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Work in the future? - part two

My second-in-line floor manager pulled me aside to ask what I was talking to the big guy about yesterday. When I told her, her response was "I hope you said no!". Before I had a chance to think about what exactly she meant, she volunteered "We want you here... with us!". I asked if she'd wish for me to stay on with them... "absolument".
What a nice early birthday present - a strong vote of confidence. I guess what I am doing is perceived as useful after all? ☺ Another bit of good news, these cack hours are because of the workload for Christmas. As of January the hours will be about 8am to 6pm. Normal hours! There's a leeway of about an hour either side, they've not decided yet.
The bad news? The production staff is two teams of 35 people. This will be pared down to one team of 35. Normally this would be "oh well, byebye", but given the discussion mentioned above, I have a feeling I may be retained to do the cleaning-up.
Further to this, I had a brief chat about the possible new hours with second-in-charge and he was openly saying about maybe they'll have a plan for Monday. Never did he say anything like "why? you won't be here". Fingers crossed.

Why fingers crossed? The job isn't so bad. I think when you get into the routine of things you fit in better and it all comes together into a pattern. This means I get on with my job and can, to a degree, work autonymously. Oh, and I'll have been four months on menage without quitting. I'm also quite easy-going. I suspect when I say "okay" to being told to clean up an exploded bag of slime (nappage, some sort of gunk that gets sprayed on pretty much everything I guess to make it shiny, it looks to me like the stuff they make breast implants out of!) they might think I don't fully understand. Fact is, you want a load of slime cleaned up, okay, I'll clean it up. It is my job, after all, duh!

There is another aspect to it. While orange has been woefully lacking in contact (not had any info on ADSL compatibility yet), the fact is there is money in my bank account. I am very grateful to Mick for bringing that 1GHz computer, and I plan to mail-order a bigger harddisc for it tomorrow, but the fact is that pretty much all of my equipment is cast-offs. That doesn't mean the stuff isn't useful - my main computer is still Aiko, the faster (Mick's) computer is used for video conversion because it can process about 20-25fps (almost real-time) and, best of all, I can get VirtualDub to shut down the computer when it is done, Aiko hangs at the "it is now safe to turn off your computer". Whatever it is that can programmatically trip out the power supply isn't working correctly on Aiko. No big. There are plans, new harddisc, new setup, try video capture card (etc) and use that as my main machine? Something to do in the new year maybe?
Anyway, it is now within the realms of possibility that I could save (hah, me? save? I'm not sure that word is in my repetoire!) for two months to get a 'new' computer, or three months to get a new computer with oomph. As much as I'd like a laptop, I can't get on with the French keyboard. I can use one okay, but if I have any say in the matter, I will go with the standard British layout. If there's no TV input, I'll want PCI for my capture card. It'd be nice to have USB2 because for ~€50 is a device that receives digital satellite directly (SD and HD), how cool would that be?
Of course, now that I've planned all of this...

I'll let you know how it goes.


# Hold a chicken in the air...

Look at this, sounds quite nice doesn't it?

If I had to give a verdict, I'd say that there should have been a bit more rice. There were huge chicken lumps sitting in what was basically spicy water. It was nice that they didn't stinge on the chicken, but it needed some sort of sauceness to the tikka sauce.
Now look at this:

It's fairly good for you as well. Actual chicken, actual rice, actual food products - not loads of E numbers, food additives, preservatives, and so on. But there's a problem. Look at the traceability stamp (the oval thing). If that doesn't make much sense, look under the bar code.

Exactly. What the hell? I mean, I can understand importing stuff like pineapple because it doesn't grow here. I can understand importing stuff like Japanese soba noodles because it is a speciality of the country, at work they ship in guacamole powder from Mexico - so it's the real deal (albeit in freeze-dried powder form).
But to bring chicken half-way across the planet? Good God, U, I hope it's damned cheap produce to make that worthwhile. I mean, aren't there enough chickens in Europe? Not so far away from me is the town of Janzé, you might have seen a corn-fed Janzé chicken in a Waitrose at one time or another. Nothing wrong with exporting to a neighbouring country, expecially if it is something a little out of the ordinary. But Thailand!?!?

For what it is worth, I won't be buying this product any more. It could have been better, certainly, but it wasn't bad for a microwave meal. And, unlike many, there was an overabundance of chicken rather than the usual game of "hunt the meat". But, I'm sorry, I could even stretch to a chicken from someplace like Lithuania (if they export poultry? I know little about Lithuania...) as part of the EU trade setup; but I put my wallet down at the idea of buying in chicken from the other side of the planet. There's enough chicken in Europe, and enough chicken farmers who could probably do with some trade coming their way now that the world is diving into the jaws of hell, and this isn't even getting into the arguments of the environmental aspect of crating this stuff around. Basically... It isn't something that a factory in Janzé couldn't make with Janzé chickens and ship less than fifty miles down the road. Remind me again how far away Thailand is? (maybe they should import some Thai cuisine, that would make more sense...)


