On rude fucker housemates…

I figured James's SMSes were essentially posturing.  He sent them to everyone.
Alright, so he cancelled.  What he didn't do was suggest that he'd sent anything to anyone besides me.  I thought, "fine, I'll invite Neph and Damien to tea elsewhere."
I've struck out because I didn't realise they might make other plans because I didn't know that James had told them it was cancelled.

Was all that really necessary? I mean really. 
What about "I don't like cleaning up for these things so maybe we could go elsewhere for our wednesday night thing." Is that too much to ask? I mean really?
What about actually talking to me about it?
No, major autonomous fucking decisions about what amounts to the second-last opportunity for me to see some of my friends before I leave.  Hopefully I've got to Neph before she's made alternative plans.

Fuck you, Mr Holloway.  I am displeased about your cavalier attitude towards my enjoyment of life while I'm here.

Again kids, Neighbourhood post.

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A View of the Room

As opposed to a Room with a View.

The bed I bought was picked up yesterday.  Don brought his ute, got me from uni, and we went to get the bed.
This is a ute we bought about a month ago, on Don's brother's recommendation, from a friend of his.  It didn't get us home the day we bought it.  Anyhoo, it was fixed ($2500 later) and we went to pick up the Bed from the Fantastic Furniture Warehouse.   Don's ute broke down again.  Same problem, only this time, he managed to make somethign go *clunk* and make noises when the car's being pushed.  This is NOT good, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, thanks to the members of the family we're still speaking to (ie everyone who isn't his brother) we were able to get the bed to my new Launceston place, and they've lent Don one of their cars for the duration of the repairs.

Bloody cars.

Anyway! the bed's there, and now I have pictures!

That is all.

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From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! (aka bye-bye Telstra)

A Wise Woman once said to me that there are times when the english language really lets you down.  I understand what she means.  (Thankyou C's mum.)

There comes a point where no word can describe the amount of frustration, anger, and annoyance that you feel.  I call that point: Telstra.

People say they hate things all the time, when they really mean they just dislike them.  hate is the opposite of love, it's equal in its enthusiasm, just opposite in its direction.

I used to hate Telstra, or say that I did, at least, I really just wanted them to get it right. Now, I don't, now I'm passionate about exposing their incredible fuckups to the world.  I wish that I had never had the misfortune of dealing with them in the first place. Long story short, Don's mobile is malfunctioning.  I took it in to the local Telstra Shop on Monday, and they said "you have to call the manufacturer, and they'll send a satchel for you to use."  Here in Tasmania at least, Harvey Norman was forced to accept (and continue to accept) iPods for warranty repair, since Return to manufacturer is not considered a valid warranty system. I called Don and let him know, and he called the manufacturer who told us to return it to the place of purchase, and then he called telstra, whose call centre left a note on the account to say that the Telstra shop should accept the phone back since it's a warranty claim.

I returned to the telstra shop today.  They refused to take the mobile phone as a warranty claim.  I handed Don over to the manager to see if he could sort it out (Don's a bit more forceful than I).  No.  So he called Telstra, who said that yes, the Telstra Shop in Brisbane St, Launceston, is legally required to accept the phone for warranty purposes.  Telstra have sent the Telstra Store in question an email saying that they need to call us to arrange the warranty stuff before 4 tomorrow.  Now… call me cynical, but I'm not expecting a phone call.  The call centre guy has even said that given the circumstances, he would not be surprised if Telstra allowed Don to cancel the contract free of charge.

If the Telstra Shop don't do soemthing proper about it, We're taking them to Fair Trading, the ACCC, The Telecommunications Ombudsman, and putting in a recommendation to Telstra that they be stripped of the franchise name since they're ignoring any statements that Telstra staff are making on our accounts.(and considering getting in touch with Today Tonight/A Current Affair)

If nothing else, avoid the Brisbane St, Launceston branch of the Telstra Shop like the plague.

We're shifting our Broadband, and our landline, and possibly Don's mobile across to another provider or two.

Fuck You, Telstra.

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Make your bills disappear!

Here's how I turned a $480 phone bill into $15 credit! Now that I have your attention, our simple system… um, actually, I'll give you the real info.  We all remember the Telstra Phone Saga? yes? good.  And we know that we finally have ADSL? excellent.  Well… we got a phone bill yesterday, from Telstra.  And I took a look.  It was Sizeable.  ($480 is Sizeable, I think) I wasn't quite expecting that amount.  So I looked at it.  I read it reasonably carefully.  and I found 5 problems with the account for this month alone. 

