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Showing posts from August, 2005

I Want To Dialogue With You About Utilising Resources

If that sentence made sense to you, you've been spending too much time at the office and I recommend you take a mini-break; Port Macquarie is quite nice. Alternatively, you could take a week off work with horrible stomach problems, but I don't recommend that so whole-heartedly.

I don't know about you, but as I look around my office I see signs of brainwashing everywhere. There's slogans on posters and sticky notes and every kind of promotional gizmo you can imagine. Mission statements, value statements, customer service charters, visions: all encouraging the harmless office serf (that's me) to become one of the crowd, blend in and toe the company line. Does that sound familiar? Yes, I fear my company, like so many large corporations, is actually a cult. Consider this:

* Cults separate you from the rest of society... companies make you work so many hours you never see the rest of society.

* Cults make you wear unattractive outfits... Companies make you wear unattractiv…

On Attending My First Conference

Last Friday I was off to Sydney to attend my first-ever conference. Few of my friends have corporate jobs (mostly teaching, nursing, trades etc - real skill and caring needed, two things I will never have) and so they were under the impression that attending a conference was somehow glamorous or at least exciting. You're probably way ahead of me on this - it's not. For a start, read the phrase "business travel" carefully. Also, few of the world's corporate high-flyers travel to conferences on CityRail (but how else was I going to get there, really? I wanted to get the XPT, but there wasn't one at a suitable time. At least the company paid for my train fare).

So it was in slightly less than a chirpy mood that I arrived, and did the rounds of meet and greet. There was also a major concern to my mind - our company's Sydney offices are located in the Australian HQ building of a major American company, with the logo prominently displayed, in the centre of the C…

The Holiday Post

Image
Town Beach, Port Macquarie...this was actually taken at about 2pm, although it looks like early morning.

Okay, I've finally gotten it all together...culled from my notebooks, camera and memory, here's my account of my holiday (this may take awhile to read, so you might want to get a drink before you settle in...but did you expect anything less?).

Newcastle was looking a bit sad under a grey, drizzling rain as I boarded the XPT for Port Macquarie via Wauchope on Thursday afternoon. On a mid-week afternoon, out of season and with school in session, I'd expected the train to be half empty, but to my consternation I had a seat mate. So I sat, squashed, for about an hour, till I got up to visit the ladies and realised that everyone was bunched up at the front of the carriage, to make life easier for the on-board staff, and the rear carriages were empty. So I grabbed some seats to myself, sprawled out, and settled in to enjoy the journey. The train journeyed inland up into the mou…

Cubicle Sweet Cubicle, I've Returned From My Trip

Yes, sadly, I have returned from my holiday in Port Macquarie (or PMQ) to the joys of...the office.

Sometime this week I'll get around to doing my complete "Holiday Post"...trying to convert my 15+ pages of notes and diary entries, and a camera phone memory's worth of photos, into a legible blog entry! For now, since I have a heap of work I missed to catch up on, I'll just do a quick list:

Things That Happened, Cheat Notes:

It was raining when I arrived in PMQ, which wasn't what I'd had in mind. The skies cleared up the next day, but there was still a chilly wind, so I didn't get to the beach much.

I did, however, get to the historical sites of the town. That sounds dull, but I love that stuff, and the set up in PMQ was wonderful.

My camera phone stood up to the task of capturing scenery remarkably well.

I forgot to get any souvenirs.

Surprisingly, I bought some great clothes...there were a few shops full of great Goth-style clothes, some very expensive…

This City's Made Us Crazy And We Must Get Out

Just three more hours until I'm off on my little holiday. I really, really need it right now. I've been sort of losing it lately - without going into detail the past few months have been pretty difficult and draining. I've been finding myself crying at nothing, and losing my temper when it's totally unjustified. I've heard that a change is as good as a holiday, so I tried parting my hair on the other side, but it didn't help. I knew I needed to get away.

So I've booked to visit a town a few hours up the coast. I can't go far, because I don't have much money, but in this place I've got free food and accomodation, so all I needed to pay for is the train fare. And those nightmarish trips to Sydney aside, I do actually like going places on the train. Hard to believe, from the same parent company that spawned CityRail, but Countrylink is generally pretty good. I can even have beer as I watch the countryside slip past! (I just hope I can last 4 1/2 hou…

NSW, We Have A New Premier

Ah, New South Wales. They said it was God's own country, but we knew Bob Carr wouldn't be Premier forever. And now, he isn't anymore. After ten long (long) years, he resigned last week. It's said that he wasn't pushed, that he was just tired of the job. Some say it was due to the stress surrounding the miserable failures of the state Health and Transport systems. But those problems weren't Carr's fault; nothing was his fault for the ten years.

I actually really liked him. Some said, "How can you trust a guy who doesn't drive or have kids?" But I have immense respect for anyone who doesn't drive. The car is - by far - the greatest environmental menace the planet has ever or will ever face. People who say that they "care about the environment" and drive, make me want to laugh, or throw up. Unless you live in an isolated rural area, no one needs to drive. Public transpot in your area not so hot? Then do something about it, and getti…

Snappy Nomenclature

This morning whilst I had my tea, I watched Seven Sunrise. I don't normally switch it on, because frankly I find the sight of co-host David Koch too hard to bear so early in the morning. But, this morning I wanted to briefly get the news headlines. So I watched the news, then continued through the weather. The program's weather man (I can't recall his name, but he's a young blond, Andrew G, himbo type) was doing that act so typical of breakfast TV news-magazine shows; traveling around "the real Australia", putting the over-excited "local characters" on the show, and generally boring anyone with an IQ above room temperature straight back to sleep.

Well, this morning Mr Blond was visiting a resort in the far Northern Territory, describing the facilities, rooms and the celebrities who've stayed there (Princess Mary and Prince Frederik, Kylie, and some other womens'-magazine fillers). I was kind of half-asleep myself, and not really paying alot …