Run up to Christmas

I haven’t blogged for a while, so seeing as my son is currently running around in a  soft play area, and I have my laptop I thought I’d take the opportunity to put up a new post of my ramblings.

First of all – I’m on holiday, or at least I’m supposed to be. One of the side effects of having a BlackBerry is that I’m never truly cut off from the office – there’s always a way for someone to get hold of me. Given that I’m a naturally helpful person, it’s not long before I need to respond. But should I have to?

The cynic in me says no – but not because I’m a cold person. It’s more about me putting place certain safeguards for people to use whilst I’m out of the office – my colleagues should know what to do when someone flushes their BlackBerry down the toilet, or drops it from the Eiffel Tower.

So – resolution number one for the New Year is to identify everything that I do at work (or things that other people rely on me for) and document the process that I want followed in my absence. That way I can be sure that I won’t need to be bothered while I’m away from the office, and can focus my attention on my family rather than my work.

The principle thing that I’m responsible for is the mobile phones within the company – this has come about more by accident than by purpose, and is a result of me trying to be too helpful and ensure that everything is present and correct. My key problem is that a lot of my decision making is based on gut instinct – what I feel to be the right course of action once I’ve got the basic gist of the situation.

So – come the New Year I’ll be doing a flurry of documents to clearly show anyone who asks how to do the things I do.

Next on my list – Christmas Shopping. I managed to get pretty much everything I needed to online this year, which has saved me the grief of having to wait in queues at overcrowded shops in Bath. The one major drawback is that for some reason everything is taking an age to get through the postal system. This isn’t helped by the severe weather conditions that have been affecting the UK over the last couple of weeks, and I’m more than a little worried that some things are just not going to turn up. Fortunately, John’s presents have all arrived – they were ordered a month or so ago, and my wife has even wrapped them all ready for Christmas Day.

So – why are things taking longer than usual? Well, I used to buy a fair amount of DVDs from Play.com, and their delivery used to be pretty good – either next day delivery or the day after. Now it’s taking anything up to a week from the point of order to me holding the goods in my hands. In some cases I’m ordering several things at once, which are dispatched at the same time in different boxes, but arrive on different days. This makes me think that it’s not really Play.com’s fault, but more Royal Mail. However – I haven’t actually taken a look at their parcels to see if they are actually using Royal Mail or if they are using a third party.

The same is true of Amazon – they have consistently failed to meet their delivery dates, even though the goods only come from somewhere in Berkshire (AFAIK). When I ordered my Kindle in November, I specified next day delivery because I wanted it before I went to Australia – true enough it arrived next day (at 7.30am!) so i was more than impressed with this. This time around I specified expedited delivery, because there was more than enough time for it to come and I didn’t want to have to shell out for next day delivery (call me a skinflint if you want to). However, what was meant to be here on the 21st has still not arrived, and what’s worse there is no tracking information on expedited delivery, something which makes me very worried particularly as the order is worth over £100.

So – I wait with bated breath to see if my parcels arrive and my wife made happy.

Happy Christmas!

Run up to Christmas

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