Sunday, December 29, 2013

Office Work

Scene:  The Wayside Tavern office.
Time:   2:00 a.m.
Cast:  Mine Host,
          One female staff.
Costumes:  Mine Host in usual office wear (polo shirt and elastic shorts)
                   Female staffer in nightie (not a slip-on, but a button-up)

Action: Female staff enters the office, pointedly closes the door, managing to undo a button or two in the process.  Proceeds to the desk, where Mine Host is seated and rather than sit opposite, sits to one side, with no furniture or other objects between her and Mine Host.

It is quite obvious she is wearing nothing beneath her nightie.

"Good morning Miranda, how may I help you?"
"I just came to talk to you"
"What do you want to talk about?"
"Nothing in particular, just that we should do more.... talking... (purr... purr)"  (wriggles a little on her chair)

"Hmm, okay, please go and open the door."
"I'd rather... talk with the door closed (purr... purr)"
"Miranda, open the door. Now"
"But I want to... talk.. to you"  (pout)
"Miranda, it is two o'clock in the morning, you are dressed borderline indecently, I am busy, this is a working office. So...Open-the-door-right-now!"

She stands, re-opens the office door, managing to do up all buttons in the process.
She then returns not to her seat, but to one on the opposite side of the desk, chats inanely for about a minute and a half, then leaves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Late for work = Early check out.

7 a.m.  -  Two girls do not report for work in the Laundry.
9 a.m.  -  Two girls vacate their room, under close supervision.

They and their meagre possessions land on the street.  Their room key and uniforms are already returned, they've been refused breakfast in the staff mess, and are now pondering what to do next.  It is one week to Christmas, they are 10,000 miles from home, they've no money, and nowhere to go.

Their choice.  Refuse to work, and you will be refused staff perks.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stamford Hotel, a BYO pub.

Returned from several days in the Big Smoke, Mine Host is able to report that the Stamford Plaza, in contrast to the Brisbane Hilton, does restock the minibar, and is very prompt and efficient about it.

The let down however, is the Stamford Plaza does not replace the soap in the room.

Not once.

Each day the room is carefully made up, the minibar is restocked, the linen & towels are changed, the (huge) bathroom (yes, it has a great big bathtub) is like new, but...... no soap.

This was not a mistake.  It was every day.

Mine Host, who doesn't mind the Brisbane Stamford, will henceforth be sure to bring his own soap.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Single or Double?

Mine Host, in the Really Big Smoke on business, books a room at his preferred pub, the Stamford Plaza.

Booking online, Mine Host is faced with a choice of the following room rates:

Double occupancy (with breakfast): $366 per night.
Single occupancy (sans breakfast): $385 per night.

You couldn't make it up!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You Think You're Hard Eh?

Scene: Beer Garden of the Waysider Tavern. Time: Mid-evening.
Cast: Assorted onlookers
          Handful of bikies (all aged 45+)
         Hard-looking manual labourer. (aged 55+)
Action: Bikies lounge around suggestively, making the most of the new street cred they have courtesy of the state govt's groovy new anti-bikie laws.

Hard-looking manual labourer glares at them.
Bikies hesitate a little, then muster a return glare. (The manual labourer has the appearance of one who is dreadfully physical, and the look of a one who has very fast reflexes and plenty of match practice when it comes to brawling.)

Hard-looking manual labourer speaks, in a very very thick Irish accent: "So ye think ye're hard ones do ye?"
Total silence from the bikies.
"Ye wooden know wot hard is, boys"
At this stage one of the bikies points out their pedigree, and their "reputation".

Like a crack of lightning the labourer is on his feet, his chair flies backward several feet.
"Ye think ye're as hard as the IRA do ye?"
"Do ye even know what is the IRA?"
"Well, are ye hard like ye sayz? I don't think ye're hard, I think ye're so soft I could clean the lotta ye up, on me own!"

This assertation is not contested by the bikies, who've already taken a collective few paces backward.

None of the bikies dare meet the Irishman's gaze.

A few minutes later the labourer is back to softly chatting with his friends, the bikies have slunk off with tails firmly between legs, and Mine Host is busy burning the security camera file to disc, for later viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I only did what you Told Me To!

A line Chef has similarities to a production line worker.  They will perform one task in a line, that alone will not make a meal, but contributes merely a part of it, put together finally by the Senior Chef on Duty.

(There are issues surrounding Chef performance - being as most at the Wayside Tavern have come from countries where labour is cheap.)

One particular morning the Exec Chef details Chef to unpack a freshly delivered pallet of foodstuffs,  store it ".....then get back to watching your grill plate, mate."

Some many minutes after completing the unpacking line Chef is observed by Exec Chef to have not done another stitch of work.

Furthermore line Chef is observed to have adopted a most strange stance............ resembling that of a diligent watchdog.

..........He's.... (would you believe it?) ...."watching" the grill plate.  Standing there...... doing nothing but..... gaze at it.

So continues life under the big tall white stovepipe Chef's hat!

