From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Aussies in papal snub? Seems like Australia is letting God pass us by; this from a well-placed source at the Vatican:

“I was at the Pope’s installation yesterday and it was interesting to see the Vatican administrative efficiency compared to the normal standard in Rome. After the mass there was a meet and greet with the Pope for heads of delegation, but limited to two per delegation. I was behind US VP Joe Biden in the queue and he was not happy when Nancy Pelosi was evicted because she was number three in the delegation. Even less pleased was the VP’s security man who was not allowed to accompany him to the Pope. Good to see the US doesn’t always rule supreme. Biden had to stand in line like the rest of us. Also notable that there wasn’t an Australian delegation. It is a long way to travel for mass, but don’t we have an ambassador to the Holy See?”

We do — lawyer John McCarthy took up that role last year. Did he miss meeting the new boss? Tips also wonders if it’s compulsory for Australia’s taxpayer-funded ambassador to the Holy See to be a Catholic (ex-ambassador Tim Fischer is a Catholic) — and if so, does this flaunt anti-discrimination rules or norms? Drop us a line if you’ve got any suggestions.

Where lowest staff ratios are guaranteed. Is it true Bunnings is “cutting down staff numbers and hours”?

Workplaces not so sweet. Last week we brought you the sad tale of the lolly ban at CSIRO. Here’s another anti-sugar tale:

“Workers at sugar mills can no longer buy sugar from their workplaces. Now they have to buy it at the shop like everyone else. The reason: somebody found a bolt in their bag of sugar a few years ago and complained so now nobody anywhere gets any sugar. Maybe he and the CSIRO guy are brothers.”

This reminds Tips of the lucky Hobartians whose families worked at the Cadbury factory, and who used to pick up bags of reject choccies to take home. We say lucky, but who knows what their teeth look line now … have these perks been wound back?

Having worked with older journalists who fondly remember the days when they would roll up to work in their ball gowns after a big night, smoke at their desks, go for long “working”  lunches at the pub and sneak off to the boozer for a quick beer in between publication of the newspaper’s first and second editions at 12.30am, all we can say is modernity has sapped the fun from the workplace. Do you have any memories of outrageous work practices in your younger days that would get you slapped with an official warning if you tried them out these days? Let Crikey know.

King Kyle’s car demands. Gossip as it happens on Twitter: the ubiquitous Peter Ford wonders if Today host Lisa Wilkinson will lose prime parking position once Kyle Sandilands joins Australia’s Got Talent on Nine …

No Facebook for Carr. Yesterday we passed on a tip Bob Car seemed to have deleted his Facebook page some time in the last month. His office got in touch to point out he never had a Facebook page — there was a fake one doing the rounds, which Carr’s office reported to Facebook about a month ago. Sorry for the bum steer, folks — we’ve ticked off the Crikey staffer who reckoned Carr definitely used to have a Facebook page. Seems even our own fell for the spoof.

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