Unison Strike

It makes me sick!

I walk past the Unison building every morning and for the last few days there have been several beggars stood outside asking me for more money.

It galls me to think that the beggars posing as workers think they deserve more money. Damn few of the rest of us are getting anything. In fact we are all TAKING A PAY CUT. Thats what it means when times are tough. But Oh No, if you’re in a union, in particular if you are in the public services you can bend us all over a barrel. Didn’t anyone teach these people economics 101.

1. You force the government to give you a pay rise.
2. The government still needs to pay for hospitals, police, roads etc
3. They raise taxes and print a few billion notes to cover costs.

We’re all feeling the pinch. Petrol is up, food is up, gas is going up and the private sector is suffering. What makes these unions think they deserve the money more than anyone else. They don’t!

I sincerely hope I am not alone in thinking that Gordon Brown should tell them all to grow up. I’m sick of pampered public sector workers thinking they’re having a harder time than anyone else in the country. Their two day strike has cost some families two days more childcare. Did they think about this, I would imagine that the ones organizing the strike have and the more pain they can inflict to get what they want the better.

My personal opinion is that anyone striking for more pay in the current climate should be positively encouraged to find alternative employment elsewhere (fired).

It’s time society and government stood up to unions, that are nothing more than self interest groups and lobbyists, shafting the rest of society. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against an honest gripe and workers putting down tools, but this is taking the piss.


I am Biased

scales.jpegDisclaimer: I am biased because…..
I’m a pragmatist! I have taken Honey & Mumford’s learning styles test and had the following score…..

  • Activist: 10
  • Reflector: 15
  • Theorist: 11
  • Pragmatist: 17

What does this mean? Basically I want results. Idle chit chat and people waxing lyrical bore me. Show me the numbers, the evidence, the proof. I might also add here that I am skeptical of other peoples numbers. I tend to prove things for myself.

Love affair with Foyles bookshop

I am sure I am not the only one who loves Foyles bookshop. I don’t know what it is or why I prefer it above all others in London but I cannot get enough of it. Anyway, I had reason to write them a letter recently about a book I bought there.

The following is the letter;

Dear Foyles,

Having been lucky enough to find myself in close proximity of you for a number of years I have had the great pleasure to get to know you. It’s been a long and fruitful acquaintance that I have much enjoyed and I believe having relieved me of the best part of a small fortune I would imagine that you yourself have enjoyed the times we have spent together.
Don’t assume I am in any way disagreeable about parting with the money.
Like any worthwhile addiction there is always a price to pay.

You Mathematics department is currently babysitting me through a degree, your computing department has tutored me through four jobs and one major career change and just recently your second hand store has been furnishing my mind with classics like Sophocles, Virgil and the Essays of Charles Lamb.

Unfortunately, like a typical Sophocles play this does not end well!

I recently, (a few months ago, I read a lot of books so to me a few months is recent), was dumb enough to buy an even dumber book. This book was to help me do more of what I like to do best faster than I had ever done it before. No, I do not mean Sex, my wife informs me that I am quite fast enough in that area. Yes, it was a book on speed reading, no, this is not a joke. The offending parchment is as follows:

        Tony Buzan (author)
        Paperback  , 198 x 129mm, 96pp
Publication date:
        21 Jul 2006
        BBC Active

Having read the first chapter of this scroll I noticed something woefully wrong with it. The first test that is meant to test your reading speed and understanding is complete gibberish. I wondered at this for a while and I decided to test the first and last tests in the book. I tested this using various reading ease scores commonly available on Microsoft Word. The tests confirmed my doubts about the book. The end test is substantially easier than the first test in the book. I can only assume this is to prove that the book has worked wonders on the reader when it has done nothing of the sort. Basically I believe the book to be nothing more than a farce created to make the scribbler of said rubbish some cash by taking advantage of us bookworms.

Having never purchased such expensive toilet paper before. I decided that I should take it back and try and exchange it. Note: I am avoiding puns about used or even partially used toilet paper.

I left it in my drawer and like any avid reader, promptly forgot about it!

Just today 01 July 2008 approximately 14:15 I found the offending papyrus in my drawer and decided that I should try and exchange it for another book. There are several unblemished darlings (books) I have had my eye on that I would love to take on a date and where better to chat them up than at an old friends. So off I went to yours in the hope that I might get lucky and be bringing back a real beauty.

This was not to be!

To cut a long story longish I was met with many woeful looks from you. I was informed that there is a 14 day return policy and that without the receipt there would be no exchange. Like Ajax in a fit of rage I left the offending parchment with one of your brazen cronies ( sounds better than staff, they were actually quite nice ) on the basement floor and exited the building. In such a fit I have never been and I must surely have looked a madman as I dashed across the road like a spurned book lover.

However, unlike Ajax I am not about to throw myself on my sword after a severe bout of self pity. Instead I would like to appeal to an old lover to see sense in this matter.

Kind Regards,
Harry Jackson

I wasnt’t sure what to expect by way of  reply so when I got the following letter it amused me no end. I must say that the following reply was much more eloquent than mine.

Dear Mr Jackson,

As is the ultimate fate of all cronies, it has fallen to me to brazenly resolve the troubles of which you so eloquently speak.

Being the very crony who served you yesterday afternoon, I suspect that I am best placed to do so – and am, by the way, thankful to have been left in your mind’s eye with my personality somewhat intact.

I can assure you that there is no-one more generally suspicious and specifically outraged about the content of certain and so called Self-Help texts. Your humble author has in fact ended up offending several eavesdropping customers with irate tirades against the fake and the spurious. Yet, both sadly and happily, in a homage to freedom of expression we continue to sell all books, and allow the discerning to make up their own minds.

No more do I like the prospect of standing on protocol and informing people that “orders are, in fact, orders.” It makes me feel like everyone that celluloid and print have taught me so painstakingly to mistrust.

However, I have a natural aversion to being bereft of a job at certain key points in my life, and as thus refused your request in order to ensure my continued employment.

Happily though, there is nothing more adept at melting the heart of any customer service operative, crony, and manager thereof than a complaint that shimmers gently, winks and promptly turns in to a message of amour.

Therefore, having engaged in a lengthy discussion of over twenty temporal seconds, we have decided to stand upon our own codex and offer you the proposed exchange.

In the language of the relationship, we donate you the ubiquitously mentioned “trousers”, descend upon one knee and weepily inform you that we would like to give the whole thing another try, but that we still do not think it is the right time to move in together.

Those terms accepted, please return to the Natural History desk at your leisure, where the Unmentionable will be awaiting exchange for what will hopefully be a less distressing tome.

Kind regards,

My favourite line is “but that we still do not think it is the right time to move in together”. That had me on the floor. Needless to say I am more than pleased with the outcome. I am still very much in love with Foyles.