Friday, September 30, 2011

New Faces

Last night's QandA panel (er... well, caught up with it online last night)

(1) Janet Albrechtsen. Heard of her. Conservative columnist. Much better looking than expected. She has class. Sharp of mind, she should be on the panel more often.

(2) Rob Oakshott. Independant federal politician from NSW. To call him a political lightweight would be praise indeed. Very few people Mine Host would term "moron", very few (not saying he is one.....) The man apparently won every booth in his electorate at the recent federal election. My forecast: At the next election he'll lose at every polling booth. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand the mentality of rural areas (real rural areas, where everybody has a rural job, not hobby or alternate farmers). The fellow was braying on (like a donkey) that the "age of the independant" has arrived. With no sense of irony, this came from the lips of the man whose actions have ended the "age of the independant". Bob Katter excepted, come the first election, there is unlikely to be one independant in any state or federal parliament. This has proved to be the case so far.

(3) Helen Coonan. Political heavyweight. Former minister in the Howard government. Little was done to draw out of her all that she could contribute to a panel discussion.

(4) Some fellow whose name has already been forgotten. A minister in the current federal government. Political lightweight. Former union hack. Couldn't even keep foul language out of his casual panel comments. No class, no style. He means well, but has been promoted above his level of competence. Shows how little talent the federal government has available.

(5) Mark McInnes. An actor, though haven't seen him in any show/production. He writes a column for the Courier Mail. Thoughtful & interesting fellow.

The usual host was away this week. This need not be a bad thing. He was replaced by Virginia Trioli. She has learned from last time & did a far better job than when last she ran the show. She drew some of the panel out quite well.

Big mistake this episode: Not having one of the early questions asked by a good looking sort planted in the audience.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't break the law, Just make your own instead!

Mine Host is caught up in litigation with his landlord, a merchant bank.
"McBank" is the uncrackable code name that shall be used for this bank.

The case swings on a (very thick) contract. The contract is so thick it is stapled & bound in what looks for all the world like heavy duty sticking plaster.

Specifically the case swings on a few clauses (as it always does).
The pages upon which these clauses are printed are not endorsed with the Mine Host's signature or initials.

This is because a sheaf of about 20 pages has been added to the contract, after it was signed.

All pages show the wear & tear of having been unbound, unstapled then restapled & rebound. Except of course the inserted pages, which not only are pristine, they are a slightly different colour.

Every original page in the contract is endorsed with Mine Host's signature or initials. The newly inserted pages are not.

It is clauses found amongst these newly inserted pages that will hang Mine Host.

And hang him they do. McBank produces a fax they purportedly sent announcing that they will be inserting after the fact new clauses into the contract.

The existence of the "fax" and the altered contract were unknown to Mine Host until they were provided as part of Discovery. Until that moment, he had been unaware of their existence.

Mine Host's lawyer ruefully advised that the "fax" meant that the (effectively entirely new) contract was valid, and there was no choice but to roll over.

If Mine Host is ever in the big city with a skinful of rum, God Help any person in his proximity who declares they are an executive of McBank.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Best Mushroom Recipe Ever!

Motivation: Charming reader Ellie the Kitchen Wench has posted a link to a recipe for mushroom appetisers.

Action: Wayside Tavern chefs received snap instructsions & have just cooked Three different mushroom appetiser recipes.

Purpose: To compare the Three recipes for taste & presentation.

Result: The Mushroom, Tofu & Chicken Dumplings are exquisite!

Pretenders: Walnut & Mushroom Pesto tart, and Herb stuffed Mushroom.

History: The Wayside Tavern is no stranger to herb stuffed mushrooms, for years we've been making them for functions. These are nice. The tart is also very very good, not something we've made much of in the past, but we'll consider it again.

