The staff night out happened yesterday. It was a supposedly ‘Italian Christmas Special Menu‘ but it didn’t look too special to me. It seemed to be an attempt to popularise some menu items that they may not have been selling much. I didn’t rate the meal highly, but I suppose it could have been my choices. Starter was ‘Butterfly King Prawns‘ and they were a little bit on the tough side. I followed up with ‘Pollo Milanese‘. This was a breaded chicken breast served with a creamy mushroom sauce. I think the chicken was more than a little over-cooked as it was quite dry and didn’t taste any better than the local ‘Chicken & Chips’ shop. As for the ‘creamy’ mushroom sauce, it was more a ‘greasy’ mushroom sauce that was lacking in seasoning of any kind. But at least the dessert of Tirimasu was excellent.
Since I became an ‘OAP’ I have had a consessionary bus pass. I very rarely use it, but I thought it would give the perfect reason to leave the party early if I needed to. I have used it a couple of times when we have used the Park & Ride at York. It gives the holder a return journey for the price of a single journey, but yesterday it was free travel all day. By car, it takes 8 minutes, but by bus it’s more like 25 minutes, so it is understandable, why so many people drive everywhere. I have often considered using the bus for work. But the times are awkward. For me to get to work in time to start at 10:30, I would have to catch the 9:27 bus. Whereas if I drive, I don’t need to set off until 9:55.
We had are ‘family get together and present exchange‘ on Friday. It was another thing that I was dreading. The Americans were coming! K***’s brother married a Californian teacher and moved to America over 20 years ago. They keep coming back, with their daughter every few years to see us and it is usually quite pleasant. However. They are a loud bunch and their loudness seems to rub off on everyone else. It usually seems to end up with people trying to out do each other in the volume stakes.
It arrived this morning. I had been told that it could take up to three weeks before it was delivered. These days, they always seen to blame COVID-19 for anything taking a long time. I applied on the 27th, as I was in two minds as to whether I actually wanted a “Senior Citizens Bus Pass“. Everyone said I should get one, and most quantified their statements by saying things like ‘…look how long you’ve been paying…‘. Things like that didn’t help me come to terms with it. I was okay when I hit 65. That seemed like a mile-stone, but when you get to that time that you are now an official “Old Age Pensioner“, it feels a little different.
I don’t physically or mentally feel any older, it’s just the words “Old“, “Age” and “Pensioner” which are nothing on their own, but strung together, have a whole different sense to them. It is silly really, because when I left work, I was ‘Old’ enough to take my works ‘Pension’ and I didn’t feel any different then. Then there are the online forms to fill in that ask you your age group. You suddenly find yourself ticking the last box, the 66+ range. People say, “…it’s just a number…” and of course they are correct, it’s just a hell of a big number!
The early 1980’s saw a few major changes in the kitchen where I was now working. The Kitchen Manager (or Kitchen Superintendent to give him his official title) retired. In the past, the job would have gone to the then Head Cook. There would have been the usual interviews, but he would have got the job. This time it was different. This time, he claimed that he had no interest, but the rumour had it, that he had been ‘advised’ that he was too old.
We had at the time, three Assistant Head Cooks; A**n, S***e and D**e, and to everyone’s surprise, A**n got the top job. This caused a lot of upset in the kitchen as although he was a capable cook, he was not a good manager. He had very few people skills and was basically not really liked. Within 6 months, the other two Assistant Heads (A**n was not replaced) were looking for other positions.
It was around this time that the local bus company, which was still in the public sector, announced a recruitment campaign. Partly as a response to the increase in passengers after the energy crises of the 1970’s, Leeds City Transport decided they needed new drivers. As a result, D**e applied to be a driver and was successful. S***e on the other hand found a job at sea, as a cook.
After a few months, A**n suddenly announced that he had another job and was leaving. Because he still had his four weeks annual leave, he left that same day, taking his leave as notice. Nobody knew why he suddenly left, although there were a few rumours that he had been fired, but none of them were ever proven. But it was time to panic.
The Catering Manager was now looking for two Assistant Heads and a Kitchen Super. It was expected that I would apply for the Assistant Head and of course I did and after a rather difficult interview (the original Catering Manager that hired me had now left and the new one had a different approach) I got the job. For a short while, it was just me and the Head Cook who still was refusing to apply for the Super’s job. After about three/four weeks, the Catering Manager informed the whole kitchen, that a new Assistant Head and a new Kitchen Super had been found and they both would be starting the following Monday. We were to make them welcome as they had never worked in a Hospital kitchen before!
