Tom Stianos, CEO of publicly listed consulting company SMS Management & Technology, announced his company’s half yearly results yesterday. In the accompanying media release he stated: “The Company has maintained good staff utilisation by slowing recruitment and allowing normal attrition to reduce staff numbers.” Apparently retrenching 20% of the staff in the Canberra office is considered “normal attrition”.

A friends and family memorial was arranged through the Plenty Valley Christian College for current and ex students, celebrating the life of two former students who passed away in the fires. Attending the private gathering was at least one person, who we can only assume was a journalist, posing as a parent of a classmate of one of the deceased girls. This person was trying to find out details about the funeral arrangements, location of the deceased girl’s parent and other personal information. They were seen talking to people at the function and were then seen writing into notepads. They were then approached by the boyfriend of one of the deceased girls.

Their cover was blown when they were unable to provide names of their children who supposedly attended the school or explain how their children knew the girls that had died. They left immediately after being confronted and unable to answer these questions put to them. Anyway, just thought I should support you guys when possible as you do a good job at trying to keep journalism at some level of decency.

I know someone who works at the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney airport — it’s a desert. They are struggling to fill their first class seats. A good time to negotiate some cheap upgrades.

Origin Energy quietly announced just before Christmas that roles (up to 800 and about one fifth of the total company workforce) will be outsourced to Indian firm Wipro as part of a business transformation program. Many will be sacked, some transferred and will be okay, some transferred then “managed out” by the contractor. It’s underway but the company is making a complete hash of it.

Peter Fray

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