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Thursday, June 21, 2007

 

Not the last post

Was my last post on the 15th? How remiss of me, but I’ve been rather busy of late, what with one thing or another. The news on the publishing front is that the book is finished, but I’ve just got to sort out the distribution and listing side of things. Such are the joys of self publishing. Bear with me.

In the meantime, here’s the latest from the wonderful zany world of parking enfarcement in our area;

Fraud

Team meeting this afternoon and one of the many sticks that are used to beat (Sorry, motivate) us came out of the closet. This 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 in the afternoon) and fit in all your patrol duties. 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 this 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 fraudulently. This means preparing for the days duties on your own time, changing into their uniform, setting up their equipment (Printers, Hand held Computers, Radio’s), unpaid. Ahem, who is being defrauded here might I ask?

I know our employers pay the wages, but surely that’s for my time at work, not to make inroads into my personal life. As long as I am performing my work duties within reasonable parameters and catching the naughty people who abuse the parking laws, why the heavy handed approach? Especially when I personally am not at fault. This rankles somewhat.

As we don’t get time off in lieu (Or paid overtime) for being on site and ready say fifteen minutes to half an hour before our start of shift time, this seems a very one sided bargain. I know we’re better paid than call centre workers, but we do undertake greater physical risks and are expected, amongst many other things, to fix pay and display machines etc with ‘customers’ breathing down our neck, demanding that we do something right now! There seems to be this view that we should go straight out on street (As we so often do) with very little information apart from what’s come through on the grapevine. More often than not it feels like no one tells us anything.

No wonder mistakes are made. We often feel we are not important enough to be told what we need to know to do our jobs better. Grumbling has already reached the lower end of the richter scale, and it’s not just me. I’m just the bloke who sits at the end of the mess table with his mouth clamped firmly shut. I know my job is out on the streets and car parks, and that’s where you can generally find me during the duty hours of my shift. My employers get their money’s worth. So when I am told that I should be giving up my personal time for the job, who is defrauding who?

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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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