Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 - 9

The Definition of Bonus

1. A payment or gift added to what is usual or expected, in particular.
2. An amount of money added to wages on a seasonal basis, esp. as a reward for good performance.

Lloyds Bank (40% owned by the taxpayer) made a £3.5billion loss, mainly due to having to pay compensation for miss-selling Payment Protection Insurance. However, the employees of the bank are being paid from a Bonus Fund the sum total of £385million - which, if it was fairly distributed would amount to £4000 per employee.

What I can't understand and I'm sure you will agree, is if the bank lost a massive lot of money why are any bonuses being paid at all? I mean, the definition says it's a reward for good performance. Obviously, had the bank made money we would have been complaining about an even more obscene amount of money being paid to employees (of which the humble teller will get a couple of hundred quid - if they're lucky - and the executives will pocket anything up to 7 figures).

Am I the only person that finds this offensive?


'Nuff said, really.


I come home at lunchtimes at the moment. I only get 45 minutes and 14 of those minutes are taken with driving to and from home and walking the distance from the car park to the signing back in list. That leaves me with about 30 minutes at home; seeing to the dogs, having a coffee and eating my lunch. It never seems like 30 minutes and probably it isn't because of my fear that I will overrun my break and leave someone in the lurch (and get in trouble).

I've been doing this for about the last four weeks and it breaks up my day and to be completely honest, this preamble seems a bit like scraping the bottom of the barrel for a story, especially if I say that I haven't really had so much as an interesting second on the journeys. Except, not exactly...

My sometime route home takes me up past the eyesore called the Weston Favell Shopping Centre - a thoroughly Seventies structure that has undergone a poorly executed facelift in recent years and seems to have it's own rules as far as cars and driving is concerned; but that's unimportant, except to say that to drive away from it, to get on the A43 Northbound - the way I sometimes go home - you have to go under an underpass that has been there since the mid 1970s when the centre and the corresponding dual carriageway (said A43) was built. It is an access/slip road, goes nowhere but onto the A43 and it isn't designed for pedestrians; there isn't even a path on either side.

On Wednesday, I pulled onto this bit of road and headed down the slope to the bottom of the underpass, before turning back upwards again to join the main road. This bottom part has, over the years, been flooded, had part of the wall fall out and because it is almost a hairpin bend has seen its fair share of accidents - mainly from idiot drivers going too fast. On this particular day there was something sitting in the middle of the road. I only caught a brief look at it and had I not been travelling in excess of 30 mph I might have seen it more clearly; but the, ahem, bottom line was that I definitely thought it was something a bit odd. So at 4.30, when I went home, I went the same route to see if I could see it again. Now I have to stress this wasn't a pressing issue, I just remembered it when I got back in the car.

This time, the shadows and dark obscured my vision just as badly as not getting a good look at it. But the following day, driving home at lunch, there was at least four cars in front of me and going through the underpass was much slower progress and this time I saw it again and my suspicions were confirmed. It was a massive red tinged shit. One that looked like it came from a human arse rather than a small horse or extremely big dog with IBS. It was also, as I said, red and it was standing curled and proud in the middle of the left hand lane.

Now, the thing is, like I said, this isn't a pedestrian walk way, nor is it an obvious dog walking (or even carnivorous horse riding) zone; in fact, because of the nature of the road it is probably a very stupid thing to do - walk on it, let alone let your dog or yourself take a dump there. So by the time I got home, I'd convinced myself that it must be something else and the angle just made it look like a massive 4lb turd.

Drove home tonight and someone had splatted it. It doesn't look like a big proud turd now; it looks like a cow pat after the cow had eaten several vindaloos with a couple of bottles of blood to wash it down.

This has been a pretty shitty story... I make no apologies.

Union Rules

Last Saturday, accompanied by my good friend One El, I went to my first rugby union match as a spectator. It was a brisk day which started with me picking up One, his stepson and grandson, in a torrential downpour. It looked grim, but the weatherman said it would be gone by 3pm and a little before Northampton Saints took the field to play Sale Sharks, the sun came out and we were sitting directly in its line, so while we all needed shades and sun visors, the general ambiance in the stand was improved by some warm late February sun on our faces.

I've seen a lot of rugby, but never this way, and it was good to go and see my adopted team win 24-17. It sounds like a reasonably high scoring game, but it was dominated by kicks, apart from one, rather well played Sale try; but only well played because the Saints defence was at sixes and sevens. The man of the match was Stephen Myler, the Saints back who kicked 21 of the side's 24 points and when you consider his side only really got into Sale's final 22 once in the entire match, it gives even the most uneducated a rough idea that the game was actually quite dull. It was a bruising encounter, played a lot in the middle of the park and featured a lacklustre performance from the team who eventually won.

On the face of it, Sale played the better rugby, but both teams were full of unforced errors and my team capitalised on those to better results. It was anything but a great advert for the game, but I had a really good time. It's strange being in such a passive but committed crowd; the worst insults were directed at their own players for failing to live up to expectations and it really does have a friendly relaxing feel about it rather than the underlying tension you get at a football match. I got the impression that if the Saints had lost, the people would have left less happy, but quite capable of writing it off and getting on with the rest of their lives until the next match. The ironic thing, for me, was that the referee had a stinker; even I saw that, but there was little inquest about it; people were not calling for his crucifixion in the middle of the pitch.

The only unsavoury things about the day were the horrible smells from the food village - a heady mix of hot vinegar, cooked dodgy meats and cheap tomato sauce and the horde of Sale fans at the end of the match who climbed over the advertising hoardings, armed with cutlasses, blunderbusses and shrunken heads on strings, like beads, attacked a group of pensioners on a day trip. The day was saved when Bernie the club mascot, with a bullet belt and an AK47 dropped them all before they could get over the halfway line; he was then surrounded by at least 14 scantily clad supermodels waving lubricant at him... I didn't see any of this, of course, I was too busy trying to avoid the unpleasant smells.


I am still currently listening to the new Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters album called Underrated Silence. I am also listening to M83 by M83, Ghoststory by School of Seven Bells; some assorted Pearl Jam and Le Voyage Dans La Lune by Air.
I am still not reading anything in particular.
My car passed its first MOT test.
The weather was gorgeous on Thursday.
I have to go shopping.

1 comment:

  1. Turd day must have been a slow week.

    Rugby - for a long time the teams in the Southern Hemisphere have been playing running rugby and slagging off the Northern style of negative rugby (with the exception of Wales). Who wants to watch a game of penalty kicks? I think they should reduce the points from a penalty kick to 1; see how that livens things up. Penalty kicks and pay tv are killing the game imho