Bore out, bullying and Byron Burger – it’s a week of three B’s.

It’s a good week to blog. It might be the start of the school summer holidays but life is anything but mundane at the moment. 3 topics have caught my attention this week and I felt they all deserved some comment. It’s the week of the three B’s : Bore Out, bullying and Byron, with a theme running through all three I think of ‘can’t you just get a life?’.


Let’s start with BoreOut. It’s supposed to be the boring equivalent of burnout, with boredom leading to depression, stress and everything else horrible in life. There’s a link to an article about it at the end if you wanted to read more as a Frenchman is claiming 360,000 euros from his ex-employer for killing him ‘professionally’.

He was in an 80,000 euro a year job but says the boredom got to him. You might have different views on this but for goodness sake what is someone on 80,000 euros a year doing claiming boredom when he could have got off his backside and found himself a more exciting job if that is what he wanted. He’s lucky they are not countersuing him for being an inadequate human being who has year after year conned them out of 80,000 euros.

In recent months I have come across a teenager saying they didn’t want to do a job that would have taken about 30 minutes as it would be boring and a few adults bemoaning on a night out their boring jobs. What are they thinking? Life isn’t all about excitement and every job has boring aspects to it, but most of us put up and shut up and get on with it. But if you’re stuck in a really boring job, go get yourself a new one. What is the point of ruining the next 12 months by suing your employer just because you were too bone idle to sort yourself out? Horrible modern day nonsense, driven by money grabbing solicitors. But what’s really clear is that that guy probably shouldn’t have been earning 80,000 euros in the first place.

Click here to view the article.


But let’s turn to bullying as I’ve been intrigued in recent months by a succession of bullying claims in the workplace. My starting point is that ‘the accused’ can’t just say that someone who has claimed they are being bullied, isn’t being bullied. If the employee’s perception is that they are bullied, then that is their perception and on those grounds, they have every right to raise a complaint.

I would also observe that it’s really hard to understand and acknowledge the impact of bullying when you are the bully yourself and you are surrounded by sycophantic, like-minded people who say the sun shines out of your backside. Does a scorpion think it scares the living daylights out of everyone around it? Of course not, it thinks that its aggressive behaviours are entirely normal! Does a charging rhino worry about the fact that you might just pee your pants as it bears down on you? Of course not, it’s focussed on doing what it does best – charging down the perceived enemy. But unlike those animals that we don’t expect to adapt and learn, in the workplace people are, so if you are accused of bullying you need to listen and learn instead of deny, defend and go on some sort of personal rampage. The allegations may or may not be warranted, but either way, you still need to listen and learn as everyone’s perception, is at the end of the day their perception and it is perceptions that cause complaints to be brought = and we don’t want those. So quit fighting back and ‘get over yourself’.

Byron Burger

So with that off my chest, let’s look at Byron. Oh dear. Their burger chain has only just arrived in my city and it’s already got a great reputation, but perhaps the media reports this week will change that. I hope not.

For those of you not up with this story, it appears that Byron was in advertently employing many illegal immigrants. To resolve this issue with the support of the Home Office who have the required skills to spot fraudulent documentation, it appears that staff from a number of its restaurants were invited in early July to a staff training day. All good so far, but it appears that when they turned up they found that what was on the menu was, in fact, an ‘illegal immigrants special’. After a bit of rounding up, media reports suggest around 35 are now in custody and up for deportation (which if I understand correctly means they were probably only in custody for a few hours before being told to go home and that in due course they may be deported ie 24 hours later they will be working somewhere else.)

But now all hell has broken loose on the usual social media platforms with ridiculous hashtags such as ~boycottbyron and a protest being organised with the spokesperson of the group reported as saying “No human being is illegal.

No one is disposable.” What exactly has Bryon done wrong? If it employed those staff knowingly then it would be fined. The fine used to be £5K per person but now it’s unlimited. Across the 35 staff rounded up so far (plus the 150 who have reportedly since gone missing) that’s a lot of burgers they would have to sell to cover that fine and the harsh reality of that in business terms is that when businesses suffer huge fines the consequences of that are that premises are closed down and legal workers then lose their jobs.

Byron kept the arrests out of its restaurants and so no inconvenience was caused to customers. It reported staff to the Home Office who it said possibly had submitted fraudulent documents as it is required to do. But now the good public of the UK are lambasting it because they don’t like illegal immigrants being deported? Get a life. And seriously, if customers of restaurant chains are so worried about issues of morality, then perhaps they should put their energies into asking where staff uniforms are made, where meat is sourced from, where eggs are sourced from, how tips are distributed, whether corporation tax is being paid and why so much disposable food trays and packaging that damage the environment continue to be used. Utter hypocrisy from people who really should have better things to do with their time.

Click here to view the article.

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