Monday, 14 June 2010

"Stress Epidemic" in economic climate

Two more I've found reading HR Magazine, this on the possibility of a stress epidemic, combined with the recent introduction of "fit notes" where doctors can state that staff 'may be fit for work taking account of the following advice'. Something to think about especially with having Asperger, if cutting manpower means people with Asperger are either (a) the ones cut because they aren't favoured for having lesser communication skills, or (b) where they are kept on but given more stressful communication tasks.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Victory Log Entry - Outlook HTML e-mail

Well here's a Victory Log Entry for an achievement at work today. As I'd said in the post about "Goals" in May, this is one thing from there I do like to remind myself of major achievements. My significant achievement of today was a formatted HTML e-mail in Outlook 2007 with text and pictures. The guv had asked me to start this yesterday, but when viewed in a browser the pictures moved as the window was resized, when they should have stayed still with scrollbars for the user to move. I looked online for stuff about formatting HTML e-mail after finding nothing in Outlook's own help to resolve this.

Significant was finding this blog on Campaign Monitor about Outlook 2007 using an engine from Word rather than Internet Explorer to render HTML emails, dropping "position" commands which was described as completely breaking any CSS based layouts meaning the need to use tables. Well it sounded like a backward step in web design terms but at least it had told me what to try, I'd used tables in Word was familiar with specifying sizes of whole tables, rows, columns; and merging and splitting cells. It took a bit of trial and error but when seen and tested the guv was impressed, as it now worked both on my own Internet Explorer and his Mac Firefox browsers.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

More on the World Cup - "banter can create tensions"

Interesting article in HR Magazine, following on from my post last week. The last paragraphs are making a similar point to that which I made, that not everyone is interested, and employers who make arrangements to the football fans, should at least make arrangements to benefit everyone, including those who aren't fans.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Article on new work and pensions secretary

The new work and pensions secretary is speaking of ensuring benefit claimants are not made worse off by working. One of the loopholes I particularly identified was a single person with a mortgage would lose their help with that, because the Support for Mortgage Interest allowance is an addition to Jobseekers and cuts out when working more than 16 hours per week, whilst the counterpart Housing Benefit for people renting is paid seperately by local councils and can be applied for regardless of hours per week worked. It is ironic that I could work 15 hours and still get the mortgage allowance, but do that 16th hour and I'd lose it and be worse off. If they address that loophole good for them!

His opponent has, however, picked up on their plans to cut £6.2bn in spending this year, including cutting one of the highest-quality programmes, the Future Jobs Fund. That struck a chord as it works similarly to what I'm on now, where the government is the employer and pays people a wage, like the third party charitable training provider is doing for me, taking the risk from the host organisation where I actually work.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Yet another blog on the dreaded scenario role-plays on jobsearch programmes

Just had to comment on this "New Ordeal" blog I've found and started following. Lo and behold the writer had to do that same dreaded scenario exercise about the plane crash deciding who got to go in the life raft. I'll credit the provider who put me through it, they did at least give an explanation about the supposed point of it even though I still found it somewhat patronising and altogether useless, this blog post said "No explanation about the point of this".

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

38% plan to miss work for World Cup

Just found this article online about people planning to miss work for the World Cup:
"An estimated 38% of full-time workers aged 18 to 45 are planning to be out of the office to cheer their team, the YouGov survey found. A total of 2,463 people were asked what they were likely to do to watch a particular match. While 5% said they would take a sickie, 18% said they would go to the pub with friends or colleagues and 23% said they would take the day or half-day off. Respondents were allowed to give more than one answer. The survey found 5% would be prepared to miss or reschedule their first day in a new job to watch a key game on television, 28% would reschedule a planned business lunch and 17% would defer a meeting with their boss. Almost half of respondents (48%) said being allowed to watch the key games would be the biggest booster to morale."

The sickie bit struck hardest, how many of those dishonest enough to do that are the ones who get jobs ahead of me because they appear better communicators? I don't do football, I can appreciate the point about it being a morale booster for those who do. However at the same time in one of the jobs I did have I used to get criticised for not playing with the lads who did, or watching matches together because it meant I "didn't fit in", and resented that criticism because ultimately football isn't everyone's interest and to be criticised in work appraisals for not fitting in because of it is plain wrong. Playing or watching football wasn't part of my job description, there just happened to be a lot there into it at the time and I wasn't one of them.