The end of a hard month


“Look, I’m using the original notches that came with my belt!”

September 2014 has been a trying time of my life — I’ve finally been working in IT (albeit unpaid), but I’ve also faced some serious setbacks, and run the gamut of emotions owing to weight loss combined with my love life coming to a standstill.

(So, basically a normal month other than not getting paid, right?)

On the positive side, I have been trimming my tum, and losing weight perhaps even more firmly than this time last year; this appears to be almost entirely due to dropping dessert (except on special occasions).  Who knew a Greek-style yoghurt could cause so much bother?  It followed me virtually eliminating lunch during August, and while I’m eating a bit more now that I’m not just sitting at home every day, I’m consistently below 12-and-a-half stone at long last.  Whether I’ll be able to maintain this until Christmas remains to be seen, of course…

However, it would seem that eating little during the day — and especially if the little I do eat is nut-based — is screwing with my emotional state.  As though I didn’t have enough trouble before thanks to girls I liked being more interested in chatting to people they already knew than getting to know me, last Tuesday I actually got so miserable at work through brooding that I had to go hide in the gents’ and cry, something I hadn’t done for about a year!  I know, September is the month when winter becomes apparent on the horizon, and the days get appreciably shorter — something I’m only too well aware of when I drag myself out of bed at 6:30am to make breakfast — but this is getting on my nerves now!

My yoga teacher reckons it’s down to my diet — effectively the Atkins diet, with lots of protein and minimal carbs (or at least that was the case last Tuesday) — and that I need to have more sweet things to settle my stomach.  My personal trainer thinks that’s a load of hooey, and that it’s not surprising at all that I would get depressed about my love life if I’m still single at nearly 37 (a situation not unlike the one he faced before he met his wife), and that I’m on the verge of resolving this thanks to his efforts in hunkifying me.  I, however, think the truth is somewhere between the two: diet creates the conditions for my depression, and thinking on my love life sets me off, in a way that doesn’t happen when I’m less malnutritional.

Or, we could view it figuratively, and indeed cathartically: what’s actually happening is that as I shed fat, I’m releasing all the negative emotions I originally buried there through comfort eating in the years up to 2012 (e.g. 15″ pizza followed by a tub of ice cream), and that soon I’ll be rid of it all and thus beyond depression forever… yeah, right.

The main reason I was so miserable in late 2011 and early 2012 was the necessity of having to find a new place to live, and the prospect of not finding anywhere and thus having to move back to Worthing; this is something I may face again before 2014 is out — not just because I’m technically unemployed, but because my former employer is screwing around with the money it owes me.  I only found out on the 2nd that they weren’t paying me my “discretionary” (about £1,400, which would pay for a month’s rent and living expenses) because I hadn’t sent in a document I hadn’t even known I needed to send in, which in turn I needed to get a lawyer to look over with me before I signed it!

Yeah, maybe I should have read the covering letter closely, but they weren’t clear about this aspect.  When you’re being made redundant and aren’t planning to take your former employer to court for making you redundant, you don’t automatically think of retaining a solicitor — and no-one at work who was being dropped at the same time mentioned the legal trade in any context!  But never mind, I knew still had time (thanks to an old friend in HR I’ve gone climbing with), and so I visited a nice* lawyer here in Finchley, who helped me sign the document and sent it, with his invoice, to my former employer.

(* Yes, that is the right term — there is such a thing, rare and precious though he must be!)

Alas, when I chased them up, they said they hadn’t received it… fortunately my lawyer was able to send me a scanned copy, which I forwarded to HR’s e-mail address.  But still nothing for more than a week, before FINALLY they acknowledged receipt, and posted me a badly-photocopied version of the form that someone at their end had apparently signed (not that I could tell).  It’s taken four weeks to get this far, and they still haven’t actually paid me — and barring me getting a really good job, there’s no way I can possibly stay in London even as far as December unless I get this money I’m owed!

Money troubles me like it hasn’t since my student days.  Although my agency will hopefully be paying for my travel to and from work (but they need to see my Oyster card statements in person, scans don’t suffice), and although I’m cutting down the amount of food I’m eating and thus saving pounds while dropping pounds, I still have other incidental expenses that can’t be avoided: like one of the memory modules in my computer dying last weekend.  It’s been sitting in my computer since I put it together in 2011, so unless someone snuck into my room overnight, took it out, scratched one of the gold pins and put it back again, I’d say I’ve used it up — and thus came the necessity of replacing it.

I’ve sent both modules back to Corsair for RMA purposes, hence why I needed new ones; I now have (slightly) better memory in my system, and so I’ll be selling the replacement for credit… which I’ll also be doing with my soon-to-be “old” processor, as I’ve used my existing credit at CEX to buy a “new” processor.  It was vital, the coupons were fading… is that believeable?  Well, it had better be, I could hardly afford to lose £70 due to bad printing quality, and it’s nearly my birthday, so come on!

Still on the subject of IT, the good news is that I’m finally finding my feet at my internship, even if the place where I’m working appears to be held together with string and glue (and somehow I can’t help but wonder whether it’s safe for me to access online banking there), and even if they expect a lot from me despite the fact that I’m spending three hours every day travelling to and fro, and not getting paid.  Still, they encourage me to apply for jobs, and they let me leave early or arrive late if I need to without expecting me to make up my hours, so it’s not all bad.

(That’s something I can’t abide: if you’re horribly late to work through absolutely no fault of your own, beyond having the temerity to not own a car and thus rely on public transport, why should you be penalised by having to make up the lost time?  And why are TfL so derisory as to only pay you back the cost of the journey, without any actual compensation?)

Speaking of going in late, I’ll be doing that the next couple of days — I’m registering with a local dentist tomorrow morning (well, probably “this morning” by the time you read this), and then going to a job interview on Thursday morning.  At least I won’t have to leave early on Friday, as my personal trainer’s on holiday… but all this isn’t happening until October, so pay it no heed while September lasts!  Oh, too late, it’s October now…


One thought on “The end of a hard month

  1. Pingback: My real 2014 resolution | Dave-ros Lives!

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