About me – Michael Tyler

About me – Michael Tyler

Michael TylerAbout me.

I was born in Cambridge in 1973. Lived in Southampton, London, Cheshire, Hull, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Went to school at Tarporley County High School and University in Hull.

Worked at various places, most eventfully, for myself on my web venture lonelyplanetexchange, which was written, programmed and maintained by myself.

Since then, I moved away from the UK, working as a teacher. Living in Georgia, and China.

About the blog.

I started the blog in 2004. It was a way to increase the web presence of my other site Lonelyplanetexchange.com. Initially, it was to continue travelling and up-to-date on developments within the travel industry, especially the flights sector which was expanding rapidly with the growth of the EU.

As time went on, I used it to develop some of the technologies which went on to be used on the commercial site, such as the GPS and KML aspects.

The geolocation of the budget hotels on Lonelyplanetexchange. Which I did using the Googlemaps API was a direct result of research and methods I’d developed doing the blog…

Since then, lonelyplanetexchange has ceased to exist, (you can read about that here/ and here). The blog has been continuing sporadically to document my various travels, inanities of the media, the stupidity of the New World Order and my teaching career, which has now dis-continued.

The site’s since migrated to a WordPress platform. (Much more effective than Blogger).

It’s allowed me to vent my spleen, also publish photographs, and to write documents and articles which can’t be found elsewhere on the ‘net – such as the 20 Most useful apps for Visitors to China plus a guide to Getting Google Play to work in China, and the Conspiracy list of dead bankers, which I continue to update.

Death of teaching

No, I don’t mean in the UK. I mean for me personally. My work’s dried up now, with three years experience and good references…. it’s all gone. I spent some time, maybe a year or so, on the dole looking for teaching jobs and working in factories.

After spending just over 12 months on the dole looking for jobs, I found one Interviewing.

Another chapter closes

When I finished University, I did some research work for Chester College. It wasn’t a big project, they just wanted me to ask some local communities their views about the college.

I was given some addresses and I had to go and interview an adult resident at each of the addresses.

I think about 2 people turned me down out of over 100. I had a good hit rate.

I remembered this when I saw a Market Researcher job advertised with a large research company called GFK. In my covering letter, I told them that Market Research was the first job I did when I got out of university.

They invited me to an open-day. Two people turned up. I was told about the job, what was involved and if I wanted to go ahead you could fill in the forms and complete the training, which I did.

I got taken on, and I worked as an interviewer for GFK from April 2016 to June 2019.

I was doing quite well, they were asking me to work on different projects.

I get the impression that I was close to be promoted. Promoted to a decent job with semi-decent pay.

Suddenly and mysteriously, our biggest competitor decided they wanted to take over the Field Interviewing section.

My section.

We were all informed that the company was being take over by IPSOSmori.

This takeover process dragged on and on. It started in September 2018 and lasted until June 2020. As each month passed, more projects got handed over, and interviewers for GFK had their opportunities to work reduced. My work dried up to 2-3 days a week for about a 3 month period.


I was moved over to the same job, same pay, different employer.

Some of the aspects of the job were different as I found out at the ‘on-boarding’.

Their complaints procedure is such that anyone can lodge a complaint about an interviewer.

That means any member of the public can lodge a complaint about you. It will be taken up by your manager.

At GFK, people could lodge complaints, but they were only under a duty of care to the company if they were actual respondents who had taken part in research.

Due to the door-to-door nature of research, it’s not unusual for people to take their problems out on whoever happens to be available. These people were not really taken seriously with GFK unless it was about serious incident of misconduct.

IPSOS would, and do, humor any complaint about their Field Research team, regardless of it’s merit. I had one where my manager asked me about knocking on someone’s side door, or I’d looked over a gate.

Dirty tricks campaign

There was one woman who said that I had banged on her window and was looking in her car, and it was all on ring doorbell video. This really worried my manager at the time. She said she was going to send the video in and blah, blah, blah. I told her not to worry because she’d made it all up.

Nothing came of it. There was no video. She just wanted to get me in trouble.

Just before COVID, there was a lot of this. People ringing up and making things up and trying to get me in trouble.

Every time, no matter how trivial, they would ring me and question me about things like banging gates, knocking on the door too hard, looking into gardens.

Really ridiculous shit, in the knowledge that my employer would ring me and it would cause me trouble.

COVID Infection Survey

As COVID came in, I like all the other employees at IPSOS were put on the government furlough scheme.

During lockdown, I stayed on this. When lockdown was coming to an end and movement restrictions were being eased, Interviewers were offered the opportunity to work on a testing program.

It was called the COVID Infection Survey and it was run with Oxford University and the Office of National Statistics.

As my pay was very low during COVID, I decided to come out of furlough months early to work on this new project.

Most of the ‘contract’ employees stayed in furlough, where they had no risk as to levels of work.

They just sat at home and the company paid them 80% of their monthly salary.

michaeltyler.co.uk’s kind of focussed on my everyday life now…. With a distinct lack of money and future, I’ve taken to the waterways of England to drift around and pass the time until the next life.

My boat, is a work in progress so needs continuous loving care. The blog now documents this, and where I can, other bits and pieces from around the internet.

Sponsoring the michaeltyler.co.uk

If you know me, or you wish to sponsor the blog, you can do so through Patreon.