Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The Wonders of Facebook

It's taken me a while, but i now see the wonders of facebook. I had a page on Myspace for a while, but the novelty wore off pretty quick.

Myspace is great for personalising, but for the technically inept, a site looks pretty bland, and too make anything intersting requires some computer knowledge. However facebook seems to bypass this. Although remaining customisable, its very user freindly. there are some very odd applications about to make your page that little bit more interesting.

The other thing that sets this site apart, was the ease of which you can find friend and colleagues (well in the uk anyway). You can import from many email accounts, or csv/tsv files, you can search by name and you can search by place/organisation.

There are a millions of extremely funny, weird and pointless groups to join reminding you that you are normal after all! I think this site deserves a 9/10 for usablitly and functionality. Im addicted. Give it a try.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Electro House mix

Hey Hey,

so tonight i have been busy, and have for your aural delight a new mix tape.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, 6 August 2007

The Bourne Ultimat....

The day i have been waiting for for the last month arrived, the long awaited release of the bourne ultimatum, shortly followed by the CAM release. Sunday morning, i trawled the net, and before long had found a copy entitled, an hour later the download had finished, but decided to wait until the evening for the atmosphere to be more fitting.

I settled down swirched on, and sat to enjoy, overall the quality was poor. a very small resolution with half the cinema inshot. after a while, i learnt to ignore the exit sign glowing in the left hand of the picture.

The film itself, is as fast paced and as edgey as the first 2 installments, although the shaky camera work and choppy editing, left me feeling fatigued after a while. in true Bourne fashion, it does not disappoint with ample car chase scenes, and special effects. The plot is consistent with the previous installements, and is a relatively natural progression from the last 2 films. However, the copy i downloaded ended with around 10 minutes left of the film.

I have since downloaded a complete copy, and the last 10 minutes are equally as good, as the previous 90!

Whoever uploaded the incomplete copy, is a tosser to say the least. It ruined completely ruined the film for me. but hey. A close freind of mine is sure that its a ploy by the Film makers to put people off downloading newly released films, but im not so sure. There are always a few morrons!

Anyway i have tried not to ruin this for anyone by revealing details, but i definately recommend this film to anyone. 9/10.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Friday night for the Potless

Yet another week gone. A glimmer of hope on the horizon, a possible 2 interviews next week. Result, but doesn't help the here an now. So tonight's plan? What to do? Well we'll start here to give a base. On with Itunes, and set to party shuffle. However, its not much of a party! The first song? "How soon is now"! after reaching the "So you go, and you stand on your own, And you leave on your own, And you go home, And you cry, And you want to die" part, i decide that this may not be the best of songs to start on! A quick change of feel but not a great step, the stone roses! A nostalgic trip to better times. Memories flooding back. So back to the point. What to do? Probably about time to look through the phonebook and see which freinds are either too poor to be having fun, or just have a temporary glitch in their social calendar.

A few texts sent. Wait to see what offers come flooding in!

Next on the agenda, think its about time i put dinner on, but can't think what to have. Decisions eh!

Scraped enough together for a bottle of wine. been to the shop. sitting here with a nice glass of rioja de campo viejo. The Kinks Playing, the makings for an intersting evening. A phone call to a close freind reveals that im not the onlyone doing nothing again. however, he does have someone to do nothing with! Still, its nice to know not all the world is doing something.

Well at this point, im going to leave this, and come back to it in a few hours when what transpires will have transpired. ttfn.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Bored, Broke, Bewildered

So to bring you up to speed.

8 weeks ago, I had somewhat of a health scare, dropped into a state of panic, lost the temp job I had been working in due to taking time off.

Since then, I have been perusing the web, built up a healthy music collection, and have watched every film I could lay my hands on.

Motivation to find a new job has been slow coming. The reason for this being, recruitment agencies! Dealing with these organisations is a full time job in itself, after investing a great deal of time and money registering with them, attending their registration interview, you find out they don't actually have any suitable vacancies.

I'm a little bemused as to why these organisations are actually used to recruit full time staff in the first place. There is no apparent need for them. Most companies using them have their own HR departments, interview prospective candidates and ultimately make the decision of whom to employ anyway.

In fact by using these agencies, they may be missing out on the best person for the job. Due to agencies over selectiveness and lack of knowledge of the business they represent, wouldn't the business be best placed to review all applicants, not the shortlist vetted by the agency? It seems a huge waste of money.

When it comes to supplying temporary staff, obviously there is a need for an agency, however, they are no better at this. I feel there should be much tighter governance on how they do business. Recruitment agencies seem only to have their business client’s interests at heart. They seem to have no concern over any problems they cause you, have no realisation of the implications when/if (although more often when) they make mistakes.

This brings me back to the point. When I lost my last job, I had been off sick for around a week, and received a call advising me that I would not be required to go back. Although annoyed, as a temp I could appreciate their situation. I updated my CV, re registered with various agencies, and signed on for unemployment benefit just in case nothing came up. A week later I received a P45 in the post, but no final Wage slip for the last week I had worked. I called them to explain, and was advised that they had not received a signed time sheet. This is correct, as I had been away ill, and asked not to return. I emailed a list of hours over, and explained the importance of being paid promptly, as I would not receive any benefits for 2 weeks, and required the funds to live on, having been off work for a week already, this would equate to 4 weeks with no money coming in.

I was advised that they would have to get these hours signed off by my line manager. A week passed and I had heard nothing and still had not received any payment. I called to chase the matter up, and was told that they were still awaiting approval of the hours worked. Accepting that that they would need to be validated, I asked them to chase this up, and reiterated the importance of this matter. A few days later, I contacted them again, and left a message to call back. No one returned my call. I emailed requesting information the following day, and no one replied. The following week, I called and spoke to the consultant, who said she believed my line manager had been away and was due back today, and would chase the matter up. A few days later I called, and still no response.

At this point I decided enough was enough. I invoiced the agency direct enclosed with a strongly written email. I received a reply stating they didn't appreciate the tone of my email. What did they expect? Could they not understand that I needed that money? After another couple of days I contacted them threatening legal action on the matter, and at this point was told that the Hours had now been authorised, and would be paid, however it had missed their payment run, and would be put on the next weeks run. Finally I received the payment 7 weeks after it was due. Why did it take so much effort to get them to pay?

On another occasion, I had been working though an agency for an organisation for 2 weeks, when I received a call requesting a copy of my passport. I explained to them, that they had already taken a copy of this, and that I no longer had a passport as it had been damaged. I offered them a copy of my full birth certificate in place. They advised me that they were unable to accept this, and that if I could not provide them with my passport they would have to terminate my employment. They advised that this policy was in accordance with the DTI. After Calling the DTI, and an organisation that advises recruitment consultancies, I found this not to be the case and called them back. After an hour of arguing with them, and speaking directly with the managing director, they agreed that it was there error. But had I not been so insistent and checked up on these matters, I would have been made unemployed.

My Questions to you are,

Should recruitment companies be governed by an external body to ensure the fair treatment of the staff they recruit, and that their practices are scrutinised to ensure they are ethical and fair?

Should Unions do more to get involved with temporary workers, or offer a service, advise on these matters?

Please let me know your views, and I would like to hear of anyone else’s cases, as I would like to see the scale of these problems, and possibly put a case forward to the minister for work and pensions.