The Anonymous Widower

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/Travel, 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/Travel | , | 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/Travel | , | 3 Comments

A New Job For A Beautician

This report from the Thurrock Gazette tells how London Gateway is making a big effort to recruit more women. Here’s an extract, which explains the title of this post.

One of these is former beautician Nicki Allabush from Stanford-le-Hope, who has been a terminal operative for 18 months.

“I absolutely love the challenge that this job offers,” she said. “I thought, if men can do it, women can too.”

Note that the paper didn’t bother mention Ms. Allabush’s age, something that many papers find essential information.

Let’s hope this campaign is as successful as the one by the London Underground to recruit more female train drivers, by placing an advert in Cosmopolitan.

August 5, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Dealing With The Long Term Unemployed

Over the last few days, there has been a lot of talk about how you deal with the long-term unemployed.

In the 1980s, I interviewed a guy called Jim for a management job in Metier.  He was at the time, a senior guy in the Department of Employment and told how a lot of the long-term unemployed were not in the obvious places. One thing he did say was that in London, many wouldn’t travel a few miles to get a job, especially if it meant crossing the Thames.

But one thing he said, was that if you call the long-term unemployed in regularly, a lot seem to disappear from the register and stop claiming benefits.

I suspect that some of the Coalition’s policies might have the same effect.

At about the same time, an economist from Lloyds Bank told me, that their predictions for the economy were different from  the Government, as they took account of the Black Economy and the Government didn’t.  I wonder how models and predictions differ these days?

I do think though, we’ll see a drop in unemployment over the next few years, as the rules get tighter and people find it much less of a hassle to work, as history repeats itself.

October 3, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment


There is a big fuss in the papers this morning about the amount of redundancy paid by the NHS in recent months.  It’s here in the Telegraph. Here’s an extract.

Nearly 1,000 health workers have received six-figure exit deals in the past year, with 157 managers and other senior staff receiving more than £200,000 — a 50 per cent rise on the previous year.

Some officials have received golden goodbyes of £600,000 as part of the Government’s ongoing restructuring of the NHS.

i’ve always believed, as someone who has generally been self-employed or has worked in a company I’ve part-owned, that if you earn over a certain amount, then you are not entitled to redundancy and perhaps only get the same legal minimum that say a secretary would get. Surely, if you’re making a six-figure sum a year, you should be able to make provision for if the worst happens.

It may be hard, but it will encourage people to perform.

August 25, 2013 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment