Me and my Dissertation 2017 … Beginning again


I want to start a series of posts about my Dissertation. I am going to e-mail these blogs to some people, people to whom I want to stay accountable until my Dissertation is finished. Readers who also want to challenge me to finish my Dissertation, are welcome.
I am goint to try to blog every two weeks about how I am doing.
These posts will be short. Of course it must not keep my away from the actual work of writing my Dissertation. Sometimes it will be in the style of a blog post and sometimes in the style of a letter – depending on what I write first.
This series will be in two languages – Afrikaans and English. I have two blogsites – an Afrikaans blog and an English blog. I want to have people from both sites to go on this journey with me. I write in Afrikaans first, and then I translate it to Afrikaans. I expect that my writing style will change in this translation. The email version will be one document. [You are welcome to read both blogposts; I will include both links.]
The reason for this decision? I have come to realise over the years that there are truth in the teaching that we are part of a community of people, that we can’t function optimamly [I hope there are a word like that!] outside of that community (That is also a reason for the choice of part of my Dissertation theme). I also experienced that, with some projects, I need a community of people.
Each person’s community differs. For the sake of this Dissertation, there are a few Theology students, as well as some current pastors that I want to “use” in my community. I am mailing this to people without even getting their permission to be part of this community. If you don’t want to be part of it, please let me know.
I am writing this post before I even know whether I will be allowed to finish my Dissertation through University channels. I started in 2007 at Tukkies. I finished my degree within 4 years. After that (2011), I started with my church-specific degree. {I can’t actually remember which one is MDiv and which one is BTh; I am sure someone will comment about this.}
Different things happened that caused me not to finish my dissertation earlier. In following posts I will share more in this regard – as part of my own process of transparency.
I have works on it over the last few months. It is not on an academic standard, though. In Rustenburg, I had three pastors (Riaan Steyn, Herman Jansen and Pieter Jordaan) who has helped me correct my standard and style. My hope was to get as much work as possible done, maybe even up to 75% or more, before finding out whether I can register again. I never realised how much of the sources I photocopied. [After all, students know that they have to make copies of parts of their sources if that don’t want to or can’t work in the library.] As a result of some wrong methods of referral (wrong or incomplete), my dissertation went from 45% done, to 15% done.
That is why I need to register as a student again – so that I can get into the library.
This is my first hurdle toward finishing my dissertation. Will I be able to register as a student again, dispite already registering for this specific part of my studies 2 or 3 times already?
It is amazing (maybe I should have realised this) how much of the student-processes a person forgets if he/she doesn’t go to campus anymore. So I am a little unsure how to find out whether I can register again.
I’ll keep you posted.

My new business


So I have done it. I started a new business. A printing business. I called it FdL Printing.

And I think I started it at possibly the worst time ever. On every single talk show about money or (small) business, people talk about how financially tough the world has gotten. How extremely tough it is to start a new business. And I did it to myself.

So, here I am, with a new “baby”. I don’t have the faintest of ideas how to build it further.

I know to advertise it. I post regularly on Facebook – both my personal profile and my business’ page.At this stage, I only do printings on mugs. I am also doing business cards, even though that is not my main focus. I am also available to do photoshoots.

So, if you have any questions, visit my Facebook page. I will also start building the blog page soon. Email FdL.Printing2016@gmail.com, or phone me (that is Freddie) at 0715427026.

Please note that I operate from Rustenburg, North West province, South Africa.

My open letter to Vodacom… for what it’s worth


Dear Vodacom

I am frustrated. I do not understand what you mean when you talk about “Customer Care”.
Last night (27 October 2016), I lost about R43 worth of airtime. But let me go back a few hours.
In the afternoon, about 15:00, I needed to buy data. Vodacom used to know what I love. There used to be an offer to be able to buy 100MB data for the day until 23:59 (which I already think is a reason to use #datamustfall – sorry, that is how I feel!). That offer seems to have fallen away. The “best offer” these days seems to be R15 for 200MB for the day until 23:59. So I bought that. Before using the data, I wanted to make sure that I received it. So I checked my balance via *100#. I saw I had about R45 airtime and 200MB data. (I say “about R45”, because I remember the R45 part; it could have been R45,15 or R45,41 or whatever).
I switched on my data, and downloaded what I needed, including to documents of over 500 pages. I switched it off straight afterward. Later in the day I downloaded a book. All these I did on my tablet, using my data on my phone, by using my phone as a hotspot. I did also make a call of less that 60 seconds.
I checked my data after all of this, and saw I still I had about R43 airtime left, as well as about 123MB.
Now, as I stated, I bought 200MB for R15. I wasn’t about to not use all my data, or at least 175 of the 200MB. I do not like to waste, in effect, R8-something on data that I did not use.
So I checked whether I still had data left. I did have some data left, about 118MB, as well as those R43-something airtime.
I switched on my mobile data, and turned my hotspot on. And downloaded three small documents, not even 20 pages, and saved some Wikipedia pages. All the while, I kept checking when I received that SMS that says “you have less than ??MB data left”.
When I got the message that I have less than 30MB left, I did three things. I checked my balance again. I still had that, about R43 airtime and about 28.50MB left. So the message wasn’t wrong. Then I switched off my hotspot and then my mobile data option.
I wanted to make sure that it was off, so I checked my data again. I saw that I have R0 airtime and 5.00MB left.
I would like to know: How is this possible? How did I loose more than R40 airtime, and still have data left? How did I loose all that, even though I switched off my hotspot and mobile data after I received that message that I still had about 30MB left?
Yesterday isn’t the first time that something like this happens.
About two weeks ago, a similar thing occurred. I even sent a complain to your Facebook page, someone replied to me to write an email, and I received correspondence back. Of course, it appeared to be my mistake, as usual. [I have come to realize that Vodacom is never wrong.]
For yesterday’s incident, I have this service request number: A2-1XFB-LSE148 [One of the reasons I will be posting this on my Facebook, WordPress, and writing to media, is because the amazing promise that I will have to wait up to 2 working days for work being done; tomorrow is weekend, so if this isn’t resolved by tomorrow, that will mean I will have to wait for 4 days, IF the problem might be solved by Monday.)
I have a reference number for the email correspondence as well: 001F9aBYXDGQ57NC.
About three weeks ago, I had a similar issue again. Unfortunately, that issue wasn’t logged, since I didn’t ask for a service request number. In fact, when I was talking to the “Customer Care” agent last night, she couldn’t even find a call log for that time.
I am only a small customer. So I guess you will not go through a lot of trouble with this.
In fact, I predict that someone, somewhere in your “Customer Care” department will find a way to tell me that I am, in effect, the reason why I loose my airtime in this way. You will find a way not to be responsible – even if I checked my balances throughout the time I was using my data.
I will be posting this on my blog, and share a link to it on my Facebook. I am saying this merely for your knowledge, since I would like to have people know about the way you take airtime from customers.

