Satan Claws

Santa Claus, or should I call him Satan Claws.  There are rumours that his red cloak came from the Coca Cola’s attempt to increase their sales.  That wouldn’t surprise me.  His cloak, some say, was green back in the day.  Santa sprouts from a variety of sources.  satan claws 1Saint Niklaas in the Netherlands to Agia Nik in Cyprus, Satan was called ‘Old Nick’ and there are effigies and images of an old man giving out gifts such as food to the community.  Some say this character was the Greene Man or even Jesus.  The Greene Man, if he knocks on your door has to be let in, or your crops will fail. A lot of folklore gravitates around what it most important to people – fertility in the land and the womb and life after death.  Not sure who made Nicholas a saint, but I’m sure as rumour, legend and heresay go all these things are things we throw into the soup of time and eventually they get mixed up and before you know it, you’ve got yourself something that keeps a smile on your child’s face.

For me Christmas is just some opportunity for these conglomerates to rip you off, to raise your stress levels when you’re shopping at the last minute like every fucker else.  That’s why I shop at 5 in the morning at the 24 hours Sainsbury’s.  Yes, I get up at about 5am because I’m old.  All these charities come out of the fucking woodwork.  If we had Communism we wouldn’t need these fucking charities.  It’s a time of giving they say, a time of rejoicing, so what about the rest of the year?  I took my 3 year old to see Santa on Saturday.  £7 to queue up for 30 minutes for an audience with an overweight, sarcastic, piss taking bloke in a Red suit.

“What would you like for Christmas?” He asks my daughter.
“A house,” she says.
“A house?  2 or 3 bedroomed?  Semi-detached, detached??”
“A pink house,” she replied.  Always pink.  Everything has to be pink.

My 11 year old son went to see Santa too – even though he knows Santa’s a myth concocted by the Bourgeoisie/Capitalistic classes to fool the lower classes.  Anyway, he said he was on the good list and not the naughty list, which was a fucking lie!!  They’re both monsters!  NAUGHTY LIST!!  They’re on the fucking top of the list!…… Rant over.

I’ve just taken out the paper rubbish and it’s warm outside.  It’s the 22nd December for christ’s sake!  The warmest year on record.  Prepare for new species.  We’re going to get immigration in the animal kingdom.  In fact we’re seeing it already.  There are species of marine life that normally live off the coast of Turkey.  They’re hanging around the southern coastline of Britain.  If you live on the coast, I’d start thinking about moving inland.  For your grandchildren’s sake.  Already we’re seeing an increase in erosion of the coastline.  We’ve got plenty of land, but if we build houses everywhere it’s going to look like one gigantic Milton Keynes.  Fuck that.  We’re going to be consumed by the sea soon, so I think the building of floating communities is the realistic solution.  It’ll be a while before we have large communities outside of earth so we might as well start looking under or on the sea.  We’ve already got thousands of people on Oil rig installations and when the oil runs out this may be the only avenue of revenue.

