Monthly Archives: May 2007

SMH: Off-Duty Cop Shoots Daughter Who Snuck Out

I’m glad my dad was an accountant …

May 31, 2007 – 2:11AM, SMH Online

An off-duty American police officer in Connecticut shot and critically wounded his 18-year-old daughter, apparently mistaking her for an intruder after she sneaked out of their home and re-entered through the basement.

Eric Scott, 41, on the New Haven police force for nine years, has not been charged in Tuesday’s shooting.

"Mr Scott was under the impression his daughter had gone to bed for the night," Stratford Captain Thomas Rodia said.

"He did not expect his daughter to be outside or down in the basement."

Investigators said Tasha Scott left her home late on Monday to meet a boyfriend. She triggered a backyard motion sensor light as she tried to enter through a basement door.

Awakened by the light, Eric Scott spotted someone moving in the basement bathroom, police said. He fired his department-issued pistol once, hitting the teen in the knee. The bullet travelled up her leg and lodged in her thigh area, police said.

The teenager underwent surgery and was listed in critical but stable condition on Wednesday morning.

Scott has been on leave since being struck by a truck while on duty in November. A telephone listing for him had been disconnected this morning, and a message left for him at the New Haven department was not immediately returned.

I was a horrid kid. My parents have every reason to blame me for their grey hair and Dad’s receding hairline. From 14 to 18 (when I left home in a huff), I rebelled against my parents and did the exact opposite of what they told me to do. My folks were always very strict with me – I had a curfew of 11pm, I wasn’t allowed to date or bring male friends through my front door, and I wasn’t allowed to get a weekend job until I finished high school.

Aided by a ledge directly below my bedroom window, I use to sneak out of the house to go to parties. Before you get the wrong idea, most of these parties were fairly tame affairs – just kids hanging out, playing loud music with a few beers. There were never any drugs (well, ok, maybe the odd spliff here and there), and the beers were very few and far between. I went to be with my friends, who went to be with their boyfriends. I’d always be home by 1am at the absolute latest.

I’ll never forget the night I was caught by my dad. We had just moved to our new house, and I had successfully managed to sneak out on a couple of occasions via new methods. This particular night, I had been invited to a party about a 10 minute walk away from our house, and I had patiently waited until everyone had gone to bed before attempting my Houdini trick. I almost made it too, when all the lights went on in the house.

I was literally caught by my dad with my legs on either side of a sliding door – one foot on the paving in the courtyard, one foot on the carpet on the living room floor. I tried to tell my dad I was just going outside to stretch my legs as I couldn’t sleep, but the party clothes and made up face gave me away.

After an hour of stern lectures from Dad, I was allowed to slink upstairs to wash my face and climb into bed. Looking back, Dad had a rolled up paper in his hand – he must have heard a noise and thought there may have been someone breaking in to our house. Dad has long since retired, but I’m glad he was an accountant!


If You Give A Rats About Sushi …

As a connoisseur of good sushi, I feel it is my duty to post this public warning. Steer clear of Sushi World!! Refer to today’s article from SMH Online below.

Matthew Moore, Freedom of Information Editor, SMH Online
May 30, 2007

THE pest inspector Bill Lincoln smelt the rats before he saw them when he visited the Sushi World’s factory in Camperdown to quote on fixing the rodent problem last year.

"It was horrific … the stench of rat urine was bad," he said of the premises the Herald revealed this week had been fined 11 times, and closed for a second time early this month, for breaching hygiene laws.

As Mr Lincoln walked through the premises in Larkin Street last year, he was stunned by what he found. "There were rats in the rice cases; there was shredded paper on the ground where they were making nests; there were droppings everywhere," he said.

Mr Lincoln said he had seen many food businesses with rat infestations but none as bad as the Larkin Street factory.

Details of the repeated hygiene breaches by one of Sydney’s biggest sushi suppliers came as the Government promised to end the secrecy that has prevented the public finding out about food businesses that have been fined for breaching food safety laws. After a year-long attempt by the Herald using freedom of information laws to get access to details of fines imposed on restaurants and businesses like Sushi World, the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, promised to amend the Food Act within months to ensure fines will be made public.

"I am totally happy to do it. I would hope to have it finalised in the spring session of Parliament, " he told the Herald yesterday.

