Archives for category: Uncategorized

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.

Image from:

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.


Read more:



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.





By now, most new year resolutions have been broken.  The optimism of the new year has either been fried in 40 + degree heat ( we are talking Celsius) or washed away in the never ending torrent of rain.

Wading in the storm water aside,  the new year has not disappointed.  The strategy that the powers to be have taken with my continual complaint is to treat it as though it is my delusion. Such is the extraordinary scope of my imagination that it is conjured the misspelling of one word in seven different ways twenty times.  It is only in my universe that the alphabet and filing have any sort of relationship.  It is only through my boredom that postcodes are four number combinations.

So we thought, let’s apply my imagination to INTHEBLACK’S 2016 Office Trends:  As usual, the italics are mine.

  1. New Desks: ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’.  Nope, my imagination can’t stretch to accommodate a standing desk in the new 11 months.  Next!
  2. Activity-based working aka Collaboration. Hahahahahahahahahaha…ha.  Next!
  3. New Facilities: is the introduction of “end-of-trip” facilities such as showers, bike parking, changing rooms and lockers.  Google we are not,  Next! 
  4.  Diversity: believes businesses will start to encourage staff to travel and bring their experiences back into the business with them.  Not quite my definition of diversity.  We would call this minimising the annual leave liability. 
  5.  Co-mentoring: businesses are pairing senior staff, who have a wealth of knowledge, with younger staff with technological know-how in a co-learning relationship.  Didn’t they make a movie about this? The Intern?
  6. Flexibility: Work/Life balance.  A new trend for 2016??
  7. Wellness technology: Cloud + living green walls, sleeping pods or comfortable seating options for quiet activities. Sometimes, you can’t make this up.  Um, is someone going to break the news that plants and beds are not high tech or new.
  8. Social media rising:Businesses will be able to use data about how staff work to design better workplaces. For instance, if data shows staff routinely take work home to complete after hours, management will be able to use this information to manage workflow more appropriately, and to keep an eye on staff to ensure they are not overworking. We think this is called Data Mining not Social Media.  No, management will not redesign work processes if people will work overtime for free.
  9. Incentives:focusing on building an ongoing culture of growth and opportunity. “Create an environment where the assistant salesperson you hired today will quickly become a section manager, a floor manager or the manager of a new retail outlet. That is either a top heavy organisation or a toxic culture.
  10. Management: performance appraisals could well become redundant.  They already are.

Happy 2016!!!