dal niente

Month: April, 2015

Commercial Realities

From a conversation I was having with [Zanshin]:

On a slightly related note, I think I’ve narrowed down one of the problems that I have with working with inexperienced people in the legal field.
Especially when they come straight out of school, one of the big problems is that they’re geared to much towards academic strategies to getting the better grade.
There are a lot of bad habits that come from trying to get good grades– for one thing, academic law doesn’t reward you for creativity. Secondly, it encourages you to use the “kitchen sink” method of covering everything non-substantially just to show off the a professor that you know your stuff.
I suppose academic law still requires you to “answer the question”, but it never asks you to answer it with commercial realities taken into account.
Easiest way of pointing that out is the example of a client of ours who, we think, is probably entitled to win his case on legal grounds, and the winnings are worth, say, $X. However, he has already spent about $5X in legal fees, against our recommendations.
And he just keeps racking this shit up on the principal of it.
Because “he’s right.”

Dark Ages and Professionalism

The move to the new apartment is mostly done. It’s been a bit strange not having internet (it’s still in the process of being hooked up).

[CM] and I are no strangers to moving– I’ve moved more than a dozen times at this point, and she’s getting close to the two dozen mark. Since we arrived in Australia, we’ve moved almost once a year.

Every time we do it, it’s exhausting. We’re getting better and faster at it, but a lot of that has to do with not giving a shit anymore about doing it ourselves and just hiring professionals.


“Customer service” is an interesting idea. If you look at the last 10 years of the business editorials, one of the relatively “new” concepts is big-data– the way we look at the data about the data and harness all the meta icing and added value.

What this has done is provide us with more efficiency with product demographic targetting (the marketing side)– it’s also given us more efficiency in the product itself. I’m no expert on economics or marketing, but I think that while big companies are making more money thanks to metadata analytics, the conclusion that they’ve reached in many areas is that investing in quality person-to-person interaction is too expensive to be worthwhile.

I just called up our real estate agent to ask about something. When I called the main line, someone asnwered: “Hello?”

I replied: “Hello?”

He replied: “Yes?”

And I was thinking to myself– don’t you know how to answer the phone at a commercial business? How about identifying your company or something? Saying good morning?

CM’s cousin is staying with us for a few days on a buiness trip. He’s a software engineer who occasionally travels to do large scale software implementations, and he’s got a number of people working under him at all times, and often has to train new employees.

He recounts how he had to sit down one of the employees for writing emails to clients using l33tspeak. Sigh.

Where are people getting these idea from?

Don’t get me started on all the time I waste on the phone with my gas company, my electric company, and my insurance company, which are all basically circular conversations. I’ve even had problems with my immigration lawyer.

Where has the customer service gone in an age of enlightenment?

Surprisingly, the best customer service I’ve received lately was from the two Mongolian removoalists (the Aussie word for “movers”) we hired. They accidentally dropped one of our IKEA drawers and a panel popped out– not only did he apologise profusely, but he actually took the drawer with him, repaired it, and brought it back another day. And did I mention that the removalists themselves were super efficient and quick?

I miss giving my money to people who care.

Herald Sun on Google Play Newsstand: Spray: Grid girl’s reply to ‘sexist’ shower

Herald Sun on Google Play Newsstand: Spray: Grid girl’s reply to ‘sexist’ shower. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIw8_DMqBI

Maybe one day, we will have men in tuxes being paid to be eye candy behind the podiums. Then men and women who think all this conquering hero machismo is justification for commoditisation of women will pause and think how absurd our traditions are.

I Tried To Pay Foxtel For Game Of Thrones, But They Wouldn’t Let Me | Gizmodo Australia


That about sums it up for me.

3kg alarm

This morning, the cat woke us up around 5:45am by stepping on us and demanding food.

Which, it turns out, was a good thing: the normal alarm we had set for our usual wake up time of 5:20am didn’t work. So you might say that she saved the day.

An echo from the past

20 years after I first hear music by Dave Matthews Band, it is still one of the most talented and fun to listen to.


We’re going to sign a lease for the new apartment tonight– yes, we’re moving again, because we want to be closer to [CM]’s work. We also want to get an apartment that is twice as big and has a car space, and we’re going to get it for the same price we’re paying now!

… I hate moving.