ASK PETE – YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED!

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Groundhog day is here – and so is Pete as he carries on telling you “what you should do”!

Pete we have a “flexi-time” arrangement at work, which is great but one of our team seems to be taking advantage of the system, working an extra 15 or 20 minutes early and late every day so they can build up enough time to do personal stuff 3 or 4 times a week, like attend 2 hour yoga classes over lunchtime. I know it sounds all work-life balance and everything, but the office is just about in lock-down at the moment because this team member (lets just call her Jan) is never here when we need her! What would you do?

Karlie, Williamstown Beach (via email)

Karlie, here’s what I would do – I would run the office just as if Jan was there (even though she’s not). Yes that’s right, schedule supplier visits, re-design the corporate website, bring the guys from logistics over from Lithuania and show them a good time. Chat by the water cooler. Do cakes. Have your meetings anyway. The recalcitrant Jan, not present to contribute (read defend herself), will return fresh from Savasana to find that she has been allocated all the tasks that you, Cathy from accounts, and Jack from the warehouse do not want to do. Think about it! How long has that toilet on the second floor been leaking? When was the last time the fridge down in the loading bay got cleaned? Certainly not since Graham’s veggie lasagne defrosted all over the bottom shelf! And the Pièce De Résistance? You can even have Jan’s office! No more looking out at that car park over the back for you! Unless of course Jan is your boss. In which case forget everything I just said. Sorry, you’re screwed.


Maybe you can help with my first world problem Pete. After some recent staff departures at work we have found ourselves with a temp CEO who, among other things, insists we pay $2 to interrupt him anytime he is in his office. The world has gone mad!

Danni, West Footscray (via Facebook Messenger)

You might not remember swear jars Danni, but your temp CEO surely does. Back in the day, any time a “bum”, “suck” or “damn” came out of our mouths, our hands would be slapped as they headed into our pockets to find five cents for the swear jar. What seems to be playing out in your office is just a panacea for the current over officious ills of our world, and unfortunately you’ve been thrust into your current role as buffer for the rest if us from the next wannabe dictator. Tony Abbott used to do this you know. So did ScoMo. Donald Trump still does it – though he has the good sense to charge $200 a pop. Hey maybe there’s your solution Danni, drop $200 in the jar, and then you and your proletariat work chums can own that little tyrant for a week!


Pete I’m a little disturbed by the addition of self-checkout at the Coles supermarket. I did it once, and as I was walking away it occurred to me that I just done Coles’ job for them, and for free!

Nicole, Yarraville (via email)

Nicole you may have been doing Coles job for them, but you didn’t actually do it for “free” now did you? Those peanuts, you know the ones that are $8.99 a kilo? They looked suspiciously like pistachios, which as most people know are gold-plated, and should scan through at about $400 per kilo. The seventeen 1 litre bottles of organic virgin truffle oil? Pretty sure that beep only went off once or twice as those little suckers went from your basket to your recycled Hessian shopping bag. And the 3 kilos of “farmed cod” on special at $9.99 a kilo? Ah yes, cod does tend to look a bit like “Australian Wild Banana Prawns”, on special currently at $69.99 a kilo. You’re not fooling anyone Nicole…

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