Partially Reformed Content #5 (More than) (Over) One Year On…

Well! It’s that time of year again when I remember I have a blog section on my website and curse myself, yet again for promising to be more regular, then completely failing to be regular. I wouldnt mind quite so much, but I initially planned to make this a christmas blog, then it became an end of year blog, then it became a “New year” blog and now as it’s the week of my birthday, it’s kind of just a “This is a special time of year, I havent updated in a while. So I better do an update of some kind” blog. Happy whatever! Lets get started.

So my last blog was September 2021 and things were ticking over at that time, but what happened in the the mysterious gap between then and now? Well…in some ways, a lot. In others…not so much. I suppose it makes sense to break it down into sections rather than go through the year as…well, that’ll get a bit messy. SO! With that in mind, im drinking Amaretto…lets go!

Youtube:

Kicking things off, the channel continues to go from strength to strength. 2022 was a HELL of a year online in almost every possible way, for a starters this really was the year where my friendships and relationships with my fellow creators really flourished. I made quite a few appearances on other channels and podcasts, which was an absolute blast. We produced 40 reviews for the channel, We started uploading in 4k for the first time plus we nailed a TON of commentaries (which also got a 1080p boost) AND at least one or two special documentaries…Oh AND in the last few days of December 2022 we hit 1000 subscribers after roughly 5 and a half years of uploading content and over 6 years of the channels existence. 

Honestly, even after a few weeks to get over it, im still kind of lost for words, Waaaay back in 2017 when I first started uploading content, I only set myself 3 goals:

*To inform, entertain and educate while being fair

*To hit 100 subscribers

*And to hit 1000 subscribers. 

Its a weird feeling to be here at this point now, I genuinely and sincerely never thought i’d get here, I figured youtube would terminate the channel before i’d get there or i’d just stay small forever honestly. I appreciate i’ve been going on about it now for a while, so Im hoping this is the last time I get to say it, but THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported me over the years, commented, shared my videos and helped support me, even at my lowest points the comments and kind words you guys have left have been honest to god lifechanging. It makes me think, if one person can enjoy what I have to say, maybe I should keep going. So thank you for that.

At the same time however, I do kind of feel a bit of a sense of loss. Like a dog chasing a garbage truck, i’ve spent the last 3 years at least searching for my white whale, and now I have it harpooned and mounted on my mantle (I have a big mantle) I honestly don’t really know where to go from here…the next number in my head that I’d consider a recognisable milestone would be 5k, which im not hitting anytime soon. So im left with a bit of a calmness that im not really used to. 

Where do I go from here? Well, im working on the new season as we speak. Thats taking up quite a bit of my time. It’ll be a little while till I hit 2k subs, im just over halfway towards getting the watch time I need to get into the partner programme…but other than the ability to directly contact someone at youtube, at this point the monetisation isnt really worth it…that and I don’t think they’ll even have me on the programme…so theres no point in shoooting for that…I dunno..I suppose all I can keep doing is meeting my deadlines, getting the weeklies out and continuing to enjoy my time with all the cool COOL people i’ve had the pleasure of hanging with recently.

Other Online Shenanigans:

While the channel has been going from strength to strength, I feel its also kind of appropriate to quickly run through a few other changes that have been happening both on the channel and on the wider internet. Some good! Some…not quite so good.

First and foremost! I started using Letterboxd properly! I set an account up at some point in 2021, but completely forgot it existed/couldnt be bothered with it until around Summertime in 2022, when I figured I might as well give it a go. I’ve REALLY enjoyed it! While I don’t go anywhere NEAR as in depth as my actual video reviews. It’s a really great place to just get immediate first impressions nailed down (AND a good excuse to post the transcripts of my video reviews online in text form from time to time) I post under the same name as my youtube channel, so if your on there and want EVEN MORE reviews from me EVEN MORE often. Then yeh, head over there and drop me a follow. Im currently in the midst of a first time watch through of the original “Twilight Zone” and im ranking them on there at the minute alongside the occasional film when I can get round to it. 

On the less so good news. 2022 marked the start of an indefinite hiatus for “The Comedy Dining Experience” which was a bit of a blow. When we first started the show, me and Ben would record whenever we had availability and it was a bit of an odd treat to sit down and take apart a movie, have a laugh, eat some good food and drink some good drinks. At some point around 2019 we swapped to monthly uploads and the party continued from there. We had guests on, we started to cover TV and PIF’s. It was a good time. 

Unfortunately though, a few things have come up that makes it increasingly difficult to get together to record. Around late 2021, Ben found himself in a new role at his job, which made his availability VERY fragmented. The amount of editing the commentaries were taking was getting longer and longer each time, to the point that I was spending almost as much time editing the commentaries as I was editing full feature reviews (I originally started the Comedy Dining Experience as a quick and easy way to get longer form content up on the channel when I didnt have time to edit full blown reviews). 

Which wouldnt be a problem if it wasnt for the fact that the commentaries were ALSO getting significantly less views than my fully edited videos. If a weekly review gets 60 views in a week, a comedy dining experience episode would get 15. The Comedy Dining experience was always put out more for the love of doing it than the reception it got. But it got to a point where I just couldnt justify sitting editing non stop for 5-8 hours (not including actually prescreening the film, or the recording time itself both of which could easily add anywhere between 4 hours and 7 and a half hours depending on the movie)    

For a time, recording the commentaries online seemed like a sensible solution as we could do it whenever we were both free, we didnt have to arrange travel and it allowed for much easier editing as we had separate audio tracks to work with. But due to spotty internet and varying kit quality, sessions could become a little frustrating (try recording a commentary for 2 hours and then having the film reset randomly because of an internet issue AND the audio go AWOL because our recorders crashed) Ben equally didnt seem as keen on online recordings as in person ones, I cant speak for him, but I think he preferred being in the room with me over talking to a blank screen. I

In either case, Availability for recording time for the commentaries started to get thinner and thinner as 2022 went on and it kind of got to a point where we both ultimately ended up too busy to organise getting together to record more. As such, our last commentary was recorded in the Summer of 2022. It was part 2 of our “Drug stories” series, it was released around September 2022 and an edited version combining parts 1 and 2 is releasing late in January 2023. This does rather raise the question; Whats going to happen to “The Comedy Dining Experience”? 

Well…The honest answer is, I don’t know. At the time of writing, Bens still incredibly busy on his end, Works got me by the balls (more on that later) and at this point the only thing I can say with any certainty is, I don’t think we’ll be going back to monthlies any time soon. I can tell you what i’d like to happen with the show going forward. I think it would be nice to maybe treat them more as “Specials” that happen throughout the year that  occupy the times when im “off air” with the main reviews (I figure maybe 2 or 4 in the summer when im on a break, 1 or 2 when im off during January and maybe another 1 or two randomly dropped in across the year if we get time) But at this point…I cant honestly say. I can tell you with relative confidence that “Drug stories part 2” wont be our last episode (we AT LEAST will be finishing the classic bond run at some point) I just couldnt tell you when our next one will be. So if you are one of the 15 people who support the Comedy Dining Experience…this isnt good bye, this is GREAT bye. 

This of course did somewhat create a bit of a scheduling black hole for the channel. Mercifully, around that time, Triv from Trivial Theater invited me to help her co-host a couple of live streams she was planning (a games night and a commentary) and seeing how easy and fun it was to do, it got me into it! We now host (at least) one monthly “games night” stream on both of our channels where we shoot the shit, have a bit of a laugh, hang with the audience and just have some fun. It’s a decent time! And a really fun way to let off some steam at the end of a busy week! Its so much fun to connect with people who watch the show or who have similar outlooks and want to just chill and chat. I’ve really gotten into it! Not to mention it’s SIGNIFICANTLY easier on the editing front (basically whats broadcast, is broadcast…no edits necessary) Which leads me onto my final piece of news.

