b3ta.com user Sebulba
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» Political Correctness Gone Mad

Natural Justice.....
First post - woot!
Mum and I had gone to Europe to sort out some Family matters in Croatia (apologies to the England fans!). On the way home we stopped in the UK for a week or so. We were at the front of the queue, lined up for a checkout in M&S in Oxford St. A young Afro-Carribean chap was the only one serving. Suddenly a young A-C woman stood in front of us and he took her next.
Mum and I looked at each other - this wasn't fair, but to say anything would make us look like colonial oppressors. The PC fear had made us hold our tongues.
Then we heard this voice behind us say "I SAY, LOOK HERE YOUNG MAN."
It was an elderly A-C gentleman. He then proceeded to berate the young dude for his rudeness, and then berate the lady for her rudeness! He demanded that Mum and I be served first.
The young dude's head did a turtle into his shirt, told the woman to go to the back of the queue. He apologised and served us.
We thanked the gentleman, who smiled and said "They can't be allowed to get away with it!"

Length? We were travelling for 5 weeks.
(Sat 24th Nov 2007, 17:13, More)

» Schadenfreude

When NOT in Rome.....
Wow - had to dust off the memory for this one....

1977 - a polyester flared-clad 10 year old Sebulba and his parents were on a trip back to Europe so he could see where the family came from and also meet his rellies.
After being with Dad's side of the family in Hungary, we were travelling to see Mum's side, about halfway down the coast of Croatia (then still in Yugoslavia).

Now, if you have ever driven along the coastal roads & highways of Croatia (built over some years by the Yugoslav Army Engineers) you are in for a treat. Its good quality road up hundreds of feet in places, and the Adriatic views are spectacular. But you will also be made acutely aware of how crap the drivers are.

Y'see in them days, all you needed was enough money to buy a car and you got the license automatically. Logical enough.... apparently. Well, they were Communist at that stage, and the idea is no dafter than Centralised Economic Planning or the concept of Socialist Realism.
Driving schools were non-existent and much needed!

Due to the above:
1/ there was not one piece of un-dented Armco barrier anywhere in the country,
2/ wrecks were often left wrapped around the Armco or at the side of the road - which in places was 500 or more feet below - because it was too difficult to extract or remove them,
3/ shrines of crosses and flowers marked the sites were people had come to grief; in fact so many flowers in places that it looked like a florist had set up there (Special Mention here of the stone memorial to the two army drivers killed when one flicked a lit cigarette out the window which caused their petrol tanker to explode.....),
4/ accidents caused delays of hours and tailbacks for miles.

And it is in this situation that the Sebulba family find themselves. A plume of black smoke twisting upwards ahead in the distance indicated another accident out of view. Traffic was at a standstill as far as the corners of the road would let you see. The early afternoon summer sun was beating down relentlessly.

And behind us tooting his horn with equal relentlessness was an Italian dude in a Bambina with wife & 2 kids. Through the rear window we could see them arguing and him tooting, and more arguing followed by tooting, coupled with arguing and determined tooting.
Repeat indefintely.....
What may have worked in Rome traffic had no effect in Yugoslavia that day. The traffic wouldn't - couldn't - move.

After about an hour of this insanity, the people in the car in front had had enough of the racket - as had all of us within earshot.
They got out and walked past our car and stopped at the Bambina.
One reached though the sunroof and pulled out the Italian, who was mid-argument, whilst the other delivered two quick punches to his somewhat perplexed face.
Whereupon he was dropped back into the car - bleeding, dazed, and confused, but totally aware that he was to STFU from then on.
Indeed, the horn remained in an un-tooted state for the remainder of our enforced stop.

Length - 2 hours to clear the road, then 20 minutes driving until we came upon the next accident...
(Wed 23rd Dec 2009, 16:31, More)

» Neighbours

"The Tron" in the late 70s......
The city of Hamilton is known affectionately as "The Tron". I was born and lived there for my first 13 years.
On the Eastside there were some wonderful old 'California Bungalows' and Victorian Villas with quarter-acre sections (work it out in metric yourself!) until the late 60s - early 70s, when the council changed the zoning and development regulations.

Within a year, many of the old houses down my street has units put up behind them, or in some cases were flattened for blocks of flats.
In 1973, such was the case of the property next to us, and the one directly across the road from that.

Now the initial tenants were normal people, and this continued until about 1975... when for some reason, the gangs moved in.
Mongrel Mob moved in next door, taking a few flats - within three weeks, everyone else had moved out and the other gang members had moved in. Same thing happened with Black Power across the road.
By now I think you can see where this is going......

We were pretty much left alone - the only disturbances being the fight every second week, with sounds of the gangs beating several shades of shit out of each other with the weirdest of weapons and the sirens announcing the imminent arrival of Plod. Whereupon all their weapons would be dumped into the neighbouring gardens in an attempt to look innocent.

Dad never had to buy a slasher for years, nor an axe; but we didn't have much use for the motorbike drive chains with the nails in them... and he wouldn't let me keep the softball bat with the 6-inch nails driven into it.

On a school visit to the Police Station, they showed us their trophy cabinet with examples weapons they had seized, and I had commented that I had seen most of them. When a cop asked me where I lived, I told him - he replied "Ah."

