June 2007

Journal Entry, 20 Jun 2007: Today at work we had an e-mail from Eileen with the new (80-page) Company Manual – guidance on internet usage, flexitime, equal ops policy, holiday allowance etc.
MPs have interviewed senior figures from Private Equity firms. These are organisations which borrow money, use it to buy companies, then sell of the assets. Allegedly.
Analogue TV being phased out as digital broadcast takes over.
And in the company handbook it says that ‘the annual performance appraisal is not a pay review; changes to your pay package are due to increases in responsibilities and skills…’
So no cost-of-living increase?
Solsperse – we tried using hyperdispersant on its own and with added synergist. On some pigments – PY83, PO34 – the synergist produces a fabulous increase in gloss.

21 Jun 2007: At work I looked on the PPCJ website and found that Holliday Pigments are to close their Hall site. Where I think I was due to attend an interview a few years ago but didn’t bother.
Robbie’s birfday.
Today they had a New Prod Dev meeting at work which started late and went on late so we don’t know if The End Is Nigh!Tomorrow need to take all my MAG stuff ready for Sunday’s meeting: minutes of previous meetings, reports of Manchester congestion charging.

24 Jun 2007: Thursday night went to Traf Ctr and bought 3 CDs – Roxy Music, Guillemots and Camera Obscura. Fri morn went to work and looked up my course results on the OU website – I passed exam with 47 percent.
Set off for rally, it started raining so I pulled in at services, saw a car piled on the grass embankment.
Met John (the guy with the ER-5 from Wirral) and some girls called Sue and Liz and Vee. Got chatting to Sue – who suffers from osteoarthritis – and found out she’s been to see Parsifal on stage in Vienna.
Saw the whole of Smoking Monkey set and last bit of Insanity Beach set.

I thought we were going to have the local reps meeting on Sunday after the rally but nobody showed up. And I scratched the pannier cowl with my camp bed when loading luggage.
Sue also remarked that the location of the Super Casino should have been decided by throwing a dice. And at one point we were sat outside drinking Aussie Red when four young lads ran naked from the band room – having been made ex-rally virgins.

27 Jun 2007: Last night to the Trafford Centre to watch ‘Captivity’ a pretty ghastly film about some model who ends up a hostage in a strange house where she is subjected to all sorts of (fake?) tortures.
People in cinema chatting away on their mobiles throughout movie. Big trailer for Die Hard 4 – carries all the best stunts from the movie, about 90 seconds long.

Found a message on my ansafone from Sandra N at PES: apparently I had sent them an application for a job as a Graduate Polymer Technologist and they want me for an interview. Rang her back on Thurs and she said she was in Nott’m next Thurs and would I be available and I said No! Tis the OCCA AGM!

28 Jun 2007: Spent today looking after Rebecca (Garry B-‘s daughter) who is at our place on her work experience. Apparently she’s just done her GCSEs and is looking forward to sixth form. I asked whether she was definitely going to sixth form; ‘Oh yes, mum and dad would be disappointed if I didn’t, after all it is a private school’.

30 Jun 2007: Yesterday was John F’s birfday so I rang and left message. They’re probably away in Holland.
We had a talk yesterday about the new ‘flexi-time’ system. Eileen explained all about how you lose fifteen minutes for being late by even 1 min, and Alan reminded us that we could not accrue hours just in order to take Friday afternoon off. When he said this Jemma looked despondent and ready to burst into tears and went off on a litany of complaint about how unfair it was to penalise us for being just 1 min late.
Also at work Andrew wants me to liaise with our PFR suppliers and find out what standard batches they actually use. Tenchy is going to Xplode when he finds out.

2 Jul 2007: Weather – rain, rain, severe floods in Sheffield and the Midlands.

On Friday night, police officers and members of the public discovered two cars packed with canisters of gas, nails and petrol cans.
Saturday evening a burning car was driven into an advertising hoarding at Glasgow airport. The drivers – two qualified hospital doctors – have been arrested. Saturday was also the Pride March in London. And here at Urmston Lane, we have a wasps’ nest in the wall above my bathroom.
Also in the news, a local council leader has proposed a third ring of steel to charge motorists for driving into town.
One of the C-of-E bishops has said that recent floods are God’s punishment for immoral behaviour. Sheffield must be a terribly wicked place…

9 Aug 2007: on Thurs night rode up to Cramlington and got lost again. Weds went to interview at Cova: saw Colin T (technical manager) and Doug R (HR manager) and the CEO (Derek?) and two of them asked if I was married or not, and all of them asked why I had changed jobs so frequently.
They’re looking for a replacement for Ray, who’s been there for about forty years and knows all about pigments and ink. (Note: this last section appears elsewhere on this blog, but it may be worth pointing out that if Ray was due for retirement, they have had plenty of time to organise a replacement and handover period. And technically it is illegal to ask if a job applicant is married, since this invites discrimination. And I have learned that Kernow Coatings are still looking for a senior technical person to replace Richard, who was due to retire in 2010, and they have had plenty of time to recruit his replacement. And Kernow was given a million pounds to take on new employees a few years back….)



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