30 October 2011

On, off, on...what to do with cancellations

After labor talks between US National Basketball Association (NBA) players and owners ended Friday with no deal in place, the league cancelled games through Nov. 30. "It's not practical, possible or prudent to have a full season now," commissioner David Stern, who added that the amount of money lost by both sides is "extraordinary," said after the meeting. The issue of how to split revenue remains the largest obstacle to ending the lockout.

"We made a lot of concessions, but unfortunately at this time it's not enough, and we're not prepared or unable at this time to move any further," union executive director Billy Hunter said.

Here at home Qantas has shocked the flying world and the business world and maybe your world, with the announcement that they grounded their entire fleet in light of the continuing union strikes. This happened while seventeen world leaders attending a Commonwealth summit in Perth were booked on Qantas flights and were trying to get home. (The queen was here for the summit, but has her own plane)

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, said her government would help the Commonwealth leaders fly home. My guess is she is less concerned about the non-global leaders. And so far the strike is estimated to cost the Australian airline AUD20 million a day. And 68,000 people per day will not be able to fly (except those Miss Gillard organizes personally).

The Australian government called for an emergency arbitration hearing, which was adjourned at 2 this morning, after hearing evidence from the airline and unions, who are protesting planned job cuts. It will resume later today when the government will argue that the airline be ordered to fly in Australia's economic interests and in light of its being iconic.

The Australian and International Pilots Association said that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s decision to ground the entire Qantas fleet is “nothing short of a maniacal overreaction.” AIPA Vice President Richard Woodward said the move was pre-meditated, unnecessary and grossly irresponsible. “Alan Joyce is holding a knife to the nation’s throat,” Qantas Captain Woodward said.

Full stop.

When plans change, what do you do? Cancellations are annoying for kings and queens, CEOs and little guys, and you and me. Cancellations cause us to adjust, and most of us don’t want to do that. I'm not even sure if the Melbourne Cup will be on.
On Tuesday this week in Melbourne, at Flemington Raceway, the horse race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup, is on. At least we think it will be. Now Qantas has stopped the nation, and who knows who will make it to Melbourne to watch, to show off their new spring carnival costumes and punt on the biggest sporting event in Australia in November every year.

What do you do when things don’t happen the way you happen to want them to happen? Do you easily adjust? (Blessed are the flexible; they do not break.) Or do you live in frustration and anger and hostility?

God wants us to learn His ways and to find His path, even when no one else is travelling that direction. Set your face like flint towards the end you know to be right, and even if things bump into us, or knock us or delay us, we can and must find the continuity to reach the goals we have.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways (cancelled or not) acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3.5-6)

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