Monday, January 30, 2012

Traditional Solution

All is fine in the bar, things bubbling along nicely, a "middling" atmosphere. That is, a blue could break out, but unlikely to be anything more than one-on-one. Limited chances of an all-in, never mind of a riot.

Then one patron clouts another accross the head with a stubby. (a 375ml, or 13 fl oz, beer bottle)

Result: The clouted one has a nasty gash in his scalp. (Try doing this yourself, a stubby bottle is much harder to break on someone's head than the TV would have you believe.)

In this namby-pamby day and age that event is known in Queensland as a "glassing". A sick joke, perpetrated by our politicians & bureacrats, clearly they've never popped over to Glasgow and discovered for themselves what a "glassing" really is.

There is a lot of blood. Scalps bleed well, especially when the blood is thinned by alcohol.

Clouting this fellow accross the head may not have been the wisest move, as he is much bigger, and much more muscular.

However, the initiator, though a much smaller & more lithe fellow, is a manual labourer. Not a trade union softy from a building site, but a real worker, a deckhand for a fisherman. His muscles, though wiry & small, are hard as steel, and he looks as if he is no stranger to overcoming intense physical hardship.

He will be quite a lot harder to handle than a casual the white-collar uninitiate would imagine.

The big fellow, the victim, quickly forces the issue outside.

So they go at it in the middle of the street. It is a proper barney. It ends with the attacker vanquished, laying in the gutter, a bloodied & pulpy mess, unable to rise.

The victor strolls away. There is blood all over him, some of it his own, some of it not.

The ambulance arrives about here. They carry away the white fellow (the one who started it). The black fellow (the one who was "glassed") refuses ambulance attention & walks away. He'll certainly require a lot of stitches. It is not ever known what medical attention he seeks, if any. Indeed it is not known who he was.

Due to the mass of blood, and the black fellow refusing ambulance attention, nobody notices, remembers or declares that the fight started with a glassing.

It ends as it began, with people drinking in the bar. The white fellow is seen to have "asked for it", there is no sympathy. He'll certainly never look the same again.

This is a good outcome. Had the "G" word been used, Mine Host would have been the subject of an investigation, had a "strike" recorded against his licence, & against his managerial probity.

For in this age of nobody being responsible for their own actions, it is the publican who gets the blame if broken glass is used to hurt someone. It is very expensive for the publican if "glass" is used twice in one year.

You'd have always thought the blame belonged with the person who as an adult makes a conscious decision to break a glass & cut someone.


To clarify some confusion with the previous post:

Mine Host operates in the private sector of the economy (other sectors of the economy are the corporate and the public sectors). In the private sector a university degree is more or less irrelevant, as people are hired by ability & aptitude.

Typically Mine Host will make a hiring decision during the job interview. A typical job interview for a key appointment lasts Two to Three hours. Sometimes the interview (& corresponding inspection of the job by the applicant) may be spread over a couple of days.

Formal qualifications are a curiosity. Experience is crucial, background a factor, & compatibility with Mine Host & with the current makeup of the business are the deciding factors.

However due the the employment crisis in Australia (there just aren't any staff available) several roles are unfilled. When hiring Australians one is mostly scraping the bottom of the barrel. This leads to changes in the business model & also in recruiting strategy.

The employment laws in Australia are weighted so heavily in favour of the employee that some roles are more or less out of bounds to Australians, as it will be placing the business at too much risk of unjustfiable on-costs by putting bottom-feeders into some roles.

Some jobs require stability, & have to be filled for a minimum of three years to provide the required stability to the role.

There are Two roles in Mine Hosts's organisation that have not attracted an Australian applicant in several years.

Both of these roles are well paid senior positions that pay well & carry a lot of responsibility.

Hence Mine Host has turned to hiring from overseas. This does not necessarily bring competence to the role, but it does bring stability.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Higher Education

University degrees are supposed to mean something.

They are a distillation & condensation of other people's experience. Perhaps many lifetimes of experience, condensed into a few years of learning.

Thus a graduate with a degree is supposed to be already in possession of knowledge that would otherwise take perhaps a decade or two to learn the hard way.

Mine Host is somewhat forgiving of mistakes by the low-paid, particularly if they are his employees.

However he is ruthlessly demanding of those who are degree-qualified.

Especially those who hang out a shingle & charge multi-hundreds of dollars per hour for their expertise.
They are granted little latitude for error. Mine Host is remarkably unforgiving of mistakes made by degree qualified people.

Their degree is supposed to say they are bristling with knowledge & expertise in a certain field. They are supposed to be expert.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Socialist Outcome?

Hmm, judging from the barrage of email & a couple of comments, the previous post wasn't very clear in meaning.

