Sunday, 13 September 2009

Blessed be

My parents have been together for a handsome 29 years - during that time they have remained faithful to each other and unquestioningly loyal to me and my younger brother. I have always had somewhere safe to call home and even now, if I were to ring them and say I was sick they would drive straight over in the middle of the night with hot chicken soup. I feel very blessed and hope that they have been successful at subconsciously implanting a picture of domestic bliss in my head which I shall be able to recreate for my own. It's natural for me to think of my future as I get ever closer to 30, but it saddens me to see my parents age. My mother is talking about knee pains and my daddy is getting forgetful. I just kind of assumed they would be around forever to look after me but the balance is definitely shifting and I can feel them becoming more reliant on me. It makes me happy to give something back but still, it saddens me...

On Friday night, I was out with some work colleagues (all male) when a guy came over, told me he had noticed me and was going to give me a chance to impress him. Takes some balls to do that - the line in itself is pretty special but infront of all those banker guys.. He's given me a time and place to meet him this Friday - says he'll wait for me for 15 minutes otherwise it's game over. I like arrogance but I think this guy watches too many movies or something. But my only Friday night plans so far are Otin/Hit40's Happy Hour #3... It will be a busy weekend for me though, am taking James Bond to the big Chelsea game on Sunday.

Tomorrow I am travelling into the English countryside to present to the pension board of a regional corporate. They are hosting a sort of 'beauty parade' for people to pitch for their £50m fund. Let's hope my baton twirling is up to scratch!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

WTF Wednesday

WTF! Far be it for me to pass judgement (yes, the irony is not lost on me don't worry!) but the joker Derren Brown is taking over English TV at 10:30 as he reckons he can predict what the winning lottery numbers will be tonight. It would be just that little bit more interesting for me if he were to use his magical powers in time for me to buy a lottery ticket. As it is, I don't see how he'll do it - if he gets it wrong he'll look ridiculous but if he gets it right, that may be an even bigger problem for the lottery organisers.

WTF! This is pretty disgusting so start jiggling your facial muscles in preparation of pulling your best disgusted face. On my daily commute to work this morning at a time when people are maybe tired but generally sober, a couple got on and sat on the same side as me. It was too early for the free newspaper so I was doing the usual gazing round the carriage to pass the time. In the window opposite me, I saw the couple's reflection and the girl had her hands on either side of her boyfriend's head and I assumed they were kissing and thought it was a bit early in the day for that kind of public affection. Anyhow, then I began to notice that other people were also looking at them and in a pretty disgusted way. I chuckled to myself thinking how conservative the British really are and took a look at them direct. Turns out they were not locked in a passionate embrace but the girl was using her grubby fingers to squeeze the puss out of they boy's acne-riddled face. A quick wipe on her shirt then it was back for the next one...

WTF! In the world of football (soccer, whatever...), the regulators have imposed a year long transfer ban on my Chelsea for allegedly encouraging a young player to come to the team when he already had a contract elsewhere. It's a pretty dangerous precedent they are setting as they'll have a tough time enforcing their own rules across all the football teams in Europe.

WTF! Had drinks with a girl last night who falls into the work-colleague-slash-friend category - always a tricky one with blurry lines... Anyway, she got really drunk and ended up knocking her full glass of red wine across the bar and all down my pale turquoise cardigan (it's nicer than it sounds). Not only did she not get me any napkins as I stood there with her red wine dripping down my neck but she offered no support as this strange Venezuelan man-slash-stranger kept hassling me to take my top off as he could remove it with tonic water. When I had got rid of the pest, she returned from the bar with only a new drink for herself!

WTF! South African gold medal winning sprinter Castor Semenya has been told she will not lose her medal no matter what the outcome of her gender test. Why did they make all that fuss in the first place then?

C'est la vie

Working for a publicly listed company has both good and bad points. A definite bad point is that we are not just focused on the bottom-line but also on the way we spin it for the sake of shareholders. As we have a August year end, we have received a memo from our CEO to manage our pay expectations. After talking about the redundancies that have been made and the savings that have been delivered, he goes on to say:

The direct effect of the sudden and substantial fall in markets has been to reduce the company’s income during the last financial year and these will inevitably have to be reflected in bonus payments and salary reviews in respect of last financial year to the end of September 2009. We are aware that our staff around the group have worked extremely hard over the last 12 months and may be disappointed that their bonus will fall year on year.

Not what you want to hear, especially as they already used this little trick last year and I ended up with a sackload of depressed shares. Not so clever when you were hoping for cash but hopefully when I am 50, they will be worth millions.. Anyway, like a good business school graduate, having slapped us down and warned us of how insecure our jobs are, he goes on to say:

I am therefore extremely confident that next year should show a strong recovery in both overall income and, more importantly, margin, which we would anticipate would be reflected in next year’s salary and bonus review.

I shall be keeping my eyes peeled to see what remuneration he gets when our annual report come out!