31 July 2017

Bugger sex, it's hate that sells

I watched the news unfold about the unmasking of the terror plot here in Australia and couldn't help but feel a little cynical about it all. 

Not the actual raids  - I'm happy for police and our security services to be arresting every Tom, Dick or Harry that's thinking about inflicting violence against people. I kind of wish they'd be as proactive about arresting people who beat their partners or children on a regular basis as they are about uncovering plots about so called jihadis on ipads.

No, my cynicism is linked to the media beat up of the story. In a few short hours we went from having thwarted a terror attack that was going to blow up a plane, to having thwarted a terror attack that was going to gas everybody on board, to showing people wearing hijabs being escorted from houses even though there has been nothing at all to suggest that any of these women have anything to do with anything but we all know that a key part of creating an anti-muslim narrative is to show pictures of hijabis.  

And now we have the breaking news about some young men who planned violence back in 2014. It's breaking news.  It's excellent breaking news that we can have all the bad news about those bad bad Muslim terrorists on the front page of our papers and news sites today, just when ALL OF THE MUSLIMS TRIED TO KILL US AGAIN. 

And breathe. 

I am so over the media narrative that creates a society that is so heartbreakingly xenophobic that no matter what the truth is, we can't see it because we're being fed a solid diet of inflammatory, hate filled bile that sees truth being abandoned for distasteful rhetoric that distracts from the issues we should be talking about. 

Are we talking about the marginalisation of the poor to ensure tax breaks for the rich? Are we talking about the systematic torture and abuse of refugees that we are paying for on Manus and Nauru? Are we talking about ingrained racism so horrendous that we the death of an Aboriginal boy chased down by a man in a truck is considered manslaughter not murder? Are we sharing positive community stories of inclusion and success?  Are we talking about anything that actually impacts everyday Australia?

Nope, we're all just hating on Muslims again.  And of course, that means predominantly women and children bear the brunt of our hateful racist discourse because they are visibly identifiable due to their choice of headwear.  

Now I know that not everybody subscribes to my way of thinking. I know that a lot of people think we have to do everything we can to protect ourselves from all the bad people.  And do you know something. That would be fine by me IF WE ACTUALLY WERE PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTUALLY FACTUALLY MORE LIKELY TO HURT US.

The statistics prove over and over and over and over again that the likelihood of us experiencing death as a result of terrorism are extremely low. We're more likely to die at the hands of a partner, or a drunk driver, or the police. We are more likely to die falling down stairs, being bitten by a dog, as a result of an breathing related incident. 

Basically - while terrorism totally sucks arse, it's not where we should be focussing our attention. We definitely shouldn't be having the media whip up a xenophobic rage against a tiny percentage of the population so that we stop thinking critically for ourselves. 

Worse is that we've been here. We know how the demonisation of a religious minority plays out. We know that ultimately it ends badly. 

Hate sells. So please for the love of Colin, you have the power, so stop buying into it.

And actually, physically, stop buying it. Please. 

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21 July 2017

Dear Australia Post

Oh how I want to say it's not you, it's me.

But it's not.

I pay a small fortune to post letters via you and can't even get a letter from capital city to capital city in a week.

But yet strangely, the letter I sent to England arrived in three days.

I order things online and your parcel delivery drivers don't even pretend to deliver the parcel anymore, just drop it at the closest post office and ask them to send me a parcel card to collect it.

Every other courier company can pull up outside any of the houses on my street and drop a parcel off, they can even follow the directions on the front if there are specific delivery instructions.  But not Australia Post.
What happens when you google Australia Post Fail?

I go online to suburb based forums and find page after page after page of people lamenting the money they pay Australia Post for a service they no longer get. So I recommend Sendle to all of them. It's not perfect but at least they deliver your parcels to your door. I go to google and it's pages of articles and media storm proving that I am not alone in finding you the most frustrating service provider in Australia.

I go onto Twitter - the 24/7 channel to talk to you and you don't reply for days. You only ever answered my email once. Nothing has changed. Your local representative at the post office tells me to complain to head office. I ring and waste vast periods of my life not having the phone picked up.

You paid one CEO millions for nothing and the next CEO, a woman, you pay nothing compared to the other. But still service hasn't changed so it's not like you are investing the money you saved on perpetuating gender based inequality to improve the quality of the service.

You lament that we don't use your service but why would we when we can send it via couriers for less, and know that not only will they come to collect it, but they'll actually deliver it on time too. To the address. Not to somewhere nearby which is more convenient for the driver.

Of course today I'm just annoyed because if it wasn't for me following up missing parcels with the company that sent them, I'd be none the wiser that I didn't have parcels delivered again.

