One thing I’ve often heard said by disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs, is that a large number of people either tend to look away, or look over them, trying to pretend they’re not really there. In honesty, I’ve got to the point where I nearly always try to acknowledge them, even if only briefly in passing, simply to prove that I do know they’re there, and are happy to be seen with them.
The other group of people that I always try to acknowledge in a friendly way, are Muslim women wearing either the Niqab, or occasionally the Burqa, simply to show that I want to be friendly, and supportive of them, unlike sadly too many people nowadays. One thing I enjoy about Bradford is that nearly everybody I see, if not approving of such wear, at least doesnt react in a bad way. Mind, that might be because I only really see it being worn in the city center, though hopefully not the case.
But until now at least, the one thing I’ve never discovered is what life is like on the other side of the issue. Yes, I’d be fascinated to know what life is like inside of the Niqab, or Burka, and show my support for Muslim women who wear it that way, but I suspect its too complex a religious matter for it to ever happen. But yes, it would be both fascinating, and probably informative to spend a day wearing the Niqab, and seeing how people react to those wearing it. Probably only brave enough to do it somewhere like Bradford, or similar community, if going out, but as a whole, just seeing what life dressed like that would be a fascinating experience, and probably one that if more people tried it, we might have a lot less religious issues in the world too.
Yes, I am saying that if someone offers me the chance to wear Niqab, or Burka, either privately, or outside, then I would love to do it. And if it can be done in a way that brings up positive publicity for Muslim women, then so much the better!
Equally, fortunately, up to now, I’ve never known what its like to spend time in a wheelchair. I must have done as a child, when my knees were wrecked at the age of 9 or 10, but you dont expect me to remember that, do you? But at least on that point, in 5-6 weeks time, I’m going to get to see how people react to me in a wheelchair. Will they look me in the face, and be supportive, or will they try to pretend I’m not really there, hmm?
Yes, I have to be practical about my flights in a few weeks time. Currently I can walk to a pretty reasonable degree, and I can sit down without too many pain issues, though how much of that is currently clouded by painkillers, I have no idea! However, the one thing I cant do at present for more than a few minutes, is stand still. And yes, while the check in queue, and the security check queue will require some standing in line, you usually move along at regular intervals, which may, or may not be sufficient for my back not to lock up completely. However, when it comes to the queue at Boston, to go through Immigration principally, and Customs to a lesser degree, is that you tend to stand in 1 place, in a queue, for far longer than that. Now it is possible that in 5 weeks time, my back may be less of an issue, but until I’m on proper medication, I wouldnt like to bank on that. Even if on proper medication, I dont want to be confident on that, and not sure we will reach that point in 5 weeks, anyway.
So yes, today I’ve bitten the bullet (you have to give a minimum of 2 weeks warning, but being realistic, I’m not going to improve dramatically in 3 weeks), and requested assistance from the airline for my travels through the airports. Yes, I know I need it, but that doesnt stop the guilt factor, when I can walk reasonably well, but thats just my nature, I guess?
But yes, it will be fascinating to see how ‘fit people’ react to this ‘poor old lady’ in a wheelchair, I must say. So yes, if on 9th September, at Manchester Airport (or Boston later that day), you see a middle aged lady in a wheelchair, be nice to her, it might just be me! Yes, same plan booked for JFK flying back on evening of 18th, just saying…I wonder?
Right, video time. No, I have no plans to be wearing this while sat in my wheelchair, though it might be fun if I was! But yes, feel free to look at me, all the same!
Yes, let me say I was saddened greatly by the news that came out of Finsbury Park in the last couple of days, in a similar way to how I felt after the London Bridge incident, before anyone points out that I didnt comment on that. Sadly, when I only have time to do 2 blogs a week, and other things do happen in my life, some things get thought about, but not mentioned here, and that was one of them. Add in the Tower block fire last week, and London isnt having a good time of late, lets face it.
Equally, can I say that I wasnt entirely surprised when that horrific incident in Finsbury Park happened, because I wasnt. Such is political, and religious extremism at the far end of the spectrum of late, that no, I wasnt surprised when a white supremacist type decided to take a stand for himself over the matter. Thankfully, both sets of incident are few, and far between (very much so, in fact), but the press, and TV tend to over focus when they do. When parades of thousands of Muslims, protesting against terrorism happen, they have a tendency to ignore, as it just doesnt suit the underlying tendencies of too many in power, trying to scare people nowadays, lets face it.