Friday, October 25, 2013

You'll Never Please 'em all.

A newly checked-in guest presents at the restaurant for dinner.

From Singapore, with limited English, he is a specialist tradesman, here to perform one task for his company.

Dismissively sneering at the menu he instead demands to eat some obscure dish from his homeland.

It is the Head Chef's first night, and a particularly busy one too.

Cooking an off-menu dish is quite an undertaking.  It upsets the rhythm of the kitchen, as nothing is prepared, laid out, defrosted, etc.

However, the Head Chef, a Chinese, says he can do it.

As the guest strolls back through the reception area, Mine Host, puffed up with pride at the ability of the staff to meet seemingly all demands, enquires of the gentleman how was his dinner?

The reply was most abrupt:
"Too slow, in Singapore that usually served in two minutes."
The guest then stumps off unhappily to his room.

So Mine Host adds Forty Dollars to the guest's dinner bill.

Thus continues life behind the bar...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

There are actually Three different forces you know

The seemingly complete and total cluelessness of journalists about military matters ("army stuff") is one of the sadder aspects of the output of the modern university journalism courses.
Anyone who is aware there is an Army, a Navy, and an Air Force is ahead of many journalists.
Examples abound of instances where journalists can't tell a machine-gun from a mortar, a Sergeant from an Admiral, or a submarine from an aircraft carrier.  (If you think I'm joking, you need to pay more attention to newspapers/TV)
But they can still tell the Army from the Navy, can't they?   Who knows, but try this one:
Favourite part of the recent International Fleet Review?

For Mine Host this was in the ABC TV coverage, which at one point ran a short magazine style story on "Women in the Navy", consisting entirely of footage showing ladies dressed in the uniform of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Screenshot taken by Mine Host, during ABC-TV "Women in the Navy" clip.

Monday, October 14, 2013

President Obama proves he CAN seal the Border!

The borders of U.S. National Parks that is.

In what will become the defining image of the USA for 2013, the world is being treated to the spectacle of open air monuments being barricaded off and placed under armed guard.....

..... to "save money".

It would make as little sense to barricade off telegraph poles, and station armed guards around 'em.

The real damage?  To the image of the US National Parks Service.

American Taxpayers paid for this

Instead they get this

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nobody Tells Him to Wear Pants

A chef is detected chronically failing to wash his hands.

By the Health Inspector.  Who brings this to the attention of the Exec Chef.

The culprit, whose finely tuned radar has detected that he may have just brought some serious boss heat down on himself, is summoned to the office for a "no-coffee" discussion.

This sub-continental's reason for not washing his hands, ever?

"It's not my fault, you've never run a training course on washing hands, so how would I know what to do?"  (Oh brother....)

Mine Host (already clicking the computer screen through to or somesuch) enquires somewhat acidly of this goose when did he last attend a training course that showed how to put your pants on?

This was too oblique, or too deep, for the sub-continental.  The response was a blank stare.

Mine Host followed up with a supplementary question as to when had been the most recent training course that showed how to get food into your mouth?

This at least brought a quizzical grunt of incomprehension.

Mine Host then delivered his final line of the interview;
"Well, you do manage to eat food don't you?"  

Monday, October 07, 2013

Zero Times Each Day

Sometimes a stopped clock isn't even right twice a day.

The Australian deep south is a foreign place.  They do things differently there.  Just how differently sometimes has to be seen to be believed.

For part of the year they change the clocks to a different time.  This can be quite a shock if you encounter it, for it is akin to discovering that the sun has turned around and is setting in the east.

However this act of dickheadsmanship thousands of miles away in the deep south has little to no impact at the Wayside Tavern.

Some people have never encountered it, but those of us who are more well read, or well travelled, have learned of this clock changing.
This time changing  has many names, the most polite name used in the Wayside Tavern is "Brokeback Mountain Time" a most apt phrase.
Aficionados of this clock changing may wish to reflect upon this terminology, and the degree of esteem with which they are held by the working population.

Yesterday the morning staff arrived for work an hour early, without knowing it!

They'd taken their time from the display on their mobile phones.  In an act of supreme incompetence Telstra (the telephone company) had brought forward the time by an hour.  No reason, except that in the deep south, irrelevant to Queensland, the clocks had been brought forward by an hour.

Telstra (not ever likely to be a contender for "smartest corporation") changed their time signal in mighty Queensland, just because some King Canute type in Victoria imagines they can "save" daylight by doing so!

The Six staff who start the day off had never encountered the concept of Time being Tinkered with, are totally puzzled by it, now think Telstra are complete idiots (they got that part right) and will never again take for granted what they see on their screens or phones (this lesson is not necessessarily a bad thing)

Turns out none of these wallies owns a wristwatch ("a whaaat?")

Monday, September 30, 2013

Not Connected

You would think that "everybody" has a mobile phone these days, correct?

Well, "everybody" apart from homeless, weirdos, great-grandparents (fuddy-duddy types) and farmers from places where there isn't mobile phone coverage, correct?

