Working in the tech race?

Back when I was job hunting, one of the places I signed up to, was something called LinkedIn. Supposedly a good place to get yourself known to potential employers, and maybe it is for US folk, but the percentage of British people on there, is pretty minimal. Anyway, regardless, it played no part in me ever finding an interview, or potential job, but for some reason, unlike the employment agencies, I never dropped it once I was back in work.

One thing that happens from them, every Tuesday, is what I guess you could call the employment industry equivalent of the news headlines, and I still get all those emails. In truth, over the years, I’ve read numerous interesting articles because of this decision, and even made some comments over the years as well, which have got my profile looked at by numerous US folk, but obviously, no job offers! Too many immigration issues to offer an English woman a job, lol!

The obvious issue that seems to be coming up more of late, is that of AI taking the jobs of workers. Not so awful for those of us 5 years (or more likely less, given state of my spine) from retirement, but for the young workers of today, a pretty major issue. I’m not quite sure how AI, and robotics could do my job at present, too many decisions that have to be made, depending on the nature of the call, but I’m sure it will come in time. In truth, if some computer system can do my job, let me retire gracefully on disability issues, I’d be thrilled. But yes, I’m 61 next month, not 21, so a lot less to lose!

Oh fine, equally, if someone wants to come up with an AI interfacing body suit, ideally in metallic silver, that just needs my mind to make it function, but cuts out all my physical pains, then bring it on, I’ll wear it with pleasure. Fine, as a robot fetishist, I’d love it even more, but in truth, the lack of pain issue would sell it to me, regardless. So, if anyone has one of those, that they just need a willing human guinea pig to be fully interfaced with, contact me urgently, please! Even more so if it can turn me into a brilliant dancer in 4 weeks time, lol, though open to all offers now.

No, I wont expect to get crushed in the rush of offers, lol! I only wish I would!

OK, video time. One of the lesser known hits from the Specials, from the 80’s, hope you enjoy.

Can I get some money back?

Its ironic, isnt it? I wasnt thrilled at the idea of waiting until I was 65 to get my state pension, instead of 60, as it was when I was growing older, but fine, we want equality, so equalising it to the men’s retirement age, fair enough. But to say the matter was planned badly, would be to put it mildly. Then they kicked me again, by raising the retirement age to 66, though again I could see the logic of it, as most people seem to be living longer, and more healthily, but…

Yes, says the woman who had confirmation yesterday that she qualifies as disabled, due to the deterioration in the state of my spine, plus a few other issues (knees, wrists, shoulder to name a few), and in theory has to work for just over another 5 years. Yeah, thats as likely as me replacing Trump as US President, and before anyone says it could happen, no, it cant, you have to be born in the US to do that, lol!

I have now just read that Labour are proposing to reduce the pension age back to 64, but I’d believe political promises when I see it, and besides, 3 more years might still be a challenge for me?

Seems there is now going to be a judicial review on the matter, but how much it will change, not sure? https://davidhencke.com/2019/01/08/date-set-for-judicial-review-of-state-pensions-for-50s-born-women/

Well yes, I’m going to give it a go, and see if I can get some disability benefits at least, to ease the workload on my body. Before anyone says anything, yes, I know I’m now disabled, but on the basis of all I’ve heard, thats only part of the battle! But strictly, my mobility is getting more limited quite quickly (a few months ago, I could just about do the walk to work without issue from bus station, now its tough to do), and with my wrist gone, I also tick the box for things like preparing, and cooking a proper meal from scratch, no chance! We will see on that, will probably battle with the paperwork involved the week after next, when I’m on holiday. Then the battle with the disability benefit people, and with all I here, they dont like giving out money, even to deserving cases!

But yes, fingers crossed… Even if it meant I could afford to cut back to a 3 day week, so I could always get a rest day, between work days, it would help. Equally, if they want to offer me a new, cybernetic body, I’ll take it!

Anyway, hopefully I can get some of my money back, to help me get by, as a disabled old lady, at least to whatever my pension age ends up being, fingers crossed, sooner the better!

