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Are humans by default optimists?  Why else do we count out the old year and promise ourselves to be a better version of ourselves in the new.  Though such resolutions are often short like tempers in a scorching January day.

Third week in of the new year and do you think that we have some new to complain of?  Insert the mirthless laugh here.  No, filing is still the bane of my existence.

It started last year when admin was asked to create a new file for a client.  Easy right?  The file was labeled but the clip and internal dividers were amiss.  Pulling the file we took it to the PTB and informed them this was unacceptable. They reluctantly agreed and told me it would be ‘sorted’.

Fine, we will humour the PTB in their unrelenting confidence in admin’s ability as I had offered to fix it myself but PTB wanted to demonstrate to me that dumb admin could actually do something.

We picked the file up again.  The complete clip had now been fully assembled (is that even the correct word when all three pieces are interlocked?) but of course the internal contents were still demonstrably absent.

Rinse and repeat the conversation with the PTB.  We pulled the file again today (am I to award points for creativity??).  Yes, there was the internal divider.  Wrong colour and wrong content label replete with spelling mistakes.  We were furious.  How f**king hard is it to make a STANDARD client file up??

Emailed PTB.  Of course it will be ignored and some pathetic excuse will be offered. No, my new year resolutions, such that they were, did not  include to be charitable to the ‘beautiful little fool’.

As many before me, we studied The Great Gatsby in high school as was always horrified by Daisy’s wish for Pamela,  “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

We couldn’t understand why anyone would wish that for their child.  With each passing year, perhaps there was wisdom in Daisy’s hopes, the best thing you can be is ‘beautiful’ and a ‘fool’ for if you were ‘fumpy’ and a ‘fool’ we hardly think you would be indulged as admin is.




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:

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.

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.”


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.

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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.


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.


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January is traditionally a very slow news month and thus the same rota of stories are trotted out annually this time of year. Quelle Horreur! Hot Cross Buns are available for sale, High Achievers gain early acceptance into the University, Players at the Australian Open face 40+ degree heat and Australia’s literacy levels are at an all time low.

Today the Australian Industry Group released a Report advising that 93% of business are negatively impacted by staff unable to do simple sums or use a computer.  In other words, Australians don’t have the fundamental skills to engage in a digital future.

According to AIG, “Of the 300 employers surveyed, poor completion of workplace documents was the greatest frustration as a result of low literacy and numeracy- reported by 42% of employers, material errors and wastage (32%) and teamwork and communication problems (28%).

This supports recent international data – Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) – which found 44% of Australians have literacy proficiency skills levels below level 3 – considered to be the minimum to operate effectively in the workplace and society.  Worse still was Australia’s ranking in regards to numeracy proficiency, with 55% of adults below level 3″.

Three hundred business is hardly a representative sample but we do admire the organisation’s plug for additional funding, “we do need from federal and state governments a national foundation skills strategy and that we need to put more funding into the training of language, literacy and numeracy teachers, those who can go into the workplaces to assist employees, hone and develop their skills“.

No, trying to rectify poor literacy in the workplace is a little too late.  Resources need to pumped in at primary school level.  Nice try though.