Archive for the ‘Work Situations’ Category

Is Sunday Opening to Blame?

Having now lived in the outback of Spain for seven years has confirmed something that I always suspected.

Sunday opening has had a devastating effect on family life in the UK!

Here in Spain, the law still says that the big shops and supermarkets are not truly allowed to open on a Sunday, unless maybe it is close to Christmas, when large concerns like Carrefour will advertise which Sundays in December they will be open.  The idea behind this is that the smaller shops have a chance to keep themselves in business, by being the only places open on the weekend.

In England, the big shops and supermarkets are often open every day of the week, meaning that if sons and daughters aren’t manning the checkouts, than maybe mam or dad is.  Getting together on a weekend becomes extremely difficult, as ‘everyone’ can’t be there.

In Spain, children bring their own families to their parents’ homes on the Sunday and that day is still valued as the day of rest.  How I wish it was like that in England.  Knowing that it wasn’t made it easier for Hubby and I to emigrate, as we weren’t getting those sought-after visits, as our kids were either at work, or taking on a second job or activity to provide some luxuries.



What do Manners Make?

I thought that everything about my world had sadly gone but, last week, I had need to do some research about manners and etiquette in Britain and that, in itself, cast me back into my childhood, when such codes of conduct were an integral part of life and society.

I sat and wondered if children’s plastic tea sets still existed and whether children continued to learn their ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ skills from their pretend tea parties with mother, brothers, sisters and maybe the odd doll or teddy bear. Those plastic cups and saucers also helped children to practise their table manners, like not stretching across someone else’s food to reach for the salt, remembering to first offer a drink to those next to them before pouring one for themselves and, let’s not forget, tidying up after finishing that special meal.

My research didn’t leave me disappointed, as I found not only the tea set but one that spoke and played music as well! Okay, maybe a little bit of advanced technology has made that children’s game a little better and, because of those whizzes and bangs, more popular to its little users, so maybe the world of today is as good as my world of yesterday.

The code of conduct that came from practising and using manners in many everyday situations meant that everyone knew how they stood with others. The old stock community still wait until people have left a busy building or lift, before they themselves enter and those gentlemen still hold a door open for a woman to pass through before they do. However, this last point seems to be one of great wonder.
ce station, I noticed a gentleman hold open the door for the woman passing through. His polo sweater showed that he worked for a car hire company and he had probably gone there to fill up the petrol tank before making a delivery. For his manners, he received no thanks. A little later, a fireman went to enter the petrol station shop and, on holding open the door for a woman, he received a thanks and a smile. There was no fire or emergency situation.

That left me wondering. Was the first woman ill-mannered, or did the fireman deserve thanks more than the first gentleman did? The answer seemed to be that manners no longer play such an integral role in society. That old adage of ‘manners maketh a man’ seems to have flown out of the window yet, like in the Britain of only two centuries ago, a person could be measured on his or her manners and could lose his or her standing in society as a result.

Still, us old stock must have faith in the system and, indeed, during my research, I also found that manners and etiquette are today taught by professional societies and some professional hotels also offer the table manner side of things. So, if children haven’t got to grips with how to treat their peers, elders, or anyone else in society, before they themselves embark on adulthood and a search for meaningful work, maybe all is not lost. Enrolling on a training course in this powerful code of conduct might just be the right move, as such knowledge and behaviour really does make one stand out from the crowd.

Must be a Civil Servant ……… (in Spain, that is …..).









And believe me …….

I like living here!




I was a civil servant in England and was trained to know that my job was to serve the public.  Here, all civil servants have the same answer to any query you may have……. and that is ……


Well, let’s see if you can do it, too:-

1.  Stand or sit, with your arms straight down by your sides.

2.  Lift your lower arms to horizontal, as if you were carrying a tray.

3.  Now lift your shoulders.


You’ve got it!


In Spain, a civil servant (and that means national government and local government here (e.g. jobcentres, teachers, council offices etc.) has a job ‘for life’ and, once in post, they don’t really seem to care about the general public.  Hence, the development of a ‘non-civil service’  job of gestor.  This wonderful person is a paper -pusher.  Anything you want (like advice you should get from a civil servant!), he or she will do for you.  I’ve paid a couple of times for mine to tell me what the civil servant wouldn’t!


And I was happy with the result, both times!




True ….. in Most Cases.

True or False?



In every establishment, there is always one person

 who knows what’s going on.




That person should be found …..




and shot!

In the Face of Adversity …….

Never Give Up!



Run That By Me Again …..?












A perfect way of getting out of your mistake!