Monday by the Magazine Stall…



How’s it going? And welcome to our beginning of the week idle chit-chat thread.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve recovered from my Friday spat.

Blame. What is the point of appropriating blame?

Let me explain. My work involves a lot of writing. You know, like marketing material, brochures, whitepapers and stuff like that. Recently I’ve been working on one such document, and that document was circulated to a broader team to review, provide feedback and any other comments, suggested changes etc.

The document was subsequently published for employees to give to clients. All well and good you might say.

Well, last week I received an email from one of the team members declaring how she was “horrified” (her words) to find a number of spelling errors in the document. So naturally I have since corrected these errors and issued a new updated version of the document.

However this morning I receive an email from her boss (quite a senior manager), also expressing his outrage that this has occurred and insisting that I give him an assurance that “it won’t happen again”.

Now, this is the thing that really irks me. Firstly, there were about 4 spelling errors in a 30 page document. Secondly, there have been several drafts of this document. All of the drafts were circulated to the team including the senior manager for review and comment and no one picked up the errors in any earlier version, so they went un-noticed by EVERYONE, but somehow I am to blame?

Anyway, this demand that somehow I should be in a position to give a guarantee that this will never happen again, I think, is a bit over the top.

For one thing. How can anyone give a guarantee that they’ll never make a spelling mistake ever again? It’s just absurd.

Another thing. Why on Earth does someone get “horrified” to find some spelling errors? I find spelling errors in brochures, magazines, newspapers and advertising all the time. You know like “manger” instead on “manager”. That’s a common one. “Easily done” I think to myself, especially seeing as that’s the sort of thing that spell checker won’t pick up. But “horrified?” Isn’t that just a little bit over the top..?

I’d be “horrified” if I woke up one morning and found a six-foot ring worm hangin’ out my ass, but by comparison the odd gramatical error doesn’t phase me.

And then there’s the whole blame thing. Someone has to be accountable, so they figure that’s me.

I mean, let’s put this in perspective.

Which is something that I find that people who are inclined to get easily horrified might find problematic.

It’s a f*cking document, for Christ’s sake! It can be fixed. It has been fixed. Get over it!! Did anyone die from the spelling mistakes??

Which incidentally is my time old way of keeping things in perspective.

So the next time somebody tries to have a go at you for something, just think to yourself (or better still, say it out loud) “has anyone died as a result of this? If the answer is no, then I think the matter in hand is probably relatively trivial.

Anyway, so getting back to the email I received from the senior manager demanding his assurance that it “won’t happen again.”

In response, I reminded him that we all had the opportunity to review and comment about the document, and no one picked up the errors. Also, the purpose of circluating the drafts for review is to pick up these types of errors and that perhaps WE ALL should review them more carefully in the future.

So that is my beginning of the week work-related drama. Personally I couldn’t give a rat’s… But I just find this whole “blame thing” so unneccessary. I mean shit happens doesn’t it?

I feel better now. Thank you, and thank you for listening. Now what was I doing again….

147 Responses

  1. Reb, mate, watch your back very closely. I have seen, and experienced myself, this kind of sudden “emphasis on attention to detail” and it has spelt trouble. Happy to discuss in more detail off line if you like.

  2. And this coming from the blogocrat who humilaited – yes humiliated – me over the use of the word “brang”!


    (joni storms off in a glorified and extravagantly flamboyant huff!).

    But it is true that the reason you circulate these things for review is so that errors and omissions can be caught – and so if no one catches it then the process has failed, not the writer. You did you part reb, it was the reviewers that were at fault.

    Happens in my line of work all the time, the innocent parties get shot and the guilty get away with it.

  3. If I woke up one morning and found a six-foot ringworm hanging out my arse, I’d be inclined to make more than a few spelling errors.

    I’d ask it what it’s name was, and if it wanted to take me to its leader. And then I’d up my intake of vindaloo to get square with the ropey bugger.

  4. Heavens above could you! 4 spelling mistakes in a 30 page document. Well at least you know that they read it…

    Manger versus manager is clearly a problem due to faulty equipment (you type too fast). I would be immediately demanding new tools and equipment.

    You have to give an assurance that 4 spelling mistakes won’t EVER, not ever ever occur in a 30 page document???

  5. Well, f@ck them reb!

  6. Thanks James.

    I know what you’re saying. I’ve seen that happen to other people too.

    This is a low-priority task for me so it’s not a “hanging offence” by any stretch of the imagination.

    Anyway, I think I have managed to diffuse the situation. What I find amazing is that people make such a big deal over nothing.


    I agree. It was the process that failed. They can jump up and down as much as they like, but they have had every opportunity to comment and pick up the errors themselves..

  7. Bureaucratic ‘ambushes’ are not confined to the public sector. Finding mistakes in a competitor’s copy can be quite useful, particularly when the ‘finding’ comes too late for correction.

    Yes the politics of ‘everyday life’ and organisational behaviour are always of interest.

  8. Succinctly and apporiately put Toilet mastro.

    My sentiments exactly.

