Thursday, 17 July 2008

'Free' Time

I am so cross. I dropped the boys at nursery this morning and drove over to Morley Street Sensory Resource Centre, where I do my mornings volunteering every Thursday, only to find it closed due to indistrial action! Now I understand that on occasion there may be a need for industrial action and had I watched Look North or Calendar this week I would probably have heard all about it, but I didn't.

What annoys me is that nobody saw fit to tell me that the building would be closed today. Just because I choose to give my time away does not make it worthless. Had I known the place would be closed I could have made alternative arrangements with 'A', the chap I work with, or at least not wasted my time driving there for no reason. A blanket e-mail to all volunteers just saying to check whether their place of work was open on industrial action days would have been enough. But oh no, clearly our time is not important.

I saw a member of staff outside the building when I was standing there reading the notice on the door. I tried to ask her if she knew whether the users of the centre had been informed of the closure so I could determine whether 'A' would be turning up anyway and I should wait for him (an hours wait) but all she would say is 'I can't' and point at the notice.

I don't claim to know very much at all about industrial Action but assume that the idea is to cause maximum inconvenience, due to the lack of whichever service is affected, to convince the powers that be that that service is worth more than they are valueing it at. I can see how making me waste my time going somewhere I am not wanted is going to acheive that.

I fully intend to claim mileage and childcare for today. As it stands volunteering here costs me money. The expenses I will receive, once I get around to putting a claim in, do not fully cover the childcare I pay. I know it is my choice to put him in a nursery where the minimum is 2 half day sessions on 2 different days, so I have to pay for the additional session myself, but the maximum childcare expenses don't cover the 1 Thursday morning session either. I choose to accept this and pay the extra so that I can give my time and gain the BSL experience I require to go on to Level 3 in September.

So anyway, rant over, I'm now at home washing duvets, yipee.

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