We opened a discord this year! For those unfamiliar with it, Discord is a bit like the old message boards of yesteryear, the only difference is theyre a bit more curated and built a bit like an instant messenger than the old way of forum posts. I put off opening one for ages through fear of it not really bringing anyone in, but we’ve built a rather small but brilliant community over the last few months, on there we talk about a wide variety of things, from music and film to strange youtube videos,ongoing movie sales and discussion around the channel. We host watchalongs periodically AND it’s the base for our games night streams. So if you ever want to join in live on our games nights, or just hang out, share some music and talk about the subtleties of “Nukie” be sure to head over to our Discord and introduce yourself! We’d love to have you aboard! 

Work: 

Outside of the internet, probably the most hectic thing going on in my life at the minute is my work life, it’s the thing thats eating up most of my time and causing me the most frustration…and it hasnt always strictly been this way. When I last blogged Work was a bit turbulent, but was ultimately manageable. I cant go into too much detail about what I do, but at the time of writing in my previous blog I was working in global communications and it was kind of a “wavey” time for lack of a better word. Sometimes it would be quiet and very pleasant, other times it could be very intense and a bit overbearing. But I was being paid an alright amount of money, the team I was in was both supportive and decent and most importantly, I was part of a respected area of a larger business who were noted for their excellence. It was never perfect, but it was a fantastic position to be in.

Well, less than a month after that blog was published I was informed by management that they wanted to move my skills to a new area within the team, rather than working in global communications, they wanted me to take a look at improving their current global training processes. I had been working on several optimisation projects that had gone quite successfully and they basically wanted to apply what i’d done to their training portfolio to see if I could improve it any. 

What followed was a period of around 8 months that I (at the time) playfully described as “Stepping on landmines” the process I inherited was fairly straightforward on the surface but LITTERED with idiosyncrasies that basically meant that unless every single item submitted to us was scrutinized intensely and heavily there was a constant risk of things going very VERY wrong very VERY quickly. We would regularly get requests that would be like “This item of training can only be delivered on the 3rd and 4th week of any given month, and only on mondays or wednesdays, but maybe sometimes on tuesdays after 2pm if staff are available. Unless its a monday in an odd numbered month in which case it needs to follow a completely different set of guidance, and if you don’t follow this exactly for the next 18 months the whole thing is going to go to shit” You’ve got to imagine, as a newcomer to the area…having to deal with half a dozen to 2 dozen live examples of that kind of bollocks on a near continuous basis was stressful and made me feel quite uncomfortable.

Not helping matters, my boss at the time didnt want me to do any changes or optimisation to the process unless I could demonstrate that I was competent in the field. Not a particularly unreasonable request. But when I was pulled in specifically to optimise the process, spending 8 months having to deal with the mine field was beyond difficult for me to stick with. In fact I spent most of October ‘21 to May ‘22 quite unhappy with the situation, while also being continually pushed to stick at it.

Then, around May/June 2022 the boss finally let me get onto improving things, and between then and October ‘22 we really went from strength to strength. There was still the occasional issue here and there, but for the most part, I kind of hit a level of serenity. If something had been bothering me, I just improved it, binned it or reworked it to make it as least painful as possible. It was an intense 4 and a half months or so. But we moved mountains in that time and really made a difference. It was a nice feeling. 

It actually kind of upsets me to note that this was only a very narrow window. The company that I work for was rocked with several issues through October of 2022. First and foremost was a large dip in the stock market and the second was the impending cost of living crisis. After consultation with the companies shareholders. It was decided reorganisation and restructuring was required in order to streamline the company as much as possible and to maximise profits to the shareholders. 

As a result, the area of the business I worked for was dissolved, my boss was unceremoniously made redundant and our award winning team was essentially dissolved and split up to be merged in with other teams. I found myself moving from a team of 7 down to a team of 2 (myself and one other member of my team) with a first time manager and almost no sympathy for the situation and the best we could be told about our futures was that “we were safe…for now.” and between late October ‘22 and the present day, well…it’s been unpleasant. Thats probably the best way I can describe it. 

The new management are surveillance types who have a VERY specific way of running things and frankly, I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. I’ve gone from a job where I was a key recognised player in my field, with the freedom to work on and develop projects freely, to have open collaboration with other teams and the freedom to be flexible on appointments and meetings (basically only attending things that I felt NEEDED my attention) to a role where I don’t get to do project work, where im being called on randomly at no notice to run around like a headless chicken for missions to make the boss look good (and thats it) told what to do constantly, often with little to no notice and constant monitoring. Where changes are happening weekly with little to no notice and no consultation either and im being forced into unecessary meetings that add no value to my day. Essentially; I’ve gone from a job where I was leading active change, to a  job where I have no certainty, no security and no choice in the matter. It sucks. 

Now, at this point it could be an idea to consider a career change. At the end of the day, whether the job was pleasant previously doesnt matter, its crap now…so getting out makes sense right? Well…it’s complicated. Y’see, the company I work for have an initiative for employees in which they can offer up some of their monthly salary and get it converted into shares in the company. They do 3 or 5 year stints and basically when your times up, you can either close your account and take whatever pot you have, or you can claim in back as shares meaning when the price is good, you can offer them up and not only get your cash back, but a tidy profit too. 

Well…Im currently in one of those, its set to expire relatively soon. And I don’t want to miss out on that “tidy profit” part of the deal. So regardless of my feelings on the issue. I’ve basically got to play nice for the next few months at least and hope I don’t get fired/let go between now and the tail end of THIS year. I also want to AT LEAST make it to June of this year without incident as that’ll be my 5th anniversary with the company which would also mark the longest job i’ve ever held down. Which given how turbulent everything is, is very much easier said than done. Basically, im asking for your thoughts and prayers on this one until at least around October time. After that I should be in the clear no matter what happens. 

At this point, Work is probably the most stressful, difficult part of my life. Which wouldnt be *so* bad if I wasnt stuck there 5 days a week for 7 hours a day. I really REALLY hope it improves because this is the first time in around 5 years that I’ve felt properly *pit of my stomach* unhappy at this place, a feeling I didnt think I’d feel again after my last job ended up hyper toxic and I left by any means necessary to get away from it. But here we are. Hopefully by this time next year when I do another blog there’ll be good news either way on this front. 

Home Life:

My home life over the last year and a bit has best been described as a mixed bag. Since my last blog I’ve had 2 christmases. Christmas 2021 which I would consider one of the best christmases i’ve ever had, and one of the most peaceful and relaxing ones to date. And Christmas 2022 which was pretty much a split room, with everything leading up to christmas being an anxiety ridden stressful and awkward time generally, and everything christmas day through to new years being surprisingly relaxing and “enjoyable enough.” So kind of meh and a bit underwhelming all things told.

I bring that up initially because I think it’s the best doorway to sum up where things are on the home front, for most of 2022 things have been kind of sort of okay, but in decline. On the downsides, both my Dad and my Mums physical health has deteriorated quite badly in the last 12 months. My dads not been the healthiest person in the world for a VERY long time now. And for most of 2022 he’s slowly gotten worse, his speech has deteriorated, he’s been falling over (a LOT) and he just seems constantly out of sorts. Which is very disheartening to say the least, my mums also having a few health issues and over christmas this year, at her job, a large number of unexpected absences due to covid basically left her on the line for 3 staff members workloads AND her own right up to more or less Christmas day. 

