Working for the Bank?  


Somehow bank holidays have always rather passed me by.

Being self employed all my life they were an irrelevance and when I employed people they were a damned nuisance.

I remember one morning getting into the house after finally finishing morning milking. Because of electrical problems I’d managed to finish milking by the simple expedient of running extension leads over the roof and plugging stuff into them. But before I finally got my breakfast I thought I’d phone the electrician.

The conversation went something like this.

“Hi Colin, Jim Webster here.”

A somewhat sleepy voice said, “Jim do you know what day it is?”
After a brief pause to check I replied with reasonable confidence, “Monday.”

“It’s a bank holiday.”

“Didn’t know you worked for a bank Colin.”

Actually Colin being Colin, he came out and after an hour he’d got whatever it was fixed and I wasn’t relying on extension leads in the rain.

As it is, because today’s been fine I’ve got quite a few jobs finished off. Two fences fixed where a couple of old ewes have managed to jump over or squeeze through, and another fence that I put up in the rain on Saturday, finished off in the dry today.

That and a quad trailer gate fixed and bits and bobs of other stuff and it’s not been a bad day.

But what is the point of going anywhere on a bank holiday? The roads are always busy, everywhere you might fancy going is busy, and a lot of stuff will be shut as well. Or if it isn’t they’re short handed because who in their right mind pays staff double for working bank holidays?

Effectively the great and the good have decided that the British Public WILL celebrate whatever it is (be it Labour Day, or New Years day.) Why not just add it to their days off so they can take it when they want?

Give everybody the right to certain days as holiday if they wanted, out of their holiday entitlement. So if for religious reasons you wanted to take off Good Friday, Christmas Day and Ascension Day (or the beginning and end of Ramadan or whatever) you could and your employer just had to put up with it.

Given that apparently the Banks are starting to open on ‘Bank Holidays’ at the very least they’re going to have to change the name.

Mind you, at one point it did irritate me. Having run a business when interest rates on overdrafts were over 20% I felt that actually I was working for the bank, because they were the only ones making any money. Yet I was the one who wasn’t getting the bank holidays

Ah, the good old days. One of the best days of my life was when I finally got clear of the bank and no longer owed them anything


Never mind, read something to cheer you up


Now in paperback and ebook

As a reviewer commented, “More charming stories and poems from the world of Tallis Steelyard. Port Naain is similar enough to “reality” (pre-industrial) to be familiar, but different enough to be interesting. Colourful characters and sticky situations abound. And there’s squid wrestling. This is only one of many collections of stories from Port Naain, so readers keen for more will not be disappointed.”


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4 thoughts on “Working for the Bank?  

  1. The Opening Sentence May 10, 2015 at 9:26 am Reply

    I’m self-employed and feel the same way about weekends! When I was in a full time job I tried to take the bank holiday week off because the Monday didn’t come out of the 21 days allowance, so you got the whole week for four days.

    Some of my biggests nightmare day trips have been on bank holidays. And weren’t they once called quarter days or something?


    • jwebster2 May 10, 2015 at 12:13 pm Reply

      I think the quarter days were holidays only in that there were hiring fairs. My father used to go to the hiring fairs as a lad/young man, looking for work, and provided you did get a job, your new employer would traditionally give you some money to enjoy the day at the rest of the fair.

      • The Opening Sentence May 10, 2015 at 9:28 pm

        Can’t imagine that happening these days.

      • jwebster2 May 10, 2015 at 9:37 pm

        I suppose they were a good way of organising things when you had poor communications. Everybody looking for work (and a lot of men and women signed on for six months, one fair to the next) would know where to go. If you fancied a different area, you just went to a different fair

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