I only hope that this can be it, that people can see sense, and we have no more retaliation, from either side. I know, as John Lennon said, ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one’, at least I hope I’m not. Unfortunately, the people I’m appealing to with this piece are probably the ones least likely to read this, but I can hope that in some way, the message can get out. Yes, I know, I’m a very liberal type, but I think that most people, with a cool head would be able to see that just continuing the violence isnt a great idea, from either side.
So all I am saying, to quote another Lennon song, is to ‘Give peace a chance’, please. And yes, let me add that if there was a way I could wear a burqa/burka (I’ve seen it spelt both ways) in support of my Muslim friends, without it being religiously offensive, I’d happily do so. I dont deny it, I’ve seen women wearing it in Bradford a number of times, and wondered what it was like. But no, I dont want to offend anyone, all the same. But if the chance arose…?
Right, the video. No John Lennon, no Dusty Springfield, which a few might have thought of, from the blog title. Instead, a live Police classic from 2008!
Normally the walk between work, and Bradford Interchange, to get the bus home, is a pretty dull affair, with the most ‘exciting’ thing being crossing a few roads, where some vehicles seem to see the traffic lights, or indicating their intention to turn, as a suggestion, rather than compulsory on a Saturday afternoon. But fine, no one has got me, yet!
Now, I’m not claiming to be an angel, I’ve worn some weird stuff when acting, I’ve worn some even weirder stuff when not acting, but thats beside the point! 😛 There’s also some weird stuff I’d love to wear, but havent had the chance to do so as yet. Yes, one might be that robot suit from Metropolis, but never going to happen, I’m sure!
But I must admit, one thing caught my eye, and made me do a double check, as I was walking up the last stretch of hill yesterday, up to the interchange. There was a man, and presumably his daughter, about 8-10 at a guess (me, and children’s ages lol…) walking down the hill towards me. Nothing strange in that, you say, and yes, normally, I would agree. Apart from the fact that the young girl had a metal handcuff affixed around one of her wrists, and was casually slipping her other wrist into the other handcuff! Wow, they start young nowadays lol! No, unfortunately, as they were going in the other direction, and I didnt want to attract attention by looking too closely, I have no idea what happened next!
In truth, I’m sure she was doing it very innocently, and had no idea that one passer by would notice, and react inwardly, at least to it. All I know is, she looked so casual doing it, I do wonder if she was only doing what ‘mummy’ does from time to time lol? Oh fine, I might have worn a pair or two in my time, but never relating to a legal matter lol, my record is spotless, in real life at least. In a play, well…? 😉
But yes, just proves that no walk through any town, or city is guaranteed to be dull, or normal, does it? But no, given that currently, locally, the temperatures are in the 80’s, the leather catsuit, even if I had one, is definitely a no go. No, never worn one, but if someone is offering, when things cool down…? Yes, handcuffs are purely optional unless its a Catwoman roleplay, or acting role! 😛
I might have gone with a more straightforward blog title, but for one thing, the song for the video. This is what happens when a classic song gets tackled by Ray Stevens. Seriously, its rather good!
Even more amusing is the fact that the drummer looks remarkably like someone at work. I know it isnt, but…?
One thing about working in an office, where there are 5 teams in a department, is the knowledge that you might not always be in the same team, forever. its certainly happened in both my previous jobs up here, and now, seemingly its going to happen again. Same role, same hours, just a different team leader.
In a way, it makes perfect sense, I’m now going to be in the team of the team leader who works every Saturday, like me, so there wont be weeks when I’m sat all on my own any more, though to be fair, said team leader was sat right behind me, and besides, it never really bothered me anyway. I know, I dont let much bother me, but anyway…Its equally fair to say that my current team leader is sorry to lose me, though I suspect thats as much down to my ‘entertaining’ calls, as anything else. Who, me? Flirt with customers? No, not really, though fine, I do maybe use my feminine wiles to get round them at times lol!
As to the swap, no, I get on fine with both of them, so no issue to me, either way. But fine, I could live without all the fuss of changing desks, and everything, as you then have to do all the ‘health and safety’ stuff again when you change desks, but never mind… Other than that, I’ll just carry on, as before, and…
Oh fine, I might enjoy it more if it was a literal transfer of affection, but more of that when I get to the video, but fine, I’m probably the only one changing teams that would enjoy that sort of thing. Still, if they want to arrange for it to be done like that, just for me… 😉 In fact, in some ways, the video is a little tame for what I’d fancy, but besides all that…
I just wonder how many more transfers of affection I might have before probable retirement, in just about 7 years time, lol? Who knows, I might even be one of the team leaders by then? Not that I’m very ambitious, but all the same…? Still, if someone wants to ‘make me’ more ambitious, I might not say no!
