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  1. I worked as a temp for 2 years in a local PCT. Certain of the managerial staff who were on large salaries of around £60k worked ridiculously long hours, even coming in for unpaid overtime on Sundays to catch up, and I didn't envy them their tasks - in one case having to call very ill cancer patients to deny them innovative treatment on various grounds. The boss spent 8 or more hours a day shooting round London going to meetings which his role demanded he attended, so he delegated most of his actual work to the middle ranks. On the other hand there was a senior manager there who worked from home everyday - home being her house in France. Her 2 PA's on £26k each sat and filed their nails all day and watched the clock. Everyone had to be 're-interviewed' for their own jobs at one point. One guy on about £60k lost his job but instead of being made to leave the organisation he hung around for another year with no job title, on the same salary, in the same office, with nothing to do except odd scraps of work that no one else wanted. So I got the impression you can't actually be made to leave the NHS you just get reschuffled. There was a management consultant on £150k, more than the CEO, whose rather ironic remit was to identify waste and cut costs. On an interesting yet irrelevant point, on my first day as a temp I was put to work in a clinic filing patient notes. I was also asked to file police documents on parents that NHS staff secretly suspected of physically harming their kids and were asking for covert police surveilence. The clinic carried out abortions on Tuesdays and I filed those records too. At no point was I CRB checked - in fact, they had the wrong CV for me for the first 3 weeks from my private agency, so didn't really even know who I was. Several times I was asked to ring GPs to get patient details over the phone, I was given confidential details without question. You could try it yourself - just say you are phoning from the PCT. So much for security. Anyway, I work in further education now, we all work hard and I haven't noticed any slackers in my organisation, pay isn't great but it feels reasonably secure.
  2. Yes I think it's about 5 a day. Loads have shut down in Dagenham and Barking, I remember the Merry Fiddlers (now Morrisons), the Robin Hood (now a derelict site), apparently the Volunteer is gone, the Plough in Barking has been replaced by an NHS centre, The Chequers down the Heathway (now Asda), and the white one on the Heathway that I can't recall the name of, that is going to be a library. I prefer the libraries etc to the pubs to be honest!!
  3. On the same line as my last post, you might also be interested to know that The Bull pub on the Bull roundabout (Rainham Road South) has gone bust. It's within 500 yards of the Vauxhall dealer that went bust the other day! More jobs gone (although I won't grieve for the notorious drug-den pub).
  4. Wow, these are amazingly cheap - 1 bed ex council flats in this area were going for £135k at the height of the bubble.
  5. Yes, it's pretty bad - also there is concern about what will happen to the building - if it gets vandalised it won't be a pretty sight. Apparently the franchise is for sale for £80k which doesn't seem a lot for a reasonable sized business, the repairs section was always busy.
  6. Not really property related but you might be interested to know that the bg Vauxhall dealership & repairs garage on Rainham Road South went into receivership a couple of days ago with the loss of 50 jobs, quite a big blow to the area. Some numpty will probably buy the land now and build flats.
  7. Hope this link works, have never posted a link before so if it doesn't please let me know and I will delete topic and try again! Basically, the recession is over because the government is printing money and banking shares are rocketing so we are idiots not to buy, buy buy!
  8. I believe he was basing it on the Del Boy philosophy of 'we are gonna be millionaires'. I doubt he would know what you were talking about, sadly.
  9. I fear you are correct, seeing as in a recent poll most people questioned didn't even know what such common terms as APR meant. It would be interesting to do a poll of these IO mortgage holders. This is a timebomb waiting to go off. For your part, best stay quiet about your savings as you may well get called upon to bail these people out.