Normal people in bog-standard western economies (ie Australia) all have mobile phones, correct?

Think Again:

Five of the Wayside Tavern staff do not have a mobile phone.  Weirdos?  Drug-addled loonies?  People on the run?


A married man in his forties,  A married woman in her thirties, and three single ladies.

Each of them is as normal and well adjusted as can be.  They've just never ever had a mobile phone.

The married man is a most suave and interesting chap, has spent most of his life overseas or working on cruise ships, mostly as a senior clerical officer/manager.

The married woman is a former law student now married to a tradesmen who is on a long-term contract in the district.

One of the single girls is a chemo nurse in her mid-thirties, very slim, very attractive and intriguing,  having a break from her career, spending a year working in "the general economy".

Another is a very attractive and interesting girl in her mid-twenties, working to accumulate a grubstake.

The other is a super-duper attractive twenty year old girl with a most infectious smile, who makes an adventure of everything.  She's already been all around the world.

And none of them have a home phone or landline either.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Boss is Wrong!

"Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."
 BOB HAWKE, after the historic victory of the yacht Australia II in the 1983 America's Cup.
Such a statement would be unthinkable today.
When Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke said this, in memorable circumstances, just plain old not coming to work was grounds for dismissal.

Times have changed markedly.  A boss who sacks anyone for not turning up would today be entering a dual world of legal pain and financial penalty.

Think I'm joking?  Just try it and see!

Someone once did not turn up for work at the Wayside Tavern.
Three weeks later Mine Host informed them they were not welcome back.  That only came about as the person actually turned up for work (after three weeks would you believe) as if nothing had happened.

Mine Host then entered a world of financial and legal pain, one in which due process was absent, and his "guilt" was taken for granted by the (cough) impartial system and (cough) unbiased commissioners.

Hearing the above phrase of the (then) Prime Minister quoted, as it is from time to time, is a "trigger phrase" for Mine Host.   Though it is unlikely there will ever be retribution or atonement for the wrongs perpetrated in the name of "unfair dismissal" legislation, in his more maudlin (or perhaps more realistic) moments, Mine Host dreams of someone carrying out the brutal thrashing of an ALP politician.

In the circumstances, such an event would be most deserved.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Under the Weather

The outcome of the recent Australian Federal Election caused an interruption to posting, for Mine Host has sought to seek solace in drink......

.... Principally Moet !

Normal posting to resume forthwith.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Uncoloured Boys

Two police officers strut into the office of the Wayside Tavern!

[Here we go again] thinks Mine Host, seeing the determined look on the faces of the police officers, a look somewhat remniscent of that adopted by dogs when their dinner bowl is interfered with by a possum.

"There's two members of the Rebels in your bar!" ejaculates one of the officers.

"Er... how interesting" says Mine Host, stifling a yawn.

"What will you do to rectify this situation?"  demands that other officer.

"What situation?" says Mine Host, affecting yet another yawn.

"Well....Outlaw motorcycle gang members shouldn't be in here!" stammered the first officer.

"Are they wearing club 'colours'?" enquires Mine Host.

"Er.... no, but you shouldn't be letting them in here!"

"Why ever not? If they're not wearing 'colours' how on earth am I to know they are members of an Outlaw motorcycle gang?"

"Er...... Um......"

"Am I supposed to spend all day gazing at every person who enters, to see if they 'look like' they may be members of an outlaw bikie gang?  In fact officer, what does an 'Outlaw-bikie-in-mufti' look like?"    (I lost the coppers with the word 'mufti')
"Should I insult every last stranger with intrusive questions about their possible affiliation with bikie gangs?"

"Er...... .... Um.... "

The two police officers left, with a facial expression resembling that adopted by a dog that has tail between legs.

Friday, August 30, 2013

First Time for Everything !

On their way home from putting their kids in to high school, two ladies break the two days of flying with an ovvernight stop at the Wayside Tavern.

Neither of them has ever before entered a restaurant.

They have never before had a cocktail.

They have never before heard of a cocktail.  They have no concept of what a cocktail is.

They ate a restaurant meal, they drank a cocktail (a "mai tai" each)

The Wayside Tavern dishes up the best tucker north of Adelaide.

It was the first night on duty (and his second night in the country) for the barman in the Wayside Tavern's cocktail bar.

This country is much larger, and the backgrounds and experiences of the natural born citizens more diverse than one may first think.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wish Granted!

Been griping about the amount of air time ABC news & current affairs programmes have been devoting to the Global Warming scam?

Been hurling the sherry glass at the tv screen in sheer frustration at the amount of airtime ABC news & current affairs have devoted to the 100th-tier issue of "gay marriage"?

Your wish has been granted!

For some years the abovementioned two matters have been (to the ABC) the biggest event since Adam & Eve ate the apple.....

..... not any more, for the ABC hasn't a moment to spare, so busy it is getting stuck into Rupert Murdoch.

