Monthly Archives: July 2007

Roy Pearson, You’ve Been Pantsed!

I love a feel-good story, especially if the people in the story truly deserve to feel good, or better, about themselves.

I have been following closely the case of the missing pants brought about by a nincompoop judge who misused his legal knowledge in an attempt to abuse the US legal system. The ignoramus fool was so incensed by his drycleaners misplacing his pants that he tried to sue them for $60 million in damages.

Understandably, and with great applause worldwide, the case was thrown out of court and Judge Roy Pearson declared an idiot. Even though it was a victory to the drycleaners, the Chungs incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees with no way to pay the court costs.

So it was lovely to read the below article, where the public have gathered to raise funds for the drycleaners to cover their legal fees. And it was even more lovely to read that if the courts make Judge Roy cover the Chungs’ legal fees, the Chungs would donate the proceeds raised from the fundraiser to charity.

July 25, 2007 – 11:31AM
By Lubna Takruri

WASHINGTON, July 24 AP – A now-famous pair of pants was the star attraction at a US fundraiser meant to help pay the bills of a dry-cleaner couple caught in a legal stitch.

The $US54 million ($61.4 million) pants, as they have come to be known, were the subject of a widely mocked lawsuit that garnered international attention.

Now, they have their own security guard.

US groups advocating stricter guidelines for filing lawsuits and supporters of Jin Nam Chung and Soo Chung, the Washington owners of Custom Cleaners, came from across America to attend the cocktail fundraiser.

On display were what the Chungs say are the pants that a local administrative law judge, Roy Pearson brought in, were misplaced, and were later found.

The guests had appetisers and cocktails, and under the stern gaze of the security guard, some posed for photos with the pants.

The Chungs successfully defended themselves from the $US54 million suit, which originally demanded $US67 million, but they now owe about $US100,000 in legal costs.

The American Tort Reform Association and the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform put on the fundraiser in hopes of defraying the Chungs’ costs.

The fundraiser netted more than $US64,000, with more pledges still coming in, organisers said.

"Without your support, the Chungs could very well have gone bankrupt," defence lawyer Chris Manning told the crowd of about 150.

The Chungs also made a rare appearance to thank their guests.

The organisers said they also wanted to raise visibility for their mission to change tort law in the face of US lawsuits that unfairly target small businesses.

"Our motto is the spirit of free enterprise," said Lisa Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal Reform.

"The Chungs epitomise that in our perspective. They’ve really been living the American dream, and that all came to a halt with the filing of this lawsuit."

"It’s our hope to help them do a course correction and get back on track," Rickard said.

Manning said that if the court grants the Chungs’ motion for Pearson to pay their legal fees, proceeds from the fundraiser that exceed the family’s costs would be donated to charity.

Pearson did not respond to an email from The Associated Press requesting comment.

These people deserve a medal for their patience and perseverance. In fact, I think they deserve their very own Hollywood Walk of Fame star – now, where are those application forms again?


Random Musings for week commencing 23/07/2007

The last couple of weeks have been pretty tame – if you discount the overindulgence with my mad friend Cameron last Friday night in Newcastle. All I have to say is: what goes on tour stays on tour.

Today, as I continue to recover from my trip to Orchard Hills on Monday, I thought I’d put down some random musings for the week.

As previously mentioned, one of my chosen charities since 2004 is Redkite. They are holding their Annual Colour Ball on Saturday 4 August at the Museum of Contemporary Arts. The colour theme for 2007 is gold, and whilst I’ve been very successful in locating buckets of accessories in gold, I’m having a great deal of difficulty finding gold attire.

When I bemoaned the situation to my good mate Emily today, she had this to say:

You could always go nude.
Gold Body Paint: $6.50
Gold shoes: $40
Ticket to the hottest Gold Ball in town: $135
The look on your mates’ faces when you turn up starkers: Priceless

I don’t want to think about that … I really don’t …

Just my luck then to stumble across this little gem:

Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:36AM EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) – A mysterious blonde paid a visit to a petrol station shop in the small eastern German town of Doemitz on Sunday — wearing nothing but a pair of golden stilettos and a thin gold bracelet.

