Archives for category: Rant

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.

 

 

 

We do not know what is customary in other countries, but the chocolate fundraiser has always been a staple in the part of Australia that we live. Various times of the year you would see school children board a bus with their purple cardboard containers containing Freddo Frogs or Easter Eggs. Of course, there would be the parents that would take the box to work and sell to colleagues but alas that is to be no more if the Canberra Timescadbury-freddo-friends-funpack are to be believed.

We had to giggle that chocolate was considered a “red” food. (There is a whole post that could be dedicated as to why marking in red pen is detrimental. We are just waiting for the colour red to have its own safe space.)

Foods and drinks categorised as red – including cake, confectionery and soft drinks – are no longer permitted at fundraisers or as rewards and gifts.

Directorates and agencies have been given a year to become compliant.

A memo sent to staff on Tuesday explained the health risks of chocolate and confectionery fundraisers.

“Combining these high-energy foods with sedentary lifestyles can lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, which increases the risk of developing long lasting health issues, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer,” the memo said.

treatwise

 

Umm, chocolate isn’t a meal replacement. These days, the packaging even comes with its own health warning.  When will the demonising of sugar stop??????  There is a little thing called moderation.

As an alternative, it is suggested:

“If you are organising a fundraiser, try suggesting a novel approach like sporting equipment, fruit trays, movie tickets or store vouchers.

Ah, no.  Fruit Trays!!!!!!!!!  We would love to know how these “healthy” alternatives compare to the humble Freddo.

People need to take responsibility for their own dietary choices and not inflict their stupidity on to others.

We are too much of a muggle to possess a cloak of invisibility rather my guise is far more simple, far more common and that is being female.  We are certainly not the first nor shall be the last to be told bluntly that gender is a disqualifying factor for communication.  Though it has reached absurd heights in the past couple weeks.

Remember that subcontracting job(SJ)?  It is proceeding in the same efficient pace as a death by a thousand paper cuts. Why? Apparently, we require a Mansplainer Translator (MT)as effective communication can only be carried out by two men. (Silly me to think otherwise). Mansplainer Translator is not familiar with the minutiae of the job but all communication is now passed through him.  It reached the sublimely ridiculous last week when the passive aggressive ‘pass me the salt’ pantomime was performed.

Mansplainer Translator and I were summoned to the office where not once were we directly addressed with any salutation or question. Queries, solicitations of health, comments. complaints were all directed towards MT.  SJ would ask the question.  MT would turn to me, we would supply the answer and MT would have to repeat it back to SJ as otherwise the communication loop would not be complete.  This meeting lasted well over an hour and we were pointedly ignored by SJ for the whole duration. Like WTF???

You nominate the form of communication, telephone, email, in person, have all been conducted in this manner.  Try to communicate with SJ directly without MT and you are ignored.

Irony is, if you listen to those with the double x chromosome they may just have the answer (and this job just might have been finished months ago).

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.

Image fromhttp://amolife.com/image/inspiration/10-precious-quotes-about-time.html

Is there but a greater crime than frittering away the fleeting immortality of our youth on the thanklessness of the daily grind? We occasionally subcontract (long expletive laden story)for an organisation when staff are short.  After this latest stint, it is not hard to see why staff turnover is high (you know it is really bad when a colleague squeeze your hand telling you ‘To be strong’).

Here is the top nine ways to irritate your staff:

Feed them to the lions: Management’s complete and utter failure to take responsibility FOR ANYTHING.  Scapegoating an individual team member (junior or not) to a client creates disharmony.

Blame others:  Similar to lion feeding, fault lies elsewhere but within the organisation.

Ignore time differences: If we accept the definition of holiday as ‘A day free from work that one may spend at leisure’ then ringing a person 8 o’clock Sunday morning their time while on vacation is disrespectful.  To continue ringing them until they pick up is harassment.

Ringing a person after hours for a trivial matter that can be easily be solved during office hours also over steps the mark.

Violating the private sphere: Disseminating the private contact details of staff to clients.  Do we really have to spell out why this is wrong?

Impossible deadlines: Do not promise a client a task in an impossibly tight deadline then move it forward particularly when staff have accommodated you working 16 hour days and 12 hour weekends to meet the original deadline.  Humans need sunlight.

Passive Aggression: ‘Client is happy but wanted to know why you didn’t use Method B’.  Bullshit.  Unless the client is in the trade, they do not know the difference between Method A, B or C or care as long as optimal outcome is achieved.  We told you repeatedly Method B was not achievable in the time frame and only is optimal if other factors were in play which they were not.

Drip Feeding Information: Watching paint dry is more productive.

Micro-Managing: “Before you show Cubicle Slave X how to do something, run it pass me first…” Um, the program only allows you to enter it one way.

Misalignment of expectations: If you employ someone to make coffee and then expect them to make Danish pastries without training then the lion feeding become more egregious.

Or so Teen Talk Barbie uttered in 1992. Tsk, tsk, tsk.  Talk about self-fulling prophecy.  Fast-forward twenty-two years and it seems that Barbie is still struggling with algorithms but don’t worry (the very male) Steven and Brian will help her out.

Where would the twenty-four hour news cycle be without the fauxrage of social media?  For without it, ‘Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer’ may have still languished and the wider world ignorant of such gems as “I’m only creating the design ideas. I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”

Empowerment?  I think not.  Mattel’s fault? Perhaps, not?

Two words:  Unconscious bias. This book reflects no more than the greater trust society places in a man’s technical ability. From the playground where girls rate their mathematical ability lower than their male counterparts to the workforce where female graduates tend to be placed more often  in client facing roles whereas male graduates are more likely to be given the opportunity to develop their technical and analytic skills.  Come crunch time, the female cannot compete as the hard skills have not been developed.

So back to Barbie and her moribund IT career.  This book did not just appear.  It is a product of a cynical marketing department.  It would have been test marketed.  Approved by corporate.  Signed off by someone at Random House. Not one person questioned Barbie’s technical skills (or lack thereof)  before a viral rant? In other words, we are back in 1992 where a corporate culture not only does not put faith in a female’s technical ability but does not believe that it exists in the first place.  That should be the story, not a narrative about a doll that can’t code.