Right, video time. Oh fine, you can tell this is from the 80’s, from the outfits the group are wearing, not even allowing for those rather cute space suits! Who, me, fancy wearing any of those, you bet! I have no idea why this wasnt a bigger hit over here in the UK, but besides all that…Yes, I’d love to know what was actually being done to her mind! 😀
I must admit that when one of the big bosses called me into an office on Friday, my mind tried to work out what I could possibly have done wrong? Even more confusing when she invited one of the guys in at the same time, especially as he was acting as a team leader at the time. Oh fine, before anyone worries, I’d done nothing wrong!
I had noticed a couple of people from our department spending some time in another department on our floor, which deals with certain cases when they come in. Yes, they are called initial action, for the obvious reason, and why the video link for this was so easy to choose!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was asked if I fancied some training/shadowing time over in that department, and I couldnt say yes quickly enough. It will be interesting to see another department in action, especially one that deals with figures a lot of the time. Yes, mathematics, and figures have always been a love of mine, and I dont mean the hourglass figure I’d love to have lol! The latter, well if I could miraculously develop one in the next 3 weeks, might be handy! Or even by September, as I know a couple of ladies over in the US who would love to see me happily married, and living over there. But anyway…
So I’ve got a day on the phones tomorrow, as per normal, then the rest of the week, seeing how another department does its thing. Yes, starting Tuesday, so dont expect another blog before Saturday, though you might be lucky, as I will be working 10-6, instead of 11-7, but dont hold your breath! No idea, if its 1 week, or 2 at present, so watch this space for info on that. Why not the start of the week, because the lady I will be sitting with does a special task on a Monday, and because last Monday was a Bank holiday…you get my drift, she wont need me around that day!
Funnily enough, over here, next Monday is a Bank holiday too! So now I’ve ended up with a long weekend there, though I’m assuming that if I’m still on this secondment, I might be in on the Tuesday again, which will be weird! If it does, it means yesterday was my last Saturday working until June!
So yes, looking forward to learning something new, and the chance to discover if a department that I think would appeal to me to work in, really is that! Wish me luck!
Right, video time. Not one of Bucks Fizz’s bigger hits, but I liked it all the same!
Well, I’m assuming it will be at least? As far as I can see, Transgender Day of Visibility, which was on Friday, was about the last landmark in LGBT history for a while, so I’m assuming I will now be able to drop back into quiet anonymity, much to the disappointment seemingly, of a number of my work colleagues. For those interested, the last article, which actually made the blog on the main Civil Service page, can be found here
Yes, I’m proud to be the spokeswoman for Transgender people in the Civil Service, dont get me wrong, and the ride has been amazing, but fine, the boring old biddy that I am would say that I go to work to do my daily job to the best of my ability, and thats the main thing. Fine, I have enjoyed the whole ride, but fine, getting back to ‘normality’ in Bradford will be a good thing to do.
I know someone will tell me otherwise, but I’m assuming that until the same landmarks come around next year, I can go back to being a dutiful Administrative Officer, and leave it at that? I have to say the reaction to everything at work has been amazing, and fine, I’ve quite enjoyed the teasing about my 15 minutes of fame at work too. Fine, it will go on until at least Wednesday, because someone is going to mention the article to the whole team at the staff meeting then, but after that, and probably before that, for people outside Bradford…
I know one thing, if I get this much publicity, and interviews during my stay in LA, I will be thrilled. If so, who knows where it might lead, but no, I’m not expecting that to happen. Except, well, maybe…? Helped someone with some research this morning, and it may lead to a filming opportunity when I’m in California, so I’m told, but I really will believe that when it happens! No, not Jimmy Fallon, yet! Nothing to do with transgender issues, but thats all I’m saying unless its likely to happen! 😛 Lets just say its something I would love to get involved in.
But now, as far as I know, life can go back to the reality of day to day work, with no interviews, no publicity, or nothing. Oh fine, a part of me is really going to miss that, but equally, getting back to just being another worker in the department, without all the other stuff, is probably better for my future prospects. Or maybe not? 😉
Video time. If you havent worked out the song, long before now, be ashamed! Thanks to Sarah for reminding me of this one.
…Its the way that you do it! Yes, tell me about it.
In truth, when it comes to receiving customer service, I’m probably more forgiving than most, because its an area I’ve worked in for much of my life. However, there are times, and people who even drive me to frustration, and yes, I met one on Friday.
The rule I’ve always applied personally, is, if in doubt, ask someone, and make sure you’re doing the right thing. It has led to moments when I’ve been 99.9% certain that I’m right, but still feel its better just to make sure, especially on critical matters. Anyway, on Friday…
Normally, when I have anything to do with foreign currency prepaid credit cards, I head to Thomas Cook, as I did on Friday. Their card does all I need, and the staff in Huddersfield know exactly what they’re doing, and you get smooth, professional service. To cut a long story short, I was over in Bradford on Friday, so I thought I’d get it done over there. Not a wise move!
