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Gripes in the pipes

We get a lot of gripes submitted to The Weekly Gripe that aren't quite complete and specifically aren't long enough to make an article.  Gripes in the pipes is a new section where these will be posted for you to look at.

As these short pieces are a work in progress they are up for grabs if you feel particularly strongly about the subject matter. Simply click on the one that you are interested in and you'll be taken to the 'Your Gripe' page with the unfinished text where you can gripe away until your heart's content!

IT Skills shortage because recruitment is broken

We hear employers say there is an IT skills shortage or a shortage in this skillset or that skillset and yet we have so many people out there looking for work, or who are underemployed. How can this state of affairs exist? I have heard others talk of a skills mismatch and I've always assumed that if employers can't find suitable people then presumably there is a real shortage. I've come around, and I think we do have a skills shortage in one particular area. Is it an operating system, or a programming language? No, I think we have a shortage of IT workers who are good at writing CVs, and applying to the various job boards. It is a completely different skill set, like asking a recruiter to compile with GCC. I think this may come into other industries, especially engineers as they are not marketers in any shape or form either. We wouldn't ask a marketer to build a pipeline or write a computer program before giving them a marketing job, so why do we ask engineers to market themselves? Is that really part of their job function? We either need engineer-marketers or to stop asking for CVs, if we want to solve the skills shortage. The recruitment market is broken, and we need to fix it, before we start allowing immigration to fill the gap.

Colleges ignoring disabled applicants

One thing which angers a lot of disabled people and me to some extent out of principle, as I was once disabled but moved on, is many colleges, the NHS, the civil service claim to guarantee an interview to all applicants who are or were registered disabled but very often don't honour this guarantee. I wanted to get into teaching as I am good at maths and done a lot of private tuition and should have had an interview but didn't get one. I know many others who have put in for all sorts of jobs and been completely ignored and not having had one interview from all these public sector guarantees. This is typical of government institutions presenting a "glorified" image of themselves when they are more prejudicial and corrupt claiming to be fair when they are the most unfair of organisations. They try to present a false image to appear to be supporting the less fortunate when they are shoving them into the gutter. But then rot always makes it way to the top.

Clothing for women too big these days - vanity sized

Why are most women's brands vanity sized now? I saw a top I really liked, but the size 8 was massive! I'm sure size 8 is equivalent to at least a 12 if not 14 a few years ago - same with knee length boots - wide calf circumference so you look like a pirate and slim legs look like pieces of string! What about us skinnies? I don't want kids clothes, I just want a few smaller sizes or I might have to resort to bin liners soon! Also you can hardly buy fitted clothes now - everything is tent shaped WHY?

Cuff links knocking the desk using a computer

My gripe is the problem I have when wearing cuff links and using a computer. More often than Not they knock against the desk and are somewhat annoying. All my dress shirts are french cuff and so need them... I wonder if others have this problem with cuff links and what can be done to resolve it and what do others do?

Diluted GCSE exams and course work

My daughter has just A starred 12 GCSE exams, good for her, and yes of course I am proud, but.. I can't help but notice that the quality of the GCSE is below par to the point that I actually worry that if her A levels are of the same quality, and then to her engineering degree we will end up with some pretty unstable structures, I will be sure to avoid any bridges she might have project managed, and god help us if she gets her hands on a dam . She thought Belize was in France, was shocked when she found out that there was a Berlin wall and mortified when discovering that we didn't borrow the English language from the USA , were are all screwed, we must raise the standard of education to at least a level of basic knowledge.

Ticker tape captions on TV

I am sick of all the wide, full length ticker-tape captions on our TV screens. Some are way too big and prevent seeing the full picture of what is being shown. They've gradually become wider and wider with several layers of (sometimes needless) information. News, current affairs and some documentaries have them and conceal the bust of women filmed. This is annoying as cleavage and bust are enhancing not only to a woman but to reports in general, making a tedious article of more interest because the female form is attractive to look at.

