Sol’s Parting Shot

Less than two weeks since ex Telstra boss Sol Trujillo departed Australia with some $30 million, he has delivered a parting shot to Australians and Australia by saying that racism is a “real problem” in the country.

Paraphrasing Australia’s own beloved international export Kylie (Minogue), Sol reckons that being in Australia is like “stepping back in time.”

Apparantly he was particularly miffed when Kevin Rudd quipped “Adios” when Kev was asked to comment about Sol’s departure from Telstra and the country.

Australia, a pack of racists? Surely not.

Frankly, I reckon Pedro should just piss off back to Mexico where he belongs.

What do you think…?

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190 Responses

  1. I hope those on here who thought Sol Trujillo was good for Telstra have been reading the headlines over the last few weeks and the mess he has left Telstra in.

    And now this
    http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25539475-31037,00.html

    What a slimy back stabbing weasel who sucked $31 million from Telstra and left the company far worse off than when he started, especially in the areas of customer relations and service.

  2. Yeh……….. we probably have just as many racists per head of population as any other country on the planet. But Sol should be a bit careful with his description of us. I mean Sol is a Yank of Mexican heritage. I don’t remember us Orstrayans inventing the KKK.

    If you really want a racist Country then look to our North.

    Lets look at Japan where the only way you can obtain citizenship is if your grandparents were born there. Otherwise too bad. Now is that not a recipe for racial purity or what ?

    By the way, Sol has left a trail of destruction at every single company he has headed up. He left(was booted out) of Orange Communications after just 1 year and landed at Telstra. He even nicked the Orange fax machine in his office.

    What a mess Telstra is now !

  3. … and I never got around to visiting the Telstra call centre when I was in India – sowwy about that 😦

  4. I must admit that I found the constant references to his Mexican heritage very distasteful.

    I can imagine him having a fairly jaundiced view of the racist undertones here, regardless of his performance.

  5. Sol is correct. Life in Oz for Telstra customers is like a 1950s redux. Staff levels at Telstra are now at levels not seen since the 1950s. Anyone needing technical assistance is invited to step back in time when complex machines like computers and mobile phones were still in the dream factory and very little was known about them. And should you need help you’ll have to be able to speak a type of English that Tarzan movies made famous. Good luck with that one.

    If I sacked loads of staff; sent most if not all call centre jobs to India; kept up with the patter of “boy, ain’t I smart”, do you think they’d make me CEO of some organisation and chuck money at me?

  6. Good grief..adios is ‘racist’? But it’s ok for Sol to call Australia thereby presumably Australians backward.

  7. Tom

    Surely even you can see the humour in the reference to the Three Amigos, which was a very funny film. At the time I think it was purely referencing the Three Amigos on the basis that he insisted on hiring his mates in the US at ridiculous salaries.

    He F%$#^D Telstra and fled like a child having a tanty. What a spoiled brat.

  8. I don’t think it has been limited to either the “three amigos” or “adios”. I think both comments are trite.

    There was constant derision of his Latin American heritage, the music that some radio stations use to accompany a comment from him.

    It was distasteful, and I can see why he would characterise it as racist.

  9. Sol has his Chk Chk Boom Moment!

  10. Am I a racist just because I cant understand the friggin Indian accent at the Telstra call centre ?????????????

  11. Hey, Sol, Adios, malinchista!

  12. Tom. I might see things differently given that my grandie is 1/4 TSI. Surely one should be proud of one’s heritage. Another example is that Menzies had Scottish pipe music played whenever he had an excuse to do so.

  13. Walrus

    Tattoo of the Southern cross -right foot – how patriotic is Clare? Can’t say the same for Sol. Still laughing my arse off.

  14. Tom of Melbourne, on May 26th, 2009 at 11:18 am Said:

    Tom…………………..dont you like Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass ?

  15. Walrus. And it wasn’t the call centre Indian person’s fault that she couldn’t understand the word Billinudgel nor that she didn’t know that Cairns was 1/2 a continent away from the aforementioned location.

    And then for Telstra to charge extra to speak with an Australian???

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25189122-2,00.html

  16. John Mcphilbin, on May 26th, 2009 at 11:28 am Said:

    A Southern Cross tattoo ???

    John, that probably makes her a racist as well……………….kinda like all SS soldiers having their Aryan blood group tattooed in their armpit area.

    I always find it amusing that Aussies lay so much claim to the Southern Cross when the same cluster of stars is seen just as clearly in Brazil and South Africa.

    Go figure……….!

  17. Correct me if I am wrong, but if a person of a particular ethnicity finds the ethnic teasing/taunting annoying, why would anyone suggest that this is not some form of racism?

  18. Tom..such as Irish jokes?

  19. What is it with wogs and cash?

  20. Min

    A little known fact is that the Irish make jokes about themselves and then everyone else catches on. My father is forever telling jokes about the Irish, and he was born and bred there. We’ve become too politically correct and sanitised I think. What ever happened to the great Aussie virtue of ‘taking the piss’.

    Take this clip as an example of a humour injected into racial relations.

  21. Another corporate raider that has made off with more than his worth. We live in a world where those that are really a service to their fellow man, get paid a pittance, and some good for nothing executive makes more in 4 years than 99% of us could earn in a lifetime. Then he sneaks out of the country and starts firing off shots at our nation as a whole. What i would do to this man will not be put to print, so i wont expand upon it further. We live in a pathetic and blind society that allows these scum to make claim that they are needed and worth more than the nurse who is wiping your old dad’s behind at the aged care facility up the road. Stop the world….i want off.

  22. Yes Min. Fundamentally if an ethnic group finds ethnic based disparagement and generalisations offensive, then it is racism.

    It may not be a serious form, and may be light hearted, but the constant repetition of the offense may become a little more bothersome to some people over time.

    I think many of the Irish jokes are often funny, I also think they are racist. If you were Irish and in Australian pub and that’s all you heard for a few nights, you might find such humour starts to become grating, you might even regard it as racist.

  23. Tom

    Well I certainly hope you don’t read any jokes then, because 99% of the ones I receive either poke fun at ethnicity ( including Aussies and I laugh at those ones just as much), religion, gender etc.

    Trujillo is being judged on his attitude, demands, performance and then fleeing. He has qualified for being a joke.

    Plus he has been screaming to the heavens that he mad eour communications network the leading network in the world with NextG. So are we backward or leading the world. He can’t have it both ways.

    Just sour grapes now after a few aussies put the bunson burner at his arse at the conference and questioned his promo9tion of himself and grandiose achievements at telstra which made others snicker and dented his enormous ego.

  24. Take reb’s sense of humour as an example, he’d be still living in rented flat if he was able to laugh at himself occasionally. (wink)

  25. John..well you know my surname. It’s from Mallow County Cork. I found the same with Italians..hubby’s g’pa Coloretti used to tell some rippers.

    Ripper of a clip too John. I’m yet to see the move, but will most definitely.

  26. Shane,

    What a slimy back stabbing weasel.

    “Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals … except the weasel.”

  27. I think you are missing the point Shane.

    I said I considered the jokes funny, but I also admit they are racist.

    Why do you, John & Min struggle with the notion that racist (and sexist and anti religious) jokes can still be funny.

    It is the racism & anti political correctness that often makes them so funny.

    And if all you usually heard was Herp Albert following a comment, you might find this tiresome and racist.

  28. Tom..re constant repetition of a joke. You should try being a blonde.

  29. Tom: re, Why do you, John & Min struggle with the notion that racist (and sexist and anti religious) jokes can still be funny.

    Maybe Tom because I’m blonde and married to an Irish Italian.

