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Friday, 26 October 2012

The start of the beginning

I haven't posted on here (again) for a few weeks, but it has as ever been an interesting time.  As I wrote previously, about 6 weeks ago my boss, the Head Housekeeper had her appraisal and she naturally enough brought up the subject of a pay rise (we haven't had one in all of the 3 1/2 years I have worked here and now earn just 19 pence an hour above minimum wage - bear in mind also that I have recently completed an NVQ 2). She was asked to put it in writing, and knowing that I too want one, thought that if I did the same thing, it would add weight to her argument. So that is what we both did. 2 weeks ago I had my own appraisal, during which the Care Home Manager sang my praises (actually we had a really honest and open talk) and said that if she had anything to do with it, we would get that rise, but sadly she does not sign the cheques. The cheques are signed instead by our Director, a former Director of the investment arm of one of the big four banks, (say no more), who thinks nothing of spending money on vases, mirrors and furniture that we do not need - anything it seems except the staff. His idea of treating us properly is the annual Christmas party, which is a waste of time anyway.

Six weeks later, despite repeatedly asking the Care Home Manager, we are yet to receive an answer, in fact I am not even sure if the Director has even seen our letters, since they appear to have been just plonked in his in tray. So on Wednesday I spoke to the Company Advisor (the Director when he is in uses the same desk), and asked him if he knew anything, and he has promised to investigate. The Director came in later that day, and requested a private meeting with the Manager, and before I left our Administrator informed me that "things were being dealt with", so if there is still no joy by this time next week, I shall have no alternative than to just ask him direct. I did not want to do this, as he is a large and somewhat intimidating man, seemingly with an answer for everything.  I do not though feel that at this stage it is up to me to justify why I deserve a rise, but for him to justify why I do not. I for one am heartily fed up with all this waiting around, and in a fighting mood, and so will be more than ready for him. Wish me then copious amounts of luck.

It seems that lady luck is already smiling anyway, since I received my first royalty statement from Amazon a few days ago since kindleising my book, and have sold three copies - this may not seem a lot, but it is no doubt three copies that I would otherwise not have sold, and I am sure there will be many more.

I had an email from my publisher a few days ago also, informing me that Richard, the Editor and owner of the company has arranged a deal with Gardners Books, the UK's largest wholesaler, whereby Richard's authors can advertise (prices start so I am told at £80) in Gardners next magazine, which is sent to every book retailer in the country. A year or so ago I would have jumped at this chance, and while it is true that this represents a good deal (I would have to sell around 26 books to make to worthwhile),  I do not have £80 at my disposal, not for this anyway. There is a long list of things that need paying for first - the new glasses that I ordered (£364), which I am picking up later on today, the deposit for next years holiday, the cost of my February holiday, my annual car service, a new winter coat, our trip to Glastonbury at the end of the year. I am sure there will be more expenses too before the end of the year. That £10.33 that I received then in royalties is a drop in the ocean, and sadly will not stretch far (a pair of second hand trousers from Ebay perhaps), if I am to afford all of these things, then I am going to need that rise, and if I don't get it, and he tells me as he usually does, that there will be a pay review in April (which one), he will be well and truly taking the rise. 

Yesterday then Coran and I went to Guildford to collect the clothes I had ordered from Rohan, who are rapidly becoming my favourite outdoor retailer (a pair of warm walking trousers and a Merino wool T shirt), followed by lunch in our favourite vegetarian restaurant, while today I need to collect my glasses and then go food shopping - what joy! As it has been some while since I visited my parents grave, I intend to get some flowers and go and see them also later on. If the weather stays kind, I will sit in the car with a cup of tea and my Kindle and watch the world go by.

Two days in a job like mine never seems like enough, and I have a long time to go between holidays this time, but despite my grumblings I do for the most part enjoy what I do, and I know perhaps most importantly of all, that it it so very worthwhile. Unfortunately it seems that in this country, those that perform the most valuable work are the least rewarded, but I have a feeling that all that and a lot more is about to change - the bankers and business people, both current and former have to start accepting that their gravy train is well and truly over. The signs are there that this is starting to happen, with the scandals and corruption that it seems are continually coming to light, but as we go into next year, all of this will start to speed up as more and more comes to light - the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, the fuel industry and so on. By the time this is over there will be nowhere left to hide for anyone who has sought to mislead and deliberately keep others down. This is the beginning of the end, or perhaps the start or our own beginning - oh yes indeed, a year from now things will look very different, for I really do believe that our time has come. 

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