Well, apparently it is possible to secure a well-paid job if one has a degree; there is a desperate shortage of skilled engineers (according to the Birmingham Post, JLR is hoovering up all the technical talent from other firms in the region).
Journal Entry, 2 Dec ’98:
Today at work Mike called a group meeting to explain R&D job evaluation structures (based on the RSC responsibility score system).
Then we were given individual talks – apparently my own score is minus 40(!) and so I would normally be on a lower salary (I’m overpaid) but they won’t impose this change.
Poor management, lack of involvement; I alternate between v good and hopeless behaviour. Mike said ‘I don’t understand what makes you tick’. Hardly surprising, since (so I’m told) he can’t stand me.
Journal Entry, 22 Dec ’98:
I called hello to Tony Jenkins across the yard and fell into step with him. ‘Is it true then, this rumour?’ he said.
‘Which ru-, no, which of the many fabulous rumours do you refer to?’ I asked.
Apparently everyone has heard that the entire R&D Dept has been given huge pay increases – 2 to 3 grand per head.
‘Talk is cheap’, I replied ‘and these careless remarks are intended to satisfy their audience’, before adding that Mike had told me I was being overpaid but not to worry, he wouldn’t actually reduce my salary.
Journal Entry, 8 Nov 2000:
Hurrah! Another memo from Martin Bollom, this time to announce that all the depot except Coventry and Beckenham are to be closed on 15 Dec. And also to say ‘I understand what a shock it is’, and how deeply sorry he was, and how much he loved all his loyal workers.
The furtive mister Green was leafing through our ‘Beetle’ catalogue and asked about a powder grade melamine. This is someone who carefully returns solvent cans to the cupboard before we can catch sight of them. Young master Green is really secretive (7 Nov 2000); keeps his raw mat samples in containers labelled ‘resin 1’, ‘latex 1’ etc. Spends hours painting H-shaped steel blocks, recording results in the notebook which never leaves his pocket. Has his own office, own furnace, own Brookfield, own computer etc. Doesn’t report to PG, and never discusses work with anyone.
Journal Entry, 5 Nov ’11:
Tonight on the BBC they’re showing ‘V for Vendetta’ – an amazing remake of 1984.
Meanwhile, I went to the Cornerhouse to see ‘Weekend’, a brilliant movie about a couple of perfectly ordinary gay guys who just have a one-night stand. And then…
Everything about the film was superb – the acting, the actors, the sex, the music (there wasn’t any).
Journal Entry, 3 Feb ’12:
Last night went to see ‘Haywire’, a disappointing thriller from Soderbergh – not quite Salt, not quite Bourne, faintly Lara Croft.
Fight scenes but no blood.
There was only me and one other couple in the cinema. Then went to Rice for dinner and Paddy’s for one pint.
At work, during lunch in the canteen, they were all talking about prostate cancer. Moira asked if I had ever had my prostate examined. ‘Not by a doctor, no’ I replied.