Wimping out

Sometimes, you have to know when to quit.  My sick friend came for his free therapy again this week and today left before I pushed him out the door.  Very wise.

Hundreds of pounds were spent on the Boris filming project.  My friend actually invested some of it.  The Boris mask took me several weeks to make, and because my friend would prefer that I sit and nurse him, it will now never be used.

Likewise the broadcast camera was a waste of money which I might as well sell, since there is nobody to operate it.  I am not sure that my friend realises that this, along with several years of wasted time in other ways – cooking for him for one thing, awaiting graphics for another, has damaged our relationship significantly more than his ocassional bouts of extreme violence ever did.

It is an odd thing to say, I realise, but life is complicated.  I am less bothered about his Van Gogh moments than I am with the new apathetic lump he has become.

He also appears to believe that Muslims are all 1)stupid 2)violent and 3)humorless, which is what my current piece of work is about.  Neither Boris nor I believe this, so the question is whether muslims want to contribute to this argument.

This idea is most interesting.  It is making me think a lot about my Hindu friends in India, who assured me during the Staring Brat episodes that the idea of telling everyone around me that he was married and not bothering to inform me, whilst trying very hard to exert control was entirely normal behaviour.  Not only is it not normal behaviour in my frame of reference, it is extremely unfriendly and mean-spirited, so I do not understand it.  Why would you try to control somebody when you haven’t bothered to get to know them?  Why would you try to take something from someone who is already being nice to you rather than operating on a fair playing field?  How does this work in your head?  You think it’s clever to damage other people?  Do you honestly believe your genitalia is this rare and special?

My tactics, when dealing with the Staring Brat episodes, were guided by my more generous operating principles.  I saw something in Staring Brat 2, and it is something nobody else will bother nurturing, so I felt I had to.  Whether this is right or wrong, Staring Brat 1 was unlikely to be significantly damaged no matter what I did, Staring Brat 2 however was destroyable, so I didn’t.  Instead I presented the case for fixing the over-arching problem so my little Shiva has less scope for being destructive in the future.

This is, however, me assuming that the people I dealt with are playing with the same deck I’m playing with.  Usually I find later that they are all corrupt too, but in this case we have positive results so far.  I eagerly await the final scoresheet.

I am guilty of having spent several decades in the mistaken belief that everybody else goes through life taking people as they find them and not attempting to second-guess them because I don’t do that, and if I find myself being led down a particular train of thought – eg, Wolfe is eccentric, therefore Wolfe is unscientific and wrong rather than SELLING PRODUCT IN VAST QUANTITIES – I simply question myself until I get to the bottom of it, even if it takes me several years (sorry Wolfe, but you are way ahead of me about some things, money being only one of them)

Having said all that, I left that situation and then immediately saw and fixed another problem.  Another two government departments are needling in now, so I am guessing they have similar issues.  This is what happens when you replace perfectly good permanent staff with endlessly shifting sands of people with no rights.  They get exploited and the standard of work declines.

Sorry Tories, but your methods of doing business suck, and the people making money out of this?  Unless you can hire a million oddball  people like me to call them to account over shady business practises and exploitative/incompetent staff members, they will never know how many glaring errors are destroying their country as well as their profits.

I do what I do for love.  There is only one of me, and it is high time I got rewarded for what I do.

 

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Long Live Ina

This week, we have a long term local government bullying issue  to deal with.  I will be doing the deed tomorrow.

Why me?  Because it’s there.

In the meantime, select your preferred chat up line:

 

I did not look at your bottom yesterday.

 

Your nose is a bit wee

 

I am partial to a floral shirt

 

Insert faintly inappropriate yet jocular line here

 

I do not like your voice

 

Nothing that I can say is remotely appropriate at this time

 

I quite like the last one. I may not have to, actually, but it’s amusing to think I might whilst messing with a den of tired complacent bitches.

Stay young, stay fearless.  Wear shades.

 

 

 

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Sticking out from the Crowd

First published September 11th 2015

Today’s entry is on an entirely different subject, although I hope readers of the previous entries have given some thought to moving their money.