The tall, slender woman strolled into the shop in the town of Doemitz on the warm afternoon and bought cigarettes, petrol station employee Ines Swoboda told Reuters on Monday.

"I wasn’t surprised because she’s come in naked before — she’s a very nice woman," Swoboda said, adding none of the other customers were bothered. The woman could have faced charges of creating a public disturbance if anyone had complained.

A quick-witted customer did, however, snap pictures of the woman believed to be about 30 years old as she walked back to a waiting Ferrari and climbed into the passenger seat. Several of those photos appeared in the German media on Monday.

Oh dear …

In trying to look busy at work (not that hard to do, considering I’m surrounded by colleagues making personal phone call after personal phone call to bitch about an ex who they’ve invited to stay in their house, or organising their wedding / fiance’s life / fiance’s mother’s life / etc, or just being a melodramatic and overprotective mother), I thought I’d catch up on the Reuter’s Oddly Enough articles. Lo and behold, I thought I’d made the news, especially after my efforts in Newcastle!

Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:26PM EDT

LONDON (Reuters) – A Middle Eastern businessman spent over $210,000 in a five-hour, champagne- and vodka-fuelled spending spree in a London nightclub at the weekend.

Fraser Donaldson, a representative of Crystal, a club favored by Prince Harry, said in 20 years working in the industry it was the biggest bill he’d seen from one customer.

The unnamed big spender entered Crystal at midnight on Saturday with friends — nine women and eight men — and ordered a $50 bottle of white wine, a spokesman for the club said.

But before long he was ordering magnums of Dom Perignon at $1,400 each and then called for a Methuselah — eight bottles in one — of Cristal Champagne at $60,000 and the party spread.

The festivities ended with a "night cap" consisting of a Methuselah of Belvedere vodka, which cost $2,800. "He basically just said, ‘keep the drinks flowing,’" the club spokesman said.

When the party left at 5 a.m., the bill was 81,471.50 pounds, which with tax and service added amounted to 105,805.28 pounds — $218,000. It included the cost of six Coca-Colas.

Wish I was at this party … there would have been 7 cokes instead of 6! Then again, after the Friday night that was last week, I certainly felt like I’d attended this party in more ways than one.

Swans Redkite Big Game 2007

I spent today raising funds for Redkite and watching the Swannies spank the Blues.

Redkite is an Australian charity that I have been supporting since I joined my company in 2004. Founded in 1983, Redkite supports children and their families through cancer by providing emotional guidance, financial assistance and educational services. For the past 3 years, I have faithfully attended the Swans Big Game to raise funds for Redkite.

Sydney Swans have been supporting Redkite for over 7 years, and one of their initiatives is to donate the proceeds of one game day to the charity. A celebrity match is held before the main game, and this year, the main game saw the Swans take on the hapless Carlton Blues.

This year, I roped in a small group of intrepid colleagues and their loved ones (and a very tired Emily) to help Redkite raise funds by selling raffle tickets. It was an early start for a cold Sunday – we were required at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 10.30am for a volunteer briefing from the Redkite officials. At least the weather was gorgeous – so warm and toasty in the sun. Once the briefing was completed, we strolled through the grounds in search of philanthropic Swans (and Blues) supporters. It took some time for Emily and me to decide on the best spot to stand and sell tickets, and after much deliberation, we took up position at the entrance of the MA Noble Stand.

But not before a very amused Jared Crouch pointedly laughed at me as he strolled past. Not that anyone should blame him – I looked like a red crayon threw up all over me – I was wearing a red Redkite cap, my Swans scarf and my big red coat, carrying a giant inflatable red hand. Noice, very noice indeed.

It was a very slow start, but once we got going, there was a steady stream of charitable football fans lining up for tickets and big red plastic hands. The deal was $5 per ticket, or 3 for $10 and we threw in an inflatable red hand. It was amazing how many people bought the tickets to get the plastic hand.

