Forlorn.of.thee (fa'lo:n ŭv thē), p, my only strength and stay,forlorn of thee, whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
Paradise Lost by John Milton

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Real Bankers?

I issued a cheque this week. For those who don't know what a cheque is, it's a piece of paper signed by me, addressed to my bank, asking them to Pay: xxx the sum of $xx. Unfortunately, the person I gave the cheque to, misplaced it.

Logged into online banking expecting to find a stop cheque function. Couldn't find one. Rang the helpdesk...

Indian: ANZ, how can I help you today?
Me: I'm looking for the on-line stop cheque function thanks.
Indian:......silence.... Let me put you through to my supervisor.
Aussie voice: ANZ, how can I help you today?
Me: I'm looking for the on-line stop cheque function thanks.
Aussie voice: ... er... You'll have to go down to the branch.
Me: Hmmmm....ok
Aussie voice: Is there anything I can help you with?
Me thinking.... Grrrrrrr!

Down at the branch
Teller: Good afternoon
Me: I'd like to put a stop payment of a cheque I issued please.
Teller...... blank look......
Me: I issued a cheque, the payee lost it and I would like to put a stop on it, thank you.
Teller...... looking round for help.......
(Ha! He was the only teller this lunchtime, barely 20, no doubt with his University degree).
Teller: Please have a seat, I'll get the Business Manager to see you.

Wait 30 minutes

Business Manager: How can I help you today?
(OK, have to admit, she's very pretty, barely 25, with her MBA)
Me: I'd like to put a stop payment on a cheque I issued please.
Business Manager: er.... let me see...
Me: Look, you'll need my bank account details, the cheque number.
Business Manager: OK 
(starts jotting down the details on her scratch pad)
Me: Will you need any other information.
Business Manager: No, that's fine. I'll see to it that this is done.

What, ask the Branch Manager when he gets back from lunch? She doesn't even have the payee details, amount, issue date and the most important, my agreement to the Stop Cheque Fee!

My rant for the day. Bankers W*nkers!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Farm Gate Trail

Wandered around the Hawkesbury area visiting farms last weekend. Support the local economy, healthy, organic greenie activity... Would never have believed it, me supporting the environment. Must be old age!

 The Hawksbury food bowl is one of the most productive regions of Australia, about an hour's drive north west of Sydney.

Couple of standouts, the Clarendon Organic Free Range egg farm was one. A dozen organic free range eggs for $5, a bargain.

The chooks were strolling in these large paddocks, protected by a pack of 
Italian Sheepdogs bark was a lot worse than their bite.

Always wondered how the eggs are found and collected if they're laid all over the paddock. Oddly, the hens only lay their eggs in mobile hen coops (well trained hens). Who knew?

Next stop, pick your own apples. One thing I've discovered, apples straight off a tree is nothing like what we buy at the supermarkets. Much, much juicer and sweeter!

It was one for the basket, one for me (one is only charged for what's in the basket).

More fruits. 

 In season are pears, plums and apples.

Was never too keen on apples, but have somehow been converted! It's not just the apples but the whole idea of growing your own stuff. I could quite happily be a farmer.

Read more about the Farm Gate Trail here and experience it before all these farms disappear under Sydney's urban sprawl!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A long time ago...

Us oldies, pine for the good old days. A time when kids were seen and not heard, corporal punishment not frowned upon, and we enjoyed simple outdoor and physical pleasures.

I definitely don't recall being told I'm special and given class awards for just turning up. We practiced failing and falling. It didn't kill us. There was no feel good therapy, nor did we drug misbehaving kids with Ritalin, making excuses like ADHD.

Nope, we were made of tougher stuff then and SNAG* wasn't in my vocabulary.

*Sensitive New Age Guy

Wednesday, February 6, 2013