Monday, May 14, 2012

Fired!


Being fired from work whilst in prison is usually an achievement to be aspired to. Stuck in a lousy workshop and being paid a pittance is often a situation that gives birth to a struggle of will between the institution and the poor convict. Managing to manoeuvre to the stage of dismissal in those circumstances is usually a minor, if significant, victory.
But I have never, ever, been sacked from a "real" job. Until last week. Returning from home leave I found that my charity shop placement had given me the elbow. Not in person, but via the nick.
Pity. It was a nice placement, and the people were mostly quite chilled. The only problems for me were the claustrophobia - the whole place consisted of two rooms - and the backpain resulting from my being bent over a steamer for most of each day.
Hints of my possible demise came just before home leave, when I was told not to come in because there were two new deputy bosses covering that period. One refused to work with a Con, and the other refused to work with male volunteers. All a bit rum.
I now have a new placement in a much larger charity enterprise, being there five days a week. The only shock to the system is that this placement involves my having to get out of bed at 6 - yes, six! - AM every morning and getting back to the nick at 6pm.
Who was it said that hard work never killed anyone?

64 comments:

  1. "One refused to work with a Con, and the other refused to work with male volunteers."

    I guess charity begins at home, and not the work place.

    I wonder what these feminists put on their CVs: Team player, outgoing, positive attitude, kind to animals, not a man...

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  2. Jimmy Giro

    Charity begins at home - as long as it is not in my back yard!! I used to manage a charity shop and without doubt the best workers were 'criminals' sent to us by the probation and/or courts - I worked with 100s from this particular group and only ever had one small problem with one person - he went out to get my lunch for me and did not return. I should point out that he would not take the money in advance - so he did not steal anything - just disappeared! Many of the other volunteers were brilliant too - but some were not as focussed as the offenders.

    I hope you are luckier in your present placement Ben and that the shop and staff appreciate you. I am assuming that you work without giving anyone any problems - and look forward to reading about your experiences. Keep strong and focussed.

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  3. 'One refused to work with a Con, and the other refused to work with male volunteers.'

    One word: Discrimination.

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  4. Yeah I'm sure they are prejudiced against cons and against men, but maybe we are not hearing the whole story here? There are usually two sides to any story. But good luck Ben, the sooner they let you out the better and the more chance you have of leading a better life; instead of being worked half to death in the name of 'charity'.

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  5. Maybe conclusions shouldn't be jumped to too quickly here. For all we know the person in question might be a rape victim, which might explain why they are uncomfortable working with male convicts for fear of coming into contact with their attacker or a person who knows their attacker.

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    1. I got the impression that 'won't work with a con' and 'won't work with men' were separate problems from different people. The former refusal I suppose is understandable, though a bit prejudiced, but the latter strikes me as entirely unrealistic and unreasonable. You make a good point that we don't know what in these people's backgrounds might be causing their concerns. However I think it is fair to expect even rape survivors to learn to deal with men as a group, whatever precautions they may take regarding specific individuals, if only because it is the only way to function in society.

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    2. Sorry, not an excuse, if they refused to work with black people because you erroneously thought they were all thieves or drug dealers, people wouldn't be making apologies for them.

      Discrimination is discrimination, just some forms elicit more support than others.

      Neither of those people should have been working there, wouldn't go that way in a real job... "you don't want to work with the employees, here's your P45" is how it'd go in a real job!

      The mind boggles.

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    3. The black population is somewhat larger than the lifer prison population. So the risk that one lifer knows another lifer who has in the past done something very bad to you (and potentially threatened to do it again) is substantially larger, and more founded, than a suggestion that a black person is at greater risk of knowing another particular black person. That is the difference between dealing with convicts and dealing with Black people.

      However, refusing to work with men is prejudiced and a breach of the various equality legislation. The only way that could not have got a "tough" answer from the employer is either the employer is trying to get sued, or the post is inaccurate and the actual objection was "male convict"

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    4. I don't find it hard to believe that the manager of a small charity shop would lack the expertise to know they were acting illegally here. And they may not be, at that. Are the laws protecting cons out working in the community the same as for the rest of us? I have no idea.

      I certainly don't see this in the stark black and white terms that apparently have led you to conclude Ben is lying.

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  6. If someone has got a problem working with cons and/or men, should they really be volunteering their services to this particular charity shop, which offers employment to both?

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    1. We only know Ben's side of the story Derby, although I am sure it must be accurate?

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    2. Ben's side is all we ever have Annoymous. Why would he lie (on a public forum) when so many (his 'captors' for instance), would be aware of the fact?

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    3. Of course, Ben would never tell a lie or mislead anyone, would he?