You'd swear Mr. Murdoch is the Anti-Christ incarnated.  (If you actually believed what you see and hear on ABC news & current affairs, that is).

The ABC's fanatic obsession has been pursued to the point where their Murdoch-666 obsession has become comedy.

The nadir came on Monday night's Media Watch programme on ABCTV.
Nobody can produce and actually put to air an episode such as Monday night's, not and maintain any claim to be journalists.

Prime Minister Abbott:  Don't just cut ABC funding to the bone - the news & current affairs section needs to be completely dismantled, and started again, with entirely new faces.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vote Winning Policy

Reasons to vote for the Liberal Party in the upcoming Australian Federal election are manifold.

Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott provides yet another:

He will legislate for small businesses to receive the same consumer protections that individuals receive.

This alone is sufficient to be worth voting for him & his party.

********               *********                ************

It is not possible to overstate the deleterious effect to a small business of not having any rights as a consumer.

Big business, government, and particularly gypsies & conmen, all brutally capitalise on the fact that small businesses have (pretty much) no consumer rights whatsoever.

There is an entire industry of rip-off artists and conmen who are allowed to exist, purely to fleece unsuspecting small businesses.

There is an entire section of big business that exploits small businesses without any mercy.

The Labor Party, during their current term in office, was given the opportunity to enact these protections.  However the Labor Party, by deliberate inaction (as opposed to brainless incompetence) chose to not protect small business.

One may conclude that the Labor Party is the party of Big Business.

One may be correct.

*******              ***********             **********

Mine Host looks forward to Prime Minister Abbott protecting the little blokes from the brutes of the corporate world, and from the vultures of the gypsy world.

Mine Host is unsure how many voters he can influence, but Tony Abbott has convinced him to try. The federal electorate which hosts the Wayside Tavern can at times come down to only a few hundred votes. On a good day Mine Host may be able to influence that number of voters.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Don't vote for the Dingo

Reasons to not vote for the Liberal Party (in the upcoming Australian Federal election) are manifold.

Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott provides yet another:

Just before a recent leaders debate, Tony Abbott announced a $5,000,000 (Five Million Dollar) gift of taxpayer money to a Brisbane Rugby League Football club.

The lucky club is already one of the wealthiest community organizations in the nation, for it has been granted (at no cost) 280 poker machines, which collectively yield say $10,000,000 annually.

.... and Tony Abbott gives this club another $5 million that has been hoovered from taxpayers.

             *********                      ************                ************

Mine Host to Tony Abbott:  Where is my $5 million (to extend the Wayside Tavern building, and provide "better facilities" for my community?)

The Wayside Tavern has already been levied more than $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars - from a country pub) for extensions and redevelopment at Lang Park (cynically known now in the hotel industry as: "pub park" or "hotel park").

Mine Host is unsure how many voters he can influence, but Tony Abbott has convinced him to try.  The federal electorate which hosts the Wayside Tavern can at times come down to only a few hundred votes.  On a good day Mine Host may be able to influence that number of voters.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

America is Kaput

This has gone too far!

Every rodeo clown in the USA should strike.
Every rodeo rider should strike.
Every American should boycott every state fair.
Every decent human being should wear an Obama mask and march on Washington DC.

Perhaps a million-mask march.

Monday, August 19, 2013

For Richer or Poorer, in Sickness & Health.... etc

Perhaps Mine Host fosters a workplace culture of enterprise and individual achievement.
Perhaps Mine Host selects enterprising types as staff.
Perhaps it is pure chance.

But at least three (3) people who have been low level employees of the Wayside Tavern (with seat out of their pants, blah blah) have within a few short years become larger than average entrepreuers.

Two of them with debts now of more than $5 million.  (Good on 'em!)

A third, having made a lot of money with nothing more than his hands and a mobile phone, has entered into a business where he places capital at risk (a shop).

This has gone quite badly, it looks as if he'll lose his shirt.

But it ain't over yet.  He's putting tremendous effort (likely in vain) into saving the business.

His wife, has she pulled out the stops to support him, making the home front as much a sanctuary as possible, cooing & cah-ing over him, and giving him both refuge from the worries of the world and mental/spiritual comfort, in his time of distress?

Pig's rear end she has!  The bitch has just about pulled the plug on him, calling his judgement into question, implying he is a failure & "loser", and haranguing him day & night at home, over his "blowing" of the fortune he had built up.

She's on the verge of moving out with the kids, and going back to her parents (who are rich - very rich)

Perhaps it is confirmation bias, but this is a very common response by women to their man facing financial or other hardship.

The added distress for this man is almost impossible to imagine.  He never considered even looking at another woman, lives for his kids and what he can provide for them, and loves his wife dearly.
The distress caused by just the thought of his children no longer living under his roof, is, to a practicing Roman Catholic almost intolerable.

He is young, resilient and resourceful.  He'll make another fortune (and if she pulls the plug she won't share in it.)
Neither will she notice or care, as her father is not just rich, but Rockerfeller type rich.