Mr Macdonald said he was committed to publishing inspection results in line with practice in other countries but said he had yet to decide what system to use.

A "short review" by the NSW Food Authority would consider displaying hygiene scores in restaurant windows, as happens in Los Angeles, or to put details on the internet, as happens in New York, the minister said.

The review would consider if restaurant owners should be able to add their own comments to reports about inspection results, as happens overseas.

The Government’s promise came as Mr Lincoln, who worked for Alliance First pest control company, detailed what he saw when he did his inspection.

"In the [sushi] preparation area I saw a food preparation glove that had been chewed out the night before. There were droppings on the benches.

"There was a storage cupboard on the wall and you could see the smearings on it where the rats jumped down. There was a dead rat caught halfway through a wall. He was quite fresh; I think probably three or four days old."

The Camperdown factory used to supply some businesses operating as Sushi World. Fourteen outlets – at Bondi Junction, Campsie, Castle Hill, Chatswood, Centrepoint Tower, Hurstville, Northbridge Plaza, Randwick Plaza, Sydney Airport and Warringah Mall – operate under a company called Sushi Nara Australia. A lawyer for Sushi Nara said the Camperdown factory had not supplied those businesses for the past 18 months.

Blogthings – It’s Contagiously Addictive!

It’s all Danie’s fault – she has single-handedly infected the Great Wall of China.

My gorgeous friend Vanora and I call ourselves the Great Wall of China. This stems from an ongoing joke that all Chinese people look alike, case in point being one Friday afternoon drinks when we still worked together. We were leaning against a wall in the lunch room chit chatting amongst ourselves when another colleague came up to us and said something along the lines of "oh, there really are two of you". The fact that we look nothing alike (and I am twice the width and slightly taller) has never deterred anyone from mistaking one of us for the other.

Anyhoo, back to the infection of the Great Wall of China. It seems I have now passed on my Blogthings addiction to Van! And she’s found some really great and funny ones too!

I took Van’s lead (we’re both looking for new employment opportunities) and tried to find out what my Ideal Career would be. Turns out that I am energetic, ambitious and sociable, and my talents lie in politics, leading people, and selling things or ideas. Allegedly, I would make an excellent:
* Auctioneer (no – can talk fast but not fast enough)
* Bank President (oooh – show me the money!)
* Camp Director (say what?)
* City Manager (hmm … interesting)
* Judge (hell yeah!)
* Lawyer (almost became one)
* Recreation Leader (again say what?)
* Real Estate Agent (almost became one of these as well)
* Sales Person (was one – couldn’t think of anything worse)
* School Principal (no bloody way – Yr 10 work experience as a teacher was enough!)
* Travel Agent (definitely worth a thought or 3)
* TV Newscaster (ahhh … my dream job)
And it seems that the worst career options for me are investigative careers, like mathematician or architect, which I completely agree.

My personality type may play a big part in getting the perfect job. As it turns out, I have a Type A Personality: I am hyper, energetic, and always on the move. I tend to succeed at everything I attempt and if I don’t succeed at first, I quickly climb my way to the top! (I wish!!) I could be called a workaholic, but I also make time for fun, and as long as it’s high energy and competitive, I’m interested. I have the perfect personality for business and athletic success. (Most unathletic person I know = me!)

I also figured my level of weirdness may be a factor. Here’s hoping my next boss will understand.

You Are 40% Weird
Normal enough to know that you’re weird…
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Methinks it’s time Grumpy Twinkle Wink got back to work!

Miss Universe – You Are So Beautiful

I had two guilty pleasures last night – eating a mountain of BBQ ribs and watching Miss Universe 2007.

The BBQ ribs were ordered because I needed a treat. My head space has been a massive jumble for the past few weeks and the ribs were exactly what the doctor ordered.

As for the Miss Universe pageant, to be honest, I only watched the show last night because I heard Miss USA took a tumble and was later booed during her question time. Hearing that even a woman with so much poise can slip up in front of an estimated viewing audience of over 1 billion (and lived to tell the tale), my recent woes paled into insignificance in comparison to her widely viewed blunder, instantly making the incident "must see" TV.

Deliberately, I tuned in around the half way mark to avoid seeing the national costumes segment (always thought this segment was too cheesy for words) and Miss Australia bombing out of the competition (unsurprising – no one can match our Jennifer "Hawko" Hawkins, who was crowned Miss Universe in 2004). I was tidying my kitchen as the hosts announced the final 10.