OK, video time. Dont blink or you’ll miss it, lol. This predates Baker Street, literally the first solo Gerry Rafferty album released.

2019, the avenue I might be being taken to

OK, if anyone can spot the (almost) line of lyrics, I’m impressed. Well, there are a couple who might get it, but otherwise?

In truth, 2019 is probably the least pre-planned year that I’ve had in a very long time. Lets face it, the May holiday is not only usually planned by now, its either booked, or just about to be booked. This year, not a clue what I’m doing! And though September has got some tentative plans, in the sense that both Kate and I have agreed, both health permitting, that we will get together ‘somewhere’ at that point. Its fair to say that it will in all likelihood be either, Oklahoma, or New England, but beyond that…? No, no commitments!

The one thing that is sure, is that before either of those, there will be 2 trips to Blackpool. First one in just over 3 weeks time, which will be the pre-publicity event for the Film Festival in March, on my Birthday weekend. This time, the latter is already planned as a longer stay, from Thursday, to Monday, as I can do work, and enjoy myself for the whole weekend. Numerous anniversaries that week, and a theme of Hollywood glamour, which should all be a lot of fun. Seems quite likely I will get to have a ‘Clara Johnson’ moment on the Friday of that weekend, for which I might now be a little old, but will be a dream come true. But more on that at the end.

Other than those, most of the known events for the year are of the less cheery kind. Firstly, and most obviously, is the state of my body. How long the back is going to last, even on a 4 day week, even with TLC (including that heavenly flotation/sensory deprivation tank), I have no idea! There is also the fact that I now have big issues with 1 wrist, and I have a hunch the other might only be biding its moment, and…? Given that now, with my wrist damage, that I’d have issues preparing, and cooking a proper meal, on top of everything else, I have been told I ought to at least try for PIP (disability related) benefit payments, because lets face it, my mobility, in a stamina sense is also becoming a bigger issue by the month. I’m sort of determined I will get to March (for obvious reasons), but in a serious sense, what used to be a stroll to work is now getting a challenge at the end. Oh fine, it is a challenge, but anyway… If you want a resolution (ghastly things), that had probably better be mine!

Yes, any politician offering to reduce the retirement age for women can have my vote, lol! 61, I’d be thrilled, 62, or 63 I could see as a target, but beyond that, not sure its going to happen? No, I know, not going to happen in reality, but would help me so much.

OK, Brexit, lets try and be diplomatic. Especially given the government are seemingly terrified of having a vote on their escape plan, rolls eyes. I could give my view on the ‘threat’ from the government that if they dont win, Brexit wont happen, and say that not everyone would be sorry if that came to place. Its not what the voters were promised at the referendum (we found that out within a few days), so is it any wonder that hardly anyone, on either side of the fence wants to vote for it? Fine, I voted Remain, but besides all that…

Alright, lets get to cricket. This summer will see the first ever test match between England, and Ireland at Lords, a pretty historic moment for we Irish cricket supporters. Yes, I’d probably have got an Irish passport at the last renewal in truth, but my Irish ancestry is 1 generation too far back for that. Even more I’d love to do that now, as so many others are seemingly doing. Nothing to do with the Brexit chaos of course. And if you believe that…?

Oh fine, you want some silly wishes for the year, I guess? Things I’d love to happen, but are only likely in my dreams?

Lets start off with the obvious one, which actually gives me more issues than work? Yes, travel. What I wouldnt give for a cute flying saucer/space shuttle, if a passing alien reads this, to whisk me to work, without strain, oh please! There are some ‘Just Eat’ adverts on TV over here, where the motorbike delivery people have bikes that fly, wouldnt say no to one of them, either!

Clearly, with my health issues, I’d love a full body upgrade. Chrome robot look would be heaven, but a more human looking fembot body would probably be more advisable. If so, if it can come looking about 20, with pre programmed dancing skills, I’d love that.

Oh, and fine, I’d love that sensory deprivation tank to really mess with my mind, as well as heal my body. Brainwashed, or mind controlled, while in that pod, oh please!

Lastly, a sugar daddy, or mummy (I’m bi, lets face it) to put this ‘Broadway Baby’ in her own apartment, somewhere warm/hot all year round, would love that. But fine, who would want an old lady like me for that, lol?