Even if she doesn't move out, she is making his life hell at a time when he needs support and reassurance that he has a loving family.

Instead she's jerking the rug from under him.

Hell has a special place for such women.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Can't tell Daylight from Dark

A depressingly common theme is the inability of (some members of) the general public to recall very recent events and movements in their daily life.

Specifically, which pub they were in last night, this morning, or even ten minutes ago.

Many times has Mine Host's time and patience been wasted by a person angrily demanding replacement or refund (or something) for defective liquor that "was bought from your pub mate" - this often despite a price tag or some other label clearly showing the name of another pub.

When this is pointed out, the complainant will become angry, defensive, and (to cut a long story short) mystified how the other pub's name got there ".... coz I know I got it from your place mate".

Finally they wander off, believing they've been had by Mine Host, but unable to figure out how.

This happens only with dim-witted bogans and Kath & Kim types?  Think again.

Think that well critiqued & properly constructed online reviews for hotels are left by sophisticated white collar types who are smart enough to at least know which hotel/resort they stayed at?  Think again.

At the online customer review site Trip Advisor, two of the reviews of the Wayside Tavern are clearly and obviously intended for another business.

These two reviews go into detail of the building, the layout, method of construction, materials used, and lots of other things that are a dead giveaway.

Yep!  Some people are so stupid that they leave a trip advisor review on the page of the wrong business.


As can be easily guessed, both of these reviews are very negative.  If anyone has the faintest idea how to get Trip Advisor to remove (or move) these reviews, it would be gratefully received.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Full Employment Economy

Believe the current polls/reports/whatever that suggest unemployment is on the increase in Australia?
Consider this:

The Wayside Tavern advertises a skilled job (on one of Australia's leading job bulletin sites).
The job ad, including the headline, clearly states the location as:

Beyond the Black Stump, Queensland.

There are a mere Three (3) responses:

The first applicant was well qualified and oh so very suitable, but upon discovering the job is not in Melbourne, flatly refused the position.

Mine Host is unable to comment on the other two applicants, as neither of them answered their phone.  Well not for 14 days - which is when Mine Host gave up trying their numbers.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Your Safety in Their Hands........

Late July 2013:   (say the date was the 27th)
Health inspection of the kitchens at the Wayside Tavern.
The council health inspector was the usual under-achiever with a chip on his shoulder and zero empathy for anyone whose survival depends upon producing something.
The health inspector, like many such jobsworths, had migrated some 20-odd years ago from the English Midlands.  Crikey, who wouldn't have guessed that?

In his zeal to do Australia what his ilk did to the midlands, he found (minor) faults aplenty.
The "most serious" fault was "out of date" milk in the fridge.

Several 2 litre bottles were declared "significantly" out of date, having expired 14 days beforehand, on the 13th of July.
"This is a maximum fine of $100,000  - (pause for effect) - per bottle." Gloated the health inspector in a beta-male accent that had a resonance akin to fingernails on a blackboard.
Mine Host was ordered to dispose of the "severe health risk" on the spot.  Not being this ... person's... personal valet, Mine Host did not get on his knees and begin clearing milk out of the fridge.
Instead the Head Chef was summoned, and asked to "arrange" for the milk in the fridge to be destroyed.
The health inspector, with ire now aroused at Mine Host's blatant refused to personally perform demeaning physical tasks when ordered to, reminded Mine Host of the maximum fine (per bottle) and stated that the "health risk" must be removed immediately.
Mine Host stated to no one in particular that any fine for out of date milk would be contested most vigorously.
(Nothing gets a badge-toting pommy jobsworth riled faster than a challenge to their "author-a-ie.")
At this point Mine Host stopped the kitchenhand who was removing the milk and visibly destroying it, and took a photo of the "use by" date on each bottle.

Mine Host's forecast:  There won't be any fines issued, not ever.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Anzac Day

Business brought Mine Host to the big smoke late in the afternoon on Anzac Day.   This brought one of life's new experiences;  how Anzac Day is finished off in the metropolitan areas of this great nation.

It seems that returned servicemen (or the tail end of them) get awfully merry through over-imbibing, then put the wobbly boot on and lurch off home.

Mine Host has never seen this before.  Anzac Day has always been just another day, though a public holiday, and a mandatory half-day closed for pubs.  Returned servicemen are always out of the picture by 3pm.

Different in the big smoke.

Mine Host's most memorable observation: (Please, this is not intended in a negative sense)
The current crop of returned servicemen are sporting one helluva lot more medals from the left side of their chest than the blokes who served the entire First World War on the front line.

God, I hope we don't end up like the USA, a country where a serviceman who hasn't even been in battle will have fruit salad all over the left breast of his uniform.

Most of Mine Host's uncles served the full 6 years of World War Two, they have/had between three and five campaign/service medals each.  That is Three, perhaps Five, ribbons.  In one simple row.

Friday, April 05, 2013


At 4.18 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday 4-4-2013 Mine Host telephones to an office in NSW.