I had to do a lot of temporary contract work throughout university and afterwards, not only because I was older than everyone else, having had a previous career, but also because my pesky mother point blank refused to go to the doctor to deal with her heart problem and my father already had dementia by that point.  I was a late baby.

I could not help noticing that every office that I worked in seemed to contain a den of bitches, male and female, who seemed to regard me as bit of an alien.  Being a loner, this did not upset me as much as it might, however I came to believe after a few different offices that there was something seriously wrong with me, which made me retreat into my shell somewhat after having worked extremely hard to scratch my way to the top of my previous male-dominated career.

Employment agencies presented a range of similar problems.  The women who decided whether to put you forward for jobs were completely different animals from me, and could not seem to wrap their heads around the idea that someone who had run their own successful businesses had retrained.

This meant that the education that I had spent time and money on was pretty much meaningless in terms of gaining suitable employment from these people,  and so I was scuppered on both counts.  Nevertheless, I managed in my obsessive, compulsive way to keep myself in work by spending 7am to 11pm looking for jobs whether I needed them or not.  This went on for about 6 years.

My last job was as a banking consultant, a job which paid unusually well but involved working 3pm to midnight, six days a week.  Not satisfied with the idea that this was a result, I took on another two jobs, one as a government research interviewer, one as a corporate researcher. I viewed this, after the years of gypsy wandering, as the prudent way to go, so at one point I was making calls over breakfast, visiting people in their homes at lunchtime, feeding my father in the hospice, and then racing across the city to the bank to work until midnight.

Since I had always had quite a lot of control over my lot prior to gaining my additional education, it did not occur to me that there were rules associated with working in banks which had not been in place elsewhere.  I had had a couple of problems with large companies previously, when I had taken it upon myself to suggest changes which would save the company money and waste.  You are not supposed to do this.  You are supposed to be so petrified of losing your job that you say nothing even as several hundred, or in one case thousands of pounds per hour are being squandered right in front of you.  It was at one of these companies I was jokingly referred to as ‘the economist who hates money.’ I could explain why, but that would be another lengthy story.  I would rather be referred to as ‘the geek that hates waste,’ to be honest.

Anyway, back to the bank.  I was in a room alongside probably two hundred people, all earning a fairly vast amount of money, ranging from 1000 to 3000GBP per week and doing fairly basic clerical work.  As the deadlines were quite tight, I can confirm that it was fairly hard work, however I have worked as hard for minimum wage, if not harder. The problem arose when one of the printers broke down, and the entire room was left to cope with a vast amount of paperwork and only one functional printer.  As you can imagine, the queue for this printer became hot and very unpleasant extremely quickly, and so I took it upon myself to go to the project manager and request another printer.

A few minutes after I had done this, the well dressed and obviously well heeled team that I was working in expressed shock that I had done this.  Hadn’t I gone to the supervisor?  I was not supposed to talk to the manager.  I was also comparatively scruffy and regarded as something of an exotic flower in this team, since I did things other than banking for a living.  They were impressively shocked.

I don’t mean to sound quite such a grumpy old lady, but since I have been making this same point since I was quite young, it is not strictly an age issue.  What on earth has happened to the world?  The 1950s working generation were the most economically successful generation in world history.  Nobody is ever going to match the achievements in their lifetime.  People like my parents had choices, of where to work and how to work, and got respect for what they did that would be scoffed at now, and yet we are less efficient than ever.  We pretend that technology has made all things possible, and everything more efficient, and yet in productive terms, and in progressive terms, we have actually declined in efficiency.

The ‘blame’ and ‘yes sir’ culture is what caused the Bernie Maidoff situation in banking.  Guys in suits shaking hands with other guys in suits and not actually examining what they were doing.  And why oh why has nobody joined the dots about the banking crisis which immediately followed?  They talk about the problems with sub-prime lending but nobody dares mention that this happened at exactly the same time as the Maidoff scandal.  Far be it from me to point out that the bankers were following orders, and have been made scapegoats to the alleged crisis, but to me the real issue was the cultural issue, of stupid employing stupid and doing business with crooked.