How does this tie into me? Well…apart from it being a rather unfortunate situation, it also meant that pretty much the entirety of my families christmas this year fell to me and my partner to sort out. We spend 3 days with my folks over christmas and despite repeated warnings against it as early as October this year, because of the health and job issues mentioned above, my family decided to “Put it all on red” and tried to go entirely for an “online” christmas this year, they ordered all the food, all the presents, the decorations…pretty much everything online. Aaaaand as predicted by me and my partner, on the 22nd of December we got a phone call off them panicked because all their decorations had been delayed due to postal strikes and *almost* all of their online food shopping had either been substituted for items that didnt cut the mustard, or were refunded due to being out of stock entirely. It meant that basically for most of the time between the 16th and 21st of December I was helping to sort mine and my partners christmas stuff out, then the 22nd right up to 11pm on the 24th of December me and my partner were basically on all day hunts for everything from christmas lights to sprouts.

We did it, just about. But it meant ultimately everyone at my place over christmas was either exhausted, unhappy, irritable, or a combination of the three. We shalnt be doing it again this christmas…I can guarantee that. 

BUT! This year wasnt purely a year in decline on the home front! It was actually a pretty good year for my partner, who after years of various mental health issues and a severe case of “not wanting to be alive anymore” was actually fully and formally diagnosed with EXACTLY what it is thats been causing her severe issues over the last 17 years or so. Shes receiving medication now and we’re hoping for some further treatments across 2023. Shes seen a MASSIVE quality of life change, and while we’re FAR from being out of the woods on that front and there still very much is a struggle. Shes at least feeling and functioning day to day better than she has in years. 

Its a kind of a given that with drastic changes on that front that there would be a little bit of tension here and there while things settle into a new routine, but it’s really given her a new lease of life and made things a lot stronger for it. 

Outside of the above however, lifes been pretty quiet on the home front. With the pandemic still raging (We’re apparently at the ‘Oh get over yourself’ stage of it now as hundreds continue to be hospitalised and die daily from it and China is staring down the barrel of a predicted 6-8 million deaths incoming) I’ve not really been up to all that much other than online stuff, going for the occasional walk (it’s good to touch grass sometimes) and at a VERY rare push, a trip to the cinema if I can find an empty enough screening. 

Part of me hopes that things will pick up over the next couple of years…part of me thinks it’s all about to kick off again…only time will tell. As for how things are right now. I find myself in a tremendously serine place honestly…like, where I am, for better or worse Im happy and comfortable. And have the means around me to remain so for a while yet *hopefully*

Technofear:

The only other thing really thats happened on the home front since the last blog is that 2022 really was kind of the year of the upgrade. With an impending recession/financial crash/technocratic dystopia on the horizon. I figured now would be the best time to upgrade as much of my regular kit as possible because, well…after the year thats just gone. Theres a distinct feeling of uncertainty in the air, and I’d rather tackle that with kit thats as up to date as possible, than go into a recession and potentially see the prices spike (or production slow) to such a point that I lose the chance to upgrade for the better part of another 3-5 years (being GENEROUS) 

So! To that end, I upgraded my TV, jumping from a 50 inch 1080p set I bought in 2019 to a 55 inch 4k bastard that can cut glass, I FINALLY retired my old PS4 after 6-7 years service, it made a noise like it was taking off and the controllers battery life was *roughly* 35 seconds on a full charge, but replacing it was a proper dedicated 4k bluray player, and a region free one at that! So importing movies? Not a problem anymore! This was the year I also finally took the opportunity to refresh my desktop. Which was a particularly sentimental moment. 

I’ve had a bit of an iffy relationship with computers for most of my life. The first computer I had was  LONG out of date and heavily used windows machine that was basically good for word processing and MAYBE playing the occasional CD on a good day if the planets were aligned. I was with Microsoft for the longest time, mainly on desktops for most of the 90s and 2000’s before finally moving on to using laptops around the mid to late 2000’s and almost every single ONE of them was absolute dogshit in terms of capabilities. The absolute worst being a 2007 Medion laptop I was gifted 2nd hand in 2010 which lasted (approximately) 12 months before it basically became impossible to use. When powering on, it sounded like an exploding jet engine. The boot up took AT LEAST 20 minutes. Long enough to go for a shower, make a cup of tea and have a good long stare at a wall. After about 3 months in university, random keys on the keyboard stopped working, meaning I had to copy and paste letters I was missing for a time and use “l33t” shortcuts where possible (My ‘I’, ‘O’ and ‘T keys all stopped working) it couldnt connect to external hardware (even when plugged in) it had to be wired in for internet access because the wifi card died, and after about 1 hour of solid use it would start making an alarm sound that was piercing before switching off for (at minimum) 15 minutes because it had overheated. But! I had no money at the time…so it was basically the best I could do (fuck using the university library computers) 

The reason I detoured so hard there was because it leads me to my actual point. Which was that as soon as I started to make actual money…like…money where I could actually go and buy things and DIDNT need to immediately spend it on rent/bills/food. The first thing I wanted was a reliable machine that WASNT absolute dogshit. So I saved solidly for around 7 months and picked up an imac. It was a 2013 model, at the time it was a decent little runner. I didnt go fancy with the customisations, but it was more than enough for what I needed it for. I used that imac for 7 years solid, battering it pretty much every day with everything from complex edits to live recordings and everything in between. And after 7 years of VERY heavy use, it still ran pretty decently. I mean…it was slow compared of the machines of today, edits would take over an hour to export for full reviews (and anywhere between 4-6 hours for commentaries) but; it worked. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with it. It just started to show its age a bit on what it *was* capable of. 

Which was why, this year, I decided to retire it. In part because of the above mentioned oncoming dystopia, and in part because I won a competition where the prize was £350 of apple store vouchers. SO! I grabbed one of the newest apple mac studios, and a decent 4k monitor to match, it BLOWS past edits. It can turn out fully cut reviews in under 25 minutes in 4k and it can do commentaries in as little as 45 minutes. I also grabbed a full license for Da Vinci resolve in the process. So barring incident or accident, I should in theory be set up now for the next 7 to 10 with a bit of luck. 

The last of the upgrades came over christmas when I decided to grab a new bed (I went for an ottoman bed, SO much more storage!!!) and I finally decided to retire my old 2nd monitor, which was a very temperamental 720p TV/DVD player combi machine that my sister gave me, free of charge which she herself had had since 2014. I swapped up to a huawei 1080p slim monitor that has MORE than done the job so far! As it stands I probably wont need to update anything else now until the end of the decade…which is a surprisingly nice feeling.

Politics:

Lets not go there shall we? I’ve never been a fan of saying “They’re all as bad as each other” but at this point, there isnt even a hint of one of the main parties pulling ahead on taste or decency, we’re burning through PM’s at a rate that could be registered in MPH, The bloody Queens Bloody dead, the conservatives are basically on death row and trying to rince the public purse as fast and diligently as a fat cat scarfing down as much of the christmas turkey as it physically can scarf before the family find it and eject it from the house via a boot to the arse from a 2nd story window. And the best the opposition can do is try and be as close ideologically to the conservatives as possible while occasionally somehow managing to out-Tory the tories. 

Theres a general election on the horizon (at some point in the next 12-18 months) and I literally have no idea who Im going to vote for at this time. In my area theres never really ‘Green party’ representation, not that im particularly pleased with them housing transphobes. But they’d be the ones i’d feel most confident going for given the current shower. Instead; in my area the representation will no doubt be: A Tory, Labour, Lib dem, UKIP, Reform UK and a smattering of independents who range from “Britain first” supporters to absolute loonatics who want to bring back public square executions or ban radio broadcasting because it turns people gay. 

Generally; when general elections come up, I’ll factor two things in, who is my local representative and who is my national representative. If I don’t like the national rep, i’ll vote on behalf of the local candidate and vice versa. In this election NON of the national candidates are suitable and while the local ones havent been confirmed yet, all the people who ARE currently listed as being the local reps for their respective parties are the same ones who ran at the 2019 election. And they were pretty much all a shower of shite as well. 

