Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Auckland City Nights

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Karangahape feet...

    Seriously the K’rd bridge should be like the olde London Bridge or the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

    ... instead it has become the Bridge of sighs...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I reckon they took the roof off to keep out the bums. Hunkering down against the wall was popular, not so much when it's a metal wall with no roof.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    re: Tipping. It seems benign enough, so long as they already have a living wage. I often tip in NZ. It's odd - sometimes people are actually affronted by it. I tipped the guy at JB HiFi who sold me my phone, he was so frikken awesome. He tried to give it back to me, got all embarrassed, and next time I went there, when he saw me he took off. Weird. This was after him explaining that the total commission to him for selling me $1000 worth of phone was about $3. He worked at that sale for about 90 mins going well beyond what I have come to expect from any shop salesperson, and I thought giving him $50 was fair enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to BenWilson,

    re: Tipping. It seems benign enough, so long as they already have a living wage.

    What really irks me is the way the ++ (or in Singapore, +++) is added automatically to to accounts in many countries. The (+, or ++ in Sg) I get as it is the tax - although how that is not included in the price I don't get or like - but the fact that 'service' is added as a compulsory percentage is wrong.*

    *Most especially in Bali where mgmt/owners of the big hotels and the fabulous and already overpriced beachfront restaurants, amongst many others, notoriously don't pass it to the staff and simply pocket it.

    Rather sucks.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3280 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The new screen closes down that space. Although the glass was murky, you could see across to Hopetoun Bridge. You can’t now.Also: did they really not think that a long, white metal screen might be tagger bait?

    Going over there today, straight, and bearing in mind your comments earlier, I wanted to find faults but I couldn't. I discovered that part of it is kinda like a viewing platform and it is given a specified area defined by the wooden atrium. I kept looking to be pissed off and I wasn't. The screens, a tad annoying, but I hope the likes of Askew do sort that out. Yes I'd prefer like Grafton bridge, but if the association decided it had to be new and different, one has to get along to the meeting to throw ideas into the arena.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to BenWilson,

    He worked at that sale for about 90 mins going well beyond what I have come to expect from any shop salesperson, and I thought giving him $50 was fair enough.

    That's very generous and kind of you, but when you have no cultural context for it, really confusing. The guy's probably wondering what you mean by it, what you want, if it's okay/legal for him to accept it...I feel a little sorry for him now, actually.

    (I have absolutely no problems with tipping, and have, in countries that don't underpay people who get tips and where it's an accepted practice. I've tipped in NZ on occasion. It's the twin practices of underpaying and trying to make it mandatory that I dislike.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds,

    Another good article in the Herald today, about removing the vile flyover at the bottom of Hobson St... for another [easy] idea check this post over on transportblog:

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/08/30/guest-post-why-are-there-cars-on-queen-st/

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    He worked at that sale for about 90 mins going well beyond what I have come to expect from any shop salesperson

    That's very generous and kind of you, but when you have no cultural context for it, really confusing. The guy's probably wondering what you mean by it, what you want, if it's okay/legal for him to accept it

    I've been in similar circumstances a couple of times. I took the time a day or two later to write to customer services/branch manager, naming the staff member and saying how pleased I was to get good service.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    The guy's probably wondering what you mean by it, what you want, if it's okay/legal for him to accept it...I feel a little sorry for him now, actually.

    I don't. He has $50 tax free he can spend, or if he really does have false consciousness, he could just give it to all the other useless salespeople that kept plaguing him as their favorite "go-to-guy" the entire time. Or even better, he could just give it straight to JB HiFi, and totally miss the point. I expect he doesn't even know that he was 8 shades of awesome, and they were fucking lucky to have him working there.

    I've been in similar circumstances a couple of times. I took the time a day or two later to write to customer services/branch manager, naming the staff member and saying how pleased I was to get good service.

    Yes, that occurred to me. But knowing that JB HiFi screw their staff over (he did, after all, complain about this while selling to me), I opted to just put the money straight where it would be of some use. Also, writing a frikken letter to the manager is just something I don't have time for. I hate doing that kind of shit - that's like giving the manager a pat on the back for how awesome their shop is. I don't think it's awesome, I think it's exploitative, and I wanted to give the actual person being exploited some actual gratitude.

    Personally, I'd rather write about it here, where upwards of ten thousand quite intelligent, conscientious and tech savvy people might read about it, rather than writing to some management dusch whose only angle would be to work out how he can personally profit from it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I expect he doesn’t even know that he was 8 shades of awesome, and they were fucking lucky to have him working there.

    I've never given a tip such as yours in that setting, but I have had very good individual service from a young guy at JB HiFi and, as ever, I made sure he got the sale when I went back. I'm a bit shocked at how small his bonus will have been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    I expect he doesn't even know that he was 8 shades of awesome, and they were fucking lucky to have him working there.

    Well, by writing the letter I was hoping that there would be some sort of trickle-down to the particular employee, which would let them know how awesome they were, and possibly provide them with something to leverage off for personal gain down the line, even if the manager was also using it for personal profit.