Black Friday’s Sheople

Have you heard of the word Sheople?  I read it while looking at Facebook posts on another phenomena the UK has adopted from the US… like sheep.  It’s how people react when there’s a bargain shouting at you : 75% OFF!  MUST GO!  We rely heavily on morality and that unspoken code of conduct like waiting in queues and opening doors for the elderly.  Some naive people in positions of authority (supermarket stores) think that the Police are going to waltz in and become security guards.  If the stores got trashed on Friday and they’re pissed off about it, then that’s their stupid fault.
+++++I saw parallels between George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and those scenes at the shops on Friday.  There’s a science on crowd behaviour and it’s an interesting one.  Have you noticed the concertina effect on motorways as motorists slow down to see the accident on the opposite side of the road?  This has a major impact kilometres behind the scene and seldom takes minutes to take effect.   Crowds of people are blobs of bacteria that swell and congeal, split off and react differently when in low numbers.  A well placed Tazer with about 110volts going through it might have sorted the disorder out.
+++++I might be speaking out of turn here, but fuck it if I am.  People fighting over a flat screen TV breaks the boundaries of pathetic and I’m pleased we are not in that circle.  I live in the old world where there are manners and politeness – that’s where I’m old fashioned and how I got here.  These people and they are ‘these people’ are opportunist dregs, sets me and my family apart from them, which isn’t a bad thing.
+++++So, the Supermarkets that put these schemes up, spawned from the US Thanksgiving only have themselves to blame.  Sheople will act like sheep and move where the urge is, where the bargains are.  The Zombies of the Romero movies acted in the same manner.  The World influence that is the US is steadily covering the world.  Our TV shows are spawned from US origins, our Legal practitioners are rubbing their hands together at the financial rewards as we stab each other in the back through libel/ civil claims.  Work is being more and more regulated as companies attempt to protect themselves.  First Aid boxes are being removed for fear of misdiagnosis of a band aid.  Our much cherished Common Sense may be under threat.  Couch potatoes are watching more TV as the shows are becoming more entertaining, more sitting down, more obesity and all the while the slim, big earners are looking proverbially down on the lower classes who have been subdued by the intoxicating pull of desire: TVs, fast food, Xbox, Social Media, Football etc etc.
+++++Would communism solve this?  Probably, with a decent, strong leader, but would I want that?  Not really.  I think it’s great we can make it if we want to and that is something I will hold onto.

Quest for the Holy Cash Machine

“Don’t look back in anger…”  That was the line from an Oasis song in the 1990s.  It was also a well used quote from the American writer, James Thurber. “Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”

Not sure what’s going on in Egypt, politically, but I get the gist that it’s an uprising of religion against religion.  It looks like a kickback to a Muslim crusade from the brotherhood there.  You may argue that this has nothing to do with religion, but another oppressive regime with a corrupt, greedy hierarchy – that’s probably true, but those insular, sheltered people in the world will only see what shit the media spews out.

The Crazy fuckers were worse than the republicans.

The Crazy fuckers were worse than the republicans.

The proliferation of bad rep is disastrous to any movement.  So the Muslims of the world got crap for the extremists’ bombings and attacks. The National Socialists around the world got shit for the organised extermination of 6 or 7 million people.  Catholics in Northern Ireland may have gotten a bad rep through the IRA’s attacks and the crazy Loyalist Paramilitaries didn’t help the Protestants either.  Tarnishing people with the same ‘brush’ is something ignorant people will do – there’s a reason why we seldom have these people in positions of authority.

There’s another scratch on the Equality Nazi’s Baseball bat for women.  The magazines, Loaded, Nuts etc etc are to be covered up in the Co-op shop.  The over-sensitive population of Britain are offended by scantily clad women on the covers.  Fuck me!  Why don’t we get all our women to wear Burkhas then?  There’s a notch for the Equality Baseball bat.  First of all, they put them on the top shelf… so younguns couldn’t get an eyeful, next they sit them behind the Country File magazines, then they’re covered over so you can’t see the front cover.

I heard a Radio 4 chat show that had this woman in her late 60s talk about being a Life Art Model.  She sounded well spoken – whatever that means – and mentioned that the act of standing naked in front of an audience of artists as they painted you was a learning experience for yourself.  I suppose it’s a liberating and confidence boosting experience.  The 67 year old later said she even did some ‘Glamour Modelling’.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that called ‘Soft Porn’ in the 1980s?  Wasn’t the Playboy magazine a ‘Glamour Magazine’?  We’re getting to the Normative/ Applied Ethics bit here aren’t we?  I’m sure that’s soft porn – but because it’s on Radio 4, it’s okay.  Interesting.  If that was broadcasted or shown on the ‘Dave’ channel – maybe it would be construed as porn – or if the model’s accent was Brummie or Geordie or Glasweigian.

I came back from Zakho having tried to locate a cashpoint.  In the UK or the USA they’re everywhere, but in Zakho when I asked my driver to take me to the nearest cashpoint I got a funny look from him.  “We do not have ATM here.”