  9. Toiletboss – “Well, f@ck them reb!”

    Diplomatic and worthwhile career advice, succinct as always.

  10. I gather these senior management have never read a newspaper or magazine. Spelling errors on every page. If they do read the newspaper I certainly hope they send chastising emails to the CEOs demanding it never ever be done again.

    Regarding drafts, if the drafts were sent to the company then they are responsible for permitting the documents to proceed.

    I receive drafts for documents and magnets and business cards from my printer and they state in no uncertain terms that I am at fault, not them, for any misspelling I do not pick up prior to requesting them to proceed with the printing.

  11. Reb..I would hate to correct you, but you’ve got it wrong, wrong, wrong again.


    I’d be “horrified” if I woke up one morning and found a six-foot ring worm hangin’ out my ass,

    Sadly, as above..wrong. Ring worms do not hang out of one’s ass, they are a fungal infection akin to tinea.

    However, if you would like one or several relegated to boss then I am certain the we can do the big OM to make this happen.

  12. That’s very reASSuring Min.

  13. Well reb..somefin’ is always better than nothing. And when the superiors come up with such unreasonable statements/demands. What can one do?

    One can always try condescension..Examples include: You have found 4 spelling mistakes. Ans: Why is it that you have the need to point these things out to me? Perhaps you should seek counselling? Do you have problems with trivial issues and have problems with being able to visualise the issue in total?

    That is: always answer a statement with a question.

    And yes, I am available for individual counselling and am happy to be paid in meatballs (aka The Wedding Singer).

  14. Well, last week I received an email from one of the team members declaring how she was “horrified” (her words) to find a number of spelling errors in the document.

    This is one of my ‘pet’ topics. I was reminded of it on another thread yesterday where it was reported the government was “incandescent with rage” over Ralph Norris preempting an announcement about deferred mortgage payments.

    Really? Incandescent? With rage?

    Do people really feel such emotions over ordinary occurrences? It’s like people being angry over a government decision, for example. What do they do – throw things at the television, or punch the wall?

    Or even worse, ‘hating’ someone.

    Are any of these productive emotions? Isn’t the measure of a well adjusted personality the ability to remain calm in the most trying of situations? One would expect that a good manager or politician would have this skill mastered.

    If some people really do feel such strong emotions over relatively non-important events, I feel sorry for them.

  15. I understand that Nth Korea is a rouge rogue nation – but the rocket launch on the weekend was a launch of a satellite – as the Nth Koreans have said all along. So what is the problem?

  16. Reb, I think response along the following lines is available. In fact I’d recommend it –

    “I see, I thought I was working with a quality organisation.

    Yet here we have an example of a company rep (?) handing out/distributing material to our most valued clients without adequately reviewing it. How does this person know that the material accurately reflects our products/values/proposition (etc) if they haven’t gone to the trouble of thoroughly reviewing this material?

    Far from providing an undertaking to you, I DEMAND that you providing an undertaking to me, in writing, that you won’t continue to place our company’s reputation at risk through your shabby/inadequate processes.

    This is clearly a serious case of managerial neglect, and a failure by you to own your customer engagement process.

    You have until 5pm to provide this undertaking, or I’ll be escalating this.

    Mark my words, this is a serious case of neglect of our customers by a manager, namely you, vested with this business critical authority!!”

  17. And a few months ago I got an email from one of the team leaders that I deal with in Manila where she said that she “hates” me (she should never have put that in writing).

    Last week she wanted to run a program that she knew was wrong and would corrupt the database. I advised her strongly against that – but she went ahead anyway. On Friday she kept trying to explain to me why she did it and I kept just saying that “you knew it was wrong but you ran it anyway”. After I said it the third time she burst into tears and said that she was under too much pressure.

    So – it seems that it was my fault for pointing out to her that she ignored my advise.

    What is a man to do?

  18. Isn’t the measure of a well adjusted personality the ability to remain calm in the most trying of situations? One would expect that a good manager or politician would have this skill mastered.

    If some people really do feel such strong emotions over relatively non-important events, I feel sorry for them.

    Totally agree Tony.

    Fortunately, my own boss (the CEO of the company) is much more mature and level-headed than the manager I mention in my post.

    My own role involves managing the implementation of projects from beginning to end. Things invariably go wrong, some things might get delayed, take longer than originally anticipated – basically anything can happen.

    Ten or fifteen years ago, I might’ve gotten shitty with suppliers etc if they had held up things. But now I just take it all in my stride and just manage things to still get the best possible outcome.

  19. “a rouge nation …?”

    What, have they been invaded by the French??


  20. Damn spelling mistakes – you think management would pick them up before publishing!


  21. oooo… Tom of Melbourne …!!

    I like it when you talk like that..!!


  22. reb, on April 6th, 2009 at 12:43 pm Said:
    “a rouge nation …?”

    What, have they been invaded by the French??

    Nope reb..just by girls/blokes wearing lipstick and blush.

  23. Too right Joni.

    Where do we lodge a complaint?

    It’s simply not good enough.

    I’m horrified, appauled and incandescant with rage!!


