The title to my second blog entry is not a reference to Abba, but merely an effort to make the subject quite clear to anyone who may come across this. It's about money by the way.
in the Fire Service at the moment, there's a lot of talk about our pension scheme being totally ripped apart. A bit like all public sector jobs to be fair. I've tried to read the leaflets handed out by the government on their plans for our pensions. I have read each page carefully, then realised I haven't understood any of what I have read, so I have read them again. There's lots of long words that I have no idea of their meaning, so, to put it into simple terms, we have to pay about £160 a month more, for an extra 10 years, to get less at the end than we do now. Hmm.....I'm no pension expert, but I would say that's not the best deal. I'm 32, so my pension is a long way off, but by the time I come to retire at 60, i'll have paid enough into my pension scheme to buy a large country house, but what i'll actually get back will be enough to buy a medium sized wendy house.
Then I thought about how much I actually get paid. As a Firefighter of 14 years, I'm on about £27,000 a year. It's not a bad wage, but some argue that all emergency services should get a lot more, as they do quite an important job. Then I saw an article in today's paper, and I have now found a new career, which I shall be applying for immediately.
This new career is as a Tube Driver. Their job involves operating a lever which makes the train go faster or slower, pressing 2 buttons, one for 'open doors', and one for 'close doors', and reading a wide range of signal colours (when I say wide range, I mean red and green.) Not the most complicated of tasks. They don't even need to know where they're going, unlike taxi drivers, with their incredible 'knowledge', or as it's called these days, 'SatNav'. A Tube driver's elongated taxi follows a fixed route, denoted by a series of fixed rails and fixed tunnels. They don't even need to go to the trouble of knowing what station they are coming to next, as a woman with a stern but slightly sexy voice tells them and everyone else on the train. So, how on earth are they now getting a pay rise, to take their salary to above £50,000?
Next thing you know, librarians will be taking home enough money to buy all of the books ever written, but in gold leaf, that bloke who stands at roadworks in the dirty beanie hat with the 'stop/go' sign, turning it round roughly every 45 seconds, will be earning around £60,000, and if you have 5 stars on your badge at McDonalds, you'll be rubbing shoulders with Richard Branson before you know it. Mind you, he's abnormally short, so you'll probably be rubbing shoulders with hips.
However, there is one massive disadvantage of being a Tube Driver, which I guess is why they are worth £50k.They spend so long down in the dark, damp tunnels, alone in their cab, their whole life now revolves around tubes. Everything they do or say involves tubes. They must wear boob tubes, only eat tubes of smarties, and only view life though YouTube. Oh, and you will be spending weekends outside major shopping centres, holding aloft placards, warning customers to 'Mind the Gap.'