We didn’t see much of the game in the first half as we were busy selling raffle tickets, and with our duties officially over at the start of the third quarter, we headed to some seats to take in some action. By this point, the Swans were streaking ahead on the scoreboard, leaving a stunned Blues team in their wake. Spida Everett was on fire, kicking 2 quick goals in succession in the third quarter, much to our delight. The Swans played well, and the Blues had no answers. The final score said it all – 166 to 100. Cheer, cheer the Red and the White!

The final tally for Redkite was in the order of $14,600 – a huge effort for all involved. I for one am feeling all warm and fuzzy that I’ve helped to achieve that amount!

Plenty of photos were taken – and some pretty good action shots too. Gotta love the Swans!

The Week That Was

The week has been pretty cruisy – no major complaints, no major hassles – well, if there is one complaint, but it was all self-inflicted: my very pretty shoes made me a cripple.

So with nothing big to whinge about, I thought I’d share with you a list of random amusements / bemusements from the week.

Bus Shenanigans

I live in St Leonards and work in North Sydney (and occasionally in the CBD), and I catch the bus to and from work every day, even though I live above a train station. As a rule, I don’t catch trains (I’m a bus girl), because trains and I do not have a good relationship. My bus trips are usually pretty tame – unlike my friend Danie who gets her hair stroked by random fellow passengers. This week, I was privy to some random behaviours of people who catch the bus.

On Wednesday morning, I had my hair tugged from behind for the entire 10-minute journey. As I was sitting down in an available seat, I glanced at the person in the seat behind me, who appeared quite normal and engrossed in a magazine. She was dressed for work, just like me. The first tug of my hair happened within 2 minutes of me sitting down. I didn’t think much of the incident – thought she might have accidentally tugged at my long hair whilst shifting her weight in her seat, so I leaned forward and wrapped my scarf over my hair to contain my wild mane. A couple of minutes later, I felt a second tug. I again leaned forward and pushed the ends of my hair under my scarf. A minute or so pass, and I felt a third tug – through the scarf. I whipped my head around to confront the girl, but she seemed enraptured by her magazine. Sucking in the big ones, I turned back to face the front of the bus.

Would you believe it, I felt a fourth tug of my hair. I decided to do nothing and waited for the fifth tug, which happened another minute later. I waited a few seconds and turned to confront her, just as she was reaching out for a sixth tug. Her hand landed on my cheek. This chick wasn’t even looking at me – she was tugging at my hair while reading her magazine! She snapped her head up and froze, my mouth dropped opened, and when a snappy comment would have been great, my morning brain came up with nothing. Thankfully for me, the bus pulled up at my bus stop. In the end, I glared hard at her and got the hell off the bus.

Praying that the afternoon bus trip home would be incident-free, I alighted a bus at around 6.30pm to take me home. All the seats on the bus were taken, with the exception of one next to a girl who was treating the bus seat like her lounge. She was sprawled three-quarters of the way across the seat, reading a magazine. I stood next to the seat and said "excuse me", which she completely ignored. I repeated my "excuse me", which again fell on deaf ears. So I sat down – on top of her. In my defence, I had no choice – as I was sitting down, the bus driver braked suddenly and the bus lurched around. If the silly mole had been sitting upright, I would have landed on the seat and missed her completely. I apologised, but she continued to refuse to acknowledge me. She did sit upright after that.

The Cage @ St Leonards Tavern

And no, the Cage is not a new nightclub.

I was still shaking my head as I got off the bus for my short walk home, past my yocal the St Leonards Tavern. The Tav is the dodgy dive of a pub on the corner of Pacific Highway / Christie Street / Sergeants Lane where all the yocals drink. Prior to 1 July, when you could still smoke inside pubs and clubs, the Tav would always be filled with smoke, even though the "smoking section" was limited to the tiny area next to the pokies.

