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Wednesday, 02 February 2005


Celestial Weasel

Interesting. Working, as I do, for a strange non-profit in the Oxfordshire hinterland, where the customers are utilities - and living in Abingdon which is a small outpost of Benelux adrift in said Oxon hinterland, and of course Oxford goes its own strange way as it has for centuries, therefore I feel too cut off from reality to understand what is going on.

However, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that numbers relating to the prosperity of countries are fundamentally lying.

One interesting side-effect of the UKs low unemployment when combined with the UK's low skill economy that I have mentioned before (here or Another Place) is that there are people working, mainly in retail, who manifestly in a more caring society would be paid not to work as they are clearly not up to it.


Celestial Weasel is just wrong when he says that we should move encourage people working in retail to stay at home. Not having a job is a very demoralizing thing. Tesco in particular has been at the forefront of helping people with disabilities to work. This is something that should be commended.

Celestial Weasel

Yes, I was being sarcastic. Ideally they would be able to find some job more suited to their capabilities. It is possible (nay, likely) that the problem is their education having failed to provide basic literacy /numeracy and/or lack of training. Though I fear no amount of training (other than remedial education) could compensate for failure of education.

The two cases that spring to mind were

a) someone in the post office (a franchised one) who was clearly functionally innumerate and was given no support by a supervisor who was standing around doing nothing and could clearly see what was going on.


b) someone in a supermarket who was asked (very politely and gently) by me and someone else independently to find if there were any x in the back of the store. Clearly he would have found it difficult to find x on the shelf if he were in front of the shelf (I say clearly because this was the first thing he tried to do). I think he then went back of house and hid because we never saw him again.

In both cases I felt they were clearly unhappy at being in the situation of doing jobs they were manifestly not capable of doing.

But there is a lot of it about.

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