Charity Shop Rip Offs

I feel that the Charity Shops are taking advantage of our kind nature and charging very high prices for the items that are donated by the public. Charity Shops in the UK cannot be called Charity Shops any more as they are now a very BIG BUSINESS...  I was always led to believe that Charity Shops were for people with little or no money could go and get clothing or household goods at an affordable price, but not any more. Short sleeved shirts £7 plus, all second hand...  Buy some new ones cheaper than that.  I saw today a plastic mouth organ second hand on sale for £10 a ridiculous price. The people who run these so called Charity Shops are earning Mega money and seem to be in it just for themselves.  The people working in the shops are given a pricing chart to go by and what price to sell the donated items for. They pay the manager a wage but all the others working there get nothing at all and thinking they are helping the charity they support.  If they knew how much the people at the top get they would be in for a shock.

Is there such a thing as a corned beef tin opener?

I live independently in Derby aged 38. The limbs on the left side of my body don't work and I am struggling with tinned corned beef. Is there any way I can open it without cutting my fingers? A magic tin opener or something please? Where to get one...?

Vending machines destroy chocolate bars

I hate it when you buy a Yorkie chocolate bar from a vending machine and the break up into bits when they hit the tray at the bottom. It deprives me of the pleasure of snapping of a chunk of chocolate myself! I have some ideas to prevent breakage. For example, you could have a tube that curves at the bottom to allow the chocolate bar to slide to a gentle landing. Alternatively, you could just have a net. My favorite idea is an air flow pushing up food from the bottom. If we had something like that our food would never break up. On the subject of vending machines, why is there never any healthy food such as fruit? It always seems to be junk food, so why is the government not trying to promoting healthy food in vending machines?

People going to great lengths finding fault with renewable energy solutions?

I was sitting in a science class today (I'm 14) and we were looking at alternative energy sources. I wouldn't say I was happy but I was reasonably content to the teacher's ramblings on solar panels and stuff, until she asked us to draw a table in our books listing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of energy resource. I was mildly surprised but I reasoned that it was probably just so that we could make a point of the expensive types of energy. In reality however, this column was in place for us to write in about how 'ugly' wind turbines and solar panels are and we had to sit through 5 minutes of some random professor denouncing practically every renewable energy resource I can think of. There's nothing wrong with them! What do these people propose to do without the forms of energy in 40 years time. From what my Granddad tells me, I'll be in the prime of my life and I don't want to spend it without electricity. These people need to be a bit more caring and should consider the younger generation.

What's the deal with travel insurance these days?

The insurance companies are so clever now. They have a long list of intrusive questions about everything in your life, and naturally enough dig out risk from every single applicant. You're too young, or too old. You eat too much, or too little. You drive too much, or you don't drive enough. Everyone is a risk (sure) and as we get older, health risks increase to the point that travel insurance is often completely unaffordable. It sometimes seems that if you can afford insurance, you don't need it and if you can't afford it, you really do need it. As everyone faces this, wouldn't travel insurance companies be more sensible to even out the costs for all travellers and keep everyone moving? Or should older people be grounded (by the cost), and left only to pay for their children's travel?

Pushed around by supermarket staff

One thing that really annoys me when shopping in supermarkets is the way the staff rush around and knock into the customers. They seem to have the right of way over the poor customers who are there spending their money. It often happens at the till area. You're busily unloading your stuff/finding your purse/talking to the cashier/finding your own carrier bag/entering your PIN/packing up your items or any one of the other numerous examples of multitasking) when one of the other cashiers goes off to break. Now that's fine - I can understand - it's a stressful job. BUT - do they have to try to squeeze past you, crash into you and basically shove you out of the way? That brings me to another point. Why does hardly anybody say 'Excuse me' nowadays? People just shove past, knock into people and really can't be bothered to wait. Same with traffic. Drivers are in such a hurry to get somewhere that they skim past pedestrians and risk hitting them. I would really like drivers to sound their horns, for pavement cyclists to ring their bells and for other people to just say 'Excuse me' before they barge through. Why is there so little respect?

Doctor's appointment rearranged because of staff meeting

Why is it the Fri before a major holiday is the day the Doctor's staff decide to change appointments because of a staff meeting? This post op appointment was scheduled over a month ago. I did not get to confirm the change because they only called one number! When they have two on file. The person calling stumbles about why she has even called. It's 20 miles one way to the office .

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