Winner: The Mushroom Tofu & Chicken Dumplings are first class! The staff & passing guests have all (with one or two exceptions, who will be dealt with later) voted it winner!
1st Mushroom Tofu & Chicken Dumplings
2nd Daylight
3rd Herb stuffed mushroom
4th mushroom & walnut pesto tart

Instructions for Readers: (this means you) These three recipes are in contest run by the mushroom growers assn. Go right now to the contest website and vote for the Chicken, Mushroom & Tofu Dumplings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

$15,000 - $20,000 - $30,000 - How much is it worth?

Unnoticed by the lay public, the federal government since (the change of govt in) 2007 has been most erratic in its shotgun approach to immigration policy.

Dictated to by the Trade Union movement (a collective mentality that is far from forward thinking) the new government immediately made drastic changes to the sponsoring employer's obligations for "457" (temporary business skilled entry) visas.

That it is visa subclass number "457" may be a hint that there are visa subclasses aplenty. Off the top of my head I currently employ people who are variously on, 010, 119, 417, 457, 485, 573, or 857 visa subclasses. Were I to bother opening the filing cabinet I'd almost certainly find a few more subclasses currently on the payroll.

A few ill-researched & one-sided articles in newspapers, prior to the election, and your average unthinking lay person may have had the impression that a "457 visa" was effictively a return to slave labour, whereby an employer could bring in "loads" of people from overseas, pay them below subsistence wages for long hours of work, and keep them locked up in a corrugated iron shed on the jobsite.

Such events (rare) are of course already breaches of both existing Industrial Relations law, and of the sponsors existing obligations under the immigration act.

Of course, making drastic changes to sponsoring employer's obligations is not going to affect employers who are wont to treat their staff in nasty manner.

However....... under pressure from trade unions, the government changed the requirements for visa subclass 457.
No other subclass was touched.

Sponsoring anyone on visa subclass 457, a time consuming & expensive exercise at the best of times, and done only in sheer desperation, became a legal liability that could lead to bankruptcy of the sponsoring employer.

457 visas were dropped by employers, like a hot potato.

The unions were happy with their first step in the direction of a renewed "White Australia Policy"
The government was happy ("We sure showed those mongrel bosses a trick or two!")

Employers desperate for staff (where else do you get 'em?) commenced using different subclasses of visa. Many of these, instead of being merely temporary entry, are effectively instant citizenship.

What had been a working system of temporary skilled entry, became a black market, by shady immigration & employment agents, selling Australian citizenship to completely unqualified, & more or less unvetted queue jumpers.

As soon as they land in Australia they can walk away from both their sponsor and their obligations. And they do, absconding once in-country, as the Immigration dept (govt) is not seen to enforce, or even care about, people who breach the conditions of their visa.

No wonder there is a black market in citizenship. The price started at $5,000 but as soon as the gypsies realised what a goldmine it was (i.e. how much people are prepared to pay for Australian citizenship) the price skyrocketed.

From a standing start, via this blackmarket, it takes less than a year to become an Australian Permanent Resident. With citizenship to follow automatically.

Or the federal government could make the 457 visa subclass back into what it was designed to be, in the process killing off the brutal penalties for the sponsoring employer.

After all, they've just changed the English language & work permission conditions for student visas. To prop up the jobs of university academics.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Professional Journalist

The local newspaper runs a news article about me. A most inaccurate & unfair article. The entire article is fabricated subjective assumptions and is bristling with lies. It is very surprising that the newspaper printed it.

The article seems vaguely familiar.

Then recognition dawns! It is almost word for word a transcript of what Mr. Motelier was spitting at my doorman early that morning.

It transpired that Mr. Motelier had lurched drunkenly home, taken two-finger aim in the general direction of the keyboard, and put what he had been saying into an email, one spattered wiht the spellngi anf puntcuaiton errora of the drunkn typist, then sent it to the "newsroom". (Hick newspapers in yokel towns don't have newsrooms, they have one room of desks, with about 5 open-plan cubicles.)

The senior journalist at the newspaper had printed it word for word. In that same day's edition. And put her own name on the byline.

