Category Archives: Society


On one level I know that this situation has always existed in some form. In the past, mine even, part-time work would be taken on and you never were guaranteed any number of hours every week. I think back to my first job at a McDonald’s while I was still in high school. It was located in a shopping mall down the road from my house of the time. I could have walked to it but being an American (also working the closing shift), I drove.

I experienced all sorts of non-sense working there. All that stuff I came to accept is part and parcel of being employed in a menial job by a large corporation. My one pet hate of working there was schedule changes. These would happen literally overnight. I would have worked the closing shift, clocking off about 11pm and at that point the schedule would say I was due back in say around 12 noon. First thing in the morning, I’d get a call asking where am I and saying I was due in at 7am! That happened several times during my time there. I do believe this was down to people not turning up for work and management trying to play us younger ones and make us feel stupid. Instead of asking us to cover a shift, they re-wrote the schedule so we couldn’t argue. Frustrating as it was, it usually meant an easier shift and more hours for me so I went along with it.

Once, and only once, the management held a mandatory meeting. It was scheduled for a Sunday because at that time, Virginia had the “Blue Law” which meant majority of businesses (our McD’s included) couldn’t open on a Sunday. I arrived a few minutes early, went in and clocked on. The manager asked what did I think I was doing – we were having a meeting, not working. I replied that if it was mandatory then they had to pay me to be there, if not then I was leaving. I’m not an idiot and won’t be screwed over in such a pathetic way. Overhearing this, all of my co-workers clocked on. We never had another mandatory meeting again during my time there.

But with all the silliness we endured, never was lack of hours a concern. The managers did try to misuse us but they did seem to know how to manage their workforce. They knew how many employees they needed and how to schedule them. So the concept of a Zero Hour Contract not only baffles me, it actually pisses me off.

How did these things come about? Are managers that incapable these days that they cannot juggle a team and schedule them for work properly? Do they not receive proper training for this? Has the workforce changed to such a point where no one can be relied upon to turn up for work? Am I right in thinking it is of the benefit of the employers in some way? And if so, in what way do they benefit? Who decided to give this a name and thereby justify workers getting shafted?

The fact that there is a name and an actual contract of employment for this disgusts me. Now bear in mind that back in Virginia in the 1980s we didn’t even have contracts of employment in the fast food industry unless you were a high enough manager. Even the office jobs I had out there after McD’s didn’t come with any contract. Us plebs just got hired and started working. We trusted our managers to give us regular hours and as long as we turned up and worked that is exactly what we got! The better you worked, the more hours you’d get or else you’d get your preferred hours.

For example, I loved doing the morning shifts. Mostly either baking or salad making. It meant I could go in, do my thing without having to interact with customers and go home early. As a teenager that was the ideal as it left me plenty of time to catch up with friends who were probably only just rolling out of bed when I clocked off. I did my time during school term on the late shifts so when summer vacation hit, I got those early morning hours and could enjoy my days.

It’s been a very long time since I worked without a contract of employment. I don’t even know if such jobs still exist but from what I hear from people back home, they still work that way at restaurants at least. I do hope so. I cannot imagine being asked to sign a contract of zero hours. How demeaning is that? That must make a person feel less that human.

In my imagination, a lot of people are being forced into this situation by the government. The Job Centre pushes people to accept any job going regardless of whether it is suitable or not. They don’t care if the hours work for your situation (parents being the ones I am thinking of here – one that would struggle to arrange let alone pay for childcare). They don’t care if the actual work is suitable for you – thinking of people who had good career-type positions and maybe the company folded leaving them unemployed and are being pushed into accepting positions that mean a step (or three) backwards career-wise. I have known people in both situations and it is appalling what they’ve had to go through with the job centre just to survive.

This rant has come from viewing a video on Facebook this morning where women are speaking about how working at McDonald’s has impacted on their lives. One woman has become homeless through severely fluctuating hours and therefore pay. I have put a link to the video here (but it is also showing up below because I’m not very good at techy stuffs lol). Watch The Video Here!!! Please watch it. And once you do, can you reply and help me make sense of this?? Comments encouraged as I am at a loss!

Psaryce xo




People Are Funny



I was recently hired to write a research proposal. It was to be an initial proposal 7 pages long. Here was the brief I received:

“Initial Research proposal for opportunities for XXX Market in XXX market

7 page Research proposal is needed in the initial phase which will be later taken through for full market research

with references and without plagiarism”

I have x’d out the key words for confidentiality reasons even though no one said I couldn’t talk or write about the project. Oh and it was to be done in 3 days.


So I figured, 3 days, 7 pages, doddle right? Wrong!

Moments after accepting the job, I find out there is NO DATA gathered!

I was furious! I so wished I could reach through the screen and punch they guy. I felt duped, cheated and naive.

Aside from being told it was to be used to pitch for funding, I still have no clue why this person (well the company he works for) is after doing the research. What is the end purpose? Do they make the type of product and want to get into the market in that place? Are they representing someone else who wants to get in? Who exactly are they pitching to? A bank? A private investor? An organization? I am clueless!


This is how I felt!

But, me being me, I did the job. Actually, I did it in 2 days. You might well ask, Why?

