Monday, September 30, 2013

Job seeking - the Conservative Party conference 2013

The headline news this morning was the multi-million trust-fund owner and tax-break giver George Osbourne stating that they'll be no money for nothing under their administration. They're going to make the long-term unemployed do community work.

What I find annoying anything about this is that they're partially right, but due to their indulgent background and rigid dogma they're doing it wrong.

First up is the non-explicitly stated, but easily-inferred, assumption that these people can't get jobs because they're lazy so let me tell you a tale.

A friend of mine works part-time and, coincidentally, also does voluntary community work. He was looking to supplement his earnings with another part-time job that complimented his existing employment. He applies for suitable positions and gets asked: "So you'll be giving up your other part-time job then?".

Why this question? Because they don't just want him to work the stipulated hours they want to be able to whistle and have him run.

Take my position - I've 20 years of IT and office admin experience and I can't get a job. Why? Well I saw one company advertising for an Admin post, an IT post, a Marketing post and for a PA. No that wasn't four jobs, that was one job combining skills that don't normally go together. I've applied for jobs that turn out to be nothing like what's been advertised and for ones in which I've been deemed too old and/or overskilled.

If it's a choice between employing someone young that you're not legally obliged to pay as much as someone older; or someone with no skills (or long-term unemployed) who has to take whatever shit the job shovels at them who would you take?

Yet according to good old George this is all our own fault. But is there a way around this, possibly.

Consider the local councils creating two 4-hour shifts a day over the whole week. Someone doing three shifts for the ~£70 a week in benefit would be on minimum wage. Given that technically they're already paid by the government why not work for the government?

As the local councils are already cutting staff etc. it's not really going to affect full-time staff and may require more managerial positions to oversee the 'community' workers. At the same time we'll see a reduction in litter, graffiti as well as tidier verges etc.

Except that's not going to happen as that would be an expansion of government over private enterprise. Far better to make people work for free for privately hived off services and charities than for the public sector.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bioshock Infinite - Lady Comstock 1999 mode

I'm playing through Bioshock Infinite at the moment and trying it on the hardest difficulty setting 1999'
s mode.

It's not been too bad until I reached Lady Comstock, oh boy.

The graveyard encounter was okay thanks to the numerous medkits around. The bank encounter was made easier by staying behind a thick vault door. But outside the house was a major pain in the proverbial.

I checked various sites, watched videos and so many went with the run and hide technique that proved dicey. It was the bank encounter that provided me with the clue to a method that allowed me to win without once needing health.

Lady Comstock is restricted to her movements, she cannot step beyond the carts at the bottom of the steps. Except the dead soldiers she revives can. Ah but she can only revive and re-revive soldiers within her range. Getting the idea?

Head to the area with the machines and use the range boosted vigour "Undertow" to grab soldiers then kill them. If you run out of salts stay put and you only need to deal with the few melee soldiers before Elizabeth will throw you some.  Use the Mosquito to whittle things down.

Once all the soldiers are piled up at your feet just let the Mosquito take her out.

Job done

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


In 2011 I noted that Christmas now started in October because of all the "[holiday] starts earlier every year" comments.

September 11th and Christmas stuff is now out, yeesh