I don't make a habit of listening to the news (too depressing), but can't help hearing the odd snippet during the time that I have the radio on during my early morning drives to work. Apart from the death of Colonel Gadaffi, the story that most caught my ear this week was that regarding the protests about what has been termed "corporate greed". This is a term that many are familiar with, but many are unsure as to exactly what it means.
According to the Dictionary, greed can be defined as the obsessive compulsion for food, wealth or power, while the term corporation can be defined as a group of indivuals who are in business, and act as one unit setting their own rules and agenda. Thus it is that corporations act with little regard for those whom they are supposed to serve (their clients, employees and the world at large), with the sole aim of accumalating more wealth and power for themselves. One of the things that the protestors have been particularly vociferous about is the fact that one percent of the global population own 99 percent of the global wealth - the word own can be used loosely here since less than 3 percent of the money in circulation is "true money" in the form of coins and bank notes, but merely numbers on a screen that exist in a virtual reality world similar to the "friends" that we know online rather than in our real lives. Nevertheless these figures are startling.
The Occupy Wall Street website where the protests began, features pictures of various Americans holding placards stating their experiences of being one of the so-called 99 percent (that is the 99 percent who collectively own around 1 percent of the worlds wealth). My own experience is perhaps not as serious as theirs, since unlike my US counterparts I live in a country which offers free healthcare and do not have to choose between this and eating. In the past few weeks though I have learnt that the man who owns the nursing home where I work, rather than investing in the business that he already has, has chosen to invest in another home, where he expects staff in his other existing business (where I work) to do overtime so that he does not have to pay for agency staff. Thankfully I am not one of these individuals. In the scheme of life of course, none of this really matters, for these issues do not concern me directly. Those individuals who are affected by this have to make their own choices as to what they wish to do, and for the most part they have. What does concern me in a good way are the changes that our new Manager is making.
I have often written about my work on this blog and how hard the housekeepers (this is the job that I choose to do) are expected to work, but when I had the chance to fill in a questionaire earlier this year regarding staff satisfaction which found its way to the Directors, I had little idea how quickly the universe would respond to my requests. I wrote words to the effect that the Directors appeared to have little concept of the workload that the housekeepers are expected to shoulder and that I believed it was time for a complete reapprasisal as to how this Department was run. I added that in order to take a load off our shoulders, the Directors needed to recruit seperate staff for both the kitchen and the laundry, so that we, the housekeepers could concentrate on our real role, that of keeping the home clean and tidy. I have no idea as to whether our new Manager saw what I wrote (she started work long after the forms were sent back) but she appears to share my sentiment, for this week I heard via our staff meeting that a new Kitchen Assistant has already been recruited - without the knowledge of the Directors! This then will be very interesting indeed.
For the moment only one Kitchen Assistant has been recruited, who will work four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) from 10am to 5pm. This has come about under the guise of infection control, rather than a desire to lighten our workload, although that will be the end result. Since there are three housekeepers, for the remaining three days of the week (Monday through to Wednesday) we will each spend one day working soley in the kitchen with the remaining four days of our working week on our housekeeping duties. Whether this will mean that we change our working hours from our existing 7am to 2pm on this day remains to be seen, but that would be very good indeed. It seems then that our job role is about to change quite considerably, and the Director has finally met his match, for he appear to be a fine example of those greedy corporate bosses that the protestors have been so vociferous about. At his heart he is of course a being of love and compassion, but he has lost sight of that part of himself and needs to be shown a different way of doing things. It seems that our new Manager is the person to do that. There will though be interesting times ahead.
At the same time this week, I have booked two holidays - a week on Lundy in March, and 2 weeks on the Isles of Scilly in June. I am staying at my usual haunt, the Old Light Cottage on Lundy and have found the perfect little flat to rent on Scilly, which is one mile from Hugh Town and surrounded by walks and beautiful countryside in all directions. I predict then great things for the coming months, and have high hopes for 2012.