  30. Tom

    I am 50% Irish and 50% Pom and always laugh at jokes about Irish and Poms. I never tire of them. The day I do will be a sad day for my own sense of humor.

    Did you hear about the Irish Woman who was killed Ironing the Curtains ?

    She fell out the window.

    In my opinion the word ‘racist’ is now being used by many against anything that we may remotely disgree with.

  31. Fine Min, if this isn’t racist (in some form), what do we call ethnic/racial based disparagement? Humourous or otherwise.

  32. Tom of Melbourne, on May 26th, 2009 at 12:13 pm Said:
    Fine Min, if this isn’t racist (in some form), what do we call ethnic/racial based disparagement? Humourous or otherwise.

    Tom this is an excellent question. I suspect that it’s when the particular ethnic, racial or religious group is overtly discriminated against. An example might be back in the 50’s, 60’s where a ‘wog’ or ‘dago’ would struggle with being employed by an Australian company. However, as regards Sol I would find it unlikely that he was discriminated against because of his Mexican origin. Contra, he described Australia as backward.

  33. Shane

    I am 50% Irish and 50% Pom

    Poor bastard! myself, I born in England to a Yorkshire mother and an Irish father. Hell on earth! (lol)

  34. Re Poor bastard. I, myself am 1/2 Welsh from Pontnewynydd Monmouthshire and the rest Pom from Hastings Sussex, Thornbury Gloucestershire and Kingsthorpe Northamptonshire.

  35. Gees Min, my sincere condolences.

  36. ….it could be worse though Min, at least you’re not being forced to live in Melbourne.

  37. What about reb? Scottish – tight bastard!

  38. I don’t think Australia is a racist place at all.

    In fact, if it wasn’t for all the wogs, chinks, darkies n’ spicks it would be a bloody awesome place.

  39. Well at least I’m a purebred pedigree- not like all you bloody mongrels!

  40. …and he lives in Tasmania…that’s truly f%&ked up. No wonder his ambition was to get out of a rented flat.

  41. Pure- bred tight arse living in Tasmania, come on reb?

  42. John..I was born in Hawthorn…I’ve done my penance.

  43. An indigenous fellow strolls into a pub and the bartender looks at his feet and notices he’s wearing only one shoe, he then asks ‘did ya lose a shoe mate? To which the indigenous fellow answers ‘na! I found one.

  44. Told an abbo mate that one, and he couldn’t stop laughing.

  45. Damn MIn, I really put myself in it, didn’t I? It’s wrose than I thought for you.

  46. Correction John.

    My ambition was to become a wealth crazed prick.

    Mission accomplished. Perhaps I should contemplate an autobiography now.. Something like Talculm would write…

    “From these humble beginnings..”

    Or something like that…

  47. …on the subject of wealth, you couldn’t lend me a few bob could ya? I’ve asked Talcum and he told me to piss orf.

  48. Remember, “Wogs Out Of Work”, seriously, once you’re willing to laugh at yourself your perspective changes.

  49. Yes John, and likewise you are much ‘wrose’ than any of us thought 🙂

    And re Scottish Taswegians, I would have thought that the ambition would have been to get INTO a rented flat.

  50. I heard his speech on the radio this morning. Good riddance to him. The Americans are more than welcome to have him back as far as I’m concerned.

  51. My situation is dire MIn, so I try hard to keep it light (lol).

    I’ve got to say Reb’s really exceeded all expectations given his unfortunate breeding and geographical location.

  52. Daphon

    I agree. What is it with so many Americans that only the good old USA is perfect. Yet it has more killings, violence, wretchedly poor, no universal health system, no long term support for the unemployed, retirees unable to afford electricity or heating fuel with hundreds dying each winter. An economy that is a mess, a housing market that is cactus, has to borrow hundreds of billions from its arch enemies the Communists to survive and this is the forward country. PUHLEEEEEEEEASE.

    I would much rather live in our backward country than the supposedly forward country of the USA.

    Having said that I have met some very good Americans of which I call my friends. But then again they are the ordinary folk, not the politicians or upstart CEOs.

  53. Min,

    That was seriously funny!

    John,

    If you play your cards right I might send you a token gesture from the royalties from my book.

    Speaking of books.

    Apparantly Tony Abbott’s got one coming out soon..

    Should we place bets as to how quickly it will end up in the discount bins? I give it two days tops..

  54. Tony Who?

  55. reb

    Count me as one of the catholics who would only use Tony Abbots book in the shitter.

  56. The negative side is nasty, who’d of thunk that a CRONULLA player would be found guilty of such a nasty slur (and that’s exactly what it was)

    THE fate of Paul Gallen was being determined at a Cronulla board meeting last night, with the Sharks forward under pressure to retain the club captaincy after being fined $10,000 by the NRL for racial vilification.

    Gallen came under scrutiny for calling St George Illawarra forward Micky Paea a “black c…” during the Sharks’ 26-4 loss to the Dragons at Toyota Park last Saturday night

  57. Speaking of seriously funny, hubby’s wog side of the family used to love Con the fruiterer and the skit about the 3 ugly daughters..I think that was Tula, Voula and I’ve forgotten the other one. I can’t find it on Youtube.

    Reb..I expect a little more than ‘a token gesture’ re royalties..Min fluffs up her golden blonde locks.

    Tony Abbott and a book? Titled: How I made myself even more of a complete a’hole and helped stuff up the LP’s election chances by rubbishing a dying man. I’ll leave the Short Title to others.

  58. Keep it simple: Munk The Punk.

  59. Min

    The other one was agape.

    Me, I thought the wife Marika was one of the best. I still remember her doing her exercises and one of the was the sydney harbour bridge, so funny.

  60. He actually had 5 daughters.

    Tula
    Vula
    Fula
    Sula
    and
    Agape

  61. If you thought TV was bereft of wog comedians these days, think again.

    Channel Ten’s Masterchef, which yes, I watched again last night, has “George the Greek” as one of the judges..

    I thought he was a lebbo car thief but Toilet Boss corrected me..

    It’s hilarious, one minute Oscar Wilde Aka Matt Preston, is delivering his articulate and high camp judgement from behind his enormous cravat, and then up next we have George the Greek saying things like “Youse are all doin’ a really good job”.

  62. You’re a clever crew aren’t you..wife was Marika (with mo). And the joke was of course, the last daughter (with Con drawing breath)..was..and Agape. One of my best friends in primary school in the late ’50’s had the unfortunate name of Aphrodite Venus C* (Greek name)..she was known as Dita.

  63. Half the joke was in agape: ‘love them all’ (no matter how many there might be), perhaps.

  64. Does this mean I can’t say Auf Weidesehn, to my Teutonic friend anymore, ’cause he’ll be offended?

    Or I cant call my friend Guiseppe (that’s his name) a “wog bastard”?

    Can I cry out loud if he calls me Pommie bastard?

    We can’t say aurevoir to a Frenchman…?

    The world is run by twits like Trujillo – typical Robber Baron with no understanding of the real world and real people!

    Someone should make up some Trujillo pinatas and make a bomb! (I was going to correct the grammaer on that last sentence – but I rather like the double entendre) 😉

  65. I’m half Lebanese and I’m an Abo-lover. Fire your shots at me, I just laugh it off.

    What I do tire of is being called a hoon, a slum lord, or a leftist pervert. It’s a form of ism of some kind.

  66. Migs the slumlord millionaire half lebbo abbo lovin leftist pervert hoon. Bit harsh don’t you think Migs? You’ve certainly got a lot on your plate. And I thought I was harshly done by.

    I’ll stick with plain ole Migs (wink)

  67. Yes agreed John..but at least Migs isn’t a pinko poof and nor is he a blonde. The aforementioned at least prior to imbibing in his favorite from the extensive spendiferous cellar. But who know what happens after midnight.

