Ticketing rort

Ticketing rort

If you are decrying the fact that you

missed out on tickets to the

Sydney Olympics while all sorts of

company blow-ins and bigwigs pulled their snouts from the trough with big bunches of them, well, join the queue.

You are most definitely not on your Pat Malone. If you want to know just why your application failed, read on.

One Tabloid scribe, still spitting chips about the fact that not one single ticket from a $1300 entry into the national public ballot fell into place for him, last week claimed to have uncovered at least part of the reason as to how such a travesty of justice occurred.

All was revealed when one of our spies recently attended a conference convened by one of the major Olympic sponsors. Over casual conversations with those present it became apparent that just about every executive, presenter, spin doctor, customer and partner of the said sponsor was on their way to Homebush in September with fists full of A-grade tickets for the prime events.

"It is absolutely outrageous," fumed our normally unflappable source. "How come us Australians - and in particular us New South Welshmen - can't even get C-class tickets to the women's handball, while all these American-, UK- and Asian-based employees of a sponsor can waltz into the opening ceremony and other prime events?

"It is we who are going to pay for this through increased taxes and reduced public services, so surely we should be given first dibs on seeing the thing. Has anybody else in the Olympic state noticed how much car registration has risen during the last three years, or recently tried to get a bed in a hospital?"

It seems that all - or at the very least, many of the sponsor's five-figure-strong workforce - were given an opportunity to order the now-scarce tickets before the Australian punters.

If you multiply the number of staff coming from this one sponsor by the number of other corporate sponsors the Olympics have attracted, it becomes easy to understand just why there were so few good tickets left for the gracious hosts.

South African channel shows true coloursBY ALBERT SELBOURNEBelieve it or not, Tabloid has spies in all corners of the globe. With South Africa the flavour of the week at ARN, Tabloid couldn't resist a genuine feel-good story from the land of would-be cricketers and rugby stars.

Deep in the historically troubled town of Soweto, a roving Tabloid spy came across an act of goodwill by South African channel companies Mustek, Compucomp, Hi-Tech and Pinnacle Micro. All four Microsoft OEM partners have joined with the monopoly vendor (which, true to form drives the project) and Intel to build the Soweto Digital Village. It is also supported by non-government welfare organisation Africare.

Consisting of over 50 PCs situated in a

classroom type- environment in the heart of the township, the Digital Village has around 1000 local members from Soweto's population of 1 million who now all have access to Internet-connected PCs.

Annual registration costs R120 ($30) for adults or R60 ($15) for students. Many choose to pay R480 ($120) to attend a year-long computer literacy course which offers people new opportunities to gain work.

The centre is accompanied by a printing business that prints resumes, business cards and other business collateral. The aim is to use the business to make the centre self-sufficient in two years, when Microsoft withdraws its financial support.

Our roving Tabloid spy caught up with one of the eight employed training staff who glowed with pride at the centre's achievements. "People do get jobs because they have had the practice," said Thulani Ndlovu. "In four or five months you can learn a whole program." Thulani is now a teacher after coming to the centre without PC experience and a job.

"When I came in here I was blank, I

didn't know anything, but now I can do all sorts of stuff. I want other students to be like me - I think the centre's done a lot of good."

The staff at the Digital Village offer job seekers tips on interview skills and presentation skills, and help prepare their résumés.

As a kicker, Tabloid was pleased to learn the centre was opened by His Bill-ness, with former regional premier Tokyo Sexwale in 1997.

If your company is doing some dec

ent social work in Australia, e-mailTabloid's

philanthropic staff at arn_tabloid@idg.

Analyse this ...

By Cat Beauchamp

We at Tabloid love tales where vendors end up carrying the can for us journos and, to a lesser extent, our analytical brethren at research organisations, so we are happy to pass this one on to you, sans the names and pack drill.

Just who was the analyst - and from which company did he hail - who took advantage of the tab his vendor host had left on a Singapore bar to buy drinks for a couple of very attractive and seemingly available young femmes?

In his defence, the analyst had drunk himself out of pocket leading up to the incident and, well, while we were not talking about an impoverished company, nevertheless 10 out of 10 must be given for ingenuity.

Later the same evening, this same analyst enhanced his reputation even further with the assembled media by being the life of the party at what turned out to be a local trannie bar. Initially unaware of the dress-code preferences held by the club's patrons, it seems our hero got his research wrong and was eyeing off a particularly pretty thing.

Fortunately for the person in question, one of his colleagues did the right thing and pointed out that the interested third party had an Adam's apple larger than his own.

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