February 2015: Jumble

This month, I started work at my new job. I felt productive the first couple of days and some, and then things got old really quickly. I found there was quite a bit I didn’t know, and in fact, I think my boss knows that, so he’s been extremely patient. But still, I feel like a fish out of water. Some days, there’s quite a bit to do and that’s when I’m most productive. On the days when there’s only one thing to do though, I get sluggish. I feel guilty about the lethargy I feel, of course, but I wonder if there’s something else I can do to get over it? There are quite a number of balls I’m juggling at the moment, but my employer is paying me to work 8 hours a day, so it would be dishonest to use that time to do other things. Sigh. Also, I’m more productive at night, apparently, and this is very bad because it means I work late and wake up early, but I also can’t sleep during the day because what if my employer or colleagues need to reach me?

Speaking of balls, I got a new social media management client the other day, so yay – and bye bye to my carefree weekends 🙂 Another ball I’m juggling is this crowdshipping experiment, in which if you need to send something from A-B, you can post on the platform, and someone who is going from A-B will respond. It’s still in ‘Beta’, so it’s not yet an app or anything, and I need suggestions on how to make it better, please. I especially need advice for the ‘How it works’ section – it’s way too long, and I’m not sure how to make it shorter and easier to read. Flow charts, maybe? How to make colorful ones, does anyone know?

I’m moving house today. I had the misfortune of choosing to sublet from a flighty (or crazy? he calls himself crazy) person, and now he’s decided to move, so I have to move too. He knows how annoying this is, so he’s offered to help me move my stuff to Amsterdam, in a Fiat Punto. I have a lot of stuff so I think we might need 2 trips. On the plus side though, it’s good that I’m moving to Amsterdam because the closer I am to Schiphol when the time comes to leave, the better for me. I shudder to even think about the cost of a cab from The Hague to Schiphol. I still haven’t packed, or done the things I’m supposed to do…I really hate moving, and I reckon I’m going to move at least 2 more times after this before I’m finally settled. Gah. Also, need to buy new suitcases, because the poorly trained humans – and it’s only because of my manners that I call them humans – at Murtala Muhammed airport made certain to break at least one part of my suitcase for every single time I passed through in December (total number was 5, I think). Well done, everyone.

I have to go now. Take a shower, stuff suitcases, trash stuff (and this is the annoying bit – always having to trash stuff to make space. Nobody will buy my old stuff because nobody is a size XS like me!), go sell my old Toshiba laptop (which has ‘shown me pepper’) and ancient Harman/Kardon speakers {Side bar: my office sent money for a new laptop, and as an experimenter, I chose an Asus 13″ ultrabook. Core i7, 128Gb SSD, inbuilt Bang & Olufsen speakers, etc. I chose this, for science. I’ve had it for about 1.5 weeks and it’s been lovely so far}. I need a new, portable, bluetooth speaker. I can’t afford JBL because, broke. Please help? Do you know any good – but inexpensive – ones that can be gotten in Europe?

Meanwhile, I’m going to Luxembourg next weekend!!!

Okay that’s it from me. I will miss this apartment – it’s the best I’ve lived in so far, but I’m grateful for the memories.

A tout!

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Tidbits while I write my thesis II (Or: Mini quarterlife crisis, if there’s such a thing)

5. I went to the UK about 1 month ago. My visa was about to expire and I thought to use it one more time, so I booked 2 tickets on 2 different airlines: Ryanair to go, Jets2 to come back. People, I missed my Ryanair flight by 1 second. It was a morning flight, and there were so many people on the queue. I asked to be moved forward but they told me “don’t worry, the plane won’t leave without you”. Well, it did. And then, just as they were closing the gate, I ran up screaming – okay, well, whispering – “nononono!!!” and they just said “sorry, can’t let you through, you have to go back to the service desk. Sigh. Off to the service desk I went, where they told me (a bit too cheerfully) that I’d have to be put on the next flight (21:20), and I’d have to pay an extra 110Eur. Aha, so that’s why they were so cheerful. LOL. Screw you. I went and sat down, took out my computer and booked a flight on British Airways. But then I had to fly to the train station and get to Rotterdam (as I was in Eindhoven) airport. Luckily for me, BA was flying straight into London City, so that was just perfect. Well, I got to London safe and sound, then began the arduous journey to Leeds (someone should look into making daily small-plane services a thing. Like between London and Leeds. I’d pay 50 Pounds if you could get me there in 10-30 minutes instead of 4.5 hours. Sheesh).

