Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Morning Walkers

I seem to have an alarm clock in my head. I slept in on the weekend, but yesterday and today my eyes snapped open at 6:45am. This allows me to observe an interesting phenomenon: The Morning Walkers.

I live on a very busy road, and every morning you see them slogging along the footpath in twos and threes, power walking, with such grimly determined faces you'd think that they were going on a death march and not taking a stroll. God help anyone who dares to impede their goose-stepping progress. You know the ones I mean - they're the people you see in the supermarket buying unprocessed kelp and probiotic carrot juice, when us normal people have bacon and corn chips in their trolleys.

I catch snippets of their conversations sometimes. In the mornings they talk about what a hard day they're going to have at work, and in the evenings they talk about what a hard day they've had at work. (I have no idea what they talk about on the weekend - I invariably stick my head out the window and yell at them to shut up).

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Scenes From An Office

Let me take you on the tour.On your left we have a bunch of cubicles. On your right we have a bunch of cubicles. Behind them you see a wall. There's the photocopier; there's the fax machine. I have a funny story about the ductwork...

My Dilbert of a life continues. Nothing has changed round here (I've been doing this job, as funding approval from head office permits, on and off for years). Well there's one thing...the office Camping Carl, (the cubicle dweller's friend), in addition to striding around with a coffee cup, has taken up using an exercise ball. Every day he wheels it, and an instruction video, into the conference room for a few hours of downtime from all that beverage-transportation exertion. That's how it is here. No one does any work, but we all pretend to each other that we do.Today I've created spreadsheets which will never be read, made phone calls which will never be returned, sent emails which will never be answered, and talked to my boss when all he was thinking was "What's on TV tonight?" At least I could travel back in time without changing anything.

Some cow-orkers and I were in the kitchen eating strawberries (the company has fresh fruit delivered to us every week) when I remarked, as I'd read somewhere, that eating strawberries makes your teeth whiter.A female colleague thought I'd said, "makes your tits whiter". And it took us fully five minutes to stop laughing (see, I told you I would cheer up!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Transport for NSW

SIX reasons the crime statistics may have fallen in NSW:
1. Criminals relying on CityRail to get to and from jobs.
2. Several high-profile burglars checked in to a NSW public hospital with a minor headache, never to be seen again.
3. With all the other things to complain about in NSW at the moment, people have plain forgotten to report crimes.
4. Most criminals moved to Queensland to avoid punishing property taxes.
5. Economic boom times mean that upwardly mobile former petty criminals have shifted into the white-collar crime caper.
6. Crims were swept up in the excitement of Australian Idol and simply forgot to break the law.

SIX other campaigns Captain Commuter Rebecca Turner should get cracking on now that she has gotten Sydney free train travel on Monday:
1. Free electricity for a day after Thursday's CBD blackout
2. Free bucket of water for each one spilled trying to wash a car
3. Free medicine for a day for Campbelltown and Camden hospital patients
4. Free bulletproof vest and baton for every shopkeeper located within 10 steps of a NSW police shopfront.
5. "Get out of jail free card" for Kariong detention centre inmates (it's the only solution since the Government won't protect the workers).
6. Free train travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday etc etc.

SIX tactics our one-man police stations are allowed to use in the fight on crime:
1. Loud admonishments to trouble-makers, eg "guys, guys, please stop robbing that pharmacy!" 2. Looking the other way
3. Ringing other police stations with more cops for help
4. Getting another arm of government, eg CityRail, Sydney Water, to respond
5. Urge the criminals to look into their hearts, come forward and hand themselves in
6. Focus instead on the many good people who don't break the law

~~~~~

Why couldn't we have had a fare free day on the buses? They suck too! I'm not sure whether trains or buses annoy me more. My train trips are much longer but not thankfully, daily. The buses irritate me immensley. All I know is...I have commuter rage all the time!
"yes my concession pass is valid! why does no one ever have their money ready! get out through the back doors! get that schoolbag out of my face! stop shoving me! whaddaya mean, there's a delay! damn all this traffic! A derailment ahead on the line - again! I have to wait for the next one! no seats! hey, that's my bag! stop slowing down going through lights in case they turn orange! learn to drive! screw this, I'm getting a taxi!"

Friday, November 19, 2004

A Letter To The Newcastle Herald

Now, I hope you will all cut out my letter and have it laminated or, preferably, framed. But for those who don't live here and cannot purchase the paper, I'll copy the letter below. But first, a bit of background: My neighbourhood mostly consists of weatherboard cottages which have been converted into flats. Most of us are young singles or couples, with a few seniors. None of us have a lot of money, but it's a nice enough place, with no winos sucking on bottles of turps or gangs of disaffected youth. And into all this, the local council has seen fit, in its infinite wisdom, to put a ten-storey executive apartment complex. Anyway, here is the letter:

"Why did Lake Macquarie Council ever give building approval for the Alto apartments? I have spoken to people all over Newcastle, and they all agree that the building is an ugly eyesore, a blight on the city landscape.Furthermore, those of us who live near the building have been subjected to constant, dreadful noise for months...construction noise during the day, then night roadworks."

~~~~~

On the other hand, great news...I've been offered my old job back. Just for a week, but I hope it will be extended. I get to sit in an air conditioned office, with people I like, doing an easy job, with unlimited internet access...You mean they're paying me for this?!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Christmas Is Upon Us Again


It won't surprise you much that as a childless woman in her mid twenties, I don't have much to do with Christmas.

Actually I HATE Christmas. I hate Xmas parties, Xmas cards, Xmas trees, Xmas presents, Xmas decorations, Xmas dinner, Xmas BBQs, Xmas shops, Xmas guilt, Xmas obligations and Xmas heat.

And Santa if you're reading this...I hate you, too!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Send In The Clowns

I'd like to share with you what I believe may be the single funniest thing that I have ever read. It's from Dilbert writer Scott Adams, sharing a reader tale of workplace hell:

"Today wasn't a good day. The service centre people were already a bit edgy due to a worldwide ATM outage. Then, about 9AM, the system starts to crap out. People can't access the network. Calls get backed up.

Then an announcement says there's no water to the building. We're told to stay out of the bathrooms. And since the water was out, that meant the air conditioning is out too, since it requires water. It was getting hot in here.

Then management made one of their power decisions...
They sent in the clowns.

No not senior management. Those clowns would never come down here.

I'm talking about real clowns. Management went out and hired a troop of floppy-shoed, white-faced, red-nosed, mop-haired, horn-tooting drama class drop-outs to come in and "entertain the troops".

So to recap: network out, temperature unbearable, no water, no toilets, phone calls backed up, chaos everywhere you look.
And clowns roaming the building.

But the clowns did improve morale - you had to laugh at the fact that the best solution management could come up with was to HIRE CLOWNS.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

US Election - The Remote View

Channel Seven showed five and a half hours of NBC election coverage yesterday.

And I saw every minute of it. I really did - if I made a cup of tea, I did it during the ads.

Oh well there's one consolation - four more years of watching Dick Cheney.

The guy fascinates me, I don't know why. I'm convinced he's a Satanist behind that Christian facade. I heard a friend of his saying on TV "The media demonises Cheney, but he's a warm, witty man". But to me it looks like he's never smiled in his life.

I remember a quote on a Farenheit 9/11 poster asking "Can a single movie change the world?" Nope, looks like it can't.