So: Step 1, find mistakes in your bill.

I called our Case Manager, Gloria.  Well, no, I attempted to call our case manager Gloria on the Telstra "Ring us direct if you already have a complaint lodged with us" number.  It connected, told me there is a longer than average queue, and that if I could hold, that would be wonderful, and if not, please call back on the next business day.  Well, I tried to hold, twice, and as soon as the recording stopped, I got the characteristic BEEP BEEP BEEP of being hung up on.
So I called the general Billing Complaints number.  I did that 4 times in an hour because at random intervals, I'd just hear "beep beep" usually when I suspect that I was about to be put on hold.

Step 2: get hung up on a few times

finally, I was connected to a consultant who did not hang up on me.  in fact, I was on the line for the entire duration of my call. (well duh, but you know what I mean)  I explained to her The Saga and the new stuff that happened today and  the problems with today's bill.

Step 3 (easy): convince the consultant you're sick of Telstra

finally, the whole process may take 2 hours, but a pay rate of $245/hr is pretty good, imho
step 4: have a glass of wine. (may be enacted concurrently with 1-3)

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Project idiots…

So, by now, the whole of Vox is aware that my degree is wrapping up, and that it depends on a team collaboration in which we build a piece of software for a client.

Well.  Throughout the whole thing, we've had a team member who just hasn't pulled his weight. (If you're reading this, you either know who you are, or you're going to get told by 3pm today in front of the Lecturer-In-Charge, with whom I've had a number of conversations about you.) His name is Ben.  I know a few Bens, so no, this isn't the one who forgot me recently, this is another one.  He has had 0 assignments left for his semester for the last week.  Every other team member has at least 1 and probably 2 due this week.  It's a part of why I haven't been blogging recently (expect that to change after Friday, when boredom will set in really quickly.)  now, recently, we figured out this guy was useless. I actually can't remember if I've blogged about him or not yet.  I've emailed the lecturer a couple of times asking for some advice. 
Well.  We (foolishly) said (nicer, but it's basically what we said) "well, you've done -no- implementation, here's a chance to do some documentation and regain some marks.  Would you be happy to do the general user manual?" 
"Sure, no worries" says Ben the Terminally Lazy.
"Cool, you need to do this this and this"
"No dramas"
and we were set. the rest of us actually had some time to work on our assignments since Ben was doing things.  Thursday rolled around.  "So, what have you done?"
"this this and this" says Ben.
"Cool, can we see it?" queries my lovely self in the sweetest, most non-threatening voice I can muster
"I'd have to go home to get it" responds Ben.  My urge to kill rose.
"Ok, well can you email it out when you get home?"
"oh, I don't know that it's ready tonight to send out" urge to kill: rising, subtext: I've done nothing.
"All I want is something so that I know what sort of material we're supposed to produce"
"Yeah, no worries"
"so can you send it out tomorrow?" Says I.
"I reckon"
and the conversation ended there.

Friday rolls around: nothing.

Saturday: nothing from ben, but Darren has produced templates because he was so sick of waiting, and a response from Ben saying "we don't need to use templates beacuse tehre will still be formatting differences and we'd need to reformat them anyway." at 12:30AM on Sunday I send an email asking for something so that I can take a look at to see what Ben wants us to write since he's collating the General User Manual.

An email came through to me (and me alone) at 11:08 AM Sunday morning with just over a page of text, a significant proportion of it bullet points. none of which I would deem sufficient for submission.
I forwarded this on to everyone since I worked out that I actually had nothing that I needed to contribute to that manual myself. then at 11:57AM, he sends out another one with a couple more paragraphs.  It was obvious that he'd been writing it that morning so he'd have something to send.

and eventually, I got the Times that Ben wanted me to use to update the project schedule.  He'd broken it up into sections. and his highest time was for presentation!  (I think I may have ranted about ben not wanting to come to an important meeting before)  He almost didn't come to the really important meetings about the presentation where we produce the thing, and it's only because I was nasty and said that it was disloyal, disrespectful and hurtful of him to decide not to come to what was arguably one of the most important meetings of the semester that he came!  His highest time! 2nd highest? meetings. yep, you heard me, meetings. I was appalled. I was disgusted. I was horrified.  and then I read the time he put down for the first instance of "user docs/manuals" 75 minutes.  my voice went black, and I did Death's voice. you know the one. THE ONE WHERE HE TALKS LIKE THIS.  I said something along the lines of "I'M GOING TO KILL HIM!"  and I continued reading.  I found User Manuals: 475 minutes.  Better. It would of course have been lovely if we had seen anything at all that suggested that he'd done anything like that much work.  On seeing those times, I started printing things.

