Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You must be kidding

There were a couple of other things I wanted to write about yesterday but they slipped the mind. Mind-slippage has been a feature of the early part of this week. I coped better at work today and didn't fall any further behind.

On Monday one of our customers made a complaint about a premium surcharge on her travel policy due to her son's autism. The lady who deals with complaints (who does her difficult job extremely well it must be said) forwarded on the email, but instead of autism she wrote Austin, which someone else then thought was the son's name. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this (my colleague who dealt with the complaint was on the side of the customer).

There's a lot of interest at work in the American basketball play-offs. Some of the younger ones even come in on casual Fridays wearing singlets from their favourite teams. It all seems a bit strange to me. Basketball has never been a game I've got into. It might be the artificial-sounding team names (like the Heat) that put me off. For some reason naming your team after a day of the week, as a certain English football side did, doesn't seem weird to me at all.

I got an email last week with the news that an old work colleague of mine is soon to become a father. For the ninth time. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a kid. Hard probably. Life-changing definitely. But nine of the little buggers (some of whom are already quite big buggers)? The mind boggles. I'd be struggling to remember their names. As for their birthdays, or whether they like honey or marmalade, forget it. I remember looking at UK census returns from the late 19th century, and I was amazed by all the big families; a woman would have her first child at twenty or so and keep popping them out every second year until she no longer could. Well my ex-colleague and his wife had their first child in 2000 so at their current rate they're beating those Victorians into submission.

It looks like "coat-tailing" (where a political party who wins an electorate seat can bring in extra MPs even if it gets below the 5% threshold of party votes) is here to stay, because no consensus could be reached in parliament over whether to get rid of it (or change any other aspects of the MMP system). Of course there wouldn't be a consensus. Some parties clearly benefit from coat-tailing while others don't, and what do politicians want to do more than anything else? Stay in power, that's what. Most people, of those who have an opinion at all, think it should go; that politicians get the final say in this matter seems ridiculous.

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