Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Corporate Nonsense

Several years ago when I was a manager working for a government fascilities management contractor, I wrote a post about it on this blog and thought no more about it. However, my bosses got hold of it and before I knew it I was called into the office and taken to task over it. As I was in danger of being sacked, I reluctantly agreed to take it down, along with another post about the outlandish behaviour and rudeness to me of one of my management colleagues. I never named him and I didn't name the company I was working for. Even so, best to be on the safe side! 

I have now been retired for eight years, so I'll write what the hell I like and it won't get taken down, not by me anyway. Apart from the post about my colleague, I was really taking a pop at the utter waste of time of management meetings, at least the type which we were having then. I was a manager of a media department and this particular meeting was with the contract manager and all the other departmental managers. I sat there for about 2 or so hours hearing other managers going on about their issues which had absolutely nothing to do with me. Why should it be a concern of mine if the admin manager was having an issue with getting mats for the swimming pool - for instance. These meetings happened regularly and acheived nothing. It was just another tick in the box for the benefit of the contract manager and it looked good on his monthly report to the contract monitoring team. Some time later at another meeting I fell to sleep  - I just couldn't stay awake. We were in a hot stuffy room, and at the time the supply manager was droning on about something he could no doubt have sorted out  by a quick email or phone call to his manager. My own very caring boss (not) insisted afterwards that I had to email everyone present at the meeting and apologise for my indiscretion. I doubt whether he would have done the same if it had been the other way around.

Eventually, when I was really getting to the end of my tether with the job, and there were a variety of reasons for this, I sat and took stock of what I actually did which was useful and constructive. I also took stock of the way certain staff were making my life a misery. I dreaded Monday mornings coming around. At least two of my staff were complete psychos and didn't give a momkey's stuff about what the effects of their actions were having on me, or anyone else for that matter. I had tried doing useful and constructive things to benefit and take the department forward, but my own boss, gave me zero support. I had been very enthusiastic and keen when I was originally promoted to the position, but in the end it was all just drained and sucked out of me. I decided that it was all  pointless, and not worth the hassle, so I decided on a time scale after which I would hand in my notice. From making the decision and leaving, I just did what I absolutely had to and no more. I took a book into work and just sat in the privacy of my office reading  most of the time. I always felt the job was vacuous, and this point was proved when the company never bothered to replace me after I had left, though they were a really tight-arsed company and would do anything to save a penny.

Since I have retired, I have never missed it for one second. I still have friends who are even today working there, but my life has been much richer, happier and varied for leaving. I am never stuck for anything to do, and I am working voluntarily in a number of activities with people who actually appreciate "what I bring to the table" so to corporate speak!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Think of Something.....Quick!

This evening I am sat here again with a blank virtual sheet in front of me wondering what to write about. I've been wondering this for most of the day, and still am. 

I have read somewhere that writing regularly is a discipline. Probably the best book I have read on the subject is by Stephen King, the horror author. The book is called "On Writing" - What else?? I guess it didn't take him all night to think that title up! The thing I like about King is that he writes just what he thinks, and it comes across pretty much like he's talking directly to you. He doesn't mince his words, but he's not crude. I have read a few of his books including "Carrie" which is the first novel he got accepted for publication together with a substantial cheque which was a great thing for him as he was struggling financially at the time. And then later he sold the film rights, published a zillion other novels and the rest is history. I suppose therefore I would strongly recommend you get a copy of "On Writing"if you are interested in writing yourself, which not only gives you fantastic advice on how to write, but also speaks of his earlier struggle as an English teacher to get his first book written and published. I leave it to you, dear reader, to judge whether I have learnt anything from it myself!

Keeping on the subject of writing, I write a daily diary detailing all the things I have done that day. This can be very helpful as it concentrates the mind, gets you away from Facebook or any other trashy social media, gives you a record of your life, provides a great reference if you are trying to remember what you were doing on a certain day and gives your loved ones a record of your life when you finally shake off this mortal coil. It can also provide a good defence if you get arrested for a crime you didn't commit! On top of all that, I find it cathartic in that if something has upset me or wound me up during that day, I can get it off my chest to my diary before I go to bed. This has become such a ritual for me that I don't feel the day is complete until I have written it. Also, I don't type it but physically write it with a fountain pen, and each entry is up to around 400 words long which roughly equates to about one page of A4. The act of writing with a pen is a great thing in itself in this day of keyboards both physical and virtual. I don't use long hand as my writing is very scruffy, so I am in the habit of writing in block capitals, which I suppose is a bit lazy, but I just find it seems to suit me.

I like to read other people's blogs and notice that there are a great many different styles of blog out there. One type is a bit like writing  a daily diary. I would prefer not to write in this way, its just not my style. However I would like to recommend one particular expositor of this blogging style, and that is "Katyboo1's Weblog".  You can find it on Word Press, or just Google it.  Its brilliant and this lady has a great gift for blogging, and it is never dull. I am one of her greatest fans!

Well the time is getting on. It will soon be time for bed - I have another busy day tomorrow, and I need to write my diary........

Monday, July 26, 2021

Well hello Again....

 Given 2017 was a fair while ago, I thought it was about time I let everyone know that I am still alive and kicking. I am still alive and now you know!

A lot has happened in my life since 2017, too much to go on about here. Anyway, that would be way too boring.

As I get older, and at the moment I feel pretty ancient, I appreciate that time is precious especially when I realise there is a lot less of it ahead of it ahead of me than than there is behind me. With this in mind, I felt it increasingly important to procrastinate less, and get my backside in gear and do stuff.  I also have fewer teeth than in 2017, by the way.....just thought I'd slip that in!!! 

Photography is still an important part of my life, which is not surprising when you consider it was my profession the whole of my working life. Just lately I have had a hankering to go back to film. To those who don't know what the hell film is (yes.......I've met one), its what we used before digital and it was made of celluloid or some such material. Now the great thing about film is that it lasts virtually forever, it's tactile and easy to my case in transparent sleeves. I have dragged my old Nikon 35mm SLR camera out, bought some black and white film and am now nearly at the end of firing off the last few frames of the 36 available exposures on the roll. I must say, I have very much enjoyed getting out with it. It has no auto focus, auto exposure or auto anything for that matter. Its quite heavy, and weighs a ton in comparison with my digital SLR. It has a fixed standard lens, and I don't have a wide angle or a telephoto lens for it.....yet. Anyway, rather than drone on about this any longer I'll leave it at that for the moment until I've got it processed, although I do feel a bit of a rebel sticking one finger up at digital!

I am very pleased the legalities of wearing a mask or social distancing have at last been dropped, but I know a lot don't agree with me on this one. I noted today from The Times that the infection rates are dropping rapidly which is excellent news. However, on the other side of the coin scientists have ascertained that farting in toilets spreads the virus! I guess I'd better just shove a cork in it!