  24. “I got an email from one of the team leaders that I deal with in Manila where she said that she “hates” me (she should never have put that in writing).”

    Isn’t an email “in writing” or I am my missing something here?

  25. I meant that putting it in an email means that I have it as evidence.

  26. oh I see now.

    Yes, that is an odd thing to put in an email. Telling someone that you hate them.

    Very strange indeed.

    And how could you reduce her to tears like that Joni??

    I mean really, have you no sense of sensitivity at all?

    If she’s based in the Philipines, there’s probably a pretty good chance that she’s a Catholic. I suggest that next time you see her, you offer to pray together and seek the Lord’s divine counsel and serenity.

  27. They have already tried to get me to prayer – I think they want to save me because of my perversion.

  28. I understand that Nth Korea is a rouge rogue nation – but the rocket launch on the weekend was a launch of a satellite – as the Nth Koreans have said all along. So what is the problem?

    America (or Japan) should have shot the thing out of the sky, and blown it to smithereens – just in case. (In a totally calm and thoughtful way, of course.)

  29. Am just trying to pay car insurance online via the NRMA.

    Oops…this page is not availableThe page you have requested may no longer exist or is temporarily.

    The above from

    The above link is from our NRMA greenslip. Am about to phone NRMA..could be gone for a while.

  30. Tony & Joni,

    I heard on the news this morning that the US is denying that there was any satelite launched.

    But then, that’s “US Intelligence”

    Apparently, NATO are having a special meeting to word a polite note to Kim that the yanks and japs are “not happy”.

  31. Banks are currently taking between 3 and 5 weeks to make a decision on broker submitted loans.

    Managing my clients expectations at the moment is a nightmare. Keeping my cool with the Banks is also becoming increasingly difficult.

  32. Shane,

    Tell them eight weeks. Any sooner and they’ll be rapt.

  33. 3 to 5 weeks?

    That’s crazy! Remember when it used to take 24 hours.

    In fact, my bank manager just gives me a verbal “yes” over the phone these days.

  34. Gawd, I am just so not into doing any work today.

    I wonder why….

  35. reb

    Your bank manger gives you a verbal because you once “live in a flat”.


  36. and not just any flat Joni.

    It was a RENTED flat.

    BTW, me and my partner stayed at a nice little country cottage over the weekend in the North of Tasmania.

    I was flicking through the guestbook and guess who was there on Janury 8, 2009?

    “Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull!”

    I’ve slept in the same bed as Talcum……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I did check behind the couch cushions to see whether he’d left his wallet behind, but alas, no luck).

  37. Wow – you are a posh poof!


  38. With apologies, but can’t resist it. Re: And how could you reduce her to tears like that Joni??

    It was when the poor (someone) had to be told that he was gay.

  39. LOL – they did try and set me up with the single women in the office in Manila when they found out I was single.

  40. Tony

    LOL problem is in QLD purchase contracts come with a 14 day finance clause, the complete opposite of most other states. Contracts in QLD are signed before finance is sought not after. So after 14 days the property is back on the market and the client has lost the purchase.

  41. Yes Shane,

    That does seem an unreasonable amount of time for the banks to process an application.

    I was only half-joking about the eight weeks, though. In my experience, it is always best to underpromise, then overdeliver.

  42. If you haven’t already paid it Min, try this page:

  43. Thank you bacchus. I choofed around to the post office this morning but it seems that green slips from the NRMA can no long be paid at the post office.

    I came home and tried to pay online, but received an error message. Spent 3/4 hr trying.

    Anyway..via a phone call, it’s done. Was not a happy little vegemite as due to being hearing impaired, not happy about having to talk to people on the phone. And my right ear is down to about 10% (whinge..whinge).

    But what the heck, it all seems to sort itself out in the long run doesn’t it.

  44. Tony

    Know you were only half joking mate. If it wasn’t affecting my clients it would be laughable.

    All I can do is wait on hold like I did with St George for 54 mins before getting someone who virtually told me tough s**t you cannot get an answer earlier than 4 weeks from when you lodged the application.

  45. not happy about having to talk to people on the phone

    I know what you mean Min – my hearing isn’t down that far yet (specialist at the hospital said I could get free hearing aids if I was on a pension though), but talking on the phone with those whose accent is a little too broad can be very trying at times.

    Glad to hear you got your bill sorted anyway 🙂

  46. Bacchus…you’re not kidding are you? I have moderate conductive hearing loss. I do have a hearing aid but I hate it because when the wind blows there is just the sound of a huge woosssshhh.

    Conductive being the calcification of the small bones, an hereditary thing compared with nerve deafness, often industry related.

  47. I’m not happy about having to talk to people full stop.

  48. Min, on April 6th, 2009 at 2:48 pm Said: “you’re not kidding are you?”

    No Min. A fellow at work just got a hearing aid => $6000 – a bit rich for this little black duck! I’ll just have to wait until I retire I guess.

    My hearing has dropped off at the higher frequencies, so it’s mainly female voices I have trouble with (some unkind men may say that’s a blessing 😀 ), and differentiating between some words.

