Brendan Carruthers [bren122]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Produce Manager in supermarkets, one of the best in the country. I am currently unemployed and am thinking about a change of career.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
Sales and Profit growth; asset management; employee management; waste management.
I start by organising the back of store areas- throw out any old material and organise the storage areas logically so that people aren't spending too much time looking for stuff. I also set up new stock controls and monitors, most of which are unique, to measure past, current and future performance and control stock movements and planning.
Next I move out into the shop and thoroughly clean and quality check the department and then redo the merchandising following the information I have gathered so that footage reflects sales.
I then use the growing information base to refine aspects of performance, concentrating on areas where improvement will bring greater results.
throughout the process I retrain staff to the new systems and begin to delegate a number of functions to them.
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
Most of my work training I had to find out for myself; i have in fact received very little formal training for my job. I find that it has helped me be more open minded about changes to the business as I have never had this idea that this is the way things HAVE to be done so I don't get upset if they change it.
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
I am trying to decide between a degree in commercial law, a degree in public policy or a degree in security and counter-terrorism.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
I am really good at the technicals and technology; organisation and computer systems are my top abilities. I am good with staff but because I am so much better at the other stuff it looks like I have problems. I probably need to delegate more but I am often not in a position long enough to really do it properly. i could definitely be more empathetic with staff; I quite often overlook their personal problems.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
My business does not run seminars or training work but i make sure that I am up to date with the latest products, technology and thinking. Definitely more of a self-taught person than willing to wait on being told things.
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
My first female department manager, my second state manager and my first independent section manager were the biggest influences. Karen showed me the advantages of being thoroughly technically prepared; Jeff gave me a lot of technical information and support when very few people were on my side; Marcelle showed me just how good I was.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
I can usually work with most personality types but I hate lazy people- both intellectually and physically lazy people frustrate me. I find that because there are heaps of untrue rumours about me I don't believe what is being said about others and that freshness of approach- the willingness to give people a chance to prove themselves without me being biased by what others have to say- means that people who are commonly thought of as troublemakers do better under my supervision. I also find that people respect the fact that I never ask people to do something that I am unwilling to do myself. I appreciate good workers but could probably be a bit freer with my praise.
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
I wanted to be a State Produce Manager but have found that I am so good at my job I have been held in high profile positions within the state in the companies I worked for. After three different companies doing the same thing i figure it might be time to take up another career to get ahead.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
There's a magazine that looks at aspects of change management and innovation that i read called Fast Thinking. I read management books regularly.
I also read various periodicals for fruit and vegetable growers but there is nothing for retailers.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
It used to scare me to death but I have found that with practice and thorough preparation I have actually gotten quite good at it. I regularly find myself addressing staff meetings and department manager meetings and the odd wedding here and there.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
Very innovative and organised; very tech savvy. I tend to be the one who introduces something or at least the one who makes something work, but my methods are not the standard way of doing things. I believe strongly in quality.
What are the things you least like about your job?
It's very much a business where personal experience can mean more than the facts; "I have been doing it this way for twenty years and i am not going to change." It is also very resistant to change and technology. More broadly, supermarkets tend to promote bullies and mates rather than people who know what they are doing.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
A hard truth is easier than an easy lie.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
I used to think that but I spend so much time at work that I don't often have time for anybody other than my wife.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
Finallist Department Manager of the Year four years running
Finallist Fruit and Vege Retailer of the Year two years running.
Finallist Mushroom Retailer of the Year two years running.
Winner Carrot Retailer of the Year and Finallist
Finalist Banana Retailer of the Year two years running
Finalist Avocado Retailer of the Year.
You Lead, They Follow by Dan Kehoe.
How do you handle customer complaints?
Listen to the customer without interrupting.
Ask questions if there are things I don't understand.
Summarize the complaint for the customer to demonstrate I do understand.
Try to fix the problem to the customers satisfaction while being aware that some people will never be happy and that some people just want to be listened to.
Make sure that the problem does not become ongoing.
What do you do to manage stress?
I discovered early on that if the customers, staff, growers, merchandisers, managers were rating my shop very highly then the odd person finding fault either couldn't be made happy or were transfering their frustrations from something else to my department. I just stopped taking the criticism of my department personally and learnt to step back and look at the complaint dispassionately to see if it was valid and what i could do about it.
During peak periods, like Christmas, I find that a thorough plan will give you more than enough energy and time to handle any problems. Panic leads to mistakes which leads to more stress.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
They forget that it is still a seasonal business and sometimes things are not available or the quality is a little off because it is being grown out of season. I also think that far too many people think that the store staff have a personal grudge against them when, truthfully, you probably wouldn't remember them from week to week.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
politics, change and innovation, world events, management techniques i have found useful, some personal thoughts.
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I liked the idea of being able to put my thoughts down somewhere, perhaps get some feedback on my ideas. I started in November 2008.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
Wordpress- mainly because it has a better referral system that connects posts with a similar theme.
Blogger- Wordpress lets me post straight to blogger where i just edit what is there.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
I actually started my blog on an internet dating site and people kept asking me to publish it elsewhere so that they could show their friends. I now publish on Blogger and Wordpress as well as the original site. I can get anywhere from 10 to 30 hits a day, but very little feedback.
How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?
It helped me work through losing two jobs this year. I also like how it makes me really think about what I write about; making sure I am writing with a grasp of the facts rather than just what I am feeling. It has also given me a greater insight into my own life and aspirations.
Have you created relationships with other bloggers or readers of your blog?
I have quite a few people who watch the blog regularly and one of these is a very friendly lady from Oklahoma. There is another guy who likes to post crap comments and picks out mistakes in a nasty manner but as it helps me improve my techniques I just let him carry on without engaging him in conversation.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I would like to post daily but I won't post if all I am putting up is crap. Sometimes I have so many ideas they sort of block each other, sometimes I just get writer's block. People have come to expect a certain quality of writing and I would rather post nothing than lower that quality.
Does blogging bring in income for you? Can one make a living from posting?
Blogger gives you the option of earning money from adverts but I don't know that the money is going to be worth any hindrances that might be applied.
How do you promote your blog?
Word of mouth mostly but I also find that mentioning it on my profiles on membership sites helps. Honestly, I have only just started to realise how much is possible with blogging.
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
Most tend to be moderates of left or right- i usually like to give a big serve to the extremists on both sides so there tends to be broad support. i think that it would also be fair to say they are mostly middle-class with middle-class values. I would have about 30 core watchers, possibly more.
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
Listverse on wordpro is the one I follow the most regularly. The Punched, also on Wordpro, is a broad spectrum Australian political site i try to read at least every second day. Slate.com is a broad spectrum, but mostly centre right, US news blog.
Have you ever received gifts for blogging about your opinion of products or services? What do you think of bloggers who do that?
That happens? I think that it is better to refuse the temptation so your blog does not end up being a long infomercial. That being said I am not going to criticise someone who makes a genuine recomendation and gets rewarded for it.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
as I learn to do more with wordpress I hope to be able to break it down into pages with the content that people are looking for being easier to find. I would also like to have guest bloggers leaving their posts on some subjects.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
Don't think that you have to enter a post every day; don't stress if you miss a few posts. It is far better to post quality every now and again than to post crap every day.
What hobbies have you got?
Reading, Blogging, Plastic models
Which actor would you like to be?
Bruce Willis- he gets the coolest parts in action films plus some good acting roles. Plus there is the old saying- women want him, men want to be like him.
If you were sent to a deserted island, which book, CD and film would you take with you?
JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings- learn to write runes and tengwar fluently when i finish reading
Joan Armatrading's Greatest Hits- a song for every mood
Dead Poet's Society.
How do you find the balance between working to live and living to work?
