Washing Machine Blues

Ok… This is one is all on me. It appears I’m a bit of an idiot.

We don’t use fabric softeners… Or rather we don’t any more. We haven’t actually used them for a few years. But we did have a brief lapse when we first got the washing machine we have now. We used it once, maybe twice. Seriously we still have the near full bottle and it now resembles something akin to bad yoghurt. I didn’t even realise fabric softener had a BBE date.

For the past few days I have been wondering where the strange smell has been coming from in our kitchen. Had the cat thrown up? Had something fallen between the cupboards and gone off? No… And No.

I was putting a wash on and I got a whiff of the strange smell. When I opened up the draw I saw, and smelled, this. Ugh. B-(


Not nice. I also need to point out that I have no idea when the last time that draw was even opened. We use liquid detergent you put straight in the tub.
Normally when our machine starts it does a kind of a… Purge? It will blast some water through and then push it out. I though it was to clean the pipes and the bottom of the drum to remove any old water that had been left from last time… Great idea, no? So I naturally thought it would clear out the draw too…. Or something like that. Well, no.

So now I need to learn how to clean the draws of washing machines.

At least I now know where the smell was coming from!


And It Goes On… And On

I swear I should rename this account to ‘Shit that goes down at work’…

So… Today’s fiasco? Well…. Go grab a cup of tea, kids. Sit yourselves down and let Uncle Kal tell you the grand story of the latest shit-show. >.>

This Friday evening, and I go to my first shift of the week, check my email and find out that our department head, who we oh-so-rarely see, has forwarded us all an email from HR telling us that we need to take our holiday entitlement or we will lose them.

You see, we are currently on short, fixed term contracts as this is only a pilot scheme. Ok… Fair enough. But nobody mentioned that we need to have taken our holidays before each fixed term was done. So now we all have to take our holidays, although we can carry over a small amount at our managers discretion, which he has allowed. >.>

So now, for the next 3 weeks till the end of September, which is when this contract finishes, ALL the staff have to use up their holidays. So I am off next weekend… Whether I like it or not. *sigh*
So we have to fit in all those holidays, even though we are short staffed and can’t really afford to have people off…

The worse part? Yes, there is a worse part…

There is overtime available to cover the holidays.
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻




Oh dear…

Today we had a random visit from a couple of guys from the local council. In true council randomness they had been sent out to ‘Paint Garden Gates’… Not the fence or anything like that. Just the gates. Only the gates.

It’s not even as though they were given a list of houses that belonged to the council. No… They had to knock on all the doors and ask if the houses were council or not and then ask if they could paint the gates.

Yeah… Random. A bit of history for you. About 4 years ago we got a new gate because of the round of upgrades that were being done to renovate older houses. Fair enough. I can see that being a thing. They did our roof, kitchen and bathroom… Why not a new gate? So, today, they came around to paint it. Wonderful.

So already we have a fail. Then the workers left this… I shit you not I just had to sigh and shake my head. B-(


Yep… That has to stay on the floor until the paint dries.

I… Can’t… Even. >.>

I’m not even going to bother hiding this one behind a link. Here… I’m off for a cup of tea.


Set Up To Fail?

Warning… Wall of text.

At work me and the team I work with are getting strong vibes that the pilot scheme we are working on has been set up to fail.

Yeah, yeah… I know… Strong language. But hear me out.

When we were hired the advertisement was for a job only slightly resembling the job we are doing now. Now that isn’t such a shock to anyone that has ever done a pilot scheme. These things change as new things come to light. Fair enough.

The biggest problem is that the person who set this all up has, from what we were told, done this in a couple of other areas. So why the farcical start up? If he has done this before he should have known the most basic set up issues already and ironed those out in the planning phase. BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG! O.O

From the get go we had problems.

  • The person who set up the whole scheme was let go immediately after our initial training/setup. More on this one later…
  • The garage we were going to be using was not suitable for us.
  • We were allocated more vehicles than we had spaces for in the garage.
  • We had no logistics trained people to oversee the stores/ordering system. Or even any ordering system in place!
  • No shift rota system was put together until AFTER we had started.
  • We had to change the rota because we were doing too many hours.
  • We are now STILL doing too many hours over the week but because we are doing a 5 out of 7 system it’s all good. (bollocks)
  • There was(lol, is) no official communication between us and the other departments.
  • Our original manager quit within the first month.

Fuck. >.>

From there it has not really gotten any better by the management making changes. WE have been doing that… Literally. And I don’t mean that our acting manager (ex part time weekend supervisor no less!) has been doing it either. It’s us lot on the bottom rung that has been spotting problems, fixing them and TELLING the management what we will be doing from now on…. And they have been ok with that! Holy shit!… I swear there is no oversight in this place.

The other important bit of information that you should probably know is that we are competing against another scheme. Oh yes. Also, that one was started long before ours, uses only temp agency staff and they were set up by professionals, from what we have been told. Rota, logistics, a well set up garage, the whole enchilada.
Not only that but the guy that set up our scheme left ours and then was immediately taken on by, and now highly praises, the other scheme. WTF???!!!

Not only that but we were taken on with a short, fixed term contract. Nothing strange with a pilot scheme. We then got an extension to that scheme… Now things are in the air. We have been given Chinese whispers that we have a 3rd extension, nothing official… But here is the problem. The place I work for, apparently, has a rule that you can’t give someone 3 short term contracts without taking them on full time. Oppsie?

I swear I couldn’t make this up.

So… What now? Well. It appears that whoever set us up to fail has failed… Or we overcame the odds… I’m not sure. Whatever… Moving on. The fact is that on paper we are scoring FAR better than the other scheme is. We have a lot higher vehicle to staff ratio, our vehicles are FAR cleaner, better prepared and we even go fetch vehicles from other stations when they are loaned out to get them cleaned. We even do our own Deep Cleans (imagine stripping your car down to the chassis and cleaning it and then putting it all back in, takes 5 hours) And that seems to have come as a surprise to someone.

So this week I haven’t been posting to my gardening channel, or even here, because I have been working extra hours at work. Mainly because since the scheme started 3 people have quit and not been replaced. We started with 10, we now have 7… And Management decided to send 2 of those, plus our one and only line of official communication, our supervisor, on a course for 2 weeks… YAY! So from 7 we now have 4… And one just went on sick. So 3.

3 people to do the job of 10, and one of those is a fucking wanker, and management see no problems here. *Sigh*
Oh… And a certain someone has pre-booked holidays next week so they are down to 2.


And people wonder why I, and others, think this scheme was set up to fail. >.>

It’s enough to drive a man to drink.

Ok…. This is weird

I was googling for an image to link into for one of my blogs. If you pay any attention to the text you will notice that I often link words to silly images.

Shame on you if you didn’t… Go back and read them again!


This pic makes no sense. I found it after Googling ‘Man with trolley’ for a reply to a comment on another vid…
I think the interwebs are trying to tell me something? O.o

The Psychology of £99.99

In modern commercial history there has been an idea that £99.99 is, psychologically speaking, cheaper that £100. Ok, in reality is too, but not simply by a penny. It’s as if it’s a world apart from the number it actually is… And I think this phenomena is both overused and ultimately no longer effective. When I see £99.99 I honestly just replace it with £100 and then wonder why it has been given that “99”… Are they trying to give it a charm price? In many smaller stores here in the UK there was the phenomena of the ‘Keep the penny’ that many shop owners rather liked. Not sure if it happens in other countries… I guess it does but having never lived there… *shrug*

I need to make a point of transparency here… My parents used to own a shop and I personally saw this first hand. Many times people would say ‘keep the penny’ thinking it was a rare occurrence.. No. It happened quite a lot! Some people saw this and it led to the counter top charity box, or mite box, and the almost disposal of odd pennies people couldn’t be bothered to carry around. Not so much out of charity but out of laziness and not wanting a pocket full of pennies after visiting a number of shops. The modern supermarkets have all but done away with smaller shops so this is now a moot point.

Now, Wikipedia gives a few possibilities on why this practice started. All seem reasonable but thus far we have no real idea. But here is where we see modern psychology changing in front of our eyes. People have, with no better term to hand, woken up to it all.

But now we see a new use of random pricing for items. I saw a TV the other day for £123.23… WTF? Was it literally that someone had to come up with a price over a certain threshold and just tapped a line on the keyboard? O.o

There are other times where you will see almost random pricing… It’s probably a bit more honest that you may think. An item costs me £31.26 to buy it from the manufacturer because I buy it in bulk. I then put on my 25% mark up and I get £39.08 (Ok 39.075, But you never round down!). Now that is a legitimate number, it just looks weird… BUT IT SHOULDN’T!

BTW… Sometimes you get seemingly random pricing on items when an item is on sale at  “33% off!!!”(Note extra exclamation points). This isn’t what I am talking about.

I’m not an idiot. Stop treating me like I am one. Can we have round numbers for pricing please. Or at least a return to honest pricing?

For a bit of fun… Did you know that the Monster Raving Looney Party in the UK wanted to bring in a 99p coin to save on change? Rather genius in my view. B-)

Bee Porn?

I was at work the other day and one of the girls saw a bee on the floor and FREAKED OUT. She was really upset about it so I did my super hero thing and rescued her… Because I love bees and didn’t want it stomped more than to save the damsel in distress.


I took the bee (A Tree Bumbleblee, Bombus hypnorum if you were curious) outside then did my spiel about how bees are more cute than killer… I then showed the guys some of the pics on my phone about the bees I have in my garden and how they won’t hurt them.

Then a couple of the guys commented that I seem to have a lot of shots where all you can see is the butt of the bee… This brought up the question of… Bee porn. *sigh*

This is the thought process of the guys at work. These are older, educated people, they should know better! O.o