November 22, 2012

Comic Relief: Grubby complains to Shazzer about Qorvis

Good to know you are working on the Edge situation. The next people I want you to kick out are Qorvis. They are not listening to me. I’ve managed to get a transcript of part of our last meeting with the AG on the Airports Fiji workers’ pay rises. I’m sure you will see what I mean. I don’t know the full names of these Qorvis guys because they won’t tell me but they call themselves Rex, Tex and Mex.

Tex: So, let’s bring this meeting to order, ah…welcome Mr ah Sy – ah Mr Ky – ah – Mr Sky – ah Mr AG.

Aiyarse: Is somebody going to give me a traditional ceremony of welcome?

Tex: Ah, sorry Mr AG, we didn’t really set up for that, ah, no.

Aiyarse: Then at least someone should help me take off my jacket in accordance with the usual custom?

Tex: Ah, sure, ah, perhaps, ah [consulting agenda] David, could you help with that?

Grubbers: It’s Graham.

Tex: Oh, like Billy Graham? The preacherman from Rex’s home state?

Grubbers: Yes, but it’s my first name. Graham. Davies.

Tex: OK, ah and what’s your role here?

Grubbers:  I work for Qorvis.

Tex: Ah, OK [aside to Mex]: Sheez, what an accent, I can’t understand what he’s saying. Which branch office does he come from? Chattanooga?

Mex: [aside to Tex]: No sir, local colour. He's on the FijICTION team. We have to take him. It’s part of the deal with Sharon.

Tex: [aside to Mex]: He’s local?

Mex: [aside to Tex]: Well, Australian sir, same as Sharon. But they both say they’re Fijians. That’s about as good as it gets around here.And he knows local words. Like "diddums."

Tex: [aside to Mex]: What the hell does that mean?

Mex: [aside to Tex]: I think it means "greetings oh respected one."

Tex: [aside to Mex]: Sheez, I didn’t realise things were that bad. We gotta increase the monthly fee. What can this guy do?

Mex: [aside to Tex]: I dunno sir. He’s got a blog and he writes about the good old days in Suva and rude things about Canadians.

Grubbers: I think we should—

Aiyarse:  Can we get started please? I am a Very Important Person. I am even more important than Sharon Smith-Johns.

Tex: OK, ah, we’re here to draft a press release because Mr, ah, Sky – AG – wants to tell the press that some Fiji airport workers got a pay rise.

Mex: Sheez, that IS news.

Tex: Shaddup, Mex. You only say that in your luxury apartment. OK. So we’re saying here “The practical realities is that workers have done fantastically well under the Bainimarama Government”—

Grubbers: If I can just say—

Tex: Hold on, David.

Grubbers: It’s Graham.

Tex: Like Billy Graham?

Grubbers: We just did this.

Tex: Yes, we need to move forward.

Aiyarse: Yes, move forward, that's what we always say. You guys are good.

Tex: So, ah, “The practical realities is that workers have done very well under the Bainimarama Government.”

Grubbers: ARE

Tex: What?

Mex: Yeah David, I got that, “the practical realities ARE”. Mr Tex isn’t Ivy League, he struggles with the verbs sometimes.  Look sir, we gotta be careful. We’re gonna get shot down if we say that. In the last six years there’s been inflation as high as 10% per year with no pay rises, a 20% devaluation, poverty is rising, unions have had their balls cut off by Decrees, we’ve been detaining and bashing up their leaders, the ILO is having a major hissyfit about Fiji in Geneva, then we’ve got that preacherman—

Tex: Who, Billy Graham? Here?

Mex: No, Father Barr. He’s resigned from the Wages Council saying that the poorest workers have been badly treated.

Tex: Sheez, this looks tough for spin.

Aiyarse: Stop worrying about it and just write it, will you? I want to say “practical realities” because that’s two long words strung together and it makes me sound sophisticated. If the press or the TV make a fuss, we’ll just cancel their licences.

Rex: [aside to Mex]: Who’s the snake-charmer dude?

Mex: [aside to Rex]: That’s the Attorney-General, sir.

Rex: [aside to Mex]: Oh, I thought he was from our Bahrein office. Why do they need an attorney-general? It’s a military dictatorship, for chrissakes.

Grubbers: I wonder if—

Tex: Ah, just hold on there David. OK Mr ah Sy-Ky – ah, AG, we’re onto it. We’ll get you something by midday before my three-martini lunch with Rex here. Meeting closed.

Aiyarse:  Wait a minute. I stand up first, then you all stand up, then you keep your heads reverentially bowed while I take my leave. You may sing Isa Lei if you wish. Then you close the meeting.

Rex: [aside to Mex]: What’s this, some Bahrein thing?

Mex: [aside to Rex]:  Just keep quiet, sir, and think of the paychecks.

Grubbers:  I’d like to say—

Tex: Sure, Dave. Maybe you could do a closing prayer?

PS: This is a work of fiction. Rex is an invented character.

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