Old Hat Ed­i­to­rial

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - JIM SCAYSBROOK Ed­i­tor old­bikemag old­bikeaus­trala­sia

In to­day’s cau­tious and liti­gious so­ci­ety, it is im­per­a­tive to avoid pro­vid­ing a di­rect an­swer, no mat­ter what the ques­tion. In or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the process of sidestep­ping any ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, cer­tain words have crept into the lex­i­con and these may be trot­ted out strate­gi­cally. As an ex­am­ple, we may con­sider the fol­low­ing hy­po­thet­i­cal tele­phone call to, say, the Depart­ment for Aban­doned Shop­ping Trol­leys. “Good morn­ing. May I speak to some­one about aban­doned shop­ping trol­leys please?” “I’m sorry. That is­sue is cov­ered by our pri­vacy pol­icy.” “Pri­vacy? But I just want it re­moved from my fish pond.” “Fish pond? Oh, that would be a safety is­sue. We can­not com­ment on safety is­sues un­til the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties have been no­ti­fied and mea­sures put in place to en­sure the safety of all con­cerned.”

“The only ones con­cerned are my gold­fish. This trol­ley is block­ing their habi­tat and they are be­com­ing quite con­cerned for their wel­fare.” “Wel­fare con­cerns are cov­ered by our se­cu­rity pol­icy.” “What se­cu­rity pol­icy? We are talk­ing about fish and a shop­ping trol­ley. Who can I speak to about this?” “I’m sorry, but our con­fi­den­tial­ity pol­icy prevents us from re­leas­ing in­di­vid­ual names.” “All right. Give me an ad­dress and I will write to the ap­pro­pri­ate depart­ment.” “I’m sorry, but I am not au­tho­rised to re­lease depart­men­tal in­for­ma­tion.” “Are you telling me there is no way I can re­port this aban­doned shop­ping trol­ley?” “I am not au­tho­rised to com­ment on that, sir. You will need to speak to some­one in the ap­pro­pri­ate depart­ment.” “And who would that be?” “I’m sorry. That in­for­ma­tion is sub­ject to our pri­vacy pol­icy.” Here you see a demon­stra­tion of the sys­tems in place to pro­tect our work­force from bul­ly­ing and ha­rass­ment, gen­der bias and racism by the gen­eral pub­lic. Cer­tainly, it can start in­no­cently enough with what would ini­tially ap­pear to be an in­nocu­ous ques­tion about aban­doned shop­ping trol­leys, but by let­ting down one’s guard and pro­vid­ing di­rect an­swers to such en­quiries, the door is left wide open to ma­nip­u­la­tion of the sub­ject lead­ing to pos­si­ble se­ri­ous breaches of mat­ters of na­tional se­cu­rity, per­sonal at­tack, in­fil­tra­tion of pri­vacy, vi­o­la­tion of con­fi­den­tial­ity and gross en­dan­ger­ment of in­di­vid­u­als and groups of well mean­ing cit­i­zens and em­ploy­ees.

Clearly, this shows that it is vi­tal to avoid any form of ver­bal in­ter­course un­less the pro­po­nent and re­cip­i­ent are per­son­ally known to each other and have un­der­taken the ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing in mat­ters of safety, se­cu­rity, pri­vacy and con­fi­den­tially. And please stay on the line for a short sur­vey which will only take ap­prox­i­mately 45 min­utes. We value your feed­back.

OUR COVER The Ed­i­tor en­joys a ride on Ken Wil­son’s 1983 Honda VF750FD. See fea­ture story on P58.

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