Saturday, July 26, 2008


I need a big sign. A big sign that says 'I'm just an English Teacher. I don't do miracles'. This sign needs to be placed next to my desk at work. It should be written in English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam etc.

The people I 'work' with just see this White bloke who doesn't wear a uniform and think that I'm the king of the castle. Well, I am but not in the office.

I can't give you a pay rise, so don't ask. I can't authorise your overtime for coming to my English Test and frankly I couldn't give shit. I'm not passing you in said English Test because you can't even give me a full sentence. Again don't ask. And no you're not re-taking the English Test because you cocked it up the first time. I don't care if you're family won't eat this week because of it. Others want to take the Test that have not sat it yet. In addition, I have no idea why you can't sign into the computer. The password and ID are on the wall if you can't look there and type it in probably, you are beyond helping.

Leave me in peace unless it urgent or you really, really can't do 'it' yourself.

Oh and don't be using my telephone either.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The silly season of rumours, denials and counter rumours are upon us. Yes, the football close season is in full swing. In a few short weeks the league will restart and even before then European football will have started /and ended/ for some.

It all is a bit of a nonsense. Newspapers report that x player is going here or there. I don't believe most of it, after all its agents trying to put there player in the headlines in order to get them a big time move - of which the agent gets a cut. Bluff and bluffer.

Of course the 'big boys' spend millions just like that. However much for Ronaldinho et al. And the snoozefest that is the is-he-or-isn't-he-a-slave Ronald and his 200,500 million pound transfer to Real. A slave? The biggest load of shite I've ever heard. £100,000 a week after tax for kicking a ball around a field. If that is the new definition of a slave then I'd gladly become one. In fact, its a gross insult to those slaves that were forcibly captured and transported to the likes of America, Imperial Rome etc. It's a disgrace and he should be pubically thrashed for even attempting to make that kind of link. That is assuming that he even said it. Again newspapers spin stories. Don't believe everything.

Alas, Scottish football doesn't have that kind of money. Actually, Celtic probably do but are just too scared to spend it. Rangers have done some decent business although with half a team of strikers, something must give. If they play Kenny Miller then they are sure of not scoring. I'd put money down now that his first goal for them will be against Celtic. Speaking of which, Celtic really haven't signed anyone. Samaras did O.K. last season but I'm not sure he will be a starter. Jan and McDonald are the prefered pairing and gven the amount of goals they scored then its easy to see why. Perhaps a defender wouldn't go amiss so long as they can get rid of the cash cow that is Balde. Think that Scott Brown will have a good season as will Robson. It'll be interesting to see if 1. we sign anyone and 2. who we get in the Champions League. As for the rest, Dundee Utd look like they have strengthed and I would expect them to do well. Hearts and Hibs are clearly still in 'transition' and will be looking to be top six. Motherwell - hmm and the same goes for the Dons. Hamiliton and St. Mirren for the drop. And probably more nonsense goings on from Vlad the Impaler.

Could do with starting the World Cup campaign well but with away games in Macedonia and Iceland, I think 4 points would be good beginning. Last time around we weren't expected to do anything. This time though, we are expected to be at least second. We don't traditionally like be 'favourites' so it will be interesting to see what happens. Would secretly like to stuff the Dutch though.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


August is nearly here. I wonder if I might actually 'enjoy' August this year after all, I was severly in the shit this time last year trying to cobble together my Dissertation. There were definitely times when I didn't think that it would be ready in time. It was though but not to any great standard and perhaps not how I would have liked it. I would have like more time on it but events of last summer dictated that I couldn't. Needless to say last August was crap. Sitting and typing, sitting and typing. Repeat.

I guess not having to study this August will help. I can leave whatever I'm doing in the office and not have to worry about it until the next time I get to the office. The rest of the time I can do whatever though that might be limited by the extreme weather. Haha. Not that Edinburgh doesn't have extreme weather in August.

But after August will be September and my first holiday since I arrived here. A week back in Edinburgh in mid-September. Exotic given the 100+ destinations that the Company flies to. Don't fancy doing all those destinations on my own though.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Not sure about all the raft of 'festivals' that are clogging up the U.K. music calendar. A festival is meant to be an event. Something special in which you would see a band, perhaps for the first time, doing their thing. Back in the day, you had Glastonbury and Reading and that was about it. Both had a kind of mythical appeal because those were the only real festivals and often the big bands would be out in force playing them.

