Hired or no longer required?

Such a wonderful quote and attitiude from Anne Frank

Well some upsetting news last week in my team at work, as they have been recruiting for a fulltime employee to come along and work with us. We have had two temporary members of staff doing an awesome job at getting work done in the office and really going the extra mile in order to get things done and answer the phones so that things get done and customers are served. Not every customer is ever happy, but to be honest in our department over 50% of the calls that come through to us are complaints anyway and it’s a matter of managing those complaints and signposting their enquiry to a person that will take them further or tell them that we can’t help.

Two of my colleagues went for the full time job that was being recruited for and they both were unsuccessful in their interviews and both told there services were no longer required at our office and one of them has until the end of this week to leave and the other will leave at the end of the first week in June.

I must repeat myself they were both very good at what they did and had undertaken a lot of training (mostly by me) which helped them be able to be as good as what they did. They were not only well trained they were keen to get the job done and jump in and rise to whatever challenge was presented to them in the job.

So we gain one new employee at the expense of losing two and our managers will call this progress. I will again attempt to help train up the new employee and ensure they are competent enough to ensure they can do the job properly but ultimately whether they are any good will be up to the new employee and will only be seen in time.

When I started in the team that I worked my two colleges had nearly 20 years each of experience in the team and were therefore blood good at what they did. I am now the most experienced member of the team and I have nowhere near as much experience as my predecessors. I know who to ask for help but will never know all the answers, though my job is not to know all the answers but to make sure I know who to assign a call or case to that will be able to provide those answers to and I can just about do that!

On the terrible day last week that my colleagues found out that they no longer had their jobs I also got in a bloody terrible argument in my local bar and that argument has hopefully now been resolved and out of respect to the person that I was arguing with I will not go into it further here, but at the very least I can say I hate disagreements and arguing with people.

But the situation in the bar my morose mood all combined into an unpleasant evening for one and all. I do hope the situation that led to the argument does not resurface again. Both myself and the person I was arguing with left on good terms after the argument and with any luck no further troubles will occur. I think with what he was going through it was probably a crap day for him too.

It was the icing on the cake to a really crappy day last Thursday.

The Matrix has you!

When they learn how to plug you into a digital world, you might not ever know how to unplug and come back to the real world or even the reason why you should. They will probably start plugging in the old, disabled and poor into a new matrix of control as an act of kindness, in order to save us from ourselves.

My mum has finally sold her home in Cornwall and due to move to Devon next Wednesday; we are all really looking forward to it. Though moving during an energy crisis is not the easiest time to move if you’re trying to save money on your energy bills. Mum has spent hours over the last week on the phone to utility companies, banks and council officers trying to update her home location status with them and there are very few people left in those organisations to take her calls due to the reduction in customer services employees and a push to do everything online.

One of the key roles that I have to do in my job at the council in Exeter is answer the phone and speak to customers and as such my job is also under threat due to long term restructuring aims seeing this role as a money saving cost effective form of progress to get rid of. This so called progress has forced me to bounce in and out of work for the last 26 years of my working life, sometimes choosing to apply for new jobs prior to an organisation or role being shut down or sometimes being made redundant due to restructuring issues and businesses closing down while I am still employed at them.

I can honestly say I am a very good hardworking and dedicated employee in an area of employment that people no longer wish to employ. I know for a fact that the work that I do is hard work and still needs to be done. I solve problems that are presented to my organisations, I am always busy there is always something important that needs to be done. By sacking people like me that need to answer phones and work with customers it does not make those customers problems go away it just means those customers are either ignored now or processed via a different channel.

This job is one of the many work roles in the UK that has been rapidly phased out by many companies there is a money saving exercise to increase profits by not enabling customers to speak to staff in business and government agencies.

First that sacked the face to face staff and I did not speak out, although I too was made redundant.

Then they came for the staff that talked to customers over the phone and again I did not speak out and again I was at risk and at times made redundant or moved on.

Finally the aim will likely be to digitise the workings of staff customer service roles so that there will be none left to hire, and likely none left to speak out too!

I strongly disagree with the digitising and outsourcing to computers of employed roles within any organisations and my main reason for this is that is businesses do not need to hire people and people do not have money from working to afford to pay to put a roof over their head and feed and clothe themselves then the state will not hand them those resources on a plate.