I am only discovering now that I have invested far too much time into work and not enough into living. I was enjoying my job success so much that now that it is gone I find I don't have a life.
In moments of tension, what techniques work in calming the mind?
I find that walking away and looking at the problem from a physical distance provides the emotional detachment to calm down. In other words I bunk off for a smoke if things really get too much.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
Chocolate crackles- reminds me of the better times of my childhood when i used to go to grandma's or nanna's for school holidays.
What is the greatest loss you have had in your life?
My brother committed suicide ten years ago; we had a lot of problems with our family and it was helpful to have somebody else to share those feelings with.
My best friend from School also went 'missing' about the same time; he borrowed some money from us to invest in a patio building business and his partner took the money and ran. the money didn't bother me, but it bothered him and my wife and so we drifted apart. i keep trying to get in contact but the money seems to be an issue still.
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
depends on my mood and what they are asking. I am always polite but if they get pushy I just hang up.
It is 5 pm on a typical Sunday: what are you doing?
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
Woodworking or the like- I can hammer a nail into a board and I can describe what I want but I wouldn't use it if I built it.
Of what are you an addict?
I am also a reformed alcoholic.
You have nine wins in a row in a game of roulette: do you continue because you are on a good run, or abandon the game because statistically, it is your turn to lose?
Well you have to call an end at some stage or else you lose anyway. Take the money and run.
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
I had a complete army uniform with pack and utility belt and a couple of really good plastic guns that lasted years (I still have the pistol, submachine gun and belt and water bottle). I dug a trench bay and bunker in the back yard and spent hours by myself or with friends playing armies.
What was your favourite primary/secondary school teacher like?
A real disciplinarian first up but that was just to establish the boundaries- he was very inspirational and you could talk to him about anything.
How did you meet your current boy/girlfriend?
I used to go out and tease the trainers who were showing the new checkout operators what was what in the department. I saw this one girl with a nice arse and when I was packing for her one day I just asked if she would like to go to the movies.
What was your first vehicle?
2 door Holden Torana.
Is there any superstition that makes you change your behaviour?
Does knowing someone's zodiac sign help you to better understand that person?
Please list something you have not yet done, but that you would definitely like to do someday.
Would love to learn how to snowboard.
To which other place in the world would you move without hesitation?
Paris- but only if i was rich enough to enjoy it.
A bad habit you have overcome.
A word or expression that you love.
A word or expression that you detest.
"I have been doing this twenty years and..."
Which animal do you prefer for company?
Dog- no matter how late you are or how shit your day has been they are always ready for a hug.
What do you imagine yourself doing for your retirement?
I hope to continue working part time- i am just not one of those people who is skilled with their hands to have my own woodwork shop or whatever.
If you were to return reincarnated, which real-life person would you like to be?
Frederick II Hohenstaufen. The Stupor Mundi.
Did God create the world in seven days, or do you believe in the theory of evolution?
I believe that God is the motive force behind the Universe but that He is so much beyond our conception or understanding we can never be sure of His role. I believe that evolution is the best theory for life on earth at the moment but it does have faults and that a better theory will appear in due course.
To what percentage do you believe in statistics?
90%- I usually check what the statistic refers to and then who has compiled the statistic.
Do you believe it is true that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity?
No- the brain does not work like that.
Using the subway without paying, shoplifting: is there excessive tolerance to these small offenses?
Yes- theft is theft and when you start defining law in terms of relativities it leads to all sorts of problems.
Does brand name influence your buying habits?
Sometimes- some items have such a reputation for quality you can't pick anything else.
Do you think tipping is a good custom?
Yes and no; if it is an expected part of the bill then it just means you're not paying your staff enough. if it is not then you can reward those who provide better than average service.
Are there too many holidays in the work calendar?
There should be one public holiday every month.
Do you think the catastrophism about climate change has been exaggerated?
