Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Jodi Picoult kind of a story or Jacqueline Wilson’s if you prefer the accent from that side of the Atlantic!

Have a look at the little pledge below by the mega company Balfour Beatty, a company that has indirectly employed me for a while. Or their ‘a goal’, if you want to be really precise;
We are definitely well within the projected timeframe, so let’s hope it is all but achieved by now, after all, it is almost the end of 2013.
The writing is quite specific, though  I must admit, it does apply to (I quote) ‘the approximately 500,000 people employed by the Balfour Beatty organization, subsidiaries, subcontractors, or partners working anywhere in the world over the course of a year, no serious disabling injuries and no long-term health will occur’.
Now two things stand out when I try to test this 'goal/pledge' against the grievances that my two younger daughters feel they rightly  have against the named company.
For a start, they, themselves were never directly employed by BB so that their lives were ‘ruined’ is strictly speaking still due to their parent’s irresponsible actions (like, one of them going to work for a BB subsidiary) not directly attributable to the BB company (maybe with a bit of legal ‘stretch’);

Also, this timeframe is a bit confusing ‘over the course of a year’ – what does that mean: if one gets quickly disposed off (well within this timeframe of a year, does the pledge not apply at all?);

Anyway, you try to reason with a teenager!
Then try doing this with two of them!
Make them to be girls, just to give the exercise a bit more fun.
Age them 15 and 17!

Meet Ella.
She is 15, sort of cool. Yes, 2 schools and a couple of continents moved-over in a couple of months but still young enough to hope parents will figure out what to do with her in the future.
Old enough to travel to see friends in UK by herself.
That is cool. Also to be given mum’s friends goodwill to take her to concerts to cool her mind off difficult stuff. What a time to be a ‘white girl’!

Then cue Zsuzsie, 17.5 and furious!
Her last year of IB interrupted by a mother’s dream job in Hong Kong.
An art enthusiast, that developed a great rapport with key teachers at the ‘next to last year’ of her diploma-year of her IB programme in  high-school – plays it cool and moves to Hong from Abu Dhabi, ‘sure mum, I’ll do my best, no it’s really OK – I’ll just get on with my last year of IB, I can understand what is going in with your work’
(Have YOU tried changing schools in last year of IB – what about over several continents? -  give it 12 months at least, seriously);
Then…..mum loses job (call it due to ‘whistleblowing, though nor proven, yet serious corruption allegations’ and her daughter ends up in Germany, with mum’s childhood friend, a lovely family, a father that can rival her own in his quirkiness….yet terribly let down by a big corporation, feeling miserable, lonely, with her  future stolen and ruined.)

This is where a good Hollywood writer would give a little bit more of an ‘oomph’ to the teenager script/role in the picture, get her the chance to visit a lawyer and get his support  (Alec Baldwin from ‘My sister’s keeper’ or his ex, Michelle Pfeiffer from  ‘I am Sam)’, both playing pro-bono lawyers acting as legal gods for disadvantaged;
She may still be better off then most of the real disadvantaged of the world bu t a bit of creative writing would get the audience to really feel for the kid.
The hard-faced/soft hearted lawyer would then represent the child and fight for her right to have an ‘off-the-shelf education' (graduate with her peers) despite her mother fighting a major corruption AEC case…and the big company on the side acting really bitchy…

No comments:

Post a Comment