Friday, March 31, 2006

Driving Angry

Driving is one of the most angry-making activities I can think of. The level of stupidity displayed on the road every day just boggles my mind (not by me of course – anything I do wrong is an innocent one-off mistake and should be forgiven). So I think a warning is in order: when I am supreme dictator there are going to be a lot less cars on the road. So get familiar with public transport (and remember what I said about deodorant).

This isn’t because I’m anti-car, I love cars. I bought one recently. I’m just anti-fuckwit driver. Once again, it’s the people! Not the cars – the people! I’ve decided you must be too dumb to follow all the complicated road rules so I’ll make things simpler. There will be one rule: if you’re a fuckwit, you’re out.

Cut across three lanes of traffic without warning forcing everyone else to jam on the brakes? You’re out!

Tailgate someone who’s doing the speed limit? You’re out!

Block the overtaking lane while doing 10k below the limit? You’re out!

Spend more on your car stereo than your car? You’re out!

Dive a 4WD (or SUV if you insist on calling them that) that never leaves the suburbs (let alone goes off-road)? You’re out! (And I’m going to lift your damn 4WD up with a crane and drop it on your fucking head)

Drive a truck? Not any more, I’m sick of you bastards blocking every lane on the road. What is it with truck drivers? If there are two trucks and two lanes they won’t go in single file – they’ll go side by side and block both lanes. And if there are three lanes, inevitably each will be blocked by a truck. One stretch of road I drive on is four lanes wide and the bastards are always spread out across all four lanes.

God, truck drivers make me angry! Socially maladjusted drug abusing fuckwits always intimidating car drivers because they’re trying to overcompensate for having tiny penises.

Yeah, the women too.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Inconsistently Angry

I mentioned yesterday's post to a former team member (FTM) and he reminded me how bad our former workplace was. Thinking of this craphole (where I was trapped for two years due to a bad job market) always makes me angry.

Sometimes venting is cathartic but ranting about that dump just makes me angry because I keep remembering progressively worse things that happened there the longer I dwell on it. So largely, my response to that place is a healthy suppression of emotion and pretending it never happened.

I could probably keep posting for a whole year just on how bad that place was (and I probably will return to it from time to time) but variety is the spice of life. And I’m angry about so very many different things. Today I’ll focus on the one thing that I think was the worst there: inconsistency.

I work in IT and my job tends to revolve around writing specifications and requirements documents. In this workplace the structure was that I (and FTM) would write a document and submit it to our manager for approval. There was no objective standard for measuring the quality of our work; it was all down to the subjective judgement of our manager.

Sometimes things would sail through with only minor revisions, sometimes she would want major changes but most often it was the death of a thousand cuts. She would send the document back with all her little “change this” notes – fair enough. Then I would re-submit the document and she would reject it again, attaching another bunch of “change this” notes. The angry-making bit of this was that the things she noted the second time around were almost always in the document the first time around. And they didn’t seem to be a problem then.

Now, I’m a believer in re-reading and thoroughness – you’ll often see things on a second reading you didn’t see the first time. But this wouldn’t happen once or twice, it was common to be forced through five or six iterations and, on occasion, ten or more times. Then someone would ask “when is that document going to be finished” and the only honest answer I could give was “I don’t know.”

I had no way of knowing what was “right” because of the inconsistent control freakery of this manager. There were a lot of things wrong with that workplace, but this behaviour alone was enough to drive me to despair. And invariably, the manager would blame us for the delays. Never mind that she couldn’t give us objective standards to adhere to so we could do things “right”. Never mind that she was completely inconsistent in her assessments. Never mind that she would insist we should put something in for one iteration then insist it was wrong in another and disavow ever having told us to do it in the first place.

It was all our fault.

And in a way, it was. I never stood up and called bullshit on her behaviour. I never stood up for what I thought was right. I just didn’t see any point.

Instead I just got the hell out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My boss is jealous of me

Today I’m angry at my boss. I’m a contractor so my boss changes fairly often but the issue with this boss is always in the background and sometimes in the foreground when you’re a contractor: she thinks I get paid too much.

My initial contract period is coming to an end and my boss said she wanted to extend the contract for another three months. All good so far. I called my agency to see if the extension had been made official and they told me the boss was very happy with my work but wanted to know if my rate was “short term” and seeing as how they were extending my term would I go for a lower rate. She even apparently dropped a line something like “at that rate he’d get more in six months than I get in a year”.

This makes me angry for a number of reasons:

First, I don’t give a damn about your pay rate, just mine. I get paid market rates for my experience and the level of demand for my skills (essentially whatever I can get away with). This rate has nothing to do with anybody’s wage for their permanent position.

