Sunday, 21 October 2007

Sniff me out like I was Tanqueray

Tomorrow is my first trip for the new ThoughtWorks job. It's time to fly off to Melbourne for an induction. No idea what it entails but I do know it's in Melbourne because a new guy is starting in Melbourne and they thought they could do both our inductions at the same time. It sounds like fun and a helluva good reason to shoe shop... although it is only 2 days and I might not have enough time.

There is a car coming to pick me up at 6:45am so I guess I should pack something before I crash tonight. It is funky that TorchWood lets us get the frequent flyer points for all our trips. In the Commonwealth government, they called it rorting the system and wouldn't let us. I don't see how it is but public servants are strangled by their own red tape on the best of days. It's not their fault. There are just a lot of really pointless rules.

Here are some of the stupider rules I have had to comply with as a contractor to the master:
  • Public servants and contractors can not claim frequent flyer points on your personal account when traveling on tickets paid for by the Government;
  • As a contractor you are not allowed to attend department events intended to motivate public servants, even if you don't bill for the hours;
  • Contractors birthdays are not celebrated but public servants' are. This went for contractors who had been there for a week up to more than a decade. No exceptions;
  • Contractors can not get official passports. G had to travel for a department he contracted to. He applied for an official passport on short notice but was automatically rejected because they wouldn't give an official passport to a contractor. He asked for his personal passport back that was being used in his security clearance application, in order to travel on that. They said no because he was not allowed to travel on a personal passport for official business. In the end they saw the deadlock and he got his official passport;
  • Contractors can not be the fire warden for a floor in a government building. Maybe they thought we'd just let the damn unreasonable public servants burn :o)
Note : Different departments had different rules. These apply to my 8 years contracting to many departments. Each with their own quirks.

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