Prior to 1 July, I noticed a lot of pubs and clubs that do not have outdoor areas undergo upgrades to their premises so as to provide an area for smokers, but I must say I never noticed any works being carried out at the Tav. When I strolled past on Wednesday night, I finally saw the Tav’s new smoking wing – tacked onto the end of the pokies area, overhanging their rubbish skip in Sergeants Lane, in the form of a cage.

An Itty Bitty Police Car

On my way to work on Thursday, my bus passed a police car. I usually don’t pay much attention to police cars, unless it has its lights flashing and sirens blaring. This particular police car caught my eye.

The itty bitty 2-door white Suzuki Jimny with full police branding was literally jam packed with police officers, 4 in total. The 2 in the back looked like sardines, sitting shoulder to shoulder with no room to move. I keep wondering how they managed to jam those 2 into the back in the first place.

The 2 in the front did not fare much better – even as I type this, I have no idea how the driver was able to steer and change gears with his front passenger sitting almost on top of him!

And no, it didn’t look like they’d be able to get out that car in a hurry.

Hugh Grant’s Divine Lovin’

Whilst Hugh Grant’s career has been steadily declining (is he still making movies??), it’s been up, up and away for Divine Brown, the prostitute who serviced Hugh on Sunset Boulevard in 1995. In a recent interview, Divine thanked Hugh for the night of her life.

The once destitute Brown (born Stella Marie Thompson) now wears mink coats on her back, diamonds around her neck and drives a Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz. She lives in the luxury of Beverly Hills and her two daughters, Cheyenne, now 18, and Brianna, 17, have been put through private school. Even now, more than a decade later, there’s no sign of the money-making infamy slowing down – a DVD about her life due to be released.

"Everything turned out for the better," Brown says. "It helped me turn my life into something positive. I was blessed that it could get me out of that lifestyle.

"Gangsta" Brown, her former "manager" and the father of her two children, said that night transformed both of their lives.

"I went from miserable to the best night of my life," he says. "The money poured in, poured in, poured in. She had interviews, food, lingerie, and lipstick commercials. We bought a new house, new cars, everything you could think of.

"I love Hugh Grant. Hugh Grant put my kids through school, gave us a chance of the life we probably would’ve never reached. We had a chance to travel on private jets. If I can meet him and shake his hand all I would like to say is: ‘Thank you. I appreciate you, and if there is anything I can do in return I would love to be a friend’."

Oh dear …

And finally …

You just can’t trust pirates.

The Ultimate Farewell Email

This is GOLD!!

Haven’t we all felt like this at one time or another?? How I wish I had the guts (and eloquence) to send out a farewell email like this as my parting gift to some of my previous employers. And no, it really doesn’t matter if the email is real or fake – I just love the sentiments!

Updated 03/07/2007 @ 9.33AM: The email is an urban legend and was ripped off a blog written by Chris Kula, a comedy writer based in New York City. The email is still very funny!!

