Posted tagged ‘Winterval’

Annual leave it out

July 5, 2011

Holidays are not a sign of weaknessUnless you don’t have children or anything to do with them, you’ll know that the summer holidays are fast approaching. Those hot, exciting days which seemed to last forever when we were children seemed to speed up rapidly as we got older, before once again dragging on for an eternity as our children demand entertainment in order to keep them from each others throats until term time rolls round once more.

With this in mind I have the full intention of taking some annual leave in the next few months, if only for Mrs. WLLG’s sanity. I have no idea what we will do during this time of two parents – money is too tight for any holiday and even day trips are stretching it – but I’m hoping just by being there I’m doing something good for the whole family. I might even enjoy it myself.

This whole thing got me thinking about annual leave, and my changing opinions of how best to manage it over the years. From my first job to my latest one, managing my annual leave has been a bit of a stuggle for me, and I’m only just beginning to get to grips with it and strike something close to a balance of sorts; from discussion with colleagues it’s something that many of them also don’t feel as if they have got it quite right.

When I began my working life I found myself surrounded by some passionate, dedicated officers who would tell me to do as they said, not as they did. They thought nothing of walking into the office at 7.30am (obstensibly to “beat the traffic”) and not leave it again until at least 8.00pm. Lunch breaks happened at the desk or in meetings, and e-mails from them would greet me each morning having been sent at midnight or over the weekend. Of course, this had the knock-on effect of them rarely taking any annual leave and losing whatever was left come end of year.


On the second day of Christmas our bloggers gave to me

December 24, 2010

Our very special Winterval card for Eric Pickles

Holidays are coming… (with some politics thrown in)

November 29, 2010

A word map of Eric Pickles' mind?

This blog tries very hard to be apolitical. That is not to say that we are uninterested in politics, nor that we don’t discuss political issues; it’s just that we try our best to stay clear of the ‘Political’ debate between the Westminster parties. We also don’t discuss religion or work with animals or children. It’s just easier that way.

In light of this we have tried our best to treat Eric Pickles and the coalition with a sort of equanimity; taking the rough with the smooth and not getting too uppity about either. (For evidence of this see our discussion of the Audit Commission abolition and CSR and for evidence of the opposite see a guest post on the Child Benefit changes.

However, this weekend Mr Pickles has got me simply too upset to ignore. It’s not as if he was in my good books anyway; in the past week the rather talented Allister Hayman from the Local Government Chronicle revealed that the poorest Local Authorities were going to face the biggest cuts in their budget with some of the most deprived areas in Britain receiving cuts of 37%. What made it worse was that some of the richest areas in Britain were to receive increases; yes, you read that correctly, increases in the amount of money they received this year.

Then, on the radio I heard Mr Pickles blustering that the (Conservative run) Local Government Association was exaggerating the job cuts local government would be facing. If only councils were more efficient fewer jobs would be lost he argued. It seems that Mr Pickles didn’t understand that job cuts were how Local Authorities tended to find efficiencies.

Despite these acts of provocation a post discussing these acts of outrage might have been too political so I was prepared to leave it. Then came a post on the Conservative Party Blog from Mr Pickles that tipped me over the edge (thanks to @FlipChartFT for the heads up). Here are the first few paragraphs:

Councils don’t need to mask or hide this year’s Christmas festivities for fear of causing offence, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said today.

As the lights are turned on for Christmas all over the country, Mr Pickles urged councils to take pride in Britain’s Christian heritage; celebrating the nativity and all the traditions that have sprung up around it from tinsel and tree lights to turkey.

“We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ.

“The War on Christmas is over, and likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be in the dustbin of history.

The full ‘story’ can be found here: