Friday 23 October 2009

Every fool's got a reason to feel sorry for themself

And this fool's reason? This fool has been feeling sorry for herself because she suddenly realised her job had gone from "quite interesting" to "boring 9 to 5". I don't quite know when that happened, but I woke up one day and realised I didn't want to do it any more.

So I'm going to do a career assessment. What's a career assessment, you all say. Well. It's a... well, a career assessment. It goes something like this: You have several meetings with a consultant who asks you lots of questions about you, your job, your aspirations, your likes/dislikes (work-related and not-quite-so-work-related). It's like a great big personality/skills/career assessment. The aim of which is to make sure your career is on track to where you want it to be going, where you feel comfortable with it going, and how to make it go where you would like if it's not there already. Sort of.

I'm feeling enthusiastic about doing the career assessment, because I know it will help me identify where my strengths are, and my weaknesses. When it's done, I'll have a much better idea of where I want to go and how to get there. The expectation being that my destination will be something I have chosen and decided, not something that just sort of happened to me (which is pretty much how I ended up doing what I currently do).

I am feeling a bit crestfallen about my employer's reaction to all this. Having explained that I wasn't motivated by my job any more and no, it's not the company, it's the job, I was maybe hoping my manager might say "so let's talk about this, tell me what you'd like to change if you could". But no. They just said "OK, well, keep us posted". I almost heard "OK, well, let us know when you're ready to resign".

Hey ho.

Still, will not let that dampen my enthusiasm. I have a challenge, a project. It's mine and I don't care if my employer doesn't want to share it with me. Maybe I don't want to share it with them ;)

Thursday 22 October 2009

Funny joke. Only he takes himself seriously.

There is a political debating programme called Question Time on the BBC. When the Tories were in power, it was quite good because one could shout and remonstrate with the television. I personally haven't watched in a long time, partly because panelists haven't been exciting enough, and mostly because France is one hour ahead of the UK and the schedulers have slotted the programme in at a time way past my bedtime.

Question Time has been in the news quite a lot lately, since it was announced that Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right BNP (British National Party) would be one of the panelists on the programme. Hundreds, nay, thousands of hands have been wrung at whether or not the BBC should be giving a platform to a man whose party is regarded by many as racist. I'll let you Google Mr Griffin and his party, so you can make your own mind up about their policies and views. I won't be sending off for membership in any case.

Merely hours away now from the live broadcast, hundreds of protesters have laid siege to the BBC's Television Centre studios in London. The hands that were wringing are now waving placards and the voices that were muttering indignantly are now screeching their disagreement. But it all looks like a massive own goal to me. Any of them familiar with the concepts of "democracy", "free speech" or "freedom of association"? Hmmm. Free speech means allowing others a voice, even if you don't want to hear what they have to say (no one is making you listen, are they?). In a democracy, people can vote for the party of their choosing, for the party they feel best represents them and their views and want they want from government. I certainly hope every single person protesting at Wood Lane tonight voted in the recent European elections. Why? Because by not voting, by not making their voice heard, they are leaving it up to someone else to decide. And the people who do go and vote, well, maybe their choices aren't very savoury, not very palatable.

I support the editors of Question Time. I say, let him speak. And let the nation point and laugh at the ridiculous little man. And be suitably outraged at his objectionable ideas. And let the nation be aware, if you don't use your vote to make your voice heard, somebody else will speak for you. And that somebody might be saying things you don't agree with. And let the mainstream politicians take note. If people have asked Nick Griffin to be their voice, it's because you guys have been so busy fighting over the middle ground (not to mention amongst yourselves), so concerned with pandering to the sensitivities of every imaginable minority ethnic interest group, that you're alienating people. Voters.

So be warned.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Round and round and round

Doggy, like all baby dogs, used to really enjoy chasing her tail:

She's grown out of that particular type of silliness since.

Friday 9 October 2009

Here I am! Having a grouse - there's a surprise

I'm a disgrace, I said I was coming back with a ...pffft, and then I didn't.

Still, I'm here now. Popping in before I probably flit off again like a blogging butterfly. I do hope any of you who might be reading this are well and happy. No swine/type A flu I trust?

So what's the chat? Weeeellllllll. I'm thinking of retraining and becoming a goat herd. Possibly not a goat herd as one must get up early to tend to one's goats. But not doing what I currently do any more. I sort of woke up one day and it suddenly occurred to me that the every day, bread & butter part of my job bores the life out of me. Watch this space for news of goats.

The French government has, in its infinite stupidity, invented a new way to bleed our resources with taxe carbone (or carbon/green/environment tax). They patronisingly try to tell us that this levy will make us all more environmentally-friendly. Petrol will be taxed at the staggering rate of 4p extra a litre. Crikey, better sell the car! What the carbon tax is, in reality, is a money-spinner for a cash-strapped government. It will penalise people who live in rural areas where public transport is utterly non-existent and the least well-off for whom heating and fuel bills are already a huge chunk of their budget. It certainly won't change the way I use the car, because 4p more a litre is not a big enough rise to hit my budget all that hard. It is all stick and no carrot. We're being told off for not being green enough, but there is no real concerted effort to help ordinary folks to invest in more sustainable choices (roof insulation, power/heating using renewable energies). Plus nuclear power isn't getting taxed at all because apparently it's a non-polluting energy source. Riiiight.

Continuing with the France-bashing, there is much hand-wringing and consternation with September's road collision stats. 393 dead in September is over 17% more than Sept 08. When I consider the dreadful driving standards I witness on what is a very short commute (10 mins) to work and back, I'm surprised this number isn't higher. If you're in a hurry, no need to stop at the red light. Indicators and rear-view mirrors are for mummy's boys. Chavs on scooters must leave a gap of no more than 3cm with the vehicle in front (maximising their chances of running into said vehicle in the event of sudden, or even not so sudden, braking). And yoofs on bikes must pedal along with no awareness of the car that is about to squash them to death. Ah-la-la-la!!!

Staying on a motoring theme, I'm all cleaned out having forked up 200 and something euros for 4 new Michelins for the small car. Nice deep tread, ready for the winter. Jolly good thing though cos since I got them it's been sodding raining and my racing slicks just wouldn't have done the job.

And to end on a topical note, who else thinks awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to US president Barack Obama was a bit, well, ... not on. I don't have anything at all against the man, but he hasn't really done much has he? And that's hardly surprising, he's only been on the job a few months, give him a chance. I just feel it somewhat discredits the prize and past winners (worthy ones, because not all of them have been!) when it's handed out to someone on the basis of his good intentions and the promise of what they might bring.

So there.

C'est tout!