Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pub team beats the Gunners

Ian Poulter golfer (I am with Mark Twain on that sport) sometime dandy of the links, Arsenal fan and general all purpose plonker was less than impressed by his team's performance on Saturday and tweeted that they were losing to a "Pub Team"

As a life long supporter of said pub team (West Bromwich Albion est. 1879 aka The Baggies) I have to say that I was chuffed to bits by the performance. Particularly on the back of impressive displays against Birmingham and Man City in the same week.

Having watched the extended highlights I think I am safe in saying that it was our finest hour in the Premiership and the team played like heroes to a man. Andy Gray's analysis highlighted the fact that we had courage to take on Arsenal and had a game plan that was a credit to Di Matteo and the rest of the coaching staff.

Currently having played 6 games we lie 6th in the league on 10 points (only another 30 required for safety) and more importantly for the 1st time we look like we have a squad that belongs in the division rather than one that is just visiting from the Championship. It is early days and I am trying not to get carried away but I cannot help but feel optimistic.

I have tickets for the Bolton game next week and will be making one of my too infrequent trips to the Hawthorns in high spirits, whatever next week throws at me.

Desperately Seeking Employment

The job search continues and whilst I have managed to obtain interviews no gainful employment has been forthcoming as yet.

I hit a bit of a nadir on Thursday. Having attended one spectacularly unsuccessful  appointment ( it is a rare event that both parties agree to stop wasting each others time mid interview) I was standing on a platform at London Bridge watching commuters trying to squeeze into already crowded carriages and I felt sorry for the poor sods having to do this everyday. It then dawned on me had I been successful, I would be doing exactly the same, I must be desperate to even consider commuting to London by train it looks utterly soul destroying but it will have to be done.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Road to Internet Serfdom

A cautionary tale of good intentions going a little bit pear shaped. A number of Baggies fans commissioned the above banner (to be displayed at the Blues game) in response to the racist abuse meted out to the clubs new signing Peter Odenwinigie by a section of Lokomtiv Moscow's support. So far so good.

However one of the organisers of the made a throw away comment on a forum concerning the involvement of some of Birmingham's Black Community in gun crime (not without justification  and an infamous night club in Birmingham (poor taste perhaps but racist not really). However this comment was forwarded to the powers that be at the Albion (one might question the motivation of the person who did this)  and now he has been barred from any semi offical involvement with the club 

This is a great pity because the guy is an activist (the sort of person the government's big society leans heavily on) and he must be asking the question "Why did I bother?"  For what it is worth having shared an Internet forum with him his posts are not inhibited by a great deal of political correctness, but there is no hint of racism.

This sad little tale does make me question whether it worth engaging in a dialogue online at all if every tweet, forum post or blog could at some stage be held against me, maybe a better approach is a discreet silence.

Then I thought sod it if the reader is going to be petty, small minded or easily offended there is nothing I can do about it and I will just have to suffer consequences of exercising freedom of speech.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Now what ?

Having been employed continuously for 25 years during which time I survived countless corporate reorganisations, the inevitable has happened and I have been made redundant.

This is bad news in the sense of being without a reliable income.On the other hand I have just had a fairly hefty pay off from my former employer for losing a job I had grown to dislike. I am not skint nor particularly sorry to have left.

This leaves me as a fully paid member of the leisured classes. I have calculated that given a fairly modest lifestyle, a working spouse and a fair wind I could pretty much give up work. The working spouse is not overly impressed with this notion and I think I would have to discount her co-operation over the longer term. So I do need to bring in an income.

The obvious and unimaginative answer is get a job similar to the one I have just lost. However I am finding out that employers are reluctant to hire a 50 year old almost regardless of my experience. They cannot say so directly because of the new age discrimination legislation but there are thinly disguised references to my age in some of the feedback I have received from potential employers. It is plain that getting back into a job is not going to be easy.

So what are the alternatives ? Having had a meeting with an relentlessly upbeat outplacement consultant (more to follow) they would appear to be
  • Sell my years of experience as a consultant (the day rate for a Reward Consultant is impressive but I have no clients nor am I a natural networker)  
  • Develop a portfolio lifestyle which is management speak for short term contract work which is a few months work followed by a job search (yippee !!)
  • Er.....

Hence right now I am an unemployed bloke who is scratching a living playing poker lets see how it goes.

Domestic Football is Back  

After an interesing International break it is back to the bread and butter of the league the Baggies have Spurs at home. Feeling unrealistically optimistic about this Spurs are without a few key players think we are good for a point.