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ihatethatmonkee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2014 at 14:51
Update.

so, I have made several attempts to write in the year and a half since this last post.

sadly, nothing has stuck. that's mostly down to me; after all, my mental state had deteriorated significantly, and I'm now at the point where I doubt my problems are anything to do with bipolar, but more serious than that. with all the noise in my head, it has made it much harder to concentrate, particularly on one thing at a time.

so, draft three, as it was then, has stagnated. I actually made it too clean. got to redo the entire thing again. I have been umming and ahing on doing a script or manuscript based on the recent revelations about a high profile paedophile ring in Westminister.

I also had something snap in the back of my mind while watching a documentary Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. basically, the guy in the title has engineered all the types of American Penal system delivery of death equipment. it mainly deals with the downfall of his career, which begins with him being called as an expert witness in the trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

this required him and a team to travel to Poland and other bases of concentration camps, to take samples (illegally and covertly, by the way) from the shower chambers to show that no deaths took place there. the lab tests back in the States backed this up, as no signs of gas were found in any of the samples, however, evidence was ignored, most likely due to the covert and illegal nature of the work that was being undertaken.

I remember massive protests being shown in both London and New York by the Jewish communities there, who were aware of what the Nazis had planned, at least as far as work camps and ghettoes, for those Jews who were stuck in occupied territory.

I kind of find it hard to believe that Chamberland/Churchill or Roosevelt were unaware of what would be seen as an entirely innocent race of people being rounded up and made PoWs. this got me thinking; did any intelligence come out that confirmed that Jews were being exterminated, and was this either ignored, covered-up, or felt to be "a cost of war"?

that would be for an actual, serious article, therefore not something I am really in the position to attempt now, since it will most likely sit on the laptop, probably get forgotten about, and when I am in a position to be able to put it to a publication - most likely, the Fortean Times - I won't submit it.

I really need to try and sort somethings out. my head is the main one. my diabetes is not under control, and my GP admits to me that it most likely never will be until I get my head sorted. the tablets I'm currently on are not doing anything to help, but are making me forgetful and low on energy, yet I have been on everything else that he can give me while waiting for my referral to a shrink - which can be another 3 months at least - to see if I do need anything stronger.

fun.

I still want to try to do the pub sit-com, and may just write a 20 minute short, and see if there are any competitions to submit that to. I really need to buy a copy of this years Writers' and Artists' Handbook, as that will be full of all the relevant competitions that will be genuine, rather than slogging through Google search results that may or may not be reputable.

it's so weird that, even 10 years ago, if I had had these ideas in my head, I'd have been able to write them all, flitting between each of them as and when sees fit.

I'm hoping that, at some point, things will just fall into place, and the screen won't just be blank with a blinking line.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2014 at 15:07
Governments love a cover up don't they? As a side note i'm sure once you get your health under control the rest will come, so perhaps concentrate on that?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2014 at 15:37
it's just the fact that people will go on about a conspiracy about US involvement in Syria, in Gaza, so on with no evidence of such a thing, yet an actual cover-up, where a former member of the cabinet at the time has come forward and basically called himself a "fixer", and it's been revealed that Thatcher herself was aware of at least one paedophile in her cabinet doesn't gain any interest, even with how long the threads of this have been unravelling in public.

as far as the Holocaust idea, I have no idea if there will be any truth to it, it just feels that if the Jewish communities here and there were already protesting the Governments about the treatment of their brethren before all out war was declared, then there must have been intelligence more than a year before the war ended about what was happening.

and I need to do something. when I do nothing, I send myself crazy. there's only so many times you can amuse yourself by failing Sainsbury's online assessment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2015 at 00:14
long winded diatribes are great.
 
obviously not for you, but for me, since it means I just vent, do not have to worry about cohesiveness, barely have to concern myself with whether one paragraph - sentence, even - follows directly on from the other.
 
how long winded this is, it depends entirely on whether I can stay away long enough to vent everything, and in explicit detail.
 
so, onto employment.
 
I have been out of work for roughly a decade. or, I should say, I had been.  sure, in the time frame, I was able to find small jobs, be it back in the bar trade, or working for my partners' brother, in both an administrative and physical capacity.  but none of it would have been classed as "gainfully" employed.  so, October of last year, through one of those outsourced job finder firms, I got put forward for a group interview set up for a new B&M Store opening fairly close to me.
 
for those not in the UK, the closest thing I can compare B&M to would be, say, Wal-Mart in the States; basically, selling everything you could need under one roof, be it food, pet supplies, soft home furnishings, some hardware and decorating, and furniture.  cheap, for sure, and I'd wager a flash in the pan. the reason they can sell so cheap is that they actually pay up front to buy, in bulk, the items they will sell.  which, obviously, means that if they have a bad year, and aren't able to turn enough of a profit to afford to stock the entire 400+ UK stores, and the recently acquired German stores, then the shelves in the stores are either going to be filled with vastly inferior products, or empty. either way, there's a reason the industry standard of paying a higher rate, while getting the products with no upfront payment, has worked so well for so long.
 
anyway, the recruiting process had a very fast turn around.  interviews were conducted in group sessions, so as to see, right from the get go, who could and would work as a team with a bunch of people they had just been dumped into a group with, and who wouldn't and couldn't.  I was offered the job the following week.  the Thursday of that week, I went for a two day induction course.  the two days done, the Saturday saw those that were willing to sacrifice their weekends go into the store to start shop fitting, while I started on the Monday.
 
45 hours a week.  here was where the first lie showed itself.  during induction, we were told that lunch breaks would be paid through.  you would get an hour break, and not lose any money for being on that break.  which was great.  it was mentioned during the interview stage, but when it was mentioned during induction, I was sold on it.  45 hours pay, rather than 40? who wouldn't love that.  except, that wasn't the "company policy".  turns out, you got an hour break for working 6 hours or more, and that hour was deducted.  kind of went against what we had been told.
 
worse still.  a fair few people only took a half hour break, but were not informed that the full hour was automatically deducted when their rota was sent to payroll.  to get the extra 2 and a half hours a week, you had to notify whoever in the store did the rotas, and have them make a note of it on the rotas.  but as people were not even being informed that they didn't get a paid lunch, they were obviously not being informed of this little factoid.  again, worse still, when it finally did come out, the management at the store seemed to have no idea at all how it worked, despite a sheet - one single sheet - having been put up in the canteen (staff room) which clearly stated the hour was automatically deducted.  they were telling staff it automatically deducted a half hour, and they deducted the other half if the person had an hour break.  but since breaks weren't regulated - one person had their lunch break on a 6 hour shift 4 and a half hours into it, and was having the full hour, leaving half an hour work after - there was no way of management knowing who was doing what, and when, and for how long.
 
working the day could be a nightmare.  for whatever reason, the night staff seemed to be completely unsupervised.  I could have spent the entire day clearing out the warehouse, making it look clean, tidy, sorting the delivery pallets so they were cleared, or as cleared as could be, and then stacked away.  during my 9 hour days, we would get maybe 4 or 5 items that would be classified as damaged or write-off stock.  for some reason, the night shift managed to "find" line after line of product that was damaged to the point of write-off, and just dump it.  it made work that much harder for me, as I was finding I was having to clear up the mess they had made before I could get on with anything else.  complaints about this fell on deaf ears.  the fact that stock was being consumed, since there were empty cans/bottles and food wrapping in the warehouse area, still didn't lead to any action.
 
the reason? lack of CCTV.
 
the store used to be a Comet.  for that reason, the warehouse is small. too small for a store of the size of this, with the variety of lines it has.  Comet would obviously have had it's big sellers, and bulky, in-store takeaway items out the back on the ground floor of the warehouse, while lighter items, such as kettles, irons, vacuums and the like, would have been stored on the upper level, with no racking as such. for that reason, the cameras installed while it was a Comet did the job.  there was nowhere to really hide from the camera - two - in the lower level.  but with racking, pallets loaded with product, and the weird set up of the racking anyway, plus the directions of the cameras, the warehouse was a paradise for stealing food, and other small items.
 
the manner of management in this was weird.  we had a customer who had called up the store, wanting to know if we had these speakers in.  they were Bluetooth speakers, in the style of old Wurlitzer Jukeboxes, selling at a reduced price at that time, but still £70 per unit.  the manager that took the call just looked on the system, and the system said we had 7 in stock.  so this guy comes all the way from Brownhills, which is over 10 miles from the store, since no locals ones have any in stock.  maybe the manager looked for the wrong item, as I do find it difficult to believe 7 of these things were somehow smuggled out of the premises, but I spent an hour looking in the warehouse, making sure it hadn't just been dumped in a different section, looking through the pallets that still hadn't been worked, looking in various other storage areas to make sure staff hadn't put any aside for themselves, but nothing.  the response of the manager to the fact that something that the system said we had 7 of, when we had none, was "huh..."
 