I laughed.  Then I could see he was being serious.  No cashpoints!?  I thought this was free Iraq – free and developing with all its flashy cheap pickup trucks and chryslers.  A black police car is called an Obama for some reason, over here.  “You must have a big bank in the city?”  Wow… a city without a cashpoint.  Imagine that?

He takes me to the ‘Bank of Baghdad’ – I supposed that’s a bit like the Bank of England over here, so it should have a cashpoint.

This is an advert for the Bank of Baghdad.  So where the fuck are your cash machines then!?

This is an advert for the Bank of Baghdad. So where the fuck are your cash machines then!?

Shouldn’t it?  We barge into the bank like a pair of Bank Robbers – Time was short, I had 40 minutes to get my money and back to the plant.  Three men are sitting behind an ornate glass table, barefooted and in string t-shirts, hardly the banker from the UK, I think.  After 5 minutes of deliberation and hands being waved in the air, articulating directions we’re back in the car and racing through the haphazard roads of Zakho.  The next bank is in the centre of the City and it has ‘Western Union’ stickers on the windows.  Great!  That’s  a good sign.  I enter the marble floored bank and locate a cash machine by the classical pillar.  I fumble for my bank card and walk up to it.Bitterwallet-cockney-cash-machine-500x375

The screen is blank.  Fuck!  Is some twat taking the piss.  And so endeth the quest for the cash machine.  We went back; with no cash and slightly frustrated.  I mean could you ‘adam and eve’ it?  Aye?  No facking cash machine in blaady Zakho!  I was told that the nearest one would be Dohuk – an hour away.  Fucking free Iraq?  My left foot!

Can a 2 year old assume the brace position, in an adult seat, on an aircraft?

That’s me back from Mallorca. “The water in Mayorca, don’t taste like what it outa” – that’s true. The first two days of the holiday were spent dressed like were on dartmoor ready to go out an go hiking the moors. It pissed down for 2 full days. What the fuck is wrong with the island? It’s a stone’s throw away from Africa. I felt like complaining to the Hotel staff.

What struck me as odd in this little island was the disproportionality of Spaniards (Mallorcians) to Germans to British. There’s a secret war of colonialism going on here. The Bosh are taking the Mediterranean Islands one by one, doing the job they didn’t complete back int he 1940s. The Germans have already took over Europe’s administration and financial functionality. You can ask the leader of the UKIP – he’ll back me up.

We went to two aquariums in Palma, the second one being the best with its sharks. We spent most of the holiday driving to different parts of the Island. A lot of the people in the hotel were having an all inclusive holiday which made us the outcasts. Everytime we went to the minidisco the bartender had to fuck off upstairs to get change for the money I gave him. Their till was upstairs and not where the bar was downstairs – they assumed everybody was all inclusive. Well, for two days those people were stuck in the hotel with rainfall, bored shitless.

The sun decided to hop on over from the African continent and burn Mallorca on Tuesday and we decided to have a break from driving. I think I was first in the pool and it was freezing! You can’t just walk in. You’ve got to dive in. If you walk in, you’ll never get in. A bit like ripping a plaster off. Speaking of plasters… we could have done with a few of those. My little girl gave herself a little bruise on her head, then twice scraped the skin of her knee. My son slipped over on the wet floor outside – after I told him several times not to run (my H&S head on). I’m surprised the Mallorcan social services didn’t pay us a visit.

The missus decided to complain about an ambient noise that kept waking my daughter up. The manager came up and said he couldn’t hear anything – said it was probably the air conditioning – that didn’t work anyhow. A ‘technician’ came up and said the same. We were offered another room, which we took as it was a stone’s throw from the swimming pool. While my missus was complaining about the noise, I kept on saying ‘it doesn’t matter’, ‘I couldn’t hear anything’ – and she berated me for that. The Russian in her flashed in her eyes and I should have known better. Fuck! That’s my ‘keep calm and carry on’ head on.