Second, it’s just against the rules of the game. When you hire a contractor, you don’t try to make them feel guilty about their rates. If you can’t handle that a contractor gets paid more than you, don’t hire contractors. Or at least don’t hire good contractors.

Third, when you balance everything, contractors aren’t always much better off. Remember, I don’t get annual leave or sick leave and I don’t get paid for public holidays. If I aint at a desk I aint gettin’ paid. So to get a more realistic idea of a contractor’s annual income, calculate them getting paid for about 46 weeks, not 52. Then I have to do my own superannuation, tax and health cover (which requires an accountant). At the end of it all, contracting pays about a 20% premium over an equivalent permanent role. And that’s just the extra you get for giving up job security.

So don’t whine about contractors getting paid more than you, it’s petty and essentially not very accurate. If contractors were really twice as well off as permanent employees then everybody would be contracting. Don’t be jealous, make the leap to contracting if you think it’s so much better.

Or just shut the hell up.

I gave my response: no, I won't lower my rates for an extension (subtext: I don't care if you don't extend my contract). I did, of course, check the job listings before making this decision. My job sector is still booming and in fact I could probably boost my rate by 20% or more if I went for a new contract, but apart from my boss whining about how much I make I like this job (and the people - even my boss). I remember how badly I got screwed when the job market cratered in '01 so right now I'm gettin' me some while the gettin's good. Welcome to John Howard's economy.

Result: I got the extension to my contract less than 24 hours later.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Well, I'm really angry today. Those internet perverts are infiltrating the mainstream now. The following image was blatantly displayed in my weekly local paper in amongst the real estate ads:

There was some cover story about too many plastic shopping bags being used but I know a goatse image when I see one. Some sick bastard has obviously taken a picture from the inside looking out.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Worst Sort of Communism

One thing that makes me angry regularly is having to put up with the grossness of communal toilets. By this I mean shared toilet facilities, either in a public place or at work – all the cubicles in a row together. My mother taught me to share but this is the best example I can think of for the argument that sometimes sharing is not a good thing.

Sharing toys at kinder: good. Sharing pooty noises and smells: badbadbadbadbadbadbadbad.

I think it’s worse at work than in a public toilet. If you’re out somewhere at least you don’t know the disgusting animal in the next cubicle. At work, when you hear the evidence at disturbingly close range that your workmate had a bad curry last night or isn’t getting enough fibre in their diet... Well, you can pretend not to notice, but you do have to keep working with them.

If it’s me having the problems, I hate the fact that anyone else knows this about me so I refuse to leave the cubicle until everyone else has left. This can take a long time when different people keep coming in to the toilet while you are in progress. Especially if someone is making worse stink than you in another cubicle. I decide I can’t stand it any more and get up to leave, always wondering does the other person know the rules? Do they know they’re not allowed to get up until I’ve left?

Then someone comes in while I’m washing my hands and they do a double take at the hideous stink and you know they’re thinking it’s you. Even if it was you it’s important that you blame someone else. This is where I hold my nose and point at the still-closed cubicle door. The perfect crime.

Any workplace that had a clue would forget worrying about if enough people had private offices and focus resources on creating private toilets instead of communal ones. A series of individual unisex rooms that a cleaner goes into every time someone comes out – no nasty surprises for the next arrival that way.

Instead of dealing with important issues like this, people spend their time worrying about things like pay rates and holidays. Why can’t people get their priorities right?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The People!

What the hell is wrong with you people?

It was never my intention to oppress people when I become supreme overlord but I can see "tough love" isn't gonna cut it. Until I can instill some basic decency in you savages it's going to be the rule of the iron fist. A little example:

Summer, trams, peak hour... what's missing from this list?


I'll say it again: What the hell is wrong with you people? It isn't a new invention, it isn't even expensive! You can afford to use it every day. Seriously. You're not special, you stink. Goats stink, dogs stink, PEOPLE STINK!

Soap and deodorant people, it's what separates us from the beasts. And why is the bloke holding on to the overhead handstrap putting his armpit level with my nose always the stinkiest one on the whole damn tram? And yes, the worst ones are invariably male. They've discovered internet porn but not deodorant.

I'm drawing up plans for re-education camps now.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Still Angry After All These Years

In case you were wondering why I'm looking forward to some payback for my car, like virtually everybody in the world I've been screwed over by car dealers and mechanics many times. Virtually any contact with these slimeballs is guaranteed to get me angry but let me tell you the story of the encounter that made me the angriest.

