Thursday, July 2, 2009

I know it's your home, but...

Not in this house.

As some of you may be aware, my family home is a council house. I'm not ashamed of this fact, although many people would class me as a failure because I do not own my own home. I've never really bought into the whole 'mortgaged up to the eyeballs' scene and the 'I'm better than you because I have a conservatory and decking' snobbery. The house we live in is a home, nothing else. It's not an investment, it's not security held against the second 4x4 or the second holiday each year. If it's your bag, fair enough. Who am I to rain on your parade? As long as you are happy and all that.

Anyway, I digress.

The point that my feeble post is meandering towards is thus-

We received a letter today from my landlord, (the much hated council), informing us that we are to receive new front and back doors. The doors we currently have are way beyond their lifespan and I asked some months ago why every council house in the street had new doors except our house, (is it because I am the only working, rent paying and council tax paying resident?). No, no of course not. Just an oversight, an administrative error. Fair enough, I say. Would it be the same administrative error that caused every council house in the street to get new fitted kitchens and bathrooms, except our house. No, no of course not, that was another error. (We got our new kitchen and bathroom last year, after all the 'poor' households).

I digress again.

In the letter, and I quote, is this passage -

To comply with The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 and The Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006, we ask for your co-operation and that of your friends and family whilst Building and Works operatives are in your home, by refraining from smoking and where possible to refrain from smoking one hour prior to a scheduled visit by our operatives.

I note that they have not indicated a time for their intended visit.

So, they are now telling me what I cannot do in my own home and that I need to be psychic.

I am a smoker, and I enjoy it. It's bad enough being made a social outcast at the best of times without the bastards telling me what to do in my own home.

Fuck them. On that day I will be chain-smoking and the cat will be smoking a pipe.

(tip of the manky bandage to Angry Old Man for the pic)

I bet that any private contractors visiting private homes to carry out work do not dare to come out with crap like this.


subrosa said...

They wouldn't have to say that to me I can tell ye! Mind you, you want yer doors, so haud yer tongue and jist puff awa as much as ye kin withoot being ill.

I'd come and help if I wis nearer.

call me ishmael said...

Dear Mr Rab

It is the climate of fearful obedience which all bueaucracies and all individual bureaucrats foster, among their so-called clients and among their staff but Scotland is infinitely worse than England. For a nation which -with some justifiation- claims rebellion and dissent among its characteristics Scotland is woefully timid when dealing with the gangsters running local government and too stupid to see that the supposed fixed council tax of Salmond and Co is only being achieved by overwork among already overworked public sector employees - no, honest, posts are now left vacant and all, save the Directorates, are expected to double and triple their workloadand - by the clandestine abandonment of previous taken-for-granted services and by utter bullshit from the Herald which everyday agonises on the meaning of being Scotland, which, in Salmond's case, means more salaries and pensions than the Kinnocks, the horrible, stunted fat bastard.

Paul said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the people they bring in would fancy a smoke themselves and look envious at you.

And this is coming from a libertarian non-smoker.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Dear mr call me ishmael,

You sir, talk complete sense, however I have yet to see an overworked council employee. Perhaps I need to look harder!

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Subrosa, I always appreciate your support! Just going out the back door for a ciggie in a minute!

Anonymous said...

I laughed at the thought of your cat busy with his/her pipe but you make a very valid point. I'm just surprised that they don't deny you the right to smoke in your home at any time - it's the sort of things councils do.
When recycling first came out, I really couldn't be a**** - why should I do the Council's job without a decrease in Council Tax? Anyway, some months later I came home from work to find a card from the Under-Admin Officer's Assistant in the recycling debt telling me that they had called round to speak to me about recycling but had missed me (mercy me, not being available when a Council official comes to call - I will go to Hell for that) & asking me to call them to set up another appointment. Working full time I would have had to take time off work to meet him/her (sod that for a game of sojers)so I did the only thing possible, ripped the card in half & chucked it in the non-recycling bin, on the very top ready for bin pickup. Our bin men always open the bins & look in before they wheel them over to the lorry so I thought they'd like to know what I thought of Mr/Ms Recycling Champion.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Paul, last year the contractors who put in our kitchen thought nothing of having a blaring radio on and swearing constantly whilst working. In my home.
I never said anything because my wife and I had enough on our plates at the time.

The Big Dollop said...

Rab ya bam.
I can just imagine you doing your Alex Higgins impersonation.

Don’t let the feckers run ya down bro.

Paul said...

Talking of recycling people: I often go down to the local tip (my parents insist on this malarkey) and I get the impression that the recycling guys there think it's a joke and they're getting paid to pay the lip-service. Spreading the seed of doubt ain't easy but it's manageable in peacemeal proportions.

I'm just waiting for some old cunt to come up to me after I've been on the sauce to tell me I was right.

Do yer best Rab.

call me ishmael said...

Dear Mr RAB

Look in the under-funded care homes; it's not Salmond who's providing the free care, it's the seven pounds an hour arse-wipers, busting their backs, denied pensions, denied training, denied funding while cunts like Lord Wallace throw three quarters of a million of my pounds at that McKie police woman for -and you know I'm not joking- her hurt feelings, and in the hope that she would shut the fuck up and go away, which she didn't. Penisons so meagre that women in their sixties can't retire whilst former first minister, Henry McThief, instead of going to jail, retires on almost a grand a week after thirteen months in the job. Public sector middle managers, woefully underpaid in comparison with, just for instance, Old Bill, have seen their workforces slashed and their targets doubled, single status arrangements forced through by government have eroded the pay, conditions, status and confidence of specialists in health and care right across the country, only directorates being exempt. I know a fabulous specialist nurse who has paid for training out of her own pocket which has saved people's limbs and lives, as part of streamlining she, and many like her, has just been downgraded.