which does kind of lead us onto the managers.  when me and another guy were put in charge of sorting the warehouse, I had a way I wanted to do things, and quite honestly, I should have spoken up, and just stuck to my guns.  you would have one manager telling you things needed to be done this way, then have another telling you to do it a different way, then finally another telling you to put it all back.  the racking in the warehouse was in a weird "L" shape, which took up a lot of room, and didn't give much space for the stock we had, and quite honestly, still didn't by the time my contract was terminated.  I had said numerous times that I wanted to take all that racking down, and have three bays of it parallel to the wall, so it was like walking down little shopping aisles in the back, and the cameras could easily be focused there if need be and not miss as much as the currently were/are.  this idea was shot down, due to the fact that the racking would not be as full.
 
the racking was still overflowing when I was terminated.
 
the lack of communication was bad, but the lack of a clear vision is just stupid.  if your management cannot come up with how the warehouse should be set up, because they cannot even sit down together and agree on it, then quite frankly, what is the point?  part of me began to understand why some of the workers just loaded up a cage, threw it down the "L" shaped racking, and left it there.
 
then, there was the cardboard.  we had a bailer(sp?), which compacted the cardboard down, made it easier to tie up and dump on a pallet for the company to take away after they had dropped off deliveries, so it could be easily recycled.  the problem was, only a handful of people were "trained" how to use it.  which is fine; it's a heavy, expensive piece of equipment, over a ton at £5K, and if not loaded right, could get clogged, but only 3 of us were trained to use it during the day, and quite frankly, it wasn't that hard. big cardboard at the bottom, little cardboard to build up to the line, big cardboard to create a sandwich effect to hold the smaller cardboard in, compress, and repeat once or twice more, and tie up, remove with trolley, dump on pallet, and done.  piece of piss, but once the warehouse supervisor left after a month, during the day, there was only me that was trained to use the bloody thing, and loading it up was meaning I wasn't doing anything else.
 
again, this was discussed with management, who said staff would be informed.  the same staff who, on the whole, still weren't separating their cardboard from their plastic or polystyrene, and still aren't.
 
during my probation period of 12 weeks, I had over 3 weeks off.  during the two weeks of setting the store up, I was out in cold and rain bringing pallets off the lorries, helping load returns back on, after having a flu jab, which always seems to lower my already shitty immune system to the point where I can catch anything.  seriously, if VD were air-born, Russell Brand could have sneezed in LA and I'd have caught it off him.
 
so, while I worked through a viral infection - the new catch-all term for "cold" - it ended up fucking with my diabetes, which lead to a case of Ketoacidosis.  this is quite serious; my body was dehydrated from the fever of the infection, meaning I was taking in more liquid, but eating less.  my body then has no food to break down into it's component parts, so it begins to break down the proteins stored within my body.  I've been hospitalised for this before, and spent 2 days in, while my body is slowly rehydrated and my protein levels restored, so it's not fun.  I had a week off, but I did luckily avoid having to go into hospital.  this was, for me, the first real sign that work was good for me; when I went to get my sicknote, the doctor actually told me that the reason he acquiesced to my desire to not go in is because I actually looked healthier and better than he had seen me in years.
 
in any case, that was one week off.  the next week off came as a result of drinking over a weekend, when I was jumped on the way home, beaten about the head, and I got a concussion.  I admit I self-diagnosed that; it felt exactly like the one I had a couple of years back, so if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and gets cooked by Chinese people like a duck, it's a fucking duck.  the third was a sudden drop in my state of mind, where I suddenly could not get suicidal thoughts out of my head, and I felt like giving up.
 
in both of the latter cases, after 3 or 4 days, I did attempt to go into work, but was sent home, particularly during the latter bout of depression.  for the concussion, the one day I went in, I was very clearly confused - I have little memory of this, it was what I was told after - and on the other occasion, I was so dizzy and lightheaded as to require to sit down for an hour and a half before I could even risk walking back down the stairs to leave.  for the depression, I actually skulked into work, trying hard to avoid everyone I could on the shop floor, because my emotions were all over the place.  I sadly bumped into my manager whilst trying to turn onto an aisle that lead to the back door, and he sent me straight back because I looked like I was going to burst into tears at any second.
 
in all the cases, I was assured by those same managers that my job was safe.  rightly so; it is against the law to sack someone for time off for on-going medical issues.  and since there were no issues with my work-rate, I at least felt secure going in for my 12 week review.
 
my 4 week review didn't go so well.  for a start, it didn't happen until I had been there for 10 weeks, but my 12 week review was right on time. sadly, this meant that I had had no time to actually work on my areas for improvement - namely, my time off - but it was also made clear that the time off was because of my mental health, and my diabetes.  these aims were again stated at my 12 week review.
 
