Friday, October 24, 2014

A day in the life of an Air New Zealand Traveler

On Wednesday morning, I flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia. I decided that it would be good to upgrade my ticket to business class to allow me to arrive feeling fresh and energetic. I'm looking forward to my return flight this afternoon, I'm gutted that I'm not returning on Business Class :-)

It occurred to me that a lot of people have never travelled on a business class flight. Well you often hear stories about the sort of a service, it's hard to understand what is really like. I have hundreds and hundreds of flights with the New Zealand in the past five years, maybe longer. So I thought I would capture the experience by taking photos and posting them on social media.

Is my story:
Arriving at the Auckland International airport, I checked in with my baggage using a premier lounge. In this lounge, there's a left that takes you straight up to a place where customs is ready to process you through immigration and security. Whenever you see people queueing there is an alternative path that takes you right to the front of the queue.

Once going through a processing, I went up to the in New Zealand Lounge to have a coffee and something small to eat while waiting for my flight. I always enjoy going into the lounge as often meet up with friends who are also travelling.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

The lounge has a selection of food to choose from. The food changes throughout the day.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

Knowing that I was going to be served breakfast on the plane,I really shouldn't have it in breakfast the Koru lounge. But, I did!

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

The in New Zealand app For mobile devices has a feature that allows you to order a coffee and it notifies you when your coffee is ready to collect from the counter.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

The Koru Lounge is also has comfortable seating for those people who wish to get some work done. There is free wifi available along with plenty of places to plug into power.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

Remember how I said that you get to skip all of the queues? At the gate priority customers or business class customers get to board first. When travelling business class you want to get on the plane earlier rather than latter. You'll be served drinks etc before most of the passengers are even on board.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

On the plane the seats even provide you with a stool to put your feet up on. There is also a good level of privacy.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

During the flight real food came out. Again, I shouldn't have ..... but I did!

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

Again, before landing I am given a card to provide me with the ability to keep skipping those queues at Melbourne Airport.
A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

So, all up a great experience. It's worth paying for an upgrade. Air New Zealand provide several options that aren't as expensive as you would think.

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

A photo posted by Social Biz Guy (@vrivett) on

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bad experience with Unichem Pharmacy

Today I had a bad experience with a pharmacy in Meadowlands. Just over a week ago I went to see my doctor to get a prescription for blood pressure medication, asthma medication and some cream for my eczema.

I decided to take the prescription to Unichem pharmacy in Meadowlands shopping centre. The shop assistant informed me that they didn't have the particular prescription for my eczema cream. She offered to substituted with a generic brand. Based on past experience this brand is not very effective so I asked her to order the one which the doctor had prescribed.

The shop assistant went to look at the price of the cream. She came back to me and told me that it would be cheaper to order two at once, one now and one later. She then rang up a bill for the entire prescription, including the cream that was now on order. I paid for everything in full.

Just over a week later, I visited the pharmacy once again to collect the cream. The pharmacist approached me and said that the cream had arrived at this store at a more expensive price. There was a price difference of $27! I stated that this was not the price that I was quoted nor was it the price that I paid. I refused to pay the difference.

The pharmacist then started to blame the "unknown" person who serve me. She claimed that she didn't know who serve me, even though she could have looked it up on her computer. She asked me not to shoot the messenger.

Getting nowhere, and understanding that the employee obviously was not empowered to make a commonsense decision, I requested to see the manager. I was told that the manager would not be in until tomorrow. So I left the store extremely frustrated and empty-handed.

Needless to say, it is unlikely that I will ever visit the store again. I had been fairly loyal customer.

If Human Resources is going to change then you may well need human resources

Over the past few weeks I have been both watching with interest and participating in discussions around the need for Human Resources to change their game. There are a few people who now consider themselves to be "game changes", but they are struggling with gaining any real traction.

One of the main hurdles they seem to face is being able to balance their ability to drive change with getting bogged down in normal HR administrative tasks. I've been reading comments on Social Media platforms that show a lot of frustration in this area.

We've probably all heard the phrase "Working on the business, not in the business". From my observations, a lot of these game changers are working in HR, not on HR. It is fair near impossible to have the capacity to implement new ideas and strategies when you are tied up with performance reviews, disciplinary action and salary negotiations along with a raft of other projects.

Most people are busy in their day to day jobs. The recent recession has meant that businesses have taken on a lean approach, allowing no person to be sitting on the bench. The change that this affects you is reasonably high.

If you are acting as a game changer, then you may need to consider your capacity to carry out your current job along with additional self inflicted responsibilities. You will need to work out a plan that will allow you to extract yourself from working in HR to allow you to work on HR.

Work on a plan that you can present to senior management that outlines the time and focus that you will need to have to allow you to solve some of the most pressing issues. With good research you should be able to provide evidence of a return on investment. ROI is often the easiest way to support an argument. Also ensure that your justification is inline with the CEO's top priorities.

As a part of this plan, you may need to recruit further people into the department to replace some of your existing functions. Make sure that you are not giving yourself unrealistic responsibilities that will bog you down even further. Plan for a 32 hour week, not a 40 hour week, otherwise you'll burn yourself out.  Afterall, this is basic resource planning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Java not working correctly after upgrading Apple OS X to Yosemite

Last night I blogged about the simple process of upgrading my Apple Macbook Pro to the latest version of OS X Yosemite. With a bit of use over the past few hours I have found that Java is not working correctly.

After a little bit of research I found that I need to upgrade Java from version 7 to version 8. I found this link to a download of the JRE version. After the update all appears to be fine.

I hope this helps anyone else finding a similar issue.

Weekly Youtube find: Celtics Fan Dancing to Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer

HD video of Jeremy Fry Celtics Fan Dancing to Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer at a Celtics game. No it was not staged!

Friday, October 17, 2014

My initial impressions after upgrading my MacBook Pro to OS X Yosemite

I've just upgraded my Apple MacBook Pro to the latest version of OS X, known as Yosemite. It would appear that Apple has made available was in the last 24 hours.

The update was available through the app store. At just over 5 GB it took me about half an hour to download. Once downloaded, I was guided through a simple process to upgrade the operating system. There were a series of buttons to click to advance the install of the new operating system. Even with solid-state hard drive and ample memory the upgrade process seem to take about 30 minutes.

Once the upgrade was complete I was asked if I would like to do several things. These included upgrading to iCloud Drive and disk encryption.

Once I have completed the upgrade I went back into the app store to check for any more updates. I found that there were updates for other Apple products such as iTunes, Pages, Numbers and various other applications. By the time I had completed upgrading everything, the full process had taken about an hour and a half.

The disk encryption is still running and may run for another five hours. So, I'll be leaving it plugged into a power supply for the next few hours wallet completes.

The look and feel of the new update is reasonably refreshing however, it's not revolutionary by any stretch of imagination. Then why would you expect it to be, when Apple provides regular updates and enhancements?

This blog post, has been written using apple's speech recognition and dictation. I am using the enhanced version and have found that its accuracy is out of this world, even with my New Zealand accent. I am using Australian English as is there is currently no New Zealand English option.

I have also done the typical thing of opening up other applications that I use on a regular basis. They all seem to work and perform as expected. This includes, VMware fusion which is a product that I use to run Windows 8 and a virtualised environment.
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