Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Hire Me!

I am on the hunt again. Domestic drudgery and full time child care is really not my bag so I need to work. I do have a job, the managers and my colleagues are great, but it's not a good fit for me. I am BORED!

I dread the over complicated and repetitive applications I am forced to write, especially those who want a "full employment history"
here are some of the jobs I have had since I left school

Junior in a hairdressers- hair is surprisingly smelly.
Running the family B&B( mostly turning the hoover on and lying on the beds)
Housekeeping supervisor in a London Hotel ( see above)
Bar maid in Yorkshire "Let's have a real Guinness poured by the Irish barmaid" cue my blushes as they watch me pour two measured half pints into a glass by pressing a button.
Child minder ( disaster)
Cafe Manager
Restaurant Manager
Restaurant supervisor
Receptionist in sunbed place. I had a good tan back then.
Drinks waiter in one of Belfast's first gay clubs (where I was viciously attacked by a crazy lesbian because I turned my back on her )
Beauty therapist
Aromatherapist and Reflexologist ( I am fully qualified)
Salon Manager
Self employed recruiter for beauty staff
Self employed domestic ironer/ cleaner with small team.
Telemarketing team leader
Door to door and phone survey monkey
Sales administrator
Tour guide, people rounder upper and mover-alonger, Titanic fact aficionado
Enquiries officer medical company
Receptionist medical company
Firewarden walkie-talkie killjoy ( current position).

I am sure there are more I have long forgotten, most of them I enjoyed for a time , but boredom is a problem for me. That and years and years of being a bottom rung employee. There is nothing wrong with being at the bottom, after all someone has to do the work. Unfortunately even in this day and age employers see employees as a number, dispensable, disposable and fairly worthless. Apart from the very smallest companies who generally realise the value of a good employee and seek to keep those  they have trained.

I think I should be an employee consultant. A manager of mine told me once I was a great advocate for the staff, every company needs me!

This is what I would tell employers,

Hire staff well before you expect to be busy, so they are trained to cope when you are.

Employ young people and retirees, great for a balance of enthusiasm and experience

Don't ask stupid interview questions ( "who is your favourite Lion King character"- I was asked this once; or "what do you know about the company", "er whatever I have read on your website.")

Have a good staff room. Keep it stocked up and have  a cleaner. A large table in the middle of the room is best for staff relations. all staff should use it including managers. occasionally buy lunch/ fruit/ cakes for everyone.

Know everyone's names. Have social events regularly- not always alcohol related.

Provide proper training- not "shadowing."  Real training by someone who is accountable should that training be unsuccessful or incomplete.

After 3 months in the job ask your new recruits what they love about the job and what they hate. Aim to give them more of  what they love and  less of what they hate. There will be other employees who are their polar opposites.

If the company is doing great, tell your staff. The same if it is doing badly. Ask your staff what to do to get more sales/ footfall/members, or how to save on outgoings.

Do not excuse lateness, but always aim to give time off requested.

Reward a job well done, every time. If someone's performance is waning ask them why.

Job swap with your lowest paid staff at least once a year.

Always stick up for your staff in the face of public criticism, but get to the bottom of complaints.

Pass compliments on to your team.

So if you know of anyone who is looking for an employee who can tell them exactly where they are going wrong, gimme a call :-)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

50 Shades of Hypocrisy.

For the record, I haven't seen "the" movie yet. I probably will for curiosity's sake. I am very happy for the handsome and charming Jamie Dornan. He is a local (to me) lad and deserves success as much as anyone.

what's not to like?

Now what am I trying to say here.
Any intelligent person who has read any of the "50 Shades" novels will realise they are about female sexual fantasy, and not domestic abuse. I have no desire to be stalked by a gorgeous billionaire, wait............ no really, it would be truly creepy; but I doubt there is an adult out there who hasn't fantasised at one time or another about what it would be like to have someone else dominate them. Now most of us wouldn't be in to the whole torture chamber, nipple clamp sensory deprivation bit, but a well timed slap of the buttock? or your lover telling you what to do in the bedroom, why the hell not?

The movie is a reaction to a phenomenally successful book series. They are cringingly badly written, with one dimensional characters and almost impossible sex scenes but they have  been published and are unbelievably popular We all know in reality most women would run screaming from Christian Grey, even if he was gorgeous. This however is fantasy, it is fun escapism nothing more. If teenage girls believe this is what love is we need to look at parenting, not blame it on EL James or Sam Taylor-Johnston.

Now to my point. a few weeks ago Facebook and Twitter were awash with "Je Suis Charlie" profile pictures as we were all devastated by the massacre of French journalists and cartoonists in Paris. We all condemned the violence and stated our right to freedom of speech and expression. Now, just a few weeks later , those same facebookers and twits are exclaiming we need to boycott 50 shades and donate to women's refuges instead. Hypocrite much? You can't have it both ways. either we have freedom to like what we like, or we are all robots obeying what big brother tells us to like.

I am a feminist, of course I do not condone violence against women ( or anyone else), but I defend mine, and your right to watch or read anything we damn well like.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

I Am An Idiot

It's true, I am an idiot. I am 40 something , mother of 3, employed, in a long term relationship and people expect me to know stuff, and to not be an idiot, but I am.

I forget stuff all the time. I get into my car to go somewhere and  end up on my way to school or the supermarket when I intended to go to the park. I look at a recipe to make something new for dinner and go to the shops immediately forgetting what I need to buy. I have put a trolley load through the supermarket checkout only to realise I don't have a purse with me. I have filled my car with petrol and had to leave my phone with the cashier and zoom home to get money to pay.
I lose my car in a car park at least once a month, it's a miracle I have never left the children behind
(so far).

I was reminded of a majorly idiotic episode in my past today. At a cafe I asked the server for two red fruit shoot. She put everything I ordered on my tray and as she turned to get the kids drinks she repeated "two red fruit shoot" as she picked up two purple fruit shoot. It reminded me of a time  when I was working in a hotel bistro. I was having a lovely time serving and chatting to  a gay couple. one of them had severe allergies so throughout  their meal I made several trips to the kitchen checking ingredients and suppliers with the chef. After their meal , during a lengthy discussion they decided they would like ice cream as we couldn't guarantee no nut residue in any of the puddings. I duly went off and made them two lovely sundaes.You can just imagine  the look on their faces as I set the dishes on the table in front of them, ice cream of various flavours, fresh fruit, sauce a parasol and all topped off with some delicious chopped nuts. Doh

I have no doubt that I will have plenty of chances to show off my idiot calibre tomorrow putting my car through the MOT. "Indicator!" cue wipers "Break!" cue clutch "Fog Lights! " "What?" can't wait.