I was then asked to wait in the staff room...
 
now, bearing in mind I have been assured my job was safe, I had little worry.  my biggest concern was the fact that I had just taken delivery of 23 mattresses, and had dumped them hap-hazardously by the back door, since I was taking them directly out on to the shop floor for display, but had only managed 3 of the 5 doubles, and still had 18 singles that were blocking off a fire escape route, so I obviously wanted to get back to that.
 
I never got the chance. a manager I had had no dealings with up until that point called me in, and gave me the news that I was being let go.  the only reason for this was the time I had had off, the time I was assured wouldn't be a factor.  I was in shock.  I asked if there was nothing I could do, and he said, no, decision has been made.  he then stated that I would be immediately escorted off the premises, and would clock out and hand over my employee card.  I meekly followed, got my coat and back, and was marched through the store, to the tills, where I clocked out, and was made to hand over my card, in front of other staff, and customers.  I could feel my cheeks burning up in embarrassment and shame, as I could see eyes on me, and knowing what I would think if I saw a scene like that, I could imagine what these people were thinking.
 
the embarrassment and shame quickly turned to anger when I got home.  I still had the security keys for the back door, since I had taken the mattress delivery and a paint delivery not long prior to that.  I had been given no real time to take in what had happened at the store, so had forgotten everything.  it was only remembering about the mattresses that made me check my pock and find the keys.  the anger came when I called up to ask someone to come and get the keys from me, only to be told I had to bring them in, by this point, I was in no condition to go back, and certainly not go back to the store.  the anger grew, as I was told I could appeal the decision, which I hadn't been told during the meeting.  the anger grew later still when the manager called up to find out where I was, as he had been told that I was bringing in the keys.
 
there was a lot of confusion in the days that followed.  made worse by the fact that, while I was able to get in and see my shrink on the Friday, the session only lasted 10 minutes and got nowhere really, since the missus was waiting for me in the town centre down the road, and had had the purse stolen, which contained over £400, so all the money, and all the bank cards.
 
that is still on going; we apparently have to wait until the police get in touch with the bank, and then the bank can reimburse part of the money lost.  but it was already too late for me;  it sent me into an even deeper spiral of depression, not helped by the fact that later that night, I had to go and stop at my mothers because she had fainted, and then in the morning, she did so again, and convulsed, so we had a trip to A&E.  me and the missus are expecting our forth child, which should really be something to lift my spirits, but all I can think is how are we going to afford to raise 4, especially since we're still stuck in a 2nd floor flat, with a second bedroom that's less than 3mx3m, and no lift to get the pushchair down.
 
I did appeal my dismissal, and the hearing is Friday. I was let go without notice, and not informed anything about what happens to my notice.  I sought legal advice, since I knew already they could not sack me for having time off for on-going medical needs, and was pissed to find that the company is breaching employment law.  they give the notice period they can give as one day during probation.  they have to give a week, so I am owed £200 already off them for pay in lieu of notice and pay full stop.  I want to get back into work; it gave me an enormous sense of pride to know that the money that was in pocket was what I had earned, not what I was "entitled" to.  my confidence had actually increased, as I state earlier, people were noticing that I looked healthier, I have fucking muscles!
 
but I am still flip-flopping about what I will do; if they offer me my job back, do I go?  I certainly have a case for discrimination, since I sought legal advice and they have told me this is the case.  I cannot claim unfair dismissal, as you apparently need to have been employed for 2 years plus, but I know for certain I have to put in a full complaint about the manager that did the sacking.
 
he did not inform me of my legal right to appeal, either voluntarily, or when I explicitly asked.  in the confirmation letter he sent, he states that he carefully considered my responses - which is bull, I was too shocked to say anything and am still surprised I managed to ask that question - but that he reached the conclusion I had failed "...to demonstrate your suitability for your role during your probationary period."
 
again, that's shit.  I had no complaints from my colleagues about my work, no complaints from managers, and the reason I was given for my termination was purely the time I had taken off.  the second paragraph of the let has royally fucked me off.
 