  68. What credibility Sol has here. Comes over and takes over Telstra and oversees the share dive and to boot picks up $30m for his lack of management. You’ll do me as one of the worst CEO’s the country ever imported Sol. Good bye and goodd riddance. On the way out, don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you

  69. Well Sol I’ll say it like this, just in case you think I may be a racist.

    Vaffaunculo, pirla.

  70. That was funny John.

    You racist prick (wink).

  71. Hey Min,

    Who you calling a pinko poof? 😉

  72. Daphon..you mean that you’re not a girl? Better watch out..there are some very spunky gay guys on this blog.

  73. Tom walked into a bar . . .

  74. Just acting in moderator mode for a second, can everyone please be a little sensitive to others? I know the comments here are joking, but I hope that we steer clear of offending anyone.

    Unless of course it is offending pinko-poofs, cause we deserve all the insults that you can throw at us. 😉

  75. I’ve been called Dorothy so often in my life I sometimes get confused, Min.

  76. Moderators: I’m excused..I said that you were spunky.

    Well Daphon, you sound to be an absolute treasure..am very pleased to have another girl aboard.

    Just for you..no doubt you’ve seen it a squillion times, but here it is again.

  77. Min, I have inadvertently mislead you – I’m a bloke (although a lifelong friend of Dorothy).

    Please accept my apologies.

    And I’ve changed my avatar thingie.

  78. Daphon..I know that you’re a bloke. Don’t you dare change your avatar. I like you as Dorothy…that is unless you’d rather not be Dorothy.

  79. Sol said we were backwards in IR and business, yet who is better off after the GFC hit, us or his US of A? What state did he leave the US telcos he once ran?

    And now Telstra is moving back to Enterprise Bargaining because AWAs have been a failure and Sol’s IR regime at Telstra caused more problems and produced less than the previous IR regime at Telstra.

    Amigos and saying adios is actually extremely kind with the kindest thing I can think of to say to him is “FAILURE”. Admittedly a well paid failure, but a human failure none the less.

  80. While on IR and employment Pr Quiggan has an interesting post:


    According to the latest data, the unemployment rate in the US was equal to that in the EU-15 in March, and is now likely to be higher. Writing in the NY Times, Floyd Norris refers to the conventional wisdom that flexibility inherent in the American system — it is easier to both hire and fire workers than in many European countries implies that unemployment should be lower (at any given point in the business cycle) in the US than in Europe.”

    More here. http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2009/05/23/refuted-economic-doctrines-8-us-labor-market-superiority/#more-5072

  81. N5, not sure I get your/Quiggin’s point?

    …why should it imply unemployment should be lower…comparing eggs with bacon surely…the EU is not comparable to the USA in many ways – not the least of which is a a range of countries (not union federal states), varying languages, cultures, wage structures, social/health security …in many ways the EU is just a layer of beaurocracy over many national entities…the USA is a collection of states under a Federal system of government…same (basic)culture, language, national history, etc.

    European skilled workers are often “multi skilled”…(ie more difficult to replace…

    Skill-sets of employees in the USA are usually “specialised” (read, dumbed down} eg motor mechanics in EU and Oz can repair all parts of a motor vehicle – in the States each “part” constitutes a “trade” eg engine, brakes, power train, suspension.

    Long bows spring to mind…

  82. So Daphon’s not a girl and I’m not a duck. It’s truth and tell time on Blogocrats.

  83. I’m not really Tin Tin..

  84. And I’m not really a rainbow lorikeet, however my previous avatar was a scenic view of Byron Bay..and my hubby thought so. 🙂

    However, I do suspect that TB might indeed be the flag from the Eureka Stockade.

  85. TB I think the thrust was that the Americans often lambasted the European’s (old Europe?) more generous IR regime with greater safety nets and it making it harder to sack workers at will. The attacks by the US were their system was far superior and offered greater and more flexible employment with better productivity.

    The figures Quiggin has tabled emphatically disprove that US contention.

    And to think Howard wanted to take us down the US road but worse, and Howard also often lambasted the European systems.

  86. Ok – I have to be honest too, I am not like my avatar. I am actually Cartman.

  87. Miglo..you’re not really a duck? So how come I have to put up with your rellies doing their you-know-what’s’its in our pool.

  88. TB Queensland, on May 26th, 2009 at 4:29 pm Said

    To parse Quiggan’s words

    conventional wisdom that flexibility

    Some economists (and others) argue that if a country has a deregulated labour market as in the US (generally speaking), then because of that ‘flexibility’ (rates of pay included) the unemployment rate will always be lower than in a regulated market where it is more difficult to hire and fire. It was the rationale behind Work Choices. it was the conventional wisdom or ‘common sense’. (And possibly still is in the minds of the LNP.

    Quiggan is saying that argument is now proving to be problematic given the current situation. To put it another way a more regulated labour market (the European experience) seems to have less unemployment than the less regulated labour market (the US experience and the model proposed by Howard).

    Low regulation is supposed to equate to comparatively lower levels of unemployment. But it’s not working out that way. Lol.

  89. “Adios”…lol, Rudd does have a (well hidden) sense of humour after all.

    Now to read the thread about him talking to god everyday, can’t wait for that one.

  90. Crickey readers will note that the Australian MSM (including Crickey) did stereotype Sol (whom I dislike intensely but not because of his ethnic background – I also disliked Al Dunlop et al.). That stereotyping included ‘headlines’ as well as ‘cartoons’. They make a convincing case.

    Will the new boss of Telstra be subject to the same stereotyping? No, after all he doesn’t ‘look different’ does he?

  91. ME and N5,

    OK – I thought I had missed something … the USA argument was always flawed – and I have argued that before – maybe the “truth” made me blind … I confess to looking for a revelation that wasn’t there … ta!

  92. N5. Redheads are stereotyped, wogs, who now wear that moniker with pride and make money out of it and I could go on.

    Sol like just about every American I have met just doesn’t get our pisstake. He obviously didn’t watch Chaser when here or mix with many Australians. He definitely didn’t go to any pubs.

    I would also like to know who all these Australians were that came up to him in the street and said they were ashamed of how we were treating Sol? They were Sol’s words (paraphrased) in the interview.

  93. Yeah TB that is what I thought was strange in your post. I seem to remember you effectively arguing against WorkChoices and why it would fail to increase employment. WorkChoices was more or less a distortion of the US IR system and that was the system that created the working poor to make employment figures look a lot better than they really were.

  94. Will the new boss of Telstra be subject to the same stereotyping? No, after all he doesn’t ‘look different’ does he?

    I dare say he will N5, if he gets his head in public view as much as Sol did. The cartoonists will find some quirk to exaggerate – maybe it just won’t be as easy for them as it was with Sol.

    It would seem, so far, that he will not indulge in such public spats with every government and their minions, so will be less of a target – nothing to do with racism, rather profile…

  95. Mobius Ecko, on May 26th, 2009 at 6:09 pm Said:

    Redheads are stereotyped, wogs .. I could go on.

    While I agree that Americans, generally speaking, don’t share our sense of humour and ‘irony’ seems to be a (universal?)problem, the continued depiction of Sol in his poncho riding his donkey into the sunset (pockets stuffed with loot) stressed his Mexican roots and the stereotype that evokes among (too) many. He has a point and while I have little or no sympathy for Sol, I am much more interested in the broader issue.

    For example, can you point me to the numerous articles that refer to Gail Kelly, the Banker being a ‘blonde’ or a ‘yarpie’? Why not? The statements would be ‘true’ wouldn’t they? Why some not others?