I am begining to think, that I may be glad when this football World Cup is over !!!!!! There games have ranged from average to poor, with the odd ‘good’ one thrown in. The talk is that it will all improve vastly, when the knockout stage begins. I await to see!
It was the Clifford Beer Festival on Saturday. Some nice beers, and it was good to catch up with some of my old friends from the days when I used to bus to work. I only seem to see them at beer festivals !! How sad is that.
Work is the same as usual. Too many of the people think they are more important than they are. Of course, they all think they work too hard !!! When in actual fact …….
Youngest is away on respite this week, and both K*** and me are attending his annual review on Thursday. That should be interesting. I am also looking into publicising the PTA of the school. At the moment, they issue the occasional letter goes to parents, whenever the PTA have an event, and that is about all. I’m looking into creating a weblog on here, together with a regular newsletter. I’ve not done anything as big as this before, but I have a few ideas. Mind you, I’ll have to talk to them and convince them of the benefits. That could be the biggest challenge. I think I will just set it all up and them present them with it. Wish me luck !!!
The computer task I had scheduled to run as a test, this morning, went without a hitch. The routine started, did what it had to do and finished. A couple of things were different from the usual, but it is nothing untoward. Part two of the testing will happen next week. I have set the routine to run at 1 minute past midnight on Monday morning. If all goes to plan, and I don’t see why it should not, then our notices will be ready for printing when we get in.
Youngest is not very happy tonight. Mrs H said he was upset when he got home, and that he had been upset on the bus. We are guessing, as he cannot tell us, that someone on the bus is causing him a problem. Of course, the escorts can’t say what upsets him, just reports that he is out of sorts. Mrs H is seeing his teacher tomorrow, so may get more of an idea. Could be the length of time he is on the bus that’s the problem. It is silly really. We only live a mile and a half away, but he has to go by the school transport because there is nowhere to park to drop him off.
I uploaded a video, to Facebook from the gig on Saturday night. Looks quite good, and already B** tagged his flatmate in it. Well pleased ……
It was a bit wet at lunchtime, but still warm. Warm and wet does not bode well for a walk by the sewerage works. So I thought I would walk when I got home again. However, It was looking really unsettled, when I got home, and true to form, it was raining within half an hour. Anyway, after yesterdays ‘epic’ four miler, my legs were a bit achy.
Eldest is out on the lash, in York tonight, with some old school pals. As we do not have a bus service, that would get him the 15 miles or so to York, I took him. It is ridiculous really. It is only 2 miles from our house to the A64, but we would have to catch a bus to Seacroft (10 miles), to catch the bus to York. It always gets me angry, when people says we have to change our reliance on the car. Improve the bus services and people will change. I get even angrier, when they call it ‘public transport’. It’s not!! They are private commercial companies that are in business to make a profit for their shareholders. Customers take a back seat, and routes are only viable if they make lots of money. Rant over !!
J**** was back tonight. I left an offline message, but when I logged on to MSN, she sent a goodnight message. She will have been travelling for a long time, so bound to be tired. We will chat tomorrow hopefully. I have missed her. Strange that, after such a short time. I had a bit of chat with N*** on Yahoo this morning. We’ve not done that for ages. It was good to hear from her.
S**** is having his PDR (personal development review) tomorrow, so that means that we will have to have ours next week. It will be next week, as he is off the week after (hurrah). I would love to be a fly on the wall when he does G***’s PDR. I imagine that sparks will fly !!!!
All done (see I appear to be writing everyday…how long will this last … watch this space)
The dentist went well. Very little pain, in fact the ‘scale and polish’ was more , shall we say, uncomfortable that the drilling. She just hit one spot that was bad, but it was okay. It is difficult to explain, but I find women dentists, to be better at the job than man. they just seem to get on with it, whereas the men dentists seem to dither a bit, sometimes.
We had our annual ‘you’ve all done really well’ performance review today. It is so monotonous, and I’m not that bothered really. There needs to be more feedback to staff on how well they are doing. Not just a once a year pat on the back. Still, after the farce with the lap-tops, it looks like I’m being upgraded. so not such a wasted 2 hours after all. Hopefully, I should be able to get the remote working software, so in effect I could work from home if I need to. Not that I will.
Eldest is driving more, and I have to say, he is getting more and more confident. I just hope he does not get over confident. That is where the problems start. I’ll have to give him a try on the Motorway at sometime soon. I’m not too sure it is a good idea when there is a passenger. If I can get him to catch the bus to my office, we can go from there. It is quite an easy access point, and it is only about six miles and we can get off again.