28 December, 2008

5 - Questions Interview Meme

I don't disparage memes. They sometimes take you into areas that your posts might not. This one is from the delightful Vancouver BC blogger Meghan, over at Blog Voyeur. I'd say here's lookin' at you kid but I get the impression she's the sort of standout person everyone would be looking at anyway.
1.) A lot of your blog posts have large gaps of time in between them throughout the year. Do you have any particular reason for that or just times when you're not feeling very 'bloggy'?

Not feeling very bloggy is priobably the best way to describe it, now that you mention it. Nothing noble about it. I'm not prevented from blogging because I'm busy manning a volunteer refugee support line or collecting for Greenpeace or any of the other things I should be doing. No, it's mostly explained in the profile: "Just a lazy Melbourne bloke..."

Although, I can be a bit pedantic about posts, and so tend to keep it to just a few, because they take a bit of time for me. You see, I proofread over and over and keep changing a word here and there until I think it's just right. Not that you'd know it from the quality of posts here.

2.) Are you closer to the goal you set of having your band reunite for your 50's birthday?

Shouldn't be too much drama about getting the guys back together again. The other guitar player works in my building, I'm in regular contact with the bass player and even though I haven't seen the drummer in ages I know he loves a gig and would jump at it. As would we all. I'll start moving on it in about April for the November party and work on a song list.

One thing I've learned from doing this ensemble at work is that you can't just pick up your instrument and do it. Plenty of practice and rehearsals needed. I'd like to do around 15 songs to make it really worthwhile. We did 12 at my fortieth.

3.) Since you're a man with amazing taste in music (and a self-proclaimed rock snob!), what music would your perfect road trip cd include?

Oooohh, I love this question. It's a little like Desert Island Discs. The two albums I reckon I could listen to over and over again would fit on one CD so here they are:

Who's Next (1972) by The Who - Just a simply amazing album and an LP I've known intimately since one of my older sisters bought it when I was about twelve. Pete Townsend had originally conceived it as another rock opera a la Tommy but when that project proved unworkable the Who were left with just ten great songs.

Let It Bleed (1969) by The Rolling Stones - this arrived when I was about fourteen and it was my other older sister's boyfriend who gave it to us to mind, along with a whole lot of other great albums while he went overseas. The intro to Gimme Shelter had me hooked right from the word go and I've been a Rolling Stones fan ever since.

Any road trip would be enhanced by the presence of these two classic albums.

4.) At the risk of flogging a dead horse, did your crush on Siobhan die or are you just better at handling it now?

Just a mild crush, that one. I suppose three blog posts was overstating the case somewhat but I wanted to articulate strange new feelings and behaviours.

Not much change in the situation. She's just as charming as ever. We're getting along okay and the ensemble is giving us plenty to do and talk about. It seems like quite a healthy friendship.

5.) Any New Years resolutions you've made and would like to share?

Yeah, I'll be visting a hypnotherapist in the New Year to have a go at giving up smoking. Just cigarettes. I'll still be having regular spliffs, but I'll be cutting back on that too. Reserved for when I'm in good company, or lack inspiration.

I just hope I don't come out of the hypnotherapy believing I'm the reincarnation of the Emperor Tiberius or anything.

Thanks again, Meghan!

24 December, 2008

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide I

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year to everyone.

This is a letter I had to write to the CEO of the organization I work for:

Dear Anthony,

I’m bringing an incident involving myself and Michelle McClennan to your attention I informed my Manager, Rae Newcombe, of this incident on Wednesday 10th December after some careful consideration. I ask for your assistance to resolve this issue locally.

The incident took place at our end of year staff function on Fri 5th December:

At around 11pm I returned inside the venue to say a few goodbyes to people and approached Colin Ginty, who was in conversation with Michelle McClennan. I shook hands with Colin and thanked him for his efforts on the Social Committee. Colin returned the thanks for my agreeing to MC the awards segment of the evening.

It was around this point that Michelle began speaking to me and went into some detail as to her assessment of my character. Her conclusion was that I was an attention-seeker of little substance with a poor work ethic who tries to get by on personality in order to mask these shortcomings. I was quite shocked by this and tried to deflect her by thanking her for the career advice and turned away towards Colin.

She then commenced a monologue that seemed to be outlining my psychological profile, positing deeper problems she felt I may have which cause what she had described earlier. Again, I attempted to deflect rather than confront her by complimenting her on her grasp of psychoanalytic theory and turned away towards Colin once more.

I am unable to give precise details of what she actually said because I was a bit shocked by what I took to be an unprovoked attack on me. I was also somewhat transfixed during the conversation by the tone of voice she used, which I can only describe as very nasty, cat-like and reminiscent of that used by upper-primary school girls when they’re being particularly cruel to each other.

With a little help from Colin, I was able to cut her off by turning the conversation to another function I would be on my way to afterwards and said a final goodbye to both Colin and Michelle and left. I noticed what I interpreted as a fairly smug, self-satisfied look on her face as I turned away.

I hardly know Michelle at all, beyond the type of greetings and small talk I might engage in with any staff member with whom I don’t work directly, and she also took family leave not long after I commenced in mid-July, so there’s been very little interaction between us. I have neither said nor done anything that could possibly have generated any personal animosity between us, nor had she, up until this incident occurred.

I believe we have a very healthy workplace culture here with, from my observations, almost exclusively positive interactions between staff, so I’m still somewhat shocked by the nastiness involved in this. I’d like to be confident that this incident is a result of a series of poor choices made by a single individual and is not representative of tendencies to be found in other staff members.

I assert that this incident constitutes action taken within a work location that directly affects an employee that the employee considers is otherwise unfair or unreasonable and ask that it be investigated and, if proven, action be taken to ensure that it does not occur again, either to me or anyone else.

Yours Sincerely,
Lad Litter

More to come on this one. That's for sure.