To the Royal Mail woman who had my Southampton address in her route

12 Oakbank Road

I lived there between roughly the start of 2005 and the beginning of 2009 when I left for the oh so charming-looking but immensely sadistic cesspool known as Portsmouth.

Thank you. Unlike most of your country people, your fellow English people, you never insulted me, you never lied to me, you never abused me in any way and you never stole any items from my mail.

To you, I was a fellow human being, not some piece of stinking excrement.

When I gave you an ice cream from the freezer I had until people in Portsmouth stole if from me, you were happy with that but it made no difference in how you treated me. I did not suddenly stop being excrement.

YOU never saw me as excrement.

You are one of the very very few English people who considered me a human being in the now nearly 16 years that I have lived in this vicious, bile-spewing mess of a country.

I don’t remember your name and that saddens me.

Thank you.


PS
Something similar goes for the receptionists at Strathmore Veterinary Clinic in Andover, which I frequented between roughly 2006 and 2011. Thank you.

It’s all gloom and doom

Many of the UK’s newspaper headlines this morning are about how the sense of entitlement of some people clashes with the practicalities of being alive during a pandemic.

Sure, the pandemic is causing hardship and heartbreak, but less so for the more fortunate in society.

Can we please remember that the pandemic is also creating some unique opportunities for good?

  • It highlights weaknesses in society, so it makes us see where we should focus our priorities. 
  • It also is sparking a lot of creativity, for example, by offering VR versions of experiences that are currently no longer possible for most of us.

Are EU citizens in the UK the only officially undocumented legal migrants in the world now?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/26/eu-citizens-uk-brexit-settled-status-jobs-banking-healthcare

The entire thing, the application, the status and the many empty promises made and reneged on, it means zilch.

We’re still vermin.

So far, at least one person was blocked from boarding a flight for the same reason as why the people in the above article in The Guardian ran into hurdles. The status means zilch. You have no legal proof of it. 

But what else can people do other than either go through the farcical rigmarole or leave?

I contacted Cygnet Healthcare this morning

This is what I wrote:

“Hello,

Yesterday, I ran into the following article about Yew Trees hospital in Essex and I learned that you used to operate another hospital that had similar challenges.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/24/essex-hospital-where-staff-abused-patients-was-warned-by-cqc

I wonder if I could help you address such issues, for example, by visiting your facilities and talking with staff about what happened to me after I moved from Amsterdam to England.

To my utter bafflement, I became bullied in England. I suspect that this may have had something to do with some people around me assuming that I was learning-disabled in some way and on disability benefits because they didn’t see me go to work every day and noticed that I was living on my own (which also seems to carry a stigma here).

I am – or was – a geologist and marine biogeochemist working from home. Remember the attack with flour etc on Janice Morris who was sitting on a bench? That photo went viral; I heard about it from the US, where I have also lived for a while. Well, something like that happened to me too, for example, except that I got stones, sand and water thrown at me and two stones hit my head.

Please forward and discuss my offer. Let me know what you think of it.”

I am also in the middle of editing a new video.

Both were sparked by this:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/sep/24/essex-hospital-where-staff-abused-patients-was-warned-by-cqc

This is the video I made:

Dutch COVID scandal

The official Dutch advice was that masks were not necessary for workers in care homes, including around (suspected) cases of corona virus, and this advice was supposedly based on medical knowledge.

This – of course – turns out to have been a lie. The advice was based on a lack of sufficient masks.

How is workplace bullying affecting your business?

(image from the NY Post)

Do you know?

In the UK, the incidence of workplace bullying is around 30% (2015, Trades Union Congress), with 71% of disabled women reporting some form of abuse and 91% of workers stating that bullying in the workplace wasn’t being dealt with appropriately.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (HR professionals) found a percentage of 15 for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 yet added that more than half did not report bullying.

In a study by Kew Law (employment law), 71% of the employees at 131 companies in the UK stated that they had either been bullied or witnessed bullying.

Workplace bullying is very costly. Are you sticking your head in the sand over it, conveniently closing your eyes? Well then, with most staff still working from home, NOW may be the perfect time to wake up and address it. Workplace bullying. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening.

