Sunday, March 27, 2011

Useful Correspondence

Lobbing into Mine Host's inbox this week was a message from the AAA (his industry association, the Accommodation Association of Australia informing which member properties (these were all large chains) would be observing "Earth Hour" this coming Saturday night.

"Earth Hour" is apparently some sort of urban lets-reduce-pollution tokenism, during which the electricity is switched off for an hour or so to (very) faux-simulate what life is like without electricity.

For the most superficial of tokenists, only the lights are switched off (earth hour wouldn't be near the fun without air conditioning & chilled white wine would it?).

Mine Host lived the first part of his life in a tent in the bush, & did not experience the "proper white man magic" of over-the-horizon electricity (i.e. the variety that comes silently from a wire, instead of the noisy variety you make at home yourself) until he was 13 years old.

Furthermore a good chunk of his working life (& childhood) was spent in stock camps or on stock routes, with no electricity. Lighting came from carbide lights, or the campfire. Refrigeration wasn't possible (for cooks, quite a challenge in the torrid/tropical zones).

Thus for Mine Host "Earth Hour" lacks resonance. He is with perfect clarity able to recall life sans electricity. He has no need to switch off light bulbs & instead use smoky candles (N.B. lights off, candles on, reduces pollution?)

Preferring the lift to stairs, ice in his whisky rather than lukewarm water, and to not bark his shins stumbling into pot plants in the dark, Mine Host fired back an email to the AAA, thanking them for the list of properties to not book into this weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Drink it or Harvest it?

People drink all sorts of things once they are in a 5-star restaurant!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

While you wait, Mmmmm!

Having drinks in the bar after ordering your meal?
The Chef often sends a little something in for your group to sample in the meantime. As a thank-you.
(Some glasses were encroaching on this photo. Mine Host's editing skills could do with some improvement.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mmmmm Breakfast!!

Prodded by the perceived need for some more photo posts, and at the risk of making the Wayside Tavern seem too flash, some photo posts of the grog & tucker will be appearing.

Breakfast is available at the Wayside Tavern from 5.00 a.m. until 11.00 a.m./noon:

The menu choice for breakfast is extensive, and with some adroit ordering it is even possible to have a cooked breakfast without eggs.

(photographing food is a skill, Mine Host believes he does not have this skill. Kim Ong this is your hint to provide lessons)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Have Cake & Eat it Too.

A recent applicant for an apprentice management (restaurant supervisor) position was most eager when telephoned by Mine Host.
Working in the Pilbara, the applicant was a chef, keen to learn new skills & "move into management" (Gee, don't we hear that a lot!)

The job ad clearly listed the salary offered, the duties, & the location.
The applicant was fine with all of this, as he was "sick of" the Pilbara (no trees & very hot) & was looking forward to a coastal Qld location.

So Mine Host emailed a letter of offer, which pretty much matched the job advertisment.

The candidate immediately replied that "your offer does not interest me".

Struggling with this sudden reversal, Mine Host immediately telephoned and enquired why was this?

"I am getting $95,000 per year as a chef in the Pilbara, while your offer is $45,000 so it doesn't interest me."

Biting his tongue Mine Host politely thanked the applicant & ended the call.

For heaven's sake! The salary was in the headline of the job ad.

He expects $95,000 per year + full keep + 8 weeks holiday? (His current package) in an apprentice position for which he doesn't have the skill set? He expects Hardship & Remote Area pay for the Qld coast?

Mine Host's forecast: The fellow will be a chef in the Pilbara for a long time. He's less than 10 years off retirement, so may never again work elsewhere.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Snitching on your Clients

Epic floods in January disrupted much of the state.

A Six-Monthly inspection of the fire extinguishers in the Wayside Tavern occurs every January & July. This is performed by a company named, known here by the uncrackable code name of say, Hubbc.

Due to the scale of disruption wrought by flood, the January Fire Extinguisher inspection did not happen.

In February the Fire Brigade notified 7 days in advance (as they are legally bound to do) that a "Fire Safety Inspection" of the Wayside Tavern would be conducted.

It was at this point that the assistant manager noticed that the fire extinguishers hadn't had their 6-monthly "tagging" done.

A phone call to Hubbc, who said they'd been flood damaged & unable to conduct a lot of their January inspections on time, but they were working frantically to catch up. The day before the scheduled Fire Safety Inspection they sent someone around to inspect & tag all the fire extinguishers.

At the appointed time the following day the Wayside Tavern was ready, all paperwork up to date, all fire extinguishers tagged (just in time), everybody waiting for the Fire Brigade.

The Fire Inspector never showed up.

Zero follow-up communication has been received from the Fire Brigade.

The Fire Safety Inspector is a clerical appointment. He has never fought a fire. He has never held a job in a proactive field, only ever in regulatory reactive fields, say writing tickets for non-compliance of Fire Regulations. He is no asset to the community.

He is from the same mould as parking inspectors.

And someone in Hubbc leaks to him.