Daily Life | The battle of the basics

Across the road from each other, two corner shops are selling the same essential items. Wilbur and Pascal own the shops respectively. Both have traded for the same length of time without the need for competition. Pascal retires and passes the business over to his nephew, Marcel, who is determined to attract Wilbur’s customers and increase his profits.

On week one Wilbur opens his shop as does Marcel who places in his windows the prices of basic groceries.

Dozen Fresh Farm Eggs = £2.00

Baked Beans 60p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.50

100 Yorkshire Tea bags = £4.00

1 Litre of Fresh Milk = £1.00

Quality Bread = £1.50

Wilbur smiles, makes a phone call and continues as he does every day. Meanwhile Marcel is more than pleased when a white van pulls up and buys all the basic groceries as advertised.

Three days later after Marcel receives his deliveries, Marcel notices Wilbur has placed flash sale signs in his shop window, matching his price. Marcel dashes inside and advertises the groceries at the following prices:

Dozen Fresh Farm Eggs = £1.80

Baked Beans 55p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.20

100 Yorkshire Tea bags = £3.50

1 Litre of Fresh Milk = 95 p

Quality Bread = £1.35

Once again, the white van pulls up to buy all the advertised groceries. Oddly enough, later in the day, Marcel notices his usually loyal customers are buying their goods in Wilbur’s shop.

Three days later after taking stock of the new deliveries, Marcel notices Wilbur has matched his prices and responds by lowering his prices to the following:

Dozen Eggs = £1.50

Baked Beans 45 p

200g pack of Bacon = £2.00

100 Tea bags = £2.00

1 Litre of Milk = 90 p

Bread = £1.30

And so, the days roll by as do the deliveries after which a white van man arrives to buy Marcel’s basic groceries. After that, he sits back as very few customers enter his shop. The competition continues until Marcel offers the following prices.

Dozen Eggs = 80 p

Baked Beans 35 p

200g pack of Bacon = £1.00

100 Tea bags = £1.50

1 Litre of Milk = 60 p

Bread = £1.00

. . . and Wilbur continues selling the goods at the usual price to more and more customers.

Then one day Marcel does not open the shop doors. The word is, he has, gone bust. At lunchtime Marcel walks into Wilbur’s shop and looks around and asks Wilbur:

“Why is it I am bust, but you continue to take my custom when you sold the same goods at the usual price?”

Wilbur responds with a knowing smile. “For many years your uncle and I had an understanding and respected our customer base selling quality without competing.”

“But you were also lowering your prices?”

The white van man is my son, and he bought ALL your bargain stock for me. That meant until the next delivery you had no basic groceries to sell. As your customers were unable to obtain the basics from you, they came into my shop and in turn, bought other items. When you restocked the basics, I placed signs in my windows matching your previous prices. You reacted by dropping your prices even further. My son would turn up early to buy your stock.

. . . Eventually, because you were selling groceries at prices below cost, you had no money to buy the quality goods and basics expected by your customers, while I maintained quality and service at your expense.”

Daily Life | I’m in debt

I’m in debt and unemployed

Radio Presenter:  Good morning, my name is Rosie Hakes and this is today’s version of Me and you. Debt is today’s discussion. Debt has increased rapidly over the years and many people continue to spend money which they don’t have. One such person is on the line now. His name is Dave from Lincolnshire. Hello Dave . .

Dave: Hello

RP: Dave I believe from our preliminary discussion you are in debt. Because of your current medical problem which you say has become worse over the last six months, you cannot work – is that right?

Dave: Yes it is. I haven’t worked now since I left University – that was over 20 years ago.

RP: Have you been ill all that time?

Dave: I developed my illness at university and I suffer from stress in a work situation. To compensate I write short stories but don’t have a novel in me.

RP: Interesting! So Dave, how much debt are you in?

Dave: Almost £12.000 on credit cards and overdrafts

RP: and what is your income whilst on benefits?

Dave: Around 10,500 a year which doesn’t include over £7000 in housing benefits.