There are tossers, of course, often working at the tip but there are many, conscientious, committed, decent and genuine people, having their faces shat in by our masters.

I know just what you mean about the insolence of office but I suggest that it is wrong to mean it too much, so to speak.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Dear mr call me ishmael,

I hear what you are saying sir.

And on that note, a sweaty session in bed beckons. Sadly temperature related, not relations of a sexual nature related as Mrs Nesbitt is asleep and I cannot risk trying my luck for fear of another black eye and picture no sound in the morning.

I bid you all goodnight.

Shibby said...


I feel for ya

banned said...

The door fitters are probably smokers themselves so why not just swap a few ciggies and enjoy ( though no doubt you will all be reported by some concerned passer-by ).

Anonymous said...

It's easy to scoff and say 'It's my home and I'll smoke in it when I want' but if you get a lazy *expletive* from the council who decides he doesn't fancy doing the work he'd probably be backed to the hilt by the cooncil if he walked out and refused to do the work due to you standing at the back door having a puff.

Then the cooncil will hit you with a letter saying how they advised you about the rules, etc. and now you need to pay a couple of hundred quid to cover the cost of sending out the workers again or forgo the improvement.

I admit the chances of someone having the brass neck to walk out of the job because of you smoking is infinitesimal but who knows!

Chalcedon said...

I remember when this bollox first came out. If you want a visit from the district nurse, social services, any coucil employee you MUST NOT smoke 1 hour prior to the visit or they will leave nor can you smoke when they are present. Applies to any house, one you own or rent. It is bollox because there is no causal relationship found between passive smoke and disease. this study was a big one and published in the British Medical journal. Of course science doesn't count when councils are all being oh so politically correct.

These door fitters will bugger off if you smoke.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

Thing is, I only smoke in the kitchen, with the door open (weather permitting).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rab C, keep up the good work, the big question is, will the miserable fuckers turn up, see your cat with his pipe and just march off again.

Just a poor solicitor said...

Have a lot of the H&S rules been introduced by public bodies as a result of the compensation culture. Their legal advisors presumably recommend, that in order to avoid being sued by anyone,they have to show that all precautions and "Duty of care" were observed.

Gigits said...

This is typical of the sort of bollocks that the hated (by me) smoking ban has caused.

I doubt if these door fitters are that precious that they will complain about the hint of tobacco smoke lingering in the air. But, just to be on the safe side, smoke all over the house, close windows, and smoke Camels (they stink).

As somebody else said, these lads will probably be smokers anyway.

Inspector Leviathan Hobbes said...


Further to the above, may I suggest you don't cook meat in case they're vegetarians and the smell offends them?

If you offer them a cup of tea/coffee, warn them that it may contain nuts.

If they ask for nuts, warn them that they may contain nuts.

Ask to see their Health and Safety Cerificate which shows that they have undergone 'safely instaling doors' training, which your taxes should have paid for.

Build a minature Stone Henge in your garden, lest they be warlocks and need to slaughter a lamb at noon to appease the Gods of Door Installers.

Other than that, tell them to leave the doors and fuck off, and tell your missus you'll get round to putting them in yourself when you're good and ready, but never do it because it's too difficult, which is what I do.

Whilst having a fag.

woman on a raft said...

Above all, check the job before they go.

Does the door(s) open, shut, lock and fit the hole? Handle attached securely, door opening on the correct side?

My friend had a bloke turn up and install a door which was 3 inches too short for the jamb. It was a front door and he seriously seemed to thing that the best thing to do was to hang it to the top and fill up the bottom gap with her fluffy python draught excluder.

Inspector Leviathan Hobbes said...

'jamb'? Woman on a raft sounds like she knows what she's on about. Bring 'jamb' into the conversation and there's no way they'll fuck you about

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I'll chuck in 'transom' into the conversation and they'll probably offer me a job!

The kitchen they put in last year is a joke. Not one bit of it hanging the right way. Still, better than what we had previous.

woman on a raft said...

Yep, definitely get the right words.

By the miracle of wiki, there are people out there who know the names of all the bits, and write them down on a handy diagram.

North Northwester said...

I notice en passant that the good doctors and hospital administrators of Bolton have declared in their wisdom that they are, in effect, going to force the sick people of the borough onto the pavements outside the hospital grounds for a tab/bifter/coffin nail/ whatever.

That's how they treat their chief funders.
How do you spell 'Hippocratic Oath' again?

Good luck with the council boys; being one myself.


PS., apologies about the awful 'Scottish' accents...

The Economic Voice said...

Its OK Council workers are allowed to inhale pipe smoke exhaled from cats!!!

Smear some mustard on their chins when they come.....and tell them you like mustard as you creep close to smell it on their chins. Then stand perfectly still and don't blink, talk or move anything every 36 seconds for 10 seconds periods then piss in your slippers.

That's what I do.

Has only failed once.

Duncan McAlister said...

I realise this is nearly a year on, but it's still an issue that comes up for many people. I'm disabled and quite often have carers in my home from organisations funded in large part by the council. I have heard several of them saying 'it's in the regulations' that you shouldn't smoke during their visit or an hour before but they simply have no right to demand this. The Smoking etc. Act in Scotland prohibits smoking in certain PUBLIC places and specifically exempts domestic premises.

SCHEDULE 1 Regulation 3(1)

12. Offices, factories and other
premises that are non-domestic premises in which one or
more persons work.

Pretty clear cut.

They will say 'the law is there to protect people in the workplace' but it's not a Health and Safety at work Act, it's a public health Act. Health and safety is a reserved matter.