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Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap

Redundancy, it’s a bit of a hot potato in the UK at the moment, everytime you pick up a paper or watch the news another company is calling in the administrators.

For those it affects, it is the worst time, I have had this happen to me in the past, it doesn’t just affect you, but your family, your outlook, your attitude.

More companies are seeing this as the only alternative during the world wide economic downturn, we have lost quite a few household high street names recently, Woolworths, Adams, MFI, Whittards and Roseburys, all have closed totally or have left just a few of the high performing stores open to try and make the business viable to a buyer or have had to find buyers very quickly.

My brother has just had the threat of redundancy again hoisted above his head, this is the third time in a year, the first two times by the company he works for, the last time, this week, as the company is a supplier to a larger company who want to ‘streamline’ the business, it means they will lose part of a contract, meaning job losses.

This is a global problem, and one where I do not believe quick fixes are the answer.
The British government decided to drop VAT (Value added tax) on everything that is subject to it, most things except children’s clothes and shoes, by 2.5%, meaning it went from 17.5% to 15%, where it was a few years ago. This meant a whopping £2.50 off every £100 you spent, err, that didn’t get me, or many other people running to the shops shouting ‘Spend, I must spend’

Next cunning plan, the interest rate is now 1.5%, great for those with a tracker mortgage, bad for savers, like myself though, this has meant my ISA, will pretty much gain no interest for the next 3 months.
I am not alone, a friend has his pension linked to the Bank of England rate, it is currently linked at 1.5% below the base rate, he is getting nothing from it until they change this, again he is not alone, as this is what his company did some years ago when the rate was a lot higher, he isn’t thinking about spending any money, as he pretty much has none.

This is a global problem, but what is the cause?? We have heard that the banks are to blame, Governments, even we ourselves are to blame for spending too much!!, whatever the reason for it, we are feeling the affects in every level of society.

Figures released yesterday suggested that the retail sector had it’s worst December for a number of years, friends who have pubs are saying that takings from 1st October to January 2nd were 25% down on the same period last year, traditionally one of the busiest, this does not take into account the additional 2.5% drop from the VAT decrease
It hasn’t helped that we have just had one of the coldest few weeks since 2001, temperatures dropping as low as -10 in some areas, we had -6 one night, putting pressure on us all when the heating bills are due, it is all doom and gloom with little respite insight, all we can do is baton down the hatches and hope it’s all over soon.

Thunderstruck

As regular readers will know, I have been struggling with getting some training done that has been asked for by people where I work.
After being given the brief, oh yeah it was, and having at least three false starts, not my fault, but finally just before Christmas the first of these was started.

They were instigated to be ‘refresher training’ for all staff that use the database system, to show them all where common errors have been happening, and also so misconceptions about the data, and the information that needs to be added.

All in all they have been going well, hard work as they have consisted of two parts, a presentation and then a practical exercise, having to split this bit into two rooms has meant rather than just me doing it all, I have had to enlist the help of others, who have not been that interested in doing it.

When this was first mooted, the plan was that I would do the first one, then others should actually be doing the rest, as well as getting involved with doing it as well.

This has not happened, of the 8 that have taken place, only in 1 instance has one of the others there are 3, actually joined in despite being reminded, and told, and told, and reminded and in only one instance has someone else actually taken a session.

Ok, I here you cry, is that not your fault for doing them, yeah, possibly, but it really does tick me off when senior management want this done, and they want certain people to be running them, then allow them not to bother.

The feedback from the sessions by the people who have attended has been good, and I am pleased that they all seem to have responded well, but that doesn’t really halt the fact that this has been hard work for me.

I had to write the initial presentation, as well as devise the practical exercise, after the pilot, this was largely rewritten, again by me, we little or no input from the others, this is despite me emailing them the presentation to look at, and comment on, on three separate occasions, and me sitting in a meeting with two of them and saying I have already done this, when asked, and have had no feedback.

I didn’t arrange the room bookings or collate the ‘invites’, this was handled by someone, else, but only because I refused to do that as well.

I have arranged the laptops and set them up and dismantled them for all the sessions, and I have printed hand outs, exercise sheets, also laminated them, questionnaires, and as yet, I am still to receive any thanks, apart from a small well done after the first, from anybody, ok training is part of my role, but not when it isn’t even my training to do.

Rant over…….

A final note, for those that want to know this stuff, the headings are AC/DC track names, the title comes from all of the Star Wars Films and is said by various people.

Thanks for listening, and in the words of the late great General Custer, ‘Little Big Horn, that’s a great name for a brothel.’

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