  49. With indulgence: the most splendifeous Sophia Loren…

  50. Looks like Farah Fawcett is about to snuff it.

  51. Bacchus..and so you have nerve deafness?? That is the most usual sort of deafness re higher frequencies.

    Mine is mostly over the entire range of frequencies although thinking about it (it’s a 20 year thing with me) I can understand the lower ranges better.

    And likewise..although I have a hearing aid via Australian Hearing Services it’s next to useless. If I care to upgrade it’s (as per your friend) $6,000+ and so it ain’t happening.

  52. Reb..caught a snitchet this morning. Any reason why?

  53. a snitchet?

  54. The boyf and I are off to a meeting tonight on the governments Human Rights consultation process that is happening at the moment.

    Some information about the process is here:

    The National Human Rights Consultation provides the opportunity for you to share your views on human rights. The Consultation is run by an independent Committee. The Committee is supported by a Secretariat in the Attorney-General’s Department.

    Hopefully I will be able to get a youtube clip up on it in the next few days.

  55. Min – “nerve deafness” isn’t the words the specialist used. He did talk about damage to the tiny hair cells in the cochlea, and because the left side is significantly worse than the right, he sent me for an MRI to check for acoustic neuroma (not found).

    The people up at audiology told me to wear ear muffs when mowing etc. to try to slow down the rate of loss, but that basically it would slowly get worse.

    Most of the time it’s not a problem – although my wife might not agree (she sits to my left while we’re watching TV, at the dinner table, most times in the car … hang on – maybe that’s what caused it 😆 )

  56. The Pentagon’s “privilege review team” dangles the prospect of a 6-month jail sentence for Guantanamo detainee’s lawyer…for releasing a (redacted) case summary memo that he wrote to the President but that was redacted by the privilege review team (apparently before the president saw it) to ONLY include the title.

    Yes, you heard that right. They’re saying they want to prosecute him for releasing to the world the title of the memo that he himself wrote, and that they themselves redacted.

    Seems like intimidation of defence lawyers continues…which doesn’t help break down the suspicion that they have something to hide.

  57. Bacchus. I have been legally hearing impaired since about good grief..must be eons now. [Legally as in my autiometry via Australian Hearing Services].

    There are 2 major types of deafness. My less than usual sort is where the little bones in the middle ear calcify (the bones known as hammer, anvil and stirrup). Then there is the more usual, to do with the cochlea and is mostly to do with some form of trauma (loudness mostly..and a lot industrial).

    There is also a condition to do with Asperger’s Syndrome where some sounds are amplified. But that’s another story…

  58. Alan Greenspan in 1996, as quoted by Brooksley Born (head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who later strongly advocated regulation of the CDS market, but was unsuccessful in that aim):

    “…I don’t think there is any need for a law against fraud.”

    I’d rate that one of the stupidest pronouncements ever heard from a supposedly market-savvy individual. (Greenspan denies this is an accurate characterisation of the conversation, Born stands by it.)

    There’s a lot of her career history before it returns to her role in market regulation towards the bottom quarter of the article. Lawrence Summers and Rubin get a mention.

    And Bill Moyers interviews (transcript) William K. Black who wrote a book called “The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One”. He was a regulator during the Savings and Loan scandal of the ’80s and enraged Senator Charles Keating (of the “Keating Five”). He explains (for those of us who need reminding) what fraud is and why we need laws (and effective enforcement) against it.

    BILL MOYERS: Is it possible that these complex instruments were deliberately created so swindlers could exploit them?

    WILLIAM K. BLACK: Oh, absolutely. […]

    He calls Bernie Madoff a small-time crook in comparison, and points out that the FBI – who publicly warned years ago of looming problems due to fraudulent mortgages – now has only 20% of the financial specialists it used to have, and raises Brooksley Born’s fight for regulation against Summers, Rubin, Greenspan and Phil Gramm. And points out that the US taxpayers sent $5 billion to UBS at the same time as it was being fined $780 million – for defrauding the US. That’ll teach ’em…

    But some stronger allegations are that Geithner is invested in covering up the extent of the problem (which is why they don’t want to fire the current bank CEOs and put in “honest people”), and he notes that Geithner was promoted because he failed as a regulator, and that the Prompt Corrective Action Law is apparently being violated. (And in describing how this law is being ignored, he cites the same type of language used by those who agitate for anti-torture laws to be ignored…strangely enough, they also implemented procedures after 9/11 that actively sabotaged the ability of the civil engineering profession to learn from the disaster. Anyone see a pattern here?)

    And he keeps on going with more…

    Read the whole things.

  59. I read a job advertisement not long ago that stated amongst the usual “You will be a team leader and so on”, then as part of the preamble ‘ you off course will have an excellent command of language skills and the ability to be precise in your dealing with attention to oral and written communication. If this is you we would like to here from you.’.
    I sent off an email ” I’m your man , also I’ve read “From Hear to Eternity”.. Will here from you soon..
    No luck so far.

