Sideswipe: October 8: Ghost train to Newmarket

What are your interests?

1. Got a CV and under “interests”, the guy just wrote “breakfast”. He got an interview.
2. My favourite personal interest was someone who wrote “lion taming” on their CV. When asked
how long they had been lion taming, they said they were just interested in it, they didn’t do it. That would be far too dangerous.
3. We got a CV and one of the listed interests was “hot soup”. Another guy included a celebrity crushes section on his CV.
4. I love when candidates list hobbies. When I was working at a big law firm many of the graduates applying wrote “video games”. I guess for the younger set, it’s the new gold.

Berm free for all?

A reader from Freeman’s Bay writes: “Anybody parking within AT’s jurisdiction can park on a berm with impunity. AT parking wardens can and do ticket vehicles parked on the right in this picture if they exceed the 120 minutes limit. The vehicles on the grass can and do park there all day and will be ignored. Parking wardens have no jurisdiction over berms or any vehicles parking on them. Free parking for all! Residents object, and have been known to inflict damage on vehicles parking on the grass. Apparently it’s ‘not AT’s problem’. We are told the berms fall under some other agencies’ jurisdiction.”

Tomatoes, food for the rich

Old school teachers

1. Tom Hepburnwrites: “In the 1950s our maths teacher used to make, somewhat masochistically, the unfortunate victim hold out both hands, one cupped tightly under the other, to increase the area of pain. One day a senior boy (also a local rugby club regular and somewhat taller than the teacher) was summoned. When the strap started its downswing he flipped open his hands and the teacher whacked himself severely on his own leg. This was a cause celebre for weeks! There was I understand a fair bit less strapping after that.”
2. Gabriel writes: “I was at high school in Barkingside, Essex, in the 80s where we had a religious education teacher who claimed to have been in the marines or some such military unit and liked to come out with putdowns to us pupils like “I was in Baghdad before you were in Dad’s Bag, lad!”
3. A reader writes: “Once when I complained about getting caned at school for some overt misdemeanour, my mother snorted and said “think yourself lucky it was only the cane”. She went to school at Middlemarch, Otago in the early 1920s. If you misbehaved in class you had to take evasive action under your desk because the punishment was the teacher flicking a slate book at you like a frisbee. Little pen and paper in schools in those days.
4. Murray Brown, from Hamilton, remembers a comment on his report from the early 1970s: “Any effort put into this subject this year was a closely guarded secret”.

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