The 2-i-c and I had a rather unhappy interview with the senior journalist, where she backed herself further into a corner.

None of what she had written (correction: what had been ghostwritten for her by a drunken motel owner) was true, and could easily be demonstrated to be untrue.

Her story unravelled quite easily. Journalists often aren't good debaters, particularly when they are defending a lie. She had written about what happens inside the Wayside Tavern and on Front Street, between 2 and 3 am.

When asked what she thought of the atmosphere inside the Wayside Tavern at that time of morning she (the "journalist" who had put her name & reputation alongside the research & writing of the article) reacted in a most superior manner:
"I'd never go into your grotty pub at that time of night"

And the words came from her own mouth. It was too easy. Getting her to say it wasn't even challenging.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Professional Motelier

About 1am the owner of the motel staggers accross the street to the Wayside Tavern & stands facing the doorman.

It looks good when replayed on camera. The motelier lurching erratically accross the street, then stands swaying like a palm tree in a strong wind.

By the look of him he's got an entire bottle of scotch inside him.

After a short time (possibly to remember where he was) he begins to berate the doorman. It looks fantastic on camera, stabbing finger pointing, swaying on the feet.

He is carrying on about the "damage done to the street" by the Wayside Tavern. He alleges that drunks are lurching along the street at all hours of the night, that after we close there are people "pouring onto the street, vomiting everywhere, throwing empty beer bottles into gardens, smashing windows" and so on.

The only drunk we've seen on the front street, at any time of the day or night, is Mr. Motelier himself.

None of the allegations are even possible. There are no "gardens" in the CBD, our patrons do not exit onto that street, nor do people carry "beer bottles" out of the Wayside Tavern late at night.

Finally Mr. Motelier, seeing he is not getting anywhere with the doorman, loses his bundle completely & storms off, lurching back accross the street to home.

The camera replay demonstrates that his sense of direction hasn't improved any in the half hour he's spent sobering up at our front door.

Heaven only knows what got into him.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bankruptcy III


The longest 3 weeks of my life.
Now I can sleep again.

I'll allow another week for anybody to guess what the strife was.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a Police Officer, I Know Best!

The police "flying squad" (or whatever they are called) of "liquor compliance" officers are in town. These police operate independently to the actual Liquor Licencing dept.

Liquor Licencing cannot be happy with this police squad going around creating havoc, leaving it its wake the impression that it is in cahoots with the Liquor Licencing Division.

The bar manager is at the door, in conversation with the two police "liquor compliance" officers.

A young man fronts up to the door, ready to come in.

One of the "flying squad" officers steps forward & declares the young man "too intoxicated" to be served, and that we must not let him into the pub.

It was a stupid call. The young man had certainly been drinking, but unduly intoxicated he was not. He was a nice young country fellow, wouldn't have been a problem in a pink fit.

We could have ignored the police officer's "suggestion", and enforced our decision to admit the young man. But in the interests of good police relations we didn't.

The only outcome? A decent young man had his evening ruined.

Not only did the police officer have an abrasive attitude and a nasty mentality, he had poor judgement.

Almost every staff member saw what happened. None of them believed the young man was intoxicated.

"And they wonder why they are called Pigs" summed up one of the girls, under her breath.

What the staff saw was a police officer too stupid to judge if someone was blithering drunk.
The astute staff saw a police officer callously lying, then using his badge to enforce that lie.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Ain't Got No Jurisdiction....!

Police, particularly the more clueless, may have it in for the pub trade. However there is one demographic in Australia for whom the police seem to really have a special dislike.

The Army.

Put simply: Police loathe soldiers.

Why do the coppers have it in for the army?

Perhaps because civilian police have no power over the armed forces. In a garrison town it may be different, but in the bulk of the nation, if the local copper locks up a solider, nothing much will happen to him, apart from the MP's get a drive in the country to pick him up & then drive him back to the battalion.