    While it’s never (or rarely) a problem for those on ‘top’, it can be quite offensive for those being ‘described. ‘Blacks’ who call each other ‘black c#nts’ get away with it but whites rarely do unless it’s quite clear it’s a term of endearment – ‘bastard’ springs to mind.

    Just ask Newton and his ‘boy’ tag he gave Ali or perhaps we should describe the Chinese Premier as ‘inscrutable’.

    Like you, I don’t think Soll received too many apologies from the average Australian but (perhaps) in his mind he was trying to be nice and point out that not ALL Australians are ‘like that’.

    A complex issue and not to be dismissed lightly although I know most Australian will (and have).

  96. will find some quirk to exaggerate

    Undoubtedly they will, particularly if he engages

    in public spats with every government and their minions

    ,

    But will they depict him in terms of racial or ethnic stereotypes? And yes I know that cartoonists have to resonate with readers and (among other things) make them laugh.

    In a sense Sol is saying we resonate with offensive stereotypes (offensive to him at least).

    I think Sol has a point and as always we have difficulty seeing ourselves as others see us.

  97. “In a sense Sol is saying we resonate with offensive stereotypes (offensive to him at least).
    I think Sol has a point and as always we have difficulty seeing ourselves as others see us”N5

    Totally agree. We are nowhere near above reproach & possessing only altruistic motives as we like to think “we” are.

    Having said that, Sol came & left with plenty of our dollars so as far as I’m concerned he can harden the f@ck up.

    So no surprise that “we” aren’t exactly as noble as we imagine ourselves to be….& likewise Sol can lump it because, right or wrong, that’s simply how it is.

  98. Toiletboss, on May 26th, 2009 at 7:10 pm Said:

    Don’t disagree with the overall thrust of your post. As I have said on any number of occasions. I have little or no sympathy with Sol and his personal circumstances, particularly his felt need to import others such as Burgess to ‘show us how to do it’. A type of cultural imperialism and it was aided abetted by Donald McGauchie. The cultural cringe factor stands out.

    While

    likewise Sol can lump it because, right or wrong, that’s simply how it is

    Sol can, I always live in hope that Australians can (and should) aspire to do better (broadly defined) particularly when we criticise the failings of others. Just saying.

  99. *I think Sol has a point and as always we have difficulty seeing ourselves as others see us*

    Do I care? (…and no he doesn’t)

    Having worked in the USA, I for one think the Yanks are terribly naive and certainly unso*f*isticated, they don’t understand satire, and jokes have to be crude/childish for them to understand and as Sol has demonstrated, they take themselves too seriously and certainly can’t laugh at themselves, definitely “immature” in the extreme…

    Just ask any Pom or Canadian, who has been exposed to them at “home” …

    … Australians racist – what a childish/churlish attack, knowing that to defend such a charge only “seems” to give the charge … “…when did you stop beating your wife …”

  100. Miglo, on May 26th, 2009 at 2:52 pm Said:

    That was funny John.

    You racist prick (wink).

    Thanks Migs (slumlord millionaire half lebbo abbo lovin leftist pervert hoon LOL) , you handed it to me on a platter. Oddly enough, I find it difficult to stereo-type people in a manner that could be deemed racist or offensive. I do, however, appreciate racial humour when it’s done in a tone and context that highlights certain obvious cultural quirks.

    My concern is political correctness gone mad. For example,I quite often stir local Indians or Pakistani’s when our lads lose in the cricket. My excuse is the usual ‘ the boys were poisoned or were given extra hot curry’. All good natured fun, they chuckle.

    I was told the other day that we were in for a hammering the next time we face Pakistan, because a few of the Taliban have been selected to play and those guys train with grenades.

  101. “Sol can, I always live in hope that Australians can (and should) aspire to do better (broadly defined) particularly when we criticise the failings of others. Just saying”N5

    I agree, this will probably never happen though as we are but mere humans.

  102. TB Queensland, on May 26th, 2009 at 7:36 pm Said:

    Do I care? (…and no he doesn’t)

    I rest my case. Now will the real Sir Les Pa …

    And I cite Toiletboss, on May 26th, 2009 at 7:10 pm Said:

    We are nowhere near above reproach & possessing only altruistic motives as we like to think “we” are.

    Indeed! While all peoples or nations are ethnocentric or racist to some extent or mix of same, I, for one, do not applaud or ‘don’t care’.

    I think we can do better or at least try.

  103. Toiletboss,

    Our posts crossed. While it may ‘never happen’ and probably never will, I have a problem with ‘not trying’ or simply ‘giving up’. It seems to me that it’s a moral imperative to not accept the ‘bad’ status quo, shrug our shoulders and simply carry on.

    For me, life is about being an ‘architect’ (the creator of the ‘new’) rather than being a ‘worker bee’ (simply accepting a mental state determined by the other – however defined).

  104. I agree. During my comments earlier today, some contributors seemed to get confused between racism and humour.

    That if it was not intended to be viciously racist (just humorous) how could it possibly be racist?

    I tend to think it is up to the person/group on ht receiving end that makes the judgment.

    It is a bit like the common defence to workplace sexual harassment – “ How could she possibly take offence? I give all the girls a cuddle/pat on the backside. It was not sexual, I don’t even fancy her”

    I think Trujillo expressed his opinion quite well, and the comments of BBC interviewer were equally illustrative of some of our insular opinions.

  105. The fact that he took $30M with him shows what he thought about us. He was in it just for the money.

  106. Again I agree. I’m just not sure that enough people are “self aware” enough to change this. Ignorance is bliss, established norms are assimilated & introspection is in short supply.

    I am not suggesting that individuals who “know better” shouldn’t aspire to be above this though.

    Unfortunately a widespread lack of contemplation will often result in the hive following its programming.

    I personally try to keep the principle of universality in mind. ie. my shit stinks just as much as the next guy, even the one across the border who looks scary & acts “different”.

  107. Stop being so nuanced Tom, you’re making altogether too much sense.

  108. Miglo – “What I do tire of is being called a hoon, a slum lord, or a leftist pervert. It’s a form of ism of some kind.”

    Facts are facts, and these ones cannot be ignored. You left out tax dodger.

  109. I personally try to keep the principle of universality in mind. ie. my shit stinks just as much as the next guy, even the one across the border who looks scary & acts “different”.

    HD, I think you should work hard at changing this – personally …

    As you say – some things are universal … live with it … Sol is just being precious …

    …one thing I always have trouble with is political correctness – I remenber how it went mad in the Hawke/Keating era – almost religious in their fervour, public servants forcing their will on everyone …

  110. I don’t have a high opinion of Sol at all TB. It doesn’t have anything to do with him looking like a Mexican though. His manner & conduct grate.

    I also reckon he can’t take a joke & if you’re familiar with what I’d politely call my “general irreverence” (& I’d say you probably are) then I’d be surprised if I was, on balance, viewed as being “politically correct”.
    I don’t have a thin skin & I, perhaps wrongly, often expect the same from others.

  111. Moi mate Sol’s got every flippin reason to be dirty, cyber bludgers.

    He done a great job takin Telstra’s terrific offerins 2 market an what do the board fossils do? Clean out the petty cash tin, bung him a mere $34 mill an shove him out the bloomin door.

    I mean fer cryin out loud, is this what yers mean by a bloomin fair go?

    I urge this super star of management 2 fight this appallin miscarriage of justice all the way 2 the highest court in tha land. The Dark Satanic Mills Association of America stands ready ter help anyway we can, OK?

    What will it take ter get it thru yer thick heads. It’s a kiss up kick down world cyber bludgers, OK? There’s absolutely nah problem turnin yer pathetic little people into human footballs but yers can’t touch up the big boss. It’s jest not on, OK?

