Local authorities often use their own employees to run polling stations during election days and to count votes once the polls have closed. This is because they can be sure that the staff will be available for training and are guaranteed time off from their real jobs, and because it’s easier to pay them as they’re already on the payroll.
Consequently, I have worked as a polling clerk (at the polling station) once and as a vote counter numerous times. Take it from me, the idea that you need to vote in pen to prevent people tampering with pencil votes isn’t just offensive, it’s laughable. Staff take the integrity of the process very seriously and would not condone or collude with vote tampering. Take a pen if you want, but there’s really no need.
A couple of emails have come into the blog over the past few days (emails to southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk) which suggest that the problems within Lush previously raised by employees here haven’t been resolved. This is one of them, with identifying details omitted.
You absolutely have permission to post this, with any identifying details left out or omitted. I’m doing this to warn other people and so wouldn’t want to have it come back to bite me.
Thank you for your kindness, it’s been difficult as I did really love the job itself. The company set up is very very flawed with major problems everywhere. Overall it was a toxic environment and that’s my silver lining for having left.
I’ve read your blog for the entirety of my career at Lush, I used it as a warning for me to get out when things got bad. I found I didn’t listen, however I should have.
I was recently dismissed, without any form of disciplinary warning (verbal or written). Their excuse for this was that my service only stood at 1 year 8 months, and the minimum for a proper disciplinary was 2 years.
The reasons they gave me were poor attitude, reluctance to work and unprofessional attitude on social media. I found these reasons to be ironic and somewhat insufficient as I had been sent to work to London with them twice through my consistent hard work both in store, and on their social media accounts as their social media representative. I also found it ironic that one of the reasons was unprofessional attitude on social media due to the fact that the company who praises themselves on allowing staff to be who they want to be, and hiring people solely based on performance, and not of personal background. The other two reasons were based upon two weeks of developmental feedback. I don’t think it’s fair that my whole career with them was whittled down by a bad fortnight.
I had also disclosed to my manager that I was having mental health problems, and was seeking help from the NHS a week before my dismissal meeting took place.
I was given a four weeks paid notice period, and asked to leave immediately. I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and questioned everything I’d done wrong (one of my pieces of feedback was that ‘I looked like i didn’t want to be there’). I felt more so embarrassed because a manager of mine had recently been demoted for having 7 counts of bullying raised against them. This manager had a chance to appeal the decision, and was still given a job, just not one as high up as they had before.
This highlights how utterly inconsistent Lush is as an employer. They’re supposedly great to work for, and I just think that people need to learn that all that glitters is not gold with Lush. I’ve moved on now, but please do keep me anonymous. I just wanted to tell my story as a warning to other young folk getting excited about a career with Lush. Lush doesn’t give a fuck about what you want. If you’re not management, they just view you as a drunk student working part-time. That’s all you’ll be to them, I assure you.
It’s too late for this person’s career with Lush, but my advice to anyone, in any job, is make sure you have joined an appropriate union, and at the first sign of anything worrying, get their support. That’s what they’re for.
A couple of other emails have come in from someone else. We’re in the process of discussing what they would like published, and they are providing me with certain documents as evidence of their story. It’s another of the sort of story that makes me want to tear my hair out. So watch this space.
Inspired by something I saw on facebook or elsewhere online, last year I put a glass jar on the mantelpiece, and every time something nice happened, I wrote it on a bit of paper and put the paper in the jar. Now it’s time to look back over the pieces of paper and see what I thought was worth writing down. Pulling them out of the jar randomly –
- 30/07/16 – Ghostbusters!
- 29/09/16 – the halal butcher gave me a massive bag of chicken offcuts for the cat and didn’t charge me
- 15/01/16 – client gave me a massive panettone
- 07/05/16 – weekend in York for my dad’s 70th birthday party
- 24/09/16 – bought a new piece of furniture from Ikea, assembled it myself, and then covered the top of it in plants
- 11/04/16 – swimming coach didn’t make a single correction to my butterfly technique (other than a reminder to point my toes) and when I asked why he wasn’t saying anything, he said he didn’t need to because I was doing it right
- 13/03/16 – lovely cuddle with the cat before getting out of bed (several more of these)
- 29/08/16- took the cat for a walk in the Queen’s Park and he scampered around in the grass while I read my book
- 01/12/16 – a client who has been quite difficult at times apologised for his behaviour and gave me a home-made curry
- 14/03/16 – managed 2 x 15m of full stroke butterfly
- 22/09/16 – allowed to bring the cat home after an overnight stay at the vet
- 01/09/16 – saw an exhibition of Royal fashion through the decades with my mum at Holyrood palace
- 30/08/16 – went through to Dunbar and spent time with my mum, her sister and brother in law, and his parents who are well into their 90s
- 08/04/16 – student finished placement and left a very thoughtful card and a positive evaluation
That’s a nice variety!
Anyone who has heard Wham!’s Ray of Sunshine knows that George Michael understood the joy that music can bring to people’s lives. I was a teenager in the 80s, and I was a Whamette. I loved other music too, particularly Queen, but Wham! were my teenage love band. I had my first slow dance with a boy to Careless Whisper.
Then Wham! came to a natural end, George went solo, and I stayed a fan. His voice is still the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. There’s a lot being written today about his gay activism, his generous donations to charity and to individuals in need, and, of course, his incredible talent. One day soon I’m sure I’ll be ready to think about all of those things, and to listen to the joyful songs – Club Tropicana, Outside, Amazing, Bad Boys, but for now, all I feel is grief and loss and sadness.