Dairy of A Nonny Moose

Ridicule of Nonsense and Nonsense about the Ridiculous

Underground overground Wombling Free, the Solicitors of Wombledon Centre Court Are We

Breaking News: The longest tennis game in history is still taking place on the Court of Wombledon, between two novice players who are an impeccable match for each other.

This is despite the oppositions being not just on opposite sides of the net, but also of gender. One is a man and one is a woman. Neither have a backround in tennis but the rallies keep coming.

On the Court Centre are Mr Randy Woo facing Rachel Wriggleroom. Both are solicitors by day.

A report from a close insider to both opponents has come in, to reveal the secret of their stamina and why they are so well-matched against the odds. Harrington Green, 45, divorced of 18 Kidlington Manor Estate, Oxford, OXON OX1 1AP reveals exclusively to Dairy of A Nonny Moose that “Each and every shot they play, even when the ball doesn’t fall in the court is instantly earning them £180 + VAT).

5th February 2014 the match commenced:

Where all the action is taking place

Where all the action is taking place

Mr Woo serves. Rachel returns the ball. The rally tots up over 20 shots before Mr Woo takes the point.

This carries on for a month.

Rachel serves an ace. Game to Wriggleroom who is now in the lead at 6 games to 5. First set. The ball-boy picks up the ball and returns it to Mr Woo to serve.

Oh this looks like an easy one after her previous performance. No, that was a bad miss. It is now 6 all.

They go for a tie break. Wriggleroom to serve.

Nice serve. Woo returns deep. Rachel does the same and runs up to the net. My God! She’s taken 8 volleys in row. This is unheard of. Mr Woo goes for an overhead shot and that’s point to Mr Woo.

Opposites sides of court, table and gender - this extraordinary match continues

Opposites sides of court, table and gender – this extraordinary match continues

Another month later.

The score is 2 sets all. 5 games to 5.

Wriggleroom serves. That clocked up over 100mph on the meter. Mr Woo returns with a dolly-drop over the net which Rachel just catches. 30 love to Wriggleroom.

Wriggleroom serves and loses the point. And another point. It is now a tie at 2 sets all, 5 games all and 30 all. No one knows who will win this but Mr Woo of course has the advantage of being the more aggressive player.

It is now 6-5 to Woo but Wriggleroom looks like she may have a last burst of energy up her sleeve. She is prancing back and forth while Mr Woo prepares his serve.

She’s done that before, placing the ball in the far back-hand right corner and Woo does another drop just over the net. That is match point to Woo.

She’s saved it. Deuce.

Woo looks like he could play another match while Rachel looks painfully exhausted and wants to take the match or admit defeat.

Rachel serves. That’s an ace. 15 love. Look at that play! They softly tap the ball back and forwards, neither listening to their coaches or taking any risks now. This could go on forever.

They are neck and neck. Who will win. Who knows. Find out soon.

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Solicitors, Spoof, Tennis match | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Political Party Should You Vote For? Take the Quiz to Find Out.

Voter apathy? They’re all the same? What’s the point? All vitally good inquiries we should all be making about who to vote for when the next election comes round.

To make life easier for you, take this quiz to find out:

Who should you be voting for in the next general election?

Question 1.

What does NQOSD stand for?

A). Never Query Our Serious Daughter

B). Neither Queer Or Straight Darling

C) Not Quite Our Sort Dear

D). Never Question Our Salad Dinner!

Question 2.

What hangs in your windows?

A). Lace.

B). Blinds

C). Burgundy velvet curtains

D). My laundry

Question 3.

What do you think about Screaming Lord Such?

A). Mad

B) Crazy Genius

C). Dead

D). Genius

Question 4.

When would you get solar panels?

A). When the sun is extinguished.

B). When I win the lottery

C). When I have time, ie never.

D). I’ve already got them you presumptuous cheeky patronizing idiot. Get your own.

Question 5.

What do you think of the English Weather?

