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  1. Before I start, I have no specific HR or personnel qualifications, but I have seen a few similar cases handled badly and a couple handled well. I'm afraid I have less tolerance where people are not doing their job. Personally I would write a memo to the line manager setting out the concerns and saying that although you have no personal experience of working with this individual, you understand from colleagues there are likely to be these specific issues. Then I would report each incident in detail in writing (giving date & exact circumstances + impact on you), indicating that you expect your manager to take action and that if you do not see improvement within x amount of time, you will have to take it further, using these memos as evidence you have tried to use the chain of command. Someone is skiving and stealing, and their manager is not doing their job. Your company will have disciplinary procedures designed for exactly this situation. You are suffering, as a result. You can go on suffering or make them fix the problem. They may dislike a whistle-blower, but you will have given them ample opportunity to step up and do the job they are paid for. Don't feel guilty.
  2. It seems like a normal part of the process of leaving rented property - having to fight to get a despoit back. When I moved out of rented accommodation they tried to keep the entire deposit for cleaning & rubbish removal, repairs etc. I responded with a clear denial of every point & they backed down immediately. I was helped by my numerous emails to the agents asking them to remove the landlord's rubbish & repair the damage they caused during their inspections.
  3. Having smoked for over 20 years I quit on 10/1/10, and I feel so much better. I would say there are several tactics you should consider. 1. Work out your reasons for quitting. The money you'll save, the health benefits and most importantly the extra time you will have around the people you love. 2. Use whatever substitutes work best for you. They may be expensive, but they're only temporary. If the patches leave a nasty taste try the gum. Have plenty of options and make sure you don't run out. 3. Make sure there are no cigarettes available. Give your remaining cigarettes away and ask friends to stop offering you a smoke. Support from friends and family is important. 4. Avoid the situations that make you smoke if possible. Keep yourself occupied. It's especially important to keep your hands busy. Computer games are a very useful diversion. 5. Keep reminding yourself that you're doing brilliantly and remember your reasons for quitting. The cravings do ease off, and you will find that you don't need the patches or gum as often. Smoking is a vile addiction that causes grim illnesses. If you can do this (and I know you can), you will feel better, live longer and have more money. Good luck to you matey
  4. Be polite in the initial stages of the investigation. I had a bill for £1000 more than the usual quarterly amount. Investigation showed it was my plumbing at fault, but Anglian water gave me a one-off concession that wiped out the cost of the leak. If I was confrontational I doubt if they would have given me that. We averaged out the readings for a few weeks after the leak was repaired and that's what I paid.
  5. The discussion got a little personal yesterday Ford. One of the earlier posters said some of the replies sounded like male NHS executives. I felt that probably referred to me and I was just pointing out that I was neither. I am a scientist with first-hand knowledge of the difficulty of researching and implementing new methods. When a question has been asked, it seems a little silly to reject any responses that sound like 'sound bites' or those from men. The issue IS political because politics determines how much funding is available, who gets it and what they can spend it on. The issue is also complicated and it doesn't move the debate any further forward by slagging off the people who try to contribute to the discussion.
  6. If you were referring to me - I am a female Microbiologist who does not work for the NHS.
  7. Hi Shirli, I am afraid the answer is complicated. The test for cervical cancer is cheaper than treatment, and better for the individual so of course the health service wants all eligible women to be tested. As you say, the current test is unpleasant, and if the practitioner is unsympathetic, can be traumatic. You should tell the practice this - they have options for supervision, retraining or replacing the person in question, and I believe if you want an improvement, you should complain to the people with the power to make changes. Unfortunately, at the moment this test is all there is, so you need to evaluate whether you would rather take the risk or the test. Research costs money, and there are many different cancers and other ailments without a practical routine screening test of any kind. Funds for research are limited and need to be targeted where they will do the most good. Cancer research is complex and development of a new test needs funding and advances in technology. This is where the issue gets political as the NHS doesn't have the money and those with the money don't want to spend it in this area. It may be that the only place cervical cancer can be detected is in the cervix, and that there is no trace in the blood or other bodily fluids. If this is the case, I am afraid there may never be an alternative test.
  8. On a related note, I was told by my motor insurers that all companies automatically renew policies every year because it is the law that you must have insurance. They were going to take the full year's payment using the card information they were given the year before. Are they telling the truth that all motor insurers have a legal duty to renew automatically unless they receive a written instruction in advance? I am perverse enough to change policy when I feel I am being bullied, so I switched company, but I would be interested to know the law.
  9. But do return the pot & lid to ASDA - you should at least get an apology and full refund (or replacement)
  10. As a Microbiologist, I suspect you'll be OK. If it didn't smell off or taste revolting, you should be fine. You could worry yourself into sickness, but I have known milk 1 month over date still taste fine. I have also known mis-prints on the labels.
  11. I wonder if Orange realise they are shooting themselves in the foot...so many potential customers (myself included) read consumer sites like this one. Certainly they will need to make a significant improvement in their attitude before I consider using them
  12. The addressed mail can be stopped by registering here: http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ For the rest, they pay the post office so you can't opt out. I try to return their junk in their freepost or pre-franked envelopes, so they have the cost of the postage. Hit them financially and they may give up.
  13. That was my point - I wrote to the UK head office and they sent the letter on to India. I tried every means possible of communicating with them short of semaphore...nothing worked.
  14. My letter of complaint was scanned and emailed to the call centre in India. I had to translate it into words of one syllable and when they failed to understand, they closed the complaint.
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