THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Almost, But Not Quite... 

The weekend was both good & frustrating.

Good, because it was relaxing & we didn't have to be anywhere or do anything at the behest of others. Good because I got the housework done quickly & easily. Though my other half thought I was angry about something. In the middle of cleaning the kitchen he comes in & asks "what's wrong?'. Nothing was wrong, other than we didn't have a house that cleaned itself & hadn't managed to train Merlin to do it. Often women clean to let off steam, work off some energy or to have some control over something, because they don't have any control over whatever it is they're pissed off about. I was cleaning simply because it needed doing. I'm not a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination & if I can avoid housework, I will. It's a neccessary evil unfortunately.

But other parts of the weekend were frustrating....

I tried a new potato & rosemary dish on Saturday night - but it stuck to the alfoil lining the tray & I had to carefully peel it all off the bottom of what was supposed to be a decorative flower shape. it ended up being mangled. It did taste nice. Better luck next time I suppose.

Then I planned to apply the 2-part resin coating to the decoupage clock I am making. I thought I would have just enough resin left to do the job. I didn't. Now I have to go buy some more & add another layer. Instructions suggest it can be done - but I've never tried it before & I could very well F*&K up the whole thing. On top of that, the resin 'bled' underneath the clock face where it joins the decoupage. I CAN rectify that though, thank God!

Then I planned to make a velvet scrunchie for my hair, because my old one had finally died. I also wanted to make a rice-filled doorstop for the bedroom which wouldn't hurt as much as the little metal box holding the door open to our bedroom when I kick it most nights when either letting Merlin out or going to the loo.

I got two thirds the way through the scrunchie when my sewing machine seized up. Just Great! I managed to finish it by hand. I then tried to cut out the fabric for the doorstop, intending to sew that by hand too, when of the 5 pairs of scissors in the house, I couldn't find a pair sharp enough to cut through the fabric without mangling it to bits! I gave up on that one.

Hopefully I'll be more successful with my creative pursuits next weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I See Red, I See Red, I See Red 

When is Red not Red? Apparently when it is in the shape of an arrow on a set of traffic lights.

In the past few weeks I have repeatedly been frustrated & delayed in getting where I want to go because INCONSIDERATE BASTARDS keep running red turning lights, meaning that I, and others, can't turn on our GREEN turning lights because we'd clean them up if we did.

I was very tempted to do just that this morning. After having another ordinary sleep due to council workers who feel the need to hammer the pavement for hours on end in the middle of the night, I was a tad weary this morning. Sitting on Portrush Road heading north & waiting to turn right into Magill Road. I was second in line in the turning lane. We got a green arrow, but had to wait for FIVE cars (inc 3 Burnside Buses) to turn right from Magill road into Portrush - very obviously on a red light. By the time I entered the intersection, and I was only the second car remember, the turning light was orange!. Grrrr

The same thing happens trying to turn right into Portrush from Kensington Road & it can often take up to SIX light changes before you get around - and invariably that will usually be on an orange light also.

Why can't people be more considerate of others? it's not hard. Takes as much energy as being an inconsiderate bastard, so why do people do it?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stuck Between a Rock & A Hard Place 

I love my job. I really do. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love putting the pieces together & helping to catch crooks & put them away. I love the responsibility of dorecting where the LSA resources are to be deployed. I love being able to prevent further crime. I love being a big fish in a little pond. I love that my area is not into office politics, bitching and backstabbing (unlike Treasury & Finance, how refreshing). I love the people I work with, for the most part. I love the flexibility and autonomy I have to do my job.

But it all comes at a price.

I started in Sapol in 1999 together with 15 other civillian Intelligence Analysts. We weren't neccessarily well received as we were seen to have 'taken' jobs away from sworn members. The road to acceptance & respect was a difficult one at times.

We all started as ASO4's, even though it was fairly clear that the positions benchmarked with other public service comparable positions at somewhere between an ASO5 and an ASO6. Even in comparison with our peers in the intelligence field (AFP, Customs, NCA, ACC) we were underclassified and underpaid. We had concerns about this and voiced them early. We also had concerns that there was no career structure. We were told in September 1999 that within a year, they would re-evaluate the level and also develop a career structure. We are STILL waiting. What does this mean? if nothing else it means that I'm out of pocket about 40 odd grand. That's hardly small change. It also means that had I stayed where I was, there was at least a good chance of becomming an ASO5 - as did some of the people I used to supervise when i was there. It's humiliating. In Treasury & Finance I had about 20% of the work and responsibility that I have now.