The call is answered by a recorded message:  "Thank you for phoning X-corp, our office hours are 9am to 5pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time, please call back during these hours."

Mine Host checks the time, then tries again.  Same result, time after time.

The following morning, the number is phoned again.  Mine Host is put through to a director of the company (a significant sized operation, they employ more than 200 people, mostly in office work).

Mine Host mentions the surreal event of phoning between 9-5 eastern standard time, and being continuously met with a recording stating the the office closed at 5pm.

Specifically it is pointed out to the director of X-corp that Mine Host was phoning at 4.18pm Queensland time, (the state of Queensland uses Australian Eastern Standard Time - New South Wales vacillates between standard time and daylight saving time).

The X-corp director acts as if Mine Host has hydrophobia or something, patiently explaining that Queensland does not having daylight saving, whereas NSW does, and this is why 4.18pm in Qld is 5.18pm in NSW, thus 4.18pm in Qld is ..... (etc.etc.etc..... y'all've got the picture by now)

Mine Host rather succinctly points out that he is well aware that NSW occassionally switches from Standard Time to "Brokeback Mountain Time", however the matter at hand is that X-corp is answering the phone with a recording that is somewhat embarrassing to X-corp.

.... Yep, these self-centred dickheads believe that whatever time NSW decides to set the clocks to, is Eastern Standard Time.

Such delusion is not an uncommon one in NSW.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Bring 'em on!

In the really big smoke on business, and feeling the pangs of morning hunger, Mine Host happens upon a coffee-shop sorta place selling Max Brenner chocolate (by the cup).

Max Brenner chocolate, for those who've just arrived from Mars, is apparently the name of a chain of shops that sell hot chocolate or something, and serve it in a cup to patrons seated at a table.

Hmm.. ok.. us yokels never see this sort of thing.  Our cultural assimilation used to be obtained by reading the Women's Weekly, but in these more modern times it is the online news that ensures we are kept up to date on the antics of our big city co-citizens.

Individual franchises of the Max Brenner chain are from time-to-time targeted for blockades/pickets and chanting demonstrations by bigoted hippes & others who never work/wash/etc for the apparent crime of having an owner that is Jewish (or somesuch).

Thrilled at having found one of these joints, Mine Host looks around eagerly, hoping for some unwashed bigot to confront him and chant "jew-lover" (or something) in his face.  (In such circumstance it is likely the hippie would next speak when the cranio-facial surgeon removed the wire braces.)

Alas, there was to be no "knuckle-on-hippie" action for Mine Host on that morning.  All one could see were disinterested office workers & delivery boys going about their daily business.


Gazing uncomprehendingly at the menu by the door, Mine Host was eventually assisted by a giggle-pot of a waitress, who seemed to be unaware of Max Brenner's reputation among the intolerant class, and oblivious to Mine Host's urge to punch a protestor on the nose.

The choclate Mine Host is unable to comment on, for despite being ordered it was never served to him.

The breakfast was indisputably the worst Mine Host has paid for in his life.  The staff were shocked at being told so, and deflated when given a comprehensive critique on why this was so.  They offered to not charge for the chocolate...

....Mine Host then said something about how them not charging him for something that wasn't provided is a natural expectation of his, not a favour for them to bestow.

Summary:  Being as how they can't provide hot chocolate (and the food 5th rate and tasteless), and Mine Host didn't get to exercise himself by having fun rendering hippies unconscious, Max Brenner isn't worth going back to.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reason #251

Anybody who says there is "no valid reason for any person to possess semi-automatic firearms" has never had the experience of discovering that a microsoft (or other software co.) update has afflicted their formerly perfectly working software.

There is nothing like discovering that not only do you have all new different shortcuts, but some of the best features have been written out of the software.  "You'll just have to get used to it sir!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Life's too Short!! (part 2)

A recent duke-up between a very-junior-lawyer in a very-large-firm and Mine Host has apparently made it to the desk of one of the firm's National Partners.

This escalation may have been precipitated by a progressively sterner exchange of emails between Mine Host & said junior lawyer (she of the still-with-wet-ink-on-her-degree).

When combative (and extremely junior) female lawyers are coming out second-best in a legal argument with a client who didn't even finish high school, they tend to not take it real well.

The National Partner, a very experienced litigator but a very busy man, in Mine Host's opinion made the following mistakes:
  • He listened (likely quite briefly) to his subordinate's (emotive) opinion of how she was being bullied by a dumb client.
  • He judged Mine Host by his occupation (publican, well they're all drongos).
  • He judged Mine Host by postcode (from the country? well he's gotta be stoopid).
  • He skimmed the email exchange without actually reading any of it.
  • He then put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard actually) and put in writing something into which his nose will be rubbed by Mine Host:
(this excerpt from his brief-but-snappy email is paraphrased here for blog-legible brevity)

"Life's too short for us to bother giving accurate advice"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Offer Withdrawn!

An actual human (i.e. someone with common sense) at the NBN has been in touch with the Wayside Tavern.

