Monday, June 17, 2013

What's an iBox?

This Thursday I'll be flying to Timaru in one of those little planes. I'll be staying down south till the following Wednesday. I'm looking forward to getting away for a few days.

We had the autism group tonight. We split off into three subgroups of five or so. In our group was a woman I hadn't really met before. She didn't speak although she was very facially expressive; she communicated by tapping out messages on her phone. At one point we discussed physical exercise and she handed me her phone which showed the simple message "I box". For a few seconds I was picturing some sort of Apple gaming console. Ah, you do boxing. Now that's proper exercise. Her next message said that she used to cycle at national level but came off her bike at speed and suffered a brain injury. Judging by her insightful messages all evening there was little wrong with her brain. Tom was also in my group and was busy unscrewing a table with his Swiss Army knife and Leatherman. It's actually quite comforting to know that he unscrews other furniture besides mine.

One of my team-mates at work got fired last Thursday. Sacked, dismissed, however you say it it's not good. Part of her role involved taking calls from customers; she'd receive points (which converted into dollars) for certain outcomes, for instance if someone rang in to cancel their policy but she retained the business. Apparently she'd been fiddling the points. I don't know the ins and outs of it all but it doesn't sound clear cut to me. Some of my colleagues aren't happy with the way she's been treated. She plans to take legal action. I think the incentives work on a dollars-per-point basis, but if you don't reach a certain monthly target you get nothing for that month. I think that's an unfair system, and some people will try to beat unfair systems if they can.

There was a headline in Saturday's Dom Post: "Wellington dithers while Auckland hums". I'm not sure what kind of hum they're talking about because whenever I go to Auckland I don't hear it. I think it's more of a "kerching" than a hum - people flock there (from within NZ and from overseas) because that's where the jobs are. House prices in Auckland continue to skyrocket. On TV last night they showed a (Pakeha) woman struggling to get a toehold on the Auckland property ladder, who was particularly interested in a house because it was number four and Asians might be put off by that. "Four" sounds very similar to "death" in Mandarin. When house numbers start to become a major consideration, something isn't right.

Mum and Dad have just bought their third property, and their second flat in St Ives. I asked Dad what would be next - he assured me there wouldn't be a next. My parents have always been interested in houses, and like looking at them - particularly new developments - when they drive somewhere.

I went to my cousin's place on Saturday night. We watched the All Blacks game against France. I only had one eye on the game, if that. There was much excitement at a couple of the All Blacks' tries but I didn't share in it. Unlike tennis I don't really get rugby, even if I followed the most recent World Cup and actually went to two matches including Tonga's shock win over France. At least Saturday's match finished with a tennis score (30-0) although I thought the French were unlucky to get nil.

Next month they're having a Great Gatsby-themed mid-year work function. Should I go? I'm not sure I can face the prospect to be honest. Last year I was in Auckland when the function was on so there was no decision to make. No such luck this time.

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