Going paperless

I decided to go paperless at home, and have purchased a scanner and going to digitise all the random pieces of paper I get during the year.

I’m wading through all my tax from last year and realise that it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to shuffle the papers around, and store them.

If you’ve done this – what are some good pieces of advice you can give? I don’t plan to scan receipts, maybe bills. What should or shouldn’t I bother with?

And then it all changed

Events happen in your life that whiz past.  Some you’re only briefly aware of, and others make you stop and watch.   Then there are events that stop you, and make you pay attention to them.  You ignore those events at your peril.

I spent tonight as I do most nights cuddling my little man to sleep.  It’s one of those things we do, and it’s one of the great times of my day.  Days that have been shitty all melt away as I spend anywhere from 5mins to 30mins just lying there, in the dark, with my son next to me.  Tonight was the night that I realised, with startling clarity, exactly what was important to me in my life.

I’ve spent 20years of my life trying to make other people do work in a better way.  I’ve covered for incompetent morons, I’ve spent countless thousands of hours trying to get organisations to understand why when I say something, it’s worth listening to.  Now, I just don’t give a fuck.  The people who don’t understand why shitty requirements end up with shitty software – you know what – you just keep writing those shitty requirements and I’ll just nod.  No unit tests?  Sure, you have a nice time there, I hope it doesn’t hurt you too much.  Shitty code with cyclomatic complexity through the roof?  Grats – at least you can use an IDE, your mum must be so proud you ignorant fuck.

It’s just not worth my energy dealing with you, and your shitty defensive attitudes about how you have to do it this way because there’s no other option.  I’m just going to smile and say thank you, and then think again about how I’m going to go home tonight and cuddle the most important thing in the world.

I feel like I’m selling out – but you know what, after 20years of fighting the good fight, I’ve not had a single organisation say to me “thanks Jon, you really made a difference”.  I’ve done it for me, for my colleagues and mostly for the people I try to mentor.  No longer are you going to leech my energy like vampires, I’m going to be able to save that for my son.

Those people who want to learn a better way, and those people who ask me for help – you’re always welcome, and I’ll spend time and energy with you, because you care.  The rest of you, wear your warm badge of ignorance with pride, march on down that lane of stupidity and I hope you get hit by a car.

I should add to this, that it’s not my current organisation that is bad, or even the worst in this respect, it’s just that some time in the last year I grew up, and don’t want to do things that are bad for me any more.

Maybe one day I’ll find an organisation that doesn’t clothe itself in ignorance, one that treats people like they’re trying to help, not hinder and when I do, I’ll blog long and hard about that because life is too short, and love is too important to be hindered by spending time being unappreciated.

I love you Georgie, thank you so much for saving me.

Privacy depends on who you are

I’ve just had a pretty amazing experience.  We moved house and as a result an error was made and our previously silent number was “unsilented”.  This occurred on Friday.  It wasn’t until 8pm tonight that I was able to remove my number from the electronic white pages after 3-4 hours worth of phone calls to the telecommunications provider and the white pages.

What has made this pretty amazing has been the discussions with the TIO and the Privacy Commission.  As anybody with a pulse in Australia is aware, Google sampled some open frequency networks that people were dumb enough to be publishing, and Senator Conroy labelled this as “the greatest privacy breach in history” (or some such political rubbish).  Now, even ignoring the fact that these people were literally doing the equivalent of digitally shouting all their information to anybody who was interested in hearing it, it’s clear that Conroy has a bone to pick with Google after they basically called him a drooling retard.  I doubt many people in Australia would disagree with that assessment.

Now, compare this with my situation where we pay a fee for a service to keep our information private, and as a result of incompetence within the organisation that organisation has published my own information to the world.  I don’t know about anybody else, but this seems to me to be a bigger breach of privacy than somebody listening in to people screaming their private data to anybody who stands still long enough.

