Another Brick in the Wall

March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Snowy White – 62 today.


Toreador Song

March 3, 2010

Bizet’s Carmen  premiered on this day in 1875.

Friends’ first visit to the opera in London was to see a performance of Carmen. They were greatly relieved when it got to the Tordeador song which they recognised.


9/10

March 3, 2010

9/10 in the Dominion Post’s politics quiz in 45 seconds.

That’s one better than Kiwiblog but in nearly twice the time.

If I credit luck with the former can I blame a slow rural internet connection for the latter?


Do I make him do diversion?

March 3, 2010

Top marks to the police officer at Christchurch airport who was dealing with the case of my stolen laptop – he’s got it back.

The saga began early last month when I was careless. I put my laptop and case down while paying for parking, picked up the case when I’d finished and walked off without picking up the laptop too. When I realised what I’d done a few minutes later I returned to the pay machine to find the lap top had gone.

I reported it to a police officer who went through video footage in which he saw a bloke pick up the laptop and walk off with it. The information on how much he’d paid for parking enabled the officer to work out when he’d entered the car park so he trawled through the video from the entrance and got the car’s registration number.

He traced the driver from that to an ex-girlfriend’s address and then to two former employers but the trail went cold from there. However, he persevered, found the bloke, got him to return to the airport where he admitted he’d taken the laptop and still had it.

His story was he hadn’t had time to go to the police.

Do we believe him? No.

The officer said it’s up to me and his supervisor if he takes it any further.

The culprit doesn’t have a previous record so if he’s charged he’d be offered diversion. That means he’d have to make a donation to a charity and probably write me an apology.

I wouldn’t want to waste police and court time on this and since it’s a first offence I wouldn’t want him to have a record.

I haven’t seen the laptop yet but it needs a password so it’s doubtful that if he turned it on he got any further than the start-up page. Even if he had, it was only a couple of months old and I didn’t have any state secrets on it.  The policeman said it’s working and the adaptor and camera lead are still with it. 

But:

* He stole it. I was careless but an honest person would have called me back as soon as he saw me walk off without the computer and he’s had a month to hand it to the police since then.

* I was on my way to Australia when it happened and it was inconvenient not having a laptop with me while I was away and for the couple of weeks after I got until I got a replacement.

* I had to phone Telecom to put a hold on the broadband connection because the Tstick was with the computer and we had to change a whole lot of passwords on the office & home computers.

* I had to make an insurance claim and buy another computer; and now I have to sort out with the insurance company what happens with the old computer now it’s been returned.

The theft wasn’t a hanging offence but it was an offence and a nuisance so: do I say thanks to the police officer for his good work and let it go or do I make the culprit do diversion?


Fonterra’s factories damaged in quake

March 3, 2010

Fonterra has established no-one at any of its sites in Chile was injured by the earthquake but hasn’t managed to contact all of the company’s staff who were at home when it struck.

In a newsletter to suppliers, company chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said that there’s been varying levels of damage to its plants.

The one nearest to Concepción is quite severely damaged but the others should be back in action in a few days.

The company is working with farmers to help manage milk supplies until normal processing resumes.


globalDairy Trade price up slightly

March 3, 2010

The average price for whole milk in Fonterra’s monthly globablDairy Trade auction increased .8% to $3,281 per tonne.

The anhydrous milk fat (AMF) price was down 5.4% to US$3,959 a tonne.

Skim milk powder (SMP), which was included for the first time, sold for $US2,927.

Fonterra chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said adding SMP is in line with the company’s plans to offer a wider range of products on-line and provide a transparent reference price.

 

Any one noticed . . .

March 3, 2010

. . . cries of anguish from the thousands, hundreds, tens anyone who’s been unjustifiably dismissed within 90 days of being employed?

That was what the unions and leftwing politicians foretold when the law was changed to allow small businesses to dismiss someone within 90 days without risking a personal grievance charge.

It hasn’t happened because the time, energy and expense of recruiting, hiring, initiating and training staff – even for jobs which require little skill – mean that once someone’s employed employers do their best to hang on to them unless they’re really not suited to the position.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson is calling for submissions on the personal grievance system which currently operates and there are suggestions this might include an extension of the 90-day trial period to businesses which employ 20 or more people.

That would be a welcome move, as would any changes which allow a slightly more relaxed approach to process when workers are dismissed.

Workers need to be protected from bad employers but good employers shouldn’t have to go through extra expense because the odd i isn’t dotted when dismissing bad employees.

The discussion document, terms of reference and response form are here.


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