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Saturday, December 17, 2005


Christmas holiday bitch

According to the latest edict from our head of department, Christmas day is not officially a holiday. Just let that soak in for a moment. According to our Management; officially we have no right to a day off on Christmas day. No double time or anything. Personally I think it’s a scam dreamed up by the worshippers of the great god of spreadsheets, those heretics who abase themselves in the temple of mammon where everything has a price, but very little has value.

Christmas day duty, which was being held over our head like a fiscal sword of Damocles, would be no different than any other day, with the same expectations of so many streets patrolled and so many tickets issued as a regular day. While we were being fed this line, our Senior Manager appeared to be actively enjoying winding us up. Since everything we do is monitored in our hand held computers, there is no escape; and you can bet your damned life that Senior Manager would skip away from Christmas lunch to make sure none of us were using the mess room at non-specified break times. This would mean no ‘light duties’ for anybody. Car parks would have to be kept open, streets patrolled and faults fixed. Even if everybody else was scoffing themselves silly and the streets were devoid of traffic. Of course our offices are shut down for the complete Christmas period with the office staff receiving paid holiday for the entire Christmas break.

We get three days including New Years day. One of which has to come from our regular entitlement I might add. I might as well be working in a Supermarket. Fortunately for me my next ‘long weekend’ of rest days fall on the 25th to the 28th, but unfortunately this means I miss out on the extra days in lieu I normally get for working the two bank holidays.

If I sound pissed off I am. It’s not that I would mind working through the entire festive season, it’s simply that I would like a little leeway for initiative and some better incentive to do so.

What further annoyed me was in a staged routine less convincing than the average Amateur Dramatics production, Senior Manager announced that our department would be closing for the Christmas break after all and weren’t they being generous? Words failed me. I briefly wondered if I could get away with throwing a chair but decided against it. The whole tone in which this was delivered was so damned condescending.

While I’m sounding off like this I’d like to air a bitch that has made all of us start looking for other jobs, even some of the keener members of staff. One of the other sticks that are used to beat us is the ‘You get a paid tea break’ gambit. One that isn’t always taken I might add, because there’s often nowhere to bloody well take it. Especially on the longer beats. Senior Manager also likes to trot out the old chestnut about how five minutes a day costs yay much, and multiply is by so many working days in the year and so many staff on duty meaning if we aren’t all out on beat ‘On the dot’ we’re wasting hundreds of thousands of the councils money. This means preparing for the days duties on your own time, setting up their equipment, unpaid.

Well if we all quit they can contract the whole damn lot out, which may well be the game plan. Then the council can take the flak from angry residents when the minimum wage contractors book everything that doesn’t move and don’t provide all the little ‘extra’s’ that we do, like helping out when the Police are thinly stretched as their ‘eyes and ears’. I know we catch stick from the locals; but if Central London style Parking Enforcement comes to our neck of the woods, I can predict some very interesting times for the council leadership indeed. As a voter and local taxpayer I guarantee it.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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