A). Nowhere near enough sun. But if we had enough sun we wouldn’t be who we are would we?

B). It should go away and come back when it’s made its mind up.

C). A pain when so many events take place outdoors.

D). Better than Africa’s.

Who would you like to work here in the future?

Who would you like to work here in the future?

Question 6.

Choose a quadruped for your garden:

A). Llama

B). Goat

C). Horse

D). Donkey

Question 7:

What causes extreme weather events?

A). Sexual proclavity

B). Grandmother’s spells.

C). How the hell should I know?

D). The weather system/probably climate change.

Question 8.

The Queen announces she will be coming to yours for tea. What do you do?

A). Sell your house and buy a better one.

B). Quickly put together a business plan Powerpoint Presentation.

C). Brush up on trending conversation topics.

D). Clean your home and do some baking.

Question 9.

What is your favourite drink?

A). An exotic cocktail I had once in Geneva, which you wouldn’t have heard of. Mwah!

B). Whatever you’re having.

C). Gin and Tonic with a slice of lemon with ice.

D). You can’t beat the treat of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Question 10.

Where would you live if mainland UK was converted into a giant prison as on the Johnny English film?

A). The Ascension Islands.

B). Wherever they give me the best deal.

C). The Isle of Wight. Need you ask.

D). Ireland.

That’s all the questions. Now for the answers. Below you will see who you should vote for.

If you mostly answered A:

You shouldn’t vote.

If you mostly answered B:

You probably wouldn’t know how to.

If you mostly answered C:

It’s your bloody fault we’re in a coalition. Snap out of it.

If you mostly answered D:

Whoever takes your fancy.

 

 

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Fun Quiz, Political quiz, Who to vote for | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why MPs are Hypocrites About Benefits Claimants

Many a true word spoken in jest. This is in jest.

The government seems to do anything to reclaim cash, without much regard for citizens’ well-being or livelihood. There certainly seems to be a lack of awareness about the realities of getting off benefits and into sustainable paid work.

Here are the reasons why MPs ought to understand the fortunes of people on benefits, especially lifelong claimants, a lot better. And why they are hypocrites:

  • Their lives are all about everyone else telling them what they should be doing, not letting them get on with what they think they should be doing.
  • MPs get money from the public purse, not through producing, marketing and selling products or services.
  • So much time is taken up with red tape and firefighting, that time to be productive is greatly reduced and therefore highly frustrating in their work.
  • If an MP stopped receiving money for work in politics they would probably not have the experience or qualifications to get a commercial job. This is because not many MPs seem to have done many jobs outside politics, law or economics.
  • Whereas people on benefits can’t use any of their own income to leverage themselves into work, whereas people going into politics need to finance themselves until they become an elected councillor as state hand-outs are not there to help you find sustainable paid work.
  • MPs seem to need expenses for all aspect of their lives such as their home, travel, childcare, food and council tax. (Sorry, that’s from the Daily Mail :-(
  • An MP would need a well paid job to be able to afford to stop living off politics.

There you go. There are probably many more examples where MPs could look at their own lives and understand what a human being needs to stop needing money from the state and get into sustainable work.

February 12, 2014 Posted by | MPs and benefits | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phenonemal Impacts of The Obsession With Work

This is a rant, sweeping statements made without back-up proof.

Yet, I think we’re now used to scientists being paid to do the same and “experts” coming out with statements of fact that most people already know. Now I’ve warned you, do carry on reading if you like.

This is not just opinion, but an inquiry for discussion. Do discuss if you have any views on the following.

In the name of “fairness”, there is an obsession with everyone of a working age having a salaried job. But the playing field of possibilities for work and financial sustainability is far from level.

The repercussions of this state of affairs are:

  1. There are nowhere near enough paid jobs for people of a working age.
  2. Many people work hard for too little to live on.
  3. People without paid work are stopped/prevented or hindered from being productive in anyway they choose by this system.
  4. It doesn’t follow that the people who want to work, be productive and contribute are those most likely to be found doing so.
  5. A culture of exclusion is very fertile.