  112. He was in it just for the money.

    Not sure who said that but clearly a simpleton. While money is often an important driver when it comes to why people do as they so, it certainly is not the only factor. Given that Sol is the subject, can I suggest that, apart from the money, he was also driven by ego, a belief that could do the job better than most; a ‘labourer worthy of his hire’; driven by a desire to gain a place in history; be better than his predecessor; to be liked and respected and so on.

    Reducing human motivation to a single cause is simply a nonsense..

    Yes I am well aware that Reb and Joni only keep this Blog alive because of the ‘riches’ involved. LOL.

  113. You’re right N5, I only contribute here for the money.

  114. Tom of Melbourne, on May 26th, 2009 at 10:17 pm Said:

    You’re right N5, I only contribute here for the money.

    Actually, so do I. And I think I deserve an increase. Perhaps my union should adopt the slogan – ‘What do we want? When do we want it? etc.

    Night! But I feel assured because the cheque is in the mail apparently unlike the $900 that never appeared like the insulation … poor, poor pitiful me . LOL.

  115. Nature 5, on May 26th, 2009 at 7:27 pm Said:
    “particularly when we criticise the failings of others. Just saying.”

    We are good at that, but it can create that impression of superiority and isn’t that what racism is all about?

  116. Nature 5, on May 26th, 2009 at 10:03 pm Said:

    N5, totally agree, could not agree more.

    I feel sorry for those who are only in it for the money, or can’t wait to retire. They’ve mortgaged the only asset they have and it’s depreciating fast.

  117. G’night Rusty.

    Now, why couldn’t he just have sung-us Blue Shadows on the Range like a good departing Amigo?

  118. Not sure who said that but clearly a simpleton
    Nature 5, on May 26th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    What is it with you leftoids and the personal abuse??? Actually this is a new insult for me. No-one has called me a simpleton before.

    But yes like I said at 8.21PM, Sol was in it just for the money. I am also starting to think that foreign CEO’s are not a good idea. if we cannot get good people in Australia, so what. Let us employ people born here and if they are stupid let us fall together.

  119. Neil of Sydney, on May 27th, 2009 at 1:39 am Said:

    Neil, for many highly paid people, the money is just like a trophy wife. There are other things more important in their lives that provides their motivation.

  120. Neil

    You want to see abuse then go to Piers Akerman ( which I have no doubt you visit all of the time) and read responses by both Piers and his right wing cronies, to anyone who dares disagree.

    In addition Piers selects the reponses he permits to be published and therefore always ensures it looks like the leftoids are the abusive ones. Any that disprove his argument are trashed. Only those that he can respond with a snide remark are permitted.

    At least here all comments are posted. So how about you stop your own verbal abuse of the leftoids on this site and stick to the facts. Maybe then you would not be called a simpleton.

  121. The latest on Sols Departure and business responses.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25544966-462,00.html

    Pretty much sums it up for me.

  122. N5/johnd, agree re motivation … a pay rise for most people acts as limited motivation for approximately six weeks – then the real world kicks back in …

    My business mentor used to say – “…I’d sooner work in a lousy job with terrific people, than a terrific job with lousy people…” Tells a tale …

    Another of his favourites was… “… if everyone was 100% would that mean we were all just average?…”

  123. Maybe Sol should read this article

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25545056-5017817,00.html

  124. Just let me ask (again) Shane. What do call racially based derision? Because that is what he experienced.

    Did you hear the interview with the BBC? The BBC interviewer confirmed the commentary of Trujillo.

    This is a separate question to whether or not you considered him to be a successful CEO.

  125. Tom

    Racially based derision is an interpretation and many people choose to throw it in anothers face simply to settle a score.

    Tom “Adios” is a word forming part of the spanish language and means goodbye. If it meant something derogatory I would agree. Otherwise it is a word of another language, many of the words we use in the English language are plagarised from other languages, does that then me if I use one of them and the person I am talking to is from the oiriginal country of that language that I am being racist. I think not.

    In addition if you look up the word “Adios” it was adopted by the Americans as a form of farewell as well fropm 1830. So it can also be considered an American word. and Sol is an American ( isn’t he ?)

    If he had a problem he should have raised it while he was here, not after he has left the country ( weeks earlier than planned) and then broadcast his comments to another countries media network.

    Why did he not raise this issue while in Australia, he was 4 years not on a few weeks holiday.

    I maintain that this is using racism to try and deflect the true criticism of his performance as a disaster for Telstra with the true results beginning to emerge.

    One of the ways to deflect criticism is to use the racism angle and I think that is exactly what he has done.

    I did hear the interview.

  126. Shane, I think this goes beyond the use of “adios” by the PM.

    It is the constant reference to his Mexican background, the cartoon derision, the playing of Mexican hat dance music on the radio following each public comment.

    This was racially based teasing, so what do you call it?

  127. This was racially based teasing, so what do you call it? Tom of Melbourne, on May 27th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I call it “… racially based teasing … ” get over it precious …

    … what do you call union bashing … ? industrial teasing … ;-D

  128. Tom

    I believe that was purely because he insisted on bringing his three best friends over here as well, whom he worked with before. That happened almost immediately he arrived.

    That is where the three amigos came from as the three amigos did everything together. The music and cartoons simply would have been an addition to this.

    You can choose to continue to claim it was racially based teasing. I mantain it was a euphomism in regards to his insistence to bring his three friends as well and it developed from there. I do not belive for 1 second that it was racially based teasing or taunting or anything else. If he had brought only 2 I would say it would have been Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee rather than the 3 Amigos.

  129. Who knows Shane?

    We have executives of Middle Eastern background; I’d suggest that it would be particularly offensive if we accompanied each public statement from them with chanting of the Koran or similar.

    Racially based teasing is racism, even if the intent is humorous.

  130. Tom

    Chanting the Koran is completely different and you should know that. That is religious.

    Where in the Three Amigos comments does anyone refer the the religious beliefs of Sol ?

  131. Interesting Shane, so you believe that you are capable of judging whether one ethnic group finds something offensive, but you are willing to dismiss the concern expressed someone else.

    Trujillo didn’t make a huge issue of it during the interview. It became an issue with the media commentary that followed. He made an observation, and your comments probably support the thrust of what he was suggesting.

  132. A poll conducted over at ABC had 46% of respondents agreeing with Sol that Australia is backward and rascist..

    http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/supp/poll/past.htm

    I guess that would make it a “Sol Poll”

  133. I recall getting a phone call from the editor of THE AUSTRALIAN IT, asking permission to print my opinion at the time Sol had just taken over.

    Since then, I’ve realised SOl was out of his depth, but then again he was left with a run-down lemon to start with.

    Once again, my fundamental analysis proved right.

    A case of hear no evil, see no evil
    August 22, 2006
    http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,20201956-15309,00.html
    HERE’S something to really amuse Telstra shareholders. Back in June 1999, The Weekend Australian ran a piece under the headline “Why Telstra’s a Real Humdinger”.
    “The growth premium you are being asked to pay for Telstra now does not take into account any of the goodies in the pipeline that are likely to start appearing over the next couple of years.” That was a huge sales pitch and was always going to be an impossible task.

    As a majority shareholder and regulator, the federal Government has an interest in selling its shares at a premium price and an obligation to ensure the telco functions and will continue to function properly. Given the Government has so much of our money invested in the telco, it should have been monitoring our investment much more closely. Mr Trujillo and his team have attempted to reveal the true operational state of the telco, something that has been conveniently ignored. The PM admits he was aware the share price was being propped up by redirecting profits to shareholders as dividends instead of reinvesting in operational requirements. Mr Costello heard rumours but ignored them because, he claims, it was not his area of responsibility. What I think we have here is a case of hear no evil, see no evil, and that is what’s hurting investors.

