Sunday, 29 June 2014

Weaned drugs, a washer and an Ortho called Angus.

Well Yippee to some clear thinking! I have finally managed to wean off all the shitful mind buggering drugs necessary to get to have a go at the Botox barrage which has a good chance of stemming the frequency of the bloody migraines!

So I have had a couple of days of being back to my old self. Steve reckons that he might have to start sliding some squashed up pills into my dinner just to slow me down a bit. It is so lovely to firstly notice that things need to be done and then to have the energy and will power to get 'em done.

I don't understand at all how or why people opt for the drug swampy brain. Seriously I would have to have been even more medicated, medicated to the point of not being aware that I was medicated, medicated to the point where I was unaware of who I am and what I can do and what I was missing, and if you get to that point then I am not at all sure what stops you from choosing the big green needle. Either I am here or I am not. I just can't see any middle ground on this.

It's been quite the week, cos amid all the weaning, things at the big house have been a little busy. A 10 year milestone was passed and celebrated with a rash impulsive purchase... no not diamonds - A walloping washing machine, which halves the washing time and as sad as it sounds, I can get quite excited about being able to wash doonas and pillows. Yeh sometimes I can be a sad old git!

And we headed off to interview a local ortho chappie about getting my other knee sliced up sometime in spring. My other ortho, Laurie is a lovely bloke, but he only works in Brisvegas, and it would just make so much sense to find someone down here that I could get along with. I tried this years ago and came up empty so I was not too hopeful.

Angus, I mean really, how could you NOT love a bloke called ANGUS, was fine. He thought things were pretty urgent. I think he might have mentioned next week for the chopping!! But I have it in my mind that early October will suit me, cos I will be able to get right into the pool and besides that will mean that I am only a full year behind schedule. I really did mean to get it sorted last October, but tits got in the way.

There is a little plan in place now and I do like a plan.

I would like to do a 'nose wrinkle' a la I Dream of Jeannie and wake up mid November and have it all done and dusted... Oh dear I am back to the drug haze.


Friday, 27 June 2014

Harvey Norman's David.

Years ago when we were busy building the Big House, I developed a first name friendship with the Harvey Norman Bloke. David helped me out more times than I can recall now. He didn't mind that I used to go into his shop and just play with the fridge handle of my choice, even after I had ordered and paid for another one - Yeh he knew I was ultimately gonna crack and part with the stupid money for the one I visited so he was patient. I changed the order at the last minute just before all the appliances were delivered.

We had, courtesy of David, extended warranties on most things and these were well used, but not so handy that I would be routinely tempted to part with large sums of wonga for 'em.

Anyway, as my washing machine had begun to chew its way through some of my favourite clothes I knew it was time to head on into Harveys once again.

I reckon that washers have a pretty limited shelf life, so when I went about a bit of research into a new one, I discounted all those expensive imported jobbies, cos by the time I stuff 'em overfull and work 'em too hard, they just don't last anyway. So I settled on an LG and as Harveys was having a sale I thought YIPPEE. Well actually I didn't. I mean who ever really wants to spend money on a washing machine? Haircuts and shoes are a much more exciting way to distribute the readies!

Last week I went in and looked at them all and decided, but I just couldn't part with the cash, so I put it off and put it off, and my old clunker ate up more and more of my clothes. It was becoming expensive NOT having a new machine.

Harveys has a scratch and dent shop just down from the flash place at Bundall so before the AMEX was swiped we went in for a final comparison, after all if the boring old machine is a little dented, well who really would care.

We walked in and bugger me if I wasn't greeted by my long ago machine friend David. We caught up quickly had a good look around. David showed me a walloper fella and as it was an LG and a front loader and it was on super sale, even though it was not at all what I had researched we just DID IT.

My new laundry slave was delivered today. Very efficient! It was supposed to be installed but that, it seems, was too much trouble. The driver wanted to drive and the young fella who was happy to fiddle probably just had to do as he was told. The hoses leaked and Steve spent a lovely hour or so on his back fiddling with the little legs to balance it perfectly.

So the delivery was a disappointment, but that does not take the shine off the still excellent service we got from David, and so we will continue to head to Harveys for all things electrical, especially as they price match even online prices.