So at this point, im genuinely staring down a rather desolate barrel of either voting (somewhat reluctantly) for the greens (IF they bother to field a candidate in my area) OR spoiling my ballot (which is currently my most likely option) The only certainty in all of this, is that no good can come of this, and the next few years are going to be fairly interesting if you have to interact with it. 

Wrap up (predictions):

SO! Thats everything thats been going on in my world for the last 12-18 months. In some regards it’s been a pretty mundane run. I havent really gone anywhere, I havent really done anything and outside the world seems to have all but gone mad and collapsed. Into civil unrest and war. 2022 was a bit of a mixed year for me, with the opening half starting mixed to positive, moving to pretty much the perfect balance by the middle of the year, before slowly declining into stress and absurdity into the new year. 2023 almost seems like the mirror of this, starting, at first peacefully before getting a stress sledgehammer to the nards when I returned to work…Who knows how this year is going to turn out? Honestly, at this point? I havent a fucking clue. From where im sitting, 12 months from now I could be in a completely different situation, discussing completely different topics and non of this will matter. Equally I could be here 12 months from now saying everything stayed the same. 

Whatever 2023 brings, the only certainty is uncertainty, but…I hope that regardless of what happens…That both you and I find ourselves in the places we need to be, doing what we need to do and enjoying what time and freedoms we have while we have them. The one thing thats been on my mind now for the last few months is, this summer, I’d like to visit a beach. I havent been to the seaside in well over 2 and a half years at this point. I miss the sea. I miss the sand, I miss the change of scenery. Im hoping this summer to correct that. 

Whatever your hopes are for this year, go for it, start today if you can, and you’ll almost certainly succeed. A belated Happy new year to you all and, see you on the other side.

Dan.

Ever Decreasing Circles (A New Career in a New Town: Epilogue + What the hell is happening these days!?)

Its been a little while since I wrote a blog like this and quite honestly I do feel the need to apologise for being as quiet as I have been. The honest answer is that life has gotten in the way on almost every level of my day to day happenings. And while I can only apologise for not being around more both in the youtube comments and on here, it’s not been without good reason. Nor has it been through me generally being lazy (I wish I had the time to be lazy these days!) So here’s a quick heads up as to everything that’s been going on in my life and hopefully (Assuming your one of the half a dozen people who will see this) you’ll appreciate why I have been absent recently.

(It’s been one of those years I can assure you…)

First and foremost as a bit of an epilogue to my “New Career in a new town” blogs I’ve now been in my new place of work for 5 months or so! And at this point lifes pretty good! When I first started I underwent 2 weeks of training and then I was let loose to pretty much get started in the field I’d chosen to work in. it was however only when I finished the training that I realised that the field I’d signed up for didn’t exist at the place I work at until I signed up to take it…effectively I was one of 5 people hired to create a new department and they had no training programmes in place for that department because obviously it didn’t exist to have a plan in place to train us in the first place! Because of this I was trained in a very similar though somewhat slightly irrelevant field and while I did take a lot of information that could be reworked and reapplied to my new position…there really wasn’t enough to help us just “Crack on” from the off…not helping matters we were instructed by our manager not to interact with other teams in the building for reasons that were not made entirely clear…the only reason I personally can think of is that they wanted to make our department be it’s own thing and if we’d been to talk to others it may have ended up with us picking up bad habits or falling back on existing plans they wernt entirely happy with the way the other departments were functioning.

(Me pretty much after being dumped in an office space with 5 people to do a job we had no formal training for…)

All in all I spent approximately 10 weeks with that team. They were a really good bunch and I enjoyed working with them. I say this because basically around week 9 we were all pulled into a meeting by our general manager who informed us that our solo team was being mergered with a bigger department and with it all our work was being more evenly shared out amongst the bigger team. We were all set for promotions and pay rises and with it we’d be doing more travelling and a more intense work schedule than before. Great in terms of making lots of dollar. Bad because…y’know…I like downtime.

We were told that this merger would be very slow, thered be a long transition period and that it wouldn’t be till the new year that anything meaningful would actually be happening…then a week later we were merged completely…well I say “We”… I wasn’t. I had been told that during the merger I would, at first at least, mainly be doing much of what I’d always been doing. I’d be supporting the winding down of the new department and as a result they wouldn’t be giving me any additional Job roles because they wanted me to pretty much continue to support the closing down of the department before fully merging with the existing department and finally giving me a more fuller position in the team.

Only that didn’t happen either…

Instead on the day that I was supposed to begin my “Support” period…11 weeks in mind…I was pulled aside by my manager who told me quietly that there had been a mistake…My heart sank…I didn’t know whether this meant I was about to be fired, whether I was going to be transferred somewhere or whether there was just something else that I couldn’t predit was about to occur. Mercifully it was the 2nd of those 3 options.

I was told that basically there had been a mistake made during the planning stages of the merger which had all been done in a rush, and that my managers manager had selected me to help in supporting a completely different team in a completely different venture. This new department was basically the approvals department for the central offices of the company that I worked for…in short. If someone wants to so much as cough in my workplace they have to get it approved by us to do it. With that role comes a frankly eye watering payrise, a hell of a lot more travelling and a crap ton of additional privilages. Im still stunned they even considered me for a position like this. And of course I couldn’t refuse it. the workload isn’t all that much different from what I was doing before…the only significant difference really is the diversity at which im working…but to go from the bottom of the tree to about three quarters of the way up it within 13 weeks was frankly astounding and totally unexpected to me…I genuinely thought I’d go in at the position I was hired for…stay there for a couple of years comfortably and then maybe slowly move up…this was a different pace entirely!.

(Equally relevant…I still have no idea what im doing…but im being paid more to do more stuff that I have no idea about…win?…I think?…)

But enough about that! Heres where things start to get messy. Obviously with the increase in more diverse and complex work at my ectual work it has had a bit of a knock on effect with my down time. Whereas in my previous job I’d have spent the day doing the bare minimum (Not out of choice) and then come home bounding with pent up energy not spent during the day. here im actually taxing my brain! And because of that more often than not I’ve been coming home and pretty much going straight to bed. It’s exhausting, but it’s basically helping me buy my first house about 15 years earlier than I envisioned…so I cant complain really…

(Pretty much…)

The thing is I do have down time where I can talk to you guys in the comments or make new videos or do nice extras for the channel (Or even tidy the place up a bit) but for the last 3-6 weeks in particular theres been something else eating up pretty much any other time I had. My partners been having a bit of trouble recently. We live apart at the moment and we’ve been looking to buy a place together now for a while. We’re still in the process of saving together but in the mean time until about 3 weeks ago she was living in shared accommodation with her roommate. The two didn’t really know each other before she moved in but the rent was good, she was fairly close to me and she was in a quite good location generally so we assumed there wouldn’t be any major issues…it turns out we were wrong.

Her roommate it was revealed a few weeks after she moved in was actually a massive alcoholic, ridiculously promiscuous and into any drugs that happened to be going. My partner being the kind soul that she is initially offered to help her get clean but after a number of incidents in which the police had to be called the atmosphere changed pretty quickly. And after one particular incident, the roommate in question pretty much disappeared completely (Im not kidding here we legitimately believe she ran off with a travelling circus…seriously) though her side of the rent was still being paid and it meant that the apartment was quiet for a while so my partner wasn’t all that bothered.

