I am not a Christian but I have decided I am going to keep Lent this year. Never done it before, on account of not being raised a Christian. But always fancied having a go. Strikes me as a good idea to give something up for a few days – 40 in fact! I think it’s to do with the time Jesus went into the wilderness to have a bit of a think? And he didn’t have enough to eat. So seems has to be around food that you make the sacrifice. Makes sense. Then Jesus did return to Palestine and because there were lots of palm trees it was called Palm Sunday. Then he got crucified (maybe going back not such a good idea?) on the Friday but rose again on the Sunday and thus is the basis of Christian belief. I believe.
Easter more important than Christmas
I’ve always known that Easter is more important to Christians than Christmas. It’s their most solemn time of the year. Much as Yom Kippur is for us Jews. I’m afraid that’s the limit of my religious knowledge if you can call it that. I wasn’t allowed to take RI as it was known in school (Religious Instruction) and I hated the Jewish equivalent I was sent to on Sundays – which was basically lessons to learn Hebrew. So forgive me if I’ve got any of this wrong and I really do mean no offence. I’m not religious. I’ve been an atheist for as long as I first thought that deity was a pretty silly idea. But… crucially, I DO very much believe in Christian values. It just gets bit awkward when you remember that so supposedly did and do many tyrants!
Pancakes and lent
So anyway I thought long and hard about what to give up. Having given up everything I love already for my Paleo diet what was there left, what? Well I’ve come up with a solution. Cheese! You can eat cheese on Paleo/high protein diets but it has a form of protein that can inhibit weight loss. Apparently. As can all dairy products though not including eggs thank goodness. Cheese will be a bit of a sacrifice but one I think I can commit to. Chocolate I am NOT giving up nor alcohol as I barely have either so not much point! I’ll make Paleo pancakes today – one-egg omelettes basically with a bit of almond flour in them – and begin Lent tomorrow!
When does it end?
Lent apparently ends on Easter Sunday. Though I’ve heard various responses to my question about this that I put on my Facebook page last night. That isn’t 40 days – it’s more like 47! How come? Well you don’t have to observe Lent on Sundays. Or some say saint’s days but that takes it over 40 days. I like the idea of giving something up but being allowed it on Sundays. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll let you know how I get on!
Machine says NOOOOO!!!!
Had an odd experience last week. Went to a pub with friends for a meal and there wasn’t anything remotely Paleo on the menu. Well there wouldn’t be. This was a pub after all! So I picked sausage and mash but asked for it without mash. “You can’t do that,” said the spotty youth serving me. “Machine says I have to put it through with mash.” Fine I retorted. Do that. Just don’t give me the mash. Oh BOY did he look confused! “Do you want gravy and onion?” Nope! “It’ll still cost you £8.” Fine, give me your no doubt crappy sausages for eight quid just don’t give me any mash. Jeeesh, how hard is that? “Look why don’t you have it with chips instead – then we can eat your chips!” suggested a wise friend. So we did that. Worrying though isn’t it when our young people can’t cope with something that isn’t on the machine. You begin to wonder if they’ve become mere extensions of machines themselves, unable and not allowed to think for themselves.
Virgin Trains empowers its staff
I had an entirely opposite experience when I went to Euston Station on Saturday. I was two and a bit hours early for my train having grossly miscalculated how long it would take me to get to the station from the far-flung suburban outpost where I had been staying. I had a first class ticket – don’t look at me like that! It’s quite reasonable if you book far enough in advance and with free food, drink and wifi, it more than pays for itself. Anyhoo I roll up at the first class lounge which is shut. I knew that but had been promised, by email, “a little something for your inconvenience” so I thought I’d go claim my free bottle of water or whatever. “When are you travelling?” asked Charlene, the lovely red-liveried attendant. “Four o’clock,” sighed me. “I’m a bit early…” She nodded, looked at a clipboard and said, “D’you want to go on the two o’clock?” Did I? DID I!
Machine says no, person says yes!
So there you have it. Empower your staff to make decisions and don’t tie them to machines or computers and you have much happier satisfied customers who will return again and again. How hard is that? I’m sure most young people working in the service industry are capable of showing initiative and making their own, instant, decisions, IF MANAGEMENT LET THEM! I’ve experienced this with O2 and Saturday wasn’t the first time a Virgin member of staff took matters into their own hands and let me on an earlier train. (If you book a specific train the deal is you MUST travel on that train. That’s how you get the lowest prices). But sometimes there is a need for flexibility. And some companies get this. Others don’t. So big up to Virgin and much thanks and no, I won’t be getting owt from them for saying this!
See you later in the week. Thanks for following.