I have run the new machine. It is a quiet giant and sings a little song when it's done. It's all very jolly and it certainly beats the shit out of whacking your clothes against a rock to clean 'em.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Migraine: Endep,Topomax, Sandomigran, or BOTOX

The hoops we jumps through to placate the government huh? Seems sometime back it was discovered that many Botox injections around the face and neck and shoulders makes a remarkable difference to more than 70% of people who suffer from chronic migraine.

Now wouldn't you think that would be cause for a street parade and a marching band!

Instead the powers that be decided that prior to the multi-jabber, patients had to prove they were serious, or seriously fucked at least by trying out at least 3 different drug regimes. And these drugs are not for the feint hearted. I guess the government wanted to weed out those women who wanted to swap the beautician for the neurologist. Seems pretty extreme to me!

I have always strenuously avoided anything that fucks with the my ability to think. I am a control freak. I am happy to admit it. I have never felt the allure of sliding into an abyss of the unknown to escape whatever awful is present. I am a take charge kinda girl, so the idea of  trying out these drugs with their mind altering side-effects has never filled me with joy.

But needs must and all, cos I just didn't want to die, folded over the loo throwing up, crying cos my head hurts, every other day, and I really thought the Botox was worth a shot- pun intended.

So a good while ago my body began to rattle and my mind left the building. On a good day I could remember my name and sometimes I was lucky enough not to fall asleep in a pool of my own spit while watching afternoon tellie - bloody good thing I was not employed operating heavy equipment or even in charge or 30 kids I reckon!

Through the haze you'd think I would at least have been migraine free, but no such luck, so after giving the first one a go, I tried the next one! And then anothery.

Who thinks this shit up? Building up, weaning off, through the drug haze.

Let's further torture someone who has a long documented history of debilitating migraine by making them go through months trailing meds which were not even designed for migraine prevention in the first place. Topomax is an Epilepsy medication, and Endep is prescribed for depression.

Why is it not possible to just go, 'Oh Yippee!! This Botox seems to work in 70% of cases and you will still be able to dress yourself in the mornings and remember to brush your hair and not look too much like the crazies out of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest', so why not give a burl?

I don't know about the cost differential, god I am glad that I am weaning myself off all these shitful chemicals enough to even think of those words, but in terms of the benefits to me there has to be some.

All this mind altering shit and still the migraines continue. I have been a dribbling mess to prove that the fucking pills are shit and have jumped through the hoops so that perhaps some time in August the Neurologist can stick me a gazillion times with some shit that might or might not stop the migraines, but that at least, will not leave me like some crazy retarded dribbling fool.

I look forward to giving that a go!!

I can't help but wave the feministo flag and wonder if migraine was a predominantly male complaint if all this shit would be necessary.

Bring on August...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

RACQ Gold Standard Customer Service

Sueann is a delightful woman who RACQ at Carindale is lucky enough to have working on their front desk. She greets punters with a smile, and queries, regardless of complexity or strangeness, are handled with ease and grace and humour and aplomb.

I can only imagine that most people who rock on in there have a problem that they feel is something akin to climbing Everest but she puts her head down, organises a few dozen Sherpas and cracks on. If the machines are running slowly she fills in the time gaps with interesting tales of quirky folk with troubles which make yours seem a bit trite and she offers all sorts of solutions to the problems at hand and is never the least bit push or 'up-selly' Truly, yesterday when Belly and I were in there, I was so comfortable, I thought briefly about camping there permanently and it is no secret just how must I hate camping.

We had come straight from the Up-selling capital of the world - The Optus shop, and had fully expected more of the same, but it was like sliding into a parallel universe where people are pleasant and their only aim is to see that you get what you need at a price you can afford.

The customer service manual used by RACQ to train their staff should be compulsory for all front of house staff everywhere in the world!

Yeh I know this is Hyberbole, but wouldn't it be lovely?

Thanks again Sueann!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Corporate Name Badges

Hands up if every time you say your name you have to stop and sensor yourself, for fear that someone will run off and do a quick google search or use an old phone book to hunt you down like a dog and harass you at your home over a balmy weekend, maybe catch you out wearing mismatched socks and grubby track pants and no bra. Maybe they will make fun of your shit weekend hair or steal your junk mail. Oh really I have no fucking clue what they might do, cos I just cannot walk a mile in the shoes of some crazy who would bother with this sort of nutty carry on and so No I have never worried about telling people my name.