If, like me, you stick out from the crowd.  If, like me, you don’t like waste and you don’t believe that your level of oiliness should determine success above your level of actual talent, then do not be ashamed of it.  You may never be rich in today’s cultural climate, but perhaps you are made for better things.

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Amazing

It never ceases to amaze me how much people think they can take the piss.

I am now taking legal advice.

I do not see why I would tolerate this after all these years.  I’ve had enough.

On a lighter note, something weird is happening on a personal level.  I have barely thought about Wolfe for three months, which is not so good. and perversely, I look out for SB2 on the website every day, although I at no point claimed to have any depth of feeling for him or particular belief that anything was going to work out.  I was just doing my usual distraction tactic because I did not want to think about what happened to my mother. He was delightful to look at, but apparently furious with me when I stopped participating in the hilarious fake flirting. I certainly don’t feel like writing  after that repulsive episode.

He is neither a safe nor a particularly nice person on the evidence presented, so I do not plan to bother finding out what he thought he was playing at, since he would not tell the truth anyway. What would be the point?

I, however am a safe and very nice person, so I do not see why I would tolerate a series of stupid little boys trying to drag my name through the mud and causing me any financial difficulty because they thought it would be a laugh to see me terrified enough to presumably want to bonk SB1.   That seems to have been the idea anyway.

This is not healthy, nor funny behaviour and I made it entirely clear to the people I spoke to that my aim was to prevent anything like this happening to anybody else.  Instead I get yet more stupid little boys thinking they can talk smack to me and I will just roll over and die.

No thanks, I think I come after you all directly. I do not see why I would be held to a different set of rules than the rest of the office.  I got several emails inviting me out for drinks in the course of working there, and nobody got fired over that.

Fuck you all very much for being really nasty individuals.

Ina

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Clarification

So, to set the story straight.  Here is what actually happened.

 

Staring Brat 1 decides on seeing me for the first time that I’m his gal.  I am grieving and in a new job, so I do not notice until he drags four people into the office and creates problems for each of them. Two are told that they must work extra hours, one is told that he is misusing his phone, which he isn’t, and I am told that invisible people are saying nasty things about me but he is there and wants to know about my home situation.  I smell a rat as he stares so much, inform the others that the problem is nothing to do with them, and tell him that I find the story ridiculous.  He continues to stare, never makes another attempt to speak to me but I know he is still staring.  He also makes several negative remarks behind my back, which I am well aware of, in an attempt to create situations in which I am likely to be frightened and which put my job at risk.  If he does not understand that frightening people is unlikely to make them like him, then he is seriously disturbed and requires treatment for SPD.

The dude is huge, but all I can see is a small child being beaten to a pulp every time I look at him, so I know that he is a bit inadequate, but this is no excuse for being frightening and creepy.

I am transferred, thankfully, to another team and meet Staring Brat 2, who seems like a smaller, gentler and somewhat wittier person, but then starts to become enormous very quickly after I tell him his seriousness is beautiful.  Nevertheless he is happy and continues the physical flirting until I see something with the beautiful girl, leading me to believe that he is with her. (it is very unclear to this day what is going on there)

When I offer to transfer off the shift so that they can continue their relationship in peace, he becomes furious, and continues to be furious right up until he gets me fired via his manager. I have seen several indications that this guy has extreme CPTSD.

His wife, whom I knew nothing about until I looked up his company, then tells me that Staring Brat 2 regards it as  ‘good and fun entertainment’ to carry out the instructions of Staring Brat 1 and punish me for not liking him because he is jealous. Seems like they are both a bit jealous and a bit stupid, to be honest.

Staring Brat 2 also appears to think there is some money in it for him, since he is the one that was making the enquiries.

The manager tells me that as long as someone is saying something is harassment, he is going to uphold it, that I am getting a warning for a problem I have already solved, and then the company expressly fire me for sending an email and having a perfectly respectable conversation, saving themselves the month’s wage they owe me in the process and ensuring that I cannot work for them again.