It is a basic human right for people to be useful. Yet, because of the overwhelming shortage of paid jobs available:

  • There is a vastly open landscape for mutual back-scratching and giving jobs to people within a certain network instead of trying to find the best candidate who applies.
  • Discrimination is rife, which discourages able and qualified people from applying to work in certain cultures when they think they’ll be rejected out of hand without being able to find out why.
  • Work environments become more homogeneous, which has been shown to be less productive than diverse workplaces, therefore there is lower performance, less pay, less work, less opportunity etc.
  • People stagnate in jobs instead of being able to use transferable skills and change industries (unless you’re a CEO) and face new challenges.
  • People start to focus on clinging to their jobs, literally for dear life, instead of being good at them.
  • Employers can and often do exploit workers and/or employ the cheapest workforce possible.
  • Laws prevent employers from firing and hiring to get the best results for their company.

People I know on benefits have to battle with the welfare state to take any work they can find as the system seems to prevent anyone from building up their opportunities to become financially sustainable. People are, in a manner of speaking, ‘fined’ for signing off benefits for paid work.

My conclusion:

The welfare state could be creating employers, product makers, entrepreneurs and teamwork to get people off benefits and create more jobs.

Instead of a course on seeking work, how about courses to form a company and sell your own work?

So many people don’t know what they ought to do for work or what they can do. When it’s all about getting paid, people work differently then if they are doing something productive, knowing they can keep a roof over their head, pay their bills and put food on the table.

There’s food for thought anyway. Another blog will be some locally based ideas to suggest a step by step change that is possible.

February 5, 2014 Posted by | A new economy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Council Corruption?

Why are councils using such bully boy/girl tactics over council tax arrears?

I was taken in by the poor little impoverished council story I’ve been brainwashed by, particularly over the radio. It is way worse than them spending all their cash chasing council tax in a well-meaning but misguided way. Much worse. They are making money from the whole thing.

Here is a fine column, which is giving us all awareness that things are not as they seem:

In this comment column in the Telegraph, various unscrupulous practices are being used, not just to “recover debt” but to make money from the heavy-handed methods they use, which scare people. Not scare them into paying tax. Just to scare them into submission.

But wait. They aren’t giving people fair and achievable ways of paying council tax. Findings by the Citizens Advice Bureau, in the PDF the link downloads, beautifully shows how one council differs from another over their use of private bailiffs and how they respond to complaints about them. Just look at that language!

The Telegraph column by Christopher Booker says:

“Most of these alternative sources of revenue are sanctioned by central government, but in some instances the “dash for cash” has led councils into activities that are outside the law.”

In other words, councils are actively profiting from their methods to claim unpaid council tax.

For instance, the use of private debt collectors instead of bailiffs. Why would a public authority pay for private firms to collect money?

Booker writes:

“Two weeks ago, I reported how many councils have outsourced their collection of unpaid council tax to private firms of bailiffs, who then charge much more than the law allows for practices such as “phantom visits” – merely pushing letters through doors – which both the Government and the police state are criminal offences under the 2006 Fraud Act.”

The article shows how councils can only impose “costs reasonably incurred” to issue summons or liability (to pay) orders, which must also under the law be charged for separately,  under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992. However:

  • The issue of an order can cost down to £1.22 and councils are charging £80 or £122 in one case.

Just charging for issuing summons is the start of this. Then there are legal fees (£2,000+) for an internal council legal person, a trustee for assets after involuntary insolvency costing a huge amount (see earlier blog on reports from the Ombudsman), renting court rooms, paying private bailiffs, there seem to be lots of people earning income themselves and buffering the coffers of their councils. Leading to those pay-rises (ahem!).

Of course when everyone is in on the game, there is no one to blow a whistle or to respond professionally to inquiries from members of the public.