So one night about a month ago I took my partner out for dinner both to celebrate my recent promotion and as a dinner date (I can be romantic when I want to) it was a lovely evening and all was relaxing and well…we headed back to her apartment and as soon as we opened the front door we realised something wasn’t quite right. There was a moaning sound coming from the living room. At first we assumed that her roommate had finally come home and had maybe bought a bit of extra company with her…we jokingly shouted through to “Put some clothes on!” as we walked into the lounge…but she wasn’t with anyone…instead she had smashed the coffee table to pieces and was rolling around on the floor covered in blood and urine (She’d pissed herself) screaming, moaning and making a screeching noise that in my 25 years on this earth and ith a sizable knowledge of horror films I have never heard pained screams like this. She was completely in her own world. Her eyes were glazed over and in between the screeches she would shout “I CAN HEAR YOU! I CAN HEAR YOU!!!! IS THERE ANYONE WITH YOU!!!” after a few minutes of trying to get her to sit still my partner told me to go upstairs and call an ambulance while she basically sat on her. I went upstairs called the ambulance service and told them the situation…then I heard a thud…in the time that I had gone upstairs this girl had basically started smashing her head into the corner of a hard oak wooden door repeatedly while screaming. The result? Her face was now mashed and she was pouring with blood.

(Like this…but a bit less…and not as clearly fake…and with more screeching)

My partner got up off her to see what she’d done and in that time she stumbled to her feet, took the television cabinet out (Destroying the TV in the process) and crashing into the sofa pretty much flipping it over. In the process she’d also smeared blood all over the walls and floor of the house. Once she’d seen the damage my partner quickly restrained her again and the two of us took turns in basically holding her down and keeping her airways clear of blood till the ambulance service and the police turned up and took her away…it took 3 police officers to restrain and remove her from the apartment in which time she destroyed almost all of the furniture in the hallway and screamed so loud she stripped her throat to the point of blood pouring out of her mouth as well as her head and nose.

(Basically this…but with more blood and some ambulance staff standing in for some of those police officers)

While we will probably never know with 100% accuracy exactly how this situation arose. We have been able to assemble something of a narrative. Apparently she had been travelling with a circus as a cleaner and general helper for a few weeks before this incident happened…she’d also caused a tremendous amount of trouble with said circus due to the aforementioned alcoholism, drug use and general fuckery…So the circus basically ditched her…she spent some time thumbing rides back to my home town, she came into the apartment. Dumped her stuff in her room and went out to her parents house to basically steal the contents of their liquor cabinet…pissed out of her tiny mind she then went over to a dealer that she knows who for some reason decided that the best thing for her was some “Monkey Dust” (For those unfamiliar “Monkey dust” is a synthetic drug that seemingly has absolutely no benefits apart from making you go absolutely out of your tiny mind…go on youtube and look it up If your really interested in seeing a lot of lost souls and the total devastation it can lead in it’s wake…why it’s still legal I have absolutely no idea.) but anyway…

(Yeesh…)

She took this stuff. somehow managed to get herself home. And immediately cracked headfirst into the front door (Causing her to cut her head and start bleeding) which obscured her vision to the point that she then crashed through into the living room screaming and almost immediately smashed through the glass topped coffee table when she walked into the room. Cutting herself more and leaving her pretty much paralyzed on the floor bleeding and completely unaware of her surroundings or even what day it was…we don’t know how long she spent on the floor or when exactly she pissed herself.  But we think it wasn’t very long as we think she’d have probably caused more damage had she been sat there for a while. As of the time of writing she’s been back to the apartment once in the last 3 weeks and apart from the police who came over both to give us an update as to the situation and also to ask for a testimony from us as to what exactly happened we haven’t seen or heard from her since really. The landlord has said that she’s issuing her with an eviction notice shortly not that that’ll effect us particularly…

Why wont that effect us? Well because about 3 months before any of this happened my a partner got in touch with a charity who help people with issues involving mental health find supported lodgings for up to 18 months with the aim of getting them back on there feet and helping to get them into a state of self sufficiency and employment. Well a week after this incident happened they came back to her offering her an apartment all to herself, at a greatly reduced rent with nearly all new furnishings and full support to get her back on her feet. The location of this apartment? By chance about 5 minutes on foot from my apartment. And so for the last 2 and a half weeks I’ve basically spent all the downtime I have either boxing her stuff up…driving the 15 minutes each way between her old place and her new place or unboxing her stuff on the other side. It’s been an honestly exhausting experience (As moving house usually is) but she’s already a hell of a lot better in herself and she’s feeling a lot more comfortable knowing both that im only a stones throw away from her place and also that she isn’t going to come home to find the apartment trashed and a bleeding, urinating and semi conscious woman writhing around on the floor screeching like she’s being murdered.

Between working my ass off at work and working my ass off to try and get my partner set up I’ve literally had almost no time to even stop for breath letalone answer youtube comments, make videos or watch the kind of tat that I love.

(Photo of me literally 6 weeks apart…)

On the plus side things are on the up though. Now that works settling down into a comfortable routine and my partners moved in and set up it means I can kind of try and get back on track with keeping the channel up to date. And even more good news is that I recently found out that my partner in crime on “The Comedy Dining Experience” Ben is relocating to my home town. Whereas previously we were only able to meet up to do commentaries and hang out maybe 2-3 times a year we can now hang out pretty  much whenever! So hopefully that means there’ll be more comedy dining experiences to come in future! While I think it’ll be a good while till I end up in a situation where I had the freedom that I had in the past. Im just grateful that I have enough time to be able to keep the wheels in motion.

As of the time of writing im literally in the process of writing the last 2 scripts of 2018! I know right!? This is pretty much the 2nd part of the B-movie hall of fame review. And the last Christmas review of the year! So do keep an eye out for them in the near future! Equally I hope that you continue to bear with me during this time and if you want to help me or make my life a little bit easier please do share my reviews with anyone you think might be interested (Or better still go and watch some of my older reviews as that will greatly help in terms of maintaining my watch time) I will try and get back to any comments left as soon as I possibly can and while the schedule is set till January if you have any recommendations for movies to talk about please do let me know and I’ll try and fit them in somewhere eventually.

Once again thanks so much for your continued support. Its you guys who really help keep me going with this and I’ll leave you with a track I’ve been listening to to help keep me going over the last month or 2’s turbulence

  • Dan

 

A New Career In A New Town (Part 2)

So I’ve managed to scrape some free time to myself in the early hours of the morning and it was basically a coin flip between writing a new review for my channel or writing a blog post finishing off my frankly obscenely long thereputic purging of my most recent period of time in employment. I will be doing notes for a new review tomorrow evening. Though im still trying to decide whether to do a Red triangle episode I have outstanding or whether to focus on a collaboration I’ve had in the fire since February/March time that I really should crack on with.

(This is all the clues you’re getting for that one!)

But that’s getting away from the bigger point! If your reading this your wanting to know how the story ended (Or rather how we get to the ending of this story, because odds are I wouldn’t be writing a blog post about my experiences in the film industry if it ended with “And Im still working there and everythings great”…) So! When we last left off we’d just had the first major altercation that would set in motion my current situation. After that incident happened I was fundamentally changed in my opinion about my place of work. Before I’d led with the mindset that people do occasionally have bad days and that sometimes people will be short with you when they’re in a bad mood but they’ll typically apologise for there actions and try to move on from it. This was one of those incidents where I fully expected an apology for his outburst because not only was it totally unnecessary, it was equally very unprofessional and it hurt me to think that he had so little regard for my feelings that he thought it was okay to talk to me like that. As I mentioned in the previous blog post the disciplinary never happened. But he never made it known that it wasn’t going to happen…This meant that I spent the next 2-3 weeks expecting to be on the receiving end of a bollocking that I didn’t agree with and it almost certainly effected both my work ethic and my performance as a result.

The weeks rolled on and slowly I started to get back to normality. I thought maybe it was just a one off odd incident and that things were pretty much back to normal. That is until November when there was another slightly minor incident involving miscommunication that led to a particular filming gig being sent out later than we’d been told to send it. This again didn’t get rectified but at least it didn’t end with someone walking out screeching about Disciplinaries so I could sleep well for the time being.

