Wednesday, 27 January 2016

More than their job's worth

I've just lost another 2 followers and I thought that the Google purge was over, so this may actually be an indication of some offence caused, or - more likely - the onset of boredom due to my repeating myself. Hey Ho (Copyright J. Gray, 1982).

My life is ruled by petty Jobsworths right now. A lethal combination of overly officious security staff and a woman whose sole reason for living is to enforce tighter and tighter H&S regulations means that I have not been able to earn a penny since the end of last Summer. I am not joking.

In about two weeks, I will be unable to earn yet another penny, as I am committed to attending jury service on pain of prosecution for contempt of court, so things are not looking too good on the 'feeding myself' front in the immediate future.

The more I get involved in other people's working environments, the more I understand why I have kept myself a free agent for over 40 years, and the more I regret getting myself involved in other people's working environments. I have been saying this for years, but now - more than ever before - I know this to be true: I am unemployable, despite what I have to offer to any potential employers.

I say to my client something like, "Do you think it would be a good idea to have one of these/make one of these/restore this...?" and he says, "Wonderful idea, please do!"

So I set about doing the thing he has so enthusiastically asked me to do, then I hit a series of brick walls in human form.

"You cannot come on site without Hi-Viz." Fine, I will don Hi-Viz.

"You cannot operate that tool without an extraction-system". Fine, I will get it installed.

"You cannot operate that tool."

"Why not?"

"Because the brand new extraction system has broken down".

"Ok, I will do it outside."

"No you won't."

"Ok. I have been given that lock-up. Please give me the keys to it."

The 'keys' turn out to be electronic sensors which only work after being programmed, and even then, only work between 6.30am and 6.30pm - only if you have them re-programmed every day by security... All I need is a fucking padlock, especially as the shed is behind a set of tank-proof gates which are under surveillance 24 hours a day by a team of ex SAS soldiers.

As far as I know, my client is entirely unaware of all this, but I am - through a separate agent - about to make him aware.

I would very much like to spend all day in bed - just the once - at the moment.


48 comments:

  1. Tom, I know EXACTLY how you feel my friend. It's funny, but I have also just lost two followers.

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    1. By exactly, I was referring to all the bloody stupid HSE red tape that makes work impossible.

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    2. So far, it has set me back 3 weeks on one little job.

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  2. Oh welcome to the world of health and safety. It's integral to working life now. Probably more has been gained because of it but every now and then it goes too far. We aren't insured if we carry drinks on the stairs. If someone slips on a spillage we made we are personally liable where I work and not the company.

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    1. Yes, not only is the litigation passed on to the claimant, but the enforcement of the rules is also delegated to the defendant. Failure to abide by the rules is another responsibility for which the owner of the property is liable. The people who make up the rules sit around in offices and only leave them with a clip-board in their hands.

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  3. Easy to see why my brothers retired from farming isn't it? The HSE could ring and give you 30 minutes notice that they were on their way. An hour later all the equipment you had been using happily for 50 years, including fork lifts, is condemned.

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    1. Hundreds of small abattoirs were condemned because their ceilings were 1 inch too low, and this was for the sake of 'animal welfare'. Now many animals have to travel 100 miles in a cramped lorry to be 'humanely' killed.

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    2. We used to be livestock hauliers. In the 1960s I knew where all the abattoirs were in Birmingham, and London and the East Midlands and would travel with my brother. Most of them are now closed.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Damn autocorrect! What I tried to say earlier is that I lost 2 followers yesterday. And that your "Hey ho" made me laugh.

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  5. Like Anna, I think health and safety regulations have saved a huge number of deaths and injuries, but as you can say they can be taken too far. The relative benefit has to be set against the cost, the inconvenience, the time-wasting etc.

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    1. I know these things began as a way of genuinely improving situations, but it has become an industry within itself now, and nothing which works well is left alone for too long, otherwise they would be out of a job.

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  6. The follower glitch continues
    Ive lost 40 odd

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    1. No, they just didn't like dog shit, that's all.

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  7. I'm just waiting for someone to turn-up and tell me that I can no longer use my chain saw. If anything's dangerous it's that, but we saw away to our heart's content, knowing that the H & S people have better things to do (like telling you to wear a Hi-Viz
    jacket).

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    1. It would be economically inefficient to drive all the way out to you unless it was to impose a hefty fine for ignoring a phone call.

