Sunday, 24 July 2011

A day in the life....

That splendid blogger Wargaming for Grown ups often seems to have to fit his wargaming in around his life. It's not like that here - and yet curiously it very much is. Merely because I run a wargaming miniatures company does not mean I do a lot of actual wargaming. Now don't get me wrong here - its my choice, I've tried other lines of work and mostly hated 'em all more or less so there is nothing I'd rather do- at least in the terms of the actually possible, so all of the following is rather simply to illustrate what the hell I spend my working life actually doing - as its not all playing with soldiers.
One of the MAJOR advantages or working from home is the total lack of commuting thank God !! Man when I did it was the biggest pain- waiting for buses standing in the pissing rain or freezing cold- sometimes both or standing in a bus shelter that had been used as a urinal - frequently. No I don't miss it . The Civil service can do without me and good riddance says I.
So I can rise at 7.30 and be at my dest working well before 8.30 should that be needful- which it mostly is- sometimes earlier but no sweat.
Check the overnight emails- anything from Half a dozen to 50 or so depending upon what time of the year- or week it is- always more on a Monday AFTER the weekend.
Its a pretty fair bet that the phone will ring a few times too. I'm a tad old fashioned so am still happy to take Telephone orders. If you are planning to buy a fairly sized army its worth using the phone to take advantage of the "6 for5" deal. We can't do this on the website as the possible variants are simply too numerous(4500 to the power 4500 so my tame tekkie says ) . Our Sagepay payment system isn't able to deal with that. .
So sorted the emails - printed the order out - next job pull the orders from the stock bins and make out the order dockets. I still do this by hand as its the most reliable way of knowing the state of play on any given order- less chance of a cock -up - mind you those can still happen Not often though!.
If the order is Old Glory Sash and Saber or Bluemoon any missing stuff will be added to the next order to be sent to the USA(if it hasn't already). If its from a range I make here- Aircraft ,Romanoff Fireforce etc etc then If I don't have it to hand it goes on the casting list for the next casting day..
At this point my wife Carole enters the fray as packer and posting supremo. She's the other half of Old Glory UK . There are just the 2 of us here. My show crew only help me out at shows for the rest it's myself and Carole. Gophers I have none- don't want 'em.
By now its around lunchtime so usually a quick buttie and cuppa- often interrupted by phone calls - some from customers some from cold calling time wasters - " do you a website " "sell you some phones " " waste your time " - I've had up to 20 of these in a day and can get a tad testy- sometime **** off !!as you slam the phone down is really the only way to get rid of 'em . I've tried polite it does not work .
Afternoons can vary a bit. I may have photographs to take for the website or for a magazine article. I may have a bundle of paperwork to do - the bane of my life- or maybe its casting ., I have 4 or 5 orders to cast for tomorrow assuming I can fit it in and it doesn't have to wait until Tuesday.
Perhaps its a posting day so I'll walk the half- mile or so to our local post office with the smaller orders(larger ones may go by courier). We keep it local. We had a Post Office contract but they cancelled it - apparently the 5 grand a year I spent with them was beneath their notice. My local postmaster was more than pleased to take over. He and his girls do an good job.
The point here is that all of this stuff takes time. Some computer dudes forget that the web isn't real they are only pictures - someone has to make this stuff, pack and ship it and it takes time.
For instance photographs. The number of times I've been asked
"Why are there no photographs on your site"-
Give it a rest man there are over 2500 and still growing.
What they usually means is
"Why isn't there a picture or preferebly 27 of the pack I want to look at THIS MINUTE but have no intention of buying"
Now I fully understand but man a French Infatryman is a French Infantryman.
I have currently a bundle of about 100 pics from several chaps who have kind enough to give me permission to use their work. So I have to go through these - decide which I can use - re-size and sometimes otherwise fiddle about with them. Say an average of 10 minutes per photo 100 photos thats just over 16 hours work. Extrapolating this for roughly 4500 products thats 750 hours- doing nothing else - no wee wee or tea breaks no stopping to answer the phone almost 94 working 8 hour shifts doing nothing else to get 1 photo per code. And that assumes that I don't take the pics myself so
its pretty unlikely that I'll ever get everything photographed before I snuff it ! .
Especially as we keep bringing stuff out on both sides of the pond .
Nevertheless photos are added to the OGUK site pretty regularly As of this morning there were 2181 photos on the site not counting the homepage which has a changeing pic everytime you log on . By the end of the week that figure should have risen.
By now in my "normal" working day its pushing 5 O'clock and I've had enough. I needed to get some painting done but that didn't happen. Perhaps I'll do a bit later in the evening but frankly some days I'm sick of the little lead gits by 5 O'clock and want to think about something else. Fast Cars ... maybe... though that is my petrolhead wifes province Jane Austen... possibly A pie and a Pint very possibly indeed. Perhaps I'll cook. A little Penne al Tonno or maybe a Bruchetta or maybe something a little more substantial say a Chargrilled surloin with an Onion and Mustard dressing with a Green Salad and a bottle of Gamay ... . That will depend upon the seasonbor maybe I'll go to the Hoss or the Mary....


  1. Hi Andy.

    Thanks for a day in the life of.....I thought it was very interesting and we certainly see eye to eye on quite a few things (I may live in Oxford now but I'm a northerner in exile). And how right you are about giving up the office job and commute and doing what you want. When I was made an offer I couldn't refuse, I thought it was the end of the world but it's turned out to be the start of a new life - part-time work I love (and cycle to), frequent climbing trips to Scotland, painting soldiers, etc.

    I was going to ask you anyway whether you wanted any more pictures of painted up Jacdaws as and when they are done but maybe you are busy enough at the moment.

  2. John I'll never say no to pics of yourjacdaws. Thanks its appreciated- might be a while before I find the time to get 'em on the sight though.