This is a disgrace.  If you employ this so called ‘professional financial services‘ company be aware they are far from it.  They apparently cannot even manage a couple of gym bunny team leaders, never mind your business.  Don’t think they will be getting additional contracts out of this. The source of risk was never me.

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Job Statistics so far for Scotland

We are on the three weeks since the swan crapped on me again.

Wage rates are in decline since I last had to bother doing any of this, which was approximately a decade ago.

eg.

Meter reading – a very difficult job which involves being paid for part time hours,  walking full time to achieve targets and climbing a lot of stairs, you need a car.  I was physically attacked twice doing this job, once by a policeman and once by four violent neds (I won) – 1998 this job paid £7.70 an hour.  In 2018 this job pays £7.70 per hour.

Cleaning – is now available from £7.83 to £12 per hour if you have your own car and are relatively respectable.  I could have done this for lecturers at uni for £10 – as this was 16 years ago or so, again in decline but bearing up well compared to office work

Wiping bottoms – also known as caring.  If you do this for your loved ones, you get £65 per week for 24 hour a day care.  If you do it as a profession you get from £8-14 per hour, again better than office work.

Office work – Twenty years ago I was averaging £8.50 as an administrator.  This was anything from audio typing to supervising a team of health and safety administrators.  Now I am told that I should not be asking for £9 as this is apparently too difficult for agencies to fill.  I have held out for more complex admin roles, and am looking at £10-14 roles, however it is more likely that I am in the market for entry level graduate roles at £20k.  (Also see yesterday’s post on financial services in decline.)

Kitchen portering or washing dishes, bar work – This is commanding £8-£9 at the moment, and requires no unusual skills, besides which you have a better scope in terms of getting more hours.  If you go with waiting tables, you get tips on top of this, but sometimes these are shared so you have a bit of money on top of your obvious income.  This makes it better than office work, and considerably better for your health.

My crap CV and allegedly useless experience have so far got me six interviews, one within an hour and a half of looking for work.  If I listened to agencies, I would have been working for minimum wage and presumably part-time begging to survive some time ago.  Glasgow is bursting at the seams with inverted snobs who do not like you, your education or anything about you so you are far better off doing without them. Your degree seems to be a liability.

A recent project I was on was actively discouraging Scottish people from jobs in Scotland and saving places for more English or foreign nationals on particular shifts.

If you didn’t know you were at war, please note this carefully.

 

 

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Job Market Hilarity

Well, after discovering that you now get more money cleaning or wiping bottoms for a living than you do in financial services, I am wondering what to do, really.

The agencies and inflated population have driven wages down to the point where one of the jobs I was doing twenty years ago now pays two pence less than it did then. A job I was recently doing paid £50 a day less than ten years ago for four more hours and a far more complex job.  You also get fewer days per week, so two people are doing the job one would have done previously, for less money.

I wonder, personally, how people are expected to live like this?  How can Tories expect the economy to work if most of the population are paid very small wages which then have to be supplemented in order to survive?

It is obvious that the European experiment was intended to reduce wages.  Deutsche Bank have been very good at funding schemes intended to encourage this, but really, what use is it in economic terms?  It just exacerbates the situation in which we all hand what money we have to the same twenty or so individuals who continuously get richer.

Conspiracy theorists like to posit that once the Turing test is passed, half of the population is going to be wiped out.  How does this work in terms of customer base to continue to feed these greedy companies?  Or must we assume that once the same few rich people have more money and power than could ever be useful or practical, that they no longer care?  How much is enough?  Do we recycle the corpses in order to grow trees for their improved planet?  Is that how it works, because the usual method of war or disease is not practical for fertiliser.

Today I sat whilst a presumably very lazy ned told me that all my experience was worthless and that unless I provided her with leads she would not be finding me a job.

This was half an hour of thinly veiled hatred whilst she told me how helpful she was being.  I patiently pointed out all the information she claimed was missing, and apologised to her for working three or four jobs whilst renovating a property and taking care of my parents.