RP: so, you and your family lie on just under £900 per month

Dave: yes

RP: how much are you repaying every month to the Credit Card company

Dave: Its a fixed amount of just over £100

RP Surely Dave you can’t be making much headway into repaying the debt.

Dave: That’s right. IN fact, the amount never decreases

RP: How did you get into debt?

Dave: I applied but was economical with the truth. I told them I was a homemaker and that my wife worked.

RP: What does your wife do?

Dave: She’s a carer for our youngest son who has Down syndrome.

RP: why did you apply for the credit?

Dave: every summer our children would tell us where their friends were going on holiday. I thought then they too must have a holiday. So, I borrowed the money to take them on holiday. I bet that will have a few of your listeners spitting at the radio?

RP: I take it your wife doesn’t know?

Dave: No she doesn’t. In fact, I have a confession to make. I applied for a bank account and credit card in her name. I have run up around £4000 worth of debt in my wife’s name

RP: Your wife doesn’t know . . . So Dave what are you going to do?

Dave: I was wondering why the Credit Card companies let me get into this mess

RP: But Dave, you lied on your application form

Dave: I’ll just carry on paying the money and hope interest rates don’t change else I’ll be in trouble and won’t be able to repay the money

 

Writer201 | One day I walked out of the office and . . .

I walked out of the office one day and never went back. A few days later I went to the doctors and got myself signed off.  For some time I had been showing signs of stress.

What happened to cause my absence?

My boss and his sidekick told me in November 2004 that they were making me redundant come April 2005. After that, they sat on my back watching me work. They called in a Junior HR from Head Office. They fed her an angle which suited their purposes; worse was the fact she would not discuss what my manager was saying about me.

I ended up ill, with stress as it happens. No longer could I take the way management was treating me at work. I needed to get away. My doctor duly signed sick notes to hand into HR. After a few weeks, HR was calling me at home. Sod that I thought. I can do without the crap. So, I decided not to return their calls to explain my absence. While the Doctors gave me sick notes, there was nothing they could do.

The fact is – the thought of facing my boss to discuss the situation was not going to happen. His nickname was the schoolboy bully. He didn’t want me there, and he was determined to get rid of me by any means possible.

For the first time in weeks, I slept knowing I did not have to rise and shine and drive to work. However, stress can and does play havoc with your body. I sometimes wonder if I have an inbuilt worry metre. When work goes well, I start to worry about life. When life becomes difficult, it seems like it will never get better. Am I a depressive or am I subconsciously preparing myself if work and life turn sour?

I am pessimistic by nature and do not allow events to get me down. But sometimes, people and events drive that pessimism into the ground.

I have worked and enjoyed the same career for almost twenty years, and occasionally I wish I was doing something else because people rub me up the wrong way. That is a result of working with arseholes who not only make life difficult, never listen to you and think your role in the department is not worth the time and effort. But what of those people who travel to work every day like automatons and hate their job, which I bet is a lot higher than many would care to guess, >80% perhaps?

People on a daily basis are verbally abused and bullied on the job and sup it up because people will think it is normal. It isn’t normal; you’re working with a psycho boss on a power trip, and nobody has the guts to tackle the abnormality of the situation.

Do you want a pay rise, well consider this: ask for one and close the door behind you when your boss laughs you out of his office. Every month, or week you receive your payslip, and if you look carefully, you will see the government has taken around 25% of your money in direct taxation. Do your sums, and you’ll discover that the government grabs in total around another 35% in indirect tax totalling some 60% of your money for which you worked.

Once Governments have your cash, they waste millions propping up inefficient government-funded bodies because too many people who live off taxpayers money believe in entitlement or the right to government cash. The government then tells lies to splash the cash on corrupt regimes and countries that can afford space programs instead of educating their massive populations.

How do you consider your work colleagues?

If your feelings of paranoia are getting the better of you, don’t sweat it, you are probably correct. More than likely they are backstabbing you and gossiping like grumpy old men because they have nothing better to do or think about. Work colleagues are not friends; they are competitors who would stab you in the back if they thought they could get something in return. At work, you talk about bullshit with the odd beer thrown in after work so your manager can brag about what a close-knit team you all are.