Fast foward to now and every single bloody day there seems to be a 'festival'. Any patch of green will do. Put up a stage, offer some camping and off you go. Yet, its the same bands that play each and everyone of them. Its nothing special to learn of X band playing somewhere because they do so everytime. Take CSS. Cracking live and reviews of their shows reveal that they are invariably good but they play everywhere, so what thrill you might have got from seeing them would dissapte in the knowledge that its not a unique event. They are simply going to finish the gig and move on to the next one where they do exactly the same thing with exactly the same set list. How dull.

It's as if 'festivals' are some large money making thing in which all the bands that are promoting records want to play in order to sell more. Surely that is not what 'festivals' are meant to be. Was Woodstock set up to sell records? Was Glastonbury all about records sales when it started?

The irony is, that all us punters buy the tickets. They are all sold out. But how and why? I'm not sure its all that cool to say 'I was at T in the Park' this year because so has every other Tom, Dick and Harry. Equally someone in Dublin could say 'I was at Oxygene this year' but all that is, is T in the Park under a different name and location. Same bands though. The lustre has gone. The 'whooow' factor is nil. It's ubiquitous. Its commodity. It's disappointing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I am dismayed at times. I understand that people want to get promoted or at the very least, want to be considered for promotion. I guess everyone is the same in that respect. So when people arrive in my classroom in advance of the English Test that will go some way towards getting them promoted, I do try to help them as much as I can without actually giving them the answers to the Test. I sometimes even give them more time that they should actually get.

The problem is when they come to the classroom and you find that they can't even write their name in English. Come on...its an intermediate level Test.

Its a waste of their time and a waste of mine. What's the point?

If you know you can't write then why come? What did they expect the English Test to be? - a handshake and a smile? - "Oh yes Mr. Brushan, you have passed. Thanks for coming. Goodbye."

Surely its faintly embarrassing to have to ask the guy next to you to complete the front page of the Test for you. I mean, on the front page is the basics - name, number and date. Having worked with the company for a number of years, surely, surely they can do that. Alas, some can't.

Others have been able to do that, and thats all. For the duration of the Test, they have sat and done exactly nothing. Of course, I don't know this until I open their Test to mark it. This week alone, I've had 2 people who have not written a single English word in their Test. The 1st managed to tick his way to 3%, the other scribbled. When I say 'scribbled', I really mean scribbled. There were no noticable letters let alone words or sentences. I don't why they have such ability and I'm not in the business of trying to find out why but how can the company claim to be 'world class' when there are people who can't even function in the official 'company language' - not even function but have absolutely no literacy at all in the medium.

It begs the question of how they were hired in the first place and how they have managed to remain in that job. Surely their Boss or Supervisor must know? How can you hide crap or non-existent English? Unless of course English is not used in said Department which would then point the fingers of 'blame' at their superiors by not knowing or worse, not caring.

Needless to say, I think their are going to be some surprised superiors when they learn that that I'm failing all but 17% of the people they have sent for Testing. It's alarming but there is no room for sentiment here. If they aren't upto the job linguistically then tough.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


So, we have quite nice toilets at work. Cleaned often, air-conditioned /always a bonus when spending time there/, decent paper towels and at times smelling not too bad. Also, it is tiled throughout. Within each cubile is the toilet and to the right is the toilet roll holder as you would expect. In addition to this is a sort of 'mini-shower head' which is attached to the wall. I'm not exactly sure what it's purpose it and I'm not sure I really want to. I'm holding onto the thought that it is for cleaning purposes i.e. for cleaning the toilet.

Sometimes the floor is wet but since the floor is tiled then it is not particuarly an issue unless someone has dropped toilet paper on the floor when the paper can stick to your shoe.

On occasions though, the actual toilet seat is wet. I would imagine someone has used the mini-shower to quickly clean the seat before or after usage which is fair enough.

However, there has been an un-natural amount of times I've gone into a cubicle to find shoe prints on the toilet seat. Now had the footprints been pointing with the heel towards the door then I would have assumed that someone would have stood on the toilet seat in order to climb up and reach for 'something'. Again, fair enough. But, the footprints are not facing that way, they are facing the other way i.e. with the toes end of the shoe pointing towards the door as you walk in.