Bye-bye Woolies

You know it's bad when the five-and-dime is closing down. There are murmurs about other well-known companies on the way out. Along the way, bigger institutions are offloading large numbers of staff, and while Gordie is trying to ride the wave and convince us it isn't so bad, the predictions from the money men are basically "everybody pee in your pants, this is beyond train wreck territory, we're into the land of zombies and walking demons". The exchange rate is getting increasingly shit by the day. If you don't like my use of the 's' word, work out what 1.14 means to us (as opposed to ~1.40 when we came over in 2002) especially with mom's p***-poor state pension which is the laughing stock of Europe. Wanna know why the Germans are slapping us down? Because Gordie isn't so much riding the wave as riding the big bomb, like that bloke at the end of "Dr. Strangelove (or how I learned to love the bomb)" - remember? Legs astride, yee-hahing all the way down. That's Gordon Brown riding the economy. And to make gaffes about saving the world. Okay, he claims he didn't mean to say that, but maybe we received a glimpse into his delusion.

Problem is, the stock market? The economy? It's all a load of balls. A proposition based upon a lie, supported by many other lies. And when one lie fails, it has the potential to bring the house down. As we are seeing now.
Do not ever in your lives forget the audaciousness to scheme up rescue packages measured in tens and hundreds of billions. This is because those who make the rules hold the money. It is in their own self-interest to keep the lie that is the global economy afloat, because if the money fails, so will their entire world. Remember always that money is hard to come by for hospitals (it seems a daily event that the news reports on somebody denied life-prolonging medicine), for education (especially inner-city schools); because keeping somebody else alive won't make money. Educating a bunch of black kids won't make money (actually, it might, but the class system is still racist). But to save their own asses? Click those fingers and fleece us all.


A warning to the wise

It is in our best interests to clamp down on lenders foreclosing. You see, with a house (even one with a ridiculous mortgage) and some sort of crap job, with a Sky box and 40-a-day ciggies to come home to, people are not exactly overjoyed, but life is bearable. On those days life sucks, that's what Happy Hour at the pub is for.
Why am I saying this?
It's simple. People will toe the line for all sorts of crap when they have a variety of minimal creature comforts. But, mark my words, the man who has lost everything is a very dangerous person. At the moment, with the misery in the world, they will probably go somewhere to top themselves. But what happens when more people lose their jobs, houses, families, when this misery turns to resentment and then to anger? Before bankers look to having their asses bailed out, and before governments write cheques for obscene amounts from the public purse, they might want to be sure that they are helping everybody across the board.



Can somebody explain why is is such a big deal to be the relative of somebody who goes to that place in Switzerland (who could be charged over their death upon return to the UK); yet the NHS is able to deny life-prolonging medical treatments on the grounds of economy?


Hiding the fags

While you are explaining the above contradiction; can you explain to me what sort of country you would be living in where pornography is available on the upper shelves, yet cigarettes would be expected to be hidden out of sight behind the counter?
I, personally, detest smoking and the smell - we now frequent a local bar (for a newspaper and cuppa) now that the air isn't blue and insufferable); but - come on...
It is true that many smokers need to see their cigarette pack, but I have observed a couple of smokers that I know sit down and neatly arrange their packet right in front of them. If asked to put it away, they do so, get antsy, and keep checking it is still there. I'm sure people who deal with drug dependencies will recognise this behaviour. Whatever, this is at a personal level. What's in the newsagent/offlicence (wherever) is nothing more than a repository of cigarettes. Show them, hide them, I don't think it'll make a damned bit of difference to most smokers. It won't make any difference to me. But it is a ridiculous prospect that you must ask, specially, for some under-the-counter contraband while buying your FHM, Viz, and Playboy. That's when you know the stupid bloody Labour government nannying us like nobody in the history of politics, has possibly gone a step too far.
Evidence? Consider the above re. smokers and their need to sight their packet. Where's the salesguy? Nowhere. I was introduced to smoking at school. In the dark, behind the bike sheds. A number of my friends were smokers, so they'd go out to sneak a smoke and I'd go with them. Ciggies and I had a difference of opinion, and I've kept them out of my system. I was 12. Where was the cigarette counter? Nowhere. I've stayed with smokers. It would have been easy to join in, light up, watch Letterman with a beer in one hand and a cig in the other. Where was the shelf full of Marlboros? Nowhere.
I think it's a rather naïve coddled person whose introduction to smoking is to go to a retailer and get a pack of cigarettes because it's a nice looking box (that has SMOKING KILLS written so even terminally stupid people can understand it).

To hide packs of smokes under the counter is about as logical as attempting to reduce knife crime by telling Tesco to stop selling cutlery. Oh, damn, I think I may have just given them an idea...


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