I wanted to type “Kind Regards”, as is the norm in letters, but that would not be true.
Freddie

Open letter to companies: How about having the correct change in your tills?


I do not plan to make my personal open-letter-movement a movement of constant complaining and fault-finding.

This letter, though, will be a little complaint.

 

Dear companies (at lack of having a better addressee)

I have a problem. When I pay, there are always one of two things that happen on my till-slip. 1.) The prices of items are rounded to the nearest 10c; 2.) Prices are 99c, but the till immediately calculate the total price to a “cash rounding” of (for an example) 10c if the amount payable was 19c.

Thank you very much for this “cash rounding” (I call it a “discount”).

Here is my problem. Why is it that sometimes, when my slip say R2-10 change, I only get R2 change? Sometimes my slip would even say R2-40, and I will still only get R2 change.

Is that a new view on “cash rounding”. I know what it really is: The person at the till most likely doesn’t have the correct change in the till; or worse, he/she doesn’t care enough to give me the correct change.

I have worked it out. On a quite day, when a there are only 25 customers at one till during a day, and each customer gets 10c short changed, that till makes a “profit” of R2-50. (I think I am aiming low when I talk about 25 customers). Many big shops has about 10 tills. So multiply that R2-50 by 10, and that shop would make R25 a day, and in a month of 30 days: R750. Again, this would be a very quiet month for even an average small shop. (If a shop serves only 25 customers a day, I will gladly give an extra 10c, especially if the service is good).

Please, all owners of shops around the country, could you make sure that the tills in your shops have the correct change? Every time I get “short-changed”, I feel like an idiot to actually ask for my change.

I mean, R2-50 a day might not be a lot to you, but if I give every place I buy an extra 10c, I will pay an extra R20-25 a month to your shops. (Again, maybe not a lot to you, but that is enough for one week’s milk for me, at current prices).

 

Kind regards

One of your dear customers

“Old” blogs on my reading list…


I like lists. I like making lists.

I like blogs. I like reading blogs.

And I wanted to start making a short list [purely for my own interest] of the blogs that I have regularly read over the past 12-36 months. I don’t always comment on all the blogposts that I read.

So, following, is a list of those blogsites that I regularly read, and to whom I am subscribed.

This is the first blog I subscribed to, and it is still one of my top 5 sites to read. Cobus doesn’t overflow you with posts. Whenever he post, it feels fresh and well-written. If you want Theology that (really!) meets real life, this is a must-follow blog.

I came across this blogsite about 6 months ago. Jory challanges readers to think again the way women should be treated in ministry. [I don’t know whether she will want to be seen as a feminist; I don’t really know when someone is a feminist, so I don’t want to label her one.]

I don’t know if this can be counted as a blog, but I count it as a blog. It is a great place to read analysis of, especially, South African news. It is in depth, and very well written. The amount of contributors is excellent. The views are well-balance (in my own opinion). Well worth the read.

 

Open letter to myself: Becoming part of the “Open letter” community


A few years ago I became aware of the so-called “Open letter”.
I first encountered it on Daily Maverick’s Opinionista pages, in the form of letters by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, which was called “Let’s Talk Frankly”.

Since then, I noticed open letters from politicians, musicians, artists, and many others. I saw that these letters are written for many different reasons and to different people (sometimes individuals, and sometimes groups).

People like FW de Klerk en Thabo Mbeki and Mmusi Maimane has recently written open letters. I remember Steve Hofmeyr once writing an open letter. Recently, I read about an open letter by a company (Skywise) to a government (South African President, to be precise). Even journalists has written a few open letters.

In my search, I came across “An Open Letter to Writers of Open Letters”, by Teddy Wayne, which appeared in “The Morning News”. And when I Googled “an open letter to writers of open letters”, I came across a few of these letters. Two mention two: Open letters by Charlotte Alter and Jennifer Fliss.

I decided that I also want to start writing open letters.

In his open letter, Teddy Wayne writes in his first paragraph: “To those who feel compelled to address the world from Facebook, Twitter, and email chains, here is a message: No one is listening, least of all Luther Vandross.”

So, as I join the community of Open Letter Writers, I already wonder: Will my letters be read?

To be truthful, I don’t really care. I will be writing my open letters to organizations and people who “influence” me in some way. I will write these letters more of a way to get my frustrations and joys aired. I will never shame someone, because that is not my style. I might complain about service by companies or share my thoughts on certain events.

I realize, as I write this, that many blog postings can seem like open letters anyway. I would venture a guess that most people who write a blog, want people to read it – the more, the merrier. These letters I will be writing, will be called “open letters”, to make a little differentiation on my other postings.