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Wednesday 29 December 2004

Catching up

Posted by kim @ 4:40pm

Again I've been slack keeping up with my RSS feed to Newscientist.com, 35 unread entries/articles this time. Here's a few of the more interesting ones:

Explosive predictions for Mount St Helens
A tall dome - which has emerged in the volcano's crater - could collapse triggering another dramatic eruption, geologists warn. ...

Well, obviously this one didn't happen, otherwise it would have been in the news.

Pliable solar cells are on a roll
The think and bendy solar panels can be stuck to fabrics, sheets or backpacks and promise a go-anywhere electricity supply. ...

Anthropologists to beat gadget rage
By studying social rituals, behavioural experts are setting out to make sure that new technologies do not annoy the hell out of us. ...

Climate change issues clouded by ozone
Pollutants liek ozone are fundamentally changing the way clouds form - the newly discovered mechanism may be having "large climate effects". ...

Undercooked turkeys can harbour superbugs
Yuletide's culinary centrepiece is shown to shelter dangerous bacteria resistant to a number of key antibiotics. ...

Thanks for telling me this *before* we had turkey for Christmas lunch ... but of course I would have known well before now if there had been anything wrong with it.

Recent galactic births surprise astronomers
Several dozen newborn galaxies turn up in galactic retirement communities near the Milky Way, new observations reveal. ...

Wednesday 29 December 2004

The Saga

Posted by kim @ 5:43pm

I'll start at the begining, because thats easiest, but first a few introductions: 'KB' = my boss, the manager of the Admin dept at work; 'TP' = a temp who is staying with us until just after KB was to return from her 3wks overseas; 'AD' = one of the ladies I work with who has been there for about 3.4yrs, the longest of us all, and is 2nd-in-charge in Admin; 'JH' and 'MK' = the two Managing Directors of the company; 'KM', 'NR', 'NJ' = other people at work - the first two from Admin, the latter from Sales. Now for the story ...

Last Friday it all came out: KB had been in the UK for a week and it was time for TP to do the payroll before everyone went on holidays for Christmas. KB had been doing the payroll since July but had handed it over TP while she was away. TP soon discovered that the payroll program and files had been shifted from where KB had shown her. If it hadn't been for this, which forced TP to go hunting through all KB's files on her computer, none of this would have come out. The short of it: large amounts of money had been disappearing into KB's bank account ever since she'd taken over the accounts keeping when AD had been on holidays in July, the PettyCash hadn't been reconsiled since the last time AD had done it, KB had double paid herself a few times - one fortnight scooping up 100hrs of public holiday pay (normal rate x3) on top of her normal wage - and giving herself reimbursements for motel stays and taxi rides home ... This was all found out on Thursday. Friday morning when I got to work, there was a closed-door meeting in progress in KB's office with both of the Managing Directors of the company, AD (the boss of Admin while KB is away) and TP. More of the above types of discoveries were found during that day. And today the bank statements came out, all eftpos trasactions were tracked and the bank started tracking transactions from their end. TP also started to go through KB's emails searching for any evidence of further embesslement/fraud, and found a few gems. Here's one, sent on the 5 August to a friend (we presume) in England:

Howdy hope the holiday was relaxing and fun and that you have recharged your batteries adn are feeling great.

Life the last two weeks has been hectic, as EOFY (End of Year) and the other issues have occupied a lot of my waking time. Thank god that they are semi resolved.

Thats the usual greeting-type stuff, now for the more interesting content:

The AD issue went back and forth and she got her first warning at wich she apparently played the loyalty card, then tried to say I picked on her which means that I was not allowing her to get away with stuff she was used to demanding and thata I was overseeing her role. JH of course did not want to discuss it at any length and sadly I have no feedback, but if there were anything I needed to address then I am sure both directors would have counseled me.

Corrections: what she calls 'The AD issue' wasn't just 'back and forth' it was a full-on brawl, the only thing that wasn't flying was the fists and furniture - I know, I was there, and at that point had the unfortunate position of having my desk situated between their desks ... It wasn't a 'loyalty card' that was played, it was the simple fact that KB had only been working there a few months, whereas AD had been there a few years, and AD was still in the process of showing KB how to do stuff, therefore JH and MK didn't want to loose AD ... 'picked on'? yes, well, if you call full-on verbal abuse and disrespect towards all other employees, save the MDs themselves, 'picked on' ? yeh I guess you could say that ... 'get away with stuff'? we're still not sure exactly what she's referring to here; what exactly was AD supposed to be getting away with? who knows ... 'overseeing her role'? of course she was supposed to be overseeing AD's role, she was the manager of admin, she was overseeing everybody's roles (and AD didn't have a problem with this btw) ... 'sadly I have no feedback', yes 'sadly' alright, otherwise other situations may not have come about, and she did get couseled about it, unfortunately too late to save two other employees (I'll give a brief overview of this incident later) ... back to the email:

She stayed upstairs for two weeks and was then told to move back downstairs, at which time I reorganised the office and now have one to myself with lockable cabinets and stricter security on the accounting systems, although it has not prevented her from looking ...

Corrections: 'told (?!) to move back downstairs'; she wasn't *told* to, she was *asked* to, by MK no less, whether she would mind moving back downstairs to keep the Admin dept together, and she did so, with the condition that she wouldn't have to sit near KB .. *that* was one of the reasons for KB getting the end office, to move her away from AD ... 'lockable cabinets'? she had these cabinets *before* the row and consequent moving around, and she still doesn't lock them ... 'sticter security' on the accounting systems? yes, well, this one is proved by her ease of shifting money around and into her own pocket, isn't it? ... 'has not prevented her from looking' ?! what is it that AD would be looking for exactly? ..

