Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sick Leave

Young fellow who works in the Wayside Tavern's driveway would like to have Wednesday off work.

Not on your nelly! There will be trucks to unload & several pallets to unpack, and he's told that he'd better be there!

He says that he'd really like it off, as he's having "a procedure" the evening before, and won't be feeling all that well on Wednesday.

Can't he have the procedure another day? When work won't be affected? (Wednesday is always a day of much activity in the driveway.) He'll think about that, but is excited about the "procedure" and can't wait for it.

Come Wednesday he doesn't front for work.

Thursday he turns up, & we discover the exact nature of the "procedure" he underwent.

He'd had a fully-coloured-in tattoo inked onto his entire back. His back from kidneys to shoulders was a scabbed mess. Now we know what ailed him so.

This is not reasonable grounds for leaving his workmates to carry the load for him on a busy day.

He was lucky his boss didn't clout him! (That still may happen, the driveway boss is a big man, & very intolerant of indolent youth)

He actually expected sympathy, or something.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too Much Information.......!!

Position Vacant:

  1. Chef

  2. Duties: All aspects of kitchen operations.

  3. Reporting to: Head Chef

  4. Salary $65,000 p.a.

  5. Location: Outer Barcoo (where churches are few..etc.)

  6. Staff Accommodation & meals available.

  7. Majority of roster will be nights

  8. Roster will be 2/7 weekend work.

The above is not a real job ad, it is an example of a job advertisment.

Anyone who is able to read this advertisment & process all Eight bullet points will be ahead of most, if not all, of the applicants.

Most job applicants are able to process only Two, perhaps Three of the above points. Or less if the advertisment is laid out as a paragraph instead of simple bullet points.

Inability to absorb at least Five of the Eight simple points is bad enough.

The really good bit:

Most applicants will absorb the 2 or 3 points they like, & fill in the rest of the "blanks" themself.


The above will attract applicants who may well have copied & pasted the ad into their job application, and then during their Third or Fourth interview (by phone or skype) will lose their temper (yep, rudely blow their stack) upon discovering that the job is located on the "Outer Barcoo".

"I only want jobs in Brisbane, I wouldn'ta applied if I knew it was in woop-woop, you've wasted my time!)

Or: "I wasn't looking for a job that included weekend work (chef job?), You shoulda told me this, You have wasted my time!"

Or: "I was looking for at least $100,000 per year, if I knew you were offering less I wouldn'ta applied, you've wasted my time!"

Happens every single time, EVERY single job ad I run gets otherwise qualified or suitably experienced applicants, who clearly do not read the job ad, and then conduct themselves in a most rude manner.

Surprisingly the incidence is greater among ethnics, Australians of NESB, & international applicants.

Friday, February 24, 2012


With the manager booked in for a stiff interview, Mine Host is having breakfast whilst pondering the matter.

Earlier that morning, a stroll past the Presidential Suite (where the manager's daughter is recalcitrantly well dug in) had revealed that the place looked "lived in".

What appeared to be mundane domestic laundry was drying on the balcony - not a good look for a premier accommodation property.

However Mine Host's eagle eye was drawn to the dominant item on the balcony. A well used weights bench. This is not something one would associate with a girl living alone. She is living with her boyfriend.

Inwardly seething at this, Mine Host strolls on. The forecourt of the outdoor bistro, carefully decorated with bamboo & the like in waist-high pots, is instead the domain of the boyfriend's work car, the decorative pot plants having been pushed roughly aside (probably with Mine Host's forklift).

This settles it. This business is being run for the benefit of the manager's family. No employee can take such liberties & expect to keep their job, or get a reference.

It is now just a matter of how to end the manager's tenure with the minimum of disruption.

In the middle of breakfast, Mine Host is startled to see the boyfriend, clad in Y-fronts & pyjama shirt, strolling into the restaurant - with one hand down "there" engaging in a good scratch. He ladles Two plates high with food, then strolls out, carrying the Two plates.

