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?

Millennial, right?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Tate Modern will be marking its tenth year in May.
Brittle Bright Morning

It is actually not surprising when you think about it: Tate Modern was opened in 2000 as one of London’s Millennial projects. None the less it seems odd that it’s ten years old. In part, it feels like it can’t really have been open that long, surely? And in part, it seems so strongly a part of London that it seems to have been around for far longer. When it was first announced, I was disappointed that it was rescuing Bankside power station instead of the more iconic Battersea. But in the decade since “oh, let’s just go for a wander along the South Bank to the Tate” has become a familiar phrase, and one of my favourite ways to pass a sunny Sunday in That London. Tate Modern has become as iconic as the other popular Millennial project, the Wheel.

I’ve mentioned how my love of the galleries, and my magpie-like urge to collate things, combined to create the Tate Galleries flickr group before. This week, after running it for five years, I finally got an email from the Tate itself. It was not telling me to stop it. Instead it was inviting me to join the 10 Years of Tate Modern group and to spread the word via my group.

They’re after people’s ten best photos of the gallery, which will then be fed onto their site. Photos submitted before 16 April may also be picked to appear in a Tate at 10 film that’ll shown on their site.

I’m a fan of museums engaging online. Tate did this with How We Are back in 2007 and hold Flickr-based parties. So I’m really pleased to see them intergrating it into their Tate Modern celebrations: Bankside and Flickr have evolved together over the last decade so it makes sense to enjoy that connection.

If you’ve photos of Tate Modern you’d like to add to the party, it’s at 10 Years of Tate Modern.

another brief test

Thursday, 22 October 2009

If I got this right then not only will you old-skool RSS reader people get this, a link will pop up in my twitter account.


mobile blogging?

Monday, 19 October 2009

hello? is this thing on?

if this works, it’s thanks to a wordpress plugin I installed yesterday but didn’t get time to test.

Comics, twitter and stuff

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Where I am, baby, is back on my PC after a big crunch in the day job along with lots of other stuff that took me away from the internets. Well, away apart from my iPhone but I won’t join the ranks of the iPhone bores and write about that. Suffice to say, my twiiter remains violently active due to tweetie 2.

I did head over to BICS in Birmingham and, after a launch party in a club that caused everyone to slowly drift away due to the bad DJ choices, sat in a bar with the Geek Syndicate.

They managed to be together enough to run the Marvel at 70 panel the next day. Despite the side-effects of the cosmopolitans I’d had the night before, I ended up wanting to stick my hand up a few times. Noteably when Alan Davies and/or Mark Farmer were suggesting that comics were doomed in the new media landscape because the kids would rather download films. I wanted to point out that during the Golden Era comics were competing with films for the kids’ coin. I think a far more likely reason kids don’t buy comics now is something that came up later in the panel – cost. If adults with large disposable incomes have to pick and choose comics based on how many titles they can afford, the same must be even more true of someone with only a fiver a week to spend each week. Comics used to be pulp, they used to be cheaper than the cinema. Now they are not. Surely that’s a factor in their decline?

I understand my habit of attending events I can’t physically get to but can follow on twitter/livefeeds means I got a round of applause at Novelcon for getting up. The same did not happen at alikeminds, thankfully, but I really need to get my arse in gear for the next Exeter tweetup.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

I’ve been following @samuelpepys since the summer. I did read the online Pepys’s diary for a while back in 2004 but there were one too many entries in which too little happened. Then this summer I read By Permission of Heaven about the Great Fire of London and someone mentioned @samuelpepys on a #followfriday. I discovered it was the same person who built the Pepys diary, and that we were in the summer of 1666. Rumours of the Dutch abounded, and occassional sickness.

And, of course, I knew what was coming in September.

Phil Gyford, the man who coded the site and the twitter feed, has set it up perfectly.

Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City.
03:12, 2 Sept

The timing of it suggests someone who, having been woken with the news, reaches for their iphone/blackberry/other in order to share things immediately.

To the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King’s baker’s house in Pudding-lane.
08:12, 2 Sept

This is one reason why twitter is interesting and meaningful. It has the ability to create a sense of what an event must be like to live through unmatched by anything written after the event.

At the time of the Fire, there was much suspicion that the fire was started by aliens (in the older sense of the word i.e. foreigners). I can reveal this to be true:

See? Aliens.

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