The complaint paid off and I enjoyed a Bottle of Champagne two days later, it was accompanied with a note of apology. Much better was the fact that the bottle was Cava/ Brut Champagne – the missus hates Dry Champagne. I don’t like it much, but, fuck it – I drank it anyhow. Tastes better when straight out of the fridge.

On the last day we went to Cala D’Millar Safari where I was attacked by a monkey. It was looking at the bag of food we had. I pointed to it and it ran past me where I sat on the ‘train’ slapping my back. It then ran back and used both hands to slap my head. The dirty fucker had a piss on the seat before us.

I see this every morning after the attack....

I see this every morning after the attack….

We were on a trailer being towed by a man who wore an automatic pistol – he was taking us on the safari and to the play park where the crocodiles were.

We had out photograph taken with a lion and we even got to stroke the beast. The missus was a little scared but got over it. Still. You never know. 15 Euros for a photo – that wasn’t too bad to have it with a Lion.

The flight back from Mallorca prompted me to put in a complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority, after contacting Thomas Cook. We have a 2 year old girl who is pretty small. It was insisted she sit in her own seat, despite being allowed to be strapped to her mother on the way over to Mallorca. It seemed that different air crew had different rules. The rules for children around the 2 year mark become greyed as the responsibility is transferred to the airline. We put her in her own seat, which was too large for her and strapped in an inadequate seat belt designed for adults. She squirmed around and screamed until the seatbelt light flickered off. Two hours later she was asleep soundly and the seatbelt light came on, as we began our descent to Birmingham. The air stewardess asked the missus to put our daughter in her own seat. The air stewardess reminded me of those automatons you get at American Airports : all smiles and no common sense. We warned her that she would scream the entire plane down until we finished taxiing. The air stewardess, like a professional followed protocol and repeated that she needed to be in her own seat. So for the next 30 minutes we had to wrestle with a traumatised, screaming and kicking girl to keep her still. She screamed all the way down and it sounded like the remake of the Exorcist. I understand there’s a safety element here and I should know better as a H&S, but… the seat was inadequate to support her and the seatbelt did nothing to support her. In the event of a crash on the ground, she would slip through, which she did several times on the descent. Two year olds shouldn’t be on the on their own and for the air stewardess to come out with ‘accountability’ – that’s just horse shit. A booster seat – fuck the space on the plane, money pinching cunts. Sorry – did I just say that? I remember when you could just buy a ticket and not worry about all the ‘extras’ – thanks to the US. They say it’s so you can customize the flight to your needs. Bullshit. There isn’t a fucking in flight meal! Not that I rated them highly anyhow. Sorry, booster seats, yes – they should be provided and if space is an issue to store them – then get inflatable booster seats!! I should patent that. Either that or get that strap for the child so that they can be secured to the mother. Brace position? True, the mother will not make the brace position, but neither would the child on their own. The child wouldn’t give a monkey’s fart about bracing because the fucking seat is too big!! The mother will naturally want to protect their child and world would go to shit. One word for this… Fucking bollocks.

I complained to Thomas Cook and they passed the book to CAA. I filled in their online form and I doubt anything’s going to get done as I need to attach the letter of complaint that Thomas Cook say they don’t want because it takes too long. One thing I will not be doing in future is flying Thomas Cook and phoning the airline up prior to booking a holiday. Nuff said. Scuze the grammar.

The Iron Lady, Zombie Epidemics and Conspiracy Theories

This week has been pretty significant for me.  I finished my job two days ago and am now floating in space to the next space station in free motion.  These ‘space stations’ have paid for my accommodation and car and secured my family.  This limbo is something I’m not used to, the only constant is time to the next ‘station’ – that’s only 3 weeks away.  I’ve never been jobless before.  I am now… not claiming benefits or anything, because I don’t need to.  But I will, fucking right – I’ve never been out of work and I served 22 years in the Army.  That was my choice, I admit and I didn’t have to do it, but I’ve also paid 22 years worth of Income Tax.  Not sure why I’m justifying my right to any sort of benefit.