YES- The Medieval Warm period was 6degrees higher than now and the world didn't end! Even at 4degrees higher it is likely that sea levels will only rise 30cms. but we still haven't seen any evidence directly linking carbon emissions to warming- shouldn't we first work out what is causing it before spending trillions.
Do you boycott brands if you learn they employ children in third-world countries or harm the environment?
I try to buy Western made products where ever possible because of concerns like this and human rights abuses. it's getting harder to do though.
Do you defend animal experimentation for the development of medicine that can save human lives?
ultimately yes, but some of the practices should be re-examined and possibly phased out.
What is your opinion of the rise in popularity of plastic surgery and implants?
It can be beneficial but doing it for the sake of pleasing someone else or doing it too often suggests that your money might be better spent on therapy.
Should more limits be established for cars within downtown areas?
We should be looking at changing the concentration of business centres in major cities to reduce environmental impacts.
Do extraterrestrials exist?
is there alien life out there- yes. Do they visit earth- unlikely. if they were really coming to observe us they would probably be far more subtle about it.
What do you currently have in your MP3 player?
Armand Van Helden
So Fresh Summer2010 and Best of 2009
Award Winning Country
Gotta go Country Vol 1,2,3
What books are you currently reading?
The Israel Palestine Conflict
World's Greatest Speaches
Speaking for Australia- Best Speaches in Australia's parliament
How Language Works
The Fabric of the Cosmos
What is that special film you never tire of watching?
Dead Poet's Society- it is like four films in one and you can just reflect on one part for hours.
What do you use: Mac or PC and why?
PC- mainly because that is what is used at work.
Do you find the saturation of advertising in the media excessive?
Listen to Public Radio and watch pay tv so i don't notice the adverts all that much.
What were your favourite subjects when you were in primary/secondary school?
Do you think video games, chat rooms, etc. have a dangerous addictive
effect on teenagers?
No, or rather it shouldn't have. I don't see how a responsible parent would let their kids devote so much time to one thing.
Have you ever bought works of art? What type of art? What compels you to purchase art?
Prints of the Rape of Lucrece and The Defence at Rorke's Drift. Fantasy works of various artists on block mounts. I love the female form, especially when it is in action or movement.
Do you defend urban graffiti?
Not a great fan but some of it isn't too bad. Just scrawling your 'sign' on a wall does not qualify. as long as it is in a place it is welcome it does not have to be a problem.
What magazines do you frequently read?
Australian and New Zealand Defender
Piracy continues to grow: What will happen to the music and film
industries and culture in general?
I think we are seeing a change in the music industry already- the big companies are putting their catalogues online cheap so that they are at least getting something. Artists will increasingly have to rely on their websites to break themselves and live performance will be an important source of revenue.
Films released on the big screen will be increasingly dominated by special effects but the quality film will find it harder to be made much less with a good budget.
What sports do you play and how often?
Work interferes with them a lot so i don't play as often as i would like.
How do you explain the rise in "fame" culture?
'Fame' culture has always been with us- Dame Nellie Melba, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain were the superstars of their day. When WG Grace came to Australia he was paid the equivalent of $500 000 just to show up.
What do you have in your wallet right now?
credit and debit cards
guides to banana and avocado ripeness
How do you kill time?
watch music videos on pay tv
In which city do you live? What are your favourite and least favourite things about it?
Love the laid back attitude of the people, hate the way the councils and state government jump on anything that is fun or interesting.
Where have you thought of going for your next holiday?
New Zealand- drive holiday
How do you define your political position? What is the ideology that inspires it?
Moderate Conservative. I believe in the rule of law and respect for the law and that leftist relativism serves only to undermine the position of the law in society. I also believe in a strong defence force, though i am opposed to conscription, and a robust foreign and trade policy that puts the broad interest of Australia first. I am opposed to tax breaks and concessions to corporations and individuals. I do support a limited provision for welfare but not for the raft of rorts that pass for welfare in this country at the moment. Government has an important role to play in society but need not be so massive or intrusive as it has become.
