Starcat 1 by my favourite artist

Thursday, 18 April 2013

La Posada de Antonio Revisited and Spanish Employment Policy.

Quite a while ago I wrote rather glowingly about La Posada de Antonio, under the name of Tony's Inn. unfortunately this week I have been treated to a view of the ugly underbelly of such a business.

Spain is a country of two-tier employment: people who have permanent contracts and who cannot be moved by dynamite and people whose job is more precarious than a car hanging over a precipice. This leads to many abuses - by the employees in the first case and the employers in the second. Luckily I find myself in the first group, but unfortunately the waiters in Posada de Antonio are most firmly mired in the second. They seem to change monthly, although the cook, a true artist, is still the same one.

Recently, unwillingly and embarrassingly I was witness to the eponymous Antonio giving an overworked waiter a public dressing-down for his inefficiency at peak time. His inefficiency however, was the result of being overstretched, not being lazy. It did not occur to Antonio to get behind the bar (perhaps his impressively