I had an interesting experience at work today. Apparently, I have to prove that I have the right to work in this country! Now believe it or not, I'm no spring chicken, and I've been working full time since I was seventeen. Which is *ahem* thirty-four years now. The mentally agile among you will have worked out that I'm fifty-one, (that looks soooooo old written down), and unfortunately I cannot deny this. Of course, this also means that I've been paying tax for thirty-four years. Don't you think somebody should have bothered to find out who I was before they started taking money off me?
This is all due to recent legislation, according to my manager (nothing to do with us you understand), and he was just the lackey having to carry out the instructions given to him. Now he hasn't worked there very long, and a few months ago he had to ask us all for permission to check our driving licences. I like to think I'm a reasonable man, and I fully accept that our lot have the right to check that we are legally allowed to drive, before they turn us loose with several thousand pounds worth of Transit and a fuel card; (it costs about £110 to fill the tank)! The old system involved us taking our licences in twice a year, and everybody was happy. This, apparently, is No Longer Good Enough. We now have to sign a piece of paper that gives the company the right to check directly with the DVLA. I'm ashamed to say that I gave them the run-around for quite a while over this!
So you can see how much He Who Must Be Obeyed was looking forward to telling me about this latest initiative, can't you.......
So, in order to prove I exist, Dennis - my manager, (apologies, I should have introduced you before), asked me if I could take my passport in. A copy would be placed in my personnel file in case it was ever needed. I gleefully replied that I don't have a passport, but (rather helpfully I thought) reminded him that I do have a driving licence, and if he'd like to cast his mind back a few months, he would remember seeing it. A look of panic came over his face, as he explained that a driving licence isn't good enough, and that something more substantial would be required. Did I have a National Insurance card? Nope, long lost in the mists of time, I replied. I was starting to enjoy this; after all there's no point in getting older, if you can't get grumpy at the same time!
So, dear reader, we have settled on my birth certificate. I have just dug it out, and to be truthful it's seen better days; after all, it's only three days younger than me! It's faded, creased and unless I'm very careful (not my strong point), it'll disintegrate long before it gets anywhere near the photocopier. But this ancient document is, apparently, more trustworthy than a modern photo driving licence!
If I turn out to be some sort of undesirable alien, do you think they'll want to know who they've been paying all these years? And will they want it all back..........
This is an alpaca. Milkman like alpacas as they don't bite. 'Nuff said!
This just a cheerful picture. Winter on the retreat. Hooray!!