January 13, 2011

Have you ever seen rain?

Large parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales have. And Victoria is next in line. 

It was a deep, soaking and constant rain that literally fell within hours, quickly swamping ground already sodden from higher than usual December rains and rising to levels not seen in this country for over 100 years. The ensuing devastation and loss happens with a ferocity that surprises and shocks a nation. Journalists are left grasping for adjectives to adequately describe the growing crisis, government authorities are stretched to the absolute limit, the death toll rising to 12 and grave fears held for a number of people still missing, their whereabouts unknown.

It's been one helluva scary demonstration of the force capable from Mother Nature. I'm sure I can't be the only one who thinks she's been wreaking havoc more often than normal lately too, and on a global scale. Where are all those climate change sceptics now, hey?

My thoughts are with all those affected and I hope, for their sake, the water recedes soon so the massive clean up task can begin. It's going to be a bloody long haul to repair the damage. Let's make sure we all do what we can to help them.

January 6, 2011

YOU'RE the one who doesn't get it.

Gerry, Gerry, Gerry. *slaps him with a wet fish*

I read the news today, oh boy (points for anyone who knows the artist and the song title) and had an unrestrainable urge to reach for my laptop. Certain business CEO’s need to think twice before they open their mouths, especially when they spout off ridiculous statements in the media. Read this article and you’ll see what I mean.

Apparently Gerry Harvey (billionaire - owner of retail giant, Harvey Norman) thinks savvy shoppers ‘are un-Australian’ for buying cheaper goods overseas via the internet. Quite frankly, I am OUTRAGED by this - how dare he impune my patriotism or tell me where I should shop? Talk about a hypocrite.

Who does he think he’s kidding?

I’m not an idiot. And let me tell you, Gerry, nor are the Australian public. We have mortgages or rent, kids to house/educate/feed and household bills to pay. Every cent of our hard-earned cash counts. So why wouldn’t we be choosy about where and how we spend our almighty dollar? Wanting a better deal isn’t un-Australian, Gerry. It’s the only way most families can manage to get by nowadays. We don't have pockets as deep as yours.

Harvey Norman has gouged millions from the Australian public by selling imported goods made in China over the last two decades, destroying many small locally-owned and operated businesses in the process. Those little stores you sent to the wall weren’t big enough to buy in bulk and sell their goods cheaper. How many job losses did you cause this way, Gerry? I’ll hazard a guess that this never came up at any of your board meetings. And yet you have the nerve to tell us to spend more at Harvey Norman for the ‘good of the nation’?? Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? It’s more like for the ‘good of your bottom line’.

The thing is, Gerry, people want Quality, Service and Value For Money, three things that are sadly missing from your stores. Why would we want to pay an over-inflated price for a cheap and inferior product made in China when we can get much better quality buying the same thing online for up to 60% less? And that’s including delivery and impressive customer service. You should take note!

It’s a free market global economy, Gerry. The internet has made this world a lot smaller and consumers are quite rightly relishing the savings by letting their fingers do the shopping. This trend is not going to go away no matter how much you’d like it to. YOU need to get with the programme and realise that it’s not about tax - it’s about the excessive mark-ups big retailers like you have been slugging us with for years, while trying to convince us that we’re good Australians for keeping our money in the country.

The thing is, Gerry, we’re not ‘buying’ it anymore - if you’ll pardon the pun - because finally, thanks to some welcome competition in the retail sector, we don’t have to. The public will vote with their feet and their wallets - so stop whinging about the money you reckon you’re not making and start being dinky di – maybe then you’ll have a point.

Until that happens, you and your fellow Big Business CEO’s can bang on all you like about the playing field being 'unfair' for the big end of town.

No-one’s going to listen. Least of all ME.
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