  • The "manual" he sent to me
  • The "manual" he sent to everyone else
  • The email Darren said that he was sick of waiting. (Darren's single section was longer than Ben's "manual" by the way)
  • The Times that Ben sent me
  • The email where Darren tells me that he doesn't believe there's a template.
  • The email where Ben says that there's no point to a template.

I figure that will give me plenty to talk about in our management meeting at 2.40pm Monday 15 Oct.

and right now, I have something to say to Ben:
"Dear Ben,

This is going to shock you.  You're used to me being a nice person who is easy to get along with.  And, by and large, I think (I definitely hope) that you're right.  I mean, I'm a bitch, for sure, but who isn't?  This letter, however… This letter is a result of me being so nice and easy to get along with.  I didn't rant at you for not doing your work when I probably should have.  You've seen that I can play dirty, tweaking emotions when I need to.  Right now, I need to rant, I need to play dirty.  I need to write something so that if you ever do read it, you'll understand how I feel. I need to at least write about how I feel about you before I see you tomorrow.  So that when I see you in that management meeting, I don't absolutely blow my stack and lose all my professionalism marks.  With that said, here is what I have to say.  I know it's not pretty, but it's the truth.

I don't know what you thought project was going to be like.  I knew it was going to be hard work, and chew up a lot of my time.  That's why I didn't take an extra (overtime), completely optional unit in second semester even though I wasn't already failing units multiple times over. I would never attempt to do that uni load and work 2 jobs.  I actually quite liked you at the start of the year.  I figured you were a good student and a decent guy.  I don't understand how you can spend so much on uni tuition and not put in the effort.  I don't understand how you can be happy just failing. 

What I do understand? I understand that helping you pass cheapens the degree I'm working fucking hard to get.  I've already had one person pass for a qualification based almost entirely on my work.  I am not doing that again.  I understand that you need to get 45% of your internal mark to pass this unit, which is a core unit to obtain a computing degree.  I understand that you have done almost no work this semester, and there is virtually no tangible evidence that you have done anything.  I understand that your Work Product Pay Packet will be as close to Zero as I can make it and still have a clear conscience.  I understand that I am not going to sit idly by while you cheapen my profession.

What you need to understand?  You need to understand that in my eyes you have failed. You didn't pull your weight, wouldn't tell us you weren't doing things, and every time we bailed you out because it's better the devil you know, and we were understanding of workloads and stuff.  Well, no more.  As far as I'm concerned, your individual marks will be nil, nix, nada, zilch.  I don't know that I'll ever be gutsy enough to say this to your face,  but in the year I've known you, you have become contemptible to me. 

I'm sure you'll enjoy repeating project and making some other team miserable.  Thinking about that almost makes me want to let you pass.  It's not an experience I would wish on anyone.  But then, I wouldn't wish you on an employer either.

I'll see you around, I'm sure, because I start Honours next year, and you're still going to be around."

I'm sorry, everyone.  That venomous type/rant/vent/cry has saved me from actually going psycho on his arse, I think.  (I'm still not going to risk it, I'll leave the sharp objects in my locker before the meeting)  I hate feeling like that.  I hate feeling like I'm dishing out what people deserve. This post may not be pretty… but it's true for me.

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after this, I saw him today in the supermarket car park, and we spoke, and he was nice. and I HATED it.  I don't know, how dare he have a semidecent life after he did that shit to me.  How dare he be mature and nice, in this conversation in my head, he was whingy and whiney, and his life was crap.  How dare he make me feel bad for him having low blood pressure and a heart attack.  This is all quite ironic given my previous post on Relationships, and how I was saying you have to let go and not require people to take blame.  I'm the first to admit that that is really, really hard to do, but the fact that I posted it only the other day, and now I can't follow my own advice really pisses me off.

The worst thing?  this has made me realise that I'm not as over the experience he put me through as I thought I was.  That I'm still incredibly angry about all the stuff that happened after the breakup.  And that as things currently stand, I have no idea where to go/what to do from here.

I was fine until he turned up, and now, I'm all confused. Why didn't the heart attack kill him and make my life easier? and I'm angry at myself for asking that question, for wishing that on anybody, even him.  I called Don, and his response: "Just get over it. Deal with it. Do something about it NOW" wasn't overly helpful.

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