I am not a fan of those coffee places where they yell out your name for the whole of the shopping centre to hear when your skinny cap double shot is ready. But that is a preference thing not a paranoid, 'Bugger me, someone might hear my name and call me up and try to sell me aluminium siding.' thing.

As a kid, pay phones were the way of the future, push button A push, button B and all that shit, I admit that I was occasionally guilty of making silly calls to no one at all in particular. I am sure you know the ones.

Is Mr Wall there?
Is Mrs Wall there?
Are there any Walls there?
Well what's holding up the roof??

Oh yeh very funny!

All very silly and only if any of us goof balls had a 5 cent piece or was it 10 cents? A rumour went round that if you dialled and spoke loudly into the other end of the handset that you could make a call with no money, of course that was bollocks too, but there'd be 10 kids in a phone box all yelling and laughing  and generally having a silly time - all this in good fun in between running amuck on the streets, barefoot, on a variety of bikes and scooters.

I never thought to call up a teacher. I never thought to even look one up in the phone book. In 30 years of teaching I did not once get a call at home from an angry kid or parent. They all knew my name and if not my actual home address they knew roughly the suburb where I lived and so it would have taken very little trouble to be nuisance.

I didn't get any shit letters and was never aware at least of kids or parents stalking around my house, or throwing rotten eggs or doing other mean things.

I imagine that's cos I did a pretty good job and I like to think that when issues arose and of course they did we all came together and dealt with 'em and then moved on. I don't reckon I left too much stewing and certainly not enough to encourage someone to want to do harm to me or Bell or my house or even be a pest.

So how does it come about that Lester, an Animal Control Officer at GCCC can't give me his boss's name, 'In case you look it up in the white pages and make a nuisance of yourself on the weekend.'

How does one even begin to make an argument against this?

I have to believe that the psychology behind name badges which show ONLY first names is not to ensure that the workers are saved harassment at home on the weekends if they do a shit job. Surely it is to promote a friendly collegiate environment where people will smile and treat everyone kindly.

First names only at GCCC is a pathetic defence measure. Or maybe it is not a commonly held policy. Maybe Lester of the, 'I am not obliged to tell you that.' is using this as a way of keeping me at arms length.

I am off to find Lester's boss, no not at his/her house, just at the office.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Round 2 GCCC


Shadow boxing took on a whole new mean today when I met with Lester, the delightful author of the threatening letter issued on Council letter head. And what a charming 30 minutes it was!

I do not know, nor do I care to know if Lester has any tattoos hidden under his very fetching council uniform, but if he doesn't, I would suggest that he might consider getting, "I am not obliged to tell you that." tattooed across his forearm so he could just whip up his sleeve anytime some Joe Public asks him a question. This way he could save himself jaw action and spit.

Does the complainant work at the council? "I am not obliged to tell you that."

Do you know the Complainant? "I am not obliged to tell you that." 

What evidence did you gather before you sent the letter? "I am not obliged to tell you that."

How many similar letters did you send this week?   "I am not obliged to tell you that."

How can I address the complaint if I do not no the specifics of it? Ahh something different... A SHRUG!

Bless him!! Lester did take full responsibility for sending the letter. No not everyone about whom a complaint is raised is lucky enough to receive one.

He chooses!!

No explanation of how he arrives at his little pile of standard letters -"I am not obliged to tell you that."

He didn't want to discuss why he had actioned a single complaint, when Bob the field officer, had assured me that any further action would have required at least 2 complaints. "I am not obliged to tell you that."

Is the term Public Servant passé? Are these people, with their snouts buried deep in the public money trough, supposed to be there serving the public?  Is it possible that it is politically incorrect to assume that the public who part with the cash that fills the trough into which these snouts are buried, should no longer expect some service for their dollar? Could it be that those who used to be called Public Servants are now just bathing in our cash getting off by telling us,  "I am not obliged to tell you that."