Either so called wealthy societies such as ours learn to adapt to look after and resource their most vulnerable members of society be they pensioners, disabled or the out of work or there will be a considerable amount of damage and ongoing suffering in society to these vulnerable individuals people claim to care but often money and actions or even lack of money and lack of action speaks louder than words.

No mainstream political party in the UK grasps this nettle at present as both Labour and the Conservative parties consistently want to chase the right wing element of the voting public in this country which is why the labour party do not have my vote in the upcoming council elections and it is a labour party that is presently facilitating my next round of redundancy at the council.

I have just written to my local MP Ben Bradshaw asking him if he wholeheartedly endorse the new planned restructuring of employment roles that are going to take place at Exeter council by a labour council and merely blames the Conservative for the cuts that will be endorsed in customer services roles and can he explain to me why I should vote Labour in the next council election and vote in my own potential redundancy at the hand of a Labour lead Exeter Council?

Though I cannot stop the world from spinning even when it appears to be spinning out of control, I can at least look to make sense of the madness and express my disapproval in my own way to my political representatives at the very least.  

21st Century War

To look into the global suffering of the world would be a very dark place to try and gain any insight from or find any truths concerning what had led to wars and what are the long term consequences for us all.

Truths are often taught or indoctrinated from the winners and learned by those who are left behind, concerning global events and across world history. I have been looking at a variety of sources in order to attempt to gain an insight concerning what was going on in the world prior to the invasion of Ukraine from a perspective of wars of the 21st century. There do appear to be parallels between the western war on terror post 9/11 with oil and gas grabs and Putin’s allegation of his needs to invade Ukraine.

Many people seem to state these days that care equally about the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq as they do about the people of Ukraine but the international community and our media outlets do not care so much for the people of Palestine as it does for the people of Ukraine. Though I don’t think the bombing and murdering of one nation over the bombing and murdering of another nation is a competition and when one power occupies another or attempts to do so we should see one occupier as less wrong or of less importance than another. Two wrongs do not find a right.

I have also been reading articles on the natural resourses wealth of Ukraine and why these are strategic recourses that Putin desires and ones he thinks will provide him with tactical advantages in the future. The invasion of Ukraine and the plan to undertake such an invasion was not the first act of war in the 21st century.

Unfortunately the US and UK are not innocent in these land grab incidents, or oil and gas grabbing and occupying incidents, which appear to have emboldened Putin into thinking I could do something similar to that and have potentially got us into the mess where we collectively all are today.

Sadly the world’s economies are hugely addicted to oil and gas that is pumped out of the planet and our thirst for these resources that we need like a vampire nation feeding on the blood of oil and gas in order to sustain our modern form of existence means that we we have the potential to purchase oil from any regime at any cost to our society and biosphere. Like a junkie that does not know it has a problem or has an inability to reflect or count the cost of its addiction or know when or even if it can stop we continue to inject oil into the veins of our global mechanical, industrial economies. We claim that by doing so we sustain life and the economy, whilst in reality putting it all at risk.

Although ultimately Putin might see the actions and historic shaping of the globe as some of his reasons and justifications to invade Ukraine but only he is the one that acts on his impulse to inflict the horror of war on the Ukrainian people.

When the US and UK invaded Iraq it was seen as regime change and though the initial conflict was won swiftly the long-term war and casualties inflicted on the country if Iraq cost many lives. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But the terrorist attacks in the United States changed forever the lives of Iraqis.

In their aftermath, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, swiftly deposing the Taliban regime that had been sheltering Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida terror network blamed for the attacks. Only some 20 years later to leave Afghanistan knowing it could not successfully occupy the land allowing the Taliban to retake power there.

President George W. Bush identified Iraq along with Iran and North Korea, as part of an “axis of evil” and asserting that its brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, was armed with weapons of mass destruction and had ties to al-Qaida. No evidence of either of it ascertains were ever found and no trials have ever taken place concerning crimes against humanity for the actions and consequences of the war in Iraq. The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has spurred a decades of war, which has had consequences that reverberate across the region and the world to this day.

6 Step Disinformation Guide

Don’t Get Swept Away by Falsehoods about War in Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine opened the floodgates to disinformation. Follow our 6 step guide to protect yourself and avoid being swept away by untrustworthy news stories.

by Eleanor Brooks –  https://www.liberties.eu/en/stories/disinformation-guide/44093

Disinformation is playing an outsized role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and there is mounting evidence that Russians are being deliberately misled by their government and state-controlled media outlets.