Speaking with the TIO it was clear that they would become involved (and were very happy to take my complaint) should the provider not address the issue.  However, so long as there was some “action” being taken (even if it was ham-fisted and took forever) then they were considered acting appropriately.  Taking 5 days to resolve a privacy issue caused by one of the staff is clearly a “reasonable” response.   Remember this boys and girls, having a shit process with incompetent staff is ok.  Earnestly doing things (clearly a “tries really hard button”) regardless of effacacy is also ok.

The Privacy Commission was very similar.  As I’d spent some time reading the comprehensive website – as well as the 2009 results of complaints I wasn’t really all that hopeful, but I wanted to ensure my understanding of the legislation was correct.  The PC is set up again as a mediator for disputes, it’s not there as an advocate but the great news is that the operator that I spoke to was very knowledgeable, articulate and friendly.  She confirmed my suspicions – that unless a gang of thugs have descended onto our house and proceeded to shave the cats and smother them with butter – there’s fuck all we can do about it.  The most likely outcome from the company is an apology.  “We’re really sorry we fucked up and took 5 days to fix something that exposed your family to risk by giving out your private information – gosh – too bad’.  What’s even more interesting is that it’s really up to me to take it any further which would involve making a complaint in writing and giving the company 30 days to respond.  If I don’t like the response, then the PC will accept the complaint and assess it.   Now, all of this is on my own cost, and I can’t even recoup the many hours I spent on the phone attempting to address the issue.  Amazing.

The legislation doesn’t have a schedule of fines, so unlike me speeding down the freeway – the results of the company breaching the Telecommunications Act of 1997, and the National Privacy Principles – they get away completely unblemished.  Of course, there’s “reputational damage” – but let’s face it, banks, insurance companies and telecommunications companies already have completely shit reputations anyway – so it’s not like they are heading too much further downhill.  Let me repeat that – the company breached the Telecommunications Act of 1997 and the NPP and NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.  Next time you get a parking or speeding fine have a good long think about how fair that is.

I hope it’s been an interesting (if not very uplifting) read, but it also cements in my mind how much of a complete douchebag Conroy is with his political grandstanding.  If he followed the NPP in the same way that I have to – each person who allegedly had their privacy breached would have to contact Google independently, and then Google has a month to respond, which may result in a “sorry about that chaps”.

People (like myself) who have actually had their privacy breached have very, very little recourse, very little ability to reclaim the many hours of lost time and frustration and very little chance of a positive outcome addressing the core issues – unless of course maybe somebody in my family was attacked and injured.  Don’t think about this so much for people like myself, think about single mothers escaping abusive ex-spouses, people in real and immediate danger then think to yourself how much this sucks.

October 1966

Jonathan sings to himself as he is fed.  Often gives a funny little growl as if he is cross.  Second day home while lying on his tummy, moved himself along table as if crawling.  Fourth day home lifting his head from the table.  Fifth day still has traces of Jaundice – not as yellow as in hospital.

Cannot be left along as he is very vigorous – kicks feet + throws his whole body from side to side.  Sucks fingers, hand + also his right thumb.  Hair is getting longer – medium colour and seems as if it will curl.

Jonathan looks a lot like his Daddy + yet has a look of Poppy George also.

August 1967

First haircut when he was 11.5 months old.  Jonathan has never worried about going to the barber – sits quite still and holds either Twisties or LifeSavers

18th December 1966

I was a very good boy during Christening service.  There were 4 other children.  3 babies and one little boy about 2 who screamed when being baptised.  Other babies cried during service but I only grizzled a little.  Poppy and Nanny Eaves & George, Auntie Joy & Uncle Merv, Uncle Ken & Auntie Marg, Heather and Peter and Auntie Annette attended service.  Came home after to have little party – cake with shoes and blue bows on them – strawberries and cream

I wore rompers that Nanny smocked and wore some soft shoes for the first time.  Auntie Annette gave me a prayer book.  Uncle Ken a cutlery set.