Archives for category: Lazy

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.

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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.

Going postal is such a curious phrase yet it seems to encapsulate so much rage so succinctly.  So much rage!

In 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 46% of Australians do not possess  the ‘literacy skills needed to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work’  (we are cherry picking a bit ) so is it any wonder that maintaining addresses in the primary database (let alone the secondary database which the first one prompts to update) is a seemingly impossible task?

Silly question!  Of course it is.

We expect far too much.  The excuse proffered for admin’s failings this time was the ‘software is too clunky’.  No.  The software’s ubiquity across the industry would suggest otherwise.  The secondary database effectiveness is dependent upon the relationships and data been correctly recorded in the first database.  Garbage in. Garbage out.  In the words of Aleksandr Orlov “Simples.”

Tomorrow, we have to trawl through and rectify six months worth of  discrepancies because admin is too stupid and lazy to follow the prompts and thus a two minute job becomes an eight hour inconvenience.

Status Update: Angry.

This is not the explosive anger that subsides as quickly as it rises but the anger that simmers for long time.  As an erstwhile colleague noted, it is the anger that seeps in and does not abate.

It would seem that my malcontent festers around the filing.  I am tired of documents being misfiled, documents shoved in plastic sleeves that should have been returned to the client, files duplicated,  documents not fastened in folder, documents left unscanned.

Most think that filing is unimportant but a document that is not filed properly is a document lost.  A document lost is a chink in the audit trail.

This has been repeatedly being brought to management’s attention (and this is the lesson learned never ever underestimate the capacity of the males of the species to be bewitched by one they find attractive) and ignored.  Deemed unimportant, not worth the angst because it might upset admin.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a fundamental duty of admin’s function is to maintain the files (along with handling correspondence) but instead we are lumbered with someone functionally illiterate and a management enthralled with admin’s sexual potency.

This is not the ingredients of a cheap romance novel but a highly dysfunctional office with low staff morale.

coffee

Are public servants familiar with the term vexatious? Surely, the following story cannot be true:

A Canberra public servant told her boss she needed longer breaks than her colleagues, saying she had to find a café that served organic coffee with soy milk.

When the Australian Taxation Office bureaucrat was warned about her absences from her desk and told she had to adhere to time management requirements, she took her case to the Commonwealth government’s workplace authority.

After the appeal was dismissed, the Executive Level 1 public servant went on stress leave and claimed workers compensation, arguing that her ATO supervisor’s approach left her with “adjustment disorder”.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has dismissed the worker’s appeal against the decision to reject the claim, finding the Taxation Office was reasonable in its dealings with the public servant.

The mind boggles…

Really? Is it that hard to file alphabetically? Most pre-schoolers reared on the Sesame Street ditto would know their abcs (and next time will ask that you sing with me).

Unfortunately, in the small space of the universe I occupy, filing alphabetically is an unreasonable impost or so I was told when concerns were expressed how the binders were arranged.

Home bookshelf, sure go for it but the workplace is not the place to organise binders according to their size, brand and colour. Nowhere in that schematic arrangement was the alphabet considered. The letter C and Y are not usual neighbours.

Can you imagine if the great libraries of the world were to employ that arrangement? You would never find a thing! Yet, the powers to be can not see the impractically of that filing arrangement and tell me I am being unreasonable. So, I put it out there what filing arrangement is your office using which is more efficient than the humble alphabet?

 

Woohoo, the new season of Masterchef Australia started last night and as everyone knows its not about the cooking but about the sob story and the ability to cry on cue.

Such is the importance of the sob story, the more cynical have devised new rules for the MC drinking game.  Forget the “I have never cooked before (insert any dish that has featured in every previous series)” to take a drink if the contestant has had any of the following happen:

  • Had children.  Any subsequent achievement in life is about making your children proud
  • Had a parent die (bonus if it was the mother who died before the contestant turned 10)
  • Parents divorced and was raised by Nan
  • Survived cancer
  • Partner has died
  • Beloved family member has written a letter of encouragement that can only be read in front of the judges
  • Fractured arm when you were twelve
  • Hate current job
  • Pet Goldfish died twenty years ago

Shit happens and that is not to diminish in any way the impact of tragedy but do we encourage people to use it as ‘get out of jail free’ card.  Any one who has watched Masterchef will know that at some point or the other, that the contestants will be asked ‘Will your deceased goldfish be proud of the dish that you plated up?’ Cue crying.

But it is the same in the workplace?  If you have a good sob story  are treated more leniently to the point where you don’t have to do any work.  Can’t possibly complete the task due to tragic event that happen ten years prior.  Like WTF, said task is a fundamental part of the role but you can’t do it because the goldfish died TEN YEARS ago? Surely there should be a statue of limitations on some sob stories?