When I first went to work for the BBC in 1970, there were long service
awards at 15, 25 and 40 years. By the time I got there, the 15 year one
had been withdrawn but the 25 year one was a gift to 10% of your annual
Up to a certain amount it was tax free as long as you took the gift but
alternatives were cash or extra holiday (for that year only) and they were
taxable. I had the computer system I had my eye on for a while but could
not otherwise afford.
However, BBC transmission was sold to an American real estate agent called
Ted Miller and, after he left the board, the rest seemed to have one aim
in mind - to cream off as much money out of the company as they could and
line their own Stateside pockets. The new CEO was a man by the name of
Kelly - I can't remember his actual first name because we always referred
to him as "Ned".
We were later sold to the UK's National Grid and after a slight initial
apparant improvement, we continued downwards, subsequently being sold to
McQuarie, an Australian merchant bank, at around the time I retired. Now,
I think if you even make 25 years service, you'll be lucky if they even
bother to say "thanks".
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