That arrested soldier may be officially in trouble, but unless he has actually committed a crime, he'll be viewed somewhat favourably by the MP's, as like all of us, they don't mind:
Forgoing a couple of day's square bashing and saluting.
To go for a drive to the bush & back.
In what is effecitvely their own private Landrover.
With no superior officer in sight.

Of course, if the local coppers pick up a soldier in a garrision city & lock him up, and the MP's have to come & get him, that soldier is in more strife than Flash Gordon.

If a country copper locks up a soldier, there had better be a good reason. Youthful exuberance that does not extend to any actual damage (which is 99% of street or liquor offences) is not enough reason for a junior police officer to start something that will go all the way to the Commissioner's office.

Thus the police are impotent. And soldiers know it, but usually don't press the matter unless the police get out of hand, which police sometimes do.

How much do police actually loathe uniformed soldiers who are out for a drink? They detest them with a passion. The dislike runs deep, is mostly hidden (even some police wives are unaware of it) and the police hatred, when you see it exposed, is confrontingly shocking in its violent intensity.

Unless the soldiers actually assault someone, or commit some other tangible offence, all the police can do is scream at them. Soldiers know they have the option of ignoring the screaming.

It doesn't help the police mood that in such situations they are usually outnumbered by at least 30-to-1. By fit young men. Who have been drinking. And the nearest policeman may be a couple of hours away if he can be bothered waking up to answer the phone.

I've seen it play out a few times. I'm for the soldiers. Very pleasant to watch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mastermind it is Not

Mine Host has, for quite some time, been an occassional watcher of the ABC TV show "Q & A"

Beings sans TV it is watched online, in arrears. The benefits of online catch-up are twofold:
(a) The rolling feed of twitter comments accross the bottom of the screen are too small to read, thus the viewing experience is enhanced.
(b) One can keep the show minimized, bringing it up only when it sounds as if it is getting interesting. Thus one can catch the show without having to sacrifice an hour of one's life.

Last Night's panel:
(1) Some previously unknown philosopher. There is a reason he is unknown. His name is already forgotten. His contribution won't be noticed or missed.

(2) Jim Wallace. Former commander of the army's mechanised brigade, former commander of the SAS Regiment. He certainly didn't rise to high command by mistake. He exuded the quiet confidence of a competent achiever. Now a christian lobbyist, but one with his two feet firmly on the ground. Didn't speak any rot, however he has yet to re-jig his points to fit them into a brief soundbite. The student/unemployed contingent of the audience considered him a laughing stock. Considering the (cough) contribution made to the world by students and/or unemployed makes one wish Samurai were still allowed to test the sharpness of their blade by arbitrarily lopping the head off the occassional unworthy whose path may cross theirs.

(3) Kristina Keneally. Former premier of NSW. Didn't realise until this show what an intellectual lightweight she is. It is beyond comprehension that one so shallow was elevated to premier. Of course, she only got the position because the party had no hope of being reelected, and putting up as leader someone who looked very rootable was the only trick they hadn't yet tried. Her contributions to the panel were nothing more than fluff. She has no depth, and certainly no ability. Mine Host will struggle for years with how a political party could promote an uncredentialled airhead such as her to the job of leadership of the nation's most populous state.
She has nothing positive to contribute to any discussion.

(4) Cristina Rad. A Romanian V-logger. Very attractive, and not as clueless as some of the token hot young babes who are invited onto the show. Yet to make her contribution in life, she is a young woman very angry at the world.

(5) Gerard Henderson. The token conservative (though last night sharing the role with Jim Wallace) apt to succinctly point out hypocrisy & inconsistency in the arguments of his detractors, he is not one to debate against without being fully prepared.

Each week there is a supposed theme (last night there was no obvious theme). Questions are taken from the audience & from online submissions. The questions are carefully vetted & the entire show choreographed.

Possibly intended to be a serious current affairs forum, the show in practice it has turned out to be more of a tragicomedy. And that is before it began its current long slide to triviality.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Misguided Nanny State

One of the more misunderstood current affairs topics in Australia at the moment is "poker machine pre commitment".

