Since 2010

Realtors should be nicer

Friday 26 April 2013

The process of finding an apartment to rent in a city goes something like this:

  • scour the big real estate websites looking for whatever it is that you’re looking for
  • contact the agents for the places you’d like to view
  • visit the apartments at the arranged time
  • rinse and repeat

Pretty straightforward. But here’s my advise: expect nothing from real estate agents. Don’t expect them to return your calls. Don’t even think about emailing them. Don’t assume that they’ll show up at the viewing time.

Now don’t get me wrong - not all realtors are useless. In fact some of them are bloody brilliant, and that’s kind of the point I’m heading towards. Last time I went through this I viewed two apartments in the same building. They were identical units, with the only differences being the floor they were on - one was on the top floor of the building with slightly better views that the other one, and the rental price reflected this.

But the realtor for the more expensive apartment was shit. She didn’t care. Conversely, the realtor for the identical-but-cheaper unit was brilliantly eager to show us around and tell us all about the area.

And here’s the punchline - we would have absolutely gone for the more expensive apartment if the bubbly realtor was the agent for it. There’s no way we wanted to deal with her competitor. And if I was the owner of the more expensive unit and ever found that out I’d be super pissed off about losing potential tenants like that.

So real estate agents, how about being a bit nicer to potential clients eh?

No parking

Sunday 21 April 2013

Sign found in the car park reading "No parking here fuck head"

A wee notice found in the car park in our building. I’m not sure this is the most neighbourly way to solve a parking dispute…


Friday 12 April 2013

I bought a car. I think we all knew pretty early on into this whole Australia thing that I wasn’t in a hurry to return to Scotland.

Baby change RH

Monday 18 March 2013

Sign reading "Unisex Toilet & Baby Change RH"

Nobody knows what the “RH” stands for on this sign.

ISO 8601

Thursday 28 February 2013

I’m a huge fan of the ISO 8601 standard, which describes an international standard for the display and exchange of dates and times. This xkcd comic highlights one of the common problems.

But there’s a super-handy bonus reason to use YYYY-MM-DD: because the format goes from most to least significant component, the dates are easy to sort. This rule continues to hold true if you keep going with the ISO and add times. As long as the dashes, colons and spaces are all consistent, the date effectively becomes a big integer which increases with the date and time.

For example, a file titled File 2013-02-28 19:56 would, if sorted in ascending order, correctly appear before a file created at a later time (2013-02-28 20:03) or a later date (2013-10-01 11:34).

So that’s settled - we must all stop using DD/MM/YYYY, and the even more illogical format of MM/DD/YYYY.