It was very depressing, and I felt pretty awful as I walked home, right up until I emailed her and told her to take me off her database entirely, as she was unlikely to be any help to me.  This cheered me up somewhat.

So, fellow disposable people, bear in mind that you are likely to be paid less and less the more you let people like this have control over your life, and your children will find things much, much worse.

All for the sake of convenience and being too lazy to look at the alternatives.  Alternative sources of information, alternative sources of work, alternative sources of entertainment.  If you keep feeding the same people, they will keep spitting on you until there is nothing left.

All that I have got today for my trouble in terms of  recruitment agents’ fees from my doing short contracts for them is a whole lot of depressing cheek as this one wanted to know which agencies had which contracts.  When you know the game, you realise it is basically 100 days of Sodom, played out in underemployment.

Seriously, more money doing anything other than office work.  Office work, full of stultifyingly boring narrow minded little people who don’t like anybody.  Office work, where you are entirely likely to be replaced by a robot.  Office work, the least healthy option you could pick.

I think I will get on with the final exam for the job I actually do want.  Hopefully I never have to deal with any more nutters.  Maybe tomorrow I can get on with some real work.

Pays more than the last supposedly prestigious one, but that isn’t all that difficult.

 

 

 

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Adventures in jobhunting

Well, so far, I have failed to be sufficiently robotic for two competency based interviews.  The last time I had to extensively interview was some time ago, and I can tell you things have really been dumbed down for the millennials.

The humanity and any actual brain use requirement has been removed from competency questions, so now you are given a pre-selected format which you prepare in advance using the STAR format

Situation – Losing my job because of a wannabe Mr Ripley

Task – Having to start again in an alternative career because the stupid fucking moron managed to destroy any prospects whatsoever in the one I wanted by repeatedly bitching about his own inability to communicate effectively, backed up by weak management.

Action – Spending all my time looking for alternatives to the point of being unable to do anything else with my time.

Result –  Still looking for new opportunities!  How exciting! Thinking positive!

I have so far been insulted twice, once because my degree offended some minor office worker, who could not understand that people with degrees also have to work (there are a lot of those)  and the other several times because I looked after my mother.

Yeah, because being abused by moronic nurses who know nothing about nutrition, watching your mother being fed fucking poison and shrinking to a small white husk because her eldest daughter is a screaming nutjob and has an unshakable belief in Marks and Spencer ice cream is is hilarious.  Spending your best years stuck in a house twenty four hours a day isn’t work at all.

So yeah, things are going great.  I am halfway through solving half the problem, and about a third of the way towards solving another quarter.  We shall see if I can get the mobility and public-facing angle sorted at the same time, because that would be helpful.  For a painfully shy person, I am remarkably good at pretending to be larger than life when I have to.

This is something plebs don’t understand.  One’s ability to put on a show is unrelated to one’s level of confidence.  Quite a few people hated the constant sunglasses in my previous employment.  Only two people knew that the reason for them is because I was in tears quite a lot and it was the only way of getting to the computer, and it wasn’t the obvious people.

The rest of tonight is going to be spent on moving the not-leaving-the-house element of my new employment package on a step.  If I am fortunate the main income will also not involve leaving the house, in which case I do not need to bother with people ever again.

The public-facing element I might head into town and go and talk to them in person, because they are unlikely to understand the package unless I am there in person.  Hilariously, I tried on some clothing today and after losing 83lb, I am still a bit too larger-than-life, so I guess at least I will save money on any actual food.

Two banks are still sniffing at the door, both because of my snob value.  I quite fancy private banking, but who knows if that is even possible now.  My back problem is telling me not to spend all day in a chair, so we shall see what happens.

And then there is the wild card.  I hope he remembers me, because if he does I may have something very special.  I’m not hugely confident, because we last saw each other through a crack in a door, but we shall see how he feels about giving me a shot at his project.

 

 

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Why are offices so crap?

Years ago, when in the upper echelons of one of the big utilities companies, I asked myself this question.  Why is it that office workers seem to guzzle gossip, delight in each other’s misfortunes, stab each other in the back and generally do anything other than work?

