Category Archives: Communication

Verbal Sticks and Stones

Photo by Rich Johnson

Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can also harm you.

Be careful with words, the scars they cause may not be visible but they are real, words can cause real damage.

People may appear strong and able to cope, but what is going on beneath the surface may not be apparent, and you do not know what demons people are struggling with.

Being told to “get over it” or “harden up” are not helpful statements especially if you have been brave enough to reveal a problem. Yes, we need a reminder from time to time it doesn’t matter what others think about you (or me); but, if you are struggling, you need support and encouragement, at times even professional assistance.

We all can struggle with self-esteem or self-worth issues at some point in life, some people are more obvious with letting it be known, and others just hide it away. The trigger points are different for everyone and you may not understand what your own triggers are.

Words can have permanent consequences for people. You never know how close to the edge someone is, or what they are going through. so be very careful.

Let your words build up and not destroy.

Paul S Allen

I am not a stranger to being bullied, as a child, teenager and as an adult. It has been in the form of words and insults, intimidation, threats and physical attacks.  Coming to a new country as a child with a different accent, just not being the same as others, or being quiet and shy or for no apparent reason at all. What ever the reason given, there is no valid reason to bully anyone, ever.


New Zealand support services

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 – 24 hour service

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

For an emergency if you or someone else is at risk, call 111


Powerful photos illustrate real damage done verbal abuse

Petapixel.com

The image above is one of a few photos that are a great visual representation on the power that words can have.

Be aware some of the images, although staged, may cause a reaction in you and may not be suitable for sensitive people or children.

 


 Stand up together –  Stop Bullying – Pink Shirt Day this Friday – 23 May 2014 http://www.pinkshirtday.org.nz


Apparition in Chingford Park 2

When a competition becomes too much.

PaulusthebritI love social media especially Twitter. It is a great way to meet many good and interesting people, collaborate with projects, share experience, or just to chat. Over the last few months however my experience with social media has become somewhat frustrating to the point that I have felt bullied and have been insulted by other users because I have not supported a particular social media competition. This has reached a stage where I have resorted to restricting access to my twitter account and have started to block and report offending accounts.

Currently in New Zealand a competition is running that would give the winning town access to ultra fast internet access. Chorus New Zealand, the company that is running and promoting the Gigatown competition plays an important part in the infrastructure of telecommunication in NZ and the prize would be positive for the winning town. I have no issue with the company itself but the competition is highly worrying.

The competition works on twitter (should work like )by using a particular hashtag to raise the importance of high-speed internet and its benefits to the entire community.

Initially I looked at supporting the competition, however, some others who support the competition consistently request/reminded me to add the hashtag to all of my tweets. Most of the followers I have on twitter are not in New Zealand and the competition is irrelevant for them so I chose not to use the hashtag.

There are multiple twitter accounts being setup by individuals solely for the purpose of the competition, with tweet numbers that can only be described as spam. New  accounts with 48 followers, following 67 and have 3500+ tweets, most of which are retweets of other people’s hashtags.  Another account is worse.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.47.14 pm

Many of the tweets being sent by the supporters of the competition read like this…

“@[________] : Anyone tried the Sundaes from ____________ in #Gigatown_______? Delicious!”

“@[_________]: At the ice hockey in #gigatown_______! What a game!”

“@[_________]: Great day to try out the new shoes! Feel pretty good and look awesome! #gigatown________ “

(tweets modified to protect the account owners)

Very few tweets actually discuss the benefits of fast broadband internet.

Some supporters are promoting that for every original tweet or reply they should be retweeting four other gigatown hashtag tweets. It might just fit with Twitter rules but in regards to good social media practice this can only be seen as spam. Some accounts are sending up to 1000 tweets a day.

The pressure put on myself (and others) by the supporters of the competition to use the hashtags and the sheer number of hashtags being used has caused much dissatisfaction and annoyance amongst seasoned and long-standing Twitter users like myself.

At no other time in the five plus years of using twitter have I encountered so much pressure that can only be described as stand over tactics against people who are not participants in the competition.

