No, I won’t take my helmet off

When I buy petrol. There are 2 really basic principles why not:

1. Legal.

When I roll up to your petrol pump and lift the handle, if you turn that petrol pump on, you are agreeing to sell me petrol. By pouring petrol into my tank, I’m agreeing to buy it.
Any condition (for example: the condition that I take off my helmet when I enter your store) which is added to a transaction after I agree to make the purchase but before I hand over my money is pretty obviously an unfair condition of sale. Under Australia’s consumer protection laws, unfair conditions are meaningless. Therefore the condition that I take off my helmet before I enter the store is unenforceable.

If you don’t turn on the petrol pump while I have my helmet on, there’s no (legal) problem. Some places do this – you lift the handle, the pump doesn’t turn on. you look inside, and the guy behind the counter makes a motion as if he’s taking off a motorbike helmet. That’s perfectly fine – I’ll just go somewhere else based on principle #2.

If you have locked doors with a button behind the counter, and you won’t let me in the store with my helmet on, then you have a real problem. Because in that event, I will invoke my right under the Australian Consumer protection laws to change my mind about the sale – I’ll suddenly decide that actually I don’t want to buy petrol from you, after all. This presents you with a problem, because now you’ll have to remove the fuel that I pumped in – and *only* the fuel that I pumped in – from my bike. Good luck with that.

2. Moral.

I’ve worked in many client-facing roles. I’ve dealt with all kinds of customers, ranging from people at home calling up because their Internet is broken, right up to corporate executives. In my many customer-facing roles, and in fact one of the first things I was ever taught in my career, is the value of customer service. As someone who has had to provide customer service for a living, I pretty much insist on it when I’m the customer. And the first thing you’ll learn when you learn customer service is not to insult your customers.

By asking me to take my helmet off, you’re accusing me of being a thief. There’s no way to dance around it, it’s a simple fact – when you ask me to take my helmet off, you are very clearly implying that I am a thief.

And guess what? I consider that an insult. And if you insult me before I’ve handed over my money, I’ll go somewhere else, pure and simple.

“Oh, but the companies need to protect themselves! if they let you walk in wearing a motorbike helmet, then they’d get robbed all the time!”

Firstly, that’s not my problem, that’s a problem for the companies. Secondly, isn’t there an entire agency, widely referred to as “the police”, who deal with that kind of thing? Surely when you hand over the CCTV footage showing the thief’s number plate, the police will do their jobs, and no customers need to be insulted?

“Oh, well, these thiefs, they don’t use number plates, or they fake them…”

See the previous question. Now the police have multiple charges they can press.

“Yeah, but, we need to prevent crime!”

Then why do you let me pump the petrol into my bike with my helmet on? Assuming I’m a thief with fake number plates, why would you give me the opportunity to fill my bike up with petrol and simply ride away?

If you’re really interested in preventing crime, then guess what? There’s a whole industry sitting out there just waiting for your call! It’s called “The Security Industry”. There are companies like Chubb who make their entire living out of just that kind of thing! These guys are professionals who take their job seriously – they can advise you on best practices and whatnot, and they’ll provide whatever kind of security you like – The Security Industry can provide all kinds of wonderful services including but not limited to having a car drive past every so often, to make sure you’re OK, or permanently stationing a security guard (or, better, more than one) on site. If you like, the guards you have on site could probably even frisk every customer as they enter and leave the store! After all, I’m sure there are thiefs out there who are slipping through the cracks in your system because they’re not motorcyclists.

What this is really about is externalities – you can’t be bothered paying somebody to help you prevent crime (which indicates to me that it’s not really such a big problem), and you’d rather insult every single motorcyclist who comes to your store. After all, we’re only a minority…

Kites “Not Kid Safe”

(Originally posted on myspace on 14-Sep-2007)

(Original Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/11/2029365.htm)

—————————————-
An Anti-Darwinian lobby wants new laws to Ban children under 16 from riding motorbikes, or from doing anything else which could possibly be classified as “fun”.

