Wednesday, 23 April 2014

‘Holiday head’ and legal practice

Morning Alarm Clock HellFrom the London Evening Standard 22/04/14:

It starts with bewilderment. Then sadness sets in, followed by waves of fear. Sound familiar? I’m afraid you are suffering from a case of “holiday head”. After a gloriously long Easter weekend away from the office, returning can be quite a shock — even worse than the usual Monday misery.

Holiday head. Ah – that’s what it’s called then. Glad I’m not the only one.

A lawyer friend says: “All my holiday jollity and Zen ebb away as soon as I reach my desk.

What rot. A lawyer who professes to be full of jollity and Zen seems pretty unlikely to me. Zen! I ask you.

“There’s a general scary feeling of ‘What is this thing I do every day and how is it done?’”

That’s a normal feeling for a lot of lawyers in practice, I reckon. And yes, I speak from experience.

Another sufferer is so terrified of holiday head that she avoids taking time off altogether because it’s simpler than dealing with the big return. The break just isn’t worth that painful readjustment afterwards.

I’ve said that myself on several occasions, actually. Still, there comes a point when you’ve got to take a sensible pill; never taking annual leave isn’t really a viable solution.

These anxious workers are not alone. A recent study of 2,000 British employees found that 70 per cent need more than two weeks to recover from a post-holiday downer, with half the people saying they go through their photos endlessly to try to recapture some of that all-too-fleeting happiness.

Psychologist Emma Kenny recommends mentally going back to work the night before, in preparation. She says: “Think about what might come up and prioritise what is important. That helps you feel on the ball when you arrive and ready to work through your list. That will feel good because it gives a sense of achievement.”

No, I’ll feel stressed out and exhausted from having pitched myself into a series of panic attacks instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Keep your advice to yourself, please, Emma.

The article goes on to recommend good preparation to help shake off those ‘back to work blues’.

Then, when you have managed to wake up in time for the commute, dress for battle. [T]his is a day for a crisp white shirt to make you feel together and strong.

Really? Does wearing a white shirt make someone feel ‘together and strong’? What a load of baloney.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter eggs ‘destroyed’ by overzealous airport staff

From BBC News 16/04/14:

Children were left "devastated" after staff at Bristol Airport destroyed their Easter eggs in a security check.

I think ‘destroyed’ is a bit strong. But a broken egg, is a broken egg – however you, erm, slice it.

The youngsters were returning home to Italy after visiting their grandfather Tom Marsland in Cornwall when a security officer searched the bags of the children.

After an Easter egg hunt with their grandfather the children collected six Easter eggs which they planned to take home.

But during a search the eggs were pierced by the fingers and thumbs of a security officer.

Chocolate butter fingers!Broken Chocolate Egg

Bristol Airport has apologised and said a full internal investigation is due to take place.

They said replacement Easter eggs are also due to be sent to the children.

Good show.

Airport security staff aren’t particularly known for their delicate touch and sensitive nature. Still – at least the eggs weren’t left to the mercy of baggage handlers!  They’d have been smashed to smithereens by rough handling or eaten by the handlers during one of their countless work breaks had the eggs not have been packed as hand luggage.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Court stenographer apes Jack Torrance from The Shining

Well, in some respects.

All Work and No Play
From the New York Post 03/04/14:

An alcoholic Manhattan court stenographer went rogue, channeling his inner “Shining” during a high-profile criminal trial and repeatedly typing, “I hate my job, I hate my job” instead of the trial dialogue, sources told The Post.

Heeeres Johnnny!  Be right back

The bizarre antics by Daniel Kochanski, who has since been fired, wreaked havoc on some 30 Manhattan court cases, sources said, and now officials are scrambling to repair the damage.

One high-level source said his “gibberish” typing may have jeopardized hard-won convictions by giving criminals the chance to claim crucial evidence is missing.

A source familiar with the case said Kochanski’s transcripts of that trial were a total mess.

“It should have been questions and answers — instead it was gibberish,” the source said.

all-work-and-no-play-makes-jack-a-dull-boyAnd in a scene right out of 1980’s “The Shining,” where Jack Nicholson’s off-the-rails writer repeatedly types “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” a source said of Kochanski: “He hit random keys or wrote, ‘I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job,’ over and over.”

I can see why court reporting might do that to someone. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

How to Protect Yourself from Money Laundering

Guest Post


Graphic from:

Purely by providing your bank account to facilitate money laundering, you’re acting illegally. Unfortunately, ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, leading to potential jail time, unless your money laundering solicitor provides a credible defence against your apparent misdemeanours.

Be wary of any job offers that have come from nowhere, especially if they are based overseas – you will struggle to verify their legitimacy if they’re not based in this country. Always check that the company that you’re dealing with is legitimate and trustworthy. Never give away your bank details to an organisation that you don’t trust and know.

As soon as you start feeling suspicious about money laundering, contact your bank. If you’ve been given an opportunity to make ‘easy money,’ it’s likely to be too good to be true. Although each job position may be advertised differently, you will specifically have to hand over your bank account details to receive and move money.

Sometimes it can be initially challenging to spot a money laundering scheme. Always be wary about adverts that are full of poor English or contain obvious grammar and spelling mistakes. If you receive any emails which look like a scam, do not click on any of the links in the text and delete the correspondence.