A few years ago I needed to replace the brake pads on my car so I book it in to the dealership where I bought it (stupidly) thinking they'd look after me. Of course I had to wait for two weeks but the car's booked in, they know what model it is and that the brake pads need replacing.

Service day comes and I drop the car off at 8am then head off to work. Nothing to report until half an hour before I go to pick the car up after work. The "service manager" calls to say they don't have the brake pads for my car in stock and can't get them today so I can't get my car back until tomorrow. Now, I have to pick up my kids within 30 minutes and there's no way I can make it without a car.

But this is a car yard so I figure they'll loan me a car to cover for their screw-up. Apparently no. They "don't have any cars available". In a car yard. So let me count up the ways they're pissing me off:

  1. They don't keep a basic component like brake pads for cars they sell in stock by default.
  2. When someone books a car in to have its brake pads replaced they don't check to see if they have them in stock.
  3. I dropped the car off at 8am and they clearly didn't even look at it until the end of the day (god forbid they would have looked at it first thing when they might have been able to get the parts in)
  4. They are making no effort whatsoever to compensate for their idiocy

So the knucklehead is just standing their slack-jawed as if someone's hit him in the head with a piece of 2x4 (I consider hitting him myself to see if his look changes) and he won't let me take my car because they've taken off the worn brake pads and it's undriveable. I'm pretty much ready to do the jail time for murdering this prick but I end up picking up my kids in a taxi. Which the car yard refuses to pay for.

And the next day I pick up the car. And don't kill anyone. Despite the fact each and every one of them deserves it. Later I discovered some bastard stole money out of my glovebox.

I really hate car dealers.

The only thing these scum care about is money, so I've formulated my revenge plan. Next time I'm buying a new car I'm going to this car yard for a test drive. Then I'll tell them I'm definitely buying this car. From someone else. And when they do their smarmy sales push I'll tell them exactly why they're never getting another cent out of me. Then I'll buy the car from another dealer and drive in to show them so they know I wasn't bluffing.

This of course, will have no effect whatsoever on their behaviour. They are, after all, car dealers and obviously incapable of decent human behaviour. But at least the sales monkey will suffer a little pain knowing they missed out on a commission. And I like to inflict pain on my enemies.

Remember that.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Angry at my Car

I am really angry today.

My goddam car wouldn’t start this morning so I’m 45 minutes late for work. This is a less than 6 month old car so as far as I am concerned absolutely nothing should go wrong with the bloody thing. The anger started when I went to get into the car. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I couldn’t open the doors with the doohickey on the keys – no response at all.

Then I remembered the concept of using the key to physically open the door as opposed to electronically.

Anyway, in the car – no response at all when I turn the key. My first thought is that there is something seriously wrong with the key doohickey and the engine immobiliser is still on therefore the goddam engine remains off. Then I fiddle with a few more things and it’s starting to look like the battery is flat.

Now, I didn’t leave the headlights on (in fact, one of the things I like about this car is that it won’t let me leave the headlights on) so I’m trying to work out what could have caused it. Then I remember this intermittent problem the car has where the brake light stays on after I’m out of the car. If I notice it I can just tap the brakes to make it go off but if I don’t notice it...

So I have an hour of stress working this all out and jump-starting the car and I end up angry as hell before I even get into traffic (as opposed to the normal five minutes after I get into traffic) and I have a whole work day ahead of me yet to make me angrier.

I have to put up with a four hour workshop this afternoon so it will be a miracle if I make it through that without smacking someone’s face into a whiteboard. The one saving grace is I already had the car booked in for a service next week. Getting the car fixed is only incidental to making me feel better.

The real bonus is I get to abuse someone face to face while the outrage is still fresh in my mind.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why am I angry?

So to start with: what’s the main thing that makes me angry? (besides people asking me “Why are you so angry?”) In a word, it’s people. I’d be a hell of a lot less angry if it wasn’t for all the damn people.

Everywhere I go, people! I swear, do you all get together somewhere and formulate ways to make me angry? Because when I look at the average knucklehead making me angry I figure there’s no way they’re smart enough to consistently find new ways to frustrate me the way they do. The only logical explanation is that you’re all involved in a conspiracy against me.

I know, you think it’s all fun and games, but I’ll warn you right now: my time is coming. That’s right, you’ll have to answer for your stupidity one day – everyone who pisses me off goes on THE LIST. And when I’m running things everyone on the list pays! Think about that next time you cut me off as you change lanes without warning.

Don’t think it won’t happen. You’re on notice.