the workplace

Fair tips campaign

Tipping, of the sort where you leave a few pounds extra to your nice restaurant waiter, is a kind of bizarre custom anyway in some ways. Most people doing other sorts of jobs don't tend to get tips, and you'd never really think to give your bank clerk an extra fiver if they paid your cheque in particular fast. Nonetheless, they are part of established UK culture. Also, to be fair, the kind of jobs you do expect to get them in are probably some of the most annoying, worst paid jobs around, so why not reward your server with some shiny shiny coins if they do a good job?

Well, one good reason why not is because in many cases your tip does not actually benefit the person you think you are paying. Rather, some restaurant owners actually pocket all the tips themselves and, at best, recycle it to make the sub-minimum wage they pay their staff up to the bare legal minimum come the end of the week. Outrage.

Hangovers - an all too common part of the workplace

Just to continue the sadly unsurprised-face theme of today's updates, let it now be declared that, according to a study by Norwich Union Healthcare, a sizeable amount of people turn up to work (well done)...hungover (not well done).

Their survey of 1000 employees and 250 companies found that about a third (32%) of respondents did own up to turning up to work in a hurty hurty hungover state.

"Own up" is about right, because the Poorhouse is rather surprised it's not more. Well, unless people are just taking ever more sick days...which it could well be. In the eyes of the employers themselves, more than three quarters consider alcohol to be the number one threat to employee's turning up and being healthy.

Making the most of your expense account

These days with more mobile working, more business travellers and an ever greater need for those at the top to steal what could be their employees' wages to fund their restaurant / mistress / coke habit there are a serious number of expense accounts around. These, for the un-initiated, are what one charges business expenses to in cases where you aren't expected to pay for them yourself, which should be in every case that is vaguely to do with non-recreation.

For the more lowly peons, such as the Poorhouse, the whole company credit card idea is out. Rather one has to take on personal debt then claim it back. This is a bit annoying in some ways so it pays to try and make the most of the opportunities for personal profit.

Don't recycle things you don't own

Who doesn’t love "corporate social responsibility"? Yep, CSR, that token greenwash effort a lot of companies try to pretend that they actually care about yourself and the environment nearly as much as they care about the bottom line.

As such, it wasn't that surprising to be sent the following email, anonymised a bit in a vague attempt to prevent the source from job-loss.

The offensive ho

In the eyes of the Poorhouse, on many occasions the cry of "political correctness has gone mad" is apparently used to prefix some overt racist / sexist / homophobic or other similar statement. Now and then however a silly example does pop up showing some probably well-meaning idiot's attempt to remove offence where none was likely to be taken anyway.

For example, there's the current regulations for Santas (oops, yes kiddies, there is actually more than one Santa! But don't worry, they all love you very much) in Sydney. It seems that the traditional "ho ho ho" Father Christmas greeting is in danger of cultural removal, because it is in danger of being offensive to hos women who like to make money without even getting out of bed.

The legitimisation of workplace naps

The Poorhouse is no stranger to the sneaky afternoon (or morning for that matter) nap at work, but has always felt that that is one of the many, many features rendering him unemployable for anything that could be described as high status and even somewhat deserving of the odd berating. Perhaps this was a mistaken assumption.

That bastion of society, the judge, apparently has a fair enough chance of being allowed to snooze in the workplace. The precedent was perhaps set with an Australian Judge Ian Dodd who was the sentencing judge in a drugs case, where the two defendants were sentenced to 13 and 10 years respectively, whose attentive nature was somewhat akin to the Poorhouse's workplace demeanour after "two pint Tuesday".

Employers are evil: check your wage and holidays

The evil capitalistic employers that most of us British subjects are forced to work under to get by do, of course, often like to give you the worst of everything they think they can get away with. Worst pay, worst holidays, worst working conditions and so on. Not to say the Government really does that much to help make your life something other than based on wage-slavery, but here and there they do specify legal minimums of the good stuff.

If you are the typical minimum wage minimum holiday type employer then the amounts have just gone up. Make sure you check that your employer is treating you (minimumly) right.

Who moved my Blackberry? Where fiction is reality

The Poorhouse has just been thoroughly enjoying reading a book (yes, a book, no need to die of amazement) called "Who Moved My Blackberry(tm)?", allegedly written by fake Financial Times columnist Martin Lukes.

To lazily quote the back of the book, it describes "a year in the life of an A-playing brand ambassador suspended halfway up the corporate ladder. Must be read with a can-do headset". Yep, this book, detailing the manifold output of Martin's Blackberry is compulsive reading for those of us still unlucky enough to be messing around in the world of corporate nonsense. It is also hilarious, mainly because - even moreso than The Office - it is absolutely true.

No surprises there then - office workers hate each other

Office labourers! Prepare to be shocked. See that sweet, innocent, charming old lady sitting next to you who spends all day chatting about rainbows and bunnies to you, in between handing you replacement staples? Well, the sad truth is there's every chance she hates you.

In what can, in the Poorhouse's experience anyway, only be termed confirmation of what you already knew, a survey of 2500 office workers by jobs2view has determined that, really, there ain't a lot o' love floating around in your average bureaucratic paper-shuffling 9-5 building.

Housework + geekery = fun?

Housework; even the name doesn't sound that interesting. A "house", well it's a nice thing to have, but not especially known for adrenalin-filled rock 'n' roll rides in most cases. More a shelter from adrenalin-filled rock 'n' roll rides. "Work"; for this one clearly no further explanation is needed. So we need to find some way of making housework a bit more interesting and hence not ending up dead in a filth pit of infested evil muck one day (or, worse yet, ending up on "Life of Grime").

Enter…Chore Wars. Geekgasm!

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