card_adult_largeIt was wet and raining and we had to negotiate a 40cm drop as we alighted the bus.  Oops, we forgot to Tap Off.

In the past, when this has happened we submitted a query to Opal support with our card number in the body of the complaint.  (Forget about the fact they ask that detail in the form, it needs to be in the body of the complaint). After the usual to-ing and fro-ing, it is eventually corrected but now in their arsenal is a new form letter.  (Slightly better than the one where they accuse you of outright lying because their GPS is never wrong and your alleged trip defies all laws of time and space).  The new one, where they won’t even consider your complaint as your card is unregistered.

“We are happy to look into your request. However, in order to ensure your privacy is protected we cannot access an Opal account without details being verified.

To do this, please log into your online Opal account at http://www.opal.com.au with your username and password, and select the Opal Account Enquiry tab from within the Opal account page.”

Bullshit!  This is another flimsy excuse not to correct fares.  Little wonder they are raking it in.

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Word on the street is the ‘prestige’ firms have dropped the requirement to have a degree.  Being the era of political correctness this has been characterised as a move to ensure ‘diversity and equality of access and opportunity’ not save employment costs.

According to the article, Ernst & Young got rid of all degree requirements in 2015, explaining that a candidate’s degree had no correlation to their future job performance.

What does this mean? Lacking any intellectual rigour, a degree is not worth the paper it is printed on and you really don’t need a degree to photocopy do you?

Read the article here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-18/why-top-companies-are-ditching-degree-requirements-for-some-jobs/8449236

Why do people think that their lives are so interesting that they need to narrate it minute by minute (oh, the irony of this post).

We don’t care that you just got a marketing cold call from India.

We don’t care that they asked for you by name on the “mistaken assumption” that you own the company after they harvested your name last time they called.

We don’t care that you get a number of these type of phone calls on your mobile phone.

We don’t care that you were extremely polite about it before disconnecting.

We don’t care about the technique employed in cold call canvassing.

Ring up.  Ask for someone with a common name.  If that doesn’t yield immediate results, hope that the person on the other end of the line volunteers a name that sounds similar.

Once you have your prey cornered, tell the victim that someone recommended them for the product.

We don’t care.  Just shut up.

Our lips twisted into a sardonic smirk as we arched our eyebrow in disbelief. Was there no limit to the ridiculousness that the PTB would engage in to defend admin?

It started innocuously enough. With some spare time on our hands we were asked to do a particular task, one not relished by anyone in the office. Indeed, almost studious avoided. With the universal dread we accepted it and that is where the trouble began.

Like our colleagues, we noted the procedural flaws. It is something with a bit of time (and admittedly money) could be streamlined far more efficiently. There at heart of the current dispute laid the letter.

The letter, due to legislative reasons needs to conform to particular strictures, but we pointed out that a certain paragraph shouldn’t be formatted in that manner and another needed slight amendment. A two minute job. Yes? No.

“But that is how is it supposed to be. The paragraph is supposed to be like that.”

“No, it is not. We checked (insert relevant website) and it is not supposed to be like that.”

“But that is how is formatted.”

“No, it is not. You can check the (insert relevant website) and you can also check (collaborating source) .”

“It must have been like that. It wouldn’t be like that otherwise.”

“It has never been like that…(until your stupid admin started we added silently)”.

This continued for a while, as PTB drew upon every possible defence that it was not a problem within the remit of admin.

“Fine, we have a look at it.” PTB said exasperated and wanting me out of their office.

A week later, we asked if the template had been fixed. You guessed correctly, of course it hadn’t.

“Is it fixed yet?”

We were greeted with silence.

“Why don’t you tell me where the template it is and we will fixed it.”

Again silence. Otherwise, it would be interpreted as bullying the admin, if it was to be fixed.

“There is nothing wrong with it and that is how the template is (insert relevant website)”. We were amused but not surprised how quickly they were to defend admin vigorously and their *cough* infallibility.

