When I worked at Macquarie street, us staffers had a soft spot for John Della Bosca . Unlike Costa, Della smiled to everyone, VIP or underling, friend or foe. Now as much as we like to see responsible drinking, nobody wants Julia Gillard foisting her PC, “anger mangement” values on the NSW Labor Right. Della and his lady friend should be free to do anger management that’s factionally appropriate. This very educational video should be acceptable to everybody on the Central Coast from the bouncers to the working families, Trogs and Terrigals. It has NSW Labor Right cultural values all through it. Julia should show it in Caucus some time!

“Do we get the thuggish party-machine bullies we’re prepared to pay for?” Apparently! Mrs Della Bosca was not the original candidate chosen at pre-selection by the local branch. Local party members were not impressed!

It’s not just the fees and practices that are out of line in the legal industry. It is also the attitude as shown by what I witnessed late last year while having lunch in Collins Place in Melbourne. I overheard a couple of 30-something lawyers discussing their respective cases. One said that “the other side” had annoyed him with their questions during discovery, so his response to the discovery request was to empty all documents onto the floor, mix them up, and ship them to “the other side” as randomly as possible so that they could waste their time collating the requested documents. The second lawyer thought this was very funny, and told of her incident where “the other side” phoned and begged for a time extension. She let them beg for awhile, before saying “NO!”. She then said to her companion “Don’t you just love the power when you say NO!”

NineMSN is in crisis. Its users are not happy either. Clunky, cumbersome and representative of the internet as it was about seven years ago, staff morale is at an all-time low. Large companies such as Hoyts are currently in the process of removing their website operations from NineMSN’s old fashioned interface. The Hoyts web site, built for them by NineMSN, is a actually a good case in point in terms of what’s wrong with NineMSN – for example, the Unsubscribe function for Hoyts email newsletters has been throwing up Error messages for about two weeks (surely not being able to unsubscribe is contrary to the 2001 Spam Act?) and trying to book film tickets online is nothing short of a nightmare. Yet despite all of the problems, NineMSN still labours under the impression that it’s a major presence in the internet world. Online media bookers, however, all know that most of its traffic comes from people logging out of Hotmail (when you do this, you are automatically taken to NineMSN, whether you like it or not) — and Hotmail users are hardly high-value customers.

When looking up a certain Minister’s portfolio I was surprised to find they are still in opposition.

Paranoia at Telstra with staff being warned that it is monitoring internet usage, looking especially for people who might post at Wikipedia, after the recent slur against its CEO Sol Trujillo on the site.

Stories have resurfaced in Sydney of the extraordinary episode in the 1990s when the wife of a leading ALP politician mounted the footpath in her car and tried to run him over. Apparently she had received reports that her husband was sharing more than policy discussions with a senior party official in the Sussex Street headquarters. Does anyone know who the maritally troubled couple were and whether the “other woman” later became a high-flying bureaucrat with the Labor Government?

I am getting married in September (and hence have no money!) and have been just shocked at how Tiger Airways have handled their recent 100% withdrawal from the Melbourne/Newcastle sector this week. Interesting behaviour from a carrier that announced only eight months ago that Newcastle was going to be their NSW hub. There was no press release on their website, infact only announcements of where they were diverting the extra planes to (Adelaide and Canberra – i.e. spinning the good news stories!). They have had my money for 12 return tickets since late March. Imagine my disgust when I receive this via email 24 hours after the story broke offering me to get my money back in four weeks!:

Dear XXXXX,

We have made changes to our flight schedule for operational reasons. As a result, your reservation, XXXXX, has been affected and your flight between and has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. We are sorry for the disruption caused to your travel plans due to this cancellation.

As a token of our apology, we are offering you the option of a free change to alternative travel destinations within Australia, or to cancel your affected flight for a full flight credit or full payment refund. If you would like a free destination change, please contact our call centre for assistance. To cancel your trip and request for a refund, please complete and submit the web refund form.

Your request will be processed within approximately four weeks from the date of submission. Please note that if we do not receive your travel/refund preference within four weeks from the date of this email, we will automatically process a full refund to your original form of payment. Please advise all passengers travelling in your party of the above disruption.

1. XXXXXXXXXXX 2. XXXXXXXXXXXX

We regret that we are unable to compensate further for other losses which may incur as a result of this disruption. If you have taken personal travel insurance to cover this trip/flight, we recommend you contact your insurers immediately. You may wish to use this letter to support your claims for any additional expenses incurred as a result if this cancellation.

Yours faithfully,

Reservations Team, Tiger Airways

Their phone and fax numbers have been jammed making communiation to get a refund a nightmare. If you can get through, you’re speaking to a person who can barely speak English. The mysterious “web form” to get a refund faster doesn’t even exist! My fiance and I are really doing it financially tough. Thanks Tiger and Singapore Airlines for buggering up my wedding and adding close to 50% on the cost of my travel expenses. Got any rice you can throw my way?

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