Tag Archive: work

Simply Repeat



How long will I stay and simply repeat
The same day I have lived only broken by sleep
A question I ask more often than before
As I stare unflinching at an ever open door
Too many options and choices to be made
Indecision and fear the reasons I have stayed
For this is what I know and have for so long
That before now fades like the end to a song
Is now then the time to cast off the chains
Run for the exit before nothing else remains
Give life a chance and everything outside
That till now was here and always denied


A world of rusty gears

Oh for the love of christ where did it all go wrong
Days on end spent caged and trying to stay strong
When all about me crumbles including my own will
And yet still I stay to suffer more of this bitter pill

What more can they take when take is all they do
regardless of the pain they know they put you through
More with less is the mantra we know so well
But is it still a joke to say I work in the depths of hell

We’re all about the people unless they speak their mind
For why should we listen when profits is always blind
A faceless organ grinder in a world of rusty gears
I am sure stands there laughing at all our wasted tears

There is no end to these days or the extra they expect
Start early, finish late and smile with respect
For aren’t you all so lucky and privileged just to be
In a place you adore,slaves too masters you can see





12 Years

12 years, to some it sounds like the blink of an eye to others an eternity, I guess it’s a matter of perspective!

I have been considering that time frame for a good few months and in non to positive terms. You see today marked my 12 year anniversary of working for the same company (can’t tell you who as they wont let me). Not being of the most natural sunny disposition, I admit that my mood at the thought has been apathetic at best and at worst down right depressed. Choosing to concentrate on the negatives I found myself rehashing old grievances, lamenting decisions that would have taken me elsewhere and wondering what on earth possessed me to even apply for the job in the first place! I was willingly putting myself in a very dark place and was seemingly incapable of dragging myself out of a daily malaise.

Until today.

A simple platitude reminded me that it hasn’t all been bad. In fact the more I thought of what I have because of this job, either directly or indirectly, the more I realised that every bad day, every knock back and every time I have wanted to break down and give up were nothing in comparison.

While recounting every good thing would bore even me, there are a few highlights that for the life of me I simply could not imagine my life without.

Within the first year I would meet a man who has since become one of my very best friends and someone I am immensely proud to call a brother (of a family chosen not born). I remember so well him meeting one of my little sisters and the amusingly (at least to me) high school like way they got together. But get together they did and since then they have married and had 2 beautiful daughters.

Jump forward a few years and I was lucky enough to get a training job in Malta. A 6 month secondement that would come at a time in my life that I simply could not stay in Edinburgh any longer. What better way to run away than to get paid to do it in the Mediterranean. In those 6 months I met friends that I will keep forever, got to live and work in a foreign country, had countless experiences that my friends are now sorely sick of hearing about and fell for a local girl who will forever have a piece of my heart. I now count Malta as a second home and get back there as often as I can but far less than I would like.

I have 3 little sisters (again chosen not born) and had I not worked for this employer that number would be 2. For 3 years Sarah saved my ass and on more than one occasion probably my job but this is the least of what I am grateful for. It would take a far greater wordsmith than I to explain what my little sisters mean to me and how much I know I owe them. But for the last 8 years I have been privileged to know someone who has perhaps the biggest heart I have ever encountered and I only wish she lived closer.

It’s strange the way life works and it can be all too easy to dismiss things out of hand as being unimportant. I am glad I was forced to look at the what these last 12 years have given me and not simply what they have cost. While I may not survive another 12 years in the company I know my life has been made far better for the 12 years that have just passed.


All too often in today’s work place I find that “training” is replaced by regurgitation and childish exercises, no doubt intended to refresh knowledge and improve understanding but with the only results being that those taking part feel patronised and uninspired.


The current, and all too long running, fascination with acronyms is a great example of what is wrong with large industry and their training methods. Having been in a working environment for longer than I care to remember I have had the unfortunate pleasure of having more acronyms than I can count forced down my throat. In the service industry these mostly focus on how we can engage with our customer in the front line roles. Without exception the dozens of acronyms you will hear have a central theme, CONVERSATION, it’s basic and fundamental in all front line exchanges and perhaps because of this it is unfashionable!


Why must a worker be able to tell you the meaning of a letter in an acronym before they are deemed able to have an acceptable conversation?


Why must there be so many variations on a central theme that invariably get lost in translation?


Why must we over complicate something so simple?


Is our obsession with “training techniques” and “formulas for success” really achieving the aim of improving individual’s competency? Or are we simply succeeding in creating a generation of employees who no longer have basic conversational skills and rely on robotically programmed responses to taught scenarios. Can we now look at our service industry and make genuine comparisons with an automated factory production line? Front line robots being controlled by master robots and those in turn being programmed through a single computer programme. While some may find this insulting, I would ask them to think about their last group training session and see the truth in the statement.


So how do we fix this problem? What can be done to ensure that training either individually or as part of a group actually succeeds in it’s over all aim?


The answer, as so often, is in the question.


People are individuals. We are all different, from varying backgrounds and have had different life experiences. How then can a “one size fits all” approach ever be expected to have the desired results. These differences must be nurtured and praised, for it is through these that we truly establish effective communication and rapport. Having a conversation should be the most natural of things and when done in a style that the individual is comfortable with, so long as they understand the aim of that conversation, will result in a far more effective and enjoyable experience for all concerned. Our training should then reflect this and be tailored to bring out the best in the individuals being trained. Not to train these individuals to become part of a collective consciousness without the ability to think for themselves.


Please do not misunderstand me, I am fully aware that in order to get across a mass message occasionally these methods are an unfortunate necessity. That being said, surely the use of acronyms ceased being of any benefit in high school (or before), when learning was less about free thinking and individuality than it was remembering what teachers had advised us would be an acceptable answer to pass an exam.


This is also not an attack on those providing the “training”, I am not a fan of shooting the messenger. Those poor soul’s are after all only doing what they are told they must (being programmed). It is not their fault that the materials they are forced to use are not fit for purpose and that even more fundamentally they are not allowed to deviate from them. It should also be pointed out that this lack of adequate training methods does not stop at the front line. With this being the case and with those people providing the “training” not being supported or trained sufficiently themselves, how then can we legitimately expect the “training” they provide to be of an acceptable standard.







Where did you go
Why did you leave
Was there ever a chance
This wouldn’t end in grief

I breathe in deep
I close my eyes
I block everything out
But cannot disguise

A mask that slipped
A persona exposed
A defence so practised
It’s a weakness loathed

Do you ever get tired
Does it ever ware thin
Do you know when it started
How it broke from within

As the eyes open
As the heart rate slows
As the shutters drop
But you always know

That tomorrow will come
That the face will return
That no matter the cost
You will never learn