Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ahhh geezz...

I won't harp on this but I thought that you all might like to know... My last payday was on Thursday (last week). and guess what!! I got paid!! And it included the back-pay that I was owed because of being paid at a lower rate....

The only thing that sucked about it, was that I was taxed a bit high... Like around exactly 48.5% of my wages. How do you like that!!!! I was pretty pissed and I made sure payroll guy knew it. It won't happen again I have been assured many times.

Anywho... because of this problem, I could no longer afford to go to the national Australian Rheumatology Association Annual meeting at the Hilton here in Sydney. The conference for which I made a really nice looking poster for (good presentation to make up for crap content!!). But I did put effort into it....

So I went yesterday anyway. I borrowed a name tag from one of the lovely ladies in my lab and wore it in. I (cleverly and sneakily) turned it around so that you could only see the back of it, not the named "Marina" side of the name tag thing. So I strolled in, got some free stuff from the nice looking drug company displays.. Got probably too much free coffee... Ate some of the really nice food. Ate too much of the desserts because it was all going to be thrown away anyway... or maybe they were going to send it as a care package to the Hilton chain's famous namesake daughter (granddaughter I think) doing time somewher... Anyway, there's a few less cakes and stuff for her because I ate them!!!!

Mwaa ha ha ha haaaaaa...

And I did it free!!!!!

Not too many people looked at any of the posters though.. I did have an awkward moment where one of the guys reviewing my thesis walked in, and I had to say hey to him. Didn't ask about my thesis or anything like that... Didn't think it was kosher to do so.

I do wish he had of said that he enjoyed reading it though!!! Maybe he hasn't read it yet... Ya, that's it....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Link Between Stress and Disease??

Yes my friends, I think that I may have stumbled upon a great discovery!!! Of immense importance!! One that may soon see me with a Nobel Prize!

Well maybe not...

But I have found a link between stress and headaches and general unwellnesses. Also, that stress builds up over time.

Take for eg PhD thesis writing. Takes several months of solid writing, revisions, etc before it's done. Stress Point #1.

Then take starting a brand new project at work, where the starting point is considerably behind where you were told you would be starting, like say.... we have an idea, but don't really know what we really want to do, don't know any of the methods, and have no one to collaborate with to help us.... as opposed to the perceived starting point (what I agreed to in Sept of last year) of: We are going to do this, and we will collaborate with them who already have the method set up and have agreed. Stress Point #2.

Then add to this the fact that my wife just gave me our second child, and is therefore not earning money, and I am (well was) not getting paid properly. Stress Point #3.

There are always more Stress Points, but that's good enough for my scientific approach to this issue....

So, #1 + #2 + #3 have led me to be sick. Regular headaches, I am now officially over 48 hours headache free!!! And saddly, yes, this is a big deal. Not even a hint of one for the past few (2) days, but I'm on my third headache free day and it's Friday!! So things are looking good!!!

Unfortunately though, I have a stuffed nose and my throat wasn't feeling great most of this week... So I haven't decided if that's what's taking the place of my headaches or not...

But see??? Conclusive evidence that there is a link between stress and headaches and general unwellness.


You already knew that!!!


I feel another headache comming on....


Bye Bye for now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In Hiding

Honestly, I really and truly wish I could laugh at this.

Why oh why does it have to be true though? Let me run this down for you...

I accepted a job late September to start mid January. I fullfill my end by starting in mid January. Then my employer tells me that "we" have to start looking about how he's going to pay me... or about hiring me or something to that effect.

I contained myself and did not throw a fit.

It takes 3 months to get hired by the hospital (bureaucracy leading to several levels of forms and applications to approve the creation of a position, then advertising, interviewing, etc etc: 3 months). So I need to get paid for this three month somehow.

I create my own company so I can be contracted (Name: "Madex" from Madison and Alex. Ya, I'm clever like that). I send invoice to hospital.... Which my payment again needs approval and bureaucracy ensues, and I find myself struggling on Thursday (pay day) trying to get paid. Strife.

A week later I get paid. We now move to February.

To avoid all this bureaucracy, I find a way to become a casual staff at the University. That was an easy process, fill out a few forms, send them in. Badda bing badda boom: hired. As casual staff. No sick leave, holiday pay etc. My first payday as a casual staff sees my bank account with no money deposited. REASON: They didn't agree with my rate of pay so they just didn't pay. I bitched, got the money a few days later (or a week?)

Next pay check, SAME PROBLEM!!!! SAME REASON. I call, bitch and complain, and eventually get paid a week or two late. By which time I have submitted another pay sheet. You get the idea though. Today, I got paid for work around the Easter break.

Remember then? Exactly ONE month ago! And even then, I got half that pay cheque two weeks ago and the rest today. Here's why, and honestly, it is the most stupidest, and incompetent reason I have ever heard.

I get my time sheet signed y my boss, the accounts guy here faxes it to the University pay office. All good, and it even gets received by the pay office girl (who will bitterly remain unnamed) before the cut off time. The accounts guy then sends the ORIGINAL time sheet, with the signatures and writing etc in INK to the pay office girl (who is still bitterly remaining unnamed). She then gets confused by having a copy as well as the original and doesn't have the time to "investigate". I kid you not. The words she used on me when I called her were that she received the fax and then the "original" and did not have time to "investigate".

What is there to investigate? You have a copy, and the original from which the copy was made. Clever girl. Anyway though, I got that pay today, overpaid though... But paid.

Which brings me to today. My first full two-week pay cheque. I get it deposited, and then realize (well my wife realizes and informs me by phone), that I don't get paid much. After small investigation, I find out that I am being paid at a lower rate than I should be. This despite my contract clearly stating what my rate of pay is... So another Thursday, another problem....

I will go into hiding until the assholes have left the ruling to those that are capable.

Alright I won't. I'll just bitch about them from this level of non-anonymity...

Unless you're not one of my family members who is reading this, then I am kind of anonymous... Although a little bit of research and you'll find out who I am...

I still haven't complained thoroughly to my boss who waited until I was already working before looking at hiring me though. I do still have to work here for the rest of this year... And to think I turned down a good job in Halifax where I would have been paid from the get go....

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Is this really news??

Come on Channel 9. I was washing the dishes last night,(Yes, I do this on most nights, I'm a new age man) and during the commercials, I heard an add for Channel 9 news, trying to entice the viewers to watch. What they said, supposedly to get me to watch, and give themselves credibility at reporting news, was that studies have shown that kids favorite breakfast cereals were loaded with salt and sugar.


What kid would turn down a sugar-ladden bowl of Fruit Loops for a nice healthy bowl of...Bran Flakes? How newsworthy is it to tell people something that they have known since people began eating? Kids like sweet and tasty things better than bland flavourless cardboard? Would you rather have an ice-cream, or whole-meal bread? A chocolate bar or a mashed potatoes?

I'm worried that the next news headline will be something like, after 7 years of intense research, scientists have found that olympic athletes, on average, are in better physical shape than the morbidly obese. Or that if you eat McDonald's for 30 days straight, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you're going to get sick. And if that's all you eat for a very long time, you either are mentally ill, would like to be mentally ill, or are getting fatter and fatter as each day goes by.

It just seems that there is so much more things out there that people need to know, or at least should be aware all the problems in South Africa (Google News it), Egypt (religious tolerance-wise), or even promote something good! Like celebrate some high school kid that has done something good, or some University student who making great strides in whatever, or anything that does not involve stating such common knowledge as our kids favorite cereals have alot of sugar in them..

Channel 9, make me want to watch, not turn away.