When one drunk/stoned dude banged on our door at 3am one night and wanted someone to get him a taxi, Dad told him in no uncertain terms to fuck off - no uncertain terms being pointed his double-barrel sawn-off at the guy's nads through our frosted glass front door. Luckily for the guy, he could take a hint. But we lost every rose-head down the driveway....

Eventually they moved out/got evicted/did a runner/got arrested.
And Eastside became a sleepy backwater suburb again.

Length - 5 years of nightly entertainment, and free tools.
(Sat 3rd Oct 2009, 9:09, More)

» Bullies

Pierre, The Japie Bastard
I love South Africans.
I work with nearly 100 of them - of all races and colours - in my team and throughout the company, plus contractors. On the whole, they are top notch people - humourous, generous, hard-working, and just good fun.

And I have only met two that were utter wankers - one was Pierre; the other - the pathological liar who upon being fired for conduct unbecoming - had his desk drawers opened by people wearing rubber gloves and carrying tongs, so they could remove a number of soiled womens panties, opened condoms (they weren't game to check if they had been used), and some DVDs of hardcore anal porn. And as for what he had stored on his PC hard-drive.......!!!

But I digress. This is about Pierre.

Pierre, a former bank manager in SA joined the company as department manager, the fifth one in the space of four years (following on from "Tim The Pants", who requires a QOTW all for himself). He was physically large - 6ft4 and built like the proverbial brick shithouse. He didn't so much speak as snarl - this man could not talk normally.

Although he was my manager's manager I had little to do with him thankfully, and his reaction to a calculated remark I made more or less proved that at some stage he had been a member of the AWB. Which didn't surprise me at all....

Now, some managers incorporate different strategies from existing management experts, eg Covey, Kehoe et al, into their management methods. Pierre's method was more akin to that of Atilla the Hun, being simply "FUCKING DO AS I SAY!!!!!"

The walls in our building were very thin, and you could always tell when some poor sod was getting a roasting from him. Loud verbal abuse of a work nature followed by that of a personal nature was his only management style. And normally it was a woman that would bear the brunt of his bullying. The floor had a female-male ratio of 10 to 1 so in some ways its not surprising, however in all the time he was ├╝ber-boss I only saw 1 male team leader get a reaming from him. At least 2 or 3 a day would get a bollocking, and one of those would walk out in tears.
So at least 5 women a week would be in a dishevelled emotional state.
A good friend of my Girlfriend At The Time endured this treatment every day for 3 weeks until she quit. She wasn't incompetent either - she did her job well and had done so for the previous 2 years before the arrival of Pierre.
He just took a dislike to her, and made her life hell. This was the pattern he followed with others for the next 3 to 4 years. Although there were a number of unfair dismissal cases, he somehow escaped with the equivalent slap with the wet bus-ticket.

The only person who I saw actually confront him was Matt, a Bradford lad and ex-Para who eyeballed him on more than one occasion and gave it back to him in no uncertain terms. Once or twice it nearly came to blows, and my money was on Matt to wipe the floor with his fat ass.

As a manager, he was crap. Motivation was through fear and intimidation, morale was non-existent, he would change his mind or department policy on a whim and deny he had ever done it. But he maintained a veneer of respectability, and kept budgets down by ensuring a constant churn of staff - usually those with experience and knowledge would be bullied out so the noobs he hired or promoted would be on lower salaries - and anything that he couldn't shoehorn into looking good was either dressed-up or quietly hidden.

When we amalgamated with another company, someone higher up the food-chain heard his loud braying voice and decided he was the man to manage the integration. This, he thought would be his crowning achievement - but it turned out to be the beginning of his downfall.
Lets just say it was a bad choice, and 8 years on we are only now free of the fallout from the physical and psychological damage his 'work' caused. The best part was, the higher-ups saw this, and decided to move the seat of his realm from Auckland to Christchurch.

The NZ South Islanders, or Mainlanders as they call themselves are a hardy bunch who take shit from no-one, least of all a loud bullying foreigner. They were familiar with his past and his methods and after a few meetings, presented him with a welcoming gift - the entire staff had joined the Union!
So with his staff standing up to him, the Union on his back for everything from his bullying to wages and terms & conditions, the higher-ups saw what was happening and began to turn the screws on him themselves. They placed enormous demands on him.....

....until he finally cracked. The story goes that one day he deliberately drove his car into the wall of the carpark and sat there bawling his eyes out with a smashed, steaming radiator and the horn blaring, until ambulance staff took him away.
He officially took two months of sick leave and never returned.

And all was peace in the little valley once more.

Length - four years of threats, abuse, bullying and downright incompetence to totally screw up a department.
(Fri 15th May 2009, 19:02, More)

» God

If you are ever stuck on a plane......
.... with an annoying person in the seat next to you trying to engage you in conversation or show you the pics of the grandchildren, simply turn to them with a beatific smile and say:

" Have YOU accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour?"

Stops them dead.

Trust me, I have used it and it works!

BTW, this tip was given to be my an American friend who is an Evangelical Christian.
(Mon 23rd Mar 2009, 16:49, More)
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