I am sorry.

10 April, 2012 - 11:22

Groannnn!. Sorry.

Jobs I'd never agree to: working for the South African government

5 January, 2012 - 20:29

We're just winding down from an incredible holiday with Scott's folks visiting from Canada and I'm using a bit of spare time in our hotel * on the last night of our trip to tame my email and some news feeds so that I can start the new year off with a clean inbox.

I have to rant about this particular item: a job posting that was submitted to the South African Drupal community by a representative of the South African government. Read it and weep, drupalers. Some of my favourite lines from the job posting:

The Western Cape Government is guided by the principles of Employment Equity. Disabled candidates are encouraged to apply and an indication in this regard will be appreciated.

This is funny because it is unconstitutional in South Africa to ask about disabilities unrelated to the job. I could also argue that it would be unconstitutional to discriminate against me on the basis of disability, which similarly should apply to discriminating against against me on the basis of my lack of disability. Perhaps I should apply and note my attitude-disability towards our government.

...any job applications sent by fax or e-mail will not be accepted. All job applications, including Z83 forms, CVs and certified documents, must be posted or delivered by hand to the address listed

Firstly, no real human being applying for a job as a web developer is going to voluntarily apply by fax so you can strip this ridiculous clause out of your ridiculous ad. Secondly - WTF! Read the quote below to see what certified documents are being asked for:

Applications with reference number must be submitted on a Z83 form, obtainable from any Government Department and must be completed in full, should be accompanied by a comprehensive and current Curriculum Vitae (five pages maximum, CVs will not be returned), certified copies of identity document, driver's licence, matric certificate and academic qualification and the names of three referees.

I've had some frustrating experiences working with South African companies, and based on my experience of bureaucracy in government (and don't even get me started on the BBBEE bullshit. Yes I swore on my blog. That's how outraged I am by the rules) this would take the cake.

I would rather be cursed with going to the dentist every day for the rest of my life than work for you, South African government.

* ...and what a brilliant hotel it is! We are staying in the Graskop Hotel in Graskop ** and each room is dedicated to a different South African artist, and features original work by that artist. On our first night we were in the Claudette Schreuders room, and tonight we are in the Martli Jansen van Rensburg room.

** You were expecting it to be somewhere other than Graskop... ?

Best you get theft cover on your groceries

19 February, 2010 - 18:04

Today I received a spam email from Woolworths. Bizarrely, it was an advertisement for insurance. Even more bizarrely, it was an advertisement for insurance of groceries.

Who are they trying to target here? There is a big income / lifestyle gap between the wealthy and the poor in South Africa, as is the case in most places throughout Africa, and the only people who could really afford to insure their stupid Woolworths groceries are the privileged ones.

But they wouldn't, because should their groceries be stolen (as this advertisement is suggesting) they can easily afford to buy more. And as for poorer people, they don't shop at Woolworths ever, and even if they did, these are people who don't even have enough money to pay for health insurance and are unlikely to want to insure their bread, milk and mielies.

I understand that it common for insurance companies to play on peoples' fears in order to sell their products, but to what point have we been pushed here that the insurers want us to start fearing the theft of our groceries out of our cars? Or maybe I've missed the point and they're making a statement about the rising cost of living in South Africa.

All around, this campaign is in poor taste and poorly thought out.

PS Woolworths, why in the whatshisname are you spamming me? Jerks.

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