  60. Tom of Melbourne, on April 6th, 2009 at 11:35 am Said:

    Toiletboss – “Well, f@ck them reb!”

    “Diplomatic and worthwhile career advice, succinct as always.”

    Don’t get many laughs from what I read (and to clarify,reading in general) that though was excellent. Thank you.

  61. Well I’m glad I’m not the only reb.

    Why the eff do I drag myself out of bed on a Monday morning; get into a spasm of road rage with some effing dickhead on the way to work; get pushed over into the effing queu at the effing coffee shop; only to arrive at the office and have the effing effing effing boss go out of her teffing ree because I effing well misunderstood her instructions on an effing report I put together.

    Did I mention that I was pissed off?

  62. Just as an indulgence..similar posted to Kevin Rennie’s thread..and just cos I love this. The Impossible Dream by Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren. great singers, but wonderful actors.

  63. That as meant to be effing tree.

    See. I can’t do anything right.

  64. Tboss – get stuffed. Reb – get stuffed too.

    Wow. I feel much better now.

  65. seems that Jedda is doing the cooking tonight.

  66. Well, you’re all having a good day. The reason I’m jobless is because I told the boss to jam it, after being blamed time and time again for something that was totally out of my control. I got so p*ssed off with it and walked out.

    How am I supposed to sell a product that is not being produced, nor has it been for 12 months.

    My lips are sealed! As the last words to me were “We can sue you, you know, if you say anything bad about the company”

    We’re broke, we may lose the house. We decided we’d rather be broke and happy, than earning a heap and being miserable.

    Forgot, WE were both employed by the same company. The other half told them to jam it as well.

  67. Sorry to hear about your predicament Angel. It pales my day into insignificence.

    Instead of telling my boss to get stuffed face to face, I’ll be gutless and do it over Blogocrats.


  68. I guess all this crap is just another day in our life.

    A Day in the Life was banned on Australian radio for many years. God knows why. You tell me.

  69. Miglo,

    In case there’s anyone you’ve missed today, allow me to arrange some blanket coverage for you:


    (I stole that one from Davo.)

  70. We’ll be OK, my other half has another job. When you’re used to 2 incomes, you have bills to match, which we do. But, I’m hopeful things will improve.

    I feel good not having to lie to my clients about the product that is not being produced. I would so love to spill the beans, but I can’t get rid of that damn avatar pic, so cannot remain annonymous.

  71. Angel, I like your pic. You could do much worse, such as a duck. Why a stunning bloke like me chose a duck I’ll never know.

  72. Tony, you can get stuffed too.

  73. Thankyou Miglo, it’s my hubby’s fav. I’ve just had another go at changing the avatar. Fingers crossed.

  74. Sorry to hear about your predicament Angel.

    Remind me to stop watching the 7.30 report.

    There was Michael Brissended telling us that the latest unemployment figures are going to be out on Thursday together with a graph that indicates that things are going to get a helluva lot worse.

    Anyway, it’s good that your other half still has work.

    One door closes, another one opens…

  75. Miglo,

    I’ve found that responding to someone who’s got the shits at work is best done in an obsequiously pleasant manner.

    For one thing, they expect you to get all wound up like they are, and when you don’t, it kind of throws them completely off guard.

    It’s important to keep everything in perspective.

    Or as we used to say in the 80’s – “It’s just a f**kin’ job”.

  76. Lotharsson, on April 6th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    T’inkin that the banksters have a good head start on cooking the books, and by inter-meddling the ledgers, they’ll be able to hide behind both commercial in-confidence and (quasi-)governmental immunities, even as the data trails become conveniently more and more compromised. Mind you, the applicable power law seems to have mutated from “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One” to ‘The Best Way to Loot a Nation Wholesale Is To Own One By Writing Fraudulent IOUs” (waves at Ben’s Helicopter).

  77. oh and Migs…


    (sage and onion).

    Turn the oven to 180 degrees and insert yourself for one hour and 20 minutes.

  78. Legion, on April 6th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Further, I am thinking that the US is still trying to inflate its debts away, particularly its unfunded obligations, which begin to crystallise in their tens of trillions in the 2020s; I say this because there has been no effective halt to the bogus Greenspan era, and intensification of that same monetary program in the Bernanke era; and, if anything, the shift from implicit to explicit ‘quantitative easing’ is indicative of just how incapable the US is, and was even before the GFC, of meeting short-term financing (what everyone seems to be looking at when they’re considering the GFC) AND those looming medium-term ‘bullet repayments‘ very likely to result in sovereign default. Bill Moyers may suggest that it was a giant Ponzi scheme on a domestic scale; I’m suggesting that it was and is a gigantic Ponzi scheme on an international scale, which could go some ways towards explaining the apparent top-down collusions, manipulations, and side-lining of oversights.

  79. There seems to have been a lot of stuffing going on while I was away defending our human rights!

  80. Joni, get stuffed.

  81. Just to share something that has haunted me for some time, and forms part of the reason I ended up blowing the whistle on widespread bullying at my former employment.