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  8. Re followers Tom - i never look at mine so wouldn't know whether I have lost or gained followers.
    Health and safety is sometimes the world gone mad but at other times it saves lives.

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  9. I have lost 6 today, so I counted all the boxes and blogger folk are still not right it needs to be 3 less than what they are showing - ah'! who cares.

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  10. H & S sounds horrible. The world has gone mad and yes, something is up with the followers thingy. I lost 5 overnight.

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  11. I've just lost another load of followers Tom ...... I was nearly up to two thousand and now I'm under one thousand eight hundred !!!!! This is what Blogger says :
    Dear bloggers,
    As we mentioned some weeks ago, starting this week, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. To follow a blog via Google Friend Connect now, readers will need a Google Account (the same they use for Gmail or YouTube). There will be no need for readers to be signed in, or to have a Google+ profile.
    What does this mean for you and your blog? We’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count
    What can you do now? You should encourage your users to re-follow your blog using a Google account. Another way to allow users to follow your blog is with the “Follow by Email” gadget, which requires you to set up Feedburner. By subscribing to your blog, readers will be notified via e-mail every time there is a new post.
    We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers !!!!!!!
    I can't bloody see how it's bloody going to bloody improve my bloody experience !!!!
    Bloody 'elf and safety !!!!
    I've never been called for Jury service { you watch, I shall now get a letter !! } but my mum had a case about Triad murders ..... very interesting, but it's not going to pay the bills !! XXXX

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    1. Thank you to clear that, Jackie! I am so vexed with all those attempts to sniff out every breath you take - until they take over our persona!

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    1. Have another look .... I think you'll find that you have !!!!! XXXX

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  13. I'm intrigued by your clients....

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    1. It's going to have to stay that way, Libby.

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  14. Yes, another one gone here. Thanks to Jacqueline, I now understand why. The reason is as stupid as your H&S regs.

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    1. This is like a roulette wheel. I am down five total, but have two new in the widget.

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    2. Both Mac and Google are making big changes, stripping out dead wood because they don't want to pay for security updates on 'obsolete' O.S. systems. They are also under pressure to make the renewal of those systems impossible, so that we are forced to buy new computers. Mac are now supposed to give O.S. upgrades for free, but trying downloading them if your machine is over 8 years old. Meanwhile, we are all at the mercy of scammers and hackers, because they refuse to give us security updates on old systems. It is their way of saying, 'Buy a new machine or you're on your own, sucker'.

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  15. I'd better get over to my teaching blog quick or my students will have an excuse to not do the homework which is posted there.

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  16. I'm sure your significant other will keep you housed and fed. Good job you've saved so much over the years thought!

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    1. Maybe I will start up a teaching blog in my old age.

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  17. I'm still here . I think Australia must be the most regulised country, we have laws for everything. Bureaucracy at its worst here.

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  18. I'll reply to the rest of you kind people tomorrow, thank you. Tonight I am devoting myself to and all-night vigil, praying for the speedy recovery of Rachel.

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  19. When I worked, for many years there was a perfectly OK kettle in the kitchen to make hot drinks. H&S then gave us a " thing" on the wall, where you have to hold the cup underneath and pull a little handle to get boiling water into your mug. The instant hot water was a plus, but it often splashed on the teabag and thus on one's hand which was necessarily holding the mug!!

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    1. I never used to hit my head on scaffold until I was forced to wear a hard-hat. Also, you bend over the side to talk to someone on the ground and the hat falls off. The guys on the ground have to wear hard hats to protect them from falling hard hats.

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  20. I haven't lost followers, I only have one who snubs me , but I can live with that: I found out that those who dish out seldom can take it.
    H&S I had to look up - yes, bureaucracy gets crazy. I think in most aereas of living people get so utterly anxious that they want to control all and everything by regulations - even what you eat.
    I am troubled by your loss of clients/work, Tom - much more than by losing followers. I saw some of your work in Bath - so good. Hope that the situation will get better!

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    1. The trouble is that these people justify their existence and livelihood by continually making themselves the last word in authority.

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  21. Sorry, but I will have to get back to the rest of you over the weekend. I'm running out of time. Just one word, though. They refused to allow me to re-site a bright red fire alarm, despite the fact that there is another within 15 feet of it. I pointed out that this was a private fucking house, but they said no again. The owner took one look at it and said 'Move it!' so they did. They know who pays their wages.

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