Australian accounting software company MYOB revamped its website in early December. Since then, many owners of MYOB software who subscribe to the paid support plans have not been able to log in to access various services they have paid for. The MYOB call centre staff have been acknowledging the problem for over a month but still no warning has been posted on the website advising that clients are wasting their time trying to log in. Nor have there been any email notifications sent to clients regarding the situation. A MYOB call centre staff member confided to me yesterday that the staff hate the new system more than the clients. And computer software is supposed to be their core business!

Centro non recourse loans to senior management did not extend to staff. Some staff who took up the “offer” (via the CBA) of leveraging their company shares are now having to sell their house due to the CBA calling in those loans with the fall in the share price.

The Australian today reports “dismay” in DFAT at cutbacks “when the department was already operating with a bare minimum of staff”. It is also operating without a few essential skills. In opposition, Kevin Rudd said Australia’s diplomatic chiefs of staff in his old department should be able to speak the local language. Virtually none in North Asia do, although there is a bloke in China who is a dab hand at Japanese.

More Qantas stories: My brother has been commuting from Perth to Melbourne for a while and on-time flights are rare, delays mostly due to “mechanical faults”. Last night was a beauty! The 6pm flight was delayed for 2 hours for mechnical reasons, then it departed, 25 minutes later, after some passengers had noted bits falling off on one side, it turned back to Perth – landed, had to be checked by fire crews before proceeding to the terminal, unloaded and some time later the flight was cancelled as the aircraft was in need of serious work.

Bonds audits facade. Before Christmas, Bonds audited the factory in China where their clothing is manufactured. The premise they audited is a complete house of cards built for the western conscience. The proportion of machinists to cutting tables is severely out of balance and there is not a single machine on those premises that is required to finish under garments and the kinds of elastine product Bonds makes. Any hands on person in the industry would be aware of this. But it is a convincing setup and we all want to believe conditions in China are being reigned in.

Peter Fray

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