Right, lets get to the video. That Friday night in March, in Blackpool. One of the show moments is a local dance team, performing from 42nd Street. (At least) 2 of us are hoping to at least make cameo performances on that sequence. Will be the closest I ever get to replicating Clara Johnson without that new body, for sure! No, I’m certain I wont be this good, but some of this might be involved, so…

 

The wicked things we do

Tomorrow, instead of heading to Bradford, to do a normal, full day at work, I’m heading to Leeds instead. No, I’m not throwing a sickie, or anything, its work related.

In an ideal world, my back would allow me to work for nearly another 6 years, and retire at what is now the normal retirement age for British women, at 66. In truth, I would say, that even doing a 4 day week, as at present, my chances of doing so, rank probably as fair, but no more. So yes, on a pre retirement course tomorrow, to learn what I can do to make my future as easy as possible.

The thing is, it means I need to be in an office, just outside the center of Leeds, for 9.30 tomorrow morning. Yes, thats right, I need to get there right in the middle of the rush hour, and thats why I’ve done a wicked thing.

Its fair to assume that the 8.15 train tomorrow, from Huddersfield, to Leeds will be busy, and its quite likely some people will need to stand. Yes, the chances of me being able to stand, even with my brace on, for about 25 minutes, in one place, not good, or less! So yes, depending on your view of matters, I’ve either been practical, or wicked, and reserved a seat on the train, no pot luck for me! I cant do the same coming home, unfortunately, because I dont know exactly what time the course will end, and whether I will get out in time for the 5.00 shuttle, especially given my mobility limitations (its meant to end at 5.00), or need to be on 5.30 one, and that will affect the time I get back to Leeds station, and what train I’m able to get, so yes, wish me luck on that trip, especially as my disability is an invisible one! Hopefully my old commuting skills will return, and I can find a seat!

But yes, I know, I’m partially disabled (suspect I count as disabled, but prefer not to see myself as that, just yet), so I shouldnt be bothered by covering myself this way, but I do! But yes, it will be nice in the morning, knowing I dont have to scramble to get a seat on a rush hour train.

The video, talking of things wicked…

Lets all buy a camera!

Fine, anyone who can work out the video from that blog title, without looking, I’m stunned. Why? Because the song is over 40 years old, was only ever a B side of one of their more famous hits, but I loved it, and it fits, so… Yes, if anyone has heard the song before, please let me know! Well, unless you’re a fan of the group, but…?

Given that I’m now just under 6 years from retirement, and that my doctors have already advised me that I ideally need to move somewhere where its warm (or hotter) all year round, to ease my back issues, and to allow the fact that until today, the temperature here hasnt hit 40 degrees since heaven knows when, let alone where it should be in April, I thought I’d take a look into the possibilities.

So, if I start looking for somewhere where the temperature doesnt drop much below 60, all year round in Europe, you start looking south, a long way south! From what I see, Malta, Canary Islands, and possibly a few other places could work for me, if I can afford it. Also, for those, I have no idea if Brexit is going to make it more complex to move there, than it is now. And unless someone is prepared to offer me a job, or position there, suitable for a 60 year old woman, with a questionable back, its not going to happen before retirement day! No, I’m not considering the possibility of any wealthy person falling in love with me, and making me their partner there, lol!

Anyway, being curious, I had a look on You Tube, to see what places are recommended for retirees that would fit my needs. I cant see me moving to Asia, or South America, to be honest, but there was one country that seemed to regularly come at the top, or near to the top of all these charts, Panama. Yes, that gives a clue to the video, now name the group!

It seems the temperature is somewhere between 60, and 75 the whole year round, and though there is rain, its going to be warm rain, which surely isnt as bad as the freezing cold stuff here in winter! There are definite advantages, you dont need a fortune in savings to reside there (just as well really, short of a lottery win), and most speak English, though seemingly learning Spanish might be a wise move! There is also the Catholic country, and LGBT issue for me, but I’ve seen a lot worse countries for that to be honest. And fine, I’m single, and probably staying that way, so…?

