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.

Attending my first unconference - Unfurling HR #NZLEAD

Wearing my Unfurling HR t-shirt
In the past few days I've attended a few conferences and there are more to come. But one conference has a point of difference, like no other that I have attended in the past. It was an "unconference".

Held at a Boy Scout hall in the western Auckland suburb of Green Bay, Amanda Stirling and her team of helpers hosted a conference that had no agenda! While there were a few planned short presentations, what happened on the day was planned by the attendees on the day. The lack of structure provided Human Resources professionals with a non-threatening environment to think outside of the box while looking for ways to revolutionise their profession.

It's exciting to see that the rapid changes in consumer behaviours are now becoming the concern of all parts of the business. Business is changing faster than ever before, the fluid demands of our customers are hard to keep up with. Our people are looking for exciting, flexible and better places to work. The requirement for change has been in the air for a few years now and business is waking up to it.

One of the things that I thought worked really well was the group size. With approximately 50 attendees, I was able to spend time getting to know most people through group and individual conversations. I think that this is something to be protected for future events.

Unfurling HR was an event that resonates well with me. The idea of collaborating, generating ideas and developing those ideas is really important. It was also good to see real world interaction supported by the use of social media. While, social media provides tools to enable virtual collaboration, the value of face to face collaboration must not be underestimated.

Yet again it was a good example of how Social Media works in the real world. Over the past few weeks I have used Social Media to connect with people working in the Human Resources profession. Due to some of the work that I do, I need to understand the challenges that they are facing. Most of the people at the event knew who I was without introduction. They had seen me active on blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter as I have tried to build new relationships. Had I not spent time doing this, I would have been spending a lot more effort in breaking the ice with people.

For further information, take a look at this page on pledgeme. Yes, the funds for the event were crowdsourced, totaling $10,530!

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