"As you are aware, when you started work with us, we had high hopes and expectations that you would meet the standard we require.  Unfortunately, this has not proven to be the case."
 
I have no idea right now if termination letters are templates.  if they are, I still don't care; that is kicking someone when they are down for something that is, in the most part, completely out of their control.  if he actually sat there, and purposely worded the letter that way, then I could be sorely tempted to knock the cunt out.  I am aware several of the managers don't seem to have read the HR files on the employees, since only one manager seemed to have prior knowledge of my conditions, but since he just fucking sacked me, you'd think that right next to him would be that same HR file that clearly states "mental health issues" in it.
 
right now, again, I seriously am unsure how I will proceed. I need to be working, so in all likelihood, if I can get the job back, I will take it back, but I will be continuing to look elsewhere for work.  I have been made aware that Boots and Argos are both currently doing a massive recruitment drive for their warehouses.  if the Boots one is true, and it's not in-store warehousing, but distribution, then there's a warehouse right around the corner from me.  there's also the Genting complex that will open in the next few months near the airport. my worry is the reference I could expect off B&M, especially if this jackass manager has anything to do with it.
 
2015 has so far been a shit year, and it's only 3 weeks old.  even the stuff I have to look forward to can't help me shift this low ebb. I should be on medication by this time next week, I should have my job back, but I feel it will just be a "sorry about that, but you're still sacked" kind of deal, I should hear something about my "rapid reclaim" for ESA, in case the job falls through.  I know I should just try to get on with it.
 
I know I should use this.
 
but right now, things just feel far too bleak.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Steven Nyte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2015 at 02:15
Monkee, honestly, that sucks bro. I´m sorry.

As for the job thing, I dunno how the legal situation is in the UK, but you seem to have a pretty good case there. So, i reckon you will get your job back (either that or suitable financial compensation), however if you get the job back, if I were you, I´d be looking for something else ASAP, since they will undoubtedly find some bullshit excuse to let you go "properly" - This has happened to me before. (got a sentence for unjust termination which required my employer at the time to rehire me, they found a bullshit excuse  - I was apparently being unfriendly and unprofessional towards my coworkers - to let me go two weeks later.)

I would not count on any recommendation to speak of from that employer, especially if your case of unjust release goes through. However, if managers from other companies ask about that stint you had at this (very shitty looking) company, I´d still be honest about it. Tell them exactly what happened, but try to remain completely cool and calm while doing so. (This is also from personal experience, I got commended for being so professional about the situation explained above.)

It really sounded like you enjoyed working and it was good for you, so even if it doesn´t work out with your former employer, devote your energy to finding a new job, most importantly and probably the most difficult part about it too, stay positive about it. 

I can´t really tell you why, since I pretty much know Jack-Shit about you, but I kinda have a feeling it´s all gonna work out for you eventually.

As for the family stuff, that sucks even more than the workplace stuff. I sincerely hope your mom gets better and the stuff with the theft works out for you. 

Just, don´t give up yet. 2015 may have started like shit, but it can and will get better if you make it better. Trust me on this, you can. (Again, I don´t know why, just kinda have that feeling. Sounds super corny. Fuck.)

Also, anytime you need to vent again, we´re here. And just like we´re supposed to do, we´ll all automatically hate the fuckers that wronged you ;-)

Hang in there, man. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Baz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2015 at 08:42
Regarding the job i'd get what your owed and tell them you don't want to go back due to the way they treated you and you hope they'd get a mental health procedure in place after this instance. With mental health issues or not I wouldn't ever go back to a place that treated you like that!

I know when I lost a job over 'time off issues' during a review due to mental health obviously I got full pay and full notice but I made it aware to HR that they needed to get a MH procedure into place and get management trained on the issues as they have no clue!

As for the rest of your issues i'm sorry it's been so shit Monkee, but as i've stated before if you need a chat with someone that's been there then i'm here to listen. You do need to remember to look after yourself as well as everyone else as hard as that may be.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/January/2015 at 18:43
cheers guys.
 
I have looked at the Employment Rights Act 1996, and I'm covered there for the lack of notice I was given.  have also just found a provision in the Equality Act 2010 that explicitly states an employer has to make provisions for anyone suffering a disability, whether it be physical or mental, then I had a read through my contract, which states that they actually could have taken another course of action and extended my probation period.
 
