Monday, 22 May 2017

Today I'm just going to have a very important rant.

I ask one thing of you all, vote.

Just vote for anyone other than the Tories. Theresa May has shown herself to be ridiculous, she talks like a synth whose run out of phrases, she can't relate to or talk to ordinary people and she doesn't like animals, young people or even old people.

The worst thing is the big lie at the middle of all this is national debt, the national debt is horrendous and going up. State spending is vital but the daft cuts and nasty schemes thought  up by this government don't make anything better. Taking benefits form the poor doesn't just kill people it takes money out of the economy. For every person working on some work scheme for free someone isn't getting paid a proper wage so not spending in the shops so the country is stuck.

Get rid of this mean government, we're so used to parties being the same that we've forgotten our vote can make a revolution with only the rich getting slightly hurt. This government is living off lies, it spend too much on the wrong things. We need to tax the rich, not pick on the poor.

Friday, 24 February 2017

3 Caffeine keeps call centres going

Fear of huge student debts, struggling mums and people on their second or third jobs keep call centres going from early morning until midnight.

Work almost any shift in a call centre and you will see energy drinks scattered around the place. On Sunday the office is full of aching heads from a drunken night forgetting they work in a call centre, on a Monday night it's students covering up the bags under their eyes because they have to work long hours so they can fund their dreams.

Working late in a call centre is not conducive to sleep, Screens, noise and having to behave in a hyped up way leave your mind whizzing until way after midnight. Caffeine is often the only thing between yo and falling into the land of nod when you're supposed to be sorting out a tricky refund.

I developed a Pepsi Max habit quickly, Not only did my nightly treat taste good it kept my happy but utterly fake personality going late until the evening. Soon Pepsi became my addiction.

Caffeine dries your throat and call centre workers use their voice like singers or broadcasters. At the busiest times  you can find yourself croaking your way through a shift. Thanks to constant job insecurity and no sick pay no one dares take time off for a dodgy throat so your voice gets weaker and weaker, work turns into a frustrating ordeal.

So the next time you ring a call centre late just think of the person your talking to. They may be coming to the end of an exhausting day so think of them an be gentle.

Friday, 10 February 2017

2 Anyone can have the patience of a Zen Master, if you have enough bills to pay.

You  can tell a newbie in a call centre, occasionally they cry. Customers can be horrible, they can tell you've not had great training, your nervous and scared and most people show patience and kindness but some people are just nasty.

The great thing is after a few months that same newbie is talking like a lawyer and has found calm a assertiveness that nobody thought possible. The patience call centre workers show is skilled, you learn to deal with people who've listened to call music until they know it off by heart and they'll hear it in their sleep, quite a few people who ring call centres are unstable and this needs to be dealt with as sweetly as anyone else and people even cry on you.

Jobs in telesales have been a personality boot camp for me, I'm grateful that I can now talk authoritatively to almost anyone and I can persuade people a grey sky is bright blue. Every Call Centre worker should be proud, we're tough but kind people to keep our job, and we can empathise with people and do maths at the same time, that's multitasking.

You can be a total fake because you have to be. Once on that phone your nervous breakdown, troublesome kids, messy divorce don't matter so you learn to fake everything. The person down the phone doesn't care about the mascara running down your face from your tears, they want their way now, and they want you to be the happiest, sweetest person they've talked to all day.

There are scars from being happy everyday, I have used every kind of therapy from loud music to meditation, poetry and bread making, nothing quite worked, I ended up in therapy with anxiety.

Be proud to be a Zen master call centre worker, you have skills that will help you in any job, have high self esteem.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

What I learnt working in Call Centres

Call centres are factories of conversation, modern strength is the grit and determination not to shout at another idiot who doesn't understand you can't do anything about their prized item going out of stock, you just want to quote Buddhist philosophy at those poor little victims of desire, but you can't. It takes a Zen master to stay in a bubble of calm when all around you is crashing, the computer, the customer's life and the phone but you do it day after day. The lessons of the call centre are many, so let me share some wisdom.

1 Everything is temporary, so don't get sentimental.

From angry customers to your job to the entire contract to your whole office nothing lasts long in the call centre. After a while you just accept like the Zen master you are this is the way it is, one in four call centre agents last less than a year. In my last call centre job I was one of about fifteen, by the end of the year two of the group were left.

You are reminded that you're replaceable everyday, your ego can self confidence can't depend on your job, but when your kids stability depends on your job life gets super stressful. Any little quirk or error could be the end of you.

I lived from contract for a whole year, I never took a sickie even when my life was a fever dream. My boss gave me hoop after hoop to jump through, I only got a permanent contract after threatening to leave.

