Work, Rain, Home, Again?

img_8734

Work, work, work …
Rain, rain, rain  ….
Home, home, home …
Again, again, again …
I’ve not been doing much writing recently … kinda missing it.

Working too hard, long hours, long commute, tired all the time and too many other things to do.

This job .. which I quite enjoy at a technical level.. is sucking the life out of me.

I’ve always been a bit healthily disdainful towards my work,    I work for a living, not the other way around.

But that no longer seems to be possible in the world we live in. Where we used to have a knowledge gap and those with that knowledge were in demand and could command the bigger bucks, has been replaced by a culture where businesses can pull in that knowledge from other parts of the world on demand without considering the longer term consequences.

If younger generations don’t get the opportunity or the infrastructure or health system can’t support the influx then it’s not their problem.

That’s a general trend, but it’s this place, the Dickensian working practices, 8 hour days not including the mandatory hour for lunch, the 2-3 hour commute.

The day just seems so long .. Every day seems so long .. Tired .. Driving in rain and dark skies and not seeing the sunshine.

I need a holiday.

I need a change.

Like an alcoholic or some other behaviour addict .. the first step to making that change is to realise that you have a change to make.

It’s important to remember that even when it doesn’t seem possible, we always have a choice.

Now if I can only be arsed updating that CV and getting it out there.

The lyrics above are from Town to Be Blamed by Deacon Blue from their Raintown album, a personal favourite album and legendary around these parts with its image of Glasgow on the cover just at a time when dark, grey, stormy Glasgow put on some new clothes to become the European City Of Culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raintown_(album)

Advertisements

Work Stories – Resign Yourself?

 

img_4555-1

I currently work for this global communications company based in Central Scotland, if you live in the UK, you probably use or have used its services as they have a tight grip on some of the best available premium content.

You might know the place, very technical, a bigger technical base than any of the banks that I’ve worked for with the exception of JP Morgan.

I’m a contractor, self-employed and run a small personal services company ( ooooh-err missus ) for tax efficiency purposes.

Did you hear that? Tax-efficiency purposes?

What does that mean?

Well efficiency in a physics sense is defined as the ratio to energy in vs energy out.

In this context, it’s the amount of money that my company earns vs the amount of cash that I abscond with . take home .. by reducing my tax and national insurance rather than paying full PAYE.

Continue reading “Work Stories – Resign Yourself?”

The Gender Pay Gap? …. Man Up!

Where do you stand on this gender pay gap?

Do you believe there is such a thing?

If you do then you’re probably female and an idiot and too stupid to think past the headlines.

Still reading?

Good for you, I’m glad you’re still with me and my flippancy hasn’t made you run away like a cry baby.

Even more so if you’re female, I’m glad you stayed. You’ve got balls! 🙂

Let me explain why there is no gender pay gap for the hard of understanding.

Firstly, to pay men and woman different rates for the same job is illegal in most of the civilised world and has been in the UK since 1970 and the US since 1963.

Secondly, although it’s true in the statistics published yesterday, see link below, which provides details of the differences in mean and median pay between male and female employees, The reason that there is a difference is because of the roles that each gender is predominantly employed in with males having more senior or higher paid technical roles.

So let me condense that for you. There is no gender pay gap, Any comparison is invalid because you are comparing apples with oranges.

The difference in mean or median earnings is because women are underrepresented in the higher paid roles, That can’t be solved by employing people based on gender because higher paid roles are based on ability and education, not gender.

Note that employing people based on gender is also illegal.

That difference in education and ability between individuals paid higher or lower rates regardless of gender comes down to personal choice, effort and ability.

Am I saying that women are less capable than men?

Are you fucking mad? Of course not.

As a father of a son and two daughters, I’d never under underestimate the capabilities of my daughters, quite the opposite, my goal is to help educate them academically and in the school of life so that they succeed in their chosen careers.

After that it comes down to their choice and if they choose a lower paying position, then it’s not because they are less capable, It’s because that’s the choices they made.

Condensing and generalising that …

Hard or in demand degree = Maths, IT, Accountancy, Medicine. Law, Engineering = Well paid career.

Easy or less in demand Degree = Media studies, social science, history = low paid job.

Apprenticeship = Decent income based on ability particularly if self employed.

No education = it’s not the end, but it’s not going to be easy.

As I explained to my kids, it’s their choice, but there are long term consequences.

Of course education isn’t everything, there are lots of people making decent bucks without a degree, skilled plasterers, plumbers, builders, salespeople. People earning because of their individual abilities. Not bleating about invalid comparisons because they didn’t make an effort.

Let’s imagine a man is in a low paid job, he looks at his company and sees that he’s in the lower quartile, Why is that? It will be most likely because he didn’t try too hard at school, not because he’s got a dick.

But one things for sure, he’ll get on with it and not act like a fucking victim.

Besides, here’s the truth, If you’re not happy with your job and want more pay, ask yourself, how do I do that? Then make the effort and change it. It’s really up to you.

—–

UK Government data on all companies with over 250 employees

https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk

An excellent info graphic from Sky clarifies it’s not gender, but representation.

https://www.skygroup.sky/corporate/media-centre/articles/en-gb/Sky-releases-Gender-Pay-Gap-Report

Jonathon Pie interviewing a feminist condenses the argument

Work Stories – The Hills Have Pies?

