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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Thursday September 16, 2004
07:42 PM

General happenings

[ #20908 ]

It's been some time since I've written an entry of any reasonable size in my journal. There have been a few reasons for this, and work has been one of them. After the business experienced a one-week quiet patch we spent some time on advertising and networking, and as a result our work bucket is once again brimming.

Two weeks ago I spent my time in Perth, the world's most remote city, teaching this quaint little language called Perl. One of the attendees was from New Zealand, which has a four-hour timezone difference to Perth. It's not uncommon for us to have attendees from out-of-town, but usually their original city is no longer than an hour's flight away.

Perth was very green, and the people there friendly. I caught up with some old friends from University who had moved there, and attempted (with little success) to kick-start an informal get-together of the Perth Perl Mongers.

After Perth came the inevitable catch-up on work from having been away for a week. I'm still catching up on YAPC::AU/OSDC matters.

Our newest client is out near Clayton, which seems like the world's second-remotest city when traveling there from the northern suburbs. While we were originally contacted regarding software development, my time so-far has been predominantly systems focused.

As my journal entry yesterday suggests, I'm still having trouble with my old bank. I never thought that closing an account would take longer than a month, but in my case that appears to be the situation. The bank is trying to re-charge the fees they've agreed to refund, and the matter is made worse by a classic "left-hand, right-hand" situation where the relevant internal departments in the bank seem unable to talk to each other.

I've invoked the disputes resolution process, and will be letting the bank know of my intention to raise the matter to the banking ombudsman should a satisfactory outcome not be rapidly forthcoming. There's practically no downside to me doing this. The proceedures and investigations from having the ombudsman involved are likely to cost the bank much more than the disputed sum, and I have sufficent documentation that I'm confident of a favourable recommendation.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the ombudsman process is that the disputant is free to decline the recommendations of the ombudsman should they wish. The bank, on the other hand, must either accept the recommendations, or risk being subject to a unconditionally binding ruling from the ombudsman, so they have very little choice at all. As a bank manager friend of mine once said, "the banks hate the ombudsman getting involved, because regardless of the outcome, the bank will always lose."

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