W.T.F? /
Am I missing something?

Why are there footprints on the toilet seat facing the door? As I mentioned above, this is not just an isolated thing, I've seen this before. Why are people 'standing' on the toilet seat...what's wrong with placing your feet on the tiled floor?

The only thing that comes to mind is that they are somehow squatting on the toilet seat and in doing so, leaving footprints. Squatting quite for the question. Since its the toilet, I would say squatting to go to the toilet but if you're doing a number1, you would need to have pretty decent balance and of course, have pretty decent aiming capability. No room for dribbling thats for sure. But if you were to do that, surely the person would need to strip off from the waist down in order to not hit his clothes if the aim went awry. And that's to say nothing of a number2 which I'd better not get into. All I'll say on that front is that again, the person would need decent balance which could be hard if bursting a blood vessel to 'get it out' so to speak. And also, the question of aim...


Next time, I'm just to go in, do my business, wash my hands, perhaps check my hair, adjust my shirt, dry my hands and leave. No eye contact with others, just straight in and straight out. Its the only way.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Just because it's there, doesn't mean that you see it anyway.
Maybe it's a trick of the light. Maybe.


I have often wondered who would take the time to type in the above address, wait for the website to load and then, more incredibly take the time to read over what it is I have written.

In many respects I am delighted that someone would do that. Thankful also. I don't consider myself to be any more or less 'special' than anyone else and I don't feel that I have a fantastic existence that others would be all that bothered about. Indeed, I don't even think that I am a very good 'writer' and even less well able to explain what it is I am meant to be 'writing' about. I'm not even sure what I do put down even makes sense half the time. It doesn't always to me so how can anyone else be expected to make sense of it all. And I'm fairly sure its not at all entertaining. Perhaps it strikes a chord with people. I think thats the one idea I'll cling to even if it is alot of nonsense. In the end it is more for me to keep a log of what it is my so called life is upto. Actually, now that I read that last sentence back I really don't look back at previous postings from say 2 years ago. Perhaps I should just to see if I have learned anything from that particular experience. Again though, that might not be good as it might all come flooding back, whatever it is I was concerned enough to write about in the first place.

I know who I would like to be visiting here but again thats the beauty of it. You can come and go and no-one knows you have visited. There is no footprint. Anonymous. Of course, comments can be left and it would be nice to say something and get different perspectives because at the end of the day that is what life is and that is why we visit blogs and speak to people - to get perspectives.

I do like hearing what others are doing actually. It does make me jealous from time to time and of course it can make me feel quite smug but at the other end of the spectrum it can make me feel depressed or whatever depending on what it is others are doing.

Will I ever get to the end of this? Probably.
Probably when I'm done. And content.

thank you.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


This office life, its not about what you say at all; it's all about body language. Body language is your way of faking it when you're not in the mood or indeed not faking it when you are in the mood.

Generally, office life is sitting at your desk getting on with things that you're meant to be getting on with. It's not about working with others all the time. In that case, you have to convince the 'others' that you are working.

1. Mess your desk up alittle. If its a bit messy then it looks like your doing something even if your not really doing that much. It gives the illusion of being busy. Also, move the stuff on your desk from time to time so make the illusion seem more real.

2. When people walk past, look quizzical as if you are thinking about the task you're on or indeed, you are thinking about the next task after you have finished the one that you have been fakingly doing all day. Ultimately if someone is walking past, they only see you for a couple of seconds and it is those couple of seconds that are of critical importance. They will see you hard at it. Then they will think 'my goodness everytime I walk past he's doing something'. Again, the illusion remains intact.

3. Get up and walk around. Do this after awhile to give the impression that you are thinking or that you are in need or a short break because you have been so busy creating and maintaining your illusion of being busy. You might even want to sigh or even crack a joke with whoever is close by about how much a 'stress' you're having, further perpetuating the illusion.

Of course, this is by no means full-proof and is mostly recommend on those days when you really can't be bothered or are hungover or don't need to have things done for the Boss. Indeed, it could also be employed in the afternoon prior to the weekend starting.

It's all about faking it.