The Weekly Round-Up: 12.02.10

I love your NI number...
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

I love your NI number...

When T.S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruellest month" he clearly hadn't given February the respect it deserves for its own particular brand of wanton callousness.

Firstly, this is the month where we are at our most despondent in the workplace. As previously revealed it's the month when you are most likely to pull a sickie.

So it perhaps comes as no surprise it's also the month when you'll all start looking for another job, with just over half of workers admitting to itchy feet. By which the Round-Up is referring to a desire to change their job, not some sort of unpleasant personal hygiene issue. Having said that, if your co-workers do spend all day itching their feet that might be a good reason to look for a new job.

Of the 1,500 people queried by recruitment review site HireScores, 77 per cent of those who were looking for a new job said they had kicked off the search in February. Another 20 per cent said they weren't sure when they would start. Probably because they are so down in the dumps about the grim weather and so on they would probably just end up watching the Hollyoaks omnibus and eating crisps instead.

As the Round-Up sees it, our sense of futile despair was held in check in the run up to Christmas because of the prospect of some time off and break from the drudgery.

Then came January. But we had the snow to excuse us from work, then there was all the general catching up and the excuse that we all need a month to get going again. But now the month of procrastination is up - and reality strikes again.

Time in the office with the same old faces spurs many of us into action. As another writer once penned: "Hell is other people," particularly that odious little creature in accounting with the comedy ties.

Almost 40 per cent of the workers polled claimed an argument at or about work was the final straw, while more than half of the total number of people polled said that the biggest factor in leaving a job would be if they didn't get on with their spineless, officious boss or their blank-faced, vacuous and soulless so-called colleagues.

Well, silicon.com may be able to help out with your boss but otherwise you're on your own with this one.

Of those looking for a job during the month of February, 73 per cent said that they were almost certain to give up towards the end of the month if they hadn't found anything by that point because honestly, what is the bloody point of anything?

In stark comparison, an optimistic 17 per cent said they would keep on looking for their dream job for as long as it takes, the crazy, idealistic fools...

The second vicious sucker punch February inflicts on us, of course, is coming up this Sunday.

Perched smugly in the middle of the month, taunting the singletons with its leering, shallow commercial schmaltz is St Valentine's Day.

Faced with the prospect of being alone as the greetings card industry laughs at us, we're apparently being driven in droves to find love on the web.

There's nothing like the prospect of neither sending nor receiving pieces of anonymous coloured cardboard to make us post lies and old, retouched pictures of ourselves on websites in the hope of finding love and companionship.

Online dating has exploded in recent years. Love-over-IP is now the best way to find a date and far superior to trying to hook up with people in bars or through matchmaking friends according to a bit of research which made the Round-Up question the future of our species.

Online dating sites will no doubt be getting ready for their datacentres to glow red hot this weekend, hiring extra servers lest their services crash and burn under the relentless traffic.

Still, all those of your heading on to the internet to find that one true love should beware. Valentines Day, long known as a festival of over-expensive cards is also turning into a festival of online scams.

Most days of the year you'd delete an anonymous email with a subject line of 'I love you' without thought.

But for one day of the year your natural shields of suspicion are lowered, leaving you vulnerable to attack.

That's largely on the improbably off-chance that some gorgeous (yet strangely shy) being, who has been admiring you from afar, has finally plucked up the courage to send you an email. As a result for one day of the year, you'll click desperately on any semi-literate piece of spam just in case it will lead to the love of your life.

And the scamsters know you will, too, the swines.

Even worse - security companies are warning love-hunters not to give away too much information on dating sites in case they leave themselves open to fraud. Do not reveal sensitive private data such as home or work addresses, phone numbers or National Insurance numbers, warns one.

The Round-Up can't quite imagine the chat up line: "I really like guys who have cool NI numbers. What's yours?"

And of course, all security companies recommend you have all your operating system patches in place before venturing online.

Ahh, if only it was as easy to patch a broken heart. . .

Pah! February! It's enough to make you want to duck out of reality altogether and wouldn't you know it silicon.com can: help you out with that.

Do you really, really want to build an iPhone app (and who doesn't) but you can't persuade the boss that it's a good idea? We've got some ammunition for you here and here.

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