The French fry Revolution

The revolution will not be televised. It will be Instagrammed
So the latest crop of cretins best and brightest of the new generation are protesting for free tertiary education again.

Their strategy this time: close the universities. Because that makes so much sense. It’s a bit like campaigning for orgasms by cutting off your penis. It seems that the shaggy-haired sandal squad are unable to recognise the giant metaphorical pistol they have aimed squarely at their unwashed collective foot. Then again, I’ve been informed that I’m “part of the problem” and “too old to understand”. I wasn’t aware that logic had an age limit, but there you go.

However, I actually DO understand why the instigators of this movement are so adamant about not paying fees: A scan of the jobs page of any local newspaper will swiftly reveal that there aren’t any organisations recruiting people with degrees ending in the word “studies”. Their future employment prospects almost certainly involve the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”

The old joke about what you say to someone with a PhD in Humanities is a chilling reality in this country.

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Thump thump thump

And that was AFTER filtering out all the Gurus, Ninjas and Rock Stars
One of the less palatable aspects of my job is bidding on government contracts. It would be less of trial if I thought it would be worth the effort, but it’s a complete waste of time.

Most state entities openly thumb their noses at the procurement regulations and carefully word their specifications to favour certain outcomes. The state officials have very itchy backs that require lots of scratching before you’re granted entrance to the preferred circle.

The fact that this is technically illegal is neither here nor there. The government occasionally makes a few disingenuous noises about “rooting out corruption” before election time, but the practice continues because few private firms have the stomach, stamina or stones to take the matter to court. They understand the power of the Dark Side.

Nevertheless, my boss insists that I keep hitting my head against this particular wall, because Senior Management Logic(TM) dictates that if something doesn’t work, you keep doing it until your skull pops.

The power point

Seriously, what is the point of a minion that won't do your bidding?
I am working on a project proposal at the moment. It’s a bit like a marriage proposal, but with less chance for regret down the line.

It’s a rather hefty undertaking and the person leading the team is one of your stereotypical pie-chart wielding financial experts – although I use the term “expert” rather loosely here. Actually, “leading” also requires some poetic license.

Midway through the process, he instructed us all to use the same template to format our input to the proposal document. This seemed entirely sensible until we discovered that the “document” we had to use was actually a PowerPoint presentation.

I’m just going to let that sink in for a bit.

Once our ghasts stopped flabbering, we made repeated requests to Mr Experty the expert to switch to a more appropriate format. Clearly the man went to the Grumpycat School of Management, because all we got was a whole bag of no. Even when we prepared a Word document that duplicated the look and feel of his PowerPoint template exactly, he wouldn’t budge. We finally had to bite the bullet and commence with the unutterably laborious process of cut ‘n’ paste to shoehorn roughly a hundred pages of information into a series of slightly misaligned text boxes.

I’m guessing that Mr Experty has spent his entire working life making bullet-pointed lists and isn’t prepared to admit that he is confounded by the intricacies of other business software. Also, he is an imbecile.

It’s over 9000!

Actually, it's not.
Our quality manager is a special individual.

A quick look at his CV confirms that the only thing standing between him and unemployment is nepotism. Before he joined the company, our quality system was a bloated behemoth of ball-achingly tedious paperwork. Nevertheless, it was easy to follow and it worked, after a fashion. Sadly, our current “improved” system is a Gordian knot of utter incomprehensibility that even a psychotic weaver bird with a spaghetti fetish would find terrifying.

I have a theory that he constructs elaborate sculptures out of his own faeces and converts these into quality procedures via some bizarre topological algorithm. This may not be the case, but he is definitely full of shit.

Of course, it doesn’t help that he chooses to interact with the rest of us in the most abrasive manner possible. For example, at two minutes to five on Friday afternoon, I received a blank email with an attached document and the words, “Please check” in the subject line.

At five past eight on Monday morning, I received another email (copied to the MD, naturally) containing the following: “I have not received ANY response to the memo I sent out last week!!!!! I assume the lack of comment means that everyone agrees with the propsed (sic) proceedure (sic) revisions so these will now be implemented immediately at once.”

I was mildly disappointed that there weren’t any exclamation marks at the end of the second sentence.