Pies.png

The fat family.

Two men and a woman,  all mid-50’s,  white hair,  podgy faces and bodies.

They moved up to my area recently,   currently seated directly facing me two banks of desks away.

I don’t know anything about these people, I’m sure they are lovely, intelligent,  hard-working,  all that good stuff.

But here’s what I noticed .. they all look exactly the same .. like some sort of clones who have been fed a strict diet of McDonalds.

Face,  body,  hair  … All very similar.

Demeanour?

Absolutely no idea .. apart from the fact that they talk non-stop and are constantly stuffing their already fat faces.

Do you think that they are good people are bad people?

Get real for fucks sakes!

How can you possibly make such a decision on so little information?

Of course they are good people,  holding down a job,  earning a living for their families.

Even if it is just the one family!    🙂

But don’t confuse being fat or old or grey with being incapable.

That would only say more about you than them.

 

Work Stories – Cairo?

egypt

So … I’m in the small kitchen area, leaning with my back against the work-top waiting on the kettle to boil.

It’s my second last day at this Bank in Glasgow city centre that currently pays for my time.

Well actually, the banks pays the consultancy that I’m working through and they pay me.

Everybody takes a cut, everybody makes a buck.

Only the customer pays somehow or other, the cost of the project is hidden away in their operating costs as a regulatory change.

And we can’t miss out on regulatory changes can we?
So .. as I was sayin’ ..    Continue reading “Work Stories – Cairo?”

Losing your marbles?

 

img_6756-1

Getting old is awful, watching the people that you love lose their mental or physical faculties and suffer has to be one of the hardest things to take, the only exception that I can think of is the death of a child.

I was over at my wee dads last night, 81 years young and sharp as a tack, but he suffers paralysis on one-side due the stroke he had 10 years ago.

It doesn’t stop him tho,  he’s at his bowling club most days organising things.

He’s got this never-give-up attitude like a lot of people from his generation,  who have faced much more hardship than we our children ever will.

I love and find him inspirational.

I consider myself lucky that he’s still with us, particularly as over the past few days a friend has lost their dad and another family member is badly losing their physical faculties whilst still all there mentally.

It brings our own mortality closer to home and I can empathise as my mum had went through a similar experience before she passed away a few years ago.

Either case is awful for the people left behind.

God knows that no-one wants to be that person sitting in a chair by the window defecating yourself unable to walk to the loo or clean yourself up.

It’s degrading for the individual involved, they lose their dignity and its awful for the people who love them as they don’t deserve to see their parent or loved one in that state.

In that situation, of course you love them, you do what you can, even although you both feel embarrassed by the situation.

Getting old, your body failing is a horrible situation.

You’re mind failing is worse, when you are no longer you and you can’t remember your loved ones.

Mind or Body failing .. which would you choose?

Continue reading “Losing your marbles?”

Work Stories – And he’s only tiny … ?

Is it the look in your eyes?
Or is it this dancing juice?
Hey baby
I think I want to marry you?

So its 8:55am and I come bounding up the stairs at work,   headphones on,  iphone in random and Bruno Marrs blasting in my ears.

Thats the kinda cheery upbeat song that I love listening to in the morning .. or any time of day for that matter.

Anyways,  I bounce up the psuedo-corridor between the already fully occupied banks of desks either side of me .. most people arrive well before me .. some as early as 7am .. what’s that all about?

But I don’t work for the bank,   I’m through a consultancy company and working 9-5 .. what a way to make a livin’.

The way I see it is if you’re only paying me 9-5,   then thats the only hours I’m turning up .. and only fools or the badly manipulated work extra hours for the man giving up their precious and valuable time for no extra payment.

Here’s the deal .. time= money  .. you want my time .. you give me money.

Simple!

As I bounce up the office,  smile on my face,  headphones still blasting,   I’m sure a few people can hear the bass as I get the occasional look … and depending on the look I either smile back at another kindred soul  .. or  .. a closed mouth smile and hope it’s pissing you off that I arrive later than you and leave before you too .. sucker!

Just before I arrive at my desk I press pause on the headphones.  I get a nod from Robb the ex-paratrooper .. the kinda guy you just know would beat the shit out of you …  now retrained in management reporting .. theres a jump as big as mine from Shipbulding to IT and Banking.

Robb and I are kindred spirits,   neither of us really give a feck,   it’s an easy means to the most rewarding end and he sits with his headphones on all day listening to dance music .. I like him.

Robb asks .. so what are you listening to today? .. as he does most days.

Bruno Marrs .. I reply expecting a slagging for being such a girl.

( Not that there is anything wrong with being a girl! )

But Robb just nods his head in complicit agreement.

At this point Scott,   the senior manager,  grey,  late 50s,   bright and charming but very old school..  and the guy who signs my paychecks comes over and says …

Bruno Marrs … He does some good tunes .. but he’s only tiny.

Really Scott?

Does being tiny make you any less talented?

To be fair,   I’m sure Scott never meant any offense,  he’s not that kinda guy and one of the softest guys I know .. he’s just old-school … but it stuck out like catching a splinter on a bannister that makes you alch.