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News Opinion/Commentary

Public servants spend hours on dating and shopping sites


Laptop under love heart
Image: iStock

Bureaucrats are spending time looking at dating and shopping sites on the job, @according to Sunday Herald Sun. (‘Public servants spend thousands of work hours online looking for love’, Annika Smetherst, Sunday  Herald Sun, April, 1).

Smetherst reported that the Sunday Telegraph gained access to documents confirming a list of sites visited by Department of Social Services employees during work hours over twelve months. Sites included:

  • RSVP
  • Elite Singles
  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • Twitter (Public servants can use Twitter for political debate, providing they don’t criticise other agencies or ministers, according to the Australian Public Service Commission)
  • Taste.com
  • Footy tips
  • Lite’n’easy
  • Kmart
  • Ikea
  • Movie schedules
  • Real estate
  • David Jones

Now, I admit that I have a habit of wasting time online when I should be doing other things. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break from what your work for a while. But the list above is extensive. And the hours over a twelve momth period is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
And how does this affect the running of the services? I know that Centrelink get lots of criticism about customer waiting times when trying to contact someone over the phone. Is this a possible reason? The public rightly expect that services that most of the public pay for is up to scratch. Unfortunately, the truth is, for years now, services like Centrelink, have been less than satisfactory.

This just fuels more public anger against politicians. They are tired of being treated by mugs. It’s more than enough.

Politicians and publis servants need to pick up their game. I’m not saying that public servants have no right to visit dating and shopping sites, but not at the expense of the quality of services that most of the public pay for and other rely on. The public have a right to demand a whole lot more and there needs to be accountability put back into politics and the public service. Waiting hours to talk to someone on the phone at Centrelink, (especially when it’s required for someone to maintain payments or to avoid gettimg a debt in overpayments, which can add up to the tens of thousands), is inexcusable.

But what can we do? We can wait until next year’s election, get Labor in and then… start all over agsin, I guess. The lack of an ethical compass of most politicians and, apparently public servants have, is disgusting, to be frank. But what can we do?! Maybe increased direect pressure might help. Contact MPs either by phone or email (be respectful, of course). Start social media campaigns. If you see a politician face to face, tell them of your disappointment. I’m just going off the top of my head here. Whether it’d do any good is another thing. How can you criticise someone who’s ethical compass and sense of duty is so out of whack and has been for decades now?

 

Anyone got any other suggestions on how we can spurr things on to make our public services better? What have your experienes with public service been? Let me know in the comments below.

Categories
Gender/ sexuality Relationships/Friendship

Male/ female relationships after #MeToo and appropriate language

In light of the #MeToo movement and the proposed ‘sex ban’ by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, debates have been sparked over appropriate contact with colleagues. More specifically, the relations between men and women and how (or I guess, whether) platonic affection can be expressed between male and female colleagues.

This question was sparked in me last week when ai was listening to 2GB. Herald Sun columnist and Macquarie Radio presenter, Andrew Bolt was talking to The Australian’s Chris Kenny about Rita Panahi, who also writes for the Herald Sun. During the segment, Bolt stopped himself from referring to Panahi as ‘gorgeous’. His reason was caution and a warning from his wife.

To be honest, this is a bit sad. Nothing creepy was intended. Bolt (and Kenny) was trying to use ‘gorgeous to praise Panahi as a person and colleague. And she is gorgeous!

There are some words that probably should be said with care  and be used in certain contexts. ‘Sexy’ is probably one of them. Reserve that for partners and close friends that you know won’t take it the wrong way.

’Darl’/ ‘darling’ ‘sweetheart/ ‘sweetie’, go by the person. I personally love it when someone calls me ‘darling’. I always have. Makes me feel cared for, I guess.  ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘honey’ are probaly best left for loved ones and partners. It’s probably seen as inappropriate in some contexts, especially work.

 

 I think it’s sad that we’ve gotten to this point. Unfortunately, I think the Left have taken us, ironically, where the Right did fifteen or twenty years ago. Male/ female relationsships are automatically sexualised. Men are treated with suspicion and treated as they are sex maniacs just ready to jump every woman they see. The Right use to control women in a similar way; treating them as temptresses that can’t be trusted.

Enough!

No, not all men are creeps. Male and female friendships  can and should be able to flourish without fear and without an erotic cloud over their heads. Men and women should be able to be affectionate, say ‘I love you’, ‘beautiful’, etc, without any party being accused of being ‘creepy and the like. Again, I must empasise it’s context and intent. If you are close friends with someone, regardless of gender, and the person is OK with it, I think words they’re fine.

 

However, while we live in the times we do, there are other adjectives you can use. Here are a few (some of which are my favourtes).

Groovy

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(From GIF Keyboard)

Bees knees 

(Kath and Kim, anyone?)

Awesome or ‘awesome sauce’

F7DD9FFC-9956-41C3-9FA7-2A6F3609BD77

(Any Friends fans?)

Cool!

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We should tackle abuse and harassment. No doubt about it. And you should only say and do what people are comfortable with. But let’s not make a battle against harassment and abuse become a movement that silences or demonises people that shouldn’t be.

What terms of endearment or friendship do you like? Are there certain words you only accept from certain people? Let me know in the comments below.