My full attention was paid to the pageant at the evening gown segment. The most striking of the contestants was Miss Tanzania, a stunning dark skinned bald creature in a flowing white dress. Miss Korea (with the most delectable name of Honey Lee) was my next favourite. Miss USA’s acrobatics took place in this segment, and whilst it may remain the most embarrassing moment of her entire life, kudos to her for continuing on with an almost sincere smile for the rest of the pageant.

At the conclusion of the evening gown segment, Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality were awarded to Miss Philippines and Miss China respectively. And at this point, an interesting thought crossed my mind – there were no blondes! Not amongst the final 10, and definitely not amongst the special awards recipients!

The final 5 were announced next and in no particular order, they were Miss Venezuela, Miss Korea, Miss Brazil, Miss USA and Miss Japan.

Next came my favourite part of pageant – question time. It’s such a joke – no matter what the question is, the answer would always be a variation of "world peace". So, without further ado, let’s recap on the Q&A part of Miss Universe 2007.

Q: Miss Venezuela, would you rather have a relationship with a guy who is spontaneous and wild or one that plays it safe?
A. You have to feel it’s fair, someone that is good for you and someone who will be a companion. I believe in every relationship you need give and take to have the flame of passion.

Q: Miss Korea, if you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
A: Missionary work is my dream, and if i were to have a superpower, I would like to have a superpower that enables me to use my power, authority and money to help me with my missionary work. And actually a wallet that never dries up would be a good superpower to have.

Q: Miss Brazil, is it better to live following your heart or your mind?
A: I think that in life there should be a balance. Both the heart and mind is important. What’s most important is you follow your heart and what’s better for everybody.

Q: Miss USA, if you could relive one moment in your life, what would it be?
A: I would go back to January 2007 when I travelled to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership School in South Africa. Being there sparked my interest in education.

Q: Miss Japan, what lesson learned as a child still affects your life today?
A: I’ve been dancing since I was a child. I lived my life growing up among students and teachers. I learned to be happy, patient and positive, and this is what I want to teach to the next generation.

Translation for all answers given – world peace. Love it!

Miss Japan took out the title, beating Miss Brazil (runner up), Miss Venezuela (2nd runner up), Miss Korea (3rd runner up) and Miss USA (4th runner up). I was a tad disappointed – I wanted an Asian quinella with Miss Korea to win. Imagine how much fun it would be to announce "Miss Universe Honey Lee" for 12 months!

New Opportunity But Same Bullshit

It’s been just over 3 hours since I got some news about work, which has left me even more confused than before.

Good news first – there has been a project win and my manager would like me to wrap up my current project at the end of this week and start on the new project from next week. It’s good news because the new project is consulting to a high profile client on a top secret project, and it’s a good string to my bow. It also gets me away from the frustrations and, in large part, resentment that have been building up on my current project for quite some time.

The bad news is that whilst trying to reassure me that my work on my current project has been seen in a good light, and as a result I was to be given a new title to reflect the good hard work, my manager also left me in tears of frustration when he proudly presented me with my new title – Project Officer. Pardon the language, but what the fuck does that title mean?

Here’s what else went with the "presentation". My manager said that I was the first person to be given this new title, and that it’s a newly created title to "reflect more closely what our division does". So I should be flattered?? No. Here’s how I see it. A newly created title means the waters are uncharted – there are no other test cases we can measure what level of goodwill and perceived respect I will get from being called a Project Officer. Everyone else in the company, and me most of all, will be wondering what a Project Officer does. When asked the question, how the hell am I suppose to answer – will "I don’t fucking know" cut it?

OK, all right, so the above is a short-sighted view of this new title and job description. I could view it as an opportunity to become the yardstick by which every other Project Officer will have to measure up to – as a newly created position, I could mould it to suit my needs, and help to develop the competencies and performance evaluation criteria. I could be the trailblazer, the trendsetter, the foundation by which the company hires future Project Officers.

But I don’t want to be a trailblazer. I don’t want to be the groundbreaking test case. I just want to be treated like everyone else.

