Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Inappropriate applause

When I was young, and yes I was young once, it was deemed inappropriate for one to applaud oneself.  These days it seems to be perfectly acceptable.

I know this makes me sound like a crotchety old woman, but that’s OK, because that’s what I am.

I see celebrities being interviewed and the interviewer will show us, the audience, and the interviewee a piece of their work, maybe a clip from their latest film or perhaps a few bars from their latest single.  Invariably the celebrity will applaud with the audience once it’s finished.

When did it become socially acceptable to lack modesty?

Surely the acceptable behaviour is to modestly smile and maybe nod the head to acknowledge the audience’s appreciation.

Isn’t applauding one’s own work arrogant and presumptuous?  Shouldn’t one allow the audience the job of critiquing one’s performance?

I know, by the way, that some famous people will excuse this behaviour by claiming they are merely showing their appearance for the audience.

Rubbish!  They’re just full of themselves and are trying to excuse the inexcusable.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Gissa job

Our lovely post delivery people, are considering striking.  As a response the Royal Mail will be recruiting 30,000 temporary staff to cope with the work that isn’t being done by those who are striking.

This is the time of year when Royal Mail would be recruiting seasonal staff to cope with the Christmas rush anyway, I think they’ve just upped the requirement because of the planned industrial action.

I know we’re emerging from the economical hangover caused by the credit crunch, but there are still many people who have lost their job and will be eyeing 30,000 temporary jobs and thinking “I’ll have a piece of that.”

I have done this job.  I have worked the sorting office nightshift and I’ve delivered the mail.

The nightshift: This involved standing in front of a grid of pigeonholes and sorting mail into these pigeonholes which were divided into streets, or sections of streets.  It was possible to sit down but the seat that was available was not adjustable and was akin to an uncomfortable bar stool.

Tea breaks were the highlight of the shift because there was a pool table for amusement.  I think there may have been a canteen but the food can’t have been great because I’ve blanked it out.

Delivering the mail: I was dumped on my patch by a van and left, with my mail, not really having too much of a clue about which street was where.  Most of the time the mail had been sorted appropriately for the street and it was a simple matter of mail into letterboxes.

Low letterboxes cause back ache and are not good (Health and Safety take note).  Sprung loaded letter boxes scrape the skin off the back of the hand.  Barking dogs petrified me and the fear was realised when the dog followed up the bark by snapping with teeth at the hand through the letterbox.  Flats are a pain, especially when one has finished delivering to a block of flats and then there’s a letter that has been mis-sorted and it’s for the top floor.  (This happened to me and my response was to pop it in the nearest letterbox.  I know this is wrong, please don’t write and complain.) 

So in case you are tempted by the headline 30,000 jobs, you can submit your application knowing a little more about what you’re applying for.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A cautionary tale

Ethan asked me this evening “Mummy, what would happen if I put a conker in the washing machine?”

“You’d go on the naughty step.”

“For how long Mummy?  How long would I go on the naughty step, if I put a conker in the washing machine?”

“Five years”


“Yes really.  I’d be very, very annoyed.”