    In September of 2001Mr Rashid, a contractor to Chubb Security was shot dead at Punchbowl RSL.

    Prior to the shooting Chubb decided to reduce the traditional armoured service by replacing four man crews with one person using their own vehicle, allowed them to undercut the competition.

    A close friend of mine had concerns about taking on the downgraded service (and he was the operations manager for that particular service) but had decided to remain quiet for fear of losing his job. In fact most people at Chubb at the time were aware of the consequences of challenging the decision makers.

    The day Mr Rasheed was gunned down, I recall having a conversation with my colleague and the first thing he said to me was ‘\they are going to try an pin this on me’, they knew this was wrong! He was visibly shaken and concerned.

    But this known risk to employee safety hadn’t started with the shooting death, in fact, since the service downgrade was implemented other officers had been bashed and robbed – and I think it was on exactly the same run Mr Rashid was on, from memory. All warnings and indicators were conveniently ignored by Chubb.

    In hindsight, it was perfectly foreseeable that tragedy was a real possibility. In fact, Chubb were also later prosecuted by WorkCover for other offences that occurred earlier in 2001.

    I finally blew the whistle because I was unable to tolerate, what to me, was a mean spirited and profit driven machine which had been hurting too many people, including myself.

    What’s reminded me of this tragedy? In today’s news:

    Saeb Raad confesses to shooting security guard Ahmed Rashid,22049,25296049-5001021,00.htmlMORE than six years after an armed robber murdered a security guard, he handed himself into police saying he “couldn’t live with it any more”.

    Now Saeb Raad, 48, of Coogee, has pleaded guilty to murdering Ahmed Rashid, 32, in September 2001 and robbing him of $55,000 outside the Punchbowl Ex-Services Club in Sydney.

    Rashid should never had died, had WorkCover done their job. In fact, in June 2001, just 3 months before the fatal shooting, Dianne Beamer, raised concerns before parliament – and the specific concerns she raised included to the route in which the fatality occurred.

    Security Industry – 06/06/2001 – PRIV – NSW Parliament
    Ms BEAMER (Mulgoa) [5.16 p.m.]: I wish to inform the House of matters relating to the security industry that were brought to my attention by a constituent. The constituent raised particular concerns about the action of Chubb Security Services. As many honourable members would be aware, driving armoured vehicles is an occupation that can often be fraught with danger. The delivery of cash to financial institutions and pay offices has always needed trained staff with adequate protection, both in equipment and numbers of personnel. In a push to reduce costs, Chubb Security Services has been insisting, no doubt at the behest of some of its big clients, such as banks, on reducing its costs, and in doing so a number of people have been placed at risk. The number of security officers and the type of vehicles that are used have changed. This has led to some horrific incidents.

    A cash transit route that had previously called for a three to four person armoured vehicle with an escort was reduced to a one to two person crew in a soft skin courier van. This vehicle was stopped as it slowed down to go over a speed bump. The two security officers were dragged out of the vehicle and bashed with baseball bats. This is not an isolated incident, but no previous incidents have been recorded on this route. The Transport Workers Union raised these concerns with WorkCover, and was very disappointed with the lack of action taken by that body. The union also wrote to the Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. John Della Bosca, and outlined its concerns. The letter stated:

    … union delegates met with management from Chubb Security Services where we were informed that Chubb had won a major new contract involving cash collections from Westpac business clients. We were further informed that as our safety standards were too rigorous the work would be contracted out to another division of Chubb known as Chubb Protective Services working under dramatically different safety standards.

    The letter went on to state that in some cases there was no training of staff at all. It continued:

    The potentially devastating effect on those involved in an armed robbery situation whether loss of life occurs or not should be clear, yet despite detailed evidence being provided to WorkCover to our knowledge no action has been taken other than an ongoing consideration of the matter.

  82. Nice post John, now get stuffed.

  83. Up your nose with a big rubber hose Migs (wink)

  84. John, did I tell you I had a bad day?

  85. Daffy

    I think you need some Duck Soup.


    Where’s Adrian to give us his excellent analysis of the latest Newspoll?

  87. And notice how the poll was taken after the “Rudd made me cry” story – but the Opposition Oracle decides to omit that point.

    If the poll went the other way they would be shouting it from up on high.

  88. We’re yet to see what Shamahan can make of it joni. Maybe spin this bit…

    That puts Mr Turnbull’s standing at the same level as then opposition leader John Howard in December 1988 when the now-defunct Bulletin magazine ran a front-page headline “Mr 18 per cent. Why does this man bother?”

    Something like: “Look where Howard came back from in ’98, Malcolm’s not dead yet.” (just doing a very good imitation of the Black Knight )

  89. Joni: Sad news re the passing of ACT Brumbies’ Shawn Mackay.
    Very sad.

  90. OB

    Yeah – very sad. I thought he was going to recover.

  91. Hey Reb maybe you should spend more time concentrating on your job than on this dumb blog !

  92. Migs

    No problem Migs. Yesterday, for some odd reason, was a little off for everyone it seems.