  134. Na Min, it’s a nice buck-pass actually.

    The only victim here is Telstra’s share price
    Peter Costello
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-only-victim-here-is-telstras-share-price-20090526-bm07.html
    There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Sol Trujillo’s performance as chief executive of Telstra. Race is not one of them.

    Kevin Rudd was foolish to take a cheap shot – saying “adios” – when Trujillo left. And Trujillo is milking it as evidence that Australia is racist.

    But come on, Sol. You came to Australia and took up the prize job in Australia’s telecommunications industry. After four years you are leaving with $30 million of cash and bonuses. And you want us to believe you are a victim of racism?

    Trujillo has his critics. Let’s recount some of the reasons.

    When he started, the Telstra share price was about $5. After four years it is about 40 per cent lower and hovering a little above $3. You decide whether that is worth $30 million, but since the board offered, you can’t blame Trujillo for accepting.

  135. John..you mean that Costello’s opinion is that it’s all Sol’s fault and nothing to do with the previous government’s decision to sell off Telstra in the first place?

  136. The government had allowed Telstra to ignore maintenance and upgrades in favour of bumping up dividend returns ahead of the sell -off in order to make the offer attractive to investors.

    When Sol took over and major capital works and investments were needed in an attempt to improve performance, the government made Telstra promise not to discontinue dividend payments and thereby threaten the sale. This meant that instead of profits being reinvested in the business, they were shoveled out to shareholders. This meant that Telstra management were forced to take on additional debt to meet with capital investment, maintenance and future infrastructure needs.

    It also meant that in order to to remain viable they had to cut costs, which resulted in thousands of jobs being cut.

    You see, the sell off by the Howard Government over a period of time also allowed them to reduce government debt, by no longer carrying Telstra on its books, as well as pay down existing debts. Thereby making the Howard and Costello look like geniuses.

  137. …in other words Telstra was a drag on government finances and the sell-off was an attempt to dump the liability onto the shoulders of unsuspecting private investors (lots of mums and dads) who trusted they were being offered a great investment opportunity by the Howard Government.

  138. …Costello is relieved now because he can jump on the bandwagon and say ‘lets blame Sol’. Who appointed Sol?

  139. John, you know that my knowledge of economics is flea-size… Re: This meant that instead of profits being reinvested in the business, they were shoveled out to shareholders.

    Then why did the price of shares fall?

  140. Kamahl – look over there ———–>

    joni is, unlike Sol, glad to be back in Australia.

  141. Welcome home joni!!!

  142. Just a thought..but if Sol had found cartoons of himself as a Mexican/continual references to The Three Amigos so offensive and racist, why didn’t he never mention this before? He certainly was never a shrinking violet about stating his opinions.

  143. John,

    Your analysis of Telstra @12.02pm and 12.05pm is absolutely spot on in my (not so) humble opnion.

    Welcome home Joni..

  144. Min, on May 27th, 2009 at 12:12 pm Said:

    John, you know that my knowledge of economics is flea-size… Re: This meant that instead of profits being reinvested in the business, they were shoveled out to shareholders.

    Then why did the price of shares fall?

    Because most analysts realised that the future prospects of the company were not as glowing as was being touted by the Government or Sol’s team. Telstra and the Fed Government have been at logger heads over many issues.

    Major institutional investors (those with the large sums to invest have been weary) whereas your unsuspecting mums and dads have been holding on to old and empty promises. In other words, more sellers than buyers.

    You see, when you invest in stocks many expect two things (1) a stable dividend return, and (2) capital appreciation in price of their holdings. That’s what’s meant by total return. If both are on the rise then you’re investment is performing and your wealth is growing.

    To have be uncertain of future dividend returns and growth in earnings and price year after year is not the best line to take when trying to grow your wealth. As it stands, not only has the share price dropped and remained low but the time value of money invested has eroded due to inflation over the years (in other words each $1 of your money would have had more purchasing power back when you initially invested) double whammy – you’re getting poorer as a result of your investment .

  145. Welcome back joni. I hope you’re not ‘hog’ tired.

  146. Thanks Reb, Love the ‘not so humble opinion’ (Lol)

  147. Welcome home Joni!

  148. Tom

    I simply find it amazing that a word which says goodbye in the native tongue of his ancestral history is deemed offensive by him.

    In addition I cannot understand the words ( African, Mexican, Spanish, Italian etc etc) American.

    For Gods sake they are American. Aussies are Aussies I don’t care where their heritage lies.

    I don’t call myself an Irish/British Australian. I am an Australian.

    As I said before if the word “Adios” was adopted by America since 1830 as a word for goodbye then where is the racism in using this word to an American.

  149. Reb LOL and you wonder why I’m such a cynical bastard when it comes to economic forecasts and business confidence etc. There’s often so much BS floating around that it’s hard to see straight. That’s why I’m a die-hard analyst of fundamentals and historical data independent of who’s spruiking whatever. There’s always an untold story that’s being conveniently ignored.

  150. Come on Shane, I think we can safely say it wasn’t accompanied by a warm handshake. It’s way down on the list of Rudd’s recent offences.

    What is more concerning is just how easily falsehoods roll off the tongue of our current PM. Two in the last week regarding the foreign language abilities of Borrowman and the slip with the “hard hats” in Parliament I think require some examination. We are used to politicians being a little loose with the truth, on both sides, but this bloke will lie about just about anything, even when it’s not necessary. Yes, I know, cue “Never Ever GST” and the rest and we can debate about who is worse, but surely this guy is fast approaching pathological. Surely.

  151. Good one RN. When son in the navy was transferred from HMAS Tobruk (Sydney) to the patrol boats out of Cairns (Qld) Telstra disconnected our home phone in Billinudgel (Far North Coast NSW)…BECAUSE father and son have the same first initial and same surname. It took 3 days to sort out and to be eventually reconnected.

  152. John

    I agree with the untold storys being conveniently ignored. However Telstra was only a drag on the Govt as a result of having to borrow for dividends which were unrealistic and being used to propr the price up for privatisation.

    I worked for Telecom in 1980- 1982. It employed 92,000 people including those with disabilities. It guaranteed connection of a phone within 2 weeks of request. It actually gave you a time when the technician would turn up because they actually worked for Telecom and were not an outsource section. It paid dividends to the Federal Government. It had no debt and was profitable. Yes it was expensive but don;t forget at the time it was building a copper network to every home in australia with our limited population and was building it from retained earnings. It also built the analogue mobile network which covered 100% of australia but was ordered to dismantle it to allow competitors into the australian market. Yes there were complaints but it was nearly always about how dear calls were. Now the complaints are about everything under ths sun from how dear calls are to lack of service. Ask our rural friends if their services are as good as they were under analogue. They are nowhere near it.

    I believe our call costs would have continued to fall had Telecom stayed a government monopoly once the infrastructure had been completed. Instead it had to shut its analogue mobile network and start a new one from scratch, simply to allow other telcos into the country. In other words the expensive calls our fathers paid to built the countrys telephony system came to nought in the end.

    I might have lost with Timbercorp, but I never bought any Telstra shares.

  153. And also Shane, Telstra used to be one of the major employers of apprentices. Friend is a technician who trained under the old PMG Department.

  154. James – not being smart, but as I have been out of the country, what are the Borrowman and ‘hard hats” lies?

  155. Borrowman was the recommendation for the diplomatic post in Germany. Rudd rejected because he likes diplomats to be able to speak the language. Borrowman is proficient in German. He also has a history of some sort of conflict with Rudd.