Yes, ideally, I’d move to Florida, Southern California (San Diego is supposedly the perfect place for me to live), or Arizona (maybe a bit too hot in summer?) but as a UK citizen, that has issues for permanent US residence, unless there really is someone of either gender crazy enough to marry me! But all reasonable offers, lol…? Maybe a non sexual courtesan type might be more apt lol, or a marriage of convenience type! Not that they’re needed nowadays, unlike the Golden Age days, so probably not?

But yes, its all 6 years away, so I have plenty of time to think about it, but if its going to be done…?

Right, that video. Sailor had a few hits in the mid 70’s, but I have no idea if they crossed the Atlantic with popularity, or were just a UK thing? Either way, they had a catchy number, that ties into this blog quite nicely. You even have a choice tonight, the original line up, clearly miming…

Or a live version from 2002, with their line up at the time, which is surprisingly good, in truth

Thats life?

I know, a couple of pieces of real life whimsy, that wont hold much meaning for my mainly US readers on here, but anyway, just for once, you’ll have to live with it. Yes, I know the other blog makes more sense, but they were due the Dr Who, and Huddersfield comments, so…

Put it this way, yes, I know I’m feeling old. Even more so the last week and a half, or so, as the back pains that normally last 1-2 days at top, having been giving me hell since then. Finally, after nearly 12 days, it seems to be easing at long last, as I had managed to go 17 hours since last taking a painkiller, but just given in now, as back is starting to ache a bit more now, but yes, even then, still better than its been in a long while!

But what struck me today, was a friend, and ex work colleague announced it was her 60th birthday today. Incredibly, up to just over 7 years ago, she could retire now, if she wanted to! Now, like me, she’s got another 6 years to go before she reaches pension age. Before anyone says anything, raising the retirement age made sense, people now live a lot longer, so understandably we have to work a bit longer before retirement. Oh, and 5 years of it at least was the equality we wanted, as until that time, for many years, women retired at 60, men at 65! Now, by the time I retire, it will be 66 for both genders!

The people I feel most sorry for, are those, slightly older than me, who for the sake of a month or less, end up working a year more, just while things equal out. That would all be reached by the time I retire, for those wondering.

But yes, the last 10 days or so, I’ve been wondering if my back had decided to retire without telling me! Now, if anyone is doing research on cybernetically designed replacement backs, the answer is yes, I’d love one. Knees too, or even more ideally, a whole new body, but yes, at present, the back is the urgent need. So…?

Right, video time. I have to say that before tonight, I’d never heard of this group. But within an hour or so, I’ve become a huge fan. So no, please dont ask me anything about them, because I dont know. But yes, once in a while I love to try to make someone a star, and this is one of those moments. Their cover songs are brilliant, but this is one of their own. Enjoy!

The call center challenge!

One of the issues with working in a call center, any call center, is the less than pleasant calls, generally from angry, or just plain rude customers, or staff. Yes, been there, done that, multiple times, lets just say that Glasgow betting shop staff are probably the rudest I’ve had the ‘delight’ of dealing with, and leave it at that!

Fine, given the nature of my current job, emotions can run high at times. Both because we are dealing with estates of the deceased, and because some people have unrealistic expectations of how quickly bureaucratic checks can be done. Not that I’m saying the situation is currently perfect, but if you believed some people…

Anyway, this week, I get to go on what work describes as a ‘challenging call’ course. All day Tuesday, part of Wednesday, its being held. Yes, some people have been challenging to deal with, but compared to some Glasgow betting shop staff, nothing I couldnt survive.

For me, and my less than stunning technological skills, the fact that I have to learn the new phone call system on Wednesday, after the other course is over, is far more scary! I know, I suspect its quite similar, but something new, just when you’ve got used to the old system, ah well…

Oh, and even more scary, next week I reach 59. Not that many years ago, I’d be 1 year away from retirement. Now, it will be just over 7 years, assuming they dont change the rules again in the interim! Mind, I suppose it means the pension payout will be better, so…?

Right, video time. Something that people ringing a call center are never likely to be doing!