December led to the next incident when I was told not by my boss but by the accountant for the company that I was being denied my Christmas holiday time because they wanted an editor in the office over Christmas in case there was an emergency and that I’d drawn the shortest straw. Some back story, the company has existed for just under 15 years  (16 this year) and in the 15 or so years that the company has run there has never. And I mean NEVER been an edit called in over the Christmas period. The post production department winds down at the end of November and typically doesn’t get a new job in till the end of January. There was nothing in the schedules that was any different last Christmas nor was there any inkling that anything was going to happen. When I raised this to my boss with a very polite “Why is this happening? Im so confused” he parroted what the accountant said and with that I worked Christmas Eve and the 26th-30th of December. How many people were in the office over the Christmas period? Two. Two  people. Me. And the accountant. And during those 6 days or so I literally spent that time organising files and doing absolutely anything I could think of to stop me decking everyone. Even the boss didn’t appear during the Christmas period and they knew I had nothing to do while I was there. The only saving grace of the entire experience was that on the 30th of December the Accountant got a phone call off the boss who apparently told him to tell me that I could go home at lunch rather than sit there for another 4 hours doing literally nothing productive. Though because of this incident I ended up missing out on the Christmas holidays effectively and I never really got time off that was in any way meaningful as a result.

(Imagine this but somehow less busy and more depressing)

Now that last point may sound like sour grapes and a bit self-indulgent. And you’d be right to an extent. But I don’t have any time off pretty much year round specifically because I like to take Christmas off. They knew that and I always stress to make it pretty clear to anyone who knows me… If I’d have gone in for a purpose I could have appreciated that. If it was a big company who were short of staff I’d have at least understood it… I’d know I wasn’t wasting my time. I offered to work from home during these days because I knew there would be nothing really going on, this was refused because they wanted someone to “Fill a seat” and as mentioned in the last blog post the only thing more of an arse than having to work over Christmas is having to work over Christmas doing absolutely nothing and having to wake up at 6:15am and commute for 50 minutes just to do nothing. In short, if they’d said I could have been on call or worked from home that would have been fine. If I’d gone in with purpose that would have been fine. But they seemingly called me in there for nothing and I think that by the last day even they’d realised that all they’d achieved in doing what they’d done is made our relationship even more fragile than it already was…Though the real tipping point and the last straws were still to come…

I believe it was the last week of February that the final straws were put into place and broke. For the past 2 years my department had been levying the boss and the senior staff members to try and get workers contracts drawn up. We had been working for 2 years without any kind of contract or job security when we first broached the subject mainly because we didn’t really like the idea that the boss, if he was in a mood, randomly firing us without notice period or pay (Something he had done to 2 ex-employees within that 2 year period) we’d badgered him and mithered him but seemingly it was all in vein until February of this year (4 years in at this point). Now. I’m 90% confident that our badgering him had no effect on whether we got contracts or not. What I do think swayed it however was that my Boss had been in touch with his insurance company who were not happy with how things were being run, nor were they happy with the idea that we as staff members could effectively walk out at any time because we weren’t under contract.

So in the last week of February apropos of nothing my boss walks in with a big wodge of papers slams them down and starts passing them out saying “Can you read this, sign it and hand it back to me within 48 hours, any issues let me know and we’ll try our best to accommodate.” These were contracts. And they were fucking awful. They were badly written, vague to the point of pointlessness and they were littered with grammar and spelling mistakes. They were also heavily weighted in favour of the employer over the employee to an almost comical level. I read through this contract and there were numerous points I disagreed with. But one point in particular stuck out to me I have the document scanned on my computer but as I’d quite like to keep my anonymity on this one for at least the foreseeable future the wording was something to the equivalent of “You cannot work for a rival media company for 3 years after your notice period” Now. I had multiple problems with this stipulation. Firstly the vagueness of the wording. “A rival media company” could be anything from a fully fledged production house right the way through to B&Q because they have a facebook page. Equally there was a further stipulation to the above point. An addendum if you will that stated that I “Was not allowed to work for, start or continue work in any media venture in any capacity for 3 years after my notice period” which again is so vaguely written it could mean anything from “Your setting up your own business? Well see you in court…” to “ You uploaded a video to your facebook profile?…well…see you in court…”it was a seriously flawed contract and the majority of it was written that way. So I went to my boss and explained my concern.

(This face isnt far off my own when I read that contract)

His response? “Ahh mate don’t worry about it, we wouldn’t do anything bad to you… it’s just to protect our business.”  When I suggested (To put my mind at ease) whether he’d mind tweaking the wording to either clarify what a “Rival business” was or whether he would tweak the wording to at least specify what kind of work he didn’t want us doing for 3 years he became a bit cagey he started off down the line of “Well we cant change it for you mate because we’d have to change it for everyone and if we tweaked any of the points in this contract it could end up making the whole thing null and void”…I protested the point by saying “Well the rival business thing is fine for say; the company electirician or the website developer. They can move to any industry and get started. But I work in the film industry and this point specifically seems to imply that if I quite here I wont be able to work in the film industry for 3 years thereafter.” … there was a silence. And then after some thought he reiterated “Look mate. We arnt trying to diddle you. We wouldn’t bother taking you to court we’re not like that. But don’t just ask me for advice on whether you should sign this or not because I helped write it so of course im going to suggest you sign it…by all means get a second opinion”

So I did. I went to a union that offered free legal advice and they informed me that first and foremost if you have a problem with a contract you should submit it in writing because if you didn’t and it ever did go to court you’d at least have a document proving you disagreed with the terms of the contract. So with a bit of help from my family I drafted up a formal letter raising all the issues I had with the contract and asking for either clarification or tweakings to the meanings because I wasn’t happy with just how vague it all was.

This email was sent on a Friday. Monday morning I get into the office to find an email waiting off the boss asking for a meeting at the end of the day, “Oh brilliant” I thought “We’re finally going to get things sorted…Im really glad I signed up to a union now!” I thought…I was wrong to think that.

This wasn’t a meeting. It was effectively bullying. Because whereas I thought I was walking into a pleasant conversation one on one with my boss about contracts and how we could reach a compromise. Instead I walked into my boss and his mate who refused to listen or acknowledge my issues for 50 minutes and instead for those 50 minutes chose to go completely batshit insane at me for DARING to talk to a union and the frankly DISGUSTING behaviour I’d shown in sending them the email that I did in which I insulted them by daring to acknowledge that I had issues with the contract. When I sat down I was expecting pleasantries…what I got right off the bat was “I GOT YOUR EMAIL MATE. WHAT ON EARTH POSSESSED YOU TO SEND THIS!? IM INSULTED. DEEPLY INSULTED AND I WANT TO KNOW WHY YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA!?” I was stunned. It was like someone had hit me with a bat. And while I was able to recover and stop babbling after about 10 minutes or so the next 40 minutes could best be described as me trying to explain that I joined a union to seek a 2nd opinion as he’d told me to do (He would rebuff that sentiment by saying “I was only joking about the 2nd opinion mate! I didn’t think you’d actually go and do it!”)  and my boss adamantly stating that I was trying to breed an “Us Vs Them” mentality in the office and that I was trying to bring back the “Worst elements of the 70’s” by involving “Spineless unions” his mate would only chip in to tell me that he too was “Utterly lost with the email I’d sent in” and the pair basically spent just short of an hour slagging off the unions, questioning my competency and refusing to answer any of my questions (There was a highlight moment for me that would give paxman a run for his money where I must have said “Define what a rival business is?” to my boss about 12 times without a solid answer) I reiterated my point that “If you could just tweak one point in this contract non of this would be happening” to which they adamantly refused because it wouldn’t be fair to the others…when I explained that the term I had problems with would only seriously effect my department and that everyone else would get off relatively easy they ignored it…at one point my boss asked why I didn’t ask the accountant for a 2nd opinion instead of going to a union. My response? “Because he wrote it and you helped write it too! You specifically told me not to take your word for it because you helped to write it! So im not going to ask your mate for a second opinion if he helped write it too!”