A three year old retard at quantong in Victoria’s west was killed last week when he rode his motorbike into the Wimmera river. This was obviously due to the malicious intentions of the motorbike, and had nothing to do with a) parents allowing a 3 year old to ride a motorbike b) parents not supervising 3yo while riding a motorbike c) parents not instructing their child properly on how to ride a motorbike, and the dangers of riding them into rivers d) parents allowing 3yo to ride a motorbike next to a river, with no intervening fence e) the kid being a moron f) Parents being morons.

Kidsafe victoria says more than five children a week are being admitted to hospital because their parents have not properly supervised them on motorbikes.

Kidsafe’s president Dr Mark Stokes says it is alarming motorbikes do not attract the same regulations as cars, which is somewhat strange, considering that Motorbikes and cars are actually subject to virtually identical laws, the only real difference being that a bike is more easily classified as a ‘recreational vehicle’ than a car, which seems sensible to anyone with a brain, because they ARE more often used as recreational vehicles. However he fails to point out that a car on private property also does not need to be registered, and is legally driveable by a three-year-old. exhibit A: the 10,000 ‘paddock bombs’ in australia, so this issue actually would actually also apply to cars, but the thing is that cars aren’t possessed by evil spirits which like to dump three-year-olds into rivers, and motorbikes obviously are…

He says Australia needs to adopt laws similar to those introduced in the USA, Where they don’t even have a helmet law. He says that if we brought in the Patriot act here, then kids would be too busy being stripsearched on the side of the road to go riding motorbikes around.

“Children just aren’t able to control heavy machinery like a motorcycle,” he said, sending anybody with a bike license and an IQ higher than 0.007 into fits of hysterics.

“When you look at the evidence about developmental skills in children, they’re really not able to ride and control something like that until they’re probably about at least 16 years of age,” Dr Stokes said, sending the Netrider and AMA forums offline for 2 hours due to the an inordinate number of posts containing text like “OMGWTFBBQ?!?” and “LOLLERCOASTER!!! THIS GUY’S FUCKED IN THE HEAD!!!”

“I had a motorbike between the ages of 5-9 years old, and I loved every second of it. I fell off a grand total of once that I can remember, and I think i may have bruised my arm during the fall, which was due to my attempting to do something stupid (jumping a Honda Z50R isn’t a clever move). I was heavily reprimanded by my parents for even trying to do stupid things, they explained that doing that kind of stuff on a motorbike is asking for trouble, and that they can be dangerous if you’re not carefull. and I never did anything stupid again. I hurt myself alot more on my BMX than on my motorbike, so maybe we should Ban BMX’s too. Oh, and don’t forget to ban kites – I heard that some guy once got struck by lightning when he was flying a kite in a thunderstorm, so they’re clearly very dangerous…”, Says AntiSol, someone who actually has half a brain.

“So This guy is saying that my 4+ years of loving my Z50R didn’t actually happen, and that I wasn’t actually riding it, cuz I was a child? or maybe I went through some strange “childhood” which actually ended at age 4, implying that I am a super-genius or something, cuz I’d swear to god I was riding that Z50 around like a champion at age 6… And since when is a 35kg Honda Z50R a piece of ‘Heavy Machinery’? My Lego set was heavier!”

“Look, If they take away my Kid’s right to ride his PeeWee around, then I’ll have no choice but to start teaching him insurgency tactics and bomb making – What else will he be able to do for fun? I mean you can’t even get a semiautomatic air rifle in this country! and now they want to take away junior’s PeeWee?!?”, said a Hells Angel who wished to Remain anonymous.

“I think it makes a farce of the whole notion of licensing for motor vehicles, if we are going to say need a license to drive a motor vehicle on a public road, but in a more dangerous environment you don’t need a license,” he added.

A survey of Australia’s Motorcyclists indicated that arroximately 870% chose “a tree or a river over an idiot commodore driver any day, in terms of safety. Trees and rivers don’t move. Or aim for you. If you ride a bike into a river, it’s because you were a fuckwit, not because the river cut you off. Plus grass is a lot softer to land on than bitumen, especially when the mack truck behind you is taken into account…”

Haneef

(Originally posted on myspace on 03-Aug-2007)

HANEEF IS BAD!!! BAD HANEEF! HE’S BAD! BAD!!! BAD BAD BAD!!! BAD HANEEF! HANEEF IS BAD!!! HANEEF IS A BAD MAN!!! BAD MAN HANEEF! HE’S A BAD MAN! BAD! BAD! BAD MAN! HANEEF IS A BAD MAN! BAD!!! BAD BAD BAD!!! HE’S BAD!!! HE’S AN EVIL BAD MAN!!! BAD BAD! HE’S BAD! AND EVIL! BAD! BAD! BAD!