A friend in Cornwall has had 2 houses possessed because all his income was blocked  and subsequently he defaulted on his mortgages. This was over a payment of around £7,000 in council tax, which he offered to pay.

Who monitors the councils’ actions? Do they just squirm out of responding in a professional manner to our questions. Can we not let them?

The Telegraph (yes, the Telegraph!) column suggests:

“Examples from across the country suggest that the sum raised by councils in this way, going way beyond what is permitted by the law – and levied from some of the poorest homes in the country – could be as much as £300 million a year”

The suggestion here is that there is an unregulated self-profiting scam here. Cover up tactics include:

  • Giving the impression that they are short of cash by publicly making cuts to services.
  • Using the press to blame non-payers of council tax.
  • Aggressive and bullish tactics to intimidate people.
  • Abusing their authority and that people think they are there to run things.
  • Stirring up resentment from the people able to pay and those who can’t by implying they are the problem and getting people to faction and fight between each other.

No! Don’t be taken in by this age-old divide and rule method. Don’t blame the person sitting next to you for being too fat because the bus company has made the seats smaller.

Keep your eye on the authorities or they will get away with anything they can.

That is human nature. Don’t fight human nature. Know your rights, fight for them and fight wrongdoing. Job done.

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Council spending on debt recovery, Councils profiteering from council tax collection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The hidden story of councils’ debt recovery

Have you just switched on the radio and heard some poor, beaten local councillor talking about “unavoidable” increases in council tax and cuts to local services?

Here is an article on the impact on public mental health in the Express.

It seems today we hear increasingly about cuts. Buses are cut back. We are asked to pay more or threatened with losing things. What are we being given for what we pay? It’s always taking back, not giving. But we are asked to pay more.

Austerity has been imposed on us. Meanwhile no mention is made of local councils or government making cuts to their own cloth or any of their own austere actions on spending.

You may read an article in your local paper about the huge amount of tax owed your council. But do you hear about how much they spend trying to chase that debt?

An MP such as Phil Hogan argued in the Irish Independent for use of taxpayers money to chase debt. Is anything mentioned of regulation to monitor how that tax money is being spent? Is the amount recouped or the amount outstanding mentioned? Is what services that money could be used to pay for even considered?

Are councils’ own departments obliged to show they have approached non-payers in a fair, non-threatening manner to review someone’s circumstances and discuss achievable means of repayment?

A letter saying ‘you owe £xxx and we would like to review your living circumstances and discuss achievable means for you to pay it before we take further action’ would be fair. It also wouldn’t cost the council much.

The costs of eroding trust in our councils and their abilities to do what they are there for are as yet uncalculated. Is it too late?

I think it’s never too late ever for any individual or organisation to say ‘maybe we are not doing this the best way’ and look for better ways to do things.

But better for who? Is there a vested interest amongst different compartments in the public sector that means they don’t want to even consider if things are being done in the best way in public interest, not in their own?

Do we have any bodies with the power to oversee how the public sector is working in the public’s interest or can authorities do as they please with the right collusion from others in positions of authority?

Better in the public sector must mean better for the public.

JOBSWORTHS

Unfortunately people enjoy pointing the finger more than looking at themselves and if you are jobsworth, the power to bully people without recourse is too much to resist, as bullying is the consolation prize for those without any purpose in life.

OK, I’ll get to the point.

To scare anyone not paying their rates or taxes, councils are spending taxpayers’ money on:

  • internal legal people,
  • renting rooms in court houses,
  • court personnel
  • private debt collectors
  • Auction houses
  • trustees

To read the full focus report by the Ombudsman, which gives examples as case studies, click here.

How are they getting away with this?

The language and the documents all look so official. They are designed to scare. Read this great blog for more info.

