Posts by bronwyn
Hard News: The shaky ground of…,
I experienced my first psychometric test as earlier this year. It was also my first (and hopefully last) time going through the recruitment agent process. By the time I got to the test section, I had spent two hours doing tests for data entry, use of Excel and Word, and a typing accuracy test. The role I was applying for was not an administrative one at all. I also had an “interview” with a recruitment agent who clearly had no knowledge of the area I work in. (Sample question: “So, what does this job title mean?”). This was after giving me incomplete directions to the office, AND giving me a wrong interview time.
So, by the time I was asked to do the 45min long test, I was both deeply irritated and pretty sure I didn’t want to work for anywhere that used such a mickey mouse process. The test pushed me from irritation to near-rage. Here were some of the questions: “Would you prefer to go to a party or read a book?” “When going to the movies, would you prefer to see a romantic comedy or an action film?” It was preposterous. When the agent came back and said “So, how did you find that?” I replied “Not much room for shades of grey in there, is there?” Her reply? “Yes, that’s the way we like it”.
Up Front: The Missing Stair Part Two:…,
It's incredibly frustrating to see someone who is well known to be a Proper Creep in some circles also be well liked and secure in other circles. Unfortunately it makes me lose a little bit of faith in the people that don't call that person out as a creep, or still want to be associated with them, as I think surely they see the creepy behaviour.
Hard News: A different kind of country,
I have many, many thoughts on this convention centre, which I'll come back to when I've got a bit more time, but just quickly - I'm surprised at people thinking Sky City's original demands were actually anything they thought they'd be able to get. It's a pretty standard negotiating procedure for some companies to ask for something outrageous in order to get to what they're actually happy with - that way they can say they conceded so much, and the other side can feel like they really beat them down.
Hard News: A Golden Age for the Arts?,
I wasn't aware Chris Finlayson had started writing for The Civilian.
Hard News: SpinCity, in reply to
It's not quite correct to say only Sky City can cope with conference groups of 400+ - the new Viaduct Events Centre, the Aotea Centre, Auckland Showgrounds, and Vector could all easily accomodate a group of that size. There's also a lot of other spaces such as churches and school auditoriums that rent out their spaces, again many of which can accommodate at least 400, when available.
The issue the conference industry has constantly proclaimed is that there is a trend towards very large conferences catering to around 3000 delegates, and there's no space able to accomodate these; the largest our current facilities can manage is about 2000. However, I'm not convinced of the "build it and they will come" mantra; why would you spend the extra dollars and time to fly to NZ when for most conferences it will be easier and cheaper to go to Australia if you're looking in this part of the world? Additionally, the Sydney and Melbourne conference centres have the attraction of being situated on waterfront sites with much greater visual appeal - who's going to want to sit overlooking Nelson Street instead of Darling Harbour?
Hard News: High anxiety, live,
I've been trying to go and see the live version of this but as it's been sold out for months, meaning only day tickets are available and I'm not able to queue at 9.30am every morning to try and get the handful of these that are released, I'll probably also be watching it on film. Better than nothing.
Russell, in terms of quality, it really depends a huge amount on the style of the show; I suspect more naturalistic shows work better. I saw The Habit of Art and it was just fine. There's also some theatres experimenting with actors wearing cameras so audiences watching the film can see the action from their point of view.
There is of course hugely complex rights agreements tied up with these films, so I don't begrudge a higher ticket price when some of it is going back to the actors and crew, many of whom will be on relatively low weekly wages, especially when compared to those working on films.
Hard News: The Music for Occasions,
A touch of LCD Soundsystem fits all types of occasions very nicely, and I'd plump for this one at my funeral, possibly the best combination of melancholy and dance music you'll ever find:
And as a lapsed Catholic who spent my formative years at an Anglican school, it would be compulsory to have a few hymns. The rather wonderful NZ choral composer Dorothy Buchanan's arrangement of The Lord's My Shepherd is outstanding, and far more moving than the rather dull version usually sung.
I do remember making a list of songs for my funeral as rather a macabre teenager; including, rather ridiculously, 14 Years by Guns n' Roses despite it being about a break up, purely because I was, yes, 14. But now I'd of course plump for November Rain, if only so all the mourners could enjoy themselves imagining Slash's infamous electric-guitar-in-middle-of-a-field solo.
Hard News: The Music for Occasions, in reply to
Jackie, your funeral sounds like jolly good fun! (Apart from the Simply Red, I have to say).
Hard News: Strange days for journalism,
The Monthly did a great profile on Gina Rinehart in last month's issue - it's now available online. Obviously it's before this recent spate of action, but is a great backgrounder on some the forces that have made her who she is.
Hard News: A fiction of unalloyed darkness,
One interesting part (for me, anyway) of this story has been the lily-livered assertion by Mike Daisey that what he did was OK because it was "theatre". Not surprisingly, a lof theatre people have been quite dismayed by this, and it's prompted quite a few reflective pieces of writing (not to mention the odd angry tweet).This article http://grist.org/media/mr-daisey-and-the-fact-factory touches on a point about what makes good storytelling: the building of trust in a particular, not necessarily "real", world; and of course when that trust is broken, people feel very angry.