Flu Shot? Not on Your Nelly…

Read what Bill Maher says about the Flu Shot.

Much of what’s said here is US-centric (and I’m not maligning that – far from it), but there are definite parallels with what we see in the UK media – what’s touted as the almost heretic dissent of not taking the flu shot, and the subsequent pillorying of those dissenters. The govt, media, and places of work are paranoid, but the truth of the matter is that no-one has died OF THE FLU, it’s always been from a combination of flu and something else as well. It’s not a killer pandemic – it’s just flu… I’ll take my shot when it’s wiping out people in their thousands, but it’s not even at dozens yet. Actually, strike that – I’m NOT going to take my shot. Ever. It arrived too quickly for me to have any faith in its efficacy, or in the safety of the contents. I’ve worked for a pharma-related company in the past, and I have never seen anything come to ‘market’ as quickly as this flu shot (even usual seasonals come a tad after the fact, IMHO).

I Hate You, or A recent eMail to a Friend

I hate you.

In true new-broom style, the new regime is either micro-managing or simply avoiding doing anything remotely like managing. Singling out AND alienating, all in one. Genius.

I moved desk last week, AGAIN (the 5th move in a year), but only 2 rows over, and am due to do it again next week; I’m going for 3 in 3 (in any case, I’m getting ever closer to the car park – this could be my ‘out’, though it’s proving more difficult than the walls at Colditz).

The new regime has now made me Dept X’s bitch (replacing Miss y), but they had HR tell me via email – I then had a 30 minute handover from Miss y. It’s always a pleasure to be in close proximity to such a well-presented frontage, but 30mins to hand over a job of work for which she claims she was ‘rushed off her feet’?! Unlike her, perhaps, it just doesn’t stack up. Either she forgot a whole load of guff, and I’m in for a spit-roasting of the right royal variety, or she was really shit at her job. Contractors, eh!

I continue to apply for jobs that I know I can do, but that I also know that 400 other dweebs have also applied for (I suspect the fluffy shit about what I do now on my CV is letting me down – I may have to use the phrase “I will rok your wrld, mutha fukkas” on the front cover).

Perhaps on the lighter side of things, I sit 20 feet away from Paspartout, so I keep pulling faces and making inappropriate comments whenever I can (she pretends not to like the ass-grabs in the stair-well, but I know better!). Perhaps an HR Violation is the only way I’m ever going to get out of here.

In summary: I come to the office in the morning, I go home in the evening – pretty much everything in between disappears into an instantly forgettable fog.

I can’t remember if I said or not … I hate you.


I went to pay my respects at yesterday’s repatriation in Wootton Bassett. I’ve wanted to go, felt a certain push from within, for a while, and either I haven’t been able to make the time, or have looked for one only to find that it was ‘yesterday’.

I don’t know if yesterday’s was any different from the many others, not having anything to compare it to, but it was a sombre and dignified affair, attended by soldiers – old and new – and civilians alike, marred only by the presence of so many news wagons. I understand that it’s newsworthy, I agree that it must be reported, but by all the networks? There was a lovely ‘up yours, vulture’ moment, when a cameraman, eager for the shot, stepped into the road, and was immediately asked to step back by a policeman. Apparently someone was blocking his shot and wouldn’t move. The policeman said ‘tough’ (or perhaps something a little more diplomatic, if only as sympathetic). The obstructive gentleman in question, as the cameraman increased the height of his tripod, stood on his tiptoes from time to time – much to the cameraman’s annoyance (he actually went to speak to the policeman – again, the policeman was appropriately sympathetic).

Why did I go? I’m not sure. I was in the service, albeit briefly, and I suppose I’ve always felt an affinity for all things military – ever since I was a child growing up on military bases; or perhaps I just wanted to stand up and be counted amongst those that recognise the sacrifice these boys have made. In any case, it just felt like the right thing to do.

I was surprised, oddly, to see how many old soldiers there were (an indication of how many there are), and it was interesting to see the way that the old soldiers mixed with the new – only the age gave away the separation, or perhaps it’s that age is the only separation – with the bonds forged in service comes the adage “once a soldier, always a soldier”. Of course, there was a large contingency of Grenadiers, and to see them, and others with them, snap to attention and salute their fallen comrades brought more than a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. The sharpness with which they did it made me come to attention myself, and it’s been a while. I know I will go again – we should continue to honour the fallen, our war dead.

Yesterday I saw many soldiers, many medals, many salutes, and more than a few tears.

Does Anyone Use Their Brain Anymore? (or, How HR Locked Me in a Stairwell)

I seriously wonder if the only qualification for working here isn’t simply having once been a BIBIC out-patient.

I needed a new pass, or rather I need a picture (of yours truly) on my pass, but my current pass is an ‘old’ pass because it doesn’t have my picture on it. Does anyone else see the endless possibilities of cyclic redundancy here? “I’ve arranged for you to pick up a new one from reception, I’ll need to change the pass number on your record” … note distinct use of the future tense (I know, it’s subtle; but concentrate – it’ll come to you).

On my way to pick up my new pass from reception, I went via the back stairwell (a common practice, if a little ‘frowned’ upon, which requires a pass in order to exit), only to find that I couldn’t exit said stairwell at the reception level, because my ‘old’ pass had already been deactivated. Now I’m embarrassed, because I’m in a stairwell I’m not supposed to use with no picture on a pass that doesn’t work. I started to feel like a terrorist (because if I was a terrorist, I’d almost certainly never put my picture on a pass – it’s erm, how I’d live my life in the shadows?). Needless to say, hails of derisive laughter (well, not quite – more like a disgruntled office worker tut or two) followed my non-terrorist tapping on the glass in the door of the stairwell I’m not supposed to use as I wafted my picture-less pass that doesn’t work.

So now I have a ‘new’ pass, only it looks just like my ‘old’ pass because it doesn’t have my picture on it! I’m just waiting for the next call in my continued spiral to hell that says I need a new pass because my old pass doesn’t have my picture on it…

… I now of course have two pass cards – the new one for the access, but not the time-recording machine (or should that be “…dung machine”?), and the old one for the time recording but not the access. Seriously, there simply aren’t enough beds at BIBIC to adequately express my disappointment…