  • Councils will disregard Ombusdman’s rulings if they want to.
  • There is no independent body set up to monitor how councils spend council tax.
  • The media will carry stories about councils not having enough public money but they won’t reveal how money is spent.
  • Letters are made to look official and carry worrying threats.
  • All the people involved are given the official stamp, whether acting lawfully or not, and the fees they earn are made to look as if they are caused by the debtor’s actions, not the choice of the council to engage them.
  • Everyone involved in chasing council debts has agreed to work together to protect their own and each others’ interests so no one who knows what is going on is going to reveal it publicly.

Who can stop this?

That is one of the biggest problems here. However, together as taxpayers we can and must:

  • Engage national media with the power to investigate to uncover any unlawful actions and reveal what is being spent and where.
  • Demand councils are transparent about all their local spending, including the size of their budgets from taxpayers.
  • Ensure councils have approached you fairly, unthreateningly and considerately to review your circumstances and discuss achievable means of repayment.
  • Ensure responses in all correspondence from official bodies address each point you raise in a professional and accountable manner.
  • That we expect the police and the courts to not use loopholes to avoid ruling if actions taken against a person are lawful or not.
  • To demand that actions are not compartmentalised (ie passing authority from lawyer, to Insolvency Service, to debt collector to trustee) so that councils can avoid overall responsibility for their actions and spending in debt collection.
  • To use the Freedom of Information Act to reveal how much has been spent by councils in chasing debtors and how much debt has been collected.
  • For studies to be funded independently and information made available for reports to reflect the relationships between actions of public bodies and the people whose lives they effect.
  • For an independent body to oversee the different compartments of social welfare to see where improvements can be made.
  • For people acting in their own financial interests from a position of authority in the public sector to face consequences and be removed from positions that give them power to act for personal gains without supervision.
  • For fines for perjury and unlawful threats made to individuals to be levied on authorities that don’t stick within the law.

January 27, 2014 Posted by | Council spending on debt recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Must read – fair document reveals costs incurred by councils

While investigating for a friend, I found this document which fairly discusses and weighs up the implications of government bodies (Councils/HMRC) incurring costs when chasing up non-payments. It outlines cases where maladministration could have occurred.

Focus Report Using Bankruptcy For Council Tax Debts

This bit is interesting for us all to note:

Case study – taking account of costs

A council pursued Mr F for a council tax debt of £839.43.

The bankruptcy process incurred costs of approximately £38,000 including VAT, legal costs of £2,260, trustee’s costs of £13,459 and trustee’s legal costs of £13,373 together with the disbursements and the costs of the Official Receiver.

The Ombudsman said:

The council cannot, it seems to me, turn a blind eye to the consequences to the debtor of any recovery option it pursues. Some courses will no doubt be administratively more convenient and less costly than others. But in selecting these options the impact on the debtor should be weighed in the balance. The dire and punitive consequences of bankruptcy, involving a multiplication of the debt many times over and frequently incurring the loss of the debtor’s home must be factor to be taken into account … I have seen no evidence that this relevant consideration was taken into account … that was maladministration.

January 22, 2014 Posted by | Serialised fiction | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Culling Reaches Epidemic Proportions

facebook-funeralLONGER HOURS

As a contagion known as social media reaches all corners of the earth (despite it being round) a particularly viral strain has faced its match. The spreading of FB has circumnavigated all vaccinations, which include having an old Nokia handset and not surfing the Internet during working hours.

Now experts believe that a backlash is inevitable against FB so people can return to a better quality of life such as playing on their very expensive new games consuls.

The first signs of a person who has been hit by FB to an extent where culling is required is when they post up ‘I’ve had a Facebook cull so congratulations if you see this.’ What people who see this might want to ask themself is whether they are unknowingly effected by FB.

DELETED

‘Only in 2008, people joined my Facebook page and then never seemed to respond, back in the day when I would say hi to an old school friend who’d added me,‘ says Jason Simpson of Tolpuddle, Somerset. He added, looking deeply disturbed, ‘funnily enough I’m great friends with my school bully, but my best friend from school never responded to me, so I deleted them.’

