Round Robin written 14th December 2002

Hello, thank you for your letters. Christmas is nearly upon us, just time to squeeze in a Robin before it happens.

Congratulations on your job news, Graham. On my job front, the last interview I had in Luton failed to get me a job updating stock prices on a web site. The letter that came from that company showed that they really had a hard time deciding who to take on because everyone was very good. I then had an interview with Bourne Leisure in Hemel Hempstead for a Management Information Analyst. I thought that interview went well, and that I impressed them, but I haven’t heard a dickie bird out of them. When I look at the emails suggesting jobs to me, providing I have 2-3 years experience and a working knowledge of ZXYsystems version 28.333 I can apply. I don’t know what to do anymore. Agencies have very exacting requirements.

During the storms a neighbours shed was blown over and I had to warn another neighbour to move their car as the shed was liable to topple over. The shed owners have done nothing about it yet and it looks an eyesore.

We have heard that some land at the end of my downstairs neighbours’ garden has been sold for redevelopment into a block of four flats. It is a very small parcel of land that I thought might one day be converted into garages. But never a block of flats. That will cut out a lot of light to my lounge if it goes through. I have put my comments into the planning department, now I shall have to wait and see.

I am working in software audit at Xerox, employed by Manpower like everyone else seems to be. There’s a core of Xerox employees. A couple of years ago they had to take drastic steps to save the company, so made big staff cut-backs and even sold off the building they own in Welwyn Garden City. My task is to run through a set of scenarios to make sure the “Document Centre” works properly. They don’t call them photocopiers anymore. They do wonderful things like faxing, Internet fax, scan to a file on a pc, scan to email address, copy onto 2 sides, make booklets folded and stapled in the middle. So I have to test things as the different software comes out. If condition a, followed by condition b, and c occur, will function xyz work? And what if condition b is done before condition a, will function xyz still work, and does the right message come up if you press function button p .? I then raise a report if I find anything amiss.

Our audit team had a Christmas dinner in old Welwyn on Friday 13th December. I arrived in the car park to find I had a flat tyre. The tyre wall was damaged and I now have to replace the tyre. Mine are not easy to come by and I have to find about £90. I must have hit a kerb, from looking at the chunk missing from the tyre wall. The dinner was excellent, but a tad more expensive than your Blackpool bargains. The plate was 17 inches wide, loaded with a giant Yorkshire pudding, gravy, turkey, 2 big sausages, sprouts, carrots, peas, roast parsnips, roast potatoes, stuffing. And as I was brought up to eat the lot, I did.

I have had an outdoor security light fitted because it was very dark outside my front door. Caroline recently gave up with the old large telly because it was taking 10 to 15 minutes for the picture to come on. I’m hoping to see if I can do something with it like repair it and resell it.

Melissa and Robert are ready for Christmas. They like the “Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas” toys very much. Thank you to Uncle Michael and Aunty Linda. That’s all I allowed them to open until Christmas - well I had to because every time the parcel was shook up the toys were yelling, “HO Ho Ho Merry Christmas!”

Have a nice Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best, Alan.