  93. “However this morning I receive an email from her boss (quite a senior manager), also expressing his outrage that this has occurred and insisting that I give him an assurance that “it won’t happen again”….”

    Yer not performing to the STANDARD required lad…didn’t you realise yer just a unit? You need to be MANAGED more efficiently…for the greater good of the corporation:

    Spotswood: ‘Instituting some changes’

    Are you not enjoying the fruits of your labor reb?…or is that “labour”?…


  94. Interesting item from The NYT blog …

    Not so interesting for the content, but this comment sums up the tactic well enough … (Comment No.5)

    Palin’s family should be left alone. It is unfortunate that she won’t allow that to happen.

    Palin does a wonderful job of publicizing the details of her family’s lives for political gain while slamming the media and anyone else who talks about the details of her family’s lives. If I was a politician my consistent response would be to politely ask the media to leave my kids out of it. This is what most politicians do, and the media usually don’t report on the kids of those politicians (with some obvious exceptions). Palin uses her family as shield and cudgel and then wonders aloud why people won’t leave her family out of it.

  95. Oh dear – how bad is it when Gerard Henderson quotes the South Park guys to support his argument?

    Much of the Western world believes North Korea, Iran, al-Qaeda and the like must do something or other. But this does not mean that they will, in response to reason alone. The scenario was well depicted in the film Team America: World Police where, in reply to Kim Jong-il’s dare that Hans Blix spell out how the UN would be firm with North Korea on nuclear proliferation, the Blix character replied: “We will be very angry with you and will write you a letter telling you how angry we are.”

    But he just does not get it right anyway – it’s Hans Brix!

  96. Very interesting article in the OO today by Robert Manne regarding attacks from the ‘right’ re Rudd’s essay in the Monthly

    The attack on Rudd has been relentless. This newspaper, for example, has published 44 articles revealing hostility towards The Monthly essay and one that is broadly supportive. Why is all this worth saying?

    Well worth a read.,25197,25299902-7583,00.html

    And for those who haven’t read the essay in question, here;s a link (and it’s for free).

    Manne’s piece is probably worth a thread. But don’t post the whole article as I believe that such an approach is parasitic as does the editor of the Wall Street Journal.

    There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet.”,25197,25293711-7582,00.html

  97. Nature 5, on April 7th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for the links N5, liked the Manne article, he gave it to the ‘shock-jock-in-print’ good, left her completely exposed for the shill that she is.

  98. And yet, Manne’s substantive ‘arguments’ are a who’s who of fallacies, too; maybe ‘intellectualism’ is generally on the wane.

  99. Legion – intellectualism? Haven’t seen that for a decade or so!

    Israel created ‘terror without mercy’ in Gaza:

    …Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society yesterday said their findings showed Israel’s military committed serious violations of international humanitarian law…

  100. joni @12.36pm 6 April. You great bully, you!!! Reducing the poor (23yo Filipina aircraftwoman?) woman to tears. We’ve always known you have an anger management problem, but this is insupportable!! Pack up your desk and report to the Lodge immediately.

    reb, if it was a tape worm,you could cut it into 1m lengths and flog it off to the haberdashery section at your nearest Spootlight.

    And I suggest you photocopy your middle digit in an upright position and send it to the w@nkers who are giving you grief over the great spelling scandal!

  101. Hey Davo, get stuffed.

  102. Re stuffed duck:

    This Duck roasts up nice and crisp and golden brown. The Brown rice stuffing and cherry sauce compliment the duck perfectly.

  103. Drool drool Min. Sounds nice. Where can I find a duck?

  104. Migs, a couple of your cousins have been doing their do-dos in the pool. Please come over to collect them.

  105. Just for you Migs..Duck soup.

  106. “There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet.”

    Coming from the media empire that doesn’t mind free promotion of its films, TV shows, music, cable systems, network sites etc. etc…

    The rot extends from the roots to the branches it seems. The withered tree.


  107. “Please come over to collect them.”

    Min. really needs your to collect you rellies Migs, it starts w/ the pool, then the poolside nibbles…and before ya know it:

    Hey Min…loved that Man of La Mancha clip…outstanding!

    I’m down w/ the respiratory thingy thanx to m’lady kindly passing it on. And it ain’t “the dreaded lurgy”…or is that “lurgi”…;)

    Still managed to drag me butt outa bed and make me special gal a herby lentil, broccoli, capsicum, spring onion, leek, zuchinni, carrot, garlicy, various heavenly tomatoes kinda splodge w/ penne & topped w/ Grana Padano.

    I’m off for some sipping of lemon, cinnamon & ginger tea.

    Excellent discussions all. Hope you had a better day Miglo.


  108. Pic was a duck sipping beer.

    cough cough

  109. I had a Uni lecturer whose only feedback on Masters papers was to correct footnotes. Naturally his corrections were twenty years behind the current conventions. If we applied the spelling criterion to the ABC they’d have to sack half their writers, especially those who do capitons and headlines.

  110. Would it have been a Billsoner that the duck was sipping?

    (joni slaps himself)

  111. Nas..the link comes up as Naughty Bad..HTTP 400 Bad Request.

    Don’t tell me that you’ve got the dreaded lurgy too. I’m only just getting over the wretched thing. Youngest brought it down from Bris with her.

    This has become my favorite risoni, something about the shape and texture. For vegos replace bacon with bacon bits.

    A sprinkle of parmesan or float slice of crusty bread topped with cheese. And Bob’s yer uncle.

  112. “the link comes up as Naughty Bad”

    my bad Min…link too long…my brain cells are not unionised enuff today…

    “A sprinkle of parmesan or float slice of crusty bread topped with cheese.”

    Cool, sounds good…Min., now you’ve got me thinkin’ of French Onion soup w/ sherry or dry white wine topped w/ sour dough bread or other crusty bread, grated gruyere or jarlsberg cheese…lots of pepper…

    goes down a treat on an coolish, overcast day…


  113. “Would it have been a Billsoner that the duck was sipping?”

    he he…

    Or was it a Drake’s Amber Ale?

    N’…slapping himself silly.

  114. Nas..I have a French onion soup recipe from eons ago. It was most definitely with s/sherry.

    And with gruyere, if you can even buy it these days.

  115. N’, that wasn’t me, but I know the guy. He’s a born again pisstank.

    Oh, and I forgot – get stuffed.

  116. Yeah Migs..and the same to you with knobs on. And chewy on your boot too.

  117. “He’s a born again pisstank.”

    Might keep Min’s pool topped up then

    “Oh, and I forgot – get stuffed.”

    How did you know? Is nothing secret these days?


  118. does not want one’s pool topped up with what the ducks do in the pool….

  119. “And with gruyere, if you can even buy it these days.”

    Too true…hard to come by for ages now. Must start searching the Delis.

    Speaking of gruyere, I should put up a fondue recipe on Thursday arvo Min.?

    Easter weekend w/ fondue…yum.


  120. Nas’…I knew that I shouldn’t have looked.

    Have to now choof due to dinner duties..a big lump of swilling lard aka corned beef.

  121. Whoops..should mention..daughters are both vegetarians. And so above was a joke.

  122. “a big lump of swilling lard aka corned beef.”…
    “And so above was a joke.”

    Really, I thought you were referring to my bear butt Min.



  123. Hi Nasking, you’d be pleased to hear what I’m doing right now.

    I’m searching the net for lyrics to Gordon Lightfoot songs to copy into my iPod touch, so when I play the song, up come the lyrics.

    It’s fun.

  124. N’

    That’d be better than your bare butt. hehe

  125. “That’d be better than your bare butt. hehe”

    joni, why does the word “moon” come up w/ the thought of both?…:)

    Migs, what’s an iPod? Sounds like something outa ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’?…


  126. Joni, why aren’t you busying yourself by looking for Neil Diamond lyrics for your iPod touch?

    Bitch slap.

  127. This kid is pure evil:

  128. Migs, what’s an iPod?

    Could somebody please help me entice Nasking to join us in the 21st century.

    Come slowly Nasking. Brace yourself for some shock. Some big things have happened in the last 10 years.

  129. Why should I look when the iPod is already fully Neiled?!

  130. OK joni, I should have known you’d be a couple of steps ahead of me.

    I’m so glad you’ve adjusted to the 21st Century.

    Unlike some.

  131. Joni, my hubby loves Neil Diamond. It makes me go shopping, He doesn’t love that.

    Nice to see everyone happy.

  132. And you should have guess that, Ducky, as I worship at the temple of Infinite Loop.

  133. And you should have guess that, Ducky,

    That involves thinking. I’m a public servant. I’m neither paid nor programmed to think.

    I just do.

  134. Angel, your face is missing. Have you been body snatched?

  135. Fgnargle snurk blookle

  136. I’m channeling davo…

  137. Reheheheally, Tony? I need one of those good Chinese spy names, which the Opposition Gazettes were handing out last week, if I’m to inspire true fear in an AustralASIAN population which has only yet been softened up by a micro-dose of ‘roid rage on a plane flight and an essayists brow-beating. Ooh, I get ‘Chief Kahn’; near enough to Chinggis, I guess, and a sound pedigree for a total world domination tour!

  138. China’s recovery ‘will stabilise region’

    CHINA’S recovery from its economic downturn will start this year, taking “full hold” next year and helping stabilise the whole Asia-Pacific region.

    There will be no stabilising Chief Kahn aka Region! I take your full hold and break it in two, like a fortune cookie! All your base metals are mines!

  139. Most humorous passage of speech-making, Tongzhi Region.

  140. Moooooo. Baaaaa.

    TBos, I’m trying to channel Davo too.



  141. Curse it. I just chanelled Nathan Bock.

  142. I know I’m a late starter but I’ve been buying a few Nick cave cds and downloading them to my iPerson.

    Way cool stuff….

  143. Reb, don’t forget to download the lyrics into your iSnatch after a fruitful search of the internet.

  144. iSnatch….??

  145. Ask Nasking.

  146. Thank you Migs..we’re all a wee bit slooow…

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