Here are my resolutions for 2016:
1. Complete The Lords of Midnight.
Carried over from 2015. The ZX Spectrum is in fully working order, so it’s time for Doomdark to meet his fate.
2. Play the board games I already own until their purchases become cost-effective.
I’m a board game geek. After a few years of collecting games, I’ve ended up with more than I’ve had time to play properly. My aim in 2016 is to rectify that by focusing more on playing the ones I already own.
I’m going to be systematic about it. I’ve created a spreadsheet of the games I own, and a log to track the times I play them. Using this to calculate a cost-per-play (purchase price / number of plays) for each game, my aim is to get all my currently-owned games down to £5/play or less by the end of the year.
3. Never pay the included service charge on a restaurant bill; always leave the tip, if appropriate, in cash.
It’s become apparent over the last year that restaurants, especially the big chains, are grossly exploitative of their staff, and the service charges they add to bills are one example. In many cases, it’s been restaurant policy to keep all or some of the charge, and distribute little or none of it to the actual serving staff. Even when they do give most back to the staff, there’ll usually be an admin fee deducted if it’s been paid by card. So rather than take the lazy option of just paying the charge on the bill and thinking, “well, that’s the tip covered”, I’m always going to ask for it to be taken off, and then leave a suitable tip in cash instead.
4. Make more eye contact.
I’ve realised that I’m pretty bad at making eye contact while talking to people. I’m fine when they’re talking, but as soon as I start talking, I almost always look away. It’s difficult to concentrate on both things at once – thinking about what I’m saying, and watching the other person’s face – so I unconsciously reduce the complication by looking away. But I guess it could be interpreted as rude or cold. So I’m going to make a definite effort to do better.