Home Page

Pumping units

Bean counters

Save a nickel...

Cut my hours

Two-day jobs

Por arte

Stiffed a few quid upon leaving

Typical food-service industry practice

I got my money today from Paul, a former employer. I apologized for embarrassing him, after I'd gotten my money....
  — October 2009, Cork

I can't count the number of times an employer has tried to steal a little bit of pay at the end of employment.

I reminisce about the industrial "gourmet" bakery in Dublin and remember that last pay packet, the one the boss tried to lighten by a thin few quid. It happened at Breathnach's in Kilkenny, too, and at Cafe Helder in Nijmegen the Netherlands. At Breathnach's, they came up short by 2 ½ hours' wage. At Helder, it was 12. Twelve euro. The proprietor slapped the tenner and a coin on the counter, too. She wasn't happy I'd said anything about it.

What is it about business owners? Have they no scrupples? No shame? Are they conditioned to think they ought to chisel people, because they can — because most people won't say anything? Are they so tight that they'd chance it for the possible benefit of a loose bit of change?

Naturally, it would be decent to admit that sometimes the error may be a mistake. But I've never been given too much in that final pay-packet.