Jay Rodriguez/JPMCHASE 06/22/2007 01:16 PM

To: Jacqueline Garcia/JPMCHASE, Beatriz E Von Dwinglo/JPMCHASE, Ricardo Ramos/JPMCHASE, Nirman Patel/JPMCHASE, Margaret Badillo/JPMCHASE, Jan L Bruzzese/JPMCHASE, Cassandra R Woods/JPMCHASE, Ardis P Carlos/JPMCHASE, Marlene Y Ross/JPMCHASE, Dana E Davis/JPMCHASE, Cesar R Rosales/JPMCHASE, Henry Chu/JPMCHASE, Jay Rodriguez/JPMCHASE, John Stojanovski/JPMCHASE, Joseph O Cobbinah/JPMCHASE, Linus Ly/JPMCHASE, Reggie J Gould/JPMCHASE, Saroj Hariprashad/JPMCHASE, Shelley North/JPMCHASE, Terrance Samuel/JPMCHASE, Thomas Chesson/JPMCHASE, Rao B Dasari/JPMCHASE, Bruce C Emerick/JPMCHASE, Elizabeth X Smith/JPMCHASE, Darren X Lewis/JPMCHASE, Iris Menjivar/JPMCHASE,, Legrand L Monfleury/JPMCHASE, Jim Henry/JPMCHASE, Henry M. Lam/JPMCHASE, Tommy L Hom/JPMCHASE, Philip R Cress/JPMCHASE, Saroj Hariprashad/JPMCHASE, Tricia B Santucci/JPMCHASE, James Quadarella/JPMCHASE, Anish B Bhimani/JPMCHASE, Frank J Bisignano/JPMCHASE, Kelly M McAlarney/JPMCHASE, Jamie Dimon/IL/ONE, Kathleen Will/JPMCHASE, Carol A Calozzo/IL/ONE, Charles P. Costa/JPMCHASE, Robert J. Landi/JPMCHASE, Donna Larsen/JPMCHASE, Tony Farinacci/OH/ONE, Judy Beyer/JPMCHASE, Nigel Hayward/JPMCHASE, John F Bradley/JPMCHASE, Javier A. Dominguez/JPMCHASE, Richard Kroh/JPMCHASE, John D Ward/JPMCHASE, Friedrich Seifts/JPMCHASE, Tanya Tanco/JPMCHASE, GSOM NA Security, Don Merritt/JPMCHASE, Robin B Wheeler/JPMCHASE, Laura Wong/JPMCHASE, Yolanda E Howard/JPMCHASE, Janine Quiles/JPMCHASE, Curt J Barrentine/JPMCHASE, Barbara Blauth/JPMCHASE

Subject: Farewell

Dear Co-Workers and Managers,

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type "Today is my last day."

For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers both past and present but with the exception of the wonderful Saroj Hariprashad: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation, ignorance and intolerance for true talent. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake – it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects – an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, "meets expectation". That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after a 10-hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of meets expectation scotch with a meets expectation cigar. Thanks Trish!

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Philip Cress, I will not miss hearing you cry over absolutely nothing while laying blame on me and my coworkers. Your racial comments about Joe Cobbinah were truly offensive and I hope that one day you might gain the strength to apologize to him.

To Brenda Ashby whom is long gone, I hope you find a manager that treats you as poorly as you have treated us. I worked harder for you then any manager in my career and I regret every ounce of it. Watching you take credit for my work was truly demoralizing.

To Sylvia Keenan, you should learn how to keep your mouth shut sweet heart. Bad mouthing the innocent is a negative thing, especially when you’re talking about someone who knows your disgusting secrets. ; )

To Bob Malvin (Mr. Cronyism Jr), well, I wish you had more of a backbone. You threw me to the wolves with that witch Brenda and I learned all too much from it. I still can’t believe that after following your instructions, I ended up getting written up, wow. Thanks for the experience buddy, lesson learned.

Don Merritt (Mr. Cronyism Sr), I’m happy that you were let go in the same manner that you have handed down to my dedicated coworkers. Hearing you on the phone last year brag about how great bonuses were going to be for you fellas in upper management because all of the lay offs made me nearly vomit. I never expected to see management benefit financially from the suffering of scores of people but then again, with this company’s rooted history in the slave trade it only makes sense.

To all of the executives of this company, Jamie Dimon and such. Despite working through countless managers that practiced unethical behavior, racism, sexism, jealousy and cronyism, I have benefited tremendously by working here and I truly thank you for that. There was once a time where hard work was rewarded and acknowledged, it’s a pity that all of our positive output now falls on deaf ears and passes blind eyes. My advice for you is to place yourself closer to the pulse of this company and enjoy the effort and dedication of us "faceless little people" more. There are many great people that are being over worked and mistreated but yet are still loyal not to those who abuse them but to the greater mission of providing excellent customer support. Find them and embrace them as they will help battle the cancerous plague that is ravishing the moral of this company.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the lower salary recipient ("because it’s good for the company") in India or Tampa who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.