Today, as we reach the end of 2013, a mere year since the Mayans predicted the end of the world on 22 December 2012, people have gone from polite deleting to public cullings, which draw in crowds of hundreds to the massacres of Facebook friends.

TALENTED

In a new series of Blackudder, soon to be announced (people close to the source of this information leaked), which stars Blackudder as a recent Oxford graduate without a job or any skills (connections), who lives in a bedsit with his sidekick, Barry. The Talented Boldripley jumps onto his computer (he is a cat) and the words “I have a culling plan” appear on his Facebook status. This is believed to have started the meme theme.

Protesters have gathered in Silicone Valley and outside Facebook’s secret London office to protest about culling as they claim it isn’t necessary to stem the spread of FB by culling Facebook friends, to prevent people from returning to Friends Reunited as that won’t happen anyway. The virus, it seems, is well contained.

MAKE POST

Medics have examined the remains of recent cullings and reported flocks of deleted Facebook friends flooding to Twitter. It seems to be a desperate last resort as you only get 140 characters per post. If these people don’t make interesting posts anyway, Twitter is unlikely to make things any easier for them, experts predict.

Joan Ofark, 87, who has recently joined Facebook to reunite with people she went to school with before the Second World War says ‘I’m lucky I’m still alive. Please help me find my friends from Wiltshire. Best start at the Bingo’.

IMPLIES

The only way any strains of FB infections (staying up all night, losing your job) will not effect you, if you are worried about symptoms, is to follow the Wikipedia definition of culling.  Wikipedia says: “culling usually implies the killing of the removed animals.”

Sadly, for people who think culling is the newest diet fad, you will only succeed if you kill all the people you have removed from your friend list. Luckily, Facebook invented “Blocking” for that, so deleted friends can’t see what you’re saying about them.

 

December 20, 2013 Posted by | Serialised fiction | Leave a comment

Why to Make Personal Selections of Employers in Job Interviews

We’re all human. If I ran a company, I, as most recruiters are reported to do, would start with people I know and work outwards. Advertising for applicants is the last resort.

The questions you ask in interviews can clinch the deal. If your aim is to find out if the company you are applying to will be a good employer, this puts you in the power seat.

I got this info from a 6 month career development course I did, during which they revealed to me how and when I would hear about vacant positions. After graduating from art college into the recession of 93, I would scour the creative jobs pages of the Guardian, most of which stated criteria which put these opportunities out of my reach.

Getting paid work seemed like getting an Equity card for a recent drama graduate, in a very saturated buyers’ market. I set up my own childminding agency, with a creative twist, then my first job was commission only sales.

The purpose of this rant is to show how unhelpful and misleading recruiters are when they try to hide the real reasons for turning someone down after interview.

People are told:

  • You don’t seem to want to work for us.
  • The other applicant has more experience.
  • We think you might get bored in this role.
  • You’re over qualified.
  • You’re under qualified.
  • We will keep you on file as something more suitable for you is likely to come up.

Notice that none of these include:

  • We don’t think you can do the job.
  • We have doubts that you would show up for work.
  • You seem dishonest.

These, according to research carried out when I worked on careers magazines for graduates from under-represented groups, are the 3 things that employers want in a new recruit.

A story. My CV always got me a high percentage of interviews. Following my first ever interview at Conde Nast (successful) I continued to get worse and worse at job interviews, until I invested £1000 in relearning the skill of job searching.

Shortly after moving to North London, where I signed onto jobseekers allowance at age 23, I got a hand-delivered letter through my door from the MD of a company enthusiastically inviting me for an interview. I went along. The job involved some design and some sales work for a packaging company. I had experience in both these areas.

At the end of the interview, the company MD said I would hear from him in a week and to call anytime for feedback. I got a standard rejection letter in less than a week and called up. I could not get through for love or money (not that I offered either). Feedback was absolutely withheld in such a way that I thought I must have been so dreadful that the guy had eloped instead of delivering the reason for not giving me a job. Eventually the receptionist told me in exasperated tones to give up and he would contact me if he wanted to.