One role in Mine Host's organisation that pretty much requires formal qualifications is that of accountant. An accountant was hired, with a degree from a certain university.

This turned out to be to date one of the bigger hiring mistakes of Mine Host's.

The damage done to Mine Host's image & reputation, not to mention the damage in the internal processes & accountancy software, was beyond parallel.

Mine Host has employed plenty of complete nitwits. However this one was without equal.

That this dud was packing a university degree was incomprehensible.

Mine Host does not accept that this person passed the examinations required to qualify as an accountant.

The blighter was too stupid to post a letter. Mine Host gave them a pile of urgent letters to post (mail is a sensitive area, and the accountant is one of the few people trusted to handle it). A week later the letters were still sitting between the keyboard & the monitor screen.

A bit got said about this, in response the degree qualified person looked up at Mine Host, smiled like an idiot & nodded like a marionette.

The letters remained on the desk a further two days. The idiot wasn't competent to post a letter and responded to most anything by nodding furiously & smiling idiotically.

It is not known who sat the university examinations in this person's place, or if perhaps the pass grade was lowered to accommodate the full-fee paying students. But this person cannot have demonstrated a standard of scholarship sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the accountancy profession.

For heaven't sake they were too stupid to post letters, or answer the phone, or even to place a phone call. They couldn't even be relied upon to place a lunch order.

It took months to fix up the mess. The cost in grey hairs, never mind dollars, was immense.

Yet a professor (Mine Host has this professor's name copied down diligently, in case they ever meet) has put their signature to a piece of parchment to say that this person has satisfied certain academic thresholds. When clearly no such achievement had occurred.

For heaven's sake, the coot couldn't even be depended upon to be able to write their name on a piece of paper.

Such was the scale of the discrepancy between the representation on the degree, & the reality, and such was the loss, inconvenience & damage to Mine Host, that he is now gun shy about hiring anyone with a degree from that university.

Universities have no excuse when they issue a degree under false pretences, the quality of the graduates is the quality of the university.

A quick phone around to a few other employers brought a series of stories that the quality of graduates from this university isn't what it used to be.

A phone call to a family acquaintance who marks papers for this university revealed that they were under pressure to "pass" students regardless of their scholarship standard, & the shame of this was the cause of this acquaintance's impending parting from this university.

Mine Host's money is too hard earned to risk it by dipping his toe in that pond again. "Graduates" of that university will have to look elsewhere for a job. (Or perhaps conceal their dud degree from employers.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Disqualified from Employment

Due to bitter experience, Mine Host will never employ anyone with a degree from Deakin University.

It is Mine Host's considered opinion, based upon experience, that employing a Deakin University graduate is a gamble no employer can afford to take.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Many Causes of Disease

The boss is quite ill.

This illness presents him with quite a dilemma: Should he lean over the porcelain throne? Or perch atop it & use it for the intended purpose?

The illness is quite horrid, none who see him would wish to be afflicted so.

The boss' throat is raw, his digestive system is bubbling as if it contained a witch's cauldron, his eyes are bloodshot from the continuous involuntary expunging of fluids & stomach contents. The boss has noticeably lost weight already, he will have lost quite a bit more before the illness has run its course.

Despite his outward exhibitions to the contrary, Mine Host has little sympathy for his subordinate.

For the illness is preventable, very preventable.

What was the cause of this illness? Lack of hygiene? Contact with a "carrier"? Bite from a microbe or mosquito or somesuch, that carried the bug?

No. The illness was actually very easy to prevent. Pretty much caused by failure to apply IQ to a given real-world scenario:

The boss had summoned the cook to the office for a "no-coffee" discussion, which culminated in him sacking the cook, subject to a notice period...
... then being as it was just about lunchtime, the boss instructed the cook to prepare him a hearty meal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Age of the Internet

Computers arrived long before the internet.

In the mid-late 1990's computers were beginning to appear as playthings in households. A household having one was at this time something to remark upon, but not overly so.

By 1999-2000 it was possible to connect to the internet. However it was a plaything only. Very little could be done on the "internet" besides chatrooms, some personal emailing & reading bit of basic (american) news & suchforth.

The cost of each time you connected, all at the highest trunk call long-distance telephone charge, on a 14k connection, meant the internet was something one didn't connect to more than a couple of times each week.

Mine Host first used email (& thus the interet) for business purposes in 2004. In that year he sent 4 work emails. These were all to the accountant, & were sent purely for the novelty value. It would have been easier & cheaper to either phone or send a fax. It took upwards of 10 minutes to get to the point where an email could be sent. When surfing it could take several minutes load a webpage. Websites that were more than one page just weren't worth bothering with, as the time & money it took to navigate that website would far exceed any benefit.