“No, it is not.” At this point we thought, Why are we bothering?, if you want a letter to go out indicating a deficiency in education in the organisation, not my problem.

Reluctantly, PTB looked at the websites and conceded that the template may need to change.

So, a month later, the template has not been changed as to do so would be an admission that admin was wrong. We can’t have that as it is better to appear amateur hour than upset admin.

“You didn’t read my email, did you?”  was my accusatory tone to PTB.

“We did read it!” was the defensive reply.

“Really and what? Didn’t comprehend it?”

We have always been a cynical and bitter person but with every passing year immersed in such unrelenting stupidity it is sometimes hard to bite one’s  tongue.

Admittedly, emails can get overlooked in an inbox but when there is a pattern of emails being ignored and questioning emails demanding information that has been provided days, weeks beforehand is aggravating.  Some days there is no point bothering.

 

 

 

Really? Is there not a food group that one is supposed to abstain from to demonstrate some higher plane of existence. Cleanse and detox seems to be the raison d’etre of food.

The latest savoy in the anti-sugar crusade is the evil of the office cake.

UK Professor Nigel Hunt of the Royal College of Surgeons said employees should “combat cake culture” in 2017 because it’s making workers too fat and rotting their teeth.

“While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” he told the BBC.

“We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits.”

choc-drip-gelato-cake1

How much cake is consumed in the office?  No really.  Birthday Paradox would indicate there would be duplicate birthdays let alone birthdays falling in the same week.  We all know that PTB are cheapskates and in such circumstances one cake will suffice for many.

It is up to an individual whether or not they will indulge in cake.   Take personal responsibility.  Whatever happened to the food pyramid.  Moderation people. It is your responsibility.

Image from: https://www.puregelato.com.au/images/cake/Choc-Drip-Gelato-Cake.jpg

The annual  (Australia’s education system is f*cked) hand wringing began early this summer with the news that Australia had fallen in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rankings.  The *absolute shame*that even Kazakhstan had out performed Australia brought the usual calls for more funding (um…there is this little law of diminishing returns) even though said funding had increased by 50% since 2003.

Since 2011, TIMSS shows Australia plunging from:

  • 18th to 28th on Year 4 mathematics
  • 12th to 17th for Year 8 maths
  • 12th to 17th for Year 8 science

The TIMSS results perhaps were not a surprise to the education profession or anything new. (Let’s face it, it is a cut and paste summer story).  In 2015 the idea had been floated that perhaps maths and science should be compulsory in the final years of high schools.  (And Australia should address the other two elephants in the room 1. The foundation for further science education is not laid properly in primary school and 2. Australia may need to import STEM teachers).

That maths and science has long been neglected in the education system was not revelation.  The competition we saw as we flicked through the Woolworths catalogue was.

bic

What? We recall the days when stationery competitions required a degree of skill.  Colouring-in perhaps? But scrawling your name with a particular branded pen becomes execution of a dying art???  The promoters helpful provide ‘facts’ about handwriting to fill any concern parent with fear. (Marketing 101).

 ‘63% of parents believe handwriting will be lost in 20 years time’ – Bright Futures are Written by Hand study, commissioned by BIC Australia, undertaken by Quantum Market Research. November 2015
• Almost Half of our adult population in Australia admit to having problems with literacy – Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia, 2011-2012
• 15% of children handwrite less than once a week – Bright Futures are Written by Hand study, commissioned by BIC Australia, undertaken by Quantum Market Research. November 2015
• Experts recommend at least 15 minutes of handwriting a day for students – Hanover Research (2012). The Importance of Teaching Handwriting in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: Hanover Research. Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting

But it begs the question what are children been taught at school?  Doesn’t appear to be the basics of reading , writing and arithmetic. Science and Maths are not judging by the continued slide down international rankings. Swimming? That seems to have been jettisoned.  Literacy? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Handwriting would appear to be an extra-curricular activity now.