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    4. If you're the same Annoymous (sic) as before, you haven't answered my question.

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    5. I think we know what we are saying here Darby.

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    6. I 'know' what I'm saying, 'think' that you don't, - and there is no 'we'.

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    7. I am not going to spell it out even more Darby

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    8. Anonymous. If you honestly believe that someone in Bens position would jeopardize his (long overdue) release plans by telling silly lies that can be verified by anyone who cares to look (and as such, be held against him!), - you're even more witless than your previous posts suggest.

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    9. All I am saying Darby is that there are two sides to a story such as the one Ben presents here. Everyone lies, Ben has done here on his blog before. You need to stay a little bit closer to reality rather than jump up and down yelling 'discrimination!' from your high horse. Just because Ben says something, must he be right? Its just fantasy to think that.

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    10. Anonymous, please can you provide the link to the post where Ben has lied on this blog? Because I'm not aware of any instance and I'd like to know.

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    11. I am not out to discredit Ben or the blog Wigarse.

      There are those of you who believe everything Ben writes as if gospel, and therefore do themselves and others a disservice.

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    12. As obvious as it is that you understand nothing about the 'mechanics' of serving a prison sentence. It's much less clear why you'd think that Ben would risk his best ever chance of freedom to date, - by telling pointless lies.

      Your motives puzzle me.

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    13. try this Darby

      http://youtu.be/FCnZJt26lh8

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    14. Try this:

      http://youtu.be/ftZ3UCdTuWQ

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    15. Anonymous, I wasn't suggesting you were. But if you want me not to take what Ben says as gospel and to think for myself and judge him appropriately, then I'd like to see the evidence he lied. I'm not going to take your words as gospel either, after all!

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    16. This blog contains a good few tall stories, and who knows:- maybe even outright lies too, come on Wigarse, Ben hardly declares to us which posts are truth, and which are ones are fabrication. This is quite normal for any human being on this planet who has imagination and who writes on a regular basis. I am not suggesting Ben is malicious and that he intentionally misleads, but evenso that would be normal on occasion for anyone who has spent the vast majority of their lives in Ben's situation.

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    17. This blog contains a good few tall stories, and who knows:- maybe even outright lies too, come on Wigarse, Ben hardly declares to us which posts are truth, and which are ones are fabrication. This is quite normal for any human being on this planet who has imagination and who writes on a regular basis. I am not suggesting Ben is malicious and that he intentionally misleads, but evenso that would be normal on occasion for anyone who has spent the vast majority of their lives in Ben's situation.

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    18. Your nonsense is making me feel dizzy now. Why don't you just 'put up' - or shut up!

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    19. Ah! poor old dizzy Darby, what is it that you find 'nonsense'? Care to explain, or, better still why don't you shut the f*ck up yourself - you idiot.

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    20. Darby, where do you get off telling someone to "'put up' - or shut up!" Does that make you feel like a man or something?

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    21. If you accuse the author of a blog of lying without giving examples of When, Where or Why. You shouldn't be too surprised when you're asked for an example. So....put up' - or shut up!

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    22. Dizzy Darby: Very 'Jazzy' - I like it!

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    23. Ben writes several types of posts here. Some are humorous anecdotes and some are more serious indictments of the system. The former can legitimately contain a "tall stories" and be quite innocent, but if the latter contain even the slightest exaggerations they weaken Ben's position. Being fairly intelligent, I'm pretty sure Ben is aware of the difference and the consequences and you can't infer the presence of lies in the second from the presence of hyperbole in the former.

      You accused Ben, pretty directly, of lying in a serious post and then when challenged and unable to provide any evidence to back up your accusation, tried to defend your position by invoking some nebulous previous exaggeration in Ben's humorous writing that you still can't produce on being asked to.

      It doesn't wash, sorry.

      And I recognise Darby's initial comment on putting up and shutting up was provocative, but your reaction is much stronger, ruder and more personal and, I think, reveals your true colours.

      The one thing that unites everyone who accuses Ben's supporters of treating him with god-like reverence, of being naive or stupid for falling for his charm is their inability to produce any evidence to back up their position. The people who pass through here just seem to "know" that Ben is manipulating us and that we're all just fools for being swayed by him. Heaven forfend that a person may actually have done some research and taken the time to find out the full facts for themselves, perhaps have gone to visit Ben and actually *spoken* to him in order to make up their own mind... such a person must clearly be an idiot >< Oh, and these transient mud slingers who pass briefly by invariably post as "anonymous", not seemingly having the courage to present themselves as a consistent personality even behind the security of a pseudonym.

