Friday, September 2, 2011


Right now I am reading The Rose Grower by Michelle de Kretser, and simulateneously A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

I have to say I would not be doing a far, far better thing myself, probably.

One was a hard cover and the other was an emergency read on my phone. The happy thing about my new phone is that you can easily download books on it and then if you haven't got a book on the bus, you can read one of the books on the phone (provided it is also on the bus). It has rather made me more keen for an e-reader of some kind.

I nearly wrote my honours thesis on e-readers, but then I got pregnant and somehow I changed my mind. Lucky, I'm sure my conclusions would now be embarrassingly out of date (although possibly hilariously so).

Everywhere I go I end up in the kid's section. Which is odd, because I don't think of myself as a particularly kid friendly person. My honours thesis ended up being on Australian children's books that explicitly dealt with cross-cultural relationships. I forgot to put that into the introduction, though, so the thesis probably could have been a bit clearer and a bit less like 'here's some interesting books I read once' for the first couple of pages.

This week it has been tough being apolitical at work, and many of my sentences have had a silent addendum of 'you idiots'. Some of the people I have worked with from the Outside have been a little less helpful than might be hoped, and have taken on a slightly threatening tone, even though as far as I can tell we were doing exactly what they wanted us to do. Odd, odd, odd. I would recommend the following if you are wanting something from the Government:
1. Ask nicely and explain exactly what you want.
2. Explain exactly what you want again.
3. If you get exactly what you want, don't start swearing.
4. If you don't get exactly what you want, ask nicely why not.
5. If you can do something to address the concerns of 'why not' do so nicely and clearly.
6. see 3 and 4
7. If you still don't get exactly what you want, remember that you might be asking the Government for something in the future, and weigh up whether swearing is a good idea or not. It might be your preferred next step, but have a good reason for it other than 'bollocks, I'm fed up'.
8. If the individual representing the Government swears back at you, make a complaint.
9. If you are pretty sure the individual representing the Government has been using their high-level negotiating skills on your behalf, find someone else to swear at, especially if you have now got exactly what you want.
10. A bit of flattery never goes a-stray.

And what with the reporting of this High Court decision I could just spit. Dear journalists, if you don't understand legal stuff, you can ask a lawyer. There are about a million billion of them in Australia and they, as far as I can tell, really like explaining things to people. Lots. Some of them write for newspapers, so you can probably find their phone numbers pretty easily.


Roger Parkinson said...

It is always worth sucking up to people who you might to be helpful. This is pretty much what I live by.

Nice to see you posting.:-)

tracy said...

You really must post more often. So much fabulousness.

GMT+10 said...

Can I suggest that if someone swears at you, you imagine said person is Peter Capaldi playing Malcolm Tucker, because I know that this will take your mind to a much nicer place...!

Penthe said...

Would rather imagine people are Peter Capaldi in the Loved One, if it's all the same to you.

Person apologised for being grumpy today. I think she had a right to be. We felt sad.