It turns out connection to the NBN has not been offered to the Wayside Tavern.  An offer was made, yes, but that was for a personal domestic connection.

"The cost for exactly the same connection (and exactly the same useage) is so much higher for a business that you wouldn't be interested."

When pressed, the consultant explained that businesses with employees are slugged "so much more heavily" that he is ashamed to even have to reveal the price.  (Note:  This is for exactly the same connection, {cough} speed, and useage as either a business with 0-6 employees or for a domestic household)

Rather bad luck for all the staff, most of whom do not have a home connection, and depend upon the connection available at work.  No NBN for them either!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


The NBN is available to the Wayside Tavern!

Cost:    $150-$200 per month.
Speed:  6 mb per second.

Considering how much of Australia's money has been squandered on the NBN, and given the abovementioned cost and internet speed:

How does this offer stack up?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Why not a Thousand?

Perusing the newspapers (as one does) the eye was caught by yet another of those articles expounding on the evils of the restaurant industry, and how restaurants/cafes are underpaying staff, blah blah blah.

The article was accompanied by the usual photo of an indignant looking former employee standing with arms folded in front of an allegedly offending premises.

Knowing the complexity of the industrial awards, and that most restaurant operators have a choice:...
  • Run the restaurant, or
  • Devote themself full time to interpreting and applying the award.
..Mine Host is of the belief that were the industrial awards simplified, there would be much less confusion.

Try this one for size:

The payscale section of the industrial award  or instrument (not my terminology) that applies to the Wayside Tavern has 962 pay rates, yes Nine-Hundred-and-Sixty-Two.

(First published by Mine Host in comments at Prick With a Fork.)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Visa Breach (part 3)

Wong Gomez Singh is an employer sponsored overseas worker at the Wayside Tavern.

Wong Gomez Singh has been issed their visa on the condition that:
  • They remain in the employ of the Wayside Tavern for two years,
  • Do not perform a type of job other than that for which they are employed, and
  • All work they perform is to be in a specified geographic area (say "Nth Qld).
Six months into the job Wong Gomez Singh gives notice:  "I won't be here Monday."

You are obliged to report it to the dept if the sponsored employee leave the job, for any reason whatsoever.

So Mine Host contacts the Immigration Dept to report that Wong Gomez Singh has quit their job.

The immigration officer taking the call stifles a yawn and tersely reminds Mine Host that in this and any future cases Mine Host is legally required to report the matter.  ("Thankyou" would have sufficed.)

Mine Host phones the Immigration Dept again with details of Wong Gomez Singh's new job, seething that the new employer has not had to meet any of the pre-conditions, or gone to any cost.

The immigration officer stifles a yawn and makes note of the "additional information".

A few months later, Mine Host phone the department again, to find out why Wong Gomez Singh has not had their visa cancelled?

This is when things start to happen!

The very first thing to happen is the Immigration Officer tersely informs Mine Host that they aren't just going to cancel a visa, not without fully investigating to see if there has in fact been a breach.
(Payroll records would do it, from both my place and the new empoyer)

Mine Host is informed (pretty roughly) that this sort of thing is "playing with people's residency".
Er... no... they don't get residency until they fulfil all conditions of their visa.  (So says the brochure, so says the immigration dept's website.)

So Mine Host places a phone call to the "Visa Cancellation Team", and it feels like things are under way at last.  Oh boy, are they interested in this.  No, there is no record in the dept of Wong Gomez Singh ever being investigated or anything.  Yes, there will now be an investigation.

This Visa Cancellation Team really likes to hear from the sponsoring employer, and will take testimony of the employer into consideration when making a decision, blah blah blah....

Mine Host never again hears from either the Visa Cancellation Team, or anybody else in the department.

In the subsequent months Wong Gomez Singh starts working in a totally different field to that prescribed on the visa, then with a move to the metropolis of Melbourne Wong Gomez Singh breaches the final condition of their visa, which is no matter what, to remain in a "regional" area for the full two years.

Wong Gomez Singh is subsquently granted permenant residency, citizenship to automatically follow.
Wong Gomez Singh has not adhered to even one condition of their visa.

This has happened to Mine Host three times.  To the neighboring employer, four times.

You may think that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship does nothing to enforce, or even investigate, breaches of visa conditions by visa holders.

You may be right.

You may think that it is a regular event for an employer sponsored worker to breach every condition of their visa, yet be granted Australian citizenship.

You may well be right.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Whining (or the customer is always Wrong).

Newly delivered wine in the Wayside Tavern cellar.
This wine will not be retailed.
It is exclusively sold uncorked to diners-at-the-table in the Wayside Tavern restaurant.
Recently Australian wine producer Yalumba discovered that some of their wines were being offered in the USA by a wine club run by the National Rifle Association.

Yalumba must be selling more wine than they can produce or something, as they immediately took action to have their wines removed from sale.

This was the (cough) brainstorm of current Yalumba boss Robert Hill Smith (he is the 5th generation of the family in the business, not the "founder" - as was erronously reported in much of the US media).

