Well it’s been a good couple of weeks since I updated this blog with what’s been happening in life, rather than the odd random post or two. As per usual the main reason is a lack of time, or a lack of urgency on my part to do it.

I’ve been off of work for the best part of two weeks now, and I’m due to return on Tuesday. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, not because I’ve had a wonderful time at home (that’s not to say I haven’t though!), merely because work is annoying me at the moment. I can’t place my finger on what it is, though when I started my holidays we’d just had the end of the month at work, which is always a hectic time, primarily because we are sales-based and target driven and the end of every month is the time that determines how much bonus we’ll be getting paid six weeks from now.

Once again, the other team leader Kai did far better than myself. On average, his team achieved more loans per person, more money per person, more insurance per person. The only plus side I could take from the whole damn experience was that my team achieved, on average, an EVPH (Estimated Value (to the bank) Per Hour) of 405, slightly above the 400 target set for the month. Essentially this means that if I were being judged as a Branch Manager and not a Team Leader, I would have achieved the requirement for my staff’s sales figures.

The upshot of it all is that Kai took home the best part of £1,500 bonus and I took away £75. What’s even more nauseating for me is that the better Kai does, especially in comparison to me, the more likely he will get promoted above me, which is a shitter.

Still, I can take heart from various sources. Of the five full time members in my team, my most experienced member was off for 2 weeks, as was my newest member, and my part-timer was in for one day instead of her normal nine, and as my targets aren’t adjusted accordingly, I can justify my results (to myself, and I AM my biggest critic) as I was effectively 1½ people down for the month.

Another unexpected source of positivity came in the form of an email from our Regional Manager, Dave, who sent me an email on 1st December thanking me for my hard work and saying that he believed my team would continue to improve. I think it’s the first time in the 2½ years I’ve been there that I’ve received any kind of singled-out positive email from him, so I was quite taken aback. I managed to scribble a reply along the lines of “Thank you, and I agree, I believe my team will go from strength to strength”, which he probably ignored or deleted. Or both.

Eldest daughter had her sixth birthday on 22nd November, and that brought about a princess party for her and six of her friends at our place. Unfortunately I was stuck at work, but the day seemed to go well, and C enjoyed herself. Looking at the photos that were taken, all the girls were dressed up as princesses and looked lovely, barring one of C’s friends who insisted that she wanted to dress up as Supergirl, and did so. Not that anyone cared, but she looks out of place in the photos – a lycra-clad superhero surrounded by a couple of Snow Whites and a few Belles.

Eldest daughter seemed to enjoy herself. Despite being very much like me and being quiet and shy, none of this comes out when she is surrounded by friends, and from what I gather she positively thrived on being the centre of attention. Her favourite toy was a tamagotchi which she fell in love with as soon as she opened it, and three weeks later she stills plays with it, which is far beyond the longevity of most of her toys.

The past two weeks have been spent mostly doing sod all, partly trying to complete writing the first episode of a new sitcom which is now looking likely to be completed over Christmas at the earliest, and partly in doing various school and nursery runs. In fact, on Tuesday and Thursday I’ve had more exercise doing the school runs than I’ve had since I got the car. On these days I’ve been doing a run at 8.45am to take eldest and middle daughters to school. At 11.30am I go back to collect A, as she attends the nursery in the school for half a day every day, and then I go back up to the nursery opposite the school at 12.45pm to drop B off for her couple of hours of madness, before picking B and C up at 3pm. Knackering. And I don’t know how Mel does it!

Given that I’ve managed to write a few scenes for the sitcom, I’ve been feeling more and more positive that I may get somewhere with it. It was started earlier this year, and heavily borrows on a stand-up script that I’ve written (and never used) in the past 2 years or so.

Reading it through, it’s still a long way from being finished, but it has definite potential. There’s a basic plot there, a cast large enough to work with, but not too large to be distracting, and enough funnies to be able to categorize the comedy, which loosely falls somewhere between My Family and Men Behaving Badly. The humour can sometimes be dark, which lends the script to a post-watershed slot, with a company or channel brave enough to broadcast jokes about terrorist bombers, and will no doubt need to be largely rewritten before getting anywhere close to being picked up by anyone.

Still, it’s a pipe dream at the moment, and I quite enjoy daydreaming that I’m being interviewed by Jonathan Ross, who’s asking me where the ideas came from and why I chose to star in it myself. You’ve gotta love daydreams!

I had an idea for the show which I put at the top of the script which read “The idea at this time is to have the script 99% completed, but have the filming and showing of the program close together (similar to Drop The Dead Donkey) to allow for topical jokes.” On reflection, this probably won’t be easy to achieve, and more importantly (skip ahead here unless you want to see me get REALLY ahead of myself!) it would make it more difficult to sell abroad if the show ever gets that far.

I’ve sent the script, including ideas, rough scenes, missing dialogue, character details etc to Dutch Michelle, whose response was a heart-warming “new sitcom featuring topical jokes from 1997” – complete with quotation marks, in a blatant dig at a line in one of the scenes where someone sings along to the chorus of Erotica by Madonna by singing “Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie, put your hands all over my body.” When I pressed her for her thoughts on the script, she replied “I thought it was a good start”. Confidence boosting words considering that the script currently runs to 39 pages in Word.

Knowing when to quit has never been my strong point though, so I’m determined to get this pilot completed if it kills me. Whether it sits on the hard drive like the stand-up routine before it, only time will tell. A crippling lack of self-confidence in pushing this idea out to other people will be the only thing that kills it. CaffeinatedDan footer

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