Anger grows over employees being docked pay when customer steals

This story popped up yesterday, where a Masterton Gull/Night and Day francise had been docking workers’ pay every time a customer filled up with petrol and drove off without paying.

Angry customers are calling for a boycott of service stations which dock workers for customer drive-offs.

The calls came after it was revealed today that at least four low-paid workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store, which also operates a Gull service station, were docked hundreds of dollars in wages after customers fled without paying.

Masterton Night n’ Day franchisee¬†Nick Lucas¬†did not respond to questions today on whether he would scrap the controversial¬† policy of charging staff for drive-offs, which he defended yesterday as standard industry practice.

Both Gull’s and Night n’ Day’s head offices were distancing themselves from the controversy.

“It doesn’t read well and our sympathies are with the staff members, it’s not our policy and it’s not Night n’ day policy that’s been implemented here,” said Gull New Zealand general manager¬†Dave Bodger.

Night n’ Day chief executive¬†Tony Allison¬†thought it likely he would be encouraging Lucas to drop the policy.

Meanwhile, workers at other companies said they had been docked pay for drive-offs. A worker at a Hutt Valley Caltex station, who asked not to be named, said he had been docked between $50 and $150 five or six times in two years. “I asked my boss, how are we supposed to stop the drivers? And he said… you’ve got to try to do your best to stop them getting off the forecourt.” He sometimes worried about his safety chasing drive-offs down the road, he said. “But you don’t want to pay for the drive-off so you just try and catch them.”

Neither the Caltex station nor its head office responded to requests for comment.

When there is employee negligence, I can understand it. ¬†But there are drive-offs at every petrol station all over the country, and most of those are situation where staff are dealing with customers and they are doing the job they are meant to do. ¬†How they are supposed to close the till, run out of the building and stop a car that drives away is beyond me. ¬† Read more »


Would you like to be electrocuted now, or later?

The other day, this story ran in The Press

A manslaughter charge could have been laid after the death of a roofer who was electrocuted while carrying out repairs but police were unable to pinpoint who was at fault.

A person of interest to their inquiry, whose name is suppressed, has died.

Father of five Mathew John Down, 55, was fixing a leaky roof on a building in Clarkson Ave, between Cashel and Lichfield streets, on March 17, 2011, when he leaned against the metal wall of a neighbouring freezer unit and collapsed.

His son Gary, who had been working with him, administered CPR, but was unable to revive him.

In findings yet to be made public, coroner Richard McElrea rules that the cause of death was accidental electrocution.

Inquiries found the main earth wire for the freezer unit had been disconnected to avoid repairing a fault, McElrea’s report says. “Police considered this would have been a deliberate action by some person.”

Despite an extensive investigation, police were unable to establish who completed the “negligent and incompetent” work.

I was talking to our Map of the Day sponsor Dave Keppel about (funnily enough) solar power the other say when I made a lame joke about not installing anything myself because I’d probably electrocute people. ¬†Instead of laughing with me, this set Dave off in a lecture about cowboy installers, likely the same kind of idiots that killed ¬†Mathew Down months, if not years after disconnecting the earth wire to get around a fault the lazy way.

In a lot of cases, these death traps -once set- just take time to develop. ¬†Dave told me about this job he ran into, and I since asked him if I could have a redacted copy of the report – just to keep suppliers’ names out of it for now while they work trough the contractual and legal issues.

But it makes for sobering reading.

– Pete

Read more »

The problem with St Helen…she isn’t

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

I’ve noticed a few things about Labour, but the one thing that sticks out is the absolute deference they all hold towards Helen Clark.

I despise her politics, but am mature enough to recognise a superb politician.

Helen Clark took over the labour party when it was in disarray, she withstood a coup attempt and ruled the party with an iron fist for 15 years.

She moulded the party into her likeness and the two became synonymous.

The labour party was Helen Clark and Helen Clark was the Labour party.

That was Labour’s strength and it was also its Achilles heel.

Eventually the voters tired of her and Labour lost to John Key’s National party.

Now this is where it gets interesting.¬† Read more »

An email from Dr. Rob Beaglehole about the Marlborough sugar ban


Yesterday I ran an article about the strange decision of the Marlborough District Council to look at banning sugary drinks.

I also gave Dr. Rob Beaglehole a sound kicking as well.

I am opposed to councils meddling like this, especially if that same council has decided not to put fluoride in their water. It is my contention that in the case highlighted yesterday that poor parenting firstly and then intransigent councils are the problem, not sugar in drinks.

Dr. Beaglehole phoned me yesterday and we had a friendly discussion about the issue. I suspect we will never agree on the issue of sugary drinks but we do agree on fluoride.

He has emailed me his thoughts and I publish those unedited and with his permission.¬† Read more »

Happy Birthday Spanish Bride

Today is Spanish Bride’s birthday

My father in law was reading a book by Georgette Heyer called The Spanish Bride. He liked the name of Harry Smith’s wife.

The book is about the true story of  Harry Smith and his wife Juana María de los Dolores de León Smith.

The town of Ladysmith is named after her.

In 1812, at the age of fourteen, she found herself orphaned and only with a sister, when her home town Badajoz was besieged for the fourth time during the Peninsular War. After the siege ended in a successful but very bloody storming by the British and Portuguese forces, the sisters sought protection from the plundering and pillaging soldiers by some British officers they found camping outside the city walls. One of them was Brigade-Major Harry Smith, of the elite 95th Rifles scout regiment, whom she married a few days later.

Instead of letting herself be sent home to her husband’s family, she chose to accompany him with the army. She remained with him throughout the rest of the war, accompanying the baggage train, sleeping in the open on the field of battle, riding freely among the troops, and sharing all the privations of campaigning. Her beauty, courage, sound judgment and amiable character endeared her to the officers, including the Duke of Wellington, who spoke of her familiarly as Juanita; and she was idolized by the soldiers.

That’s a bit of history over the name of Spanish Bride.

Happy birthday darling, you are now the same age as me again….for while there I was sleeping with a younger woman.

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Face of the day


-Photo Thinkstock

A younger looking face looking back at you in the mirror has some appeal I must admit. What about a face that that is completely unrecognisable? What is is like for the families and partners of today’s face of the day, the plastic surgery altered face? We often discuss the pros and cons of getting ‘ work done’ but we rarely consider the effects of a new face on those who love us. Isn’t our face a huge part of our identity? Is this one of the risks of plastic surgery that no one considers or talks about?

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Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20

10¬†False weights and unequal measures–the LORD detests double standards of every kind.

Thursday nightCap

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