What matters more in deciding your vote: the party, the candidate, or the ideas?
I primarily decide my vote based on ideas but realise that in a democracy that the views of the candidate and their party will not always match mine in which case there has to be an allowance made for which will come closest to my ideas.
Do you think religion has a place in politics?
Broadly speaking no; there should be a distinct separation between church and state. However it is naive to think that a person's religious views will not play a role in their decision making process; it is when that view becomes doctrinaire and overrides their duty to the state that it becomes a problem. A religious opposition to abortion can be served by highlighting the need to reduce the number of abortions, with suggestions on how this might be done, without overturning abortion laws.
Are high abstention levels a serious problem for democracies?
They are a critical problem in democracies as it elevates extremist views and groups to positions of prominence. When the average voter feels disenchanted with the political process they will have little incentive to vote, reducing the moderating element of the middle class.
Should parties that want to eliminate democracy be allowed to participate in democratic elections?
As long as said party is not actively engaged in an armed campaign to overthrow the democracy there is no reason why they should not be allowed to make their case and have their policy voted on.
Are Right and Left obsolete concepts?
right and left remain better labels than, for example, progressives and conservatives as they define the position of the parties/ individuals without investing them with traits that do not fit. the main problem with the labels left and right is that they are too final; moderates on both sides of the divide will often have more in common with each other than the extremists on their own side. plus a member of the far right is likely to see anybody not on the far right as being of the left; the same applies to a member of the far left.
Why does hunger continue to exist in the world? Is this the result of a deliberate policy?
In pushing doctrinaire positions on self-determination and traditional agriculture the left places such considerations before the need to make some adjustments to the provision of aid. The naive view of the distribution of wealth, and the need to rebalance that wealth, often blinds the left to the realities of the situation.
What type of information should a government be able to legally maintain on about its citizens?
Whatever information is required for the efficient management of the state without being prejudiced in the use of that information. For example, the government needs to know the employment details of its citizens for taxation purposes and future development needs. It does not need to, for example, discriminate against a person because they work as a prostitute, nor does that information need to be publicly released.
What political figures in recent history do you admire most?
Brendan Nelson; Lindsay Tanner.
Two-party systems are on the rise: is this good for politics?
Two Party systems provide stability, reduce the influence of extreme elements and still allow for the possibility of a third party to rise in challenge.
Should any territory have the right of self-determination if a majority of the population votes in favour of doing so?
If the territory can provide an economic future to its people then it should be allowed to do so; the idea that every territory should have self-determination where its future is likely to be a burden to the international community in the provision of aid or military support is a non-viable alternative and the group should seek other forms of quasi-independence like autonomy or federation.
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
Certainly; but the parameters of what constitutes a crime against humanity needs to be in accord with the Geneva Conventions and attachments and be fully defensible in an international court of law.
Are we witnessing the end of the American empire?
America enjoys a unique geographical position that precludes a major attack on its own soil which means that it will always have the option of forward deployment of its military resources. Whilst America will become a player amongst a select few, until technology advances to a point where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans become milponds then Pax Americana remains the reality.
Why did the economies of communist countries fail?
Systemic corruption of the principles involved; theoretically communism should be only slightly less efficient than a market economy but it relies on an honest workforce and prioritisation. The military accounted for 25% of GDP leaving a massive shortfall in consumer products. This worked through the system with ever increasing self-interest and corruption to get what was available.
What is nationalism?
Pride in your country and in your history. It should not blind you to mistakes of the past or wrongdoing, but there is no need to completely demonise history based upon contemporary notions of justice.
Do you actively or economically collaborate with any social organization, NGO, etc.?
Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories regarding 9-11?
Are there peoples more civilized than others? Or is it merely a question of cultural differences?
