I agree with Mike Hosking – the Hip Group cafe owners are also losers in the fallout from John Key’s ponytail-pull fetish. But not for the same reasons as Mike. From their own comments, it seems they threw their employee to the lions for utterly selfish motives. I’m delighted to hear that their waitress has been swamped with offers from other cafes her present owners betrayed their responsibility for trust and confidence.
What we know from Glucina’s story in the Herald is as follows:
- Hip owners Jackie Grant and Scott Brown told Glucina that Bailey had “strong political views.”
- they were disappointed she went public rather than come to them directly with her concerns. Given their statement that “The Prime Minister is a regular at Rosie and he’s well loved amongst the staff. He always comes in with his wife Bronagh and his security detail, and the staff are always happy to accommodate them” that is hardly surprising.
- “she did not make an official complaint – she said nothing to us.” But she did complain to her manager in the cafe, who should have either stopped Key’s behaviour or reported it to Grant and Brown or both. That’s what managers are for.
- their concern was for the image of their cafe
What we know from the waitress’s post is that:
in good faith, she agreed to meet with her employers to address the speculation that they failed to take appropriate action to protect her in her place of work.
They asked to meet with her at their home and join a conversation, via speaker-phone, with a “concerned friend” of theirs who worked in Public Relations.
Their friend, Rachel, was concerned with how seriously this would effect their business, and wanted a better understanding of the situation, so that, together, they could proof and agree upon a statement to be released to the media by her employers themselves.
Out of respect for my employers, and what seemed like their genuine concern for my well-being along with the future of their business they introduced me to Rachel, by name as the employee behind the story, and Rachel said she would put together a statement for us to proof.
As we waited for Rachel to e-mail the draft proof one of my employers read aloud to the other Rachel’s e-mail address. It began… RACHEL.GLUCINA and alarm bells went off.
I questioned my employers over her name and they admitted that, yes, she works for the New Zealand Herald, but she was doing this as a favour for them for their personal use and not in her capacity as a journalist.
everything about this felt so so wrong.
Rachel contacted them again and we expressed that I felt extremely uncomfortable with the discussions that had taken place as any comments I had made were made in confidence and good faith under the understanding that I was discussing an employment issue with a public relations specialist and had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever that the person my employers had requested I speak with, who was so determinedly trying to put the word “political” in my mouth
I later contacted my employers reiterating that I revoked any permission to use my photo or comments for any press release, and my disappointment that I had been mislead to such a gross degree whilst having my identity knowingly confirmed with the New Zealand Herald at the same time.
So Jackie Grant and Scott Brown supplied the “political” word, that their employee did not use, for Glucina’s article. The waitress considered that Jackie Grant and Scott Brown mislead her as their employee to a “gross degree” and the effect of this was that Glucina was able to obtain her name by subterfuge and the have it printed in the Herald.
That appears to add up to a gross breach of an employer’s duty of trust and confidence. I’m not surprised their employee is seeking legal and union advice. That’s why I’m also glad she has been swamped with offers of employment from other cafes.