The morning staff didn't bat an eyelid. Clearly this is common practice. Oh boy, it just gets better & better!

Mine Host questions the girl in charge of the floor: Was there anybody who had breakfast this morning without paying?

Earenstly she shakes her head, oh no, everybody pays.
Mine Host gets her to confirm this by asking a second time. Yep, everybody who ate paid for it.

"That lout who came in before, the one who hadn't bothered to wash & acted like this restaurant is his personal pig-sty, did he pay?"


"I don't know who you mean" (Her face is now going red)
"The fellow in his underwear, who took Two plates piled with food, he didn't pay, did he?"


"... That was a staff meal...." (She affects confidence)

"It is not a staff meal. Staff meals, such as they may be, are strictly to not be taken away, furthermore staff meals are available only to staff. Whoever that fellow is, he isn't staff."

"....That is ....Paul" (I didn't think the human face could turn a colour redder than beetroot, but she is proving it can)
"Hmm, the question was: Did he pay?"
"Breakfast is part of his deal" (her confidence is faltering)
"What deal?"

(NB: There has only ever been one "deal": "No money = no drinkee/eatee"

"......Well.... he lives here...... with Maxine........."
"So he just comes in, dressed how he pleases, & carries away any food that catches his eye?"
"........It is part of his....... package deal" (She is now so red she is turning black)

This is enough. The interview with the Manager is going to be quite something.
The outcome of the interview isn't in doubt, only the amount of disruption that will be caused.

Mine Host is going to try for an orderly change of manager, we'll see how the interview pans out.

Oh brother, is the boyfriend onto a good thing. Living with a cute young girl, set up house for free in the Presidential Suite of a premier hotel, eating like a Lord for free in one of the best restaurants north of Sydney.

Oh brother, hasn't the manager booked themself in for the high jump!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the Law that Never Was

An underage person is caught using a faked ID to attempt entry to the Wayside Tavern.

The fake ID is confiscated and the police are called. (This is what the rule book says we must do).
Two constables (humourless slender females) attend & deal with the matter in a most perfunctory fashion. They keep the fake ID, but show little to no interest in the underager who attempted to use it.

However the constables do show considerable interest in the pub. They point out a person at the bar who has "obviously" had too much to drink, and warn that we had "better not serve him any more tonight" (the bar manager resolves to ignore this directive, as the fellow has barely arrived, is probably so sober that he'd pass a roadside breath test, & is exhibiting the same outward behavioural signs as a department store mannequin.)

They then take a look around & decide that the pub is "too full" of people & order the doors closed.

The bar manager gets this message straight to the office, thus Mine Host countermands the order before it has a chance to be implemented.

This provokes the ire of the constables, who storm along to the office. (here we go again)

The spokesman of the pair demands to know what Mine Host thinks he is doing.

Mine Host calmly enquires which piece of legislation they were invoking when ordering the pub closed. (There follows a bit of to-&-fro.)

Knowing they have been caught bluffing, the mood of the constables gets worse.

The more simple minded police cannot cope mentally when their actions are challenged. Their usual response is to arrest or write a ticket.

Neither a fine nor an arrest are options which are available to her in this case, as the woman is trying to enforce a law that doesn't actually exist.

This sends her into near apoplexy.

The taller of the pair whips out her notebook and with pencil poised, demands in her most arrogant voice:

"And what is your name sir?"

This question is apparently meant to intimidate Mine Host.
This woman is so dim she doesn't realise how much she is compounding her foolishness.

Mine Host is a publican. Not only are our names & place of business the subject of strict licencing requirements, we have passed government probity checks to a level that equals that met by judges.

Compared to us, schoolteachers, army officers, lawyers & government officers are fly-by-nighters.

Mine Host is well aware of his station in the community.

And this woman is cluelessly asking my name as a (failed) tactic of intimidation, knowing full well who I am (she's known me for years.)

All because she is powerless, having been caught trying to enforce a law that does not exist.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Taking it to the Top

Having been stiffed by his law firm, with a bill for a .... rather aspirational amount, and not having got much sympathy from his lawyer, Mine Host has an idea.