This is an inherently difficult answer to give; selecting a regional civilization as an exemplar opens the question of racial politics. Western Civilization developed not because of any racial peculiarities but because of the geographical and political developments that led to its current form. The fact that Germans slipped so far from this ideal during the Nazi period is testament enough to the racial neutrality of the higher principles of western civilization- rule of law and respect for the individual.
Are there too many taxes?
Too many types of taxes- yes. The taxation system needs to be simplified and the deductions and evasions that force the adoption of new taxes need to be reduced or eliminated. Corporate and capitol taxes need to be brought into line with traditional income taxes.
Do you believe in affirmative action?
In Australia- no. If there is a concern about discrimination then this needs to be policed; setting and utilising employment targets based on criteria other than suitability dilutes quality of service position and gives rise to corruption and nepotism.
Does globalisation help in the development of the world's poorest countries, or does it perpetuate conditions of exploitation?
Globalisation does lead to better results for poorer countries as the only alternative is to remove those industries setting up in the developing world back to the developed world. Where there is a failure is in the left opposing any development when it should be promoting workers associations and unions to demand better wages and conditions.
Should a maximum limit of permissible personal fortune exist; and thereby, place limits on individual wealth?
There is no requirement for an upper limit on personal wealth. By the same token there is a need to redefine the concept that ever increasing personal wealth should be an end in itself.
Do you defend the ecotaxes?
Unless and until there is clear evidence that an ETS or a carbon tax can reduce carbon emissions then the cost of introducing such taxes would be better spent on other projects that can either reduce demand for carbon polluting industries or provide a technological solution to the problem. I do not believe in AGW, but the political reality is that the majority of people do; simply doing anything to address that concern is not the same as doing something about the issue.
Should consensual offenses such as drug use or prostitution be legalized?
Drug use is too often mythologised by the surviving few for any person to reasonably be expected to be fully informed by a media pushing a pro-choice agenda.
Prostitution should be legalized and controlled as any other industry would be. Ultimately if the person involved is voluntarily participating in the activity and is taking reasonable safety precautions then I don't see a problem.
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
While being pro-choice I do believe that there should be limits on the use of abortion. I believe that the natural cut off of 12 weeks should be enough time to decide whether or not the baby is wanted; after that it should only be provided where there is a health risk to the mother. i also believe that products that help determine genetic characteristics of the child in the early stages of pregnancy should be banned; never should an abortion be allowed because of gender, sexuality, etc. In extreme cases of disability it should be an option- but for massive neurological disfunction not for blindness, deafness, etc.
Are you in favor of or against the death penalty?
I support the death penalty for treason, espionage and for certain types of murder- mass killings and serial killings in particular but also where any degree of brutality/depravity was involved in the murder, for example rape/ murder or torure/ murder.
Should homosexual couples have the same right to adopt as heterosexual couples?
The interests of the child should be the only determing factor in decisions of adoption. If a homosexual couple have demonstrated the stability of relationship and the ability to care for a child then there need be no impediment to the adoption.
Do you believe that the world crisis can bring positive changes to social values?
Not really; the bailouts of various enterprises by the world governments have given the impression that some industries and companies are too important to fail regardless of the circumstances. This will leach out into the wider community in terms of self-interest.
What significant changes do you think Obama can bring about along his presidential term?
Absolutely none: he seems to think that he is still campaigning.
For you, what is "the good life"?
Being rich enough to have an apartment in Paris, Istanbul and Perth and just going from place to place and enjoying the local sites at my leisure- enjoy good food.
What is the secret to happiness?
Family and friends who care for you regardless of your circumstances.
Does the soul exist?
The soul does exist because there is so little genetic difference between apes and humans and yet there is a huge bridge in their sentience.
Where does science end and ideology begin?
The moment a scientist says that they can't explain the science of their theory and tells people they should trust them they move away from science and into ideology. They become a high priests protecting the secrets of their religion.
Your own definition for beauty
Beauty is not necessarily on the outside; i find that curvaceous women with pride and intelligence and sassiness are amazingly sexy.
