The Iron Leprechaun grounds the Flying Kangaroo

1 Nov

I realise I’m probably in the minority but I can’t dredge up any over-heated feelings about Alan Joyce the person, of the kind that arise in me unbidden about the likes of, say, Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, Alan Jones, Julia Gillard, Julie Bishop, et al. The man seems like such a merry little fellow with his guile-less schoolboy eyes wide  behind glasses that look a little too small, and as if they were chosen for him by his mother.

Then there’s his enchanting Irish lilt in which he can announce events set to cause serious upheaval and deep offense to thousands and thousands of human beings who are just trying to live their lives, and make the offenses sound quite benign. No, the fellow does not provoke strong feelings in me, rather I’m bemused by the dissonance between Joyce’s immense power, and his inoffensive persona. If I was to accuse him of anything it would be a mild capacity for mischief. Just like the leprechaun who makes his mischief for the delight of watching what happens next. Of course, one can underestimate the intentions behind gleeful disruption. It is one of the many guises used by the devil to sow doubt and misery amongst humans.

I’ve had my fair share of minor disruption as a Qantas passenger. Last November returning from LA we didn’t have enough fuel to reach Brisbane and diverted to Noumea to top up. I found that interesting. They don’t know how much fuel they need to get from LA to Brisbane? Oh, it was the headwinds. OK. Then, finally on our way again after hours on the tarmac bitching and moaning we ran out of food, and most of us got no breakfast.

Then there was the time en route to Mexico when a couple of hours into the flight we ran out of water, forcing us to retain our intimate wastes if we possibly could as they had to be flushed away by bottles of water if we didn’t, an inefficient system to say the least. We didn’t get any breakfast then either, on the grounds that if they didn’t feed us we wouldn’t produce as many intimate wastes. I arrived in Mexico dehydrated, hungry and, well, I won’t spell it out for you.

At least I never got stranded in Los Angeles, which is probably the last place on earth anyone would choose to get stranded outside of Bangkok, where they have the coldest terminal in the world, furnished entirely with metal chairs that freeze your arse after five minutes and leave deep impressions in the flesh of your upper thighs. I once slept on the floor of that terminal waiting for a flight to somewhere that would eventually get me to Vientiane. It was unspeakably horrible but I can’t blame Qantas for that.

As things stand today the Iron Leprechaun has temporarily triumphed, both parties have been forced to suspend industrial action and enter into couple counseling. Many times have I sworn that I will never fly Qantas again. They have me in their power because of my frequent flyer points. But I plan to use them all up. I plan never to acquire anymore. I plan to switch my allegiances because enough is enough.

I loved Qantas, as much as one can love a commercial concept. The idea the Qantas brand successfully marketed for a long time was the idea of home. I will always remember once boarding a Qantas flight in Tokyo when the steward at the door said with a kind smile and a thrillingly familiar accent: “Welcome home, Dr Wilson.” Tired and emotional after many upheavals and weeks of  unrelenting travel, I found my seat and had a little cry. Now I was safe. Now I was home.

This is what I mean about mischief. It might not look too bad on the surface of it but it can carry a terrible punch.

PS I am not talking about horses today. No horses. However, if you choose to make an imaginative link between the picture below and the individual mentioned in this post, knock yourself out.

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14 Responses to “The Iron Leprechaun grounds the Flying Kangaroo”

  1. Steve at the Pub November 1, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    “Qantas = Australian for sheet” has been a common saying for years. World’s most expensive airline, rudest staff, etc etc etc.

    But Alan Joyce, what choice did he have? Good to see someone with the knackers to do their job properly. He’s exposed in spades the dickheadsmanship of the government.
    The unions were slow-baking the company. The law was allowing/encouraging it. He had to stop it.

    As for the Qantas unions, don’t those blokes want a job?

    Like

  2. gerard oosterman November 1, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Earning over 5% of Qantas ($97.000 per week) total proft and too lousy to give a 2% rise to baggage handlers on $776.- per week. Joyce is on par with all the other ‘terminal materialists’. Remember that Mexican Yank Trujillo on something like 40.Mill (take or leave the odd ten million) a year, steadily lowering telstra from $ 6.60 to $2.40?
    First we take Manhattan and then Berlin. Here we come!

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2011 at 11:10 am #

      I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
      I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
      I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
      First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin!!!

      Like

  3. gerard oosterman November 1, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Having been brought up on raw herrings and abstemiousness, Joyce would at best be on $500.000 a year and a free bike in The Netherlands. ‘Social democracy’, it’s the only way.

    Like

  4. paul walter November 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    SATP and his cobbers have been all over the blogosphere trying to peddle the melodramatic notion that Joyce “had no choice”.
    I presume when he says this he means cooking up and imposing a sneaky and treacherous, bad faith, massively disruptive stunt on public and workers that is costing Qantas into the hundreds of $millions that it will then not have for maintainance spending to keep its planes safe, or keep skilled tradespeople on here in Australia.
    The pointless tantrum of a spoiled little Lord Fauntleroy not allowed to noisily smash up his toy as he feels fit, by his finally aroused betters.
    Steve, if Qantas’ plight was as parlous as you alarmists claim, how could they give themselves multi million bonuses on the day before they pulled their irresponsible, long -planned stunt- surely there should have been “leadership from the front” and an example of a burden shared, if they were genuine about the viability of Qantas?

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      Now Albanese claims Abbott and the Coalition had prior warning of the grounding. I bet the first class passengers did.

      Like

  5. Steve at the Pub November 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Paul Walter: Oh he had choice alright. To either squib or do his job.

    The matter of the CEO’s salary is a red herring. It has no bearing on the matter at hand. (If the company is losing $20 million day, what is $5 million a year?) He could be working for free, & the impact on the matter at hand would be nil.
    Bleating on about the CEO’s salary is nothing more than displaying what could be paraphrased as “commercial illiteracy”.

    Yes, it was a stunt. As unpleasant as it was, it is better for Qantas than had he squibbed.

    The Qantas unions? One could be forgiven for thinking they plain don’t want a job.

    Like

  6. Matthew November 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I agree Joyce’s remuneration package was probably misinterpreted but the public. But I really find it hard to believe that the shutting down of airline as big as Qantas for 48 hours was less harmful than what the unions had done previously and were planning to do both in monetary terms and PR terms. I think it really has damaged the brand globally. Not only where thousands of passengers stranded, but also 17 leaders who were attending CHOGM. It’s really not a good look for the company.

    Like

  7. paul walter November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Yes Steve- one law for the rich, one for the poor..

    Like

  8. Steve at the Pub November 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    You’ll have to expand on that Paul, the meaning isn’t clear.

    Like

  9. paul walter November 1, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    I dare say that’s more a commentary on your intelligence than my proposition.
    Go back, have a think, then come back when you have some thing worthwhile to say, if that’s possible.

    Like

  10. Steve at the Pub November 1, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Goodbye Paul. I don’t engage with sourpusses.

    Like

  11. Steve at the Pub November 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Actuall Paul, from the safe distance of the internet, get real brave & either state your gripe plainly, or cease & desist innuendo about my intelligence.
    On the plane of intelligence, I acknowledge you as indisputably my inferior.

    Like

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  1. Mr Rabbit takes his arse to London « No Place For Sheep - November 13, 2011

    […] The Iron Leprechaun grounds the Flying Kangaroo […]

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