      If you want to be taken seriously, don't be a dick. *defeated sigh*

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    24. @ Wigarse: "You accused Ben, pretty directly, of lying in a serious post" where is that then? I said (indeed without backup, and a hunch) that Ben had lied in his blog, and then I said that there was evidence of tall stories; "Ben hardly declares to us which posts are truth, and which are ones are fabrication" and, I am not going to bother to go back through the ones that may contain untruths, as this is not a kangaroo court.

      If we go back to this original post, all I said was that we have not heard the other side of this particular blog post, so to start making acustations of 'discrimination' against one party is like being an unquestioning and fanatical supporter of a cult figure head. It displays a small intellect; which dizzy Darby has proved he does in fact have. People who misunderstand or don't understand do lash out with violence such as the 'put up or shut up' remark from Darby. I am entitled to tell him shut the fuck up back and it really doesn't matter at all which one you personally consider to be the stronger remark.

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    25. @ Wigarse: "You accused Ben, pretty directly, of lying in a serious post" where is that then? I said (indeed without backup, and a hunch) that Ben had lied in his blog, and then I said that there was evidence of tall stories; "Ben hardly declares to us which posts are truth, and which are ones are fabrication" and, I am not going to bother to go back through the ones that may contain untruths, as this is not a kangaroo court.

      If we go back to this original post, all I said was that we have not heard the other side of this particular blog post, so to start making acustations of 'discrimination' against one party is like being an unquestioning and fanatical supporter of a cult figure head. It displays a small intellect; which dizzy Darby has proved he does in fact have. People who misunderstand or don't understand do lash out with violence such as the 'put up or shut up' remark from Darby. I am entitled to tell him shut the fuck up back and it really doesn't matter at all which one you personally consider to be the stronger remark.

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    26. 'People who misunderstand or don't understand do lash out with violence such as the 'put up or shut up' remark'

      As you well know, the 'put up or shut up' remark, referred to you providing some/ANY kind of evidence that Ben was being anything other than truthful. Something I note you've failed to do.

      If you interpreted such innocuousness as anything else, then it's you with the 'small intellect'.

      Do you 'cry' when someone says BOO!?

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    27. What a nasty and spiteful comment, Darby.

      Your lashing out with the aggression went like this (just to remind you since you are now making up its context): "Your nonsense is making me feel dizzy now. Why don't you just 'put up' - or shut up!"

      Darby = Dizzy, thick *and spiteful.

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    28. Apologies for calling you thick etc Darby, I will take back that last bit of the above comment. Its stupid to keep on escalating this.

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    29. Just to clarify.

      'Your nonsense is making me feel dizzy now. Why don't you just 'put up' - or shut up!'

      Translates as;

      What you are suggesting makes 'no sense' to me. I'm feeling dizzy because we're going round in circles, - so either provide some evidence, or keep quiet.

      I concede that perhaps I could have chosen my words more carefully, but to accuse me of 'violence' is incorrect.

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    30. No Darby you don't get what I have been saying all along, and now I repeat it again. In this particular post, there is another side which would complete the picture. Rather than jump to conclusions and indignation based on only one version of events, I have just been merely pointing out the fact of there being two sides in this scenario.

      Now I am sorry you have not been able to follow my gist and have been winging on and on about evidence and laying on thick accusations against me in saying that Ben is a liar in this post (which I never said he was).

      You have no right to tell someone to keep quiet in an aggressive manner just because you cannot understand something.

      Correct semantics are not as important as a message carried; and insistance on semantics over message is pedantic, or divertionary even - from what is being said and mean't. ie in reference to the use of the term 'violence' on this thread.

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    31. @Anonymous,

      Avoiding the temptation to be sarcastic and agressive:

      'I said (indeed without backup, and a hunch) that Ben had lied in his blog, and then I said that there was evidence of tall stories; "Ben hardly declares to us which posts are truth, and which are ones are fabrication"'

      The above comments, combined with their being made in response to this particular post, and relating to a conversation about how this post could contain inaccuracies ("We only know Ben's side of the story Derby, although I am sure it must be accurate?" & "Of course, Ben would never tell a lie or mislead anyone, would he?") constitutes a strong implication of dishonesty.

      You are right, you didn't "directly" accuse Ben of lying. I apologise for making that inaccurate accusation and instead ask you to provide evidence for your strong implication of dishonesty. I also suggest that your unwillingness to be direct in your accusation was so you could later distance yourself from your implication when challenged, as you are so desperately now squirming to do.

      Finally, I note that accusing your debating opponent of having a "small intellect" is usually a sign of having lost the argument. I guess everyone else reading this will make up their own minds on who was the better verbal pugilist here.

