Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I've been wondering what to write about for my next post, and have so far failed to come up with something a bit more down to earth than the last one to maintain a good mix. Since I've been unsuccessful on that front, I give you this instead:

I love ferns. They are my absolute favourite type of plant, and thinking about them tends to inspire a wistful state in me. I imagine a world of fairies and fireflies. A tiny Utopia with nectar served in flower buds and crumbs of cake on petal plates. A dream of moss mattresses and naked dances in the moonlight under toadstools. Yep, ferns are fantastic, and they inspired the following writing. I was simply playing with the sound and feel of the words in my mind without trying for anything especially cohesive. I'm in love with the last sentence.

Ferny green light.
Tendrils curling velvety.
Lace-like dendrite spreading wide.
Forests of verdant shoots in miniature.
Glory in the lustful spore-covered underbelly of the fantastic Utopia.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


As she strolled along the corridor an ancient feeling came,
That primal urge to speed her steps, felt deep inside the brain.
She willed herself to keep control, a slow pace to retain,
But the wish to check behind her persistently remained.
Now just because she told herself her feeling was insane,
This pile in the corridor is what's left of her remains.

Edited because the first version had some issues. :)

Blogging again

I seem now to be posting  only once a year, and I hope to change that. Then again, I've had some pretty good excuses for not posting in the last 6 months at least, that being the increase in the size of our family from 2 to 3 with the introduction of the Pukwudgie. She is 6 months old now, and I've been sleep deprived for a little longer than that. She's not sleeping through the night yet.
But despite the ongoing sleep deprivation, I still somehow am feeling slightly more human, and being more human, I really need to start doing some more things with my brain.  I've become very good at entertaining babies, and I love doing that, but there's more to life, and I do need to do more!
While she's asleep.
That's my life now. 45 minute blocks of time to myself, then an hour and a half dealing with baby and trying to get housework done at the same time, on repeat endlessly. Evenings are slightly better. We have two to two and a half hours to ourselves before bed, assuming The Pukwudgie stays asleep.

And now I've forgotten where that was going.  Maybe something about not doing work during the sleep time, only leisure activities (which includes writing). I don't remember. That's a sleep deprivation thing, memory loss. I'm very familiar with it these days. And difficulty forming sentences.  At least when I'm writing I get as long as I need to figure out that word, you know the one... it's on the tip of my tongue.

So after that bit of rambling you might be wondering where I was going with this entire post. Well, it's been a couple of sleep-wake cycles since I started writing, so actually I'm not certain that even I know the original point. But my best guess is that I was just trying to assure you (or maybe just me) that I do intend, yet again, to do this more often.
Or maybe I just wanted to see if I could still write.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Usually I like to be nice to customer support...

Wow, it's been ages since I've created a new post. There have been numerous factors, but mostly I would say it's just life been getting in the way. However, occasionally something pops up that just says 'blog'. This time, it was an irritating and useless standardised email response to a problem I had with my tatts ticket confirmations. I amused myself getting all sarcastic in response, and in the hopes it will amuse you too, I've reproduced below all correspondence so far.  I'll try to keep you updated with any further replies.

Email #1: To online support for tatts

Subject: Didn't receive email confirmation


I have bought 2 tickets this evening. I received the email confirmation for one of them, but haven't received the email confirmation for the other one. I can see both tickets in my ticket history when I log into my account, but would like to make sure that I continue to receive email confirmations of all the tickets that I buy. 
Can you please look into this for me?

Please let me know what details you need.



Email #2: Standardised response, accepting no responsibility (lightly edited for boring unnecessary spam)

Thank you for emailing Tattersall's Hippofeet,

There can be a number of reasons why an email sent to you would not be received. Some of these include: 

• There is a problem with your email account, archiving email on the ISP server and being over the size limit. 
• There is a problem with mail delivery with your ISP 
• The email is treated as SPAM due to its content or subject title 
• The email is blocked by software used by you, your ISP, or work place network or systems administrator 
• Our mail is being directed to a junk folder and you need to add us to a safe list, e.g. Contacts tab in Hotmail

The email addresses we commonly use are:

Blah, blah, blah...

We suggest that you investigate the non-delivery of the expected email with your helpdesk or your internet service provider or use a different email address.

If you are using Gmail you may be able to overcome this by doing the following:

• Go to the spam folder 
• Locate our emails, tick the checkbox next to them 
• Click the “Not spam” button