(Your home boy here was beyond pissed and really couldnt be arsed to take it anymore…)

Another prominent part of this “Meeting” was when I’d put a point like that across…that was clearly right. They’d take a long pause and say “…Oh we’re just going round and round in circles here” which was there codeword for “We don’t have an answer to what you’ve just said but we don’t want to seem like we don’t know what we’re talking about so we’re going to change the subject now”…The culmination of this 50 minute argument was a point where my boss literally called me “Slimy” for using a union and then after I rebuffed one of there points quite thoroughly he just snapped at me “Well mate! Im not compromising! You either sign this as soon as possible or you can go to your union and ask them for advice on severance packages!. I don’t mind paying out two to ten grand. It means nothing to me! But they wont help you find a job mate! So you have a good hard think about that. We’re done here.” and with that the meeting was over. While making minor small talk about “Thanking them for helping clear the air” (I said this ironically if you couldn’t tell) they took that point seriously and for the next 5 minutes while I found my shoes, coat and bag they just kept repeating back and forth to themselves that “This was just a sad situation and that I didn’t know what I was getting into by messing with them.”

I left the office for the night fairly silently, got in my car. Called my partner and told her everything that had happened. And then and there made the decision I wasn’t staying with this company anymore. I was done. I wouldn’t get talked to like that by my own parents. Letalone a little upstart and his mate thinking they can muscle me into submission. That night I got home and told my parents who were absolutely stunned by my bosses behaviour and about half an hour after I told them my father in law phoned me to say that my partner had told him everything and frankly it was a wonder “I hadn’t twatted the git” the irony was my boss thought the situation was sad but from my perspective I found a man much older than me having to get his mate in to help him hold an indefendable corner against a much younger man  on a point that could have been rectified and fixed in 20 mintues within a word document much much sadder.

I spent the following month applying for jobs, I had a couple of initial responses but nothing substantial. My boss seemingly didn’t think the “Meeting” we had was anything significant because after this happening he pretty much just went back to being himself. Only further adding to the strain of needing to get out was the fact that there was a growing possibility of the office being relocating somewhere even further away. There were only 2 places relocation was likely to happen in, one of them was the next town over. Making my rapidly approaching hour long commute an hour and ten minutes in and an hour and a half out. which was ludicrous. The other location was up in the hills, it would only have 2 ways in and 2 ways out and both would be inaccessible for large swathes of winter.

So now the pressure really was on because I couldn’t stand to drive any longer than I was already doing and my boss is the kind of person who’d have you drive your car off the road and in to certain death if only to ensure there was a chance you’d be in work that day.

(Self explanatory really…I wouldnt mind but the boss himself has always either lived 5 minutes away from the office or literally IN the office…)

So with mounting pressure and a serious lack of jobs going in the area, one evening in May I sent off for a raft of jobs and as a laugh I put in for a job in a non film industry position that was based about 5 minutes away from my house and was nearly double pay. I had no chance. But it was a laugh and the worst they could do was say no so I went with it. And then 2 days later I was asked to submit a video interview. “Ahh it’s probably just formalities. Everyone who applies will have to do one” I thought…it was a very weird experience having never done a video interview before but I didn’t burst into tears at any point during the interview so I see that as a positive.

I heard nothing back from any of the other jobs I applied for but about a week later the company who asked for the video interview got back in touch to say they were impressed with my video interview and wanted a “Face to face” interview to check my competency. “Ohhhhkay. I thought; well…I guess I did a bit better than I thought…I’ll go to the interview but im sure there are better qualified people for this position. I mean; I review bad and cult films on the internet Im hardly well adjusted enough for this position…” but I accepted there invitation, went along, and while I was a bit nervous, a touch rambly and for some reason my throat decided to close up during the interview. I managed to get across 80% of what I wanted to say. Though I thought I’d not been confident enough. I felt like I’d said all the wrong things and that “Joe mc’brill job” was going to cruise into proceedings with his £600 suit and slick back hair and just seal the deal in 3 smoothly crafted words. I on the other hand had verbal incontinence and a tuft of hair (What was left of it) I wasn’t feeling confident.

Shockingly though 24 hours later I got a phonecall from that new company asking me if I wanted the job…”Shit!..” I Thought “How on earth has this happened!?”  I thought. I was stunned. I really wasn’t expecting to pick up this position nor was I expecting to be able to walk out of one job into another. I fully expected to either be let go or to have to quit due to the stress involved in day to day operations. So to be told within a month of that infamous meeting that a rather large company wants you to work for them in there middle management department for significantly more pay and 10 hours a week more time to yourself. How could I refuse!?

(Pictured: Me and the family – If this new place works out)

I informed my boss about a 3-4 days after I was told. There were several hold up’s in telling him, largely centring around issues with accepting my application and processing issues on my new employers side of things. Im not going to lie I was bricking it having to tell my boss. We’d recently seen a string of losses and my leaving would mean there were only 2 people in the post production department doing the work of 4 people.  I even took some comfort in asking strangers on message boards what I should do and whether my situation was normal. Apart from the 2 dozen people who just wrote “Fuck your boss man, he sounds like a bellend.” The majority of people said that after some of the events that I’ve mentioned in this blog they’d have probably left years ago. Feeling somewhat invigorated I finally asked my boss for a quiet word and told him exactly what had happened.

I made it clear to emphasise that this wasn’t a decision I had taken lightly while at the same time making sure he knew that my new employers really wanted me to confirm I was on board with working for them so I needed to get plans mobilised as soon as possible. I was expecting another bollocking but this time I think he was genuinely surprised. Whether I’d shocked him for once (I.E : I think he thought I would stay after he turned the screws on me but It’s actually backfired to the point of me leaving) or whether he was genuinely happy for me I cant say. But his response was a very calm and upbeat “Oh! Well. Well done mate! People come and go all the time and your one of our longest serving staff members so it’s understandable” he was quite shocked  I was leaving the film industry and he wished me well before not talking to me for the next 3 days.

I told my co-workers and while they put a brave face on it I could tell they were upset. More often than not I’d acted as mediator between them and my boss and now I was leaving they wouldn’t have somebody there to help them get through the day. They all seemed terrifically sad that I was leaving and in confidence a couple of them later messaged me on facebook to ask If I could keep an eye out at my new place for any potential openings.

Since all this has happened the only major drama that’s gotten in my way has been the tight turnaround deadlines for information requests from my newest employer. Seriously all this week it’s been emails like “We need you to send us 3 unique pieces of identification that cant be anything traditionally used as I.D…we need this information within 24 hours otherwise we’ll treat it as if we’d never offered you the job in the first place” which is fine had it not been the case that all of there application forms are various shades of broken. And that they’re terrible at responding to emails. (A good omen im sure you’ll agree)

But barring one or two minor niggles here and there im now feeling pretty confident about my decisions. Its now fairly likely that the old business will be relocating to a further away location within the next 15-24 months and I’d have rather jumped ship willingly than been pushed while I desperately cling onto the plank. I’ll never forget my old job, When it was good. Which it was more often than not. It was one of the best jobs that a guy could ask for. But multiple external factors coupled with complete and total random outbursts from the boss, The man im supposed to trust, has just made this job totally untenable. Though im really hoping this new job opens up a bit more opportunity . at the moment im trying to keep positive, and while it is upsetting to me that I’ll be leaving behind some great friends, easy work and a fun environment *Most of the time* I do feel like I’ve advanced as much as I can within my current place of employment. I look forward to my new career opportunity, a fresh start with new people and a chance to challenge myself.