A proposal by the minority federal government, prompted by one independant politician who holds the balance of power.

Each gambler will have to apply for & be granted a "gambling card", similar to a driver's licence or credit card.

Before commencing gambling, the player will "pre-commit" an amount they are prepared to lose, & their card will not allow them to play beyond that point.

So the theory goes. And so the theory will fall apart in practice.

It will work about as well as a similar system that would limit, say, the number of cigarettes a smoker may purchase.

There will however be quite an impact upon poker machine revenue.
Applying for the gambling card will deter overseas tourists. Carrying around the card (never mind applying for it) will deter the casual/discretionary punter.

The deadline set for introduction of appropriate technology is 2014. There isn't yet a machine developed that will be compliant with the new technology.

It won't be possible to manufacture, ship, & install a replacement machine for every poker machine in the country. Never mind the lead up time to develop a pre-commitment compliant machine.

And it isn't just a matter of developing a new machine. An entirely different machine will have to be developed for each state. For each state has different computer protocols & (insert secret computer jargon here) methods of communication.

Actually a second machine will have to be developed for each state, as in each state the casino protocols & computer communication languages are different from those in pubs/clubs.

Once a machine is developed it isn't a matter of, say, converting a NSW machine to Qld protocols. They have to start development all over again from scratch. This is why a game you will see in NSW does not appear in Qld until a year or so later.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

18 is the right age.

Who are Queensland Police? Someone has asked.

They are the police in the state of Queensland. Each state makes its own laws, and has its own police force. The police officers are "lifers" in their respective forces.

The police are a disciplined, uniformed service, that one is sworn into.
A serving police officer may be posted, or transferred to any police station in the state.

The state is 1,800 miles long, and 1,200 miles wide.

Most police officers join as 18 year olds, direct from high school. Recruiting shortfalls of recent years have led to a portion of the annual recruit intake being older. This is not always received well by those who have joined at 18.

Incredibly, at a public meeting the Station Commander (he joined the force aged 17) in a grave tone of voice told us all what dark times are ahead for the public, now that the force is accepting recruits aged in their 20's.

Most police officers are posted to my town for only a couple of years. This includes the station commander.

The police are answerable to nobody in the community, only to the police hierarchy, run from the capital city, a thousand miles or more away. It is like dealing with any other government department full of lifer public servants.

All the police live together, in their own street behind the police station. Single police live in a barracks, married police in a row of police cottages. Nobody else lives in that street, they all back onto the police station.

I have never seen any other living arrangements for police. Except in towns where they go one step further & live inside a fenced compound, which really exacerbates their "them & us" mentality.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Selling Private Information

"Hey mate, can you gimme her phone number?"

We'd hear this at closing time probably 4 times each night. It is spoken in a conspiratorial whisper, as we shove 'em out the back door.

Half the boys who come into the pub are panting over one of the staff, Racquel. Polynesian, and incredibly beautiful, she looks very like Catherine Bell (TV star, was in a show called JAG for years) Except Racquel is 18, very attractive, with a very demure manner. And much much slimmer than Catherine Bell.

She bestows a lovely smile, all the boys think they are in with a chance, that the smile she gives them is more special than the smile she gives to all the others.

But she doesn't give them her phone number, only a sweet smile.
Hence there is always someone asking for her number. Racquel is stunningly beatiful, alluring, etc etc.

Explanations that it is not our policy to give out the private phone numbers of staff are often met with a surreptitious $50 note.....

.... which we slyly pocket, as we scribble a phone number onto the back of a beer coaster.

We get another $50 for the staff party.
The taxi firm gets another call from someone who needs a ride home.

So continues life behind the bar.

Friday, September 16, 2011

You Need More Security

Update: I've actually posted on this subject before. I think the wording of the earlier post was better.

