Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Giving Back

First off.. it's Paddy, not Patty.  Now that this is out of the way..

I belong to several clubs and organization. Each one has fees and costs associated with membership. JuJitsu, for example: I pay insurance every year, buy my own uniforms, weapons, and pay a mat fee each night. Not to mention the grading fees.

There is one private club that has no fees, yet we reap serious benefits from the club. Sure, we buy all our cool tees, and we spend a lot of our own money on stuff we use in the club. However, we do not pay for our public liability insurance, or anything the club provides us at events. And this stuff costs LOADS. So.. how to help? We can pay a membership fee! And the one suggessted was less than any other club I belong to. It would basically pay for insurance and the member website.

And I am utterly disappointed and disgusted by the people who are claiming that this fee is too expensive (£2 per month), and even have hinted that the money is being pocketed by the club staff! This isn't a public organization, it is a voluntary private members club. Every time a member goes to a club event, they are covered by insurance. They find out about the events on the website, yet they think that they shouldn't have to help the club function, that their own personal time is plenty, and the staff should continue to foot the bill. Staff who invest more time and money than the members.

This attitude makes me sick. If the bills aren't paid, there is no club. The cires of "oh... people may not join now, or people may quit!" cry of some twisted concept of entitlement. Want to join a club, pay the fees. Simple. Can't afford them? Talk to the staff about it... they are there to help! Don't *want* to pay? Don't join!

People always want something for nothing. And even in a club set up to do chairty, people want others to pay. Is that giving back, or being greedy?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Working for "The Man"

And by that I mean the g-man. Government. Now, officially I am a "public servant" as my place of business is only funded by the government in part. A big part. So we follow all the civil service rules and stuff.. same union, pay, holidays... yadda yadda yadda. It also means the recent cutbacks have totally screwed us over.

Back story : part of my job requires I work outside. Most of the areas aren't very sheltered. We are required to wear steel-toed boots, which are supplied in the format of wellies and ankle-high leather work boots. We can get waterproofs, fluffy padded vests, and cozy fleece-lined jackets.  But pretty much, that's it. So in winter you throw on thermals, and loads of warm socks. Gloves.. that's tough as I have to write and handle blood vials. A thin pair of knit gloves will fit under the latex gloves...

Now, normally wearing 3 pairs of socks and a pair of gloves would be okay. I mean, it doesn't get THAT much below freezing here. Unless you have Reynaud's. It's never really bothered me before.. a few white toes, and some mildly itchy chilblains. Until 2 weeks ago. After working outside for half an hour my hands were in agony... my toes were sore.. But my job is stationary mostly.. I can't really write well while jumping up and down to get some much-needed circulation in my toes.  But I carried on, as there was nothing else to be done.

I got home to find some really bad chilblains on my toes... it hurt to wear shoes! Last week My putside work lasted less than 2 hours, and I figured keeping my boots warm would help. Nope.. after an hour my toes were in agony, along with my hands. But there are no insulated work boots on offer at work.. no warm gloves.

Off to the doctor.. got some medication (calcium channel blockers) and a note to get suitable gear from work.  I expected to get sent to Occupational Health for them to decide what I needed. Nope.. I was told the money was too tight, but there may be some in petty cash and to submit quotes myself for what *I* thought suitable! Hell.. I grew up in Florida. My time spent in the freezing cold was always active.. not standing around taking notes. Whaaaa?!  So I got some quotes for some socks and gloves reccommended for Reynaud's.. and the only pair of lined winter safety boots in the catalogues that could be gotten in my size...

Now as much as i don't mind buying the socks and gloves and getting reimbursed.. I'm not shelling out for boots.. And now work is wondering how long all this will take as there is a lot of work to be done outside?! How the hell do I know how long it will take THEM to order boots? Or how long shipping will take for the other stuff.

And to make it worse, I was made to feel like I was trying to avoid outdoor work when I brought in my note. I asked for proper gear. I could have demanded to not go out at all. I suppose it is to be expected from folks who have never heard of the syndrome, and wonder if it's a permanent thing... Why should it be such a hassle getting a pair of boots?  People don't understand that my hands HURT outside. That I won't risk serious damage to my feet... that one day I might be fine, and the next I can't feel my toes.

But that's working for the man.. gotta fight for everything. maybe I should have said I can no longer work outside in cold weather... and see how they would have reacted..

rant over! peace out!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Opinions and truth...

Well folks, there we were...

Actually, I was browsing Twitter and came across a tweet that said women with tattoos are unattractive. I scrolled back to find a shout out from a Belfast Telegraph reporter for women with tattoos who would like to be interviewed for a short article. I, of course, got in touch, and then delved deeper into the mind of the person who simply said tatttos made women ugly.

When questioned, the guy said even tattoos made women unattractive, and he wondered why we would disfigure ourselves. Okay... I kept asking, and this guy thinks anyone with a tattoo or piercing has "artificial body dysmorphia" which "makes them unattractive." Well, this seemed weird, because I don't think there is anything wrong with my body (ok.. I need to shed the holiday weight to get back into my costumes...), and I do NOT have body dysmorphia. So I challenged his "opinion", saying that his assumption was wrong.

Now apparently the truth about my mental health did not matter because, and I quote "It's true (my opinion), valid (my opinion), meaningful (to me) and real (to me).". He then accused me of being a bigot.

I, of course, carried on for a while... but I was left baffled. This person things piercings (even earrings) and tattoos ugly and offensive. He thinks they make people unattractive. Okay, that is fine. A bit broad..but hey ho. However, his "opinion" as to WHY we get piercied and inked.. that's crossing the line. Sure, he can think that. But when he was directly challenged he still insisted that I must hate myself so much that I disfigure myself...

When is opinion no longer opinion, but an insult?

And.. more importantly, do you have ink or piercings? Why did you get them?