Tuesday 14 May 2013

How many men does it take to find a piece of software?

What did we do while she was away?!
Answer: No one knows 'cos they never look.
I would just like to say that I am not setting out, like Ben Elton, to show that all men are sexist except me, I used to be very misogynist, but I'd like to think that I have improved.
What happened was this.
The woman in the photo is our super-manager at Seabird Rescue, Kath.
Recently she left us to take a job with wildlife in Western Australia.
She was away for about a year working all hours and dealing with problems that made Fawlty Towers look like a functional establishment, eventually she pulled up stumps and returned to us, which many heartlfelt sighs of relief, mainly from Rochelle, our general manager, who was able to hand over 90 odd hours of weekly work.
Coinciding with her return was my work computer began to crap out.
The possums that ran round the wheel to provide power were getting elderly and it was taking half an hour to load a single application.
So I whinged to Rochelle until I wore her down and she bought me a new puter.
I was so happy, now I could listen to my favourite songs on the tube-of-you and look at porn sites in real time.
But with every computer upgrade there are issues and the wireless antenna from my old box wouldn't work with the new.
I needed the install discs for the antenna but instead of LOOKING for them, I whinged to Kath.
"You haven't seen any discs with Belkin written on them, have you?", I said as she whirred past completing her daily round of tasks.
She cocked her head and replied non-commitally but docketed it away in her capacious memory cache.
I went back to trying ineffectual things to get an internet connection and was vaguely aware of Kath rooting about in the background.
She then said, "did you say Belkin?", I replied, "Yes", and she then floored me by saying "here are the discs".
She'd found them.
So there you have it, Kath was away for a year and had found the discs within three days of returning to the building.
I have to break from writing here and make a work call, now where's my phone?


Becky and I found a solution
to the volume problem.
Elsewhere, I sorted it out with my coffee friend and we came to a compromise.
I would stop talking like I was trying to reach Mars without the use of a radio and she would wear the earmuffs I use for whipper-snipping.
Joke of course, however I will say that resolving this issue was quite a step for my own emotional development.
For reasons stated many times already I had a quite stunted development and grew to man's estate as stable as a yacht with no keel, as functional as a shovel with no handle and, to borrow from Blackadder, as cynical as a man who has just been appointed Professor of Cynicism at Oxford.
My usual pattern when confronted by a casual remark that had hurt me was to disappear, cease contact with the person who had hurt me and never speak to them again.
An overreaction?
Just a little.
However Becky had helped me greatly in the past and slowly I realised that I had to resolve this.
So heart racing and bowels dissolving I took a phone call from her and we sorted it out.
Good for me and a great credit to Paula and the long list of mental health care professionals that have had to endure me moaning over the years to effect some change in my underweight pygmy of an emotional intelligence.
Miked up and  'om-ing'.
Two of the haris at the rear
of the group carried
small Marshall amps.
But returning from the realms of my internal and seemingly eternal dark side of the mind.
As I was writing about Becky and my volume control I was accosted by a new sound growing outside the office.
Slowly the noise grew and conversations fell silent as it approached.
It eventually resolved itself into that most Byron of street theatre, the Hari-Krisnas.
However it seems that the Haris have a most un-Amish view of modern technology and have moved on from munching lentils while beating hand bongos  and have embraced the field of mobile amplification.
As can be seen in the picture the two leaders were miked up to lead the chant and the group carried enough hardware to sound Phil Collins at Knebworth.

So I'll close with this story from my teenage years, which some of you from Kelso High will probably resonate with.
When I was 13 or 14 I had quite a full schedule, school all day, then sport all afternoon till dark.
After school on Winter Thursdays at this time I would race down to Dag City (The Police Boys club) to play basketball, then on the soccer training at George Park till dusk.
Now one of the requirements of playing in the basketball comp was that each team had to provide two refs for the game afterward.
I had ignored this in my selfishness because of soccer training, my logic was impeccable, I have something I want to do so other people can do the less than fun task of reffing.
After one game however, the organiser of the comp, a teacher at South Bathurst Public called Ray, came over and took our team to task.
He said, "Hang on you guys, this fellow here (he was pointing to Graeme Hollis) has referreed every time I looked. It's about time someone else took a turn".
Graeme was a quietly spoken, popular boy who had moved quietly in the background and done the whole teams duties for some weeks without complaint.
The rest of us looked around uneasily, wondering if anyone would volunteer.
No one did.
I can't recall the sequence of events, but I ended up reffing the next game, more or less because I didn't move quick enough.
How I railed and fumed, "how could I have to do this?!, I have soccer training, what I want to do is clearly more important than anybody else's desires".
Of course it never occurred to me that Graeme, for instance, might have DESIRES OF HIS OWN!
Anyway, it was the first time I learned about selfishness, particularly, how selfish I was.
I'd like to say I changed my behaviour there and then, but teenage boys don't work like that.
However, the fact that I am recording this story here some 35 years later shows something and I'd like to think that slow as a glacier I have finally learned not to be so selfish.
Of course, what everybody really wants to hear is that I've learned to shut up, but that looks like being another three decades at best.

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