Tag Archives: Australia

Secui XV. Been busy, blogging ignored, felt guilty, started typing.

Well a lot has sort of happened (or perhaps not much has definitely happened) since I last had a whinge. Several weeks ago my former employer (or he who acts on a large government department’s behalf) rang me up to see if I was interested in some short-term work doing what I did for them before. And guess what? No one there has any time to do this particular job and now they don’t have anyone dedicated to the job. I was tempted to say I would do it for double my old pay but I guess I’m not that mean.

I have been working half-time for a university on a project very dear to my heart – why did people choose to study science and secondarily why did they stay in or leave? The hard part is remaining objective when you have your own axe to grind. However, very shortly the on-line survey will be ready to go. It is aimed internationally and will be publicised far and wide – so if you have studied in science or science-related areas watch this space. My dedicated readers (i.e. my sister and one academic) take note!

Another very interesting thing came to my notice today – a poll of 1200 people in Australia concerning science. This is not my work, it comes from a report just released by the Australian National University (http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=5931). If this is your thing then happy reading to you. See below (click on figure for enlarged version)…


Poor old priests didn’t fare that well against us jubilant overpaid and underworked scientists on the ‘Nothing at all’ category. Oh well, if you believe and peddle bullshit, then what do you expect? Lawyers didn’t do too well either. Smirk.

I like to finish on sunsets, they’re so poetic and inspiring. If you don’t agree then you obviously know nothing!

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Secui XIV. I go back to my old work and gloom pervades

I went into my old workplace to visit some of my friends. Things haven’t improved there; apparently of 1000 employees there are 400 earmarked to go (I’ve already done my bit for you, guys – solidarity, comrades). Once they’ve come to the end of shedding contract workers and giving redundancies I can only see them encouraging suicide or even better murder/suicide and suicide pacts (think of the cost savings per capita) – then the budget bottomline will look good, and that’s all that matters.

What I can’t wait for is when things improve, the Government will then be squealing “We can’t get qualified staff, we should have kept people on, it was the previous government’s fault, it was short-sighted, it’s not our fault.” In a society where we increasingly expect citizens to take responsibility for their actions isn’t it funny that the people at the top of the pile seem to take less responsibility than ever? What happened to the captain going down with his ship or the general falling on his sword? The ‘buck stops here’ is only musical chairs, when you get caught without the chair then you get the buck (or do you get bucked? I’m not sure on this grammatical point).

And so the sun sets in God’s own country…

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Secui XII. Agricultural research in crisis! Sky falling! Waters rising!

Look, look, an official crisis in agricultural research in Australia, who would’ve thought? (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/31/2860908.htm)

It’s simple really; try letting people stay in a job securely for longer than three years! Doesn’t require much education to answer that problem. Eventually people wake up and see that their job prospects are insecure and leave.

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