Any email that had an attachement (containing graphics) would take between 20 & 45 minutes to send/receive. At long distance (trunk call) rates this was too expensive, and presented quite a problem if someone sent you one, as there was no choice but to receive it, if you cut the connection, you'd only have to recieve the attachment at another time.

Even the word "Draft" superimposed diagonally accross each page of a document would be a graphics file of sufficient size to choke the transmission.

Before the internet could become a work tool it had to first become both cheaper & faster than a telephone call.

That did not come to pass until 2005. In that year Mine Host sent several emails, but still they mostly were all to/from only his accountants & solicitors, however they were no longer for novelty value, but were fair dinkum business communications. (This is also the year Mine Host commenced blogging.)

In 2007 the question one asked (or was asked) changed from "Do you have an email address?" to "What is your email address?".

This was the moment when the internet had become a part of business life.

Shortly after this it became law that pubs must have an email address. Many pubs have forgotten this, and probably are unaware of which email address is registered to their name with the state government. Not that it matters, as the state govt has never yet used this email address database to send us all an email!

Also at about this time the major supplier of wine & spirits created an online order form, which a couple of years later was upgraded to fully integrated real-time online ordering. However, to this day the same supplier does not use email for communication with us. It is to this day all done with telephone calls to/from their travelling rep, or to their head office.

All government forms are now downloadable from the internet (we use plenty in the pub trade, I can rattle off the code number of more government forms than I care to mention).

Also we use the internet heavily for research. Now that most things are to be found on the internet that is.

However, for those who accuse Mine Host of being "behind" in his use of the internet, it must be pointed out that what happens in, & is provided to, the major metropolitan areas is not necessarily available in most of this great nation.

And, as a parting stinger to those who say I must use the net "more" for business, it must be pointed out that neither of the two major breweries are enabled for internet interaction with customers. We have to order by hand written order form, faxed in to them, or else place a verbal order over the telephone.

None of the minor suppliers have online ordering. All foodstuffs, cleaning & packaging products, & minor items are ordered by phone or fax.

To clarify: Of the more than One Hundred suppliers with whom Mine Host deals regularly, only One has online ordering facilities, and None use email to communicate with customers.

How can one possibly use the internet more for business, if those with whom one does business will not use it? (Many of them multi-national corporations - one being the world's largest liquor company).

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

We've struck a Bad'Un 'ere Sarge!

"What are you doing standing the pub doorway checking proof of age as people enter?" barks the 1st year female (& undersized) police officer.

"I'm pub staff, just doing my job" calmly replies the lad in the ironed white shirt & black trousers.

"If you're going to talk like that, I'll arrest you!"

(Oh Gee! I wish she'd say that to me! It'd make my day!)


Greenhorn police constables are the bane of a publican's life.

We show incredible tolerance to them, as they humiliate themselves pretending to be seasoned police officers, not realising their training wheels are comically obvious.

A female police constable has approached the front door of the Wayside Tavern. It is well before midnight. Belligerently she accused the lad at the door of allowing entry to "an obviously intoxicated person". The lad, an apprentice plumber in his day job, looks blankly at the young & diminutive police lady. He has no idea what she is talking about.

"He bounced off the walls of the shop, all the way down the street, he tried to smash the public phone box, you can't have missed him!" (This statement is contradicted by the video evidence from the Wayside Tavern's security cameras. Also the constable lady did not see the man on the street, but is relying on hearsay from a staff member at the next pub.)

"He's inside, but he isn't overly intoxicated, and he didn't attack the public phone box." says the lad. (A statement that is supported by the security camera footage).

This brings an arrogant tirade from the police officer. She roars that this man was "obviously drunk", that he had savagely attacked the phone box, & so forth. (Remember, she is basing this all on hearsay, thus she would be well advised to give equal weight to the word of my lad)

The officer lady, in deep enough already, spits forth some more unwise statements: That Wayside Tavern security staff are "always" absent their posts at critical times, that they are "useless", etc etc.

She cannot possibly have any idea if what she has said is true, as this is her first visit to the Wayside Tavern. We've never seen her before. She's been in town less than 2 weeks, and never before worked night shift.

The next belligerent question is why he is not wearing a "security badge"?

He replies that as he is not a security guard, he is not supposed to wear a security guard badge.

The greenhorn police constable lady then asks why he is there.

He replies that he is Wayside Tavern staff, that he is at work.

It is bad enough so far, but now she makes the statement with which this story began, that in the circumstances is a most unwise threat to make:

"If you're going to get smart, you'll be coming with us!"

(Being at work is not an offence for which one can be arrested.)