Why does "our division" need to be different to the rest of the company? And if I’m getting a new title, will everyone else in the division be getting new titles too, to "reflect more closely what our division does"? And if not, then why am I getting a new title? I’m not that special – I’m a worker bee and don’t want to stand out from everyone else – I just want the damn title that I have worked my ring off to attain – just make me an Assistant Project Manager, damn you!

There are other stigmas to the whole "being given a unique title to the rest of the crowd". It screams "we don’t know what to do with her – we can’t fire her because she’s done nothing wrong, we won’t promote her for whatever reason – so we’ll just give her a made-up title that sounds slightly important to shut her up".

After a long pause, I told my manager that I don’t care what he calls me. If he needs to give me a title, then fine, whatever he wants to put on the business card is fine by me. A title is just a title – at the end of the day, they’re just empty words. I really don’t give a crap. Call me Queen of the World if he wants to. I’m here to work and do a good job, and I don’t need a title to do that.

There were further exchanges – my manager said that the new title has a new set of competencies and responsbilities, and the new title is a promotion, and they’ll have to switch me to a new employment contract, blah blah blah. Whatever. He lost me at "new title".

I think he guessed I had more pieces of mind to give, and with a bit of gentle prodding, I unleashed. I told him that I would prefer it if there was a bit more consistency with the hierarchy. For instance, our division just hired a person for the Melbourne operations, who has the same background as me (different industry experience but same skill set) yet she was hired as an Assistant Project Manager. If I was to take on this new title, would she also be given the same new title, or would she stay as an Assistant Project Manager? My manager didn’t have an answer to that.

So I went on. I told my manager that I had had discussions with our General Manager, who told me in our meeting at the beginning of May that she was using my performances as her benchmark to evaluate the performances of other Assistant Project Managers in our division, and that as far as she was concerned, I was an APM in all but title. So, if that was the case, why was I being given this new non-title and not being promoted to an APM? My manager didn’t have an answer to that either.

What I didn’t have the heart to tell my manager was that our General Manager had all but promised me a promotion to Assistant Project Manager the minute I came off my current project. In fact, I didn’t have the heart to tell him anything else – he seemed a bit upset by the fact that I wasn’t jumping up and down with joy and gratitude with my "newly created job title".

Carefully, my manager said that because there has not been much visibility over my performances on my current project, and based on the fact that I told him last week I felt like I was being underused (to the point of being the most highly paid office junior in history), he wasn’t able to just willy nilly promote me to the position that, in my opinion, is long overdue. However, he would have a chat with our General Manager to get a better understand of what was discussed between her and me at our early May meeting.

Here’s the fun bit – it was implied that because of my under utilisation, I have really been nothing more than an admin assistant on my current project, so I should be happy with being called something else other than Office Pleb.

I don’t honestly know why I bother any more. I know I gave an undertaking to my General Manager that I would hold on and hold out for brighter and better things, and not look for other opportunities until at least July, but right now, all I can think is "fuck the grace period – just look for another job and screw this lot".

My manager told me he’d get back to within the week to confirm the details of the new project and provide me with a definitive answer on the job title. Here’s a clue – just give me the fucking title I want, and I’ll stop my whining and get on with it.

The games continue. I’m over it.

Updated 29/05/2007 @ 4.35pm

Just got off the phone to my manager. He’s had a chat with our General Manager, and guess what? She takes it back. All of it. And it seems I must have misunderstood what she said in our coffee meeting.

My manager wants to have a face to face chat. Whatever. Like I’ve said before, I’m over it.

The search for a new job begins in earnest tomorrow.

Sucking It Up

I have resigned myself to make the most of my current work situation – at least until the beginning of July, which is the end of the period of undertaking I had naively given to my new General Manager at the beginning of May regarding me looking for a new job. So, in the meantime, I’m actually going to attempt to work most of the day, and visit Blogthings every hour on the hour as a reward of sorts.

So far today, I’ve found out what my Japanese Smiley is, and what my name means.