How do you know he’s bad? Because I said so! And I’d know these things! Like, I can’t tell you why, and infact I can’t even really tell you why I can’t tell you why, except to say that it’s for your own good. but trust me, He’s bad. You can trust me. I’m trustworthy. You know I’m trustworthy because I said so. I can’t actually prove I’m trustworthy, and I can’t tell you why I can’t prove it, but trust me, it’s all just for your own good. I don’t do anything that isn’t for solely your good and wellbeing, ever. And plus: he’s Bad. Haneef is a bad man. Don’t worry your little head that we dropped the charges and let him go in the end – that just means that we can’t actually PROVE he’s bad… but he is, Trust us, we know: He’s bad. Bad I tells ya. Bad. and evil. he’s a bad, evil person. You know it’s true because I would never lie… this has nothing to do with the election – there really is a threat – FEAR, FEAR!!! OOOH! BAD BAD!!! HANEEF = BAD!!! BAD!!! BAD! HE’S A BAD MAN!!! FEAR!!! FEAR!!! BAD!!! TERRORISTS! HANEEF BAD!! BAD MAN!!!

(vote for little johnny)

Translations from the propaganda

(Originally posted on myspace on 10-May-2007)

Looks like I forgot to post this when I wrote it…

(Original Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1882231.htm)

I’ve translated this article from propagandese into english. Enjoy…

Rolling back WorkChoices ‘will send terrible signal’

The Prime Minister is celebrating the first anniversary of his Government’s WorkChoices legislation today. These celebrations will involve the usual consumption of ceremonial barrels of muslim blood and crude oil..

John Howard says the evidence is that the new laws have been beneficial with more than 250,000 20-hour-per-week casual jobs created over the past year, meaning a quarter of a million extra people needing a second job rather than being unemployed.

He told Radio National while he is open to finetuning of the workplace laws, they are a vital part of the economic reform process laid out by George Bush’s puppetmasters.

“The score card is very, very strong and if we roll back WorkChoices, which is what Labor will do if it wins at the end of this year, it will be

the first time in a generation that a major step towards the tyrannical, pseudo-democratic police state which I envision has been reversed,” he said.

“That will send a terrible signal to the millionaires in this country, and to millionaires abroad. It would be like saying ‘But you have 20 billion dollars already, that’s all you need’, which is obviously a terrible thing to say to a rich person…”

“The evidence is that WorkChoices has been beneficial. We’ve had what, more than a quarter of a million sub-minimum-wage jobs created, wages have continued to rise strongly for millionaires, and employees are so terrified that strikes are at their lowest level since 1913, so the scorecard is very, very strong… if you’re a millionaire…

“And Anyway, anybody who doesn’t like the workchoices legislation has already been investigated as a terrorist, so we’re on top of it.”

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey says the WorkChoices legislation is working to add an eighth bathroom and olympic size swimming pool to his house.

He then went on to repeat word-for-word everything the prime minister said:

Mr Hockey says 263,000 new jobs have been created in Australia over the past year, and that of the people filling those roles, at least 3 or 4 hundred are able to survive comfortably, because they have two or more jobs.

He says strike action is at its lowest since records began. He attributes this to “a lengthly campaign of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt”

Mr Hockey says WorkChoices is one of the foundations of building a strong bomb-proof bunker in his backyard, so that he’ll be safe when the rampaging hordes come looking for blood.

“It is about a choice on whether people on AWAs or collective agreements, or those on the award system, it is about choice and certainly the evidence points to the fact that people who work in parliament house and are on AWAs earn more than people on collective agreements, on the award system, or the dole” he said.

