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Ahoy hoy

Remember when I said I was going to use this blog more often? Well it's only been just over a month since my last post so I think I'm doing pretty darn gosh good. The past month hasn't been that good from an online productivity standpoint, I've really got nothing done on any of the websites I own or participate on and for that I am deeply sowwy.

The reason for why I've been online so little in general is because as of 1st July I became a full time employee for my twelve month placement, which has been both a blast and a struggle. It's been a absolute blast because all the people I work with are young, enthusiastic and truly awesome. The company is a small but growing startup that runs multiple businesses. The primary focus at the moment is a beer and whisky online retail site, but they have plans to move into consultancy and other markets. The office I work at is located on a small industrial estate (previously a farm) just outside Tunbridge Wells, which is unfortunately were the struggle comes in.

To get there each day I have to catch a 7am train from Hastings (meaning I'm getting up at 6am) to Tunbridge Wells. From Tunbridge I then have to catch a bus which travels out into the countryside. Unfortunately due to the general crappness of public transport the nearest bus stop to my work (a mile's walk away) doesn't run at that time of the morning, meaning I have to get off at a bus stop two and a half miles away from where I work and walk forty minutes through country lanes. I then have to do the whole thing in reverse (fortunately I get a lift from a co-worker to the closer bus stop in the evening), getting back into Hastings station at 7pm. The sooner I get a driving license the better!

Fortunately, as I said before, the people I work with rock. During my first day of work me and another placement student who started the same day got taken to the local pub for stake burgers, while at five o'clock on a friday it was deemed nessacary that the whole office have beers to finish the week on. Several people in the office (including the boss) also enjoy making bets and wagers on just about anything, the most memorable being a wager that our boss couldn't rip a yellow pages clean in half with his bare hands in under ten minutes (it had to be a straight since rip, not just ripping the pages out one at a time). As you can see, he did it with twenty seconds to spare...

Photo taken using our photo studio setup

This past Friday our sales manager had a massive amount of meat delivered to the office which he let defrost in the kitchen sink. The best part of this was the revelation that it had come in a container full of dry ice which we "attempted" to use to take dramatic photos of our drink products.

It does indeed say that on his shirt

We also got to spend one morning moving a mountain of expensive glasses from one side of the office to another, which we succeeded in doing in record time by throwing the boxes across the room to each other. All this is without even mentioning the "how many pebbles can you trow into the bucket" game that we spent many of our recent lunch breaks playing (many of which seemed to hit our server more often than the bucket) and the rather odd fascination most of the office have with counting the number of deaths swine flu has taken o_O;

Obviously "some" work has been involved during all this I assure you. Most of my time has been spent between writing a php script that takes in a excel spreadsheet of words which it combines together to make variations on urls, find out if they are available, make records of them and (hopefully soon) automagicly register them. I've also been getting to grips with the SQL Server back end of the retail site, assisting in domestic PC issues such as installing operating systems, ip phones, monitors and networking equipment and giving my opinions on site designs, future changes and projects.

To be honest I can't believe I've already been working there nearly a month. At this rate I'll be back in lectures before I know it.

Oh, and I promise to get back on track with website updates. Honest! It's just taking a while to get into such a different sleeping/working routine.

EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I passed my second year of University (good job too as I had to start my placement before I got my results!). I got a B+ in Web Application Development (ASP.NET), a B in Research Methods, a B in Authoring for Multimedia Applications (Flash), a C+ in Object Oriented Design and Implementation, an A in Scripting (Perl), an A+ in Databases, a B+ in Building Enterprise Applications (JSP) and a B+ in Business Environment for Internet Computing. Woot!
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Your life is truly amazing.
By "amazing" you mean "awesome", right?

Well, except for the looooong commute of course (been there!).

April 2010



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