 

Intellectual Property – What’s yours isn’t.

The competition itself has terms and conditions that I strongly object to around the topic of Intellectual Property and submission of material.

the clause reads…

“You grant Chorus a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable (without consent or notification), irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to use anything you post on any platform for the purpose of this Competition, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose. For purposes of this clause, “use” includes (without limitation) promote, replicate, copy, modify, enhance, sublicense, distribute, transmit, exploit, sell, rebrand and market, whether as part of Chorus’s products and/or services or otherwise, without reference or attribution to you.” http://gigatown.co.nz/terms-and-conditions

One major concern as a person in the creative arts is about ownership, copyright and attribution of created works. I have some work which is creative commons (Attribution, No Derivative, Non-Commercial) licence and others that I have chosen to have full copyright by myself.

A concern is that if a third-party submits content of mine to the competition (with or without consent), the conveyor of the competition would then have the rights to it. I reject this entirely. I reserve all rights to my own created works and I will decide who, how and where they are used and what attribution is required.

The sooner this competition is finished the better.

Paul S Allen

I am still on twitter if you are not following you are most welcome to join me, just ask

 Brilliant satire  about gigatown from John McGlashan High School in Dunedin

Summer Sunset Dunedin

Ash Wednesday – Reflection

“Remember, mankind you are dust and to dust you will return.”

You can take this message two ways.

1: We are all going to die sometime.

2: We should all make the most of today.

Live life to the full.

Carpe diem.

Paul S Allen. 

cropped-thewatersideheader940x200.jpg

Nothing like good customer service.

There’s nothing like good customer service and this is nothing like good customer service.Paulusthebrit

You the customer are under suspicion. Your actions require utmost control and under no circumstances can you enter our business with that item. We consider all people who enter our business as criminals intent on stealing our stuff. We do not care about you or your own care or safety.

This is the message I was given by the owner of a business today after I raised a concern about a policy the store has and the manner in which it was enforced.

What was the offense? My wife had a small hand bag with her.

The policy of the store was that no-one was able to enter the store with a bag (of any sort). We had the option of leaving the bag with a complete stranger at the counter in an insecure area or not go into the store.

Our greeting was not a friendly smile or even a simple “Hello” it was just “Bag please!” no option, no explanation.

We left.

After calling the store to question the policy and manner which we were treated, the owner phoned me back to explain that under no circumstances was anyone allowed in the store with a bag of any kind and that Prime Minister John Key and even the Queen would be asked to leave their bags at the counter.

When explaining that my wife has a health condition and the bag contains important contents, it was explained that we could take contents out of the bag and carry them with us. I suggested that it would be difficult to shop or browse while carrying things in our hands he said that was our problem.

I can accept the importance of store security and issues around shop theft, but the tone and treatment of the staff member and the arrogant attitude of the owner has left us never wanting to visit that shop again. We had the intention of making purchases on todays visit but we will not be going back to that establishment.

I will not name the store as I do not wish to advertise or promote its existence in any way. If anyone ever asks me for a recommendation about these types of shops I will not mention them at all and if questioned directly will explain our dissatisfaction.

One question I have about this “leave bag at counter” policy. If something goes missing or is damaged in the bag whose liability is it? For example if I leave my camera bag at the counter and someone drops a heavy item on it will the store pay the cost to repair or replace damaged items? What say someone gets given the wrong bag and it goes missing, who is liable?

The experience today has left us feeling angry and disappointed especially after the owner said it was our loss for not doing business with him. Actually it is his loss, we were going to spend money today at his shop and didn’t.

We will not be going back to that store again.

Paul S Allen

Dunedin protest against the GCSB and TICS bills

Dunedin protest against the Government Communications Security Bureau and Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) bills being pushed through parliament.
Photos by Paul S Allen – TheWaterside

Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills

Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB   TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills
Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills
Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills
Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS billsDunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills

Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills
Dunedin protest against the GCSB + TICS bills
Photos by Paul S Allen – TheWaterside

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