Again I am left wondering who provides the training for these people. Seriously, if all you can teach someone to say is , "I am not obliged to tell you that." then either there is something terribly flawed with the training package or new recruits are urgently needed.

If a reasonably bright soul is doing an honourable thoughtful job then they should be able to answer questions with honesty and integrity without fear of getting themselves buried deep in doggie doo do.

And if a system doesn't allow people to behave in this manner, then the system is very seriously flawed and is in need of immediate change.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Round ONE at Gold Coast City Council

The big meeting about the Dog Threat Letter was planned for 11.30am today.

We rolled up early and were prepared to wait for Lester. Unfortunately Mr Lester Soloai Animal Management Inspector, believed that unless an appointment was confirmed TWICE, it meant that it was cancelled. Lester and I had a brief phone conversation during which he rather grudgingly agreed to meet me tomorrow morning at 11am.

While we were in the council building we thought it prudent to get all the documents needed to apply for information through the Information Privacy Act, ratified.

I had already carried out the detailed phone instructions, but they proved incorrect, so after email hoops had been placed, I decided that rather than just randomly hurdle them and wait for a delayed adjudication as to my style, I would get an immediate response, so I could make any adjustments necessary in a more timely manner.

I asked Karen, customer service officer,  if she was a JP and could witness our IDs, she said, 'Yes.' But instead of getting out her stamp and official stuff she started asking a lot of questions cos she had gone on to read my letter of request which of course was none of her business. I wondered why. She kept asking more questions. I asked why she wanted the information.

She asked again and again, 'Do you not think I am being helpful?' finally I said, 'No.' Karen disappeared. When she returned she witnessed our IDs and said the request was in order.

Seems there is some problem with the Council's own paper work.... Oh BOOOO HOOO I say. And it seems that Karen was rather hoping that I might have been inclined to help her sort it out while landing my dog in a pile of doo do. I don't think so! Seems that perhaps there might be some small problem with the bloody threat letter the council has sent out. I guess I will find out more on that tomorrow.

When did customer service become a euphemism for 'treat people like shit and throw as many jobs' worth clichés around as possible'? It seems that customer services staff are taught to use inflammatory phrases in the very real hope that the people making complaints lose their rag and go off like rockets so said staff then have the right to pull down the shutter and tell the customer to leave. I reckon they do it on purpose. It's all part of their training!

'Do you not think I am being helpful?' on a loop is not aimed at being helpful or calmative, in the least little bit.

I am more than a little curious about tomorrow's instalment. Steve has already said he will not be able to attend as he has no patience for fools, so I will breath deeply and know that the only way to get what I want from Lester is to be that last man standing. Yeh it's a game of SURVIVOR.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Abused becomes the abuser

What sort of a man drops his 9 year old kid off at a school dance without the requisite glow sticks or any money and disappears into the dark to sit at the local pub until pick up time?

What kind of person leaves a kid in hysterical tears of utter sadness time after time, after bullying hateful phone calls?

What kind of arse teaches a kid to lie, by sitting them down and saying, 'Now we are going to tell a lie.' and showing them how to deliver it with body language which might be most convincing?

What sort of spiteful turd uses lies and manipulations and bullying against a kid's mother to get what they want?

Well of course it's the same sort of dead beat shit for brains who quits his forever easey peasey council job with all the perks so he doesn't have to pay any child support for said kid.

There are all sorts of trite definitions for what constitutes parental love, and god knows I am no expert. I reckon I have got it wrong almost as many times as I have got it right, but there are some things I know.
  • put the kid first - protect 'em, feed 'em, clothe 'em, school 'em, love 'em.
  • do without so your kid doesn't have to.
  • love 'em even when they give you the shits.
  • talk to 'em, with 'em and when necessary at 'em.
  • play with 'em
  • listen to 'em
  • learn with 'em
  • show 'em they are loved.
There is probably a very long list, but I reckon this would be a good start.

I know all 'the books' say 2 parents are better than 1 but I just don't reckon that is always the case.

It must give this fella a great deal of pleasure watching how he upsets his boy. He used to lament his own sad childhood and carry on about his hateful and hated father. How fucking pathetic! I wonder if he sees his father when he looks in the mirror.