Anyone else noticed that the condition of 2nd hand books appears to have decreased quite significantly on Amazon? If you buy a book rated 'Good' on Amazon it is basically trashed, but from other stores it is closer to like new in comparison with a Good condition rating. After several tries I've now all but given up on 2nd hand books from there.
I am now on holiday for the rest of the week. I referenced it on my haul post, but I'll recap it here.
One of the tasks that I do at my job is to help manage and spectate our virtual weekend events, so I cover things like report sales, fix any potential issues that appear on our landing pages, sort out statistics on attendance and set things up for the next event. But this weekend had a last minute request of recording the whole thing which delayed a lot of my work due to having less screens and lag due to working remotely. This resulted in me working 13 hours on Day 1 and 10 hours on Day 2 with 30 minute break for dinner. I don't mind working long as I can make use of working from home and Spotify (Joji's album recently came out so I was listening to that in the evening). But the recording definitely caused issues and I was knackered.
The event was a surprising success once again and when I had my 1-2-1 meeting I basically said that given how I've done for the past 13 months I decided it was time to request a salary review (which is a nice way of saying I want a ******* pay rise). My manager was going to compensate me for the extra over-time but the salary review part I wanted to bring it up sooner than later because I think delaying it wasn't worth it.
Just before the last hour of work yesterday my manager spoke to me and said she had brought it up with the boss and apparently the boss was going to give me a raise anyway (because he tends to do an annual basis review either way), with the effect starting next year which is perfectly fine by me. What caught me off guard the most were two things - both the boss and manager agreed that my contribution was more than enough for my salary to increase by £2K, and my boss also gave me a £1K bonus (which will get eaten up by NIC and Pension but I expected that as my sister had a similar issue when she got her bonus for her work years ago). That's on top of the overtime pay for the weekend.
It's such a weird parallel to my first job, where it was a smaller isolated company that sells stuff but the only feedback I had was criticism or gaslighting to which I was let go about 5 months later (especially when I renewed my train pass about a few days before that happened). To go from that, to a middle-sized company with a boss that constantly gives you praise is such a cultural shock to me that I don't think I'll ever get that elsewhere. While I do need to figure out a way to tone down the potential over-time, this pay raise and bonus will make up for the hours I've done this year. In case you're wondering why I haven't done much AUKN news writing, this job is why.
I also have a Center Parcs trip (with Aqua Sana) in two weeks' time, so this month is going to be a nice break in general.
The city street case is pretty cool, it even has a bit of an anime vibe to it - looks like something from Odd Taxi. You'll most likely pick that one in the end, I'm guessing. I like the sunset case too; that probably would be my pick, as it's a bit more mellow and reserved, like me, lol.
Sorry, I don't do any social media whatsoever, so I can't participate in your actual poll.
So I returned from my five-day trip to Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, had a great time and it's been about 5 years since I last visited the place so there's some minor changes along the way. It did rain throughout the week which was annoying but the most tedious was the day we arrived last Monday for a few factors - the first was the England World Cup game which had people occupying all of the space for lunch at the Jardin des Sports and Starbucks which was annoying, and the second was the rule that we had to wait until 4pm to get into the villa which with the heavy rain constantly in the way.
Other than that, the rest of the week was good fun and got most of what I wanted to do sorted. Since I last visited, physical keys have been replaced by green wristbands which act has access to your villa and also the lockers in the swimming areas which is pretty clever (the reason behind this is due to the resort going cashless). Another change is the clothing store Joules took over the sports clothing store in the Jardin des Sports, the Swimming place had a revamp so the changing room layout is different and the kid's pirate area is now next to the Starbucks rather than before it, and in the village the Starbucks moved into where the clothing store Joules spot in the village to make room for Las Iguanas (Mexican restaurant) that's arriving in 2023. As it's close to December, they also started celebrating Christmas early so there were singing reindeers (just their heads), a really cool garden with lights so it looks great at night and has music playing until 9pm, and there's a tall tree with changing colours of the lights throughout which is also cool.
The Swimming place is great, but I do have my gripes. The rapids have a great design to it, but as I've noticed that I've always gotten stuck unless I lay down on my stomach which isn't really what you should be doing when you go down these rapids. The only solution I can think of on a technical level is speed up the water's pace so that it can be faster in general. That said the water slides were the exact opposite - in most parts of the two water slides, there is no light shown so you can feel a sense of claustrophobia if you have that, but my point is that due to the darkness somehow I ended up going way faster than I had imagined and thus when the slide shifts to the left or right it's like I'm going around over 90 degrees in an angle to which I could tip upside down and quite frankly I consider that to be borderline dangerous. This caught me completely off guard as I had the same 'slow down' issue in my last visit. Other than that, was a nice slide.
While I didn't make use of the badminton this time around, I did try a few new things. Aqua Sana for instance, which are known for their massage treatments. Won't lie going in the area for the first time, it felt like being the new kid at school because it was very awkward and you had no idea what you were doing plus with the type of people who go into the place. That said, the steam rooms were pretty cool and the massages were solid. My body didn't feel any aches until the next day though. Also tried out Huck's Diner which was originally known as Huckleberrys many years back. I surprisingly enjoyed the food, especially the BBQ sauce which was available in the Parc Market so we grabbed one before returning home. That said, I wish I went for their chili con carne style dish since they separated the ingredients in different bowls so it's like a mix and match of sorts.
We went to Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Forester's Inn (aka Country Club) as well for dinners, and just to clarify the restaurants aren't cheap but I do like them so I can't complain there. They have tweaked the payments so 7.5% will go to the staff due to cashless payments but you do have the option to remove them if you want. Many families do go for the takeaway or bring their own food option which is perfectly fine as the prices can be a challenge (plus they display the calories on the foods which can make you question whether or not you want a dessert that goes for 1300 cals).
I did bring my Switch on the trip, but instead of an actual Switch game I only played Super Mario 64 via the 3D All-Stars collection. I also watched the remaining two episodes of Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya Season 2 which I didn't finish last month.
But yeah, overall, Center Parcs is a fun place to visit with the swimming, bowling, adventure golf, sports centre, spa, restaurants and walk around the forest/lakes but you do need a lot of cash to get the full experience unfortunately (hence why there's memes of how it's cheaper to go abroad then visit the place).
I haven’t been to a Center Parcs in a think around a decade now. We would go to the Elveden Forest one yearly with friends of the family - from what I can see the location has changed a bit since I last went.
Anyone else here made orders with United Publications that have had items dispatch on Thursday 24th or Friday 25th November and received theirs yet?
I'm asking because mine dispatched last week on Thursday and considering the speed is usually 24 hour delivery, it's not arrived yet. I know postal strikes were on those two days but I've seen packages that were slower speeds arrive already at this point.
Before I contact UP1 I wanted to know if anyone else had similar issues. Even in previous years at this time of month UP1 are normally pretty fast on speed.