Yours sincerely,

Customer Support

Email #3: Hippofeet in sarcasm mode

Thank for your extremely unhelpful standardised email, showing you clearly only read the subject of my email and not the content. Your level of dedication to your customers is clearly right up there with the best of them.
I think your suggestion of changing my email address because one of your emails didn't come through to me, once, was clearly the obvious solution.
Perhaps you could pass this email onto someone with more than 2 seconds to read it? Let me reiterate my first email, and give you some additional information:
I received 1 email tonight after purchasing 2 tickets. Every other time I have done this, I get 2 separate emails with the details of each ticket. Tonight, I only received an email for the one ticket. Clearly since I did get the one ticket, my email host does not have a problem with your address getting marked as spam, but just to be sure, and not being a total moron, I had actually thought to check this before sending to you for help.
As far as my email account being over the size limit, well the fact that I received your useless reply to my query tends to suggest that's not the case. If you in fact mean that the individual ticket confirmation email may have been archived due to being too large, perhaps you should think about that for a second... I've not had problems with any previous ticket confirmation emails, so what exactly was in this particular one to make it so fat my email host decided to archive it instead of sending it to my inbox?
But all this is a little beside the point. I don't really care what the problem was this time, I just want a copy of the email so that I don't have to rely on logging in to my Tatts account to check if I've won or not. I would also like to confirm that I will still be receiving ticket confirmation emails in future. Since I can assure you this is not a problem with my email account, I would appreciate a little more input from your help desk than a standardised email.
Thank you.

So, I haven't heard back from them yet. I'm hoping that's because they've passed my response onto someone who is going to look at it a bit longer - but I also have an inkling that maybe it went straight to their spam folder.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Wednesday Big One: A Culture of Overtime.

I have a problem with people doing overtime. I don’t mean the occasional necessary overtime that some jobs require due to labour ‘flash floods’. I mean persistent overtime in order to show the boss how good a worker you are; staying back half an hour late to get that one little job finished; eating lunch at your desk while you work; coming in for a short shift on a Saturday to clear the backlog of work. That sort of overtime.
And I’ll tell you why.
I have a problem with people doing overtime because by and large it is unnecessary. If you don’t have enough time in the working hours you are given, and yet you are hard working and diligent, chances are it is simply a matter of there being too much work for one person to do.
So instead of challenging the boss about this, and letting them know that there are not enough hours in the day to do what they are asking of us, we make up this convenient little story for ourselves to avoid the confrontation. We say to ourselves ‘it’s only half an hour’, or ‘I didn’t feel like going out for lunch’.
And ‘hassle’ is all we think of it; that it’s a bit of a bother, but one of those things we put up with, because that’s what work is about.
Well, I disagree.
I am paid a salary. Along with that salary comes a set of rules, and set working hours, and set break allowances. Very occasionally I might be expected to work late because of a sudden last minute, highly urgent piece of work, and I can understand that. But because of you, you hard working diligent overtime-slave, my boss does not expect me to stick to those working hours in work agreement I signed.
No, my boss expects that I will stay back late quite often; that I will come in on Saturdays occasionally to catch up; that I will instead of lounging in the sunshine for half an hour, continue to stare at my computer screen while I have lunch.*
My boss expects this because you, and her next to you, and him over there, and the person opposite you, have all created a culture of overtime. You have created the expectation that to be a good worker one should be willing to give up any of one’s free time just because the boss will throw some extra money your way (or maybe not even that).
Now you might be sitting there thinking I’m just lazy and that is why I don’t want to do overtime, but I assure you this is not my motivation here. I work hard when I’m at work. I’m diligent, and proactive in my job. But I’m only paid for it to a certain point, and beyond that I will not be a slave. So I’m not coming at this from a point of laziness, but from a point of freedom, of expectation of having my own time outside of work.

And this is relevant to both paid and unpaid overtime. Because not only are you creating a culture of slavery to the boss, but you are keeping others from being employed.
If you weren’t willing to do so much overtime, the boss would realise that there was too much work for the one person, and would perhaps employ someone part-time to take up the additional work.

So next time you sit at your computer at lunch, or stay back late, or agree to come in on Saturday, perhaps you should rethink it. Is it really necessary, or is it just because your boss is asking you to do more than one person is physically capable of?
And I bet you’re sitting there thinking ‘but if I tell that to my boss, he’ll just get someone else to do it instead!’

And do you know why?

Because we have created a culture of overtime.

*note: my specific boss doesn't actually expect this, he's a very good boss, but others do...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Night and a Storm...

Blue shadows wash around me, deep, intangible.
Spectres of night, gentle and black.
Silence all about me, peaceful.
Gentle whispers, trees above me.
Dotted stars rolling softly, cold at midnight.

Dreams of blue, coming thicker.
Breezes brushing, flying hair.
I stand alone, dark my cape
Velvet soft but stronger still
Leaves are whipping, screaming no-light.

Fluffy clouds grow ever stronger
Deeper, darker, lasting longer
Blue turns grey, with darkness howling
I cower now, thick night pouring
Sky-lake surrounds me, turbid, glistening.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dark Future

So I've finally got back into the swing of things since the Christmas break... but here's what being stuck back at work inspires:

Tendrils of blue night reached into his chest and gripped. He imagined the stars could lift him up and float him out over the water and into dreams. He felt a swelling, a constriction in his heart as the cool night breeze washed around him ignorant of the new moon high in the depths of the sky. Ignorant also was the breeze of the dead branches of the dying tree next to him; of the rubbish littering the stony shore; of the poisons in the waters of the lake.
The grip in his chest released, and the beauty in the night was gone. It was the same terrible world again, and as his eyes filled with tears, his feet followed the familiar route back to the village on the edge of a once great city. Broken silhouettes in the night sky were a reminder of the decadent past that had brought them all to this future.