Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marching Orders part 4

The Pub Next Door had sold. The sale had been brokered by a leading Hotel Broker on behalf of an absentee mortgagee.

The price paid by the buyer was 10% less than Mine Host's cash offer, leaving a very sour taste in Mine Host's mouth. The broker was Cain & Abel Pty Ltd, one of the state's leading Hotel Brokers, with a supposedly impeccable reputation.

The vendor was a Melbourne loan shark, as mortgagee-in-possession. The loan shark had engaged a Melbourne real estate agent to handle the sale. The Melbourne real estate agent, lacking local or industry knowledge, had in turn engaged Cain & Abel hotel brokers, at the time supposedly one of Qld's leading hotel brokerage firms.

Mine Host, being next door in the Wayside Tavern, and on the hunt for another pub, should have been considered a "hot" prospective purchaser, and immediately been targeted by Cain & Abel.

Mr Cain (of Cain & Abel) revealed the upcoming sale to Mine Host only when Mine Host phoned on another matter. Thus alerted to the sale, Mine Host immediately requested an inspection.

It was to be another Two months before an inspection could be arranged. Even then it was by accident (receptionist was out & Mr. Cain had answered the phone himself)
Soured from Two months of unreturned phone call exasperation, Mine Host took this window of opportunity to arrange an immediate inspection.

That night Mr. Cain phoned and to say that unless an unconditional offer (above a certain amount) was made by midday the following day, Mine Host was "out". (This is not normal procedure for commerical transactions)

Three working hours to arrange an unconditional cash bid for the neighboring property?

Mine Host met this ultimatum. Mr. Cain then manufactured a disagreement over the size of the deposit. Mine Host's intended deposit was $100,000 Cain & Abel demanded $150,000 or Mine Host was "out".

The lawyer handling this matter for Mine Host was not the usual partner at Golf, Racing & Gladhanding, but an offsider. A migrant lady with a very strong accent. The amount of hotel sale work done by G.R. & G. meant their relationship to the Cain & Abel was a tad too close for Mine Host's comfort.

There were many meetings between Cain & Abel and G.R. & G's foreign-accented Associate, all on other matters, at which they occassionally took the opportunity to cover the minutia of Mine Host's attempted transaction. Mine Host was none too comfortable at the reverent tone adopted by the foreign-accented Associate when referring to the firm of Golf, Racing & Gladhanding.

Disagreement over the deposit amount would have been brief, lasting only a few hours. Cain & Abel needed only this briefest possible time to get a contract to the preferred buyer, thus making the sale a fait accompli.

In subsequent discussion with the very heavily foreign-accented Associate, Mine Host wryly observed that the firm of Cain & Abel had acquitted themselves with neither honour nor decency, that indisputably they had not acted in the best interests of their client.

The heavily foreign-accented Associate took umbrage at this slight on the (reverently referred to) firm of Cain & Abel and proceeded to give Mine Host a thorough dressing down.

The dressing down wasn't a direct one, but a "commerical transactions for dummies" lecture.

Taking quite a bit of offence - at recieving a lecture on commericial etiquette from one whose commercial experience was purely vicarious, and at the strident siding with the (indispuably unethical) opposition, by someone who is supposedly acting for him - Mine Host immediately dismissed the law firm of Golf, Racing & Gladhanding.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marching Orders part 3

Mine Host had received a ticket. It arrived in the mail.
Penalty: Several Hundred Dollars.
Offence: Refusing an inspection of the Premises.
Regulatory Authority writing the ticket: Fire Brigade (in a city hundreds of miles away).

Being as the Fire Brigade had not, via any of the following methods, indicated they wished to inspect the Wayside Tavern:
Telephone Call,
Letter, posted,
Letter, couriered,
Messenger Boy,
Attending the Premises in person,
Carrier Pigeon,
Smoke Signal,
(in this day & age, to this list one would add "email"),
Any other method one can think of,
Mine Host made the assumption that being as the ticket was on the unreasonable side of unjust, it would be easily contested.

Mine Host met with his solicitor-of-the-moment and laid the facts before him.
Mine Host instructed his lawyer (the firm's senior partner) that he considered the ticket to be unjust, unreasonable, vexatious, lowdown, cheating, disgusting, insulting, a mongrel act, etc etc etc, and that he wished to challenge it in court.
The law firm in question did quite a lot of this sort of work, though mostly with tickets written by the police.
The legal advice provided on the spot to Mine Host was to make no response, and the matter would proceed to court.
On the spot Mine Host raised the question that this advice was in diametric contrast to the "How to Respond" instructions on the back of the ticket.
The solicitor (experienced in these matters) repeated his advice.

Mine Host complied with the advice. By failing meet the deadline for response to the ticket the matter became an automatic judgement against Mine Host, was not able to be defended and Mine Host was a de facto defaulter and had to pay the fine plus an extra penalty.

Consequently Mine Host never again contacted that law firm, who at least had the good grace to never send a bill, for that or any other work. The senior partner in a remarkable display of self-preservation - or perhaps in a display of shame uncharasteric for his profession - has ever since managed to keep out of Mine Host's sight.

Since that date relations between Mine Host and the Queensland Fire Brigade have been of a most frigid nature.