In the last few days she has been in my office in tears saying she wants things back the way they were, sadly I have learnt a lesson and they will not revert, I am not saying I will not work with her but her role is an assistant not an equal. NR continues to behave in the oddest manner why is it that he can answer the most bizarre question on some obscure thing and have NOFUCKING IDEA what he did five minutes ago.

'in tears' ?! AD was more on the verge of strangling her out of anger, than on the verge of tears ... that first sentence just shows how self-asured and delusional she is ... As for NR, the reason he was acting in the 'oddest manner' was that his desk was right outside her office door and he had to incurr her wrath evertime she walked past. He was going totally mental with apprehension that a timebomb would be going off next to him at any moment. From here on it goes into some detail about a particular instance where she thought NR was particularly inadequate, totally ignoring the fact that she had anything whatsoever to do with the situation. NR consequently left the company soon after this email was written (well, she got him fired to be precise), after suffering months of demoralisation to the point where he couldn't/wasn't doing his job properly out of fear of KB calling him an idiot or stupid again. His replacement, coming to us about 2wks later, stayed a total of 1wk before resigning because of KB's bulling/disrespectful attitude towards everyone/verbal abuse - and we know it was because of this because both MDs had a meeting with KB to 'discuss' it. This brought her to tears, and it became obvious that she clearly doesn't see how bad she gets ... 'Picked on' is just the beginning; all of us have coped it at some stage.

Later on she reverts back to her favourite topic - AD:

(we enter the scene at the point where AD, NR, JH are trying to sort out a problem order for a client that, apparently KB has nothing to do with ..) .. AD then rings back and tells JH she does not appreciate being rung on the weekend and that she has had an argument with her partner, she then starts to cry and bangs on about loyalty and extra time worked for which she received no renumeration ignoring the day off a month because I am a nice person.

Yes, she did ring JH to say that she didn't appreciate being rung, but I think that was partly justified - no Admin personell are required to work weekends, she was actually up the coast with her children at the time, and as it turned out, she hadn't had anything to do with creating the problem in question anyway. And why would she cry on the phone to the MD of the company about the argument she'd just had with her partner? And how does KB know that she started 'banging on' about loyalty? was she in the room? was she listening on some non-existent phone extention? As for 'extra time worked' and not getting renumeration for it, we get time-in-lue, we know that, KB knows that, but of course KB's faithfully ear over in England doesn't. And as for AD's single day off per month 'because KB is a nice person'? Its not because she's a nice person, its because that is one of the clauses in AD's contract, that she gets one RDO per month, its certainly not because KB is 'a nice person'.

So the office is rearranged and each of us has our own space and despite my suggesting that each of them, NR, KM, AD, shop around and get a poster or some such which reflects them, something they could look at when they needed a break from the screen that would allow them free think time or just doze time no one had bought a poster but I have framed some of my photo's and they are on my wall and I can look at them and get a bit lost from the current problem or whatever so it works for me.

Oh she's such a caring person. Don't mention that 'our own space' equates to a metre of space behind out respective desks so that we can push our chairs in and out .. and she gets a whole room to herself .. nor the fact that she's the only one of us that faces a wall that its possible to put a poster up on, the rest of us have the wall behind us and face a big area that we put incoming deliveries in while they're being processed, and there isn't much point to putting up pretty posters *behind* us ...

She goes on to talk about a friend she had over for the weekend, then this:

I pulled a calf muscle the other night and have been hobbling around ever since but I have been to physio and will go again Thursday. Has been very painful and bloody inconvenient!

Funny, I don't recall her hobbling around at work .. and going to physio *twice* for a pulled muscle?!

She signs off after that, and I think my little rant is long enough for the moment :P time for some dinner, and I might go over some of the other emails later.

Sunday 26 December 2004

Yes well ..

Posted by kim @ 4:46pm

It has been a while, hasn't it? But I still dont' have much to say: still working my butt off at work and haven't really done anything socially worth mentioning except Heather's B'day party last weekend - we all had a great time and got absolutely stuffed full of the yummy food she provided.

Christmas yesterday was uneventful but good - headed out to the in-law's place midmorning, did some pressy opening (got some good stuff too: a mixmaster, a press-grill, a set of mixing bowls, some really nice smelly powder and lotion from mum, some chocies and 2 dvds), had a traditional roast turkey lunch, watched Braveheart on dvd, bbq dinner, more laughing and carrying on, then home at about 9:30. All good :)

Had a lazy morning today then headed out to play a few games of lazer-tag with a bunch of people, most of whom I hadn't actually met before today. 'Twas my first time at lazer-tag and I don't know yet whether it was really as good as I'd expected. I'm not really one for games like Quake or CounterStrike so I'm not really very good at aiming, watching my back and being stealthy. But, lazer-tag being what it is, no bruises were incured so at least I have that to be thankful for.

I've spent this afternoon catching up on a little blog reading, most of which I haven't read much in the past month. I was happy to find that Beth, from Ice Blog, has returned to the frozen continent of Antarctica and is continuing her adventures there - lucky sod - so I'll have to keep a closer eye on her site from now on; and Chez is pregnant with twins! I wish all the best for her and have my fingers crossed that this pregnancy will work and she'll finally get the baby/s she's wanted for so long.

November 2004 | January 2005