Scavenger: These Foolish Things: Work Till You Drop
Work till you drop
Britain is facing a new industrial epidemic. Office staff are working longer hours, but productivity is falling. Family life is also under threat from increased stress at work, with women coming off worse. Nearly three times as many women as men in white collar work are divorced or separated . . . Far from sitting back and driving their employees ever harder, those in management worked the longest hours of all. Among senior staff, 45 per cent of men worked 50 hours or more [per week].
Staff at the electrical giant Comet were threatened with a hangman’s noose if they failed to reach sales targets. Three managers are facing a disciplinary hearing after the sick joke but they are not expected to be sacked. The incident happened at Comet’s store in Llansamlet, Swansea.
A group of sales staff were shown a noose dangling from the ceiling and a step ladder. Those who failed to meet that week’s quota for selling warranties were ordered to take a step up and told the ritual would continue in future weeks.
This “shoot- ’em-up ” culture
[Phil Denne] designed Europe’s largest electronic warfare unit in Stanmore, Middlesex, where state-of-the-art computers simulate the anti-aircraft missiles and radar jamming devices RAF fighters face when screaming 50ft above enemy territory at Mach 1.
But now he is at the leading edge of the virtual reality, thrills-and-spills rides that, in the face of defence cuts, the military industrial establishment hopes will bolster dwindling income.
The basic State pension in Britain is £58.85 a week or £3,060.20 a year against the national average wage of £17,488; just over one-sixth.
Maintaining the old values
Suicide victim Harold Graham could not face the winter after electricity was cut off at his Wear Valley home, a friend told a Bishop Auckland inquest yesterday.
Mr Graham had confided in his neighbour Christopher Hume a few days before he hanged himself last week at his home in Front Street, Sunniside near Tow Law.
However, the government’s definition does not include the new wave of unelected quangos established in recent years, now responsible for over £50 billion of taxpayers’ money. New quangos, sometimes referred to as a “new magistracy”, include the district health authorities and education funding agencies run by government appointees, many of them overtly political. A Guardian investigation in 1993 established that, in a broad definition of quangos, by next year more than 7,700 public bodies would have been created, controlled partly or wholly by government appointees.