Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Payment Must be Made.

Back in the days before he learned a trick or two Mine Host would extend credit to longstanding local businessmen of good repute.

In a burst of youthful exuberance, credit was even extended to the hardworking operators of a small gymnasium and bowling centre. A couple, she a real estate salesman, he a motor mechanic, they worked evenings and the odd weekend shepherding school sports teams and drumming up informal local competitions.

A liquor licence was obtained, to lubricate the evening adult events. They purchased all their (meagre) liquor supplies from the Wayside Tavern. After some time Mine Host rewarded these loyal customers with a monthly account as an alternative to paying cash all the time.

The account, usually a few hundred dollars, was well maintained for a year or two... then payments slowed.

Concerned, but painfully aware of the rapidity with offence if taken at the mention of an unpaid account, Mine Host watched the account stretch out to three months overdue, and climb to fifteen hundred dollars.

Enough was enough, three months outstanding was testing Mine Host's youthful good nature, and the bowling & sports centre was no longer trading.

Mine Host fronted the mechanic, tactfully enquiring as to when the account would be settled?

Promises were received, guarantees, pledges, in fact everything but money was forthcoming.

Mine Host began to believe that the bill would never be paid.

The mechanic quit his job, drifted into casual labouring, eventually, with mounting household debts, he was declared bankrupt.

Though he was in work around town, he wasn't seen for some time after this. Eventually came the day when the mechanic breasted the bar of the Wayside Tavern. Mine Host hinted obliquely at the still unpaid fifteen hundred dollars.

The mechanic exploded in an indignant rage, loudly protested that he had "been through" bankruptcy, and all his debts were "cancelled by the court". This tirade was finished off with a poorly aimed swing at Mine Host, on the basis that nobody was going to get away with saying he was the sort of man who "owed money".

Mine Host stated flatly that until the bill was settled, the mechanic wouldn't be getting anything more from the Wayside Tavern. Waffle by a court notwithstanding, Legal Tender is what it takes to settle the bill.

Hotly & aggressively the mechanic reiterated that he was a discharged bankrupt and the bankruptcy process had "cancelled" all debts.
This is hardly grounds for getting all physical over suggestions that one's credit history is far from triple-A.

The mechanic remains insulted and deeply offended that Mine Host has reported a "lie" to surrounding pubs that the mechanic has booked up grog and failed to pay for it;
the bill remains unpaid;
the mechanic remains in an enforced state of exile from the pub, a state now entering its umpteenth year.

For the mechanic is, to this day, refused service at the Wayside Tavern. Still around town, presumably he is now teetotal, or subscribed to a wine club, or receiving year round deliveries of Christmas Club Beer Hampers, or perhaps he is home brewing.

But unless he ponies up the fifteen hundred, it will continue to be just him at home on his Pat Malone.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Never Assume.... Ever!

The resignation of key staff is rarely welcomed by Mine Host.
Particularly so when the resignation is a snap one.
In what seemed a fit of temper, delivered verbally, out on the floor, at midnight on a busy night, came such a resignation.

A management walkout. Just like that!
Calmer debriefing a few days later revealed that the resignee had spotted their job advertised on an employment forum, and done their block.

"What else am I supposed to do, when I see my job advertised?"

The resignee then glinted evilly at Mine Host "What would you expect anyone would do, when they get shafted like that?"

Mine Host remained silent, shrugged at the resignee and watched them, having just thrown away a key role, walk out the door into the world with a gaping hole in their resume.

Bitterly the resignee did not even look back, their heart full of contempt and despising Mine Host as a "backdoor operator".

* * *

It is always unwise to assume.

Mine Host had indeed advertised the position, though none but him and the recruiting agent knew this.

Mine Host had opted to promote the person who had (now) resigned. The new position would have been on double their current salary + bonuses, which when added up meant the new package was at triple the current salary.
Instead Mine Host now had the added burden of TWO key positions to fill.

Confide in the resignee? Show them their error, agree jocularly that they had jumped the gun, and allow the resignation to be rescinded?

Not on your nelly! Mine Host's business is his own. He certainly is not going to take into his confidence someone who makes an impluse resignation of a career position on the strength of spotting a generic classified ad.

Mine Host wonders how many people already in key roles are considered for a promotion at triple their current salary.

Mine Host wonders also how many of his fellow men have unknowingly walked away from what would have transpired to be similar circumstances?