Saturday, 26 March 2011

Oh No! Not More Queer Science!

I'm constantly amazed by the extremes that Americans will go to in their desperation to prove that Homosexuality is a disease.

Everything from psychobabble about Faulty Parenting, Unsuitable Home Environment, Unisex Schooling, Masturbation...

To more 'medically' inclined explanations such as Mental Illness and Genetic Disorders have been cited as possible 'causes'.

Now a paper circulating within the medical community claims to have evidence that Homosexuality is linked to reduced Serotonin levels within the brain.

Apparently this particular paper is still undergoing 'peer-review' but it can't be a coincidence that another paper claiming similar findings in mice surfaced briefly in Nature magazine before 'disappearing' again.

One thing is certain. If there were any truth at all in this nonsense then there would be few, if any, Homosexuals of either gender using drugs such as Ecstacy which stimulate the release of Serotonin within the brain.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Decline and Fall

A business acquaintance was interviewing last week and in amongst the usual mixed bag of no-shows and timewasters - sent along by the employment service in order to fill their quota - was a woman who would have been suitable had she not refused to say why she was leaving her current job.

Normally that's a bad sign. In this case the woman insisted that she had done nothing wrong but had been ordered not to discuss the reason for her leaving with anyone including prospective employers.

In fact, she seemed more concerned about her employer finding out she had 'talked' than the effect it would have on her search for another job.

Rather odd to say the least.

Fortunately - to use that very american phrase - I know someone, who knows someone...

And it turns out that the poor woman was telling the truth. Staff at W.H.Smiths in Dover have been told by the manager - then later 'reminded' by the supervisor - not to discuss the subject of a recent staff meeting with anyone and were warned there would be 'consequences' for anyone who did.

And what is this great 'secret' which they are going to such lengths to protect?

Some of the staff at Dover are to be made redundant at the end of March.

Yes. That really is all there is to it.

Even the background seems fairly straightforward. A recent audit showed a shortfall of nearly £30,000 which is an awful lot for a small store like Dover. So head office have decreed that staffing levels have to be reduced by a minimum of 30 hours per week.

The manager has been conducting interviews to determine who will be made redundant with predictable consequences. Staff who got along fairly well for the most part are now desperately trying to stab each other in the back.

Worst of the lot was the one who stormed into the manager’s office with her husband on the day after her second interview. His angry demand to know if his wife was going to lose her job could be clearly heard in the staff room across the hall. He became quite abusive when she refused to discuss the matter with him.

All this would be quite bad enough by itself. However it seems that in the case of the accounts clerk, the interviews are nothing more than window dressing on a decision which has already been made.

I've mentioned the investigation into missing scratch cards before. This started when the accounts clerk noticed a number of discrepancies shortly after taking up her new post and reported them to the manager.

What I did not mention for obvious reasons was that by the time I heard about it, the investigation had focused on the store's supervisor.

A fact she was apparently well aware of at the time.

What followed was a ridiculous series of clumsy attempts to 'stitch-up' the accounts clerk which eventually escalated to include the current manager and, on one occasion, the area manager who was severely reprimanded for her behaviour after it blew up in their faces.

Since that incident both the manager and the supervisor have also been reprimanded for their "unprofessional behaviour" towards the young lady in question.

That was several months ago and now it seems that the investigation into this pair of idiots might still be ongoing if the manager's most recent blunder is anything to go by.

Stealing from your employer is pretty stupid to begin with. To follow that with a clumsy and thoroughly disastrous campaign of harassment against the person who discovered the thefts is even worse.

But to then compound the whole thing by telling the young lady in question that she could keep her job if she dropped the matter simply beggars believe.

To do this is a place where they could be overheard by anyone passing nearby simply leaves me speechless in amazement.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Another long Gap

Normally this is where I would make some pathetic sounding excuse about my workload and not having enough time.

The fact that it’s true. I do have an enormous workload which leaves me with barely enough time to do what I need to, never mind anything else is besides the point.

“I didn’t have time" still sounds like a pathetic excuse.

However on this occasion it was a security problem and not a lack of time.

This is nothing new of course. I’m used to the amateurish attempts to break into my email account which often follow postings about the Labour Party or Dover District Council.

I’m also used to the light-hearted attempts of a certain town councillor to ferret out the same information and certainly wouldn’t want him to stop.

However this was very different.

It was far too persistent for one thing, having started somewhere around the beginning of September last year and continued on and off until just over six weeks ago.

It was also far more sophisticated, almost ‘professional’ in it’s approach and while the Techo-Rabbi is fairly certain the attempts were unsuccessful, he cannot guarantee that. Not that it would have helped as none of the accounts link back to me in any way.

However this did mean some fairly extensive changes were needed. I had to refrain from logging on to this blog and the accounts connected to it while this was ongoing to avoid any chance of the connection being traced. I couldn’t even risk changing the passwords.

The computer I use for writing and publishing this blog had to be wiped and re-installed to eliminate any traces which might have ‘slipped through the cracks’.

Finally, new ‘security arrangements’ had to be designed and put into place. Naturally this took some time but the Techo-Rabbi thought it was necessary and as I couldn’t do anything while the ‘attack’ was ongoing, I wasn’t going to argue with him. Particularly as he would be doing all the work.

That’s all done now. The new arrangements are in place. There has been no ‘hostile’ activity for six weeks and I’ve changed all the passwords so now I can get back to using pathetic sounding excuses about not having enough time.

Naturally I’m curious about what set this off but the only thing I can think of is the remark about a secret deal to sell off council housing stock which I closed my Simply Bad Management post with.

It was meant to be amusing but instead I seem to have touched a nerve.

A very, very raw one.