    Rudd was saying something in Parliament yesterday and used the words “hard of hats” when he meant “heart of hearts”. Coalition laughed because he has been accused recently of too many photo ops wearing a hard hat. He replied that he had been misheard. He hadn’t.

    Now neither lie was massive in the scheme of things, but nor were either necessary. He just took the path of least resistance. I don’t get it given his continued popularity, why is he panicking?

    I just get this feeling that something is about to blow somewhere.

  156. Don’t worry Shane, I have grave reservations about the push by the Howard Government to privatise. My step-mother and other friends have kept me abreast of the deterioration of services due to privatisation. In fact, the push by the Howard Government is privatising was a major reason why Telstra went rapidly downhill.

    I should have focused on the fact that the costs associated with running such a large organisation were seen as a laibility and in the minds of the Coalition, discarding that cost via privatisation whilst making a killing on the sale was a clear demonstration of their ‘free-market’ philosophy and to hell with the long-term consequences.

    Sol and his team’s job was to come in and reorganise, re-energise and to make Telstra a lean-mean profit machine. The upside was supposed to be a double whammy of a major selling off profit and increased future tax revenues from the rejuvenated giant.

    In short, Telstra has been dying a death of neglect and incompetence. Not a sound investment.

    Nice try Mr’s Howard and Costello, but its failed miserably.

    Imagine if you’d purchased shares in the T2 when they were hovering over the $8 mark – in 2002, I think?

  157. Min

    Totally agree, the hurried sell off of public assets by greedy politicians of both political persuasions on the supposed basis of benefits to the community are laughable at best and down right dishonest at worst when you factor in all of the ramifications of the sale.

    Just imagine how much better off we would be if 60,000 more employees were with Telecom paying their taxes and buying consumer goods, rather than sell of an iconic business whihc now pays exhorbitant salaries to a few wankers at the top.

    So many people say they would pay a little more for better service, well that is what you had when it was publicly owned. Now you might be paying a bit less for calls, but a hell of a lot more in rentals and other introduced fees together with appaling to non existent service.

    Same applies to the Banks since the sell off of the CBA.

    Now it is applying to electricity. If you want to see the mess that is AGL in QLD look at the Sunshine Coast Daily website.

  158. …Shane, Timbercorp? What were you thinking?

  159. Shane

    Just imagine how much better off we would be if 60,000 more employees were with Telecom paying their taxes and buying consumer goods, rather than sell of an iconic business whihc now pays exhorbitant salaries to a few wankers at the top.

    Spot on! And we wonder why we’re suffering the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression.

  160. John

    It was also the Labor party under Keating commenced sale of the CBA and then the full sale of QANTAS.

    Both sides are wankers when it comes to selling off public assets.

    We are always fed the same bullshit about more competition and cheaper prices and better service because private enterprise can do it better. And this is oh so false.

    The biggest problem for our public assets was governments of both sides legislating for higher dividends and not permitting the enterprises to hold back sufficient profit for upgrades and infrastructure for the future. It was nothing about making losses at was about governments sucking too much out.

    A private company keeps sufficient profit to provide for infrastrucutre however public assets were forced to pay more and more of their % of profit to the government of the day.

    If this happened to a private company if would also become run down with bad and crumbling infrastructure.

    The solution was to ensure public owned businesses were allowed to retain sufficient profit, but this was never allowed and never properly investigated.

    The simply solution was to blame the enterprises because they were government owned and use that as an ideological excuse to dispose of them to private enterprise to make a motza.

    CBA sold for $5, now worth $36 and imagine the dividends which would have flowed to the coffers since 1993. It operated for over 70 years a government enterprise in competition with private banks so the excuse that the Govt should not be in banking was also a smoke screen as it had operated extremely successful for over 70 years, why the sudden change that it should not be publicly owned ?. One word Ideology and greed form politicians who can only see short term fixes.

    Now Anna Bligh is planning the sell off of assets in QLD, so both sides have a lot to answer for when they are selling profitable assets to build infrasttrucutre which does not return a dividend back to the coffers.

    To me it is like selling a rental property for which you rely on the rental income to have a short term 2 year holiday overseas. After 2 years the holiday is over and the asset if gone and no more weekly income.

  161. Shane..even little non-economically minded me could see a problem with the privatisation of a monopoly. The vague attempt to introduce ‘competition’ into the equation was never going to work.

    And I agree re privatisation of electricity..again how can you have competition via a monopoly. It’s not as if when you aren’t satisfied with the service that you can go elsewhere.

    So many other things as well such as no competition for cheap housing options due to next to no public housing.

  162. John

    RE : Timbercorp. I bought them over 12 months ago just to look for some agricultural exposure in my super portfolio. I took a risk and lost. But not much mind you.

  163. shaneinqld, on May 27th, 2009 at 1:44 pm Said:

    Excellent observations and analysis Shane.

    And Timbercorp? You took a risk and lost, not much. Sometimes it’s worth it sometimes not. As long as you keep losses to a minimum no harm done. Then again, I don’t need to tell you that, I’m sure

    Plenty of bargains in the pipeline I’m sure. The upside of my cynical view is, when honest to goodness long-term bargains pop up, most people are running away.

  164. Shane – “Just imagine how much better off we would be if 60,000 more employees were with Telecom”

    Can you quantify what the effect of this would be on the organisation?

    Assume built up cost (ie inclusive of all the employment related overheads) of $100,000pa.

    The effect on the bottom line is $6,000,000,000.

    Even to this government, that’s quite a lot of money to find.

  165. Tom

    It would still be a monopoly and therefore have the income stream of all the telcos in the country so please add income from Telstra, AAPT, Virgin Mobile, 3, Vodafone and the many other third party distributors. I am sure that would well and truly cover the costs.

    In gods name how many people do you think that work for telstra are on $100,000 per annum ?

    80% of all bank workers are on much much less than $100,000 per annum and I presume the same could be said for telstra employees. This includes the 9% super levy.

    So lets be realistic and say it is $50,000 per annum for each of them. That equates to $3 billion.

    How much would have been saved by no share incentives for the hierachy, good salaries for the managing director like they used to be rather than exhorbitant ones like they are now. In addition to my comments regarding the income generated by competitors.

    You need to look at the whole ramification of privatisation and refold back everything if you want to be realistic. We could also add back the duplication of networks costing billions by each individual operator.

  166. Shane, Tom was talking about cost of employment which goes much further than salary. Also need to factor in the $30 billion odd raised in the sale, and the interest payments on that if it were still debt.

  167. Shane, you’ve missed the point. I referred to the built up cost.

    That means the total cost of employing someone. Each employee needs workers comp insurance, superannuation, payroll tax, computer equipment, tools, a workstation, possibly a motor vehicle for service people. Add in public holidays, long service leave, RDOs.

    If you take your car to a garage for service, they’ll charge about $50+/hour for someone they pay perhaps $25 or $26/hour.

    The balance of $24/hour isn’t profit; most of it is consumed in paying the employment related overheads.

  168. James

    Can you please tell me what additional costs there would be to employ a person on $50,000. Maybe a few more Human Resources officers, although most of human resources has now been placed on the responsibility of the employee. Maybe Leave Loading depending on their contract. Annual leave is already factored into full time employees annual salaries as is the 9% super levy. Maybe a few more chairs and pens and computers, but these can all be written off in the same year.

    I would guarantee that most of the 60,000 would be on much less than $50,000. I sometimes wonder where a lot of the poeple on this site work.

    I left the CBA in 2004 as a senior credit officer on a salary of $45,000. 3rd from the top of our section.

