Monday, 22 September 2008


So we have had lessons in the ancient art of negotiation. Some of the class nearly came to blows, and some came to mind blowingly awful settlements on behalf of the client.

Me? I settled in each of the 6 tasks in about a minute each. And came to the best settlements in the whole class. Therefore, I am worried. Am I the best negotiator since Inspector Frost or was I just lucky? I suspect the latter. I don't think that the Police will be calling on my to resolve hostage situations, or to talk desperate people down from tall buildings.

I read the case, assessed the points that were not agreed, and then decided what a fair settlement would be. Worked the discussion to the point that what I said was fair, so how could you refuse it. If you do refuse it you are an idiot. They accepted it, job done. in fact, I even pushed things to gain more than I thought was fair.

I wonder if my experience with Family Law negotiations has made it seem this simple, or my nagging doubt that I was just lucky and the proper assessed negotiation will be a different kettle of fish and I will lose out completely.

I assumed that there must be something on the course that I will be good at, but now that I may have found it I am suspicious.

I have read all the stuff I can find on negotiation and I have used one approach out of the five suggested. Compromising. (Possibly a little collaborating too). I have yet to try using competing, avoiding or accommodating.

So, other than being argumentative with people and being a complete bully in any discussions I have on a daily basis, such as negotiating the television for the evening rather than just accept that watching re-runs of Strictly Come Dancing is easiest for a quiet life, or insisting that I do not want sausages for dinner, but would prefer steak, and then negotiate a settlement that includes chips. Chips seems good to me whatever comes with it!

What to do? Any suggestions for good books to read, or methods of getting some practice that won't bring me close to divorce or losing all of my business clients and friends?


Monday, 15 September 2008

The Yoof of today

Waiting on the local train station this evening, I noticed a yoof speaking on his mobile.

'I know who he f***ing is and I will f***ing kill the little f***er. If he f***ing touches my f***ing bruvver I will f***ing kill him. I will defend my f***ing bruvver to the death.

'Nah mate, I can't tell you 'is f***ing name cos some bloke is ere listening and if 'e reads in the f***ing papers tomorrow that the little f***er is dead he will know it was f***ing me wot done it like'

'Yeah, thats f***ing right mate, I will nip 'ome and get me f***ing baseball bat and f***ing smash his head it. I will f***ing bury him I f***ing will.'

The surprising thing is that having listened to this little tirade, the part i found most disturbing was that he was going to kill him with a baseball bat and not a knife.

Obviously knife crime is on the wane. There will be a new law before Christmas banning people from walking about with sports equipment in public.

So if I read tomorrow that some f***er has had his head stoved in by an unknown assailant with a baseball bat, I won't be able to describe the yoof, remember that at 5.15 he was on Platform 4 and caught the train to the coast, all of which was caught by CCTV.

Yoof. Don't you just love 'em.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Big School

OK OK, so you all keep asking, 'What was it really like?'

Although 10 minutes late, I still had to join a queue for 'processing'. Checking Degree results (Or GDL in my case) to ensure that we had passed, checking that we had joined an Inn, and that was me processed.

All sorts of admin stuff, photos, locker keys, manuals, books and stuff.

Then a few lectures on how important attendance is, how we will be split into small groups, met by teachers and taken to our classes.

Further chat about attendance. The course content was run through and off for dinner.

Then another chat on attendance and it was nearly home time.

The next day we had a further reminder about attendance and we began Criminal stuff. It seems that we will be following a case from arrest through to sending the thieving scumbag to solitary confinement and being raped in the showers. Obviously he isn't guilty until proven guilty, but I have phoned ahead to Broadmoor to reserve him a place. I know he did it. I can tell.

So far it is all very interesting and completely new to me. I checked through the reading and preparation that I must get through before the next weekend and it is a heck of a lot more than I thought. Maybe I will need to reduce my working hours to cope. I may have winged the GDL, but I get the feeling that this will require a bit more devotion.

All in all, a good start. I enjoyed it, the class seem a decent bunch, nobody seems to be big headed or obnoxious, and once I get through the huge pile of preparation I have for the next weekends lesson I will try and work out a timetable for myself and a method of coping.

I have found though that although I am reading stuff it isn't sinking in. I see the words in the book but that's as far as they go at the moment. Looks like I may need to read things twice!

Now, what was it they said about attendance?


ps In the photo, I am in the back row between the two girlies. I have a compass in the heel of my Clarkes shoes and a spider in a matchbox in my pocket. Oh, its great being back at school