If police are called to a pub, you can almost guarantee that they will make two statements:

"This joint needs more security", and
"You need to close right now".

If some lunatic government ever gives police the power to order a licenced premises closed, then quick as a flash we'll be back to 6pm closing (on a de facto basis)

"Pubs just fill people up with grog, and then when someone's wallet is empty, or the pub can't handle the drunk, they throw them out onto the street & make it a police problem".

I've heard this clueless statement not just from constables, but from officers who have enough experience to know better: Sergeants, and even Station Commanders.

This from people who seemingly are unable to observe & understand the pub trade, yet claim to be trained observers, and affect an ability to solve crime.

The pub trade hasn't have worked that way during the lifetime of most currently serving police, yet the belief is widespread. Actually it never did work that way, as back in the old days, the police made it clear that pubs were on their own if there was any trouble.

If only we could vote for our police.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bankruptcy II

There is light on the horizon.
I may be remaining in business.
Not out of the woods yet.
It has been an anxious fortnight.

My situation is not completely unique.
But it is not faced by anybody south of 23 degrees latitude.
Nobody has yet guessed what has gone wrong.
One of the difficulties has been that lobby groups in Canberra refuse to believe what has happened, & state that it is not possible.

The attitude of the Liberal & National parties toward an external threat that may wipe out small businesses, has been utterly disgusting. They couldn't care less.
The attitude & assistance provided by the Australian Labor Party has been first class.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

He wanted some exercise

After a ban of several months, a bloke was readmitted to the pub. He didn't play up that same night, and after a few weeks went by, we started to think he really had grown up.

On this particular evening inside the pub, he king hit a passing stranger, knocking him to the ground. Then exited the premises.

The victim now had a crushed eye socket, he'll require craniofacial surgery.

Ambulance & Police were called.

Two police officers turned up, stood on the footpath having an extended conversation with the attacker. Once inside, the police became nasty at me, as they do, about how the attacker might have gotten into a state where he'd do something like that.

Having had rather enough of clueless constables, I pointed out that the attacker was the fellow they'd spent so much time speaking to outside. Obviously he wasn't in such a state that they'd been able to detect anything amiss, them being trained observers & all.

They'd told him to go home, and so he had. (Walking in a straight line).

He'd only been in the pub an hour. He'd hit the victim because he "felt like hitting somebody".

A couple of weeks later the police went round to the attacker's house & arrested him for the assault.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not Fat or Ugly

"Hi my name is Joe Blow, im a Qualified chef, im a hard, punctual and reliable worker. Ive been travelling chefing for the last 4 years i can commit for at least 2 years. Please find attached a brief resume for any more information please contact me on 0123456789

I can start this asap. i couldnt find any photos but im australian of australian back ground, not fat, not ugly, nothing wrong with me and you wont have any shocks, im well presented."

It was the 2nd paragraph that got him hired. I've never read anything quite like it in a job application.

Monday, September 12, 2011

M'lud, I was under stress, I was scared I'd be caught.

If I'm tried for murder, I want it to be in front of this judge.

Police turn up to arrest you, you produce a firearm, discharge it several times, stopping only when police officers shoot you down. You have managed to shoot only one police officer.

In court your defence is: "I was scared of being arrested, I only wanted to warn the arresting officers so I could run away, naturally I pulled a gun out & opened up, but I didn't mean to hit any of them, honest!"

Your defence for carrying an illegal concealable firearm is: "I carry a concealable firearm, because I'm afraid of being picked on because of my religion, honest!"

How much indulgence would you expect from a court? Really?

The glaring question: Why did the prosecution agree to a judge only trial? I'm not saying this was a fix, but... er... why not a jury trial?

The facts as I see 'em: Cops came to arrest him, he resisted arrest by starting a gunfight. He shot a policeman, the gunfight ended only when police shot him.