    I was part of a team of 157 people and only 1 was
    paid $100,000 and that was the State Credit Manager and he was only just paid that amount.

    A senior credit officer of my previous staure is now paid around $50,000 of which there are 12.

    All other officers in the team of 157 were paid salaries ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 depending on their grade.

    I find it amazing that we use $100,000 when even the average salary for australians which includes all of the milionaires comes to a little over $50,000.

    Regarding paying off the debt, James can you tell me what interest rate the Commonwealth pays on borrowings ?

  169. Tom

    Funny then that even a garage which is owned by the operator who is also the mechanic also charges $50 per hour, what is the reason there ?

    The hourly rate for other garages is charged to also cover the salaries of those who actually do not contribute income to a business such as CEOs and Directors.

    I have run two small bsuinesses and one was a cleaning business and despite covering all costs and insurances, super and every other benefit it did not by any stretch of the imagination cost me double what I was paying my employees in associated costs.

    I suggest many businesses use these as excuses.

  170. 5,000 Telstra workers are on strike today in Victoria.

    If only we had more of them as Shane suggests, we’d be able to have more on strike.

    Very productive.

    Shane, when organisations, including Telstra, estimate savings based on a reduction of employment levels, I think my figure is one used.

    If there were an additional 60,000 people, I suspect they’d need to be managed and supervised somehow, like it or not.

  171. Tom

    Of course they would use those estimates, makes it look a very compelling reason to remove staff. It is however extremely difficult to quantify savings after the event, from financial statements provided by large corporations.

    I agree additional staff would need to be managed or supervised but those positions are already included in the 60,000 staff. Positions lost ranged from the telephone call centre operator through to management.

  172. Tom

    What are they on strike for ? Their $100,000 salary ?

  173. Obviously Shane you think my estimation is wrong.

    Perhaps then justify your own estimation of a built up figure, particularly having regard to –

    • What is the base rate of pay?
    • What is the proportion of direct to indirect employees?
    • How many supervisors and managers will be required?
    • How many support people?
    • What is the cost of providing an IT service to each employee?
    • What is the cost per square metre of work space?
    • How much work space do you propose to provide to each employee?
    • For service people, what is the cost of running a motor vehicle for each of them?
    • How much in consumables do you propose to budget?
    Etc, etc

  174. Tom

    I will work on that tonight using myself as the employee in the example and provide you with all of the figures tomorrow.

  175. I’m not arguing with you, Shane, just pointing out a few things to be factored into employment costs. I don’t know whether they should have sold Telstra, I have no idea of the end alternatives. But I’d be interested to know in hindsight. As for employment costs, it costs me, working from home, $30,000 before I can transfer a cent to my savings account. If I were to rent an office, you could add $20,000 to that.

  176. James of North Melbourne, on May 27th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Whew, $30,000! I worked from home, cost me $10,000 a year to open for business…for two of us… last full year was 2005 – would be about $12000 now…

  177. James

    I rent an office with my buisness partner and so far this year it has cost me the following since July 2008 which is taken from my cashflow.

    Rental $10,781
    Electricity $ 513
    Insurance $ 462 ( for premises )

    All other costs would still apply whether I worked from the office or from home.

    We only moved to an office to give my business partner her family home back to her family.

    If we employed another person tomorrow, our rent would be the same. We would have to buy a desk another computer and run a cable to the desk for internet and provide a phone ( but these are all one off costs). Regarding stationery and the like, I would still use this if I was writing the loans myself.

  178. A few certain scumbags in my industry have made compliance, licence, and insurance costs exorbitant.

  179. James

    I certainly agree there are costs involved with having an employee. I would no doubt have Workers Compensation and other costs.

    What I do not believe is the figures bandied about by CEOs regarding the savings to be made by getting rid of staff.

    For example if a branch of a bank has 20 staff and then sacks 5 the fixed costs for the branch remain the same. The computers they use will have been at least 4 years old anyway if they worked in my previous employer as our computers in country branches for tellers were exactly the same ones for 15 years and were only replaced because the compnay refused to supply parts anymore and the huge floppy discs were no longer being made. The stationery will remain the same as the same number of customers and their paperwork will remain the same.

    In my opinion they will save on only a few things.

    1) Actual salary
    2) Super levy which is in most contracts as part of the all up salary these days.
    3) Leave loading if they qualify.
    4) Workers compensation
    5) Payroll tax.

    This is why I find their costings a bit of a phurphy.

    Now if they close down a whole branch and sack all of the staff then that is a different matter and fixed costs would also disappear.

  180. James

    Regarding compliance costs, its not the politicians that are destroying our industry but rather the Banks and our own representative body.

    Banks now want to charge us an annual fee for the privelege of being a broker and being able to send them loan applications.

    Our own body now charges us $330 per annum to be a memeber and makes us earn 25 points per annum to retain our qualification. many of the previous ways of earning points have been removed. So we now have to attend their own promotional seminars to earn some points.

    Example a 1/2 day seminar in Brisbane on Commercial Lending worth 6 points. Cost $825 per member.

    1 day seminar on Gold Coast ( free ) but only 1 point.

    1 day seminar on Gold Coast to earn 6 points $595

    So it will now cost us thousands of dollars to make our points with all the money going to our own representative organisation.

    So it is not only Governments mate that are ripping people off.

  181. Shane – would this “representative organisation” be a business version of a union (boo!)?

  182. joni

    Well yes it would be a kind of union body. And believe it or not we have NO choice whether to be a member or not. Funny that ? Ulike the FSU where I had a choice to be a member.

    Where is John Howards union busters of the wharfies and can they come and invade the organisations offices and also demand the Banks not make it a requirement of us to join an organisation if we choose not to.

    Talk about double standards.

  183. James

    From all the reports that I have read, they admit that Borrowman cannot speak German, so why was that a lie? I can see the interference in the process, but no lie.

  184. Also joni, the reports that Borrowman’s appointment to Sweden was a ‘demotion’ might be considered a little less than accurate given that Sweden is the current EU President. I can’t see that Sweden is somehow ‘inferior’ to Germany.

  185. Tom

    I am still locating all of the information to provide you with the actual costs regarding my previous employment.

    One interesting statistic I have found for Queensland is that if your payroll is $1,000,000 or less then payroll tax does not apply.

    Only 8.8% of all businesses in QLD have a payroll of over $1,000,000.

    This means that Payroll tax does not apply to 91.2% of all businesses in this state.

    So much for the LNP proposal in the last election to help small business by exempting payroll tax. Looks like 91% would not have been effected at all.

    I will however, include it in my calculations at 4.75% as my previous employer was a Bank with a payroll of over $1 million.

  186. There is nothing quite as pathetic as a millionaire, Chief Executive crybaby

  187. Wake up 2 yerselves, yer impertinent cyber bludgers are fools, OK?

    Get it through yer tiny egg-shelled minds would yers? It’s not that Sol’s arrogant, rude or flippin up himself – nah, perish the thought – it’s jest the important fact that any opinion delivered by a Master of the Universe personality type is much much more important than anything yer treacherous tiny brains will ever come up with.

    Yer got that? Get used ta tha hard facts of life, OK? Grow up. Yer pathalogically jealous whinin is becomin 123% borin, OK?

  188. In Melbourne we have a spate of bashings of Indian students, this community has protested against the latent racism in Australia.

    46% of people think Australia is racist.

    We’ve had the Cronulla riots.

    Sol Trujillo and the BBC interviewer suggested we have this streak.

    But many here continually denied this.

    The evidence in contained in the editorials of the Indian press and in the protests of this community here.

    People should wake up. The deriding of Trujillo’s heritage was just the mainstream and middle class mask for racism.

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