I guess I should have taken the hint when the woman behind the counter was fighting a losing battle to put a currency order into the system, and asked me to wait while she sorted it out. As I now know, like a fool, I did! I should have walked out the door, there and then, but fine, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I rather gathered she’d never had to issue, and activate a prepaid card before. So after a few minutes of trying to convince the system let her do it, she gave up, and asked for help. The snag was, the woman who she called for help had never done one either. So, instead of the 5 minutes I have spent in the past doing this, in Huddersfield, we were now up to 15 minutes, and no closer to getting it issued than when I had walked in!
Eventually they said they’d won the battle, and quoted me a dollar figure for the amount I was handing over. I misheard, or I would have said something because the figure they put through was ridiculously low. Yes, instead of giving me the sell rate, of around $1.20, they gave me the buy back rate about $1.11! But I only realized this after they’d handed me everything, including the receipt. After all that time (about 25 minutes), I wasnt inclined to start again, for about the sake of $4.50, as I was only putting a small amount on the card to get it active.
So, got it home, registered the card online. Yes, its showing up, but no, its not showing any balance! My suspicion, they havent confirmed something, or they’ve confused the system with the exchange rate they’ve used, or something? So now, on Tuesday, I’m going to have to go into Thomas Cook, in Huddersfield, on my day off, and get the whole matter sorted out. All because 2 people, who admitted they didnt know what they were doing, couldnt ask someone who did, or ask me to go to another branch where they would!
Yes, I’m glad thats not my regular branch! I’ll stick with Huddersfield in future!
The video, as so often, a clue in the blog title. An, err, interesting live vocals performance by a group of people who I suspect were more used to lip syncing!
I could jokingly say that today I underwent pain, and torture, but I might be exaggerating a lot, even though my body was waxed all over. It had been far too long since last done, but in truth, beyond brows, under arms, and err, bikini line, nothing really hurts all that much with me, as even after about 18 months, most of me really isnt that hairy, but hey, its fun to lay it on a bit. Thankfully, that was the pain part with Linda, and I can now look forward to the pleasure part of the experience on Thursday (my birthday, hint, hint) of a massage and facial. Believe me when I say that my body more than needs both!
Yes, there was a purpose to the ‘torture’ today, as I needed to get my brows removed, given its time for the semi perm make up top up on Tuesday lunchtime, and clearly the brows need to be gone for that. So yes, get the whole lot done while I’m at it! Will also be getting the lips touched up, and presumably the beauty spot as well if it needs it (Pure Harlow touch) at the same time. I have to admit that did hurt the first time I had it done, but the top up before wasnt too bad, and I’m sure that will be the same this time too. Certainly a blessing that gets around my inability to do my own make up, due to (very slight) hand tremor.
Paula does say she’s going to rise to the Jean Harlow challenge, but if she can take 35 years, and 7 inches off me, I’d be amazed lol! Mind, I’d enjoy it if she did, has to be said!
No, the love isnt real, just one of those silly girl crush things. Last night, I flexed off an hour early to get off on holiday, complete with a pair of birthday cards, and a bouquet of flowers from Madi, a lovely touch. No, she isnt the girl crush! In truth, all I know about her is that she lives in Bailiff Bridge, but presumably works in Bradford, as its generally in an evening that I see her on the bus. Sadly, or maybe for the best, I’m pretty sure she has a wedding ring on. In truth, I have no idea why she appeals to me, she is very slim, which really isnt my type. She’s also not sensationally blessed on looks, though she’s not hard on the eye, all the same. But fine, she’s cute, and she’s caught my eye, for sure. Yes, she was on the bus that I got because I flexed off an hour early, win, win! Only thing was, me carrying a bouquet of flowers, good thing or bad? She probably thinks I’ve got a partner/admirer who gave them to me, so even if she was planning a bi moment, she’d think I was taken too. Fine, there is about as much chance of that as me winning the London Marathon, but anyway…
Amusing touch is that she reads on one of those Kindle things, but sadly I very much doubt its any of my stories lol! Equally pretty sure she wouldnt fancy me anyway!
Right, video time. It also hurts me when I realize this song is more than 40 years old, as I remember when it was released. A group that didnt have many hits, but are still going, seemingly.
Yes, I know, we’ve all heard these stories of working in offices where the bosses are horrid, and the conditions are awful? Thats right, I definitely dont work in one of those! So, as promised to a couple of people who will surely read this, lets tell you a tale of a very non average office.