 

Another case of “not workplace bullying”?

Landrover / Jaguar:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/17/gender-fluid-engineer-wins-landmark-uk-discrimination-case

Constructive dismissal. Thank you, Judge Hughes.

All people who suffer from workplace bullying, certainly if it concerns the extreme kind of workplace bullying that George Cheese and Harry Hayward suffered from, should document what is happening, then leave and sue their employers. 

Mr Hayward was set on fire at his place of work. Although it was an accident, it was an accident waiting to happen.

 

She Speaks (by Debbie Cameron)

Reposted!

language: a feminist guide

Three years ago, to mark the political party conference season, I wrote a post about Great Political Speeches—or rather, Great Male Political Speeches. On most Anglophone lists of the best speeches of all time you will find just one token woman, or if you’re really lucky, two. British list compilers typically select from a field consisting of Elizabeth I, Emmeline Pankhurst and Margaret Thatcher; their US counterparts, who (still) can’t choose a female president, tend to go for Susan B. Anthony or Sojourner Truth.

Of course, it’s not surprising if the female speechmakers of the past can’t compete with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. In addition to being gifted orators, these men were leaders of global stature, speaking at key historical moments on subjects of grave import. Until recently very few women, however gifted, were in a position to tick…

View original post 1,513 more words

When is it time to leave?

A father said to his daughter “You graduated with honors, here is a car I acquired many years ago. It is several years old. But before I give it to you, take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them I want to sell it and see how much they offer you. The daughter went to the used car lot, returned to her father and said, “They offered me $1,000 because it looks very worn out.” The father said, ”Take it to the pawn shop.” The daughter went to the pawn shop, returned to her father and said, ”The pawn shop offered $100 because it was a very old car.” The father asked his daughter to go to a car club and show them the car. The daughter took the car to the club, returned and told her father,” Some people in the club offered $100,000 for it since it’s a Nissan Skyline R34, an iconic car and sought out after by many.” The father said to his daughter, ”The right place values you the right way,” If you are not valued, do not be angry, it means you are in the wrong place. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you. Never stay in a place where no one sees your value.

 

 

Why the pound is down

Because it’s not true that all countries beyond Dover are backward banana republics in which all universities are diploma mills and where everyone walks around in clogs or loincloths and lives in straw huts.

Even though Boris Johnson and Priti Patel think so.

DVLA update

Regarding this post: https://angelinasouren.com/2020/06/30/dvla-chaos/.
I sent a letter by special delivery, haven’t heard back.

I just rang them again and now at least their automated voice system says that because of social distancing, they are experiencing delays and that they cannot give any updates on when we will receive our documents.

It just so happens that I met Gareth Llewellyn and that he’s one of my LinkedIn connections, but he runs the DVSA, not the DVLA (and he is leaving).

By the way, the delay is about four months, according to a Royal Mail staff member I spoke with in July.

Impostor syndrome

In England, perceived “impostor syndrome” among women (as perceived by men) likely has more to do with a woman having to wonder whether someone peed into her tea or coffee when she turned her back or whether that client meeting will end up with her walking into a sex shop because her male colleagues believe that this will prove how incompetent women professionals are.

(How that works? Tell her that you’re about to meet a client at a restaurant, keep talking with her and distract her, then lead her into the sex shop. If the men surround the woman, obscuring her view, that’s likely easy enough to do. Happened to a top accountant in London. Ha ha.)

If you are asking yourself if your company or department might be like that too, let me know. I can help you figure it out and if needed, help you resolve it.

Personally, I have never met a woman with impostor syndrome, to my knowledge, but many men seem to be obsessed with it as “something that women suffer from”. 

Yes, “impostor” can also be spelled “imposter”.

Some thoughts on policing

One “but” regarding my final remark. We need their input, but we should take great care to sever connections with the existing structures and cultures.

We should create specialized units – as I have argued before – and do away with the one-stop shop setup we have now, with most cops considering themselves or needing to be experts at literally everything (cyber crime, mental health, people’s trustworthiness, business reliability, stalking, money-laundering, relationships, housing, drug use) while in practice they often know very little about these areas.