Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Computers equal No Blood

I was donating platelets at Canadian Blood Services last week, and one of the nurses happened to mention that they were low on donations at the moment. The cause, it turned out, was the computers having been down for a while.
Without the computers, donors can't be reliably screened for safety or reasons they should not be donating at the moment.
No screening = no donations = no blood.

How sadly reliant we are on computers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

SunStar Realty is hiring a photographer/web master - full-time

SunStar Realty is looking for a photographer / web presence maintainence person.
Ideally, one person would fill the entire role as a single full-time position. They are willing to consider breaking up the position into two part-time positions.
The essential tasks are:

* Take professional-quality real estate photographs. Please have a look at the various listings for style and quality of photography you will be expected to produce.

* Update advertising on Craigslist, Kijiji, various other advertising websites, and some social networking sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. For their furnished properties, advertising sites will require constant monitoring and maximum-allowed reposting. For sales and long-term rentals, work load varies.

* Update their website at the HTML code level. There is no content management system per se. At the most basic level, you will be required to copy existing files to use as a template for new entry; edit existing entries as the status of properties change; delete old entries; upload files to the host.

To apply for this position - Absolutely no phone calls.
Contact David Mak at David@SunstarRealty.ca with the subject, "application for the Photographer/Web Master position" and indicate in your e-mail cover letter where you saw this ad.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Go with the flow or Do it right?

I recently took the BST (Basic Security Training) online course from JIBC (the Justice Institute of BC).
One of the questions for discussion was,

You are working at a nightclub. Your job is to monitor the entrance, watching for minors and anyone who may be concealing alcohol. A young female approaches the gate, and the entrance attendant allows her to proceed into the venue. When you question the attendant, he tells you not to worry because the young female is his girlfriend. What should you do?

The technically correct answer is to challenge her for ID. But is that a real-life answer? What if no one -- your co-workers, or even your supervisor -- supports you? Sure, you may be right, but what if your boss is wrong and insists on being wrong?

Just started a new position this week, and some things just weren't right. The head concierge had a clumsy set of over twenty keys but couldn't open the mechanical room. Didn't know he couldn't. Didn't have any explanation except to blame the building manager for changing the keys or the lock and not telling him.
I guess he felt embarrassed by the whole thing, because when I pushed for the keys to be sorted out, he threw a tantrum and called our mutual supervisor. Said I was an "asshole" and that either I was to be fired, or he'd quit.

Later, our supervisor came on site and spoke to us both, separately. He could see my point of view, accepted that I really wasn't out to embarrass the head concierge -- after all, I had spoken with him in private, and had tried to show that it was reasonable to get the keys sorted out and simplified instead of spending five minutes sorting through over twenty keys and still not being able to open a door. In an emergency, the firefighters would be swinging their axes to get through while the building was burning down.

The point is, should someone "go with the flow" and just let things be? Is this the prevailing work reality? Or am I just in the wrong crowd and need to find people who are more conscientious?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Does Canada have the most inconvenient banking policies?

I tried to close my HSBC internet banking account tonight. After all, every single time I went to the website, it indicated that "internet banking is currently unavailable". It had been this way for so long that I discovered the account to actually have become dormant.

Could they close the account right away? No. They wanted me to reactivate it first.
Okay, no problem.

Could they reactivate it for me? No. It had to go to the supervisor, and presumably the next business day.
Okay, no problem.

Could they have an instruction on my account to reactivate it? No. They needed me to fax in my name and signature. This, after I had verified my identity over the phone. And I wouldn't even have had to do this if the account were still active.
Okay, fine.

How do I get my money out? Could they transfer it to another institution? No. ATM (which won't give me any residual amount that was less than $20) or bank draft. Which would cost me $6.50.

$6.50 is probably more interest than they've ever given me in the history of having this account.

Okay, whatever.