Sunday, 18 September 2016

Birthday at the Zoo

Sydney's zoo, Taronga, turns 100 this year and have a promotion going where anyone can go to the zoo on their birthday for only a dollar. My boy Keaghan turned 20 a few weeks ago and his greatest wish was to go to the zoo. Fortunately it was a day when he doesn't have to attend uni and his sister thought she could squeeze in a few hours before attending her one lecture for the day.

I mentioned a while back that I'm not taking photos these days because I have no way to move photos from camera to computer. And yes, I could fix that but I haven't got around to it and by getting photos from the young ones we get to see their Snap chat incarnations. It's a bonus!

Tree kangaroos

View of the harbour from the Bird Show

One of our favourites. As we left the zoo the sun was getting low in the sky and most zoo visitors had left so there were a number of feral rabbits sharing the giraffes' hay. In the busier part of the day they were hidden away.

A peacock was a decorative addition to the kiosk.

The zoo is a great mix of the new and the old, I have to assume the giraffe shelter is pre-decimal with height markings in feet.

The last time I went to the zoo I was a kindergarten child. I think the building was painted white in those days. The newer paint job in heritage colours is rather beautiful.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Dear (non) employer

Having recently applied and been interviewed for the position as Receptionist/ Assistant I feel that it is appropriate to offer you some feedback following the process.

I liked the fact that you interview face to face. The seemingly more popular phone interview is admittedly time saving but it gives a very limited view of a candidate and tends to reduce the flow of conversation, diminishing the amount of information available to both interviewer and interviewee. I have also noticed that recruiters don't always stick to agreed times for a phone interview, making it very difficult for a candidate to develop and maintain the head space necessary to undertake an interview.

You stated that I was unsuccessful in my application for the position because another applicant had skills I don't have, you also thought that I would be unable to handle the demands of the job, given that I told you I have a neurological disorder. Failing to name the skills that I don't have makes your reasoning look a little weak and deciding that I would be unable to handle the job simply because my physical capabilities are different to those of most people diminishes everything that I am and makes me into a diagnosis. Like most people, I have some pride and like to do well at whatever I involve myself in, I would never apply for something that I felt incapable of doing. When I told you about my disorder I was challenging you to see possibility and to acknowledge the attributes I could bring to the role, I was not telling you that I am unenthusiastic, unskilled or any kind of a liability. I suspect that you lack clarity on the attributes needed for the position. If your regular employee, say, broke their ankle in a skiing accident, would they be able to do the job from their chair? What is really required of a receptionist/ assistant? and what does it tell you that the President of the United States has a hearing impaired receptionist?

I am very aware that hiring and firing decisions are commonly based on all kinds of considerations and that as the business owner you have the right to choose whoever you want for whatever reason you want. If you can honestly say that you took the high road in this case, then I wish you the best. 


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Food & Charity

My meanderings to other people's blogs have inspired me to make some comments about food budgets or food and money.
In no particular order:

  • I think one of the easiest and fastest ways to cut the food budget is to go vegetarian (or semi vegetarian) The money it costs to buy even cheap meat can buy a whole lot of vegetables/ pasta/ legumes or quite a few eggs
  • A few years ago I had an acquaintance who would sometimes offer me to come and  pick up free food after others had taken what they needed. At one of these pick-ups the man was inquiring about my family and I told him that hubby was away visiting family. I was never offered the free food again. The interesting part of this is that I was cut out of the process because he decided I didn't need the help but he didn't really know anything about our circumstances and he didnt check. My husband might have been gifted the tickets, we may have been supporting more people than he realised or there may have been other factors. On a similar note, I have a friend whose husband had a generous income and family assets, he paid for the children to attend private school but she was solely responsible for providing food for their large brood. All of this raises the question of how to fairly distribute food help.
  • I am aware of a group who advertises free packages of very basic items such as bread and potatoes. When recipients arrive to pick up their simple parcel they find that there is a range of other items in the pack, things like bagged salad, fruit and vegetables. I think this is a very clever way of selecting recipients.
  • Once a day our local supermarket brings out a trolley of "aging" produce and customers can fill a small bag with this produce for just a few dollars. ( I recently picked up two punnets of strawberries, one punnet of cherry tomatoes, two leeks and a couple of pears. The regular price would have totaled over $15) For people on a tight budget this discount trolley would be a godsend but there are two problems: the timing is irregular so you would potentially have to wait a few hours to be there at the right time. Also, Nobody knows what will be on the trolley so meal planning would not be possible and the cook would need to be savvy enough to think of potential uses for the produce very quickly before the trolley is empty.
  • I haven't verified this but a friend of mine tells me (and it makes some sense) that a combination of tomatoes and spinach/ chard/ silverbeet provide everything we need from our veggies so if money is tight, these are the things to eat.