Disinformation poses a major threat to democractic societies in peacetime as well. Conflicting versions of events muddies the water, which makes it difficult for people to know the truth about what is happening. Without an accurate picture, it is harder for citizens to speak out and make their voices heard about issues which matter to them. Disinformation can also distort public debate, threatening free and fair elections.

What is disinformation?

Disinformation is false information that is shared with the intention of misleading people. The sharer of the “news” knows that it is false and intends to deceive their audience. Unlike misinformation (misleading, inaccurate or completely false information that is shared without the person knowing it is incorrect), the sharing of disinformation isn’t done in good faith. Rather, it is a deliberate intention to create division and stir up fear by knowingly spreading content that is incorrect.

6-Step Disinformation Guide

Conspiracy theories have become more sophisticated as of late, so in order to be alert to disinformation it is essential that you adopt a critical mindset to all the online content you consume. Before sharing anything, take a pause and go through this checklist.

1. Know your author

As a first step you should consider, who is the author?

Is the author regarded as credible? Is this person simply stating their opinion or sharing anecdotal evidence? You should be extra cautious about information circulated on social media, messaging apps and messaging boards.

Just because someone has a high follower count or a verified account on social media, it doesn’t necessarily mean their content is trustworthy. You should be particularly wary of accounts that have recently joined the platform.

2. Know your outlet

On which platform or outlet did you find the information? Consider the trustworthiness of the outlet you are using and verify the information against other sources.

3. Verify the evidence

Is the claim supported by reliable evidence? Look closely at the evidence that is offered – do the details match the current story e.g. location, weather, setting? Watch out for repurposed content from an older news article or an entirely different event.

4. Crosscheck images and videos

If you have a hunch that the evidence provided is dodgy, listen to your instinct. There are plenty of tools and strategies available to verify whether an image or video is legitimate.

·Check to see if an image has been photoshopped: by checking an image’s metadata you can see if it has been doctored. Use EXIF tools on your smartphone such as the app ExifWizard

·Reverse image search – take a screenshot and search for the image using Google’s reverse image tool, or other similar tools such as Tineye.com or the Google extensionRevEye

· Use an Amnesty International tool which verifies YouTube videos

5. Check your facts!

If a story seems fishy to you, there are plenty of trustworthy fact-checking websites who debunk conspiracy theories and misinformation.

·Snopes

·FactCheck.org

·Bellingcat

·Google Fact Check Tools: lists recent fact-checks by various online publications

6. Report it!

If you spot a fake story online, report it to the platform and send it to a fact-checking website. If one of your friends posted the story – send them this guide!

If you read something on social media, check to see if the same story is also published by larger, well-established news outlets. If you read a story in a politically extreme outlet, are other news outlets running the same story?

Emili Sande – Read All About It Pt. III

This is my truth

James – Sound
Back in 2020 not today, today I am doing ok

Back in 2020 I expereince my first psychosis for nearly some 10 years. I am lucky in that I have good insight into when I become unwell I know when I am hallucinating and I know when I am delusional and with the help of medication and medical staff, friends and family I worked hard to hold down my job, keep a roof over my head and get well all at the same time. I know times like now are times when I risk becoming unwell again and I must be mindful of this happening to me now.

Symptoms of psychosis

The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are:

  • hallucinations – where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that do not exist outside their mind but can feel very real to the person affected by them; a common hallucination is hearing voices, though my hallucinations manifest themselves as visual lights, on the rare occations that I see them I know I am very unwell.
  • delusions – where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others.

The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.

james – Don’t wait that long

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?

The bible teaches us that during the Crucifixion of Jesus on the ninth hour he cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? This is, translated as, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Such a sad statement to have in the bible and a true reflection of the grief and sadness of the situation unfolding on the cross in real-time for Jesus still echoing down the years of history to all.

Many Christians believe that what happens is all part of God’s plan and choice, and that all our souls are heading towards Gods destination of choice for us, the good the bad and the ugly.  

I hope and pray this is true but I am not sure I have the conviction of faith to believe it to be so all the time. When you witness or experience bad things happening to yourself or good people that you love and know, it scares or bruises your soul and sometimes the closer to home that it happens then the deeper the scar cuts. My believe in the presence and existence of God does not deminish but having faith in how his will is conducted is a challenge at times.