I smell a cock & bull story (who doesn't?) by Mr. Mahmood Yusef (or whatever his name is).
Quite obviously I am too stupid to understand the matter, and were I "in possession of all the facts", like a real smart & sensible judge would be, I would see the matter in a more accurate perspective.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago

Very late at night, walking past the boarders lounge, where a few staff & lodgers were watching TV said: "You should have a look at this."

The TV station had cut into programming & was showing an unfolding dramatic event.

Watched for a while, trying to catch up with what was happening, it seemed that airliners had been flown into skyscrapers in New York city. Rather an horrific thought, thriller novel material, that never in your wildest dreams you'd expect to see in real life.

The finer details of New York city don't have much relevance to working stiffs on the opposite side of the world, thus the words "World Trade Centre" didn't mean much to any of us. Big cities are big cities, especially when they are on the other side of the world.

I searched my memory and suggested, (hoping I'd got the name right): "They'll go looking for Osama bin Laden for this." I seemed to recall that he was some sort of shifty Arab type who'd been in the frame for some sort of bombing attack on some US embassies or warships, or something.

Went downstairs & told the staff at work that airliners had been deliberately crashed into skyscrapers in New York. They scoffed at me & flatly refused to switch on the TV, not wanting to be seen falling for a prank.

It seemed to be a big event, but not one of such scale that I'd phone up anyone to tell them about it. Not at that time of night. I woke up my parents, & told them, they were disgruntled at being woken. There are always heavy duty events happening somewhere in the world.

Most people I knew found out when they woke up to it the next morning, by which time it was really big news. And I wished I'd been bold enough to contact them a few hours prior.

Interesting snippet: It was the first time I could remember that anyone had bothered to watch TV at that time of night, or that I had bothered to pay attention to what was on a TV screen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

But soap sales wouldn't have declined.

Skepticlawyer, longstanding occassional commenter on this site, one of Mine Host's engaging reads, and noted for her propensity to make blog posts that are 2,000 words long, has posted on manners & broaches upon gentlemen courteously taking "no" for an answer.
The ensuing comments thread mentions an apparently well know case where a lady, one with seemingly no class whatsoever, dates a man & afterward treats him very badly.

I've had the experience of bumping into a few women who turned out to be classless and nowhere near as intelligent as you'd first think. Though they'd see themselves as the opposite, by dint of nothing more than dwelling in inner suburbs, & having been tertiary educated.
Narrow minded & bigoted (they'd see themselves as the opposite) I've had them just plain stop talking to me, for what would be the oddest reasons.

Here's one I lost about 3 seconds of sleep over:

(a) I'm only guessing, but I never heard from this one again after I opined that a "stop the war" rally in Sydney (in 2003 or thereabouts) was a golden opportunity that had been missed: A couple of well sited Vickers guns, several minutes of enfilade firing, and you'd have raised Australia's average IQ. Without having lost one useful citizen.

The rally in question was the one where NSW Premier Bob Carr (an opponent of the war) was attacked by an "anti-war" crowd. My observation had focused subtly upon that point.

I wasn't being contrarian, merely making conversation with one who represented herself as broadminded & able in a highbrow manner to "discuss & dissect" a wide range of current affairs topics. (Yeah, I saw then just how much detached discussion she was capable of.)

She wasn't even polite enough to say goodbye. Actually she didn't say anything, it was only the passage of time that clued me in that she'd cut me dead.

She was a film editor or something like that. Lived in the inner city Sydney suburb of Glebe, or Ultimo.

Friday, September 09, 2011

She Didn't Get the Job

And it wasn't because of the carefully prepared stationery.
Nor that she overlooked her current phone no.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Free? Still too Expensive!

A special order was received!

Pleased with service from the butcher shop, to show their appreciation a customer wished to send them a carton of beer.

We accepted payment over the phone & delivered to the butcher shop the requested beer (the most popular brand, in bottles, full strength alcohol, "heavies").

Unsmilingly they silently accepted the box of beer.

Later that afternoon we took angry telephone call from the butcher shop, in which they denigrated the brand of beer they had been supplied with, and demanded we replace it with something suitable.