Margaret Thatcher died last week as well.  I saw an old army colleague carry her coffin.  It seems ironic I used to give him the nickname ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.  He cut an impressive edge to the display and pomp of the ceremony.  He should be proud to have been chosen out of the (now dwindling) 80,000 Army personnel.  What I want to know is, why was it so expensive?  I’ve been told of figures of £10m. thatcher1 Why 10 million?  That’s a lot of cash.  Who’s going to benefit from this cash?  Can we see the productivity of this cash now?  Might as well have chucked it away or burnt it.  I mean no disrespect to the ‘Iron Lady’, but what good did the £10m do her?  Did she plan to pay for the whole funeral, like the rest of the population?  I gather some may been incurred, but £10m..  Come on…  In the current financial climate, when we’re trying to fix the country’s deficit (whatever the fuck that means) by imposing austerity measures we find the government cutting funds to Non-governmental educational bodies like OU and cutting benefits to families that actually do need it most.  They make all the cuts, shutting down factories that employ disadvantaged people etc and then fork out £10m for a corpse to be burnt and there was even a proposal to buy the queen huge fucking liner – she had the common sense to turn the idiotic notion down.

Back to Maggie.  What did she do in the 1980s.  She stopped the fucking milk!  I remember queuing up for those little bottles when I was 7.  Can’t believe it.  She stopped our milk.  Despite a lot of opposition she sent the British Forces umpteen thousand miles south to kick a load of Argies from a rock full of Penguins, Sheep and British settlers.  Three years later she began to close fossil fuel mines all over the country.  Whole societies came crumbling down, people naturally migrate to places of work and when the mines went, so did the people.  The only common bond here was a lack of work for those that stayed.  I remember seeing whole estates being boarded up where I used to live with my grandparents.  Boarded up after being vacated.  A lot more people began to sniff glue.  It was more noticeable in the mid 1980s.

But like they say, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.  Societies like these were the eggs, but what the fuck was or is the Omelette?  Was there some utopia on the horizon; a world of renewable energy?  Not sure where she got the notion of shutting down mines, but these societies (that were bastions of dreams, memories and some legends) have been reforming for thousands of years.  It is no surprise that this would happen.  I see now, even in the streets of Rugby, in the midlands some people are withdrawn into their ‘spaces’, their own worlds.  Talking into their mini Ipods and smart phones and tablets; it’s only the older generation I see who frequent the Market on a Saturday morning and chatter, squabble and hark out their prices.  If we look at the generations of people as stratum in a layer of bedrock, you’ll see changes in the colour, when things happened in that timeline.  Trends and attitudes, some blending like the colours of rainbows or accents of languages.  I find that the UK follows the USA.  In 2010 whilst in New York, there were many people locked in their own frantic world, talking to the space in front of them.  Seemingly disconnected conversations with ghosts.  In the UK I see that the average ‘joe’ on the street is doing it now.  A bit like a zombie epidemic.

So… I’ve gone from an Iron Lady, an Omelette, Renewable Energy to a Zombie epidemic.  Fuck me.

I got lost somewhere.  What the fuck was I talking about?

That dude in Boston.  I heard a former School colleague on the radio talk about the surviving brother.  She said he was a good man and was nearly in tears.  She questioned the logic of how someone could be so different.  The gist of it was, she still thinks he’s a good man inside, but wonders why he did what he did.  The mother claimed it to be an FBI cover up.Conspiracy_Theory  If the FBI did do the bombing, the question is, why a Boston Marathon?  What purpose?  Conspiracy theories abound with every tragedy from The Falklands War, Moon Landings, 9/11, Iraq Invasion etc etc… the question is… Okay, so if these were done on purpose, planned or fakes, why?  What was the real reason?  Conspiracy theorists need to start looking at both sides of the story and become ambivalent, unbiased or else you begin to look a little crazy.  I don’t believe there’s an organisation called Al Qaeda – I think that’s just bullshit – ease of reference to any crazy group who wants to martyr themselves.  Moon landings probably did happen – the US could have bluffed it and let the USSR do the whole thing themselves and that would have fucked them over financially.  9/11 – by some covert US black ops…  Don’t think so.  We’re all human at the end of the day and to have 2.5k deaths on our conscience is likely to drive you a little mad.  It’s likely to leak out to the press as well.   Iraq Invasion?  Shite intelligence, though Saddam did have weapons of Mass Destruction – he had blister agent.  We’ve got that shit as well, so has the US – why doesn’t somebody come and invade us for a change.  The French did the UK successfully just under 1000 years ago.  Lady Di is a favourite of mine – she was bumped off by the Queen because she was with some Arab, didn’t want Arab blood in the family.  Insane bullshit.