    Personally, I'd rather write about it here, where upwards of ten thousand quite intelligent, conscientious and tech savvy people might read about it

    Then shouldn't you be naming the branch, the guy and the phone model in question? :)

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    What we need there is a lift down to the disused off-ramp [embarrassing as, NZTA]

    The Auckland Plan will include a Highline-like redevelopment of that off-ramp. I don't know that access to it has been sorted (it certainly makes sense to get it off K-Rd or down the back of Rising Sun or something but it may have to be in from the Pitt St end)...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Do you guys feel anything about the connection between JB HiFi's prices and the amount they pay their staff? I know at least one PAS reader who actively boycotts JBH precisely because of their problematic pay and conditions. The oddest thing about Ben's story to me is going to the cheapest place in town, cheap because they under-pay their workers, and then making up the difference out of your own pocket. You could just patronise somewhere that was a better employer.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    The Auckland Plan will include a Highline-like redevelopment of that off-ramp. I don't know that access to it has been sorted

    Maybe one of these?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Do you guys feel anything about the connection between JB HiFi’s prices and the amount they pay their staff? I know at least one PAS reader who actively boycotts JBH precisely because of their problematic pay and conditions.

    JB contends it actually pays more to junior staff than The Warehouse, Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming, which pay minimum wage. So opting to shop at other chains doesn't seem a very wise thing to do either.

    We know about JB because 100 of its staff were represented by a Unite campaign, but I suspect that to make an informed choice we'd need to know a lot more about conditions, allowances and commissions.

    TradeLeaks has this on JB commissions:

    Salespeople earn 10% of the GP of the total sale. If a discontinued product is sold, the salesperson gets 2-3% of the total sale of that product.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Can you imagine the OSH report on that?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2925 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    sure, but can you imagine the queue?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Yeah, I'm thinking that that'll be horrible; ie not the Highline. No good place for a park, the middle of a motorway.... be better to keep it hardcore and urban as it is a truly violated part of the city

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Reynolds, in reply to Sacha,

    Fantastic! Come on Britomart.... do watch the vid. somehow even funnier with the Dutch voice over

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    My point in posting wasn't really to reward this guy. I already did that. It was to highlight his reaction to it, which was, in my opinion, really strange. It's also not the first time that I've got that reaction to giving a tip in NZ.

    Personally, I think getting bitter on tips is part of what's wrong with this country. A tip is money paid directly to the actual human doing the work. It's hard to imagine a fairer deal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    his reaction to it, which was, in my opinion, really strange.

    I just think he might have felt as though he'd be at risk of being sacked for accepting money from a customer that didn't go through the till.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    A tip is money paid directly to the actual human doing the work. It's hard to imagine a fairer deal.

    When I lived in London I would often tip extremely generously, as it was expected, and I wanted to err on the side of caution. I found it quite refreshing to come here and pay what was stated in black and white - no more or less.

    My wife has a story about visiting New York when she was younger, and not getting served in a bar after the first round because she didn't tip. When she did eventually get served, she had the change flung back in her face. Obviously she was unaware of the cultural assumption that she would tip handsomely, no matter how good or poor the service actually was.

    So in theory, tipping is all good, but as with most human activity, the unspoken rules and assumptions generally turn it into something of a minefield. I'm more than happy to pay handsomely for a job well done, I'm just not sure that tipping is the best way to do it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 3410,

    I just think he might have felt as though he'd be at risk of being sacked for accepting money from a customer that didn't go through the till.

    Quite possibly. But if so, he could always just take it straight to his boss and say what happened. There is no law against giving people a tip, nor is there any reason why the company should get a piece of it, unless they had a prior arrangement to that effect. Even if they did, the presentation of the tip to his own manager would surely count for as much as a hundred people writing in and saying he was awesome. It might say "pay this guy more, you idiots".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I have had very good individual service from a young guy at JB HiFi and, as ever, I made sure he got the sale when I went back.

    This guy sounds like he's gold and will go a long way in life. JBHiFi will be but a mere blip in his memory and I suspect he won't be too friendly to them when they need him more then he needs them.

    The Auckland Plan will include a Highline-like redevelopment of that off-ramp. I don’t know that access to it has been sorted (it certainly makes sense to get it off K-Rd or down the back of Rising Sun or something but it may have to be in from the Pitt St end)…

    Wearing my elected rep hat... I had a presentation on that last week. a) the officers aren't at all keen on calling it a Highline (though they recognise the intent), so we have to come up with another name. Nelson Ramp Link? Dunno. b) the officers pointed out access will be difficult and BTW has anyone noted the distance between the back of the Rising Sun building (which I found out was first licensed under that name in the early 1900s) and the old Nelson St off-ramp? We thought for a second and said, pretty big? Yes, and if you want to bridge it, it costs money. So that's a challenge. And c) NZTA would be interested, if it were feasible (and I suspect if Joyce could back-the-f**k-off from NZTA and let them build cycleways) NZTA would consider linking the old Nelson St off-ramp to the cycle path they would like to build linking the end of the Northwestern Cycle path to Wellesley St/Beach Rd. How cool would that be? You'd be able to cycle up Hobson, nip onto that old ramp and get onto the Northwestern Cycle path in no time at all!

    BTW if anyone is wondering why the ramp is there in the first place - it's because it would cost a massive amount of money to demolish it, so it's cheaper to leave it there.

    So, to sum up, that ramp is under active consideration. Works are likely to be done in conjunction with the CMJ cycle path as it would form a link between it and Nelson/Hobson Sts. The question is, as usual, money.

    Doffing said hat...

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    And c) NZTA would be interested, if it were feasible (and I suspect if Joyce could back-the-f**k-off from NZTA and let them build cycleways)

    Arrrggh. NZTA building cycleways alongside roads has been an amazing development. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Joyce?

    NZTA would consider linking the old Nelson St off-ramp to the cycle path they would like to build linking the end of the Northwestern Cycle path to Wellesley St/Beach Rd. How cool would that be? You’d be able to cycle up Hobson, nip onto that old ramp and get onto the Northwestern Cycle path in no time at all!

    Two words:

    "Yeah" and "baby".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

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