But to ruin her glory, I’m not going to start with the actual star of this piece. Yesterday evening, I was working hard as usual, and had just finished a call, hopefully dealing with a client in a way that made her fell better about matters than when I started the call. I looked up, and there stood beside my desk, looking at me, was the big boss, the operations manager, and I wondered what I’d done. Nothing was the answer, as I quickly found out. He came over to see how my knee was recovering, as he had heard the news about the incident, and say that like many others, if he’d been there at the time, the idiots who tripped me over wouldnt have got off so lightly. A delightful chat then followed, waiting for my next call to come through, and if I needed to feel good about working there, this would have helped. In truth, I dont need it, I fell in a bed of roses when I started at this place, honest I did.
But no, he’s not the star of this blog, one of the team leaders is. No, not my team leader, but she actually sits closer to me, is an absolute delight to work with, and oh, she’s entertaining too! There may be 2 people of acting persuasion in the office, but as far as I know, Madi isnt one of them. She should be! Sometimes, towards the end of the working day, when the offices have closed, and the general public calls are fewer, we are treated to something known as ‘story time’. This relates to Madi reading articles, or reading the side of boxes in such a way that we tend to burst into laughter.
Besides all this, being a team leader, she has to check the quality of the calls from her team, and when something goes slightly wrong, and you’re sat behind her, lets just say you tend to know about it, and leave it at that. Saturday, Madi was battling a spreadsheet, and judging by the comments from behind me, the spreadsheet won the battle!
Oh, and in case she reads this at some point, my team leader is wonderful too. I think her only disappointment over me, is that everybody has been so wonderful about the new ‘girl’ in the office, that she didnt get chance to stick up for me! I love it the way it is, but I know that if the matter ever should arise, it should be fun!
As I have said before, it might have taken me a while to get a job, but in the end, I couldnt have found a better place to work, in so many ways.
So fine, for the video, I need an entertaining Madi, right? In truth, I could only think of one, but she is brilliant. Hard to believe this song is now 42 years old, mind. So…All around the office, I will wear…
No, please dont get all concerned, I’m not losing my job, or even changing my job at present (would need a good acting/modelling offer to do that), just a few things changing with my working life.
The first of those actually happened yesterday, the system we use at work got changed, hopefully for the better, but I think its fair to say its hard to say on the basis of just one day, but seemingly everything worked, so fingers crossed…?
However, the one I’m really going to notice starts next week, when the working hours I’ve just got used to, after 3 months (first 3 months were on different training hours) of working from 12 till 8 during the week, all get changed. Fine, not massively for me, I’m going to be working 11 till 7 instead, but fine, I’m going to miss that hour in bed of a morning, all the same. I know, I get it back at the other end of the day, so I doubt I will lose much sleep overall, but fine, getting up at 6.20, instead of 7.20 is still going to hurt a bit! No, Saturday doesnt change at all for me.
There is a ‘swings and roundabouts’ thing that will happen that will help though. Finishing an hour earlier will mean the bus service home wont be as spaced out as it is now, in fact it will still be 1 every 20 minutes at that point, instead of trying to catch the first one for 30 minutes, and the last one for an hour. Given my experience of the 7.42 on a Friday, that is going to be a good thing. The bad thing, being seriously blonde, I changed my starting time by an hour, but left my 30 minute break at the same time, so now the first half of the day is going to be very long, the second part pretty short, but I’m sure I will live! That might be changing fairly soon, with luck, anyway.
Oh fine, the bus situation. No, I’m not going to miss getting the 8.12 bus from Bradford to Huddersfield 3 times a week, formerly 4, as the punctuality record of that bus is awful. In truth, I think its arrived in Huddersfield, on time, about 4 or 5 times in 3 months! I think I’ve missed a bus that runs 12 minutes after that bus is due in town more times than that in the same period! Yes, some of it is First Buses fault, the poor driver has a 4 minute allowance between scheduled arrival time in Bradford, and leaving time to come back again, so even if he’s a couple of minutes late, never going to happen. Thankfully the ones I will be getting have a better turnaround time, so all should, should be fine! Famous last words, I know, but…
Alright, the video. What I could say is that I never want to appear in the ‘diary’ at work (no, its not a diary, but it works for the song), but inevitably, I almost certainly will. Well, unless I get turned into a robot, or something, then maybe not lol? 😉
For those who remember Alison Moyet in Yazoo, in the 80’s, this might come as a shock, but yes, its her. Yes, she’s lost a lot of weight, for sure, congrats to her for doing so.