back and it took three months to get back to a stage where I was able to work fully again. I damaged it doing a job for my company whilst using a vehicle bought to do that very job. The sick time meant I had very low pay (£160 Per MONTH)… which lead us to a dark place.
The money hole meant I needed a better job with more pay to recover our finances. I also needed a job with better security – because I was feeling like I had been hung out to dry (whether I was is a different matter, but it felt that way). A new job came my way and I handed in my resignation – I feel it was a blessing really, as the company I worked for were making some redundancies.
My job was not one of the ones on the line – but hey, I’d rather work for a company that is hiring (and paying 22% more) in these climates, than one that isn’t. Like I said – the bad back was a blessing in disguise.
Sadly the project I had been working on was put on hold when I left. It was for a calibration laboratory. I had built it up from nothing and was only a few weeks away from getting it approved by UKAS. The project was put on hold when I left because I was to be head of the Lab. With no one directly to take my position, there was no way UKAS could certify the lab.
I felt a bit gutted, as it was a major project. The whole project feels hollow to me now. I did so much and left without that final completion. Even if it had been completed, it wouldn’t have been able to operate until my replacement was found. I would compare it to learning a language for a holiday you never take – You achieve something and nothing.
Had the back injury not happened, or had the money not been an issue, I would have happily stayed there, as the majority of the folks there were great to work with, and I learnt a lot from my immediate Boss.
Annoyingly for me on the financial front I had to work 4 weeks notice. I wanted out straight away – or at most 2 weeks. The bosses said I needed to train up one of the other guys with what I knew – so I had to do the full 4 weeks. I was lucky that the guy (already working with the company) had smarts and some experience – that made it easier.
On the last day I drove into work in our own car. The idea was that Chris would drive the company car in later to drop it at the factory, and we’d go back home in our own car. This would mean I could load up our car with my gear during the day, and simply swap cars at the end of the day…
Bit of a cock up though – The guy taking my car had to leave at half day…. with the car… which I wasn’t properly told about… so the day was cut short and felt rushed and I wanted to take my time and ensure everything was handed over smoothly.
A while after I left I hadn’t received my P45, so I called the wages department…. who weren’t aware that I had resigned…
Never mind, these things are sent to try us. None of us are perfict after all 🙂
Regardless of how I felt, I still point people towards that company for their metrology needs, as the team there do know what they are talking about.
I have no bad feelings for them now, although at the time I had some strong mixed emotions.
I am in a much better place now though, and although I would rather have arrived here without all of that pain and worry, I wouldn’t have got to this point at all if things had just carried on ticking over. Infact with several hundred hits a day on this site I could advertise them here – but I’m not sure how they’d feel about that.
My New Job…
I now work for Percival Aviation as a Sales Executive. It’s not your typical sales type job, as that is only a very small part of the role. I have to put quotes out based on customer requirements for aircraft interior work. I also put all the job cards together with bills of materials (BOM’s).
Simply put – A customer wants a seat. I have to break that seat down (on paper) into its individual parts – the nuts, bolts, screws, glue, materials, etc… and then cost them all up. I have to work in whether we will build the sub components or whether sub-contractors will be used. I work out all the component costings and man hour costings by sending out for quotes from suppliers etc. I work out the build process and then with all of this information I can quote the customer. Once we get the order I can then write out the processes for the works card – which the shop floor team use to build the seat.
This is a very simplistic view of the job… It is very involved and to a very tight time schedule. I love it – the pressure is on, each job is different and already I have had praise and appreciation – both of which are very important in a job – but often overlooked.
There is a downside – I have to travel 52 miles to work, and 52 miles back again…. so I’m on the look out for an economical car… mind you, the increase in pay more than covers the fuel bill!
Bye Bye Company Car and Laptop
The Fiat Multipla went back to the company, as did my works laptop… which has left us with Chris’s old XP laptop and just the Citroén Berlingo. I have the car during the week for work – and Chris takes it for the weekend for her job. That leaves us at the mercy of the buses….which Alex loves – so it’s not a bad thing!
As for the computer front… we need to replace Chris’s laptop pretty soon as it is slow and very outdated. We’ve done all we can to try and have it keep up, but its time has come.
I bought an Apple MacBook after I was so impressed by the Apple iPhone. This is the computer that I am currently using. In a few months I shall give it to Chris (once I know how to use it fully!). I shall then get myself another MacBook.
I will not be buying a PC again, that’s for sure. The Mac is just so amazing!
I have had a few problems getting used to it. The biggest problem is due to the way I have used PC’s for so long.
The Mac is very intuitive – and so fast! If you look at the numbers that make up the Mac specs you would think it would be slow compared to a PC – but in reality the cheapest Mac (which isn’t that cheap) is far superior to even higher spec PC’s!
When buying a Mac, don’t compare Mac specs to PC specs in a like for like way – Mac uses its component parts far more efficiently than a PC, and as such a lower spec Mac will dance all over a PC. I’ve not used a PC as fast as this little MacBook – and this MacBook is the entry level one!!!
Once you realise that the price of a PC that can perform as fast as a Mac is going to be higher, you then see that the Mac isn’t so expensive after all…. especially as the software is cheaper (in my experience) and you don’t need to buy additional anti-virus.
This leaves one bug-bear then. That of the conversion from PC to Mac.
The PC is easy to use simply because we’ve all pretty much been brought up with them. The Mac on the other hand would be the easier one to use if you have never used a computer before. Everything is in the right place – it works as you would expect it to work. There is no fussing around. The trouble is getting used to doing things in this easy way once you have spent so many years doing things the hard way on a PC!!! Just stick with it and enjoy the benefit though!
Two stand out examples that got me were the search function on a Mac compared to that of a PC.
The Joy of Mac Search (Spotlight)
In a PC you can search files and folders for a keyword or name. You set it up to search, then go off and do other stuff as it looks through all of your systems files and folders. This can take some time.
On the Mac though, you type in the search requirement and instantly you have all of the files listed that contain the thing you were looking for. This includes any emails where the search phrase might have occurred – and it even gives a definition of the word – and when I say it is instant, I really mean INSTANT.
The other example is when uninstalling programs. On a PC you need to go into the settings and run an uninstall application or program. This then goes through the PC and resets and removes all (most) of the programs files.
On a Mac you just delete the icon (or drag it to the waste bin). That’s it – job done!
Simple, fast, intuitive and also just very pleasant to use.
I won’t go into the simplicity that is linked emails, calendars, browsing… oh the emails!!! Mac Mail has some awesome features…. ah Heck! It’s all awesome… go buy one!
I won’t be going back to a PC – I have only had the Mac for a week and I am already frustrated to Hell and back with the works PC I use…. Apple really know what they are doing.