To me this entire thing is a lesson on how communication can be absolutely integral to a business in regards to whether your clients or your staff will stick around or not. This entire situation was avoidable. Had my boss not absolute and totally pointlessly attacked me on multiple occasions over a 12 month period I’d probably have stayed fairly docile. Its also taught me that Pride in a position Is only worth the money its earned by. Having a Job that sounds cool but pays like crap isn’t a particularly good deal no matter how you look at it. Especially if you have external negatives only making the situation worst.

And while the potential office relocation stuff would have still been a serious factor in me moving. I’d have probably waited till the week we were supposed to be moving before looking for a different job. But because he was so nasty, because he was so personal and because he seemingly just didn’t know how to handle the situation he’s lost a senior member of his business absolutely needlessly and its going to be a real legitimate pain to recover that loss. Not to blow my own horn here.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say on the matter so far. Inevitably there’ll be teething troubles with my new job (as Is the case with any business a person joins. They have different ways of handling stuff so things are more than likely to go wrong. All I can do for the time being is repetedly contact my new employers customer support in the hope that they will fix everything. And other than that try and make leaving my current employment as smooth and ninja like as possible.

If you’ve read these two parts all I can do is sincerely thank you. It’s been a very difficult situation I’ve found myself in and I’ve predominantly suffered with my own thoughts, so to be able to put it all out there has really helped me out, its really been a weight off my mind. Thank you for putting up with this is all I can say. Thank you.  Normal service will be resumed shortly.

(Optimisms on the rise so I think this is a good way to end this and also look hopefully to the future)

Reelin in the years – Backdating the site and stormy weather.

So im writing this at a point in time where the websites kind of in a bit of a limbo of sorts. Its not yet publishing the newest content from my youtube channel but I am still posting some new content in the form of my Instagram pictures, Blogs and anything else that needs doing in order to make this site both interesting and useful. I wanted to make sure that before I officially announced this site to my youtube/twitter/Instagram/facebook followers that it was as up to date as it was physically possible to be (And if you are one of my followers and you’ve randomly stumbled across this site. First; Bravo! Second; let me know! I’d love to hear it!). This was mainly because no one wants to visit a half built website, But also because it’ll give people something to look at properly when I do announce this sites Launch formally. That being said it has kind of stirred a few emotions with me.

In a sense its kind of made me a little bit nostalgic for what was going on about 12 months ago. Back in April 2017 TYTD Reviews was just one of about 5 ideas that floated in and out of my head on a semi regular basis. To jump forward nearly 12 months and find that not only am I still producing content but that its taken me on a journey that’s led me to talking to some of my favourite movies directors. Inheriting a massive video tape collection and a channel that’s helped me make some really quite wonderful friends on message boards and youtube itself really makes me feel like I spent my time well this past year.

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 00.11.05

(Behold! the original first thumbnail for “The Dragon Lives again” Gaze upon its crapness in awe and wonder!)

I’ve decided in my “Video review” section (Particularly with my older videos) to add a portion of text above the video retrospectively talking about those early reviews now that I’m quite a distance away from them. And its been a lot of fun looking at my early (And frankly shocking) reviews and seeing how far I’ve come in developing my talking style, video designs and the fundamental changes that have taken place over the months. There have been some that I’ve already decided will need to be revisited at some point because I really have failed to do the film justice in these early videos. But it puts me in a somewhat nostalgic mind-set. When I wrote and recorded my first four episodes (An un-produced pilot episode, The Dragon Lives again, The Last man on Earth and The American Ninja 2) I didn’t make any notes while watching the movies, and I actually went to the trouble of driving my car over to an empty supermarket car park so that I could record in private. I remember it being vaguely cold and feeling terrified that someone was going to drunkenly wander across the car park in the middle of the night and find me with my Ipad mini illuminating my face with some chunky headphones on so I could check my levels. I’d prefer not to be mugged/stabbed…

Nowadays every film I talk about has a minimum of 5 pages of reference notes, a 4-5 page script and a day or twos total video editing time. Even having come from a film background if you really knuckle down when it comes to youtube videos you quickly learn a new style, pattern and language that’s quite alien to the professional film industry. Its been a very enlightening experience.

So Im backfilling my site with 1-2 old videos a day and as of the time of writing I’ve just written my article for “Bloody Muscle Body Builder in hell” I reckon if I keep this up I should more or less be caught up in time for the launch of Season 4. Which would be a rather nicely timed thing really.

In my real life; things are getting a bit stressful. I’ve been having a few issues at work recently that im really hoping to resolve sooner rather than later. I feel at times like I’m on the outside of my workplace looking in, rather than it being the other way around. I just feel a bit like I’m being purposefully isolated. And while I don’t mind the isolation to an extent I feel like it’s being applied somewhat maliciously by certain colleagues. Luckily Mrs TYTD, my family and her family have all been incredibly supportive of me during this time which has been very helpful in keeping my mentality and spirits high, They’ve really been amazing… and of course you guys (The people who watch my videos and actively seek out my blogs) have been a tremendous comfort to me during this time too! Every nice comment, thumbs up or share has really given me a morale boost so I really cant thank you all enough. As I say I hope this resolves itself sooner rather than later. Because frankly the issues im having have started to bore me a bit and I’d much rather just get on and keep my head down for a bit.

(Im in a weird place where this gif simultainiously perfectly sums up my current situation and yet at the same time it doesnt…and this is on an hour to hour basis at the minute…)

On top of this I’m also desperately trying to get my video Schedules back on track after an incident last month where I came down with flu for 2 weeks (Costing me approximately 3 maybe even 4 completed videos) it really knocked it out of me and realistically it was almost 3 weeks before I even sat down to watch a new movie to review. Luckily over the last few weeks I’ve been able to slowly catch myself back up and as it stands there are 3 episodes of Season 3 left to upload (Over 2 weeks) and 8 episodes of Season 4 fully completed (With 13 episodes written at the time of this publication) I probably overdo it on the pre-recording but I like the gap. Its sizable and it means I’m covered for every eventuality.  Though it does mean my recommended film reviews take a hell of a long time to get published (Which I do sincerely apologise for).

Short film Spotlight is also giving me a bit of grief at the minute so far I have 5 episodes written, 2 recorded audibly and 1 episode fully completed. I was aiming to make this one my 2nd weekly show. But its becoming very apparent that I may have to make it fortnightly just to help keep my sanity in check. (There’ll be more on Short film Spotlight in an update video I’m planning on releasing at the same time I formally launch this website) its actually surprisingly difficult to produce 2 research heavy shows a week…even if only one of them is long form…But I hope you enjoy it when it comes out.

Its not all doom and gloom though! I’ve recently reconnected with an old musician friend of mine who is currently working on a reworking of the TYTD reviews theme for me (Which should debut with Season 5) which will mean I’ll finally have a theme tune that’s  100% royalty free. I’ve also been working with my friend to produce some new music videos for him which has been fun. I’ve added a links and affiliates page to my site and I’m very happy to say that he’s agreed to affiliate with me and my channel in principle. As soon as he’s figured out what site he’d like to promote through this websites affiliate links it’ll be added to the list.

I’ve also got a cracking nights entertainment lined up this weekend as I’m going to a comedy show  to see a very British comedian whom I’ve seen at least 4 times previously and whom every time I see him I end up almost passing out laughing. So yeh; that should be a laugh (No pun intended) I’ve also finally started going through my massive Tape collection and there’s some absolute GOLD in there. So keep an eye out on the channel because I will be covering quite a few of these over the next few weeks.

I suppose to summarise; I feel like I’m somewhat losing control of some aspects of my life while simultaneously really getting my life in order in other aspects. And its weird and unusual and a little bit scary at times because for the last 5 years or so there’s been a tremendous sense of stability. Change is good though. It helps you learn to better adapt to your surroundings. Its just a shame I’m usually too sleepy or too busy to be able to actively grab the bull by the horns these days…

 

(Of course; Heatons got me through a hell of a lot in my life. I think this track is a pretty good way to end this…)