He goes to see one of the law firm's senior partners.

The partner is caught unawares by the matter. Which is pretty much how Mine Host felt when he got the big fat bill.

The meeting is productive. Mine Host obliquely drops a reminder about the size of his legal bills and makes an even more obscure reference to how much he enjoys being a client of the firm & looks forward to a productive future relationship etc. etc.

This message is not lost, not on a firm that is losing clients & is having to retrench staff.
Mine Host now feels that the matter will be resolved in an adult manner.

The meeting ends with the partner assuring Mine Host that the matter will be looked into.

Actually it doesn't. The meeting ends with the senior partner chatting on for Twenty minutes or so about how much he'd like to take Mine Host along with him on his next overseas trip.

(Mine Host & the senior partner have a common background, one that is shared by very few - if any - lawyers or publicans).

Still, this is a most surreal ending to a meeting during which one has more or less accused the firm of cheating a client.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Siamese Twins

Two males are attempting to enter the Wayside Tavern.

Only One of them has valid ID (driver's licence).

At entry to the Wayside Tavern patrons are photographed, and their driver's licence is scanned into special softward programme. This is a condtion of entry.

It takes Seven seconds to admit a patron. Time is precious. Two minutes arguing the toss in the doorway with someone who isn't going to be allowed in, is time that could have been used to let in Seventeen people.

However this incident did not happen at a busy time. Thus instead of shoving them out of the way, the guards have the time to talk.

This sort of conversation follows a more or less standard script:

"Sorry mate, no ID - no entry"
"C'mon mate, I don't need it, surely I look like I'm old enough."
"Sorry mate, no ID - no entry"
"C'mon mate, I only wanna come in for a few beers."
"Sorry mate, no ID - no entry"
"C'mon mate, surely you can see that I don't look anything like underage...?"
"Sorry mate, no ID - no entry"
"This bloke here'll tell you I'm okay...."
"Sorry mate, no ID - no entry"
........etc etc etc.........

Then the fellow who does have his driver's licence with him speaks:
"It's okay fellers, he can use mine to get in." He then produces his licence & hands it to his friend.

The guards process this information (quite a pause) then just as they are about to scan & photograph the fellow with the "newly issued" driver's licence they pause,

"Hang on, if he uses your licence, how will you get in?"
"Oh, that's okay, once he's used it he can give it to me & I'll use it to get in."

The guards accept this.

Just as they are about to proceed they pause again,

"Hang on fellers, if you're going to use the one licence for Two people you may as well both be photographed together."

So the two blokes put their arms around each other's shoulders & stand up smartly in a tight hug for the camera.

The guards then usher them into the pub.

They did this in front of me.

Yes, the next week there were all new faces in the doorman's role.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Merely Male

When presented with two candidates for a bar job, Mine Host will always select the one that has not attended the TAFE bar course.

There is a reason for this. Graduates of the a TAFE college (Technical And Further Education) bar course are almost universally hopless at bar work, furthermore they often have their head in the clouds.

Once, with time on his hands, Mine Host enrolled at a TAFE college, to see what he could learn. He also hoped to learn, on the side, why TAFE graduates were so useless.

The answer came on Day one,

Day One: "Sensitivity to Aboriginal & Islander employees in your workplace". One of the key parts of this very forgettable learning module was how we must all integrate with Aboriginal & Islander people.

However: At one point us "bar & restaurant" course participants were instructed to wait under an awning, lest we inadvertently integrate for a few seconds with the participants of the "bar & restaurant course - for persons of Aboriginal & Islander race" who were entering a nearby building. There was no answer given to the question, why weren't we all in the same class?

Day Two: "Sexual harassment in the workplace". Amongst other things were we taught to not stereotype people by sex, i.e. a girl can be just as good a motor mechanic as a boy, and that a boy can just as easily sew & knit as can a girl.