As you've just accepted all your friends will leave you get whispers that your contract will end. Call centre contracts are outsourced meaning you work for both the company you represent and the call centre or the company are not sentimental so just don't get attached to your job, it may be gone tomorrow., you learn to rcing-customers-are-terminating-their-call-center-deals.html

Next Part

The Zen guide to staying calm, from a call centre.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Exeter Steampunks Exeter Phoenix 10 Decemebr 2016

Exeter has has a version  of Steampunk and I had a bit of an experience, I turned up in my usual grungy gig wear to be greeted by post modern mash ups complete with fairy lights, mechanical jewelry and wigs, everyone was happy to strike a pose for pictures and show off their amazing creations. The pirate theme inspired some shark outfits, and the MC was right out of Pirates Of the Caribbean. Many looked like extras from a particularly confusing Dr Who episode.

Punk has meant lots of things over the years, in the 16 Century it was a word for a prostitute, and has been used for every kind of lowlife. Steam Punk seems well dressed, post modern and genteel version compared to Punk's violent history.

There was enthusiastic dancing but no mosh pit, who wants to wreak their fabulous confection? Especially as manyof the dresses were home made by some very talented people. There were some great bands and comedians, the night had a similar structure to a good, old fashioned variety show.

 There was the fun anarchy of punk though, one band had a Rum Gun, there was posing and dandy's that haven't been seen since Adam Ant. You could have a bop in the smaller room and it looked like an older, cleaner version of a New Romantics night.

Steampunk is a great expression of crazy inventiveness, great entertainment and post modern escape, it's as eccentric as an English lord building a folly and as full of posing and posturing as the  the coolest night at the Blitz club.  Get your corset and underskirt on, do something interesting with some fairy lights and give Steampunk a go, dressing up is back in fashion, and the more centuries you can pick and chose from the better, so get a great outfit, get some great selfies and escape, be an exotic Steampunk.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

How are the Tories the party for the working classes?

Most single mums are set to lose about £1300 under the Tax Credit cuts, maybe the Tories believe single mums will spend the money on a third flat screen telly but any single mum will tell you that money is essential, often wages go on rent and we live off some housing benefits and tax credits, without these our households will break down.

Poverty is worse than not being able to buy the latest phone or shopping in Primark and Poundland, in my household tax credits are a large part of our income, my wages only cover the rent, I get some housing benefit and most of our bills and expenses. I also have a generous parents who pay for lessons and larger goods so compared to many I know our family are lucky.

1 and 2 Cutting Tax Credits will spread childhood poverty like a disease, the implications for this generation are huge and the cost of cuts will outweigh the savings both socially and economically. Poor children are behind at school, their lives are less rich in experience and they’re less healthy. Tax Credit poverty won’t be down to lazy, feckless parents  who sit on a sofa watching a government sponsored telly, low earning parents won’t be able claim tax credits once they earn over  £3850 not £6420 and at this figure Tax Credits will go down by 48%, work harder get less.

The impression I want my kids to get of work is it buys you the basics and work harder to get more of life, not flat screen telly’s but experiences, travel, school trips and hobbies. I also want to work so my kids avoid the worst that poverty can bring and enrich my life too but this will be less likely under the Tories as they make life harder for the grafters they’ll make everyone poorer and the world a more brutal place for hard working families and show children their lives don’t matter and work doesn’t pay, so how will this less educated, less healthy generation grow up? How much will it cost and why are the government picking on the grafters and the grafters children?






Friday, 9 October 2015

Who are this Hardworking family?

The government likes a hard working family, you can picture them can’t you like a Soviet poster with Argos furniture, smiling with shiny new things and big smiles and tired parents from a hard day’s work and grateful to the government for helping then get their shiny new house, a realistic Utopia under the Tories. This home owning land of self-respect would be a great place, a place of dignity where the odds are always in your favour and the Hunger Games can end with work.

1My family poster would include mum but not dad and two children and mum works too, just like 59% of single parents. Unlike too parent families the strain is on one person, the homework, the doctors and the dentist the washing and the rent are on one person. So this must be a poster of a family that deserves government approval and opportunity.

Now I like working, I’m proud to talk and moan about work with my kids, I believe the best way to teach worth ethic to your kids is to work. I teach them to understand work can be boring, bitchy, nasty but worth it and if they work hard they can achieve their dreams so the odds should be in my favour, but I don’t feel that way, I still walk around thinking about money, I go without haircuts all the time and live off my overdraft, I buy cheap shoes so my kids can get a new pair and dread the post, because there are bills I can’t pay.

2 Tax Credits made my work worth it to start with, it meant my income meant something, my overdraft stops at that and the Foodbank isn’t needed, it’s the odd day out, broadband to look for new jobs and get self-respect and possible opportunities like tweeting for “The Green Party”. So yes I would rather not partly live off the state but my kids grow up with a little more than the minimum and more opportunities so this means the odds are deservedly in my favour.

3 Then you hear the government raise the minimum wage, this must be a good thing but the government forgot or ignored the details or thought they could bluff their way through them while not caring about the kids involved. Tax credits will be cut and a few quid on my hard won wages wouldn’t make me any richer and the poster would not feature new Argos furniture or smiles but more poverty, fewer new coats and hot meals while the government tells me work is virtuous and if I’m part of a “hard working family”.

As a single mum the odds are never in your favour.