HOW TO GET AHEAD: Working abroad ... Melbourne - Lazy liquid lunches and week-long sickies cause no worries in laid-back Oz

Stephen Tait arrived in the city on Melbourne Cup day to find the entire population attired in evening wear - or, rather, top hat and tails with shorts and boots - and engaged in the biggest outdoor piss-up he had ever seen.

Stephen Tait arrived in the city on Melbourne Cup day to find the

entire population attired in evening wear - or, rather, top hat and

tails with shorts and boots - and engaged in the biggest outdoor piss-up

he had ever seen.



The next day, a drunken sales manager interviewed Tait in the pub for a

job at the Melbourne Age. ’He slurred ’You can start on Monday’ and then

fell over,’ says Tait, now ad director at Scotsman Publications.



’I started as a group head and on the first Friday my team disappeared

to the pub at lunchtime. When they hadn’t re-appeared by 3.30pm I raised

the matter with my boss. All he told me was: ’No worries, they’ll come

back.’



’And they did - at 5pm. Without an apology and giving off a distinct

aroma of booze, they shuffled a few papers on their desks and went home

for the weekend.



’Then there were the ’sickie’ days, which entitled you to go ’crook’ for

eight days a year without any reason or explanation whatsoever.’



The Aussie penchant for globetrotting is also legendary. ’A page planner

went off on a 17-week vacation without even telling me. And the

government pays people a 17.5 per cent holiday bonus on top of their

normal pay.



’After three months, I was promoted because I was the only one who

turned up on time and put in a 40-hour week. They all thought I was a

workaholic.’



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