Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?

Answer: you can't play cricket at the Buffalo. The joke works better in a Brummie accent (see the end of this post).

Last weekend I saw an hour or so of a four-day provincial cricket match at the Basin. It cost me nothing to get in. It's a great little ground (it is quite little) and should provide an excellent atmosphere for NZ's test match against South Africa later this month. The best part, perhaps, is the scoreboard:

Daniel Flynn brought up his hundred off the last ball (for Northern Districts against Wellington) before a short rain delay. At the top of the board is a dysfunctional digital bit which needs an overhaul. The manual bit, by contrast, works like clockwork. It comprises numerous rotating panels - the men inside change the magnetic numbers and letters every over or thereabouts. There's more to change than you think. The passage of play after the rain break was worth seeing, Flynn and Arnel hitting out and putting on 60-something for the ninth wicket.

Today was day two in my new role which I've got until 23rd April. It was much better than yesterday; it must have been my most productive day for some time in any job. I can do this job! My role mostly involves printing and sending out letters to clients: "we need you to get a blood test" or "this is your last chance if you want to proceed with this application". Some of the letters are automated and are badly presented. Mental health issues crop up regularly in the correspondence.

I'm hoping that this job will lift my mood for a sustained period. It's still nowhere near as good for me as the earthquake job where there were only a handful of people in the office, most of whom I couldn't see from my desk. My latest role still has all that performance review guff to deal with. "The bottom 10% will be managed out," I remember reading last April, almost knowing that I'd be a victim of the company's decimation policy. The last two days have given me a window on the call centre. The way people are graded on their calls reminds me of school. In fact so much of how big companies (and the people within them) operate reminds me of school. The way the three women from Accounts tried to outdo each other in their experiences of the Big Four - just like kids at school with their marks - was nauseating to me.

I really envy my dad who would have hated office politics and point-scoring just as much as I do. He's cleverly circumvented the whole system, never needing to know what HR stands for, let alone deal with anyone from that department.

I sit next to a Brummie at work. She's bin in New Zerlund four yers but gows back to Bloity in ten dies.

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