I should have them on that, since the two reviews were only a fortnight apart, and there was no warning about my time off.  whilst excessive time off is grounds for gross misconduct, and an accepted reason for immediate termination, that would be unapproved time off, such as not showing up due to being hungover and shit like that.
 
it's a weird thing.  I swear there was an amendment to employment law made by the Labour Government just before the ConDems came in that said that an employer no longer had to give a reason for dismissal during the probation period, even if asked or pressed.  if he hadn't told me the reason, I honestly don't think I'd have appealed if I'd known I could, as I would not be sure it was for the time off.
 
I've said before, I've always been socially awkward, but I have always been professional when it comes to employment, until I get pissed about.
 
for all the issues other people have had with the outsourcing of job seeking companies, and I know that other offices of Ingeus have had complaints, I know I have been exceptionally lucky to have had 3 - so far - advisors who have been great.  I know I can carry on with them in a voluntary capacity IF I go back to B&M, and get help looking for employment with any other company.
 
at the same time, I think if you really want to change the perceptions and practices of a company, you have to be inside the company to do so.
 
not that it was ever my intention to stay with the company for life.  the intention was to get to management level, get some funds behind me, and open either a completely independent or franchise comic book shop in Sutton Coldfield.  I figured 10 years might do it. give me time to also do an OU Business course, an Accounts course, but right now, I will definitely be looking into a Law course.  I am aware they do them, my older sister did one, but I would hope to specifically concentrate on Employment Law.
 
one thing I'm definitely doing IF I do go back is signing up to Unison.  find it simply laughable that my letter states I can have union representation at my hearing, yet if anyone at the store even is a union rep, it's not been made clear to the workers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/February/2015 at 21:44
that moment you realise part of your life could actually be a decent television program...
 
so, 2015 is shit.
 
seriously, we're what? 7 weeks into a new year, and so far, I have lost my job, had all my money stolen, and in a fucking Poundland, and while I got my job back, 6 weeks after putting in my "rapid reclaim", I've been paid the grand sum of £11.
 
I am owed just over £300, for the period I was actually out of work, but what annoys me is that term, rapid reclaim.
 
for those who do not know, it takes the Department of Works and Pensions 6 weeks (minimum) to process any new claim to benefit, be it Jobseekers' Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, or Pension Credits.
 
for a rapid reclaim, the processing time is...
 
6 weeks (minimum).
 
hmm. seems a bit weird when you put it like that, right?  made all the weirder when you consider that you are given what is supposed to be a dedicated reclaim number, which ends up being the number for new claims.  the reason you are given a number for new claims is because, despite all the literature stating that if you become unemployed again within 21 weeks of starting a job - or, more precisely, 21 weeks of ending your claim - then you will immediately be able to reclaim on you previous benefit amount.
 
this is not the case.
 
see, shortly before I started work, I received a letter of the DWP, stating that my ESA had changed from the Work Based Group, to the Support Group.  in the WBG, you are basically to look for work, but it's not as stringent as JSA.  you are not signing a contract confirming you will spend 30 hours a week going on the Universal Job Match site, or any other, and you don't have to provide any evidence of job searches, but you are "trusted" to be doing so, and are still under the guidance of a Work Placement Advisor.
 
if you're unlucky, this person works out of an actual Jobcentre, and thus is likely to be an arse, and will sanction you for using a blue pen to fill in a job application form.  if you're lucky, you get some of the wonderful people I had the fortune to be put with at Ingeus, though offices differ, so other Ingeus staff may be arses too.
 
in any case, if you are deemed to no longer be suitable for the WBG, and are moved to the Support Group, it is because you have, by whatever means the DWP possess, been found unfit to work.  I racked my brain over this decision, simply because of the fact it came after they were notified I was in line to gain work, I had not been to a Work Capability Assessment, to the best of my knowledge, my GP was not approached to provide any evidence of my fitness, or lack thereof, to work, and I never asked for my situation to be looked at.
 
but, that was what I was on when I ended - suspended, is what I was actually told it was, as I've got 21 weeks, after all - my claim. so, really, if I am, or was, going to be back on that, I should have received a payment within 2 weeks of my termination, right?
 
it's a very confusing system.  you are told you have 21 weeks.  you are told it's a rapid reclaim, when it isn't, because over the phone, you're told you're filling out a new claim, at least until they send the paperwork through the post confirming the call, where it IS labelled as a rapid reclaim, yet it still says it's will take 6 weeks (minimum) to process.
 
