Jackson’s On George

 Fine Dining. Or Not, Latest, Travel  Comments Off on Jackson’s On George
Jun 222013

So, Last night, before heading to the Sydney Opera House we decided to pop in to Jackson’s On George (George St, Sydney) for a pre-symphony bite to eat. That was not one of my better decisions, I’m afraid.

Generally acceptable for a weekday lunch, Friday evening dinner (or early evening snacks, as it were)doesn’t seem to be their forte. Or even their pianissimo.

Let’s talk about their Nachos. As most of us would know, this is a Mexican dish. Mexico is, what, maybe 7000 or so miles from Italy? So, chef, how about you try to make your Nachos at least a little bit like it might have come from Mexico?

Let’s start with your ingredients: Mozarella cheese is not found on Nachos. Neither is bolognese sauce. Nor is cress. Talk about clueless dipshit chefs! How about you use some cumin and coriander as seasoning for your meat. Shredded beef, or ground, is fine. Chillies? Yes please.

If you can’t find Jack cheese, then you’re not trying, but rather than mozzarella, try some cheddar, at a pinch.

Maybe some salsa on the side. Or the top. And perhaps some Guacamole. Not made in a blender.Of course, judging by last night’s fare, getting you to make a half decent guac would, indeed, be a challenge.

Maybe you should stop watching Masterchef, and learn about different regional cuisines? Perhaps by getting off your arse and visiting those regions?

Let’s now talk about the shared seafood platter. For two. For two little kids, that is. The portions were that stingy.

Three pieces of calamari, four miniscule slivers of some sort of white fish. Battered and deep fried to within an inch of their lives. Indeed, a couple these pieces were, in point of fact, air fish: there was lots of air inside the fried bubble of breadcrumbs, but very little fish. Two slices of smoked salmon, a couple of scallops and a half dozen prawns fulfilled the remained of the seafood contingent here.

Below the alleged seafood we there was a platter of Mediterranean antipasto. This was acceptable, except that we’d ordered a seafood platter, and I don’t recall seeing this mentioned on the menu. Ah well.

Next time we’ll dine elsewhere.


Well Done, United Airlines. More Deception. No Transparency.

 Grumpy Old Man Gripes, Poor Customer Servce, Travel  Comments Off on Well Done, United Airlines. More Deception. No Transparency.
May 122013

You have done well last week.

On Friday, May 10 2013, you switched planes for your flight number UA1180, departing Boston at 5pm for San Francisco.

Ordinarily, this would not be a notable item, but in this instance you put into play a plane that had no Economy Plus seating. Seating with extra leg room that some of your passengers had paid for, and many others had made bookings expecting the extra leg room that had been promised.

Of course, the professional thing for you to have done would be to have informed your passengers – particularly those who had paid the extra fees for the extra legroom – of the change, and hopefully in advance of the change. This would have permitted those customers of yours – yes, the ones who paid for the service, and who paid for the extra leg room – who might have a need to use that extra legroom for, say, health needs, to make alternate arrangements.

Yes, that would have been the professional thing for you to do. It also would have been the honest thing for you to do.

But no, no such notice, and no acknowledgement of the change on the flight either.

And no damn apology either.

Instead, you chose to deceive your customers, and to just herd them, like cattle, into the crowded aircraft.

You knew, however, well before departure, that there was an issue though: you were asking for volunteers to take a later flight, and for passengers to not bring their carry-on luggage onto the plane. This was happening for maybe an hour before the plane had even arrived at the gate, but yet you chose to cover up the fact that you were now charging your customers for a facility that you were not prepared to provide.

There’s words for that sort of behaviour. Deception comes readily to mind. Misleading conduct, too. Distrustful behaviour as well.

Jeff Smisek, how about, instead of prancing around like a dumbstruck show pony on your pre-flight videos, why don’t you take a few minutes to actually talk with your customers – the poor, suffering people whom you have the gall to lie to, when you say, in those smarmy, useless show-pony videos, that you care about your customers?

Instead of talking about the non-existent commitment to customer service, actually get up of your backside and listen to those who can tell you what the hell is actually happening within your fercockt airline, rather than lying to your passengers as is currently the case.