  10. OK well here is a real conversation I had with a work colleague (at an investment management company) who got an interest only mortgage at the height of the boom a few years ago: him - 'I've just borrowed £350k interest only, so now I can buy a 4 bed detached in Surrey' me - 'how did you manage that, you only earn £35k a year?' him - 'I told them I had a bar job at weekends as well, it's easy, you are mad not to try it, go on, get out of that pokey little flat you have'. me - 'how are you going to pay off the capital?' - him, (laughs and looks at me as if I am stupid) 'well in 25 years time the house will be worth well over a million so I can sell it, move somewhere smaller, and live on the 650k profit' me - what if house prices go down?' Him 'Gordon Brown will never let that happen' me - 'what if you lose your job?' him (laughs again) 'there's no way I'd lose my job, there are plenty of jobs in IT in investment banking' So that explains it then!!
  11. Exactly, there is so much going on and the history is all around you, there is something for everyone and it's what you make of it. I found New York cold and artificial - you can't see the sky and there's not enough variation between the areas. It seemed quite small too. Or maybe that's because it all felt the same. In London the difference between going to diverse areas like Greenwich, Oxford Street, St Paul's area, Camden, the East End markets, Regents Park etc are huge, like different towns strung together. New York was all the same. It's a city that wishes it was London - I rest my case!!
  12. No, it's all gone Bangladeshi! But the way I look at it is that through the centuries floods of different immigrant groups have poured into Stepney, the Russians, the Jews, the Poles (not the current influx, I mean a couple of hundred years ago), the Irish, fleeing persecution. After a generation or two they move away and 'integrate' so it is like a landing station. The only problem is if they don't move away and integrate like they are supposed to! The worry is that the true Cockney accent and dialect will die out. My accent was as thick as treacle but I lost it when I lived abroad as no one could understand me. On the rare occassions I meet a Cockney with a truly strong accent it is a joy - I start to speak like them and they think I am taking the mick!
  13. Easy, if you are a true Londoner it's very difficult to go away for any length of time without feeling that pull of home. As a cockney (born in Stepney) working near Temple on the river (Londoners never call it the Thames, it's THE river), I feel immensely privileged to have been born here, and to live here (despite being on less than £30k - life isn't always about money). I've lived abroad for several years at a stretch and always had that pull to come back, not for family but for the place itself. I couldn't bear to live somewhere like Australia where I would feel I was on the moon and couldn't get back to London. It's summed up in an old London song "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I love London so Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I think of her Wherever I go I get a funny feeling inside of me just walking up and down Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I love London Town" I've also always had this potentially dangerously arrogant thought at the back of my mind all the time that anyone who isn't a Londoner wishes they were, in the same way that citizens of ancient Rome thought they were the centre of the universe!!
  14. People seem to be forgetting that most NHS staff are not front line nurses or doctors, but office staff, administrators and middle/upper managers who never go within 500 yards of a patient. I worked for 2 years in the NHS in a PCT headquarters in East London - Primary Care Trusts are huge organisations containing hundreds of office staff. I was PA to 3 women, one was in charge of LIFT (LIFT is an organisation involved in building and maintaining medical premises, her background was town planning), another woman was a management consultant on £150,000 a year (more than the chief executive) brought in rather ironically to identify and cut down on waste, the 3rd woman was assistant to the head of primary care and actually did speak to patients sometimes, mostly to tell them whether the cost of their treatments had been approved - I suppose this means she was on the 'death panel'!! I never came into contact with patients, my 3 bosses never did either and between them they earned £280k per annum. I was on £16k. So when we say NHS staff please don't fall into the trap of thinking all staff are doctors and nurses, there are hundreds of thousands more who never step foot into medical buildings. As for going off sick, I didn't notice much of this but certainly people did take time off to attend school sports days etc and it never came out of their holiday leave - it was considered compassionate/carers leave.
  15. Hi there, I've had another look and the patch of ground Persimmon are building on is the large allotments area at the back of Ashbrook Road (Ashbrook Road is a little turning off Rainham Road South, up near Fritzlands Depot) The sign says ''3 & 4 bedroom houses and 1,2, & 3 bed apartments coming soon''. I saw a lot of mud and half a dozen workmen there this afternoon. The houses are going to have to be tiny! Pity the poor neighbours who will now be totally overlooked.
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