What is God?
God is the ultimate paradox; the closer you get to defining God the further away it gets.
If the ticket price for a football match is twice the regular price for those 12 years of age or older, and your child turned twelve yesterday, what age would you say your child is?
12- a hard truth is easier than an easy lie.
If you were a millionaire, what would be your charitable work?
Building roads in Africa.
Please list three important words for the world today.
What is the best attitude to have for experiencing life and not missing out on its intensity?
Don't get caught up with regrets; if you go back to change something about the past you have to change all the good stuff as well.
On your death bed, what do you think you will regret not having done more of in life?
Played the field when younger- i was always the good friend whose shoulder was cried on or who sorted out the abusive boyfriend but i was too nice to try and use it to get their knickers off- wouldn't make that mistake again.
What will your epitaph be?
Been and Gone
Is your personality that of an investor or a spender?
More spender than saver but certainly do save.
Do you love or hate to go to stores? Why?
Depends on the store and the task. Hate having to shop for presents for some people- just difficult to buy for.
Are you in the habit of returning home with what you went out to buy, or do you spend money on other things?
non-food i do but when i go food shopping i will usually grab one or two 'comfort' treats.
Do you use the internet to shop? Do you research on the internet first and then buy in stores or vice versa?
usually research online and then buy in the shops. started to buy online for stuff like Cds and movies not available in stores.
Do you pay by credit usually, occasionally, or never? What justifies that?
Right now we use the credit card because we sometimes forget to top up the debit account from our savings. when we're working we pay cash for 99% of stuff.
Which purchase criteria do you use: what you like, the top of the line, the relationship of quality-to-price, not paying for something you do not need...?
I use quality to determine my purchases more than price- i have a pair of boots that i wear every day at work for three years. cost a bit more initially but they are worth every cent.
How is the financial crisis effecting your consumer habits?
Not the financial crisis- i quit my job because of a bullying manager. we have had to cut back on our spending.
Which do you appreciate more in a hotel room, a television or Internet access?
Television- internet is too expensive.
How do you purchase vacations, through a local travel agency, or on the Internet?
A bit of both- we head off the beaten track a bit and travel agents tend to get lost finding places that are different. we now only use travel agents for things that are hard to organise online like train passes.
How long has it been since you last bought a music CD? Where do you get the music you listen to?
i like to look at the Cd cover before buying as it gives that chance to consider the purchase you don't get online. Last bought a Cd three weeks ago.
How often do you go to the movies? Do you rent or buy DVDs? Do you download movies from the Internet?
Never go to the movies- nothing much to watch even in arthouse the last year or two. never download dvds; usually buy from the shops.
What do you do with clothes and gadgets you no longer need but are still in good condition?
donate them to charity
Do you recycle? What kind of waste is recycled where you live?
we do recycle- glass, PET bottles and newspapers, which usually fills up the recycle bin.
Bottled or filtered water? Paper or plastic bags?
Actually use tap water- the suburb we live in has really nice water from the tap.
Try to use cloth bags but keep leaving them in the car.
Do you use your area's public transportation? If you have a vehicle, what kind is it, and what do you use it for?
No- not enough security. i have a ford festiva but plan to update to a Ford Ute when i go back to work.
Do you give preference to local products over of imported?
not so much local as western and more for human rights considerations than economic.
When a product does not live up to its promises, do you make a complaint, or do you think that is just a waste of time?
the wife usually gets the fire up so i don't have to worry about it.
Do you ever buy store brands? If so, what types of products, and which not?
House Cleaning goods; tend to be gentler on sensitive skin.
What percentage of your income do you consider appropriate to save for the future?
If you inherited the equivalent of 10 years worth of your annual income, what would you invest in?
How do you master the impulse buying? What do you tell yourself?
I just have a rule that I don't buy from the checkouts.
What basic advice on money management would you/do you give your children?
save at least 10% of your wage.