How to Book Your Trip To Coventry

In the last two years  – as a retired person – I have been in touch with many of the people I knew whilst in employment. Some of them are now retired as well. In the case of two of them, I think they were subject to a form of adult bullying in this.

In both cases the businesses for which they worked underwent major changes – in one case bankruptcy and sale of the firm to a rival and in the other, establishment of entirely new premises. I hasten to add the firms concerned were separate ones in two widely differing trades.

In both cases, however, while you might have expected the new management in the one company or the old management in the new building to keep on their most experienced people, this did not prove to be the case. They fired ( retired ) the two people in question but gave as their reason complaints from other staff members.

I am not privy to any of their affairs, but I suspect this is bushwah – neither individual is dishonest or bad mannered. They could not have been as they were both concerned with their own forms of retail trade and dealt with hundreds of customers per week. I think there may have been staff rivalries that were used as levers to sack them. And I think it was a foolish thing.

But, folly or not, it would appear that what was intended as a kiss of death from the other employees may have turned into precisely the opposite. I regularly see reports of hobby activities, trips, and sporting ventures from the two chaps and I suspect they are having the time of their lives. They, like myself, are getting more accomplished now that ever before.

If they were sent to Coventry, they went first-class, and are enjoying the trip. Coventry can be a very pleasant place.

Good Morning, Sir. How May I Hell You?

Everyone should work retail at some point in their lives.

Indeed, I’ll go further than that – they should also, at some point:

a. Work personal service – wait tables, attend a public desk, man the complaints counter.

b. Work publicity. Write copy, draw illustration, serve at a promo show. Think up the bullshit and then have to spread it…

c. Work in dirt. Even if it is just a personal garden, everyone should work in dirt until they get a good result.

d. Work in a position that is monitored by a jealous and vindictive overseer. This may be a person or a professional board.

e. Work in a workshop. Whatever they produce makes no difference – it will cement their character if they can eventually do it well.

f. Work to a deadline. And fail once, and then succeed once, to know the difference in the way it feels.

g. Work to a financial bottom line. Unless they have had to watch the pennies, they’ll never know how to accumulate the pounds.

h. Work in a job where they were in command. Command of the job and command of other people.

If they have done all or most of these things, they are well-rounded individuals. But they mustn’t get cocky – so is the Michelin Man. And he gets tyred sometimes…

No… back to the topic. People who vault to command without ever experiencing the reality of work live in an unreal world and make false decisions. People who never rise also never see what command should be – there is always a battle between them and others that is detrimental to business. There needs to be a shared experience to share in effective management and effective employment.



Your Job Has Been Replaced By A Robot

What is the next thing you do?

Why you go out and attack someone. If you are a low-level employee of a small business, you will have only a few local options – the firm that lately employed you, the bank that loaned them the money for the robots, and Chinese people. This last on the irrational basis that the robots were probably built in China* and they’re all supposed to all look alike anyway…

The fact that the person with the Asian appearance might be a citizen of your own country, born there, and of longer residence than you, may make this seem awkward. Plus if they are not Chinese you look like a fool. It’s even more difficult if you are Chinese yourself and the robots put you out of a job as well. Then you don’t exactly know who to tackle…

Well, here’s a suggestion: whoever you are, wherever you are, tackle yourself. Look carefully at what education you’ve got, whether it can be used to go get another job, or whether it needs to be boosted or replaced. Be honest with yourself, without being brutal. Tell yourself the truth, even if you need to start off whispering it. If you can eventually say it right out loud, you’ll be making progress.

This isn’t just a retiree’s twaddle – I faced business failure in 2007 squarely and had to take stock of myself. I had to think why I’d failed and what resources I still had to start again. I was fortunate in that I had some secondary skill that an employer was willing to take a punt on, but I found out that I had to increase my technical and trade training while on the job to make myself a useful part of the organisation. Thank goodness I read and retained and I could spend spare time out of work testing out the things I needed to know in the day. Thank goodness there were enough sources of information to supply the answers. Thank goodness it worked for 8 years.

The only twaddle advice I can give is to keep yourself lean. I don’t mean physically lean – you can sort out for yourself what sort of body you want to have. I mean fiscally lean. Whatever you do, even in a time of full and fat employment, do not take on debt that is unavoidable. Particularly do not take on big debt. It may seem bearable while you have a steady income, but it’ll bear you to the ground if that income support falls away.

When anyone offers you credit, say thank you, but pay cash. If it hurts to pay cash, it will hurt more to pay credit. If paying cash means you have to go light on possessions and status symbols, take this as a wonderful opportunity to own a good character instead of a shed full of stuff.

And don’t help the robots. Shop at a real physical store that has a real human doing the checkout. Go to the counter and order your burger – don’t punch in an app on your phone that talks to a robot menu. Better yet, ditch the phone, shop at the greengrocer, and do your own cooking.

PS: Better not to attack a Chinese person. They watch Kung Fu videos too, practice all the moves, and they don’t need the subtitles…

*  And then again they probably weren’t. There are a lot of robots coming out of Europe right now. Most of them watch soccer.