In the name of good customer relations we agreed to swap the beer for another of their preference.

They sneered as they plonked their free carton on our counter & with a curled top lip accepted the replacement box, sourly vocalising their displeasure at the way we had treated them. (Never at any stage did they say "thank you".)

They never bothered to enquire which of their customers had shouted them a carton of beer.

Their response to being given free beer was to bitch about how it hadn't been given to them in an appropriate manner, and how it had ruined their day.

The attitude exhibited above is more common than you'd first think.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Dead email

The business email has stopped working.

It transpires the email address has been closed.

"It was closed sir, because you requested it be closed."

The email address has irretrievably gone into "quarantine" & will be not be available for Seven years.

Not happy with this, I demand the reinstatement of the email address.

"Sir, all calls to this centre are recorded for coaching & training purposes, your call to request the closing of that email address will have been recorded, if you escalate a complaint that recording will be produced."

I escalate a complaint. No recording is ever produced. (Gee, wonder why not?)

I quite naturally want the scalp of the clerk who killed my email address. However Bigpond (the ISP) are rude & defensive.

Next stop for me: The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
The TIO requests me to first try to sort it out with the person about whom I am complaining.

Hmmm.... (After that)......

The TIO says that since I cannot sort it out with Bigpond, then there is nothing that can be done.

(Why do we bother to fund a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman?)

You couldn't make it up!

Monday, September 05, 2011

the Head Start Protocol

A girl is bleeding all over the place.

Busted nose & lips.

The woman who did the damage to her face is now threatening to grind a broken beer glass into that same face.

It is after midnight. Several hundred are in the bar.

Guards restrain the assailant before the glassing can occur. The injured girl wishes to press charges.

The police are telephoned and advised of the incident.

"Mate, there's only two of us working tonight, can you ask the offender her name? We can't handle something like that, just toss her out onto the street & we'll get around to her sometime in the next few days. Don't let her back in tonight!"

(How much head start do the cops want to give 'em?)

So guards evict the assailant. The victim goes to hospital.

I am just waiting to unload onto the first: journalist, police officer, liquor licencing inspector, or politician who suggests the reason our youth are bashing each other senseless is that I have been "Failing to practise Responsible Service of Alcohol."

Friday, September 02, 2011


Update: No, the Carbon Commissioner has not given me the grandaddy of all fines for overgassing the beer. (Think again, funny person who emailed that)

Update 2: No, I'm not being shut down for encouraging hate speech after someone was overheard mumbling "Gillard's gotta go!" into their beer. (Gillard is the name of the [current] Prime Minister)

Update 3: On a serious note, it has nothing to do with any government agency. In fact both state & federal Labor Party politicians have been of invaluable help.

If one is to be bankrupted, it is always imagined there will be a tangible reason, & a person to blame.

E.g. You have made a rash decision, & can blame only yourself. Or you have a low down mongrel for a bank manager, & thus have someone you can seethe over & plan to shoot or something.

Either way, you could expect to have lots of warning, i.e. to be trading poorly for a while beforehand, or be having difficulties meeting bank committments etc.

It never entered my head that it could pop out of nowhere, that you could be trading profitably, looking to expand, everything going fine. Then *pop* along comes an event that you never imagined would happen to anybody. There is no person to blame, no rash decision been made.

The spectre of bankruptcy is looming, I won't be sleeping much for many days.

Anyone who can guess what it is that has caused such trouble will be allowed to pretend that they have open slather in my wine cellar (no actual access allowed, as by then the bank will likely possess it.)

Remember, there is no person responsible, and it could happen to anybody who has their business tied up in a tangible compact asset (like a pub).
It is not even an event (like a natural disaster, or closure of a nearby military base full of customers) & realisation of it crept up in only a few short days beforehand.

When I finally tell you all (coz nobody will guess it) you'll never imagine it could have happened the way it did.