ASK PETE! YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED (JULY 2018)

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Sometimes in life, the solution to a problem is worse than the problem itself. Meet Pete!


Pete, I run a small business locally and am alarmed by the number of people who think that snapping and tagging us on Instagram entitles them to some sort of freebie. I don’t care if you have 300 followers with nothing better to do than watch you sip a soy latte, everybody pays, right?

John, Yarraville ( via email)
Dear John, this is the paradox of the world of connectivity. It giveth on the one hand, yet taketh away by the other. You use free online platforms like ‘Facey’ and ‘Insta’ to build your brand, some awareness of your business, and to boost customer numbers, yet lament the flip side when it’s time to pay the digital piper. You’re the Metallica of cafe (?) owners, gleefully accept free exposure, but demand a crackdown when it starts to cost you a latte here or there. Let’s face it, megabytes are cheap but when it comes to cash, “Nothing Else Matters”, right?


Hello to my 2nd favourite agony Uncle! OK here’s one for you, every Friday we have to print off some reports at a local copy centre, which we’ve done for many years. It used to be quick and cheap but now that they have some new fancy machine, it seems to take longer and cost more. What gives?

Holly, WeFo (via email)
Holly I will ignore your slight and jump right into providing you with a second rate solution to your problem. It seems you are in need of an explanation of the new world order. What you (and pretty much everyone in the 21st century) are seeking is the triumvirate of technology, the pinnacle of progress, the éclat of evolution – or what I call the three F’s; Fast, Fantastic and Free. Yes it’s the digital age and we are all swimming in a constantly swirling sea of enhancement and advancement; some us with the tide and others against it. But just because your printer guy has new equipment, doesn’t automatically mean your reports will be better than they were before. Better… stronger…faster. Wait, did I just quote the Six Million Dollar Man? Classic example! He was meant to be everything we’d hoped for, but the reality was he always seemed to be saving the world in slow motion!

Probably just like your printer guy Holly, time to swim with the tide.


Pete, I’m sick of all these students complaining about paying back their fees. How else do we stop professional students and slackers from milking the system dry?

Pete, Williamstown North (via Facebook messenger)
Pete, I’ll keep this short, because the reality is, the inner-west isn’t big enough for the both of us. Anyway I’m not sure I’m with you. I myself went to university for 13 years and not once did I encounter a “professional student”, and the only slackers I encountered were the lecturers and tutors. If you want to claw back some public funds so that this government might be able to finally squeeze through tax cuts for the comfortable, that might be your best bet!

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