Ahhh … the joys of a McJob …

What Gloria Lai Chu Chan Means

G is for Gorgeous & Glitzy
L is for Loving & Lively
O is for Orderly & Optimistic
R is for Radiant & Refreshing
I is for Innocent & Industrious
A is for Alert & Alluring

L is for Luscious
A is for Arty
I is for Ideal

C is for Chic
H is for Humorous
U is for Upbeat

C is for Captivating & Charismatic
H is for Happy & Hyper
A is for Ambitious & Animated
N is for Natural & Nice

It’s Time To Go: Big Brother

I vowed at the end of 2004 that I would NEVER willingly watch Big Brother for the rest of my life. Having worked for the people who manage the ZZZ-listers, I couldn’t imagine anything worse than to encourage the ousted housemates that they are worthy celebrities and have futures in showbusiness. The show’s moral standards continue to be lowered as the years pass, but BB has sunk to a new low this year – a feat I didn’t think would be possible on the back of the turkey slapping debacle of 2006.

The things I know about BB since 2005 are gleaned from newspaper headlines and snippets from friends who are still occasionally watching the show. Last year’s sexual assault (because that’s what it was!!) captured on night vision cameras made headlines nationwide, even prompting the PM to comment on the stupidity of the show. This year, in the face of dwindling public interest and TV ratings, the people behind BB have sunken to new depths of contempt.

BB forced a young woman who went through the trauma of a stillbirth to nurse a mechanical baby. The people behind BB knew this young woman had endured a stillbirth, an experience undoubtedly leaving an indelible mark on her life. Granted, the young woman told one and all involved that she was over her sad loss, but seriously, does one ever get over the trauma of going through the pains and rigours of labour to not have a healthy crying child to hold? I’m not a trained psychologist, but I’m willing to bet the answer is a resounding NO.

In their infinite wisdom, the BB team decided to push on with the task of making the housemates nurse mechanical babies, even though there was every opportunity for the task to backfire and cause further emotional distress to the young woman. And what do you know? The young woman suffered a meltdown of sorts, bawled her eyes out and refused to participate in the task, and psychologists and family groups were up in arms over the cruelty of the BB team to allow the introduction and continuation of the task. Lo and behold, everyone was watching BB for a few minutes to see the fallout from the young woman’s meltdown. Ratings shot up and everyone was happy – everyone, that is, except for the poor lass whose fragile emotional state was exploited.

My mate Suz still occasionally tunes into the show and she told me about a task that had me shaking my head. BB imprisoned some contestants in a room and forced them to compete for a chance to enter the house as a proper housemate. Nothing new here – the housemates themselves are locked inside a house, so the word "imprisonment" might be a little harsh. That is until you saw the room itself. It had no windows and everything inside the room was white – the walls, the ceilings, the floors, the doors, the furniture and furnishings. Everything was white – even the contestants’ clothing and microphones were white. The room may as well have been a torture chamber, with a big red button in the middle of the room to be hit by those who wanted out. The last person to hit the button would be granted entry into the house. And yes, Suz mentioned that by the end of the first week inside this white room, some of the contestants were starting to show real signs of mental distress. I had but one question for these people so willing to be tortured: why?

The latest headline grabbing incident involves another young woman and her late father. At the time of entering the house, the young woman’s father was still alive, although he was reportedly at the end stages of his battle with cancer. The young woman and her father were reportedly estranged, but were also reportedly working on reconciliation. The young woman still entered the house, even though there was always the possibility of her father dying before she was ousted. And sure enough, her father passed away and was buried earlier this week.

The uproar surrounding the show now is the fact that the young woman is unaware that her father had died, and that she had missed his funeral. The papers reported that it was her father’s dying wish for his daughter to remain unaware of his passing until she was ousted from the house. The papers also reported that it was the young woman’s wishes to be kept in the dark should news of her father passing away reach the BB team. There are so many questions of ethics and morals here that I don’t even know where to begin.

Why on earth did she continue with her quest to be on BB when her father was dying?

Is the young woman so desperate for her 15 seconds of fame that she was willing to give up any chance of fully reconciling with the man who gave her life?

Why is the BB team insistent on keeping the news of her father’s death hidden from the young woman?

How will the BB team deal with the fallout from this latest incident, which in my opinion is both immoral and unethical in their deceit towards the young woman?

Death is final. It happens once. Same for the departed’s funeral. There is no do-over. And no, watching it on DVD is not the same as being there in person.

I am concerned for the mental wellbeing of this young woman, who may forever associate her time in the BB house with the death of her father and the lost opportunities of sharing his final moments with him. And I am angry with the BB team, whose continued silence and refusal to reveal the truth to the young woman has clearly shown the contempt they have for the housemates.

What will they think of next? Staging a murder inside the house? It’s time to go, Big Brother.