6. 9:47am, 25.04.2014: Mika’s ‘Grace Kelly’ is everything for me this morning. So much so that I want to do a cover (video) of it, set in the 60s, maybe a la TemiDoll’s ‘PataPata’.

7. I turn 25 in a couple of days, and I cannot even begin to describe how or what I feel, to be honest.

I’m writing my Masters thesis, and I shall be graduating this summer. I have 2 years of (semi?)professional experience, and about 21 years of schooling experience. For all of these years, I’ve always known what ‘the next step’ would be. Sometimes, there were crossroads, but there was always a next step, regardless. Now, I’m not quite sure what my next steps would or should be.

Also, I practically stopped living at home when I was 10. I went to boarding school, and my family lived far (like 6-700km) away, so I only saw them at vacations, or the odd visiting day when Father or Mother happened to be in town on business. When I started my first job, it was again, far (4-500km) from ‘home’, so I’ve pretty much been ‘independent’ and nomadic for the past 15 years. One might argue that my family and I have been in a long distance relationship, which I’m fine with. However, these days, I find myself thinking that maybe it’s time to settle somewhere. At the same time, I think I still have about 2 more cities/countries to ‘wild out’ in before I settle.

With the boyfriend, it’s been the same (long distance) thing. Of our ~5 years together, we’ve only ever lived in the same city for 1 year. Some people might read this and think “I could never do that!”, but </shrug> it’s my reality and it usually isn’t something I’m happy or sad about, it just is. my life. And I was happy when he moved to the UK because then it meant we were at least on the same continent.

Today, I’m sad. The boyfriend got a job with a very, very good company (and we’re so very happy about it, you cannot begin to imagine) and he has to move back to Nigeria next month. Because, we’re not going to say “no, please wait for me to enjoy summer, I’ll come afterwards”. Nay. (Not like he didn’t try though. They couldn’t wait. And he couldn’t very well say “well, go screw yourselves then”.) We did have plans for this summer though. Good plans.  Oh and, the way schedules are set up, it appears no one is going to be able to make it to my graduation. Well done, Life.

Now, I do have a vague idea what’s supposed to happen next for me, but then it very much depends on whether things ‘fall into place’, which I hope they do – and in the way that I want them to-. I’m speaking about getting a job, of course. My supervisors here have been pretty pleased about my work and they’re very interested in keeping me on, but it depends on if a vacancy opens up, as they do not have the power to manufacture a vacancy, etc. Fingers crossed then. I think what I’ve just described is my apprehension. Still on apprehension, I have to submit my thesis in 14 days and I’m only 70% ready. Cue panic.

In other interesting-but-slightly-panicky news, I tried to start a 3rd party logistics business (even paid for a logo and got a website and everything), but I couldn’t quite get it off the ground because I wasn’t able to figure out how to make it ‘affordable’ by my standards. Also, I started noticing last year, that a couple of (Nigerian) companies have such piss-poor customer service on social media. You tweet at them to complain about something (because their customer lines are ‘busy’), and they get a bot to respond to you. “Thank you for your comment/enquiry. Please call 1234 for help, or email xyz@abc.com”. It used to piss me off a lot, even when I wasn’t the one being mistreated. So I started ranting about and saying maybe I should start a social media management business, because I want to see how hard it is to treat your (online) customers well. As I said, I was only ranting. And then, a friend took me seriously and sent out a couple of texts, and *abracadabra* we started a business and now we have 3 clients. In 1 week. Well done, Life. We haven’t even gotten a website or logo. [Aside: Thankfully, it is a lot easier for me to figure how to keep this business affordable for clients 😀 ]

I have no plans for my birthday, I suppose I’m going to spend it reading Anne of Green Gables and/or The Perks of Being a Wallflower or something. There’s a barbecue thing tomorrow though, so I shall attend and afterwards, my Spanish friend will make us mojitos and spanish omelettes. Oh and she’s finally moving on Sunday. Too sad.

I want to learn to play the violin this summer. I’m accepting donations to buy one. [Shall I open a Kickstarter/Indiegogo project for you my dearest friends, to contribute?] 😀