‘You’ve seen those small ads in the papers that always end with the words ‘No time-wasters, please’.
Many’s the time I’d have applied but I always had to admit to myself that, indeed, I was nothing but a time-waster. In truth, it’s my preferred way of using time – just whiling it away – wasting it, according to some!
I debated with myself again as I answered the advertisement to fill Piztasha Newt’s recently vacated position with Brahma Breweries.
True, the job was seven thousand miles away in Brazil: I was not a citizen, naturalised or otherwise: I had no visa or passport: I had no contacts in the country: I had never before been employed as a beer-taster.
But in every other way, I was eminently suited to the position. Nor would I ever in the future contemplate – as Pistasha had done – taking my employers to court for failure to warn me of the addictive dangers of the job.
Brahma Breweries expected to win the court case, presumably the main reason they delayed re-advertising the position until after the verdict. Unfortunately they lost and when the terms of the settlement became clear, there were 354,472 applicants for Newt’s old job.
Newt testified to the court at Rio de Janeiro,
‘Every day I was expected to drink eight litres of beer to monitor its quality. I left work blind drunk every evening.
Twenty years on and I am an incorrigible alcoholic. I am unable to hold down alternative employment.
I am seeking compensation and a pension for life.’
The verdict came as a body blow to the Brewery.
‘Every employer has a duty to prevent his workers from ingesting harmful substances.
He has given twenty years as a Master Brewer and Chief Taster. He tells us that beer tasters – unlike wine tasters – have to swallow their drinks. The Tribunal therefore rules that he is entitled to $2m in compensation from the Brewery, a monthly pension for life of $2,600 and an unlimited supply of Brahma beer free.’
Now, that’s just silly! I’d settle for a lot less than that!
Would ye put in a word for me, if ye know anybody on the Brewery’s Board of Directors?