Monday, May 31, 2010

Blog Has Moved

I've moved my blog to WordPress.com

http://mousky.wordpress.com

This blog will remain as an archive.

The reason for the move? I got sick and tired of being unable to change the size the edit box, of trying to figure out the date format (dd/mm/yy) and inserting images, among other things. Blogger hasn't introduced any changes to the interface in 2 or 3 years - a long time in the Internet world. Google are listening? Do you even care?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Singapore Concierge

Concierge services produce a win-win scenario for both the employer and employee.

The employer is able to acknowledge the demand for better balance, they enhance company image, promote well-being with their staff, attract and retain quality personnel, increase company engagement, fine tune their corporate values and commitment to their workforce, increase productivity and efficiency levels, which all revert to a stronger foundation, and an increased bottom line.

The employee increases the on the job effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and loyalty to their firm. They are more content with their balance, have happier and healthier home lives and relationships, decreased stress, and a stronger performance desire. The employee knows that their company is aware of the difficulties and strains of meeting the balance of both personal and professional lifestyles. Their company is interested, is concerned, and is meeting the challenge.

Indra Brooks, Vice President of the International Concierge and Errand Industry believes, "The benefits of a concierge service accrue not just to the employees, but to the employer as well. In fact, evidence suggests that concierge services contribute to increased worker productivity, improved morale, and a hiring advantage in a tight job market. For an employer hiring competent people who want to stay, you need to offer something more than a 401(k) and health and dental. Those things are now standard, so what can you offer your employees above and beyond that to show them this is the place they want to work? A concierge service is an inexpensive way to do that."

I know of a good concierge service, you can find out more here at My Singapore Concierge located at http://www.mysingaporeconcierge.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trip Toll Charge

Having to take my youngest to camp near Gravenhurst, I decided to use Highway 407 to bypass the mayhem of the Toronto and Mississauga area.

I don't mind paying the per kilometre toll. The video toll charge is largely a scam but I'm willing to pay it since I use the 407 less than four round trips a year. But now there is an additional fee: a Trip Toll Charge of 25 cents per trip. What the? Now the 407 ETR is charging me for taking a trip on the 407? I thought that per km toll covered that.

I'm not surprised. It's common in many regulated or non-competitive sectors for various "fees" to sprout up.

The cell phone industry is well known for it's fees. The one-time account set up fee. Network access fee. 911 fee. Hardware upgrade fee. Overage charges. Suddenly that $20 a month plan becomes $30 dollars.

Only decreasing or stagnant traffic volumes and/or increasing fixed costs could explain the need to add a 25 cent toll to each trip. Gee, it's not like they couldn't increase the per km toll by tenth of a cent or so.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alternate Reality Known as CUPEland

In CUPEland, workers that have been out on strike for 14 weeks do not want their vacation days to be pro-rated. Yes, while the majority of working Ontarians get either 2 weeks off or the cash equivalent, CUPE believes that not working entitles them to vacation time.

In CUPEland, said workers also want two of those vacation weeks paid out. I guess this is one way of having all the strikers not taking a bunch of time off for the remainder of the year to avoid staff shortages and overtime. It sure is nice for CUPE to be so considerate that they get a pay out.

In CUPEland, said workers also want the employer to cover the employers share of pension buy back for time on the picket line. At OMERS, when you buy-back previous time, the employee is responsible for both their share and the employers share. Again, CUPE believes that withholding services for 14 weeks entitles them to a pension.

In CUPEland, with the summer almost half over and with services not expected to return to normal two to three weeks after returning to work, the union believes that seasonal and temporary employees should be guaranteed a job. Most families have found alternatives to City programs for their kids. I don't expect many of them to return. We just don't need those seasonal and temporary employees. But CUPE being CUPE, believes that we do need them. Even if they are sitting around doing nothing (save for filling union coffers with dues).

And, in a classic example of CUPEland thinking, the union wants a guarantee that no returning employee will be disciplined for picket line infractions. Yes, while the majority of picketers were polite and respectful, CUPE must resort to protecting the stupid. Why can't unions just say "you fucked up on the picket line, and we don't want to associate ourselves with your kind. See ya"? And unions wonder why people don't have much love for them.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wake Up Blogger

When the date is listed as "07/07/09" how the fuck am I supposed to which 7 is for what?

How hard is it for Blogger to add a real calendar when selecting a date for a post? Heck, how hard is it for them to indicate below the date format a key "DD/MM/YY" or whatever?

I'll probably be switching this blog to WordPress over the summer. Why? Because it is more intuitive. You can change the size of the editing window. Ever tried moving around images in a Blogger edit window? Not very easy. Blogger needs some serious updating. Not much has changed with the interface.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Political Correctness Gone Awry

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005

One requirement of the AODA is that anyone working in a customer service aspect must take training in how to provide customer service to people with disabilities.

My training consisted watching an online video about providing customer service to people with disabilities. Can I please have that one hour of my life back?

Yet another common sense thing has to be turned into a mandated issue. Hey, my kid has a disability. My wife worked with families that have children with disabilities. So, I probably have a little more experience dealing with people with disabilities then most of my fellow workers.

Have we become so tame, so whipped, that we need the government telling us how to deal people, disability or no disability? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Intimidation

What kind of message do you send to the public when you hold an individual for three hours at the exit of a facility?

Yes, CUPE Locals 82 and 543 were holding people for up to three hours at the Central Avenue waste and recycling transfer facility on their way out. You see, the City has an injunction that limits pickets to five minutes. Now, in the wacky world of unions, that means each person that arrives at the entrance or exit will be held for five minutes. Well, if you are the 12th vehicle waiting to leave, you may have spent 60 minutes waiting.

How CUPE does not see this as intimidation is beyond me? Holding an elderly diabetic man for three hours is not going to win over people. You are angering the wrong people.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Spoiler Alert)

Saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine with my oldest son last night. Not a bad movie. Not a great movie. My son liked it, and that is all that really matters.

That said, one thing in the movie bothered me.

Before Logan's skeletal system was reinforced with adamantium, a near indestructible metal, he would grow bone claws out of hands. Yet, after the adamantium reinforcement, Logan now grows sharp blades (that were also much duller in this movie).

Shouldn't he be growing adamantium-reinforced bone claws?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Jerk"

One way of not winning support during a strike is to call people a jerk.

You want me to wait for five minutes? Ask me, politely. That is all it would take. Really.

Demanding that I wait five minutes or that you WILL hold me for five minutes is not going to win me over.

Since when do you get to decide what I can and cannot do? I always find it amusing how the 'right to strike' and the 'right to picket' trumps my 'right to work' and my 'right to enter a building'.

Also, standing off to the side and yelling out demands doesn't sit well with me. Since when did sitting and/or standing around a picnic table equal picketing?

CUPE locals 82 and 543, you are losing the public. Do yourself a favour. Face reality and get back to the negotiating table. The majority of Canadians do not get post-retirement benefits for life. Heck, the majority of Canadians don't get post-retirement benefits period. What makes you so special?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Eliza Dushku


Beautiful