Twice. Twice in one day I had to go to the post office to collect parcels that I was home to receive.

The post office guy told me that the delivery man once got a parking ticket on the road I live in. So now he won't deliver parcels to our street because it has limited parking. I live in Sydney everywhere has limited parking so I find this excuse nothing but pure tomf&&kery.

My post office people are lovely. But I have no interest in visiting them a few times a month to check if I have any parcels.  Because you are paying a driver to deliver those parcels and he's not. So I kind feel not only am I getting screwed here, but you are too.

I know there are worse problems in the world. But I kind of feeling that a postal delivery service should be able to deliver the post.  You know, or rebrand to Australia Post Not Quite Delivering Your Packages Because It Is Too Much Of A Pain In The Arse To Actually Deliver Parcels Service. 

Yours crankily, (and still missing a package that was due today)
Me



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13 July 2017

Not a butt kisser

This is the brief I got from Talk About Creative
"Please just write for your readers - what they want to read - 
just please refer back to anything you like on our blog."
And they will give me some money in return for my words. 
This is what is known in the 'hood as a sponsored post and this is me being upfront about it.
🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌

I really don't know what you want to read, dear Readers. But hello, here I am writing. Again. 

I have been working full-time since I was 17 years old.  I've worked in different states and in different countries. I've worked for big globals and small NFPs.  I've worked great jobs surrounded by awful people and some awful jobs surrounded by great people. And it took me a good twenty years to realise something about myself.

I'm incapable of kissing arse.  

Don't get me wrong, I've tried. I could see how it worked from a young age. Say the right thing, curry favour with the 'right people', don't disagree with bosses, laugh a lot, always defer to somebody more senior even if they are talking horse-shit. 

I tried for a very long time. I even caught myself 'tinkling with laughter' at one boss' asinine jokes to prove what a good sport I was. I think occasionally I even cracked the subtle art of 'playing the game'. So it was a gradual realisation for me that it was never going to work for me. I haven't got it in me.  Respect for me is something we earn. A title or seniority in the system doesn't mean shit if you're not treating other people with respect.  And there are a stupid amount of managers out there that don't deserve the respect they demand.

So it was a surprise to me to realise that 12 months into starting my own business, I had gone down the 'playing the game' route in establishing my business.  I was trying to kiss arse and I didn't even know whose butt I was trying to kiss. I was conforming, corporatising and becoming the kind of consultancy that made ME, MYSELF yawn. 

I wasn't loving it. Because it wasn't me. My business started to flourish when I just started being ME again. I'm loud. I'm outspoken. I'm good at what I do. I am good at out of the box thinking. I am so super excited about working with businesses that want to contribute to the world in a way that is good and just and positive (as well as make money - we don't need to be unrealistic here people!)

 I didn't want to work with just anybody, I didn't want to kiss arse to get jobs and work with people that weren't my kind of people. I wanted to work with people that know who I am and what I stand for. I wanted to work with people that are interested in what I know, not just who I know. 

But it's funny.  When we put ourselves out there for the first time, trying to create something that we are massively passionate about, it's so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of taking advice from people not necessarily qualified to do it.  The ol' it worked for them, it's what I should do! All my original business blogs were so freakin' boring that when I rebooted my website last year, I pulled them all down. It was because here on Talking Frankly, where I just wrote as me, it worked. But over on Elverson, I was writing like I had some kind of stick shoved up my rear end. 

And since I work in the new media space, writing copy and articles, creating strategies and managing risk for businesses investing in social - being boring, uninspired and talking in a voice entirely alien to my own was never going to be a good way to build my business. 

And I wish I had I discovered Talk About Creative earlier, I kind of feel I wouldn't have taken as long to work this all from a business perspective. Just this week they put up a post called Why your Facebook Strategy is a pile of POOP!  - it's the kind of stuff I often say to clients, but for some reason - while I think it, and I speak it, I am not blogging about it. 

And my massive - somebody just slapped a fish across my face and yelled "FISH" - moment was blogging never works if you don't write with the same passion for a topic that exists when you talk about it or actually do it.  Everything you blog about is going to be POOP if you're doing it because you have to, and not because blogging is one of the ways you connect and engage with people. 

Which is the whole reason I started blogging in the first place. This is why I'm passionate about social media and it's incredible role in creating positive communities, sharing ideas, education and empowerment.  

So I'm thanking Talk About Creative for the kick up the butt. I'm thanking them for highlighting the disconnect between one of my blogs and the other.  I'm thanking them for the dosh. I'm thanking them for the huge amount of blogs they have written which I can share and use as resources both for myself, and for when I meet others embarking on the, frankly insane, small business journey.

And yes, I used the word JOURNEY. It's okay. I'll see myself out. 

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