Remploy, Nazi style mass extermination, shit and broken boilers

A bit of a busy week with contractors and shit.  Yes, shit.  First thing I get on a Monday morning is that the Boiler has fucking broken down. Again.  It was only fixed 3 weeks ago.

Any idea what this is?

Any idea what this is?

I bet there’s a little device that all Boiler repairmen know of that sets off 3 weeks after they’ve gone.  It goes off and malfunctions a random part of the boiler.  I’m not the Repair man, not the Maintenance Guy, I’m not a gutter cleaner, I’m not a dead cat collector and I’m also not someone who is paid to clear other people’s shit from the Toilet when they can’t be arsed to use a brush.  But, I have done all these things and cleared shit on more than one occasion.  The very fact that I’m a Health & Safety Officer means I get lumbered with all sorts of problems which makes my day a lot different.

I’ve also got some work in for E book conversion.  I’m good at converting to Kindle and I want to broaden my horizons.  I’m gonna take on the mantle of other E Book readers.  The likes of Nook, Kobo and Barnes & Noble are going to be my other arenas.  I’m getting a little hooked on Photoshop now and have bought Filter Forge 3 which has some awesome effects.

I’ve been trying to get a book onto the Smashwords Premium Catalog and like fuck can I get on it.  I’m getting a fucking copyright error all the time despite using successful copyright pages from other books and superimposing them with the author’s name.  I might just sack that idea and stick with other vendors such as B&N, Nook, Kobi and Kindle – they’ll do.  I know Smashwords do everything, but their Meatgrinder just messes the entire process up.

I’ve just been called a wanker by Martin who works on the shop floor.  I get that a lot, but it’s all banter around here.  I’m in a unique factory in that it solely employs people with disabilities.  Unfortunately the government is pulling the plug on this fine establishment.  The organisation was brought into being by a Labour MP in 1945 to cater for wounded soldiers and miners.  The ethos of the organisation was to help create work for those who would not find work otherwise.  The ethos has been lost somewhere, I think it was lost in the 90s sometime and it’s now driven by profit and it’s also top heavy with senior, over paid management.

It’s a bit like being in prison here.  I ask, “What’s he here for?” You’d expect something like aggravated assault, or armed robbery, but you would get, “Oh, Bill.  One evening back in 1997 he parked his motorbike up outside his house and was jumped on by a load of kids.   They kicked him within an inch of his life.  Hasn’t been the same since.  They say he worked at Barclays on their IT section.”  I look over to Bill who stoops over the workbench and packs two bolts into a plastic bag, seals it, puts a label on it and places it with meticulous care into a cardboard box.  He’s been doing this job for most of the day as it is all he can manage.  What was he like pre-1997?  It’s like the kids had killed him, they did.  He came back unable to carry on at the Bank due to cognitive problems.

“What about him?”  I point to another, who’s at the smoking shelter.  He holds a cigar in a metal claw that is affixed to the remainder of his arm.

“That’s Rob.  He woke up in hospital one time after there was something wrong with his blood.  He woke and he had no arms or legs.  Used to own a business.  Couldn’t keep the business up, couldn’t drive  a car.  What use are you, if you can’t drive a car?”

