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Caldrail's blog is missing. Or at least the last weeks entry is. Well, no, not really, I just forgot to write one. So I apologise for the tension this had caused around the world as people bite their nails hopin g my next entry will magically appear. David Cameron and Ed Milliband exchanged insults in an angry row. Three schoolgrils gave up and went to Syria. Even Jeremy Clarkson punched his producer over an argument about it and caused the BBC a multi million pound commercial loss. Sorry about that. Lucky for me I'm not actually responsible isn't it? As it happens I've also been leaving my emails untounched for a couple of weeks. Although I've been employed for three months now the many and various agencies are still sending job laerts regularly. Last week I got a phone call from an agency asking if I wanted to do two weeks labour in a role in which my certification has lapsed, that I have no qualification for, and is in the next county. No. Not really. And do they expect me to be available the next morning? Perhaps they ought to read my CV properly. I was trained for a decade to write one after all. Out! With most of my time devoted either to sleeping, shopping, or working, I've had little time to wander around my usual haunts. I popped into the local aprk on my way to the library this morning and yes, the birds are still fighting. One goose has clearly become unpopular, with the others evicting it very loudly. Know how you fell buddy. It's like my last claims advisor. She trampled me into the dust, squished my indentity, and then began trying to recreate me as an embodiement of a figment of her imagination. Turning me into someone I don't know, don't understand, or even like. And I was supposed to get a job while I was trapped in psychological quicksand? Ridiculous. Like all women, she believed she could change me. Only this time she had the authority to do it. Get On With It! Lately I've been doing less floor sweeping and more pallet collection at work. Not sure which is the most tiring. Sweeping the floors involves walking all day and constant bending down to pick up rubbish. Pallet collection requires guiding an electric truck around everyone elses in tight spaces with the clock ticking, lifting one pallet after another onto a pile for the lads to use on the container bay, and some of those pallets are seriously heavy without any load on them. The warehouse boss was wandering around the other day, as he often does, and stopped by a bunch of guys who were doing the sweeping job I used to do alone while I got on with the pallets. "You've all done very weell" He told them, to my utter chagrin, since they amble about and haven't been doing the job for longer than a week or two. "Credit where credit is due". Really? Hello, Mr Boss, I'm over here.... No? Typical. But it isn't all mindless tedium and hard work. The last time I got a pallet truck out I noticed the meter was quite low, only three bars out of thirty, and it looked unlikely the truck would survive the whole shift without the battery going flat. Those vehicles are at a premium. It's a wonder fights don't break out over who gets to drive one. Then I noticed another truck out in the warehouse with twenty bars. Some of the lads thought I was trying to do something sneaky, but no, I did speak to the colleague whose truck it was and we agreed under the circumstances that a swap was okay. Shortly after I had to take a toilet break. It happens, even to the best of us, and certainly to those of us with fifty year old bladders and energy drink habits. When I came out, my truck meter said two bars. What the...?!!!!! As it happened I didn't run of electricity. Pallets were delivered all day, I became tired and broken by the end of the shift, and the managers were happy. Two bars on my wagon, and ah'm still rollin' along.... Language Of The Week Definitely Polish. With so many eastern europeans in the warehouse it's difficult to avoid hearing it, a strange arcane tongue impossible to understand, and I suspect those pesky poles know it. So I'm making an effort to learn a litle Polish. As it happens some of the lads are delighted, and take great pleasure in pointing out that my pronounciation is hopelessly wrong. But I'm getting there... One word at a time... do widzenia!
Don't you just love conspiracy theory? Despite everyones manifest inability to control their own destiny and Mankind's penchant for getting it wrong, people believe their lives are being controlled by some strange unseen group of elite conspirators. Personally I find it a bit hard to imagine that the typical career politician reaches the top of his political tree and becomes top dog in his own country only to be told what to do with it by Men In Grey. The whole genre is nothing more than religion by another name - the very same sense of our lives being buffetted by forces we don't understand gave rise to ideas of gods, devils, and things that go bump in the night. Now we invent secret cabals of influential people that somehow control every aspect of our existence. I met a convert the other day. A young Romanian worker who was adamant that our dearly beloved BBC news was 'controlled'. I pointed out that the news team make editorial decisions about which stories it runs with, allowing for authenticity or public interest. "No no no" He urgently interupted in wide eyed piousy, "The news is controlled. I see on internet video of three thousand people being shot in back of head by ISIS terrorist with AK47. But BBC does not show it.". Oh. I get it. The internet is the source of all uncontrolled and real news is it? As much as I believe ISIS is liable to inflict such violence, even they have to obey the laws of terrorist practicality. In order to watch a terrorist shoot three thousand people taking an average of ten seconds overall for each, in order to aim, move, fire, and reload, would require a video eight hours long. I seriously doubt the BBC would contemplate showing that. Not even excerpts either - most people don't want to watch snuff movies. It's also worth pointing that something like a hundred AK47 magazines would be required for the task at the very least. That's a lot of ammunition to carry around. "No no no" He replied to my explanations, "I give you link to website that shows these things." No, don't bother... Under A Pass Walking back and forth through a pedestrian underpass near the bus station there's three things you an be sure of. Firstly it's going to be packed with people walking back and forth, secondly there's going to be some unfortunate soul who did not survive the encounter with their claims advisor sat under a duvet, and thirdly, someone will be busking. For some time we've been subjected to some old guy with a guitar, performing endless and half hearted blues music. This last time was a little less palatable. A youngster was banging the heck out of upturned pots and pans to an amplified drum track. Quite badly too. Of course it's easy to criticise. I learned that lesson in the music business. It did occur to ne though that back in the days when I was a teenager attracted to playing a drumkit and unable to own one, that I'd gone through a process of starting my experience of percussion with a mattress annoying everyone who could hear my efforts. Will this youngster go on to see his face on Drummer Monthly? A house in the country? Audiences of thousands around the world? Don't laugh - I used to think that was where I was headed. Okay, I did achieve a few big audiences and my stick skills ended up somewhat better than his. These days I keep a warehouse tidy. Maybe I ought to warrn him that no matter what his ambitions are, his life will be controlled by Men In Grey who will frustrate his efforts for the betterment of Mankind? Heck, I need to startb using the internet more... Training Of The Week Proof that my life in the workplace is controlled by management, I was offered an opportunity to get trained up on a pallet truck the other week. Not that big a deal in some respects - I've driven such vehicles in warehouses for years - but the fact the company was willing to invest in my training is a good sign. So I watched the non-violent videos, listened to the advice, took the truck out into the warehouse and guided it through an obstacle course, and finally passed a theory test. All passed. All smiles and handshakes. Once let loose my colleagues took the opportunity to poke fun, though some did congratulate me on my achievement. Eventually I came across Hard Hat in the racks who was most amused at my new mode of transport. I also got a phone call asking me what I wanted to do with those qualifications I'd gotten whilst unemployed. You mean the ones I asked you to tear up? Don't bother me with trvialities lady, I've got a pallet truck to drive...