Slow News Day

(Originally posted on myspace on 14 Mar 2007)

I direct you to http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1871034.htm.

Sydney planes targeted by laser pointers

The Federal Government has confirmed that laser beams were pointed into the cockpits of passenger planes preparing to land at Sydney Airport earlier this week.

OMGWTFBBQ!!!Pilots have told aviation authorities they were targeted over North Ryde on Monday evening.

“It was terrible, I was trying to focus on the altimeter and a little red dot appeared on it! I’ll need at least 4 months of paid stress leave…”

A spokesman for Federal Transport Minister Mark Vaile says about 20 laser attacks on planes have been reported across the country.

Yep, and given that there are hundreds of flights all over the country on any given day, and the staggering number of crashes / injuries / strained eyes reported as a result, it’s obviously a problem of epidemic proportions, and therefore is wholly worthy of it’s very own news article in the national press.

The Federal Government has expressed concern that terrorists could use the technology to endanger passenger planes.

Ok. Seriously, you guys… Terrorists firing laser pointers??? I mean, how desperate do you have to be to try to instill fear into your population? and how GOD DAMN STUPID do you think your population is if you’re going to try feeding them this UTTER CRAP? I mean, what are the terrorists going to do, set up a network of 25 guys strategically located around the city so that they can shine their laser pointers at the pilot, forcing him to turn the plane, thus coming into the firing range of the next guy with a laser pointer, and using this method you ‘remote control’ the plane into a building??? as if! surely rocket launchers aren’t THAT hard to come by…? Surely it’d be easier to BUILD YOUR OWN WMD than to:
a) plan this
b) set up the 25 guys with their laser pointers, deck chairs, tripods, binoculars, synchronised watches, incredibly detailed plans of the plane’s flight path, etc
c) Train and then coordinate all 25 guys
d) find a target in Australia worth your trouble

Reasons why I wouldn’t be overly concerned:
1) I’d imagine it’s somewhat hard to aim a laser pointer at a plane, much less at the pilots eye, while it’s flying through the air at 400kph at 30,000 feet… Even while it’s landing (going slower, flying lower), I’d still say it’s going to be more difficult than…say…aiming a heatseeker…

2) So, on the off-chance that the terrorist does manage to get his pointer(s) – presumably two – most people have two eyes – into the pilots eyes REAL GOOD, so that the pilot can’t land – the pilots abort their landing, and wait a while before making another attempt. Where’s the issue? It’s standard procedure to overfuel planes in case of emergency – isn’t this exactly the kind of reason why they overfuel the planes? It’s not like they’re instantly gong to drop out of the sky if you don’t land at the scheduled time… if this is practicable in anything less than 99% of flights, I’d be seriously worried about getting on a plane without any of these important terrorist concerns…

3) The obvious reason: THERE IS NO TERRORIST THREAT TO AUSTRALIA.
But Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson believes it is more likely that thrill seekers are responsible.

This guy has an exciting life, if shining a laser pointer at a plane is ‘Thrill Seeking’… far more thrilling than building dynamite, putting coins on train lines, planning political assasinations, or even going very very fast down the highway. I’m glad this guy is so hooked into today’s youth culture, saves me from having to keep my finger on the pulse…
“It certainly does seem this is just people who are pretty stupid, who think this is the interesting or fun thing to do,” Mr Gibson said.

“The message is it’s not interesting or fun, it’s damned dangerous and they should simply stop.”

“Damned Dangerous”?

“Damned Dangerous”???

“Damned Dangerous”???

If a professional airline pilot, who neccessarily has a rather extensive set of qualifications, not least including a full-on pilots license which means he has hundreds of flight hours and allows him to fly a many-many-ton commercial passenger aircraft, isn’t able to fly his plane with one eye closed, or isn’t able to move his head two centimeters to the left to avoid a laser pointer, and can’t ask his copilot for help, and can’t say “oh there’s a red dot in my eye, I’d better abort the landing and let the flight controller or copilot help me”, I’d be even more worried about flying, even without the nonexistant terrorist threat.

Oh no… I just realised that Now I’ve written this, I’ve at least doubled the amount of mental effort spent on this subject… eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew, I feel so tainted…