I’ll bet that, like your social media people, and like your so-called customer service team, you simply don’t have the guts!

Yes, this is the same United Airlines that decided to misplace some of our luggage earlier in the trip. And no, they have have still not called me about it, nor have they issued me any sort of a satisfactory explanation nor apology.

Pathetic is the word I’d use.

Good to, er, sea. :)

 Latest, Travel  Comments Off on Good to, er, sea. :)
May 062013

We’re currently in Seattle in Washington state in the USofA, where we have spent a wonderful day catching up with some old friends at the Living Computers Museum, and then catching up on some great music at the EMP museum.

But the absolute highlight of the day(!) must have been getting back to our hotel, turning on the tv, and finding an episode of Sea Patrol being shown in a peak Sunday evening timeslot.

Did I mention that the episode had been dubbed into Spanish? 🙂


May 012013

Yes folks, step right up. What does “priority” mean to you?

Please review http://www.redbacksweb.com/?p=236 where I initially voiced my concerns about how lousy their treatment of us has been in this particular instance. Let me be perfectly clear: as long as everything runs smoothly, there are no issues. But as soon as one thing breaks, their staff simply cannot cope, and the concept of providing service to their customers is totally lost on them.

One call center person put me on hold for over 15 minutes.  If she thinks she’s doing a good job, she’s very sadly mistaken.

Another transferred my call to an area where I had already told her that I did not wish the call to be taken. Yes, I have names. I have requested yet another callback, but when they fail to make that call to me, I will speak with somebody there who can pull their teeth out.

Now, here is the actual problem piece of luggage.

Well, no, the luggage is fine. The issue is that United simply failed to transfer this item onto our DFW flight, despite promising that they would do so. Certainly, it’s tagged to go to DFW. They just didn’t do their job.



Also observe that has been very clearly tagged as “priority”.

United didn’t simply fail to transfer this item onto our DFW flight at Houston, but they then

– tried to tell us that this was luggage that we initially checked at the check-in counter, and the clerk then argued with us over this point. The person in question was not there when the item was checked – at the gate – and continued to argue with me despite being told to shut up by her colleague working alongside her. And then she denied she was arguing!

– Failed to call us – as they had promised they would – if the piece of luggage was not on the next available flight out of Houston. It was not. And they did not.

– This item, finally arrived in Dallas around midnight. Some seven hours after we had arrived. Is that priority? No way in hell!

But it gets worse. At that time of day, it would take less than thirty minutes to travel from DFW airport to our hotel. Despite this rather short travel distance, this item of luggage was not delivered to our hotel until 3:25am. What in the world were they using as the delivery mechanism? Horse and carriage?

Rest assured that this is not the last of this; I refuse to accept this sort of crappy, piss-poor excuse for service from anyone, least of all United. And if United believes that today is the day that I should start accepting this sort of rubbish, they need to think again.

And no, they’ve not yet responded to any of my tweets about this disgusting performance on their part.


May 012013

Pretty simple really.

The flight is a full one, and so the gate attendants ask passengers if they would check their carry-on luggage at the gate, for delivery to the final destination, so as to make extra room in the plane’s cabin.

Except that they failed to shift the luggage from the intermediate destination. Then argue with you about this at the final destination.

Where, six hours later, your luggage remains AWOL.

And the United so-called baggage resolution and customer service staff are argumentative, incompetent, unprofessional, fail to return phone promised calls, refuse to listen, talk over the top of you, and basically try their hardest to NOT achieve a satisfactory outcome.

One such staff member seems to feel it’s her duty to keep the customer – the very angry customer – on hold for over fifteen minutes. She is so wrong, and so wrong on so many counts.

And we won’t overlook the team leader who, after promising to call me, failed to do so.

That’s after a baggage supervisor at DFW, having promised to call me if the missing luggage was not on the flight arriving at around 18:45, failed to make that call.

It’s now 7 hours since we landed, and we still have no idea as to when our luggage will be delivered.

What a bunch of incompetent, unprofessional, childish people the so-called United Baggage resolution team seems to be.