I believe God is all powerful and has unconditional love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man”. I try my best to work in service of god throughout my life living as a good person, but know I am just one man and in all honesty though my actions attempt to do right by God, and sometimes I fail but not all times.

But my ability to have faith in his plan is in all honesty my greatest weakness. I get paranoid and fear that evil could theoretically overcome humans on this planet and for that I try to speak out against evil and wrong doing even more so because of this.

I am no great fighter my greatest weapons are in words and deeds that matter to others and myself. I am not trained in the use of a gun or my fists. Though if I am alive and well enough and a global war was declared which my country was involved within I would seek to take my place however I could best serve.

As far as the future is concerned, God will be alright whatever happens and he will be happy and content with his plan no matter how it unfolds for me or those that I love on this earth. I just hope he does not forsake us and the places we love as bad things continue to happen to good people across the globe.  

I try to speak truth to power which is a gift and curse that I have and at difficult times like that we are living through now it is one of the things that I aspire to continue to do.

Seal – Don’t Cry

Truth in war

On March 8, 1917 women textile workers held a demonstration in Petrogad, Russia that eventually engulfed the whole city, demanding “Bread and Peace”—an end to World War I, to food shortages, and to Tsarism. Such a repeat protest would be illegal in Russia today as since 2014, holding a demonstration without the permission of authorities, even a peaceful single-person picket, is punishable by a fine or detention of up to 15 days, or up to five years in prison if it is the third breach. Why worry about a peaceful protest if you’re Putin if you can jail those that try to oppose you or protest about anything?

In this day and age in Ukraine, Putin’s fight for peace is like screwing for virginity, and with that in mind this could potentially lead to a global conflict which ensures we all get screwed. Putin is now beginning to put his cards on the table and explain to the world where he is coming from and what he is capable of and the world still appears to be in denial about this, like a victim unable to comprehend the horror that it is being threatened to be inflicted upon it.

The world is gambling with Putin that the Ukraineain and Russian blood and sacrifice of lives at Putin’s political alter of beliefs will quench his thirst and appease him a little longer.

But no bloody thirsty tyrant in the history of the world has ever had their thirst quenched by the blood of others. There are not enough bodies on this mortal plain that could be offered at the altar of Putins desires and beliefs to satisfy his thirst for vengeance and wrath upon the rest of the world.   

Putin has now gone on record stating the west’s sanctions are akin to an act of war on Russia and that any country that implements a no fly zone over Ukraine would be considered “participants in a military conflict”.

Although it feels like there is only one man bating the world to inflict World War 3 upon it and no one else calling for it but Putin? He has hit Ukraine hard and fast its only 10 days since the start of this madness and he still does not describe what he is doing to his own people when he patronises them with lies and misdirection on state TV in Russia as a war in Ukraine but a special military operation. Russians now face 15 years in prison for posting ‘fake news’ about Ukraine war under new law.

With the whole of the Russian state media and government officals are producing and posting constant fake news about the war then they are guilty of the very crimes that the state imposes on its own citizens. This legislation is like the mad ramblings of a demented Tzar trying to stifle truth and the road map to peace on his own people. If the truth was allowed to be heard Putin knows it would be deafening and disruptive to his road map to potential global war.

What is your occupation?

Or who is taking your time, occupying your land and denying you liberty?

Residents of Melitopol, a city in southern Ukraine, gathered to protest the arrival of Russian troops on March 2 as Moscow continues its military invasion for the seventh day. Shots can be heard in the background of an amateur video shot by a protester who says, “They are trying to intimidate us.” The shots appear to be fired into the air by Russian forces in an attempt to disperse the protest, while demonstrators remain defiant.

We all take are freedom for granted as Boris Yeltsin says we don’t appreciate what we have when we have it. I would go further and say like oxygen we need it in order to sustain life and breathe. Some of us only can imagine waking up to the sound of shelling or even worse a shell falling on our home. But that is no longer left to the imagination in Ukraine.

Imagine waking up and finding an occupying tank from a foreign force on your doorstep, stealing from your county the right to vote, for who you believe in Your right to say and do what you believe to be right. Or go to where you want, when you want. These are all rights that as a reader of this article you and others in your country have and like air those rights are all around you and like oxygen your society needs them in order to sustain a healthy political ecosystem.

Amy Macdonald – What’s Up