“Yeah, I see your point,” I say.

“Yeah.  Business folded and he came here.”

You look around the whole factory and you could see tragedy.  You could see poor, problematic, disabled people.  But you shouldn’t.  The employees here don’t want that.  They want quality of life and this is the place for them.

Where is this place?  Answers on a postcard.

Where is this place? Answers on a postcard.

The Government is attempting to put them into mainstream employment when most able bodied people struggle to find work anyhow.  They will lose this socially beneficial concept when the Factory closes and die slowly, in their houses: some of them, alone.  Adolf Hitler did this on an efficient scale, our government are doing this insidiously and it will happen slowly.  The figures will be buried under all the bullshit and hype.  The hype that one or two will find work in mainstream employment.

You teach an employee how to use a pump truck.  It takes 10 minutes and a simple certificate makes them smile.  It’s that sense of achievement they feel within the factory – they wouldn’t get that out there, they’d be victimised and bullied.  At least here, there is no discrimination or Hate crime.  There’s always a flip side to the argument.  Some people say our employees shouldn’t be herded into sheltered employment.  But the disabilities that these people have would offer them no chance in the big, bad world.  There’s an anchoring sense of comfort to be with your colleagues, working to produce the equipment and goods they do.  Many of them live with their parents and depend on them.  Shutting down this ‘burden’ will increase the weight of responsibility onto the tax payer – benefits will be claimed.  Maybe it’s a ploy to send these people off into the lonely abyss of their homes and to wither and die so soon before their time. remploy_2 Work, keeps you alive, society keeps you alive.  Married couples usually die within close proximity in time to each other.  You take someone from work like this and you are removing the oxygen from their brain.  For those of you who don’t know what this organisation is.  It’s called Remploy – re employ.

Well that’s the ebook conversion done and I found out that the Copyright error was a bug in Smashwords Autovetting process.  I think they’ve sorted it now as the book has been accepted and onto the premium catalog.  Anyone out there need anything converting can just come and speak to me.  I could do with the extra cash.  I do a pretty good job of it as well.

Cut out the middle man

I cancelled my Critical Illness insurance the other day.  I kept getting these phone calls from people claiming to give me a better deal.  Soon I was getting Policy documentation and schedules and cancellations letters.  In the end I tore everything up and got on the blower and cancelled everything.  The people giving me the insurance weren’t the only people I dealt with- there seemed to be agencies and layers of organisations that dealth with handling of customers.  What a lot of these people kept on asking me was, ‘did the last broker ask about my medical history?’  One of the brokers or agents had obtained my information illegally and another was suing the other.  I got slightly confused as who I was dealing with and decided yesterday to go to my bank instead and get the insurance out with them.

We seem to have lost that personal one-to-one contact and rely on other people to handle the paperwork.  It’s the same with applying for jobs.  I’m already in a job and pretty happy despite the uncertainty of the factory’s future, but I’m actively searching for a better deal.  I get phone calls from agencies that tell me I’m suited for a particular job.  On one occasion I was driving home and told the agent I would be home in 10 minutes, he said he would call me then, but didn’t.  This leads me to believe that it’s a numbers game and the more legitimate candidates that a company gets the better they do.  A lot of websites rely on the jobless for their survival.  Offers to check your CV, or they’ve already checked it, but they can improve it.

“On a scale of 1 – 30 you’ve scored 19, but we can get you up to 30!  Just sign up to one of our schemes and we’ll ensure you have a professional CV.  Bronze, Silver or Gold.  Only £29.99 a month for Bronze….”

You are kept in a perpetual state of jobless limbo, forever relying on these firms to improve your chances of getting a job etc etc.  Take a 2 hour course in interviewing techniques for only £150 or buy an online book….  The desperate jobless are throwing all this money away when they could be buying a pint of milk with it.

What I’m planning to do it tart my CV up and send it direct to a firm’s HR.  What many of these Agencies do is not reveal the identity of the organisation they’re advertising the vacancy for so you cannot go direct.