This experience had a massively detrimental effect on my next interviews. It created huge doubt and anxiety in me, which increased the more I wanted or thought I could get a job.

People told me I should have a Valium tablet before interviews, I would get that stressed.

With the new universal credit, all the government’s attention and pressure is focused on the job-seekers, not the gate-keepers who get to choose who finds employment. Interviewers can be as discriminatory, unprofessional and biased as they please, when choosing employees.

When I went to the Employers Forum on Disability to report for the Arberry Profile a careers mag for disabled graduates, they revealed how applicants will avoid applying to companies or for jobs when they sense they will be rejected out of hand or unfairly.

If people trying to find work, on benefits, have to spend 35 hours a week applying for jobs, this gives them no chance of practicing the skills they have paid so much to the education system to learn. What good does that do the economy?

I’ve ended up being mostly self-employed during my career as my experience in job interviews has shown how personal and not economical the selection process is. The choices I have made about which jobs to apply for has become increasingly personal too.

At a friend’s 30th birthday I met the graduate recruiter for a city trading firm. He said that he knew most people could be a trader. He said he had no university degree and described himself as a barrow boy. In terms of selection, he said it took hours to read CVs so he would whittle them down by graduates only and, if there were too many, by Oxbridge only. Although he knew this was unfair, it was a real economic factor in his selection process.

Applicants have to look smart, they often get vague information about the role they are applying for and there is a steady growth in use of assessment centres for selection by large recruiters.

If the Department of Work and Pensions put their attention on the selection process to make it fairer, the change in power balance between those giving their services and large proportion of their waking life and those needing them would even up very quickly.

I think the most important revision of the recruitment process has to lie in better communication and much more respect to applicants. Companies that pride themselves in their fair recruitment policies have shown economic benefits and greatly improved working environments. People will be anxious and distracted if they don’t know how they are doing.

Anyone starting a new job has to find their feet and navigate any number of personal agendas held by their work colleagues and managers. This, to me, is a separatist and one-on-one battle between people in the same company, engendered by the competitive nature of our education sector, that doesn’t breed the ability for teamwork. This flaw, I think, is evident in shows which pretend to use teams such as the Apprentice.

I’ve never been recruited by a woman. I have only worked in companies of 12 people or less because of this characteristic. I am financially effective for any company I work for, am a natural peacemaker and good team player. I focus on getting the end best result, not in doing better than my colleagues. If I am doing well, as I have done, it is for the good of the company. However I’ve found job interviews to be a land-mine of ego and underhand deviousness.

When a company has said I’m over qualified, I’ve learned to ask why. I’ve been told, and this seemed fair, that at my age and with my journalism postgraduate, that an editorial assistant job – after climbing for assistant to associate editor in a job of 5 years – would not challenge me. In feedback, I am told things which do not give me any idea on how to improve my chances or make me more employable.

We all have a price and that is what we need to live on. I’ve never wanted very much but found even that hard to achieve. The increase in awareness about disabilities, such as hearing loss or Dyspraxia – neither of which I’ve allowed to effect my work performance – just seem to give employers more excuses not to employ me. Even Hearing Concern and Defeating Deafness thought it better to recruit a hearing person from another sector without relevant evidence of results in their portfolio, rather than me, with personal experience and documental evidence of my ability to do the job.

The government continues to pile unrealistic pressure on the jobseeker, while allowing companies to be as unprofessional, unfair and personal in their selection as they please, as this shows.

The least we could ask for is that recruiters are advised on what selection criteria they should focus on and to encourage them – as if the savings aren’t enough in doing this – to operate on a more first-come-first served basis.

Powers to let go of employees who do not pull their weight ought to be increased, as it always drove me bonkers when I was unemployed and faced with a jobsworth. People who take a regular income for granted who have started to rot in their position could have new life breathed into their performance with a spell on the dole, while giving other more enthusiastic people a chance to prove themselves.