Let us face reality; from 6:30 am to 7 pm you are:

  • Commuting to work: you either drive, train it, tube it, or if you are lucky enough you can walk to work.
  • At work, putting up with others who have no idea who you really are and what you could really do
  • Commuting home, if you train it, you have the opportunity to nod off for a few stations.

As soon as you walk through the security gates the monotonous drone begins. Sullen faces who want to be elsewhere. They only turn up because next months mortgage payment is due. Good morning, good morning and good morning, so it goes on. As the office fills so does the  the monotonous drone. You switch on your PC/Laptop, key in your username and password and the day begins with countless inane emails. Coffee time, tea time, snack time, any opportunity to escape the screen and your colleagues who sit there discussing anything but work.

Have you ever considered the fact that your day is from 9am to 5:30 pm with either an hour for lunch or 30 minutes. Over the course of an eight-hour workday, the average employee works for just less than three hours.

Based on an official survey 2016 survey of 1,989 UK office workers, office workers do the following:

  • reading the news
  • browsing social media
  • eating food
  • socialising about non-work topics
  • taking smoke breaks
  • searching for new jobs

A study of UK office workers suggests the three-hour workday might be more sensible. Research is suggesting that those long days you work hardly gets the best from you or your colleagues. After twenty minutes your concentration wavers and you think lets take a walk. BY the ned of the day you are clock watching and you have all but packed up. You slink off to the toilet and sit there to pass time with your smartphone to read the news. Your peace is only disturbed by another who makes rude noises that smell.

You have little time to yourself or with your family and friends. You are a slave to the demands of the company and the economic system and corporate psychos whose aim it is to destroy your ambitions.

Why?

Because they can and want to see you squirm because it is considered fun!! Quite frankly, the psyco would be better off behind bars!!

Those qualifications for which you spent years studying are meaningless. No one has ever asked you about your degree or your academic achievements. They are meaningless.

Then one day out of the blue you are called into the office where you sit opposite a fresh-faced manager, a mere youngster who tells you your time is up. They have worked out your redundancy and that the money will be in your account the next day. There are no thanks, no great shakes and they buy you a few drinks down the pub. Your experience counts for nothing as the company replaces you with a recent graduate who knows everything but in reality doesn’t know his elbow from his arsehole.

The economy bumps and grinds to a standstill. You discover that your family home is worth less than you paid for it. Worse still, you need to move, and you can’t get out of your mortgage by selling the house. Let’s face it your mortgaged to the hilt with ever increasing bills, inflation, a salary, which is not keeping up with inflation and everyone wants more. In 40 years will you ever really own your home, which when you retire will fund your care home fees, if you don’t die first!!

You have given up talking about your job to your wife, and while she goes on about hers, you’re not listening. You went to bed with a stranger and when you die you lie next to a stranger. You have neglected each other because of work, or the children took too much time. You forgot what love was, and every evening when you go to bed there are no cuddles, no spoken words and no passion. Your relationship lost its way because work, career and lack of family time got in the way.

Your pension fund, which every government told you to save for won’t buy a wet weekend away never mind fund thirty years of retirement. It is there for thieving governments to raid to support an ideological cause. When the thieving government minister retires to his country pile, he hears a news report about pensioners who are struggling. He suddenly realises their difficulties were caused by his decision many decades ago to raid the private pension funds, robbing the funds of absolutely billions which he spent on something useless. He doesn’t care; those same pensioners are still paying tax on their meagre incomes while his government plated pension as a former chancellor and Prime Minister is secure and he’s already a millionaire. To add more misery inflation has reduced the value of your pension and the government doesn’t give a toss. YOu’ve served your time, you did your bit for government and country. They used you, abused you and when they were finished it was goodbye – have a nice life.

Your retirement is anything but a luxury. You struggle on a daily basis to pay the bills.  You need to find activities which cost nothing, like sleeping, playing solitaire and writing sombre articles warning people that it’s all a con. They have yet to see it.

In that last moment before you die you say ahh, I understand the meaning of life as the undertakers move in and place you into a wooden box.