Give yourself a break

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Are you self-employed? Are you about to tweet a complaint about working on a Bank Holiday when “everyone else” on your timeline is enjoying a 3 day weekend? Hold off pressing that send button for a moment, and let me explain something to you.

You are not the only person working on a Bank Holiday Monday.

We took a trip to That London over the long June Bank Holiday, and spent the Monday drifting around the city. Here is a list of all the people we met that day who were working:

  • 3 hotel receptionists
  • 3 hotel catering/cleaning staff
  • 1 TfL bus driver
  • 1 British Museum security guard (I think he was on a ciggie break but he helped us anyway)
  • 3 cafe waiters/waitresses
  • 3 people in Gosh! comics
  • 2 barista in Soho
  • 1 Tube driver
  • 1 train driver
  • 1 train guard (sorry, “customer service person”)
  • 1 buffet steward
  • 1 supermarket checkout person
  • 1 pizza delivery person

That’s 22 people who were all working on the Bank Holiday. More importantly, they are 22 employed people who will have had to have a discussion with their manager over whether they have the day off, or if they come into work. And if the manager is short of staff for a rota, some of them may not have had much choice. And they may not have got extra money or time off in lieu for giving up that Holiday.

You don’t have an automatic right to paid leave on bank and public holidays, though many people receive the day off work. Any right to time off or extra pay for working on a bank holiday depends on the terms of your contract of employment.

DirectGov advice on time off from employment

So if you are self-employed and are going to work the Bank Holiday Monday, either:

  • Get on with it, and accept your decision to work,
  • Have a word with your boss self about whether you need to be working the day.

You have the power here. You can give yourself the day off. Or you can make yourself work.

But don’t act the martyr if you do decide to work. You are not, in fact, the only person working on a Bank Holiday Monday. Millions of others are. But maybe you’re not aware of them because they’re in the hospitality trade, or retail, or transport, or any of the many other service industry jobs where fannying around on social media is not possible in the workplace?

The Festering Season

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

am having one of those lives at the moment, due to the run up to the festering season …. Also decorating. Also impending guests. Also impending Druidic invasion at the weekend. Also novel to finish. Also Also….we’ve all been there.

This has led to a lot of attempted organisation, which has then been sabotaged by yours truly…
Liz Williams

Yes, we have all been there. I’m residing there right now. And I like the idea of it as the ‘festering’ season – implying all the petty annoyances which build up to ensure everyone sits about sulking for two days.

The rennovations are at last showing signs of progress as, touch wood, the weather is mysteriously dry in Devon whilst the rest of the country appears to be about to sink, if the flood warnings are to be believed. However, the scaffold is braced through the window of my bedroom. So not only have I moved my Who collection out, but I have moved myself out. The window is boarded up, but there’s a foul-smelling breeze coming through the scaffold poles and the one night I tried sleeping in there I managed about two hours in bursts of fifteen minutes or less and spent the rest of the entire day violently – and I do mean violently – ill.

At the moment I am sleeping on the sofa bed in the lounge. This is a sort of civilised variation of the first few months in the place, when I slept first on a mattress ‘borrowed’ from my old rented flat and then on a futon which had to be turned back into a sofa every morning as it was my only bit of furniture. In some ways it is quite cosy and fun, but knowing that when I do get up I shall have to transform the bed back into a sofa* makes me very depressed each morning and I skulk in bed as long as possible. For the first time ever this weekend, the chap was up and about before me because I was wallowing.

G is meant to be down for the holiday, although maybe not, which means work needs to be done and the various rooms restored to their correct uses before the 21st. Because I’m off to London on the 22nd for the Pipettes’ Xmas party on the 23rd, then the chap and I are zooming back on the last fast train out of Paddington on Christmas Eve. Which means I need all the food for the festive season in the house before I go away.

But right now I need to finish shopping for various siblings whose presents go in the post, organise various other family things, meet up with various friends, book the train back to London for New Year, get my hair cut, worry if the paint is going to be the right colour…argh. I am doing the classic thing of writing lists that I promptly lose and mis-prioritising tasks. I should get out the coloured pencils and do a full revision timetable (one that would then need revising due to having taken so much time drawing it up to start with…)

Oh, and I need to do my taxes.

*worst transformer toy ever. It’s not even a robot in disguise.

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