A one-in-one-out door policy on employment would give the economy, I think, a huge boost. I recommend applicants making just as personal choices about who they would like to work for, as employers do on who to take on. Recruiters should need to show every potential employee references on how they do as an employer.

When you go for an interview, why not ask questions to find out all you can about how good an employer the company you are applying to will be? What you will find is that the interview will feel in the hot seat and start offering more and selling their company to you to want to work for. This psychology pretty much puts the job in the bag for you.

Confidence given in strictest confidence.

November 7, 2013 Posted by | Academia, Company bullshit, Disability Issues and Work Rights | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Into Work – Fair and Simple

Thinking slavery (my definition: unpaid, manual or menial labour meted out in a punishing way) was abolished 180 years ago, I was gobsmacked to hear the  government’s answer to getting people off benefits is to force them into unpaid labour.

A Short Rant

Taking out of consideration, statistics or pie charts that show that income support is not a big chunk of the public purse pie,

* that only 3% of people try to fiddle the system (them being the few who have the time and leisure to try and do so as they’ve probably learned the “neck verse” to keep receiving benefits anyway),

* that other countries provide more realistic support to combat unemployment and therefore enable people to get back into work, instead of being trapped.

* that numerous high earners in entertainment benefitted from reasonable income support to allow them to forge their artistic careers.

* that not many MPs seem to have jobs outside politics, except for professions made possible by their privileged backgrounds.

* that benefits are not enough to live on.

* that getting gradual work to leverage someone into full time employment is penalised under the benefits system.

* that the system criminalises people and crushes the self-respect, confidence, focus and presentation which are vital to finding paid employment.

* the system sets the English nation of people excluded from contributing to society under an unprofessional recruitment tradition.

* that employers are legally able to discriminate against capable candidates.

(takes breath) I could go on…..

The system is unworkable and this could be easily proven if MPs gave it a little of their decently paid time.

So the plan is (huddle round chaps) to threaten people with starvation and homelessness unless they take unpaid work to earn their benefits. Wait, wait. Here’s the best bit: there are plenty of companies out there who would not say no to some extra free hands.

Think about it:

1. What skills gained from no-brainer, unskilled labour are going to help get someone off benefits?

2. Any profiteering company is going to put the savings from paying people into their pockets and exploit people forced to work for them for free.

3. Gradually, paid jobs in private companies will wane, putting more people on benefits.

In 2003, I worked for a Deafblind guy with cerebral palsy who would have given his (almost solely working part of his body) left arm for even a voluntary opportunity to contribute to his community.

Instead of being allowed to volunteer to a charity shop, or go to learn computer skills at a centre for the blind 3 miles away (maybe the council wondered what the point was as it was impossible that this guy would enter the economic system), he was driven in a taxi, an hour each way at the tax payers’ expense, to work in a factory (yes, he was blind, deaf and had cerebral palsy. Imagine this for a sec) with severely mentally handicapped people. The factory sold items on a commercial basis. Items made by severely disabled people to earn towards their disability support.

Here’s my point:

If a company can find work for a pair of hands, they can blooming well pay them, like the rest of the staff.

That means, if companies like Poundland can use more manpower, there are some jobs out there. Luckily, as shown in the article Independent entitled “Government Poundland ‘back-to-work’ schemes ruled legally flawed by Supreme Court” The Supreme Court saw sense. (article on

It’s understandable to that people not working when they could be is discouraged. However, it is a human right for a citizen to be needed in some capacity. The benefit system denies people that right by employing conditions that make getting off benefits way too difficult.

It should be well recognised by now that power and money corrupts you average human being and that policy makers and corporations’ actions cannot be unmonitored.

Why is it called ‘common’ sense? It is help by the common person, yes, but certainly not present in the House of Commons.

 

 

 

 

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Company bullshit, Disability Issues and Work Rights, Political, Welfare State | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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