The Anonymous Widower

Job Sharing

I found this little story on the Railway Gazette web site.

Leasing company Porterbrook has jointly appointed Helen Simpson and Chandra Morbey to the role of Innovation & Projects Director as a job-share; they will report to Director of Engineering Services Jason Groombridge. Both have been involved with the development of Porterbrook’s Innovation Hub and the Hydro Flex fuel-cell multiple-unit demonstrator.

I’ve always thought job-sharing is a good idea, but rarely do you see it formally announced.

Perhaps, Porterbrook are making a statement about their policy towards job-sharing?

August 8, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Nissan Refuses To Improve Qashqai’s Toxic Emissions

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Tuesday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Nissan has refused a government request to carry out adjustments to thousands of highly polluting diesel cars to make them less toxic.

The car is called the Nissan Qashqai, which I wouldn’t recognise, unless it reversed into me on the street and I could see the name badge on the boot.

Today, there is this article on the BBC, which is entitled Nissan Workers Braced For Job Cuts.

As they say in Private Eye, could the two stories be related?

Especially, as Nissan seem to have had problems with a CEO recently, who seemed to find enhancing his lifestyle more important, than good stewardship of the company.

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Kremlin Lets Women Drive The Trains

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in The Times on Friday.

This was the first two paragraphs.

For decades, Russian girls who have dreamt of becoming train drivers or mechanics or captaining a ship have been forced to abandon their ambitions.

Laws prohibiting women from physically demanding employment, or jobs that could harm their chances of bearing children, were introduced by the Soviet Union in 1974, and updated by President Putin in 2000.

No wonder Russia a basket case, as they are not making best use of their resources. As do countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria!

Remember, that during the Second World War, the Nazis didn’t let women work in the war effort.

I seem to remember they lost!




July 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hastings Bus Stop Note Lands Homeless Man Job

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

A man who has been living on the streets for nine years has been found a home and job after a teenager spotted his note posted next to a bus stop.

This is a must-read heartwarming story.

My father always reckoned if you wanted something from an individual, company or organisation, that a polite, well-written note often got results.

It’s a technique, I’ve used all my life and it has been successful on the whole.

This guy has just used a modern version, helped by a school-girl and social media.


March 22, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

An Interesting Insight Into The Grenfell House Fire

This article on Construction News is a must read.

It describes the experiences of a Morgan Sindall employee, who lived in the tower and was in bed, when the fire started.

He works on Crossrail, so he is obviously fully-trained  and actually states that training said to stay put.

He didn’t and got out safely although in very little clothing.

It does appear that the treatment of their employee by Morgan Sindall is exemplary, so it looks to me that as this story gets more well-known, they won’t be short of applicants for permanent positions in the future.

June 26, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

York Potash Haven’t Wasted Much Time

This article in the Teeside Gazette is entitled York Potash jobs: How to apply at massive project expected to employ more than 1,000. The first paragraph is.

York Potash project boss pledge: ‘If we can employ every single one of our team from the local area – then we will’

In my book a thousand jobs is good news, so why is only the local paper reporting it?

October 22, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Are There Secondary Effects In The Budget?

I have a feeling that there could be some secondary effects from the budget and particularly the announcement of a National Living Wage.

Nowhere will this measure be felt more than at the bottom end of the employers. If you read the tabloids, you get the impression that dodgy low-quality businesses are the big employers of illegal immigrants, keeping them in squalor and paying them in cash, if they’re lucky.

With a solidly enforced living wage, will this make it more difficult for these companies and operators to survive, so this country might be less of a magnet for illegal immigrants. I don’t know, but a higher level of living wage gives the Tax Authorities a good reason to investigate the sort of businesses who rely on no-questions-asked labour.

I very much watch innovation in the media and also have been in touch several times with universities in the last few years. I think we’ll see companies using their local innovators to make sure they support their now more highly-paid employees. I know several universities are giving students real projects in local companies.

So will we be pushing our employment up-market? I think we will!

As an example, an industry that we all seem to use more these days are couriers to deliver the goods we’ve bought on-line. They have got so much better over the last few years and that is just not the delivery reliability, but the staff as well, who seem to be polite and very much on-the-ball. Incidentally, most staff who’ve delivered to me lately seem to have been British born and educated.

I don’t know what will happen in the next few years, but I have a feeling that the Chancellor’s announcements may be helping to move the country on from a low-wage, low-skilled and badly-supported work force to one where a job, where you work hard and efficiently gives you a real living wage.

Of course Labour think that the restructuring of Tax Credits will mean many will lose out. But then Labour’s solution to a low-wage, low-skill economy was to pay people at the low-end to do nothing or crap jobs.

The other thing the Chancellor must do to help, is make sure that our transport links are improved. It’s one thing to get a job and often it’s a much more difficult thing to get to that job every day. You just have to see what the Overground and the fleets of new buses have done for Hackney and the surrounding boroughs, here in London, over the past few years.


July 9, 2015 Posted by | Finance, Transport, World | , , , | 4 Comments

One Reason We Need More Engineers!

When I graduated in 1968,with an Upper Second Class Honours in Engineering from Liverpool University, my first job at ICI paid £1150 a year.

According to this article in The Independent, Aldi are paying trainee managers £42,000 a year or £3463.70 in 1968 money.

It is my belief that good engineers are some of the best practical problem solvers, so how many of the best engineers are lured by high salaries to non-creative jobs like being a trainee supermarket manager?

High salaries in these sorts of non-creative industries like Retail and the Civil Service, are robbing the country of its best engineers.


January 12, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Is Step-Free Access Good For Tradesmen?

Occasionally, on the buses or the trains in London, you’ll come across a plasterer, decorator or carpenter going to his job of the day on public transport. The plasterer just had a yellow bucket with his tools in it and his mobile phone number on the side and the decorator had a fold-up pasting table with his details on the outside.

London now has a severe parking problem, so as we see more step-free stations will we be seeing more tradesmen, with innovative ways of transporting their tools?

But we’re certainly seeing larger and larger packages and cases being carried on public transport.

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

The Smart Conductors

Our New Routemasters on route 38 have conductors. And a smart bunch, they are in more ways than one!

Today the conductor, when I went to Piccadilly was particularly smart, with her black hair piled professionally on her head, an immaculate uniform and highly polished shoes.

They all wear name badges and some badges show flags to indicate their language skills. We certainly have French, Turkish and Italian speakers on the route.

My father’s friend, Fay, always said that being a conductor on the buses, during the Second World War was the making of her, as it helped her overcome her shyness.

Let’s hope our conductors on route 38 go on to make real successes of their lives. Just like Fay did!

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , | 3 Comments