Robert Hill Smith would seem to have a brown thumb in marketing:

The money quote:

 “Philosophically, I’m not disposed towards the NRA, which runs counter to my family’s, and I would think all my employees’, positions on gun laws,” Yalumba founder (sic) Robert Hill Smith said. “We will act to withdraw our stock or at least not service the account any longer.”
Just as well he owns the company.  An employed executive would be fired in seconds, or just however long it took for his boss to learn of that quote.
Mine Host's heart bleeds for the marketing people who have put in years of effort lifting the profile of Australian wine in North America, efforts that have likely just been set back by years.
Yalumba want to "act to withdraw" their stock from gun owners?  Mine Host, a long standing and very bitter opponent of gun laws, stands ready to assist.
The wine list at the Wayside Tavern (one of the better wine lists in Qld) will no longer include anything from Yalumba.  (Just as soon as current stocks are cleared that is, hehe).
Those who know their plonk will recognise the quantities and quality of the wines in the picture above, and know the subtle damage this decision will do to Yalumba.
Parked beside the (last ever) order of Yalumba Octavius, is an equal quantity of Jim Barry Armagh.
Jim Barry wines boss Peter Barry, had this to say about his wine being offered by the NRA:

 "No matter religion, colour or creed, I’m just happy people are drinking and enjoying Australian wine.”
You can't argue with that sentiment!  What a fun fellow he must be to those lucky enough to know him.
Jim Barry Armagh, a far superior drop than the Yalumba Octavius, will be promoted heavily by Mine Host.  (Update:  This is not true.  The Armagh is too hard to come by, supplies are too limited, and it is too good, I'm already able to sell 10 times the allocation Jim Barry gives me.  But I'll do what I can for a winery that produces such first class wine.  For quality, Jim Barry is in the top Five of Australian wines.)
Mine Host urges all who enjoy their wines to help these two wine companies:

Yalumba want less customers, (you all know what to do)
Jim Barry are happy to know you are enjoying Australian wine!
Lets all do our best to help Jim Barry Wines have their wish granted!

Update:  For some reason this story received very little coverage in Australia.  Therefore  Hat tip to Paco for bringing this piece of treason to Mine Host's attention.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Visa Breach (part 2)

If a visa sponsor breaches a visa condition, the dept responds with a pile driver.  Even if the breach is so technical that only those with the mentality of an over-the-top traffic cop would consider it to be even that (technical breach).

Visa holders, on the other hand, breach the conditions of their visa all the time.

How does the dept. respond?

The dept. won't even look into the matter.

The only way anything will happen is if the sponsoring employer makes lots of waves with the dept.
The dept. then will make a (fake) promise to look into the matter.

That will be the last anyone will hear of the matter.

There are a plethora of employer-sponsored visa subclasses.  Typical conditions are:
  • To remain in employment with the sponsoring employer.
  • To work only at a specified location or geographical area.
  • To not go into business or otherwise self-employ.
A breach of any of these conditions is sufficient for the visa to be cancelled.

Mine Host knows of countless such breaches being reported to the dept.
Mine Host knows not one of those breaches resulted in a visa cancellation.

This the double standard the dept. applies to visas.
This is the degree of incompetence of the federal government.
This is the disdain with which the dept. treats Australians, and the blind eye the dept. turns to lawbreakers.

Coming up, some real life examples of visa breaches, and the (lack of) response by the dept.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Visa Breach (part 1)

As raised in comments of the previous post, there is a serious & chronic problem with employer-sponsored visa holders intentionally breaching the conditions of their visa, and the Immigration Dept refusing the police the matter.

A plethora of different employer-sponsored visa subclasses exist.  Some of them have very different conditions imposed on both the employer and the visa holder.

Sponsoring employers are held very tightly to their obligations.  Many employers are stripped of their licence to sponsor for the slightest mere technical breach of their conditions.

Example:  The sponsor is (say) Herb McDonald, of "Wattle Flats" station via Black Stumpville.  Herb applies to sponsor skilled farm workers, and is issued a licence to employ overseas staff under subclass 457, for farming work, on "Wattle Flats" station.

It subsequently comes to the attention of the Immigration Dept that Herb McDonald and his 457 visa holders went through the fence into neighboring "Shady Plains" to recover some sheep that had strayed.

The licence to employ very clearly states that any 457 visa holders employed by Herb McDonald can only do work on "Wattle Flats" station.  Thus the Immigration Dept writes to Herb McDonald informing him that:  As on a certain date he had used his 457 visa holders not on "Wattle Flats", but on "Shady Plains" there has been a clear breach of his conditions as an employer, and his licence to employ sponsored workers is hereby cancelled.


Employers actually have lost their licence to employ for this very thing, and sometimes for much less.

Okay! We have now established just how seriously the Immigration Dept views employer obligations, and just how strictly these obligations are enforced. 

Stand by to see how seriously the dept views it when visa conditions are breached by an ... actual visa holder....