Saturday, March 9, 2013

Don't Hassle the Hoff


And with the passing of February we say goodbye to summer. Officially the first day of Autumn on March 1st and the countdown to winter begins.

I always chuckle to myself when I hear Australians talk of winter and the need to "rug up". I mean, winter to us from the northern hemisphere conjures up images of roaring fires.  Central heating on high. Hats, scarves and gloves. Using your work pass to scrape ice off the car windscreen before we can start the trudge of the daily commute. Winter in Sydney means long pants instead of shorts. Maybe putting a pair of socks on.  At a push.

There is talk of acclimatising. Getting so used to the summer heat that our northern skins immediately notice cold 28' winter days. Inclement weather and nights so bitter that a friend of mine even has to pull the doona all the way up to his chin as he gets settled and tucked up for the night with Harry bear.  I'll keep you posted if I need any thermal long john's posting over.

Other then reverting to whingeing pom mode, what tales have I got to regale you with this month?

Some of you may have seen that I recently changed jobs. I left the academic world of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and moved to RaboDirect, an online savings bank.  This was not before we had a very special guest appearance at UTS.  We had a visit from Mr David Hasselhoff himself.  Let me make clear at this point that this was totally unrelated to me deciding to leave.

I’m still a little unsure why he had come to Sydney, and even more unsure why he decided to do a public appearance at UTS.  That said, staff meetings were put to one side as me and a good friend, Sponty, decided to go and get a prime viewing spot.  I think Sponty wanted to be as close as possible to hear the pearls of wisdom from the Hoff.  Whilst I was secretly hoping Pamela Anderson might spring out of a box in a Baywatch bikini.  Alas, my hopes were dashed.

Not long after, seriously, it was nothing to do with missing out on Pammy, I moved jobs.  I had interviewed last year for a role at RaboDirect and out of the blue got a request to go back for a chat.  In one day, the chat turned into a 12-month contract offer that I couldn’t turn down.  So now, I’m back in banking, that’s BANKING.  Working for the little guy, trying to “steal back the dreams of savers” that have been taken by the big evil banks, who shall remain nameless.

In between the excitement of the Hoff’s visit, and my subsequent disappointment, ok, maybe the lack of Pammy has hit me harder than I thought, and the start of my new job, I had a cheeky little trip to Hobart.  If you haven’t yet, go and read the blog that I recently wrote about this great little city.

The new job is located smack bang in the middle of Darling Harbour.  A cracking location.  Just as I was starting, my old mucker Rich Medley was leaving.  Unfortunately the time limit on his working holiday visa is coming to an end so he needs to pack up his thongs and return to the UK.  If anybody is looking for an excellent Business Analyst, Medders is your man.  Thanks for the intro at Rabo chief, and I’ll buy you a beer in the Percy Shaw in Halifax come June.

Last week saw me and a bunch of pals head out to the Sydney Football Stadium to watch the NRL rugby league season opener.  The Roosters, fielding Sonny Bill Williams upon his return from rugby union, facing off against the South Sydney Rabbitohs my adopted team. Not really my sport to be honest but a good occasion and as good an excuse as any to have a few beers.

Talking of which, there is a funny story related to this.  Due to the responsible sale of alcohol in Australia (RSA) a person in the ground is only able to buy 4 beers at a time. So along I popped with @scottbarton8 as we needed 5.  Upon ordering I got told I could only have 4, to which I replied there were two of us, and pointed to said friend.
The response? I can still only serve you 4. Your friend will have to buy the other.  Really?  He's just stood here.  Sorry.  So we had the ridiculous situation whereby I ordered and paid for 4.  Got my change.  Handed it to my mate stood right there next to me.  He then ordered one beer with my money and then also got handed MY change back, despite the barstaff seeing that I had given him the money in the first place. Seriously Australia, your attempts to deal with drinking problems are laudable, but the way you implement them is laughable.

On that note, I’ll go put the winter doona on the bed and settle in for another month.

Hasta luego chicos.

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