Unpaid overtime. How much am I subsidising my boss?

Sometime during the last couple of weeks I caught the end of an item on the radio which had covered the widening gap between paid and worked hours. In 2011 the UK Office of National Statistics published information showing that managers and senior officials worked an average of 7.6 hours per week more than they were paid for. It was more than any other group. The radio article said this gap was increasing. It made me think: how much am I subsidising my boss? Continue reading

Stand up for girls and women

Quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu I just saw this Tweet quoting Desmond Tutu: “Boys, it is when you stand up for girls and women that you measure up as a man.” How brilliant. How true. All my life I have been lucky enough to be supported by men who have not been scared, worried or intimidated by the idea that women and girls in their lives might “do better” than them: whether winning at sport, earning more money or holding more senior positions. Continue reading

It was hidden in the sauce

One of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants was recently in the news because it was fined for serving ordinary pasta to a customer who had specifically ordered gluten free pasta.  It had “failed to exercise due diligence and take all appropriate precautions that meals were served as requested”. Other restaurants should take note, it seems to be a common failing. Continue reading

Grumpy Middle Aged Woman: I didn’t cause financial crisis

How old do you have to be to be a Grumpy Old Woman? 50? 60? 80? If I’m not old enough yet, I’ll settle for Grumpy Middle Aged Woman.  Yes, that will be it, simple arithmetic: young women 16-39, middle aged women 40-63 and old women 64-87; 88+ very old! OK, I admit it: I feel a lot older now than I did when I was 40 – mostly when I go running or to the gym where “getting old” is my excuse for not keeping up with the twenty-somethings. Continue reading

Cost of postgraduate courses a barrier to some professions

I see from an article in the Guardian that someone is suing St Hugh’s College Oxford for refusing him a place on a postgraduate course because, despite acquiring a professional career development loan to pay for the course, he can’t prove he already has what the college deems to be sufficient funds to support himself for the duration of the course. He is apparently arguing that this is selection on the basis of wealth and disproportionately discriminates against those without access to savings and capital in breach of their human rights. Continue reading

A shopping experience

Well – that’s Christmas over with for another year. If we had been organised enough to realise it was coming and actually made plans, it would have been a bit of an anticlimax but we didn’t, so it wasn’t. To be fair, there were a few new experiences or, more accurately, an old experience  – a shopping experience – re-visited. Setting aside the inconvenience of car problems and the last minute exercise in logistics to get them fixed we had to contend with no delivery slots. Continue reading

Roads with lakes round every bend

There is an old saying that problems come in threes. I was cynical: people face many problems and they can always group them in threes. From personal experience problems always come at Christmas. All sorts from serious to trivial. This year three problems of the same kind, all car related, have arrived together at Christmas. Not serious but all perfectly timed to create maximum inconvenience. Continue reading

Christmas comes more frequently now

When I was a kid my grandma used to say that time speeded up when you got older. I didn’t really understand what she meant. I pondered: could it be that every year was a shorter proportion of your life, that older people were busier, that older people were less efficient or something to do with relativity that Einstein had missed. I still don’t understand it but it seems she was right. Continue reading

Narrowband for price of Broadband

According to my local authority I don’t live in a rural area. My council tax includes an urban supplement but I don’t have a gas supply, pavements or street lights or decent broadband. We have opted for oil instead of gas and we can manage without the pavements and street lights most of the time (although it is dangerous walking at night in the dark) but  is getting increasingly difficult to manage with broadband that barely gets over 1Mb. Of course we pay for “up to 8Mb”.  This is narrowband for the price of broadband. I think the assumption of the service provider is that a minimum  2Mb is available, but at the moment that is a pipe dream. Continue reading