Every time we have attempted to have it reviewed, it has either been squashed or burried, or it's incorporated into an Intelligence review and they ALWAYS run out of money before getting to the changes that affect the civillian employees. How very convenient.

A couple of my peers have applied for re-classification, and have both had them burried - even though that's illegal. There have also been efforts to sabotage the prospects of some of us who have tried to move to other departments.

When we joined, we were the equivalent of Sargeants, both financially and authority and responsibility. As a result of lack of adequate pay rises (cost of living my arse) and significant payrises for the sworn members of Sapol, we are now the equivalent of 11th year Constables. Not even Senior Constables. Last year we had a member in my area on light duties. She worked Monday to Friday, the same hours as me & did the same work as me. She took home $10000 a year more than I did.

Is it any wonder I'm not just a tad bitter & resentful?

So, what else?

I've also reached the point where I find it extremely difficult dealing with the subject matter. I'm sick of having nightmares about 5 year old girls being raped twice a week by a couple (male & female) who baby-sat her. This went on for two years & was discovered when she tried to French kiss her Nanna. I'm sick of all the suicides and domestic violence. I'm sick of people not caring if anyone is home when they go in & steal their possessions. I'm sick of the elderly being taken advantage of. I'm tired of the wreakage that becomes peoples lives. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the world is essentially a good place. It's very hard to maintain perspective. Fortunately I have my loved ones & without them, I may not even be here.

Another thing to be resentful about.

Last year I was very sick for a while. it was as a result of a new term 'vicarious traumatisation'. I had started taking on everyones pain personally & lost perspective. It caused severe anxiety and depression. I'm OK now, but it was a long hard road getting here & I'm eternally grateful for all of the support I received.

But it shouldn't have happened.

Sworn members have regular reviews to try & prevent this sort of thing before it develops. Because we (Intelligence Analysts) are civillian, nobody thought to include us in the same welfare process - even though we are exposed to the same things.

My job is no longer good for my health or my finances, even though I love it.

I'm not sure what I should do next. Any suggestions?

Strange Sounds 

What goes..... tink, crunch...tink, crunch.....tink, crunch?

Merlin eating dry cat food.

He has all his food dishes on a metal tray in the kitchen. Every time I put his bowl of biscuits at the front of the tray, he pushes the bowl to the back of the tray. He then reaches over into his bowl & flicks a biscuit out onto the tray (tink), then he eats it (crunch). Not only is this a bit of a game, but also makes it easier to sort out which particular biscuits he likes & leaves the ones he doesn't. Like a typical child, he leaves his vegies & we end up with a bowl of stale green biscuits.

Ahhh Merlin. Truly one of a kind

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Just did a spot of retail therapy. Didn't go overboard, and used layby. I'm a firm believer that it's not neccessarily what you wear, but how you wear it, and that you don't have to spend a kings ransom to look great. I've also discovered, the hard way, that buying clothes off ebay is not always a good idea. I've picked up some nice things that I've had a lot of wear out of, but I also have several things in my wardrobe that I'll probably never wear - because they just don't fit right. So, I'm going back to the shops to buy clothes. I'll still keep an eye on Ebay for interesting things and bargains, but for the most part, I'll be shopping in person from now on. Part of the reason why I shopped on Ebay is that there is almost too much choice in the shops. It's just too confusing, and if you're like me, I have to see EVERYTHING before I make a decision. I can be a nightmare to shop with and much prefer to do it on my own. I know what looks ok & what doesn't, I've had years of practice, so I don't really need a second opinion.

Anyway, moving right along. I rather fancy alot of the autumn/winter fashions. I generally prefer winter clothes than summer. Always have. Lots of black around, velvet, long skirts, lovely fabrics and lots of crosses and dangly jewellery. I'm in my element. Victorian/Edwardian with a dash of Gothic. Yum. The only thing I don't like are the high collared tops. Just can't wear them. I get claustrophobic. So I have to look for an alternative that is big enough. Unfortunately I inherited my Dad's large ribcage & I find it very hard to get tops to fit. Grrrrr
Any ideas how I can lose some weight WITHOUT losing my bust????

And my other half says I can't write unless I'm dealing with angst over something...... Hmmmmm. Maybe next post where I'll toss around my love/hate relationship with my job.




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