The only memorable part of this extremely forgettable module was that from that day onward two of the nubile young lady participants turned up every day half-naked, purely so they could be outraged if any of the blokes made an inappropriate remark.

This didn't stop the staring, nor the comments, but there was nothing they could take to the head teacher to get anybody thrown off the course.

Their experiment ended when one of the Islander girls in the class (who inexplicably hadn't been allowed to enroll in the one for "aboriginal & islanders only") offered to thump the two girls if they didn't put some clothes on. Co-incidentally, after that the two girls arrived for class fully dressed. (Co-incidentally, because one of the things we had learned in class was that threats of violence & torture "never" work).

Day Three: How a computer hard drive works, & we were taught to strip one down. Mine Host was fascinated, but was unable to make any connection between this & bar work.

Day Four: Simple arithmetic, but we had to answer in longhand, rather than in digits. (eg, for 20 + 45, we were not allowed to answer: 65. Instead we had to answer: Sixty Five)

Most of the class failed this module.

Day Five: Typing lesson. (Yes, this is a bar & waitressing course!)

Those who could already type would be identified by wandering teachers, who would offer you the chance to "test-out" of the class. You could not ask to take the test, it had to be offered to you.

Two girls beside Mine Host were offered the chance to test out, and were were allowed to leave the class, having "passed" typing.

Mine Host raised a query with the teacher, pointing out that he had looked over the girl's shoulders, typed the same test, had typed it faster than they, but unlike them had not made any errors.

The lady teacher* haughtily informed Mine Host that he was male, therefore it was "ridiculous" to claim he could type as well as girls. Furthermore he had not been offered the test, therefore wasn't eligible to "pass" the typing course.

Thus Mine Host, who had better things to do than spend the next two hours typing out "the cat chased the rat", picked up his notes & pencils and walked out of TAFE college, without bothering to switch off his computer, tidy his workstation, or to resign from the course.

* The same teacher taught Day Two of the course: "Thou shalt not stereotype by sex."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dead Manager Walking

At a time when Mine Host is away on an extended business trip, the manager of the Diver's Arms has taken several liberties.

1) They have put one of their children on the payroll. As a full time permenant employee.
2) This new employee is getting lots of hours, all of it "soft" hours. That is, manning the reception desk. (i.e. sitting on their backside in shaded air conditioning, lifting nothing heavier than a telephone receiver).
3) This new employee has been housed not in the staff quarters, but in the Premier Suite (3 rooms, fully self-contained, private landscaped garden, secluded private location)

As guest accommodation the Premier Suite attracts a tariff of $280 per night. Multiplied this is $102,200 per year, or @ 63% occupancy (an industry benchmark) is $64,386 per year.

When utilised as staff accommodation the Premier suite attracts a tariff of $0 (zero) per night, which when multiplied is $Zero dollars per year.

Mine Host's views on this matter are quite easy to predict.

He uses an invention known as "the telephone" to contact the manager & firmly but ever-so-civilly suggests that the manager move their offspring to one of the many vacant rooms in the staff quarters.

The conversation ends with the manager promising to "do what they can".

Following Day: The manager telephones Mine Host to announce that the child "refuses to give up" the Premier Suite, thus there is "nothing that can be done" about the situation.....

..... thus putting the matter on course to the inevitable outcome.

The telephone is not the place for continuing this matter. Mine Host savours (without saying aloud) several variants of the phrase "Who is the General Manager of the property?"

When Mine Host returns, there will be a closed door meeting with the manager. The item on the agendum has just been decided for him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mugged by Reality (again)

Posting has been light of late. There is a good reason.

Anyone who understands small business will know this reason.

Having social/family plans ruined by unforeseen/unexpected demands of the business is something that happens.

I've just now been able to come up for air.

The nose hit the grindstone just before Christmas.

Monday, February 06, 2012

How Short is Your Memory?

To leave a voicemail message press #1,
To hear this option again press #9

This corker of a voice menu is to be heard if you phone the Queensland Government's Office of State Revenue.