and it's the processing side of things I don't get, and not just with the DWP.
 
the police caught the woman who stole my money.  the bank have said that the money will be reimbursed, once the police get in touch with them about it.  the police caught, charged, and had the woman sent down two weeks ago, and it could still be another 2 weeks until I get my £400 back, as they need to process the paperwork to send to the bank...
 
the bank will have the fact that I withdrew £300 in cash, and transferred £100, that was then drawn out of another account.  there was money still in the purse - it was with the missus at the time - from the previous week, and evidence can be provided, if need be, to show that the full £400 was in the purse, and more, but we are aware we can only claim for what was drawn out that day.
 
so what, exactly, is the delay?
 
would the paperwork the bank needs not really have already been done by us filling out a crime report? the bank was actually informed immediately following the incident, since I went there to cancel both of our debit cards. and while I understand some time being needed to ensure no fraud of any type is being done, the fact that the thief admitted guilt, and that the purse was found at her address - with the cards still in it, from what I understand - then surely the process should be quicker?
 
 
by the way, for anyone who hasn't caught on yet, this is a rant about money more than anything else.
 
see, this money could be useful, and important.
 
4 weeks ago, we had out housing officer out.  it had taken several weeks to finally get through to him, since fuck all had been done about our issues with the bitch downstairs.  we were, yet again, made a bunch of promises, and got our hopes up a little due to being informed of a potential exchange to a 3 bed house, which thus far has failed to materialise, either because of ineptitude on his part, or because it was never fucking there.
 
out of work, we could not afford the private rents around here; a two bed is £600pcm, which was (is) a ton more than what we'd have been entitled to.  working, we could, potentially, get a 3 bed for under £700pcm, where we would only have to put around a ton a month to that. since we can't rely on our housing officer, we will have to go back into the private sector, which we haven't had a good experience of, but it seems to be the only way forward.
 
so, even the £300 I am owed from ESA, and the DWP, and the £400 we will be able to claim back from the bank, would be 7 months of rent add-ons.  obviously, we're not counting in the deposit and month in advance, but since, right now, there's actually fuck all for rent around here, it's currently a moot point.
 
this is something that has been on my mind for a few weeks now, since before I lost my job, and since getting it back.  part of me wonders if we'd be better off borrowing the money for a deposit off family, and getting a mortgage on a house, so what we're paying is going purely to what we will own.  the obvious downside is that, rather than adding £100pcm to the rent, we'd be paying the entire monthly mortgage cost.  and since I've not got much security in my job, that is the only thing that is really putting me off.
 
admittedly, on minimum wage, I'd be getting ahead of myself anyway, but I would hope for some job security down the road.
 
not because I'm untouchable, though I currently am.  the company, rightly, fears doing anything to risk my position since they are keenly aware they have had a lucky escape from a claim for discrimination that would have cost them at least 3 years worth of wages in a lump sum, at the very minimum.  but it's more been down to the fact that there are very few of us at the store who actually know how to do the job right, and I am one of them.
 
because, as immodest as it sounds, I could do any aspect of this job with my eyes closed.  that is not to say the job is easy, or beneath me, or that it is boring or anything, it just comes natural to me.  I could be dumped in any department, and give me 8 hours, I will be able to set that department up and run it.  I could do the tills, if I were allowed, but sadly, I'm not, and the OS in the office is one that I am actually familiar with, so I could work in the office if I got the "company" training.
 
I would need my hours to go back up.
 
at the same time, I can't have my hours up until, at the very least, I am on decent medication for the bipolar, so as to avoid having to have time off for either my mental health, or my diabetes, since my GPs all agree that the latter won't be fully under control until the former is.
 
as another sign of the company seeing what a lucky escape they have had, 2 and a half of the 3 and a half weeks I was out of work will be paid for.  I only miss out on one week due to having to have a week off after being offered my job back because I knew if I went straight back, I would have time off because of the affect the stress of everything had on me.
 
I have also been told that, when I'm not in, the store notices. that's me and another person who works shop floor. I have taken that as a compliment; as much as I respect the two guys I worked warehouse with during my previous stint, I walked back into the store and the back was a fucking mess.  shop floor wasn't that much better - the perils of hiring over 100 people in one go, then having to lay off over half of them, but not making sure they cover every department and every hour of store running - but I am getting my departments there slowly, if people stop fucking about with how I set them up, anyway.
 
rant over for now.
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