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    32. Thank you Wigarse for your kind invitation to provide you with your desperately needed evidence, however I feel that I must decline on this occasion as I really can't be arsed. Many readers will in fact recognise that as a human being it is indeed likely that Ben may mislead or lie, outright; or by mistake or unintentionaly. Its good to support someone for just being themselves, and I am sorry you feel you must elevate Ben to being more than an ordinary human being. And once again I must point out that it is highly unlikely that Ben would admit any intentional or unintentional misleading, so why the fuck should I trapse through all back posts just to please idiots like you? Oh yes, and do please continue to ask for evidence to prove that your Ben is a holy saint, nobody is getting bored by it. Of course, it means that you win again for sure. Now there's a clever person.

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    33. Wigarse, If it wasn't for fear of being accused of 'animal cruelty' - I'd say you were flogging a dead horse!

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    34. oh no Darby, there is nothing dead about me, yet.

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    35. What about the 'horse' bit?

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    36. LOL

      No flogging here. I am enjoying myself though...

      Anonymous, please continue to call me an idiot, I'm sure it's strengthening your case immensely in the eyes of anyone who has read this far.

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    37. aahahahahaha! lol! yes for sure, Wigarse, just as a spade is a spade. lol!

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  7. Leaving aside the discrimination issue, I trust you were joking when you suggested that having to get up at 6am, presumably washing, breakfasting, commuting, working, lunching, working and commuting back by 6pm counted as a killing level of hard work?

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    1. Is that a serious question, or are you joking? Because last time I check indulging in a little light hyperbole for comic effect wasn't something prisoners were forbidden from doing. Whatever the Daily Star might have to say on the matter.

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    2. Apologies Wigarse: Posted in wrong place!

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  8. Your nonsense is making me feel dizzy now. Why don't you just 'put up' - or shut up!

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    1. Poor old dizzy Darby, what is it that you find 'nonsense'? Care to explain, or, better still why don't you just shut the f*ck up yourself, and do us all a favour.

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    2. Poor old dizzy Darby, what is it that you find 'nonsense'? Care to explain, or, better still why don't you just shut the f*ck up yourself, and do us all a favour.

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  9. Anonymous, Derby is quite right, put up or shut up. Your innuendo that either I am a liar or readers are idiots requires some substantiation, or a dignified withdrawal from this thread. Pick one. Ben.

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  10. So, in a situation where you get fired, that there might be another side to the story other than it being about the discrimination of man hating, con hating women managers like you present, you would rather aggressively shut up any questioning? I can't say I blame you, you'd rather have a following that worships you and never questioned you about anything, and took your word as gospel. Yes, indeed, most people would want that I suppose, shame for you its not everyone or across the board though isn't it?

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  11. @Anon, question away! But you assert I am lying on this blog. Prove it. Your mentality, that any challenge to you implies I need adoration, is beautiful prison service thinking. Have you something to tell us? Until then, troll away and no response will come from me. Ben,

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  12. No, quite clearly I am saying and have been saying all along that everybody lies and that you are no exception, I am not saying nor have ever said that you are lying outright here. So fling insults as much as you want it does not alter the truth about what is being said, or the truth of the matter, something you are clearly finding hard to take.

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  13. @Anon, ask you repeat your assertion yet refuse to provide evidence - then try to insinuate that is somehow my problem! were you ever a Governor? Prison psychologist? Or, lord forbid, a probation officer??? Not that it matters....you cannot substantiate your assertions and so I leave you to stew in the rancid pit of your own cynicism and bitterness. Alone.

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    1. @ Ben, how stupid of you to think that you make any mileage from insulting me? This is your blog and you made assertions that were half truths, or half a story, and then sat by while your followers went up in arms yelling about discrimination. To then try to put me in the dock for a great crime of being, you presume, alone? That is just a cynical attempt to divert attention away from your own flaws. Its something that doesn't bother me if you are flawed, as we all are, but I would not stand by and watch while your followers acted in a cultish manner wipping themselves up to a frenzy on your behalf. The fact that you do not distance yourself from the whole thing and prefer to be shallow by attempting a personal attack on me, shows that it could have been your intention afterall.

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    2. "you repeat your assertion yet refuse to provide evidence"

      What? can you be more precise? That I said everyone lies and you are no exception? Or are you an exception then? Is this a blog? or a kangaroo court?

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  14. When I have not accused you directly of lying what evidence must I provide oh great one?

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  15. Sounds like a bunch of schoolboys!

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  16. And here I am, a year later, just browsing the blog - and find that no evidence of my lying was ever forthcoming. Interesting :)

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