Saturday, April 01, 2006

How to negotiate a workplace agreement

One of the quirks of the Australian full employment economy is the novelty of a negative ratio of job ads to respondents.

That is: There are more job ads run by Mine Host than there are people who respond. Discussion with competitors reveals they have an even worse ratio.

In a stroke of luck Mine Host recently recieved a response to a chef ad. (Such event is INDEED a rarity). The fellow was in Sydney, out of work, couldn't get a job, and most importantly, was prepared to move to the Wayside Tavern.

With mild trepidation Mine Host hired the chef. He was a new Australian, almost impossible to understand due to very broken English (despite 35 years in Australia).

However, he was hired to cook, not read the news. Work is an essential requirement at the Wayside Tavern, language is not.

The chef seemed quite good, could actually cook and cook well. (there are plenty of chefs who cannot cook). He cooked the sort of food the Wayside Tavern customers perfer to eat, a contrast to many chefs, who prefer cooking to their own desires.

As expected the reason he was "out of work" in Sydney didn't take long to surface....

On his second week the chef fronted the office and wanted to discuss "his pay". The office staff reminded chef that Mine Host (boss) was away on business and would not be back for another week.

Within half an hour of Mine Host returning to the Wayside Tavern from an eventful two weeks abscence, the chef confronted him and demanded "fair pay".

Mine Host was unable to comprehend how above award pay was considered to be "unfair", on top of that the chef got full board and keep, and Mine Host had met the chef's costs of moving from Sydney.

The agreement was to increase pay after three months, if the financial performance of the kitchen improved, meantime the chef would work on the agreed above award payment. Mine Host has a dim view of people who break a deal

"I need $1,800 per week" <---- (translated from broken English) (This is more than any chef in Australia is paid, never mind for an off-the-street job in a pub) Mine Host was expressionless as he digested this, weighing up factors such as the excellent cooking, inability to relate positvely to kitchenhands, inability to control kitchen costs.... and that this fellow less than a month before had been long term unemployed.

Still grasping to cope with this demand, Mine Host almost missed the follow up:

"The $1,800 per week is backdated from when I started here, or I walk"


New chef required at the Wayside Tavern!


Dirk said...

My nephew is a chef, about two years out of his time. He's on about 80k a year. Apparently he's a bit of a gun.

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

Good grief! Methinks the Sir mistook your ad to be one of the mining jobs available over in WA!