Gender roles in a same-sex marriage

As I was pegging the washing out on the line yesterday, I thought to myself, ‘hmmmmm, why do I always end up doing this?’ Putting the weekly clothes wash on, cooking […]

Viva Las Vegas

Oh my, where do I even begin? I had a feeling I’d like Vegas, after all I love anywhere with the wow factor, and having seen countless images of the city I could see it was a pretty special place. But nothing in the photographs or films I’d seen ever s…

L’Amour Fou (2010) Review

Documentaries about the lives of the famous are often incredibly dull and predictable. It’s a problem faced by documentarians and biographers alike when tackling their subject, because all human life is […]

Report on DHOxSS 2014

About The Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School (DHOxSS) is the annual training event at the University of Oxford which took place this year on 14 -18 July 2014. This year it took place primarily at Wolfson College and IT Services. The DHOxSS is … Continue reading

If You’re Going to San Francisco

‘Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’San Francisco exceeded all my expectations and there were moments when I imagined what it would be like to live there. I decided I would have an apartment in Haight and work for Pinterest, I would spend my sum…

Bit.ly shortlinks for Idno/Known

Quickly share links to articles around the web, using your bit.ly link shortner.This article is © Copyright Marcus Povey 2008-2014

Decluttering

I have been decluttering Crafty Chai towers like it’s going out of fashion. Not sure if it’s just because I’m fed of having so much stuff or if it’s because I’m getting ready to hibernate, but either way, all those annoying little jobs on my list are getting done. I’ve taken bags upon bags to […]

Boys (2014) official trailer

Boys (2014) is a new dutch film featuring Gijs Blom and Jonas Smulders as Sieger and Marc, two sporty guys who meet at an after school athletics club. They start out as […]

into the country

I’m sat in my living room writing this post with a mug of peppermint tea, I can hear the rain on the window pains and I’m wondering if this is the end of the summer. It’s been feeling very autumnal here recently. So it’s even nicer looking back at the…

How have parents not unionised?

There are many things in this world I find quite astonishing. The fact that in Sydney you can spend $1 million on a slice of real estate and not receive a garage never fails to baffle me. Similarly, that a society can be so wholly dependent upon technology yet setting up broadband internet remains a punishing and insurmountable feat for otherwise competent and educated mortals, shocks me. That someone ever discovered that separating the yolk and the white of an egg, and subjecting the components to various processes could yield magical things like meringues and mousse, amazes me.

Truly, all manner of things genuinely surprise me. But, if I had to single out one state of affairs that consistently astounds me, above and beyond all else, it is this. The fact that as a workforce parents are yet to unionise. Think about it. The working conditions that parents are subject to by their very small employers are burdensome.  

There is no doubt that in some sectors and some areas working conditions in Australia could be improved dramatically. Generally speaking though when you consider the basic rights Australian employees are entitled to and compare it with the conditions parents face on the frontline, it’s startling.  

Reasonable working hours? How does 24-7 sound?

Annual leave? You’re kidding.

A weekend? Absolutely not. 

Freedom from physical harassment? Unlikely.

Freedom from bullying, intimidation or generally unsavoury behaviour from your tiny bosses? Have you met a toddler?

A workplace free from hazards? Cannot be guaranteed. Actually, it can be guaranteed. Your bosses will place physical and emotional “hazards” in your way, usually several.   

A stress-free working environment? You might get glimpses but chances are you’ll be sleeping through those moments. Unless, of course, it’s one of those shifts where not even nightfall brings sleep in which case “stress-free” isn’t even close to the right postcode as an accurate label for workplace conditions.

Noise pollution? In. Sane.

Reasonable remuneration? No.

Any remuneration? Afraid not.

Bathroom breaks? No.

A lunch break? No.

Reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred in this line of work? No.

Any recourse to a manager, an HR representative or an ombudsman to report unsatisfactory treatment? No.

So I’ll ask again. HOW HAVE PARENTS NOT UNIONISED AGAINST CHILDREN??? We’re meant to be the ones with the power! With the (albeit rapidly diminishing) money! Over the years employees have successfully fought rich and powerful employers for things like penalty rates, extended periods of paid leave and even guaranteed salary increases, so how is it that parents haven’t even secured themselves a weekend off once a month??? 

It’s mindboggling. At least it is until I take a moment to reflect on the practicalities of negotiating any type of agreement with my tiny terrorists. There have been days in recent memory when securing six months’ paid annual leave from Rupert Murdoch would pale compared to getting my pair out the door. Which is why the workplace conditions for parents are unlikely to ever change. Nevertheless it astounds me.

What blows your mind?   

Sweet Sixteen

At the moment I am writing a new collection of poetry that tackles the subject of growing up gay as both a child (yes, I did actually know that I […]

Not getting the whole picture

I have bought a new TV. For someone who watches as little television as I do, this new acquisition is a really big deal. It’s one of these: An LG 42LB580V 42-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD Wi-Fi Smart TV with Freeview HD (as the blurb has it). I think this is … Continue reading

Reluctant to go. Again.

I had the same starting problem, yesterday morning, with the Daytona. The engine turned over, full of beans and with the normal enthusiasm, but it was as if she was getting no fuel. I tried several times. Then I wheeled the bike out of the garage (for a bit more room), … Continue reading

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – The Kidneys and Aston’s Eyot, Oxford

It’s been ages since we found somewhere new for a lovely weekend dog walk. Between the weather (either being boiling hot or torrential showers) and getting the garden done, we’ve not gone beyond Abingdon for a while. However, last weekend, we needed to get out, get some fresh air and be surrounded by green! I […]