More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Iron Fist Velvet Glove

Working shifts has its advantages sometimes. For example I get to work a lot of DX and SOTA expeditions that occur mid week. It used to be great when I played a lot of golf because I could go when ever I liked and not have to wait until the weekends and join the crowds. One disadvantage at the golf club was that all the competitions tended to be weekend affairs, which meant my handicap never truly reflected how crap I was at the game. On the radio too there are disadvantages to shift work with most of the activity being at weekends. Even when contests are like the RSGB 80m club contest are mid-week evening affairs it can be difficult and this year I managed to be available for one round.One advantage I have had has been getting a few hours quiet time when on the night shift in which to update this blog.

A long time ago our union persuaded our then employer that there were things that shift workers needed to do from time to time that folk working 9 to 5 took for granted and that the company got away with a lot of things, such as if a day worker needed to visit the hospital, dentist or doctor they either took a day off or were given a day off. Shift workers in contrast were expected to go on their days off, which is like saying to your days staff they had to do these things at the weekend. As a result of the negotiations we were given limited Internet access so that we could deal with stuff like paying bills and arranging deliveries to coincide while we were at home. This was particularly useful to the single guys who worked lots of overtime as they could get their weekly shopping delivered when they had no time to do it themselves because they were doing 6,7 or 8 12 hour shifts in a row.

I don't smoke and don't read the papers so I used my breaks to search the net for interesting stuff to put on the blog or to write a post. I never saw any difference between doing that and sitting in the mess room reading the news paper. Not any more I am afraid as our new employer whose softly softly approach so far is showing now its true colours and has cut off almost all Internet access. One of the reasons the blog has not been updated as regularly as it might have been has been that I was half expecting it and I did not want to be the one to rock the boat. 

The company have missed the boat however if they think removing this handy privilege is going to somehow improve productivity as most of the things we do can now be done on smart phones, Ipads, and even Kindles. All it has done is alienate the staff who are already demoralised after the take over. The velvet gloves are coming off and the iron fist is about to be shown so if my posts get more negative you know why, its just me getting depressed about the way things are going.

On a happier note, I have deflected a call on my time which would have meant doing a three 12 hour night shifts, then going straight to a hospital appointment followed by a fourth 12 hour night shift and then travelling down to Llandudno for the North Wales Rally Rally. I would have been like a complete zombie, but now I am going to Llandudno on Friday and stopping all weekend. I have raided the piggy bank and hope to pick up some bargains, hopefully including an antenna analyser.    

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