Monday, November 24, 2008

Odds and sods

Just found out what a 'chugger' is - it's those earnest people wearing nylon jackets with the name of their charity on them who give you the hard sell when you're popping into Boots, trying to make you feel guilty about dolphins or something. Apparently they're not only annoying, they are evil grasping bastards who aren't doing it out of the goodness of their heart at all:
"The charity watchdog Intelligent Giving, which conducted the mystery shopper survey, said almost all chuggers may be breaking the law and many are breaking the fundraising profession's own code of conduct. It is calling on the public to boycott them and force them off the streets."
Intelligent Giving are trying to protect people who are obviously much nicer than I am, I take it - but it seems a bit harsh nonetheless. Is 'chugger' behaviour really that much different from these irritating people who have stalls in the goddam supermarket who try to sell you conservatories, or double-glazing, or try to get you to switch your electricity supplier? I don't understand people who are intimidated by salesmen. Why don't they just tell them to piss off? Or if you find this too confrontational, you should use my technique when confronted with some spiv in a bad suit trying to flog you stuff: regardless of what it is, tell them you've already got it. It's pretty straightforward and never fails. I mean what are they going to come back with when you tell them you've just had a new kitchen put in last week? "Um, would you like another one?" They never do in my experience.

In other news, a teacher has been found guilty of incompetence by the GTC in Scotland. If she's struck off, it'll be the first. She must have been really, really, really shit. Personally I'd like to know who assesses the GTC's competence. All they do is verify we're qualified to teach the subjects we actually teach (how hard is it to gather photocopies of our degrees?) and then for the rest of our careers they expropriate a sum from our wages every so often so that they can produce some really boring but very glossy newsletter that is mailed to our houses quarterly. Or is it monthly? I don't care.

On this theme, Miss Snuffleupagus discusses the whole "good teachers" thing and how to get them. I have misgivings about the anti-union, pro-management author of this blog but on this occasion she's pretty close to being spot on, dismissing the strange but distressingly popular notion that it's our job to entertain the little blighters. Listen, you can't make trigonometry more entertaining than pornography and alco-pops - and if you think otherwise, then you're mental.

On the teaching theme, my colleague at the Academy told me a story that made me laugh. Think film sequels to catch the flavour of this. He went for an interview at a Catholic school in Lanarkshire - co-incidentally the first school I ever taught in. He's of the Roman persuasion himself but he found the following question a bit weird.

Interviewer: "So what did you think of Vatican II?"

My colleague was rather nonplussed. To his credit he didn't waffle but quipped, "I thought it was a lot better than Vatican I."

He said the interviewer went ape-shit.

He is now teaching amongst the heathen.

Finally, is this a blogging first? Normblog, to my knowledge, has always only been text and has never had either photos or videos embedded in the posts. But today it has. I didn't have time to read the post but from the photos I'm assuming it's about parts of London that should be carpet-bombed as a matter of aesthetic principle?

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