STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Quote of the Moment #2

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Slander and malign

It's becoming more and more clear to me as time goes on and I'm forced to have ongoing dealings with my previous employer, that something rather evil is going on. I'm receiving occasional emails from my ex-employer's IT department, whether addressed to me or to my current employer's support email address, that say something along the lines of the following (paraphrased for clarity):
Before he left here, Justin did x and now we're experiencing problem y. We believe the two are related, and thus this is his fault. Could this be the case?

My first reaction to these emails would be to reply with a scathingly vile deluge of nastiness, which ends with "It all worked when I was there, so it's pretty obvious who the problem is, isn't it biatch?" However, I can't do this, because my ex-boss is now my current customer, and to call him a "biatch" may well put our business dealings with him on an off-footing.

Basically, none of this would be a problem except that my ex-boss's management "style" is the only reason I didn't like my old job, and so I said to the big boss when I resigned: "When my boss leaves, I'd like to interview for his job" (my ex-boss has mentioned he's got some other plans in the not-too-distant future), so staying in their good books is kind of important to me. However, it appears that it's now kind of important to my ex-boss that I look bad. And I think I can guess why. I'd imagine that people probably started complaining that stuff wasn't being done, and things weren't working, and that Justin could have fixed it without a problem. How do you combat this? Start blaming Justin for things that go wrong. People can't very well say "if only Justin was here" if Justin is the cause of untold catastrophe.

Anyway, to finish this, there's been a couple of times when as part of my current job I've had to look in to error logs, etc. on a couple of my old workplace's servers, and there are things that are deteriorating that aren't being dealt with. If I was there, I would have noticed (because I do things like check error logs regularly) and dealt with them. But I'm not. And so what will happen is that at some point the wheels will fall off one of these deteriorating things, and then they'll blame me for it falling over, and pay some consultant hundreds of dollars an hour to fix it. The question is, what can I do to prevent myself from becoming my ex-boss's new blame-body? His old one was the previous IT manager, who although he's less competent then he perhaps should have been, is nowhere near the vile, evil, moneywasting, unplanning monster that my ex-boss made him out to be on a regular basis. So I guess I just have to hope that at least some people remember that I poured my heart and soul into making the IT at my old job as workable and stable and excellent as I possibly could. Then maybe I can work there again someday.

Oh, and Meg - if you're reading: I know this is probably a non-issue, but just because I know you know all the people involved, it's probably best if you don't mention my angsty ramblings to them. I considered speaking to them directly, but it could affect my new employer's business relationship with my old employer as a result, and it's very much a personal issue. Not wanting to cause trouble. Thanks for understanding. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Quote of the Moment

"School prepares you for the real world, which sucks also."

Thanks for this quote goes to one of the IT guys at my work.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Word of the Week: Stupidity

There's been something that has been on my mind to blog for a while now, and so here we go:

First of all, readers who are Aussies may be familiar with public education trying to compete with an enormous shift towards private schools. Large numbers of parents have decided they'd rather pay for their childrens' education, and after a bunch of research the public education people found out that one of the primary ideas contributing to this is that public education is generally amoral, whereas private schools will teach their children morals and values. Now, as a generalisation, I actually believe this to be true. Having attended public primary schools (good schools they were too) and then private primary and high schools, I believe the difference is actually quite blatant, but that's by-the-by to my gripe of the moment.
One of the things the government implemented to try and persuade parents that they are serious about values based education, is the "Word of the Week". Basically, schools have a word each week that they (apparently - I don't know the in's and out's of it) focus on, and instill into the students. This word is displayed on the school's sign so that all driving past can see what value the school are addressing this week.
Now, the interesting thing for me is that I drive past a couple of schools that have this, and there are a couple of words that seem to occur quite frequently that trouble me a little, and really for me cement the idea that the public system just doesn't get it. These words are "fairness" and "tolerance." What's wrong with these? Nothing in themselves I guess. It just seems that "values" are being taught from the perspective of "this is what you should expect from others." Its like they're saying:
When someone doesn't give you what you deserve, that's them not displaying fairness. You should stand up against that. When someone has ideas that challenge your own, that's them not tolerating you and your opinions. They should be tolerant. You should tell them that, and if they don't change, you should stop tolerating them.

(Note that the idea of "tolerate everything except the intolerant" is very much the politically correct/post-modern ideal)
The corresponding values I was taught in a Christian education environment would be "selflessness" and "agape love." Agape is the idea of a spiritual love that is unconditional and self-sacrificing. The difference is the focus. The values of fairness and tolerance imply that you should expect that from others. If you value fairness, you will expect not only that you should be fair to others, but also that others should be fair to you. But what if they're not? The reaction we see in the world today is that people do one of three things: shun, challenge or victimise. The Christian values are completely different - the focus is on you yourself doing what you know to be right, and knowing that ultimately you can't make someone else change. I mean, tolerance isn't ultimately a realistic value to have because no one would suggest we tolerate people who think it's OK to molest children, and yet if you're serious about tolerance as a value, then that's what you have to do. A child sex offender holds certain view-points about what's alright and what's not, and ultimately if you believe that tolerance is something we should adhere to, then you should tolerate his beliefs. The Christian perspective allows you to separate action from person. Agape love loves a man who does evil things, but doesn't tolerate the evil. But then the question becomes "who defines what is evil?" and this is why public education that teaches values will never succeed in a post-modernist world. Us GenX'ers have built into us that ultimately, we are our own authority. No one can tell us what to do or what to believe, because truth is relative, so what I believe is true for me. So while one person believes that homosexuality is a "life style choice" another believes that it's an abhorrent act, and yet person 2 is supposed to tolerate person 1. Yet by doing that, person 2 does not abhor something they believe to be aboherrent - thus going against something they believe, thus eliminating that as a belief and relegating it to an opinion. So really, tolerance insists that I believe nothing for sure, but only have opinions. Opinions are flexible, and allow you to change your mind when things get difficult. So ultimately, values are meaningless. It's like political correctness and post modernism had extra-marital relations and produced some bastard child called... Well, I don't know what it would be called, but it sure as heck would be ugly.
Anyway, this post is getting old, and the word of the week this week is "Democracy." Value a plenty in that one. Oh that's right - it's school holidays anyway.