and all my good friends have gone east

Today we had a lecture about families, which was full of old paintings of large somber-looking families and also paintings of little boys in long dresses holding swords and rattles and pouting. Then later an hour-long seminar about potatoes. This is presumably to weed out the non-hackers who do not have what it takes to serve in our beloved corps. Next year, it’s strategy, Operational Art and the rise of modern war. This year, frocks and spuds. Spuds are actually surprisingly interesting! Adam Smith himself, he say spuds > bread.

In their attempts to be helpful, Learning Support have been rather messing me about. My EP report assessment is scheduled for the 26th. Then Vikki the nice learning support lady calls (except because my phone had a sudden hiccup it was an answerphone message) to say they have one on Friday morning (that’s today). I call them and say that would be great. They call me again, say the slot’s now at 1:00 and clashes with my focused study seminar on the Somme. Thursday 26th it is, then.

I am able to attend the first COGS LAN of the year, next weekend. Coach tickets are booked, lugging a computer around should be great fun. Hah. Hah.

I went to fetsoc. It was. Uh. Interesting.

A job that has caught my eye (typing – my typing speed being rather good and the rates of pay being quite nice) has replied to my CV saying “you’re what we’re looking for” However, it requires me to register myself as self-employed. Since I know absolutely nothing about self-employment and as a result am very leery of it, guidance would be much appreciated. Details of the job are at http://www.takenotetyping.com/faq.asp .

I watched NASA blow up the moon. It was kind of disappointing. Then I went to Stuart’s seminar and he gave me back my plagiarism quiz (all correct and full of heartening commentary along the lines of “I think we need to make our tests harder” and “not a comma out of place – you’re just showing off now aren’t you”). And he gave me a kit kat for getting the Treaty of Westphalia right in our first seminar. I’m such a teacher’s pet already. Then we talked about the First World War for forty-five minutes.

I’m really, really enjoying university so far.

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5 thoughts on “and all my good friends have gone east

  1. hugh_mannity says:

    Self-employed in this case basically saves them paying payroll taxes on essentially part-time people. It shifts a load of paperwork off them and onto you.

    I did it when I was last in the UK, and doing database programming, tech support and anything else computer-related I could get paid for.

    There’s a couple of websites I found that might help:
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/life/employment/self-employment_checklist.htm

    http://www.letstalkaboutselfemployment.org.uk/Regulations.htm

    http://www.smallbusinesspro.co.uk/start-business/self-employed-tax.html

    Where it gets complicated is income tax and VAT.

    For income tax, you’ll have to fill out an annual tax return and pay income tax out of what you were paid (so you’ll need to set money aside each month in anticipation of that).

    Depending on what you do, you might have to charge VAT on your invoices. They’ll add that to your paycheque, and quarterly (IIRC) you get to send Customs and Excise a cheque. Of course, if you’re charging VAT, then you can claim VAT paid by you on business-related expenses — computer supplies, office supplies, et al. But be very careful not to claim for anything at all dubious — Customs and Excise have no sense of humour about this stuff.

    It *can* be a good thing, but it will add a chunk of time that you won’t get paid for to your work week. I used to figure on about 2 -3 days a month doing my accounts, VAT, and other taxes. But that was back in the days when bookkeepers actually kept books, not spreadsheets.

    • brosencrantz says:

      Thanks a great deal. This is most helpful and informative and as a result throws me into an agony of indecision.

      On the one hand the money’s not bad, the job looks like my sort of thing and learning to do my accounts might be decent preparation for real life ™.

      On the other, a consistent obligation to do both the job and the ancillary paperwork and suchlike at the same time as my studies is not going to be massively fun…

      • hugh_mannity says:

        Nope not fun. Check into it a bit more — see if there’s a local small business group you can talk to if necessary. After all it’s 20+ years since I was last self-employed in the UK and things might have changed.

        I don’t expect your bookkeeping would be as complicated as mine was — I was running a business with multiple clients so there was much more apportioning of expenses, billing time, invoicing, accounting, etc. But you do have to keep on top of it — spending a couple of hours once a week on a regular basis is easier than trying to collate 3 months worth all at once.

        Seriously — I’d keep it as a last option. A mindless job, like bartending or waiting tables, where you show up and work when they tell you and collect a cheque every week or two will be a lot less stress and aggravation. Might be less money, but them’s the breaks.

  2. air_bizkit says:

    So, what about fetsoc….

    Was it kinky? Did you get tied up? LOL.

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