Strange Apple's Blog

Archive for January 2011

That issue my eldest son was having with a government department?

I tried the usual avenues to have the problem resolved, was treated quite atrociously by the Call Centre operator, attended an office (better treatment) but still found that no one was willing to listen to my requests for the matter to be looked into (it was a fairly obvious administrative error – at least, I thought so, it was obvious to me).

I wrote a letter to Chief Executive. I kept all emotion and complaints about staff out of it, just the facts m’am. I ended the letter stating that I had sought legal advice, and that if a positive response was not received within 7 days that we would pursue the matter through the courts, and upon successful appeal we would also claim costs against the department. Then I had my Mum fax the letter through to the Chief Executive from her home fax, because I didn’t want the work header to appear on it (showing the government department and section that I work for).

Just over 24 hours later, I received an apologetic phone call, advising me that the error had been corrected. Funny that.

The unusual part of this is that the letter did not have my phone number on it. The Manager who dealt with the complaint recognised my name as an employee of the same government department, and rang me on my work number. Yes, that’s right, the department that was about to screw over my 18 year old son is the one that I work for!

The Manager asked me why I didn’t just ring him about that matter, rather than complain to the CE. I said that I was acting as a member of the public, I tried the avenues that members of the public have and I’d received an unsatisfactory response. The Contact Centre operator wouldn’t put me through to the section that made the error, her team leader refused to speak to me, the branch I attended rang his section and was told in no uncertain terms that there was no error, so as a member of the public I felt that the only option available was to write a complaint to the CE. He said “didn’t you tell them who you were?” – uh, no, I didn’t. I did not want there to be any potential conflict of interest, did not want anyone to feel that I was using my position to gain advantage for a family member. Weird, huh? Are my ethics… too ethical? Am I over the top about this sort of stuff, keeping in mind my recent report of an ethical issue to my *cough* manager?

Anyway, now I get to follow up on the first letter with my complaint about that horrible Call Centre operator. 😀 I won’t be totally horrible though, I will compliment the service of the Manager who resolved the complaint in an incredibly timely manner (once he was aware of it).

I did not like being a customer of the Department I work for. Imagine if L didn’t have the support structure that he has (ok, I mean me) to deal with shit like this. There must be hundreds (thousands?) of people in the same position who just end up copping it sweet after head-butting the brick wall of bureaucracy.

And I’ll finish with a mention of L’s current obsession – finding the cheapest petrol. He actually drives around comparing petrol prices and then goes back to where it was cheapest. Sometimes his logic just goes right out the window.

I’m not sure if it’s the PMS and I’m overreacting, or it’s just that my boss really grinds my gears.

Noooo, not the nice boss that I have at the moment, the boss at the job that I have to go back to 😦

One of my staff (at the hell hole I have to return to) mentioned something to me in a social conversation the other day. It indicated a potential conflict of interest / flawed judgment / putting private interests above the public – in other words, an ethics issue. Despite the fact that I am not in my substantive role, therefore she is not currently my employee, as a government employee I have a responsibility to report things like this. So I did. To the boss I hate. Because she is the most appropriate person to report it to, being upper line management of the person I was reporting.

This morning I received a narky email telling me that I shouldn’t worry about things like this until I return, and that she will leave it for me to raise when I’ve returned to my position. She then copied our even higher boss in on the email.

After I ‘replied all’ to her email, stating that it was my understanding that issues of this nature should be dealt with promptly, I rang our Ethics Hotline and reported the matter to them. I also forwarded my boss’s email on to them at their request.

How to win friends and influence people. Not.

I’m having a really down evening.

I can’t stop crying. And then because I’m feeling down I am blaming my genetics for the eldest son having bi-polar.

Fuck PMS

My first post of 2011, I’m so slack.

So that pain… kidney stone. With an added surprise… a lovely ovarian cyst. In fact, I’m awake now (at 1am) due to one or both of them. I have an ultrasound scheduled for today, so I’ll find out more then.

Work is going great, when I can attend. We have just been given the go ahead to do whatever overtime is needed to get our project over the line. Once I get this pain thing sorted, it will be good to get a bit of overtime in before I have to go back to my old job.

Great news about that though. My boss is leaving! So by the time I get back to the old job, she will have gooooooone. I’m so happy about that. I hope I don’t jinx myself and end up with an even worse boss, but really, I don’t see how that could be possible.

Update on the kids:
C – stabbed himself with a steak knife last night and we had to take him to hospital. He sliced along the length of his finger, but they don’t like to put stitches in fingers, and it is a bit of an awkward spot, so it just has steri-strips and a bandage. Other than that, he’s pretty good. I’ve been mostly at home due to being ill, so he’s been happy with that.

A – had all of his hair cut off again. A serious haircut, ready for his Army assessment this Saturday. He’s confident that he’ll get in. I hope he gets in, not because I particularly want him in the Army, but I want him to be happy. School is just not doing for him at the moment. I’d rather that he does well at something that he’s happy doing, rather than be half-arsed about something and get half-arsed results.

L – doing OK. Sleeping all the time though. Since I’ve been home a fair bit, I’ve been attempting to wake him up mid-morning but he’s such a grumpy bugger it’s quite hard to deal with the fall out. He does have some crap stuff going on with a government department, and we are trying to sort that out. It really has the potential to put him back into serious depression, he was knocked for six when we first got the letter, but he’s OK-ish at the moment because he knows I have a plan of attack.

I sent a letter to the person who made the poor decision (in the government department) plus a letter to the Chief Executive of that department asking him to oversee the matter because an incorrect decision has been made, I’ve also contacted the Ombudsman and will escalate it to them early next week if I’ve had no contact from the department in question. We are also seeing a solicitor tomorrow and will take it to court if necessary. (Yes, overtime would be nice…)

So, that’s where we’re all at.



  • None
  • strangeapple: I don't like to fail, and I feel like I've failed. I think that's what it is. Big knock to my ego. I saw a psych the other week, she made sense, p
  • strangeapple: Holy fuck, I had a doctors appointment this evening that I didn't go to. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
  • corymbia: I do the stiff upper lip thing too. Was worried I was slipping into bona-fide depression last week, but as is usually the case with me... the bad stu

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