  1. I hate going back on my word
  2. I need the money
  3. I am new on the site where I got the job and need positive feedback to get more jobs and (hopefully) much better jobs

So for 2 days I felt like I was back at university. Rushing to gather data, to understand what I collected, to assemble it into some sort of form and then type it up (in my own words) in such a way that would not only be comprehensive but also professional. Only this time I didn’t feel I was getting enough out of all my efforts. I had bid low on the job thinking it came with data and just needed writing up so in the end am being paid a pittance for the work.

I haven’t heard back from the guy yet. It being Friday I probably won’t until Monday. He’d better be delighted with it!

But they say that everything happens for a reason so now the panic and work is done, I am trying to find the positives.

  • I did complete the job – early – despite the short deadline
  • My work cannot be considered shoddy by anyone’s standards
  • I know that I’ve still “got it”!
  • I have learned a valuable lesson – ask lots of questions before accepting anything!
  • I have laughed
  • When I’m in a pinch, my daughter helps out

I laugh at this because what else can I do? Some guy gives such a shit brief on such an important (for him obviously) job and gets lucky by giving the job to me! You just have to laugh at that, right?!

It may not have been the easiest of experiences and might have got my blood pumping and my head aching, but all in all, I’m happy. And that’s what counts!

Psaryce xo

Get Off The Treadmill & Slow Down


Keep Calm & Slow Down

 I hate going out these days.

 Everyone is in such a rush.

 On the roads people jump out in front of others when they really shouldn’t. Others drive too close to the car in front. Some rev their engines in frustration. Motorbikes weave dangerously around cars in their effort to “get ahead”. There are even some drivers who purposely get into the wrong lane then push into the right one at the last minute.

Sadly though it isn’t just on the roads any longer. Maybe it hasn’t been for a while and I am only just noticing how obsessed everyone has become with speed. No, I haven’t lived in a bubble for the past 20 odd years. I know it has been a thing talked about often – how we are all rushing about in the rat race.

The problem, as I see it, is:

  1. It isn’t just in big cities or even small cities for that matter
  2. It isn’t just on the roads
  3. It isn’t just working people (the members of the “rat race”)
  4. It isn’t even just “rush hour” (which incidentally is more like 3 hours now!)

Slow Down Button

The more I look, the more I see that it is people from all walks of life. People who are out and about for a wide variety of reasons. From mothers with children to elderly couples and all those in between. They are all walking as fast as possible. They stand in queues fidgeting and complaining or huffing audibly. The tactics used on the roads are even employed in shops and on the streets. They try to jump the queue, to get ahead, to cut down their own waiting time. They occasionally pretend to not understand where the queue is – a tactic normally employed by the older generation.

Slown Down Poster

Women pushing baby buggies use them to bully their way down aisles or to get in front of someone. Their children seem to be trained to kick up a fuss at the most crucial moment giving the mother an excuse to be rude or at least back up the silent plea in her eyes that beg you to give her a break. When these women pair up with others of their kind, there is no chance of anyone getting through them. Their tactic changes slightly and employs conversation as the main stratagem. They chatted away as if they haven’t seen another living being for months) and ignore the children who, having already deployed their usual “kick up a fuss” routine, behave abominably. It you so much as say “Excuse me please”, they will turn on you with venomous eyes and, at best, move 1 inch before ignoring your attempts to squeeze through. Meanwhile their children are hindering any person in sight, enjoying the freedom and the chaos it causes. The mothers continue chattering away. It is only when their children pester them or hinder them that they will pay any attention. Typically a chastisement the children have learned to ignore after a few seconds.

Slow On Road
Yesterday, I was in the grocery store using one of the self-check out machines. There were 6 of them in total. A women with a buggy kept inching her way at me the whole time I was scanning my items. I only had 6. At the third item, I started slowing down. I hate to be rushed. She kept pushing that buggy forward. By the time I had finished, it was just millimetres from the backs of my calves. I was angry as I left vowing to never go to that store again. I know that is childish but the customers in that store tend to be more rude than in others.

But why?!It was mid-morning. No where near and school run times. She wasn’t dressed as if on her way to work. The items she was buying were only snacks (crisps and sweets really). So why on Earth was she in such a hurry? I am the first one to give the benefit of the doubt but only if I can think of a good excuse for an individual. But when they are so many behaving in this way, I can’t come up with enough reasons!

On the way back to my car, I passed by the little playground in the middle of the High Street (is it a High Street when it is only a village?). As usual, there were children wanting to play but none on the equipment. They were tugging at the mother’s arms and trousers and being told “we don’t have time today”. It is very, very rare to see a child having more than just 1 go on the slide. But there is never a seat available at the bakery and always a queue going out the door.
Slow Down Jack JBack at my car, I put my shopping in the boot and climb into the passenger seat. There are cars queueing in the car park and one already has it’s indicator on to grab my spot. I shut the door and sit. I turn on my iTunes, put my headphones on and play Jack Johnson’s “Inaudible Melodies” and listen. It is one of my favourite songs. When it finishes, I climb over to the driver’s seat and get ready to set off. The queue of cars has gone and no one is waiting for me to pull out.

I don’t feel guilty at all for duping the other drivers waiting for a space to park. If I hadn’t taken time to calm down, I would have, no doubt, become more annoyed on the drive home.

So my message for this post is simple: SLOW DOWN! Maybe try to plan things to allow you more time to get stuff done. Take a moment when you need to calm down.

Psaryce xo