I was going to write a book about people management from the perspective of a chef back then, because of my perception that effective communication was direct communication.  Not necessarily in the style of Gordon Ramsay, (who actually isn’t one of the better chefs I have graced with my presence)  but why is it that kitchens function so much better than offices?

To give you some idea of what I mean, in the last office I worked in, ordering a meal would take around three weeks.  The garnish would take a full week to arrive, if you forgot a side dish that would take another week.  Nobody would remind you of what had to be on the plate, and if you didn’t know they would laugh at you.  Any guidance would be presented in the form of a large book which often sent you off on another recipe.

In the meantime, your head chef would be waiting to fire you, so any training anybody had given you would just be a useless expense.  No question of him helping you at all – that would be INAPPROPRIATE.  No, instead you would have to leave the kitchen and talk to one of the waiters, who would give you an offhand and disinterested answer because they would frankly rather be texting.

The chef de partie, in the meantime, would not listen or speak to you because he was trying to get the head chef to fire you on the grounds that you forgot the garnish and he was too frightened to speak to you.

Do you see how this works?  Offices are just about always like this.  I wondered at first if it was because people are sat in chairs all day.  Could it be that being stationary causes this malevolence?

Jobseeking is currently extremely tiresome.  I was earning 36k at 25 years old, running a team of older men as a head chef.  I actually considered applying for a job washing dishes at 18k this week, before I thought about it and decided that after everything I have been through over the years, I really deserve better.  Besides, I have a few things on the go that will be better than this option, but it goes to show how much I miss working practices that actually work.

It feels at the moment as if my personal life is over.  It has been over for years anyway, so nothing new there, but I really didn’t need another life lesson about crap people.  People are violent, selfish, nasty and back-biting as a rule, and no amount of high vibrational inspiration seems to be able to shake them out of it.  Wolfe has been right about so many things.  I still miss him terribly, but I would miss him more if he was around, so it is just as well really.

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Land of Disposable People

 

It is most interesting, how this is being regarded.  The idea now is to instantly forget negative things and push on to the next part of the conveyor belt.  Nobody cares what happens to you, nobody cares if you have any rights, nobody has any responsibility.

As a very old-school type that protects their staff, deals with their own problems, helps other people where they can, this never stops shocking me.  Everyone I met this morning at my breakfast meeting had a story.  The worst one was a legal financial services abuse story, about which none of the thousands of people who have to implement it are likely to do anything.

Hence, even before the Conservatives erode things still further, nobody has any rights, nobody has any responsibility and nobody cares.  From a situation twenty years ago where I was barking at companies for failing to manage their data properly, we now have a situation where nobody knows what management means, as far as they are aware it is something to do with having power over other people and making the paperwork look correct.

It is exhausting and terrifying living in a world like this, where people like SB are free to express their insanity by taking it out on other people.  I am a very bottom line thinker, and my feeling was that if we cut to the bottom line and dealt with the health issue, other things would subside.  It was not until I was told that the stuff I had seen related to probable coercion that I became furious.

So, there is still action to be taken, because in the normal course of events, any flow of information is now likely to be impeded by normal means.  Nobody wants bad news, and nobody cares what happens to anyone.

At least part of the problem is better, but I imagine some things will be worse.

Anyway, it certainly seems as if I should entirely ignore the implications of being falsely accused of stuff that isn’t relevant.

Sending an email and giving people books has never been causes for accusations and professional detriment in my experience, and I frankly want to see this company hauled over the coals for it.  They detected vulnerability because of my grief, and they exploited it.

I had already dealt with the immediate problem when they decided to make things worse, and I was told, as if this was some gospel truth, that they ‘had to be seen to be doing their jobs.’  Their job is not to make people frightened or make sure they have no income.  Their job as managers is to make it possible for people to work without being terrified by a mentally ill, corrupt individual who feeds on terror.

Ironically I had had a t shirt made ten days ago, ‘because we matter’ being the slogan.  It arrived today.  I didn’t find it funny.

 

 

 

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