By Andy Ives
So the UK’s a great place to be at the moment. We have swine flu running rampant, as a nation we are more in debt than we were at the end of the Second World War, and unemployment has just hit 2.2 million. Those of you I met during my time at Bartender who asked if I was looking forward to coming home… well the answer was yes, but now I’m not so sure.
I don’t know how much of this you will have seen on Aussie news, but on top of the public’s anger at a recession caused by bankers and politicians, a scandal about MP’s expenses has all but brought the Government to it’s knees. Dozens of politicians from every party, many of whom are dripping in peerages and old money, have been claiming things like ‘castle moat cleaning’ and ‘landscape gardening’ on their expenses, paid for of course by Joe Public’s taxes.
The common response to this has been anger, and has raised the question “Who can we trust, if we can’t trust the people elected to represent us?” It may have been naïve to have trusted them in the first place, but we at least thought they might have been smart enough not to get caught.
It’s this thought that leads me, albeit tenuously, back to the bar industry. A friend of mine who runs a bar in London got in touch a few days ago. She had looked at invoices from a well known drinks supplier and noticed stock to the tune of $1000 on the bill that she hadn’t ordered, or received.
Now normally my friend can’t turn around for fear of tripping over the rep, but suddenly he became illusive. After much hounding, he was tracked down and when confronted, he muttered something about “Needing the extra sales for my figures…sorry.”
Now you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that he was always going to get caught. He should also lose his job because he committed a fraud that could cost the supplier a big account; bad enough at the best of times but unforgiveable during a recession when every penny counts.
The moral to be learned from this amoral tale then, is that even when times are tight, dishonesty will get you nowhere. Whether you are a salesman, a bartender or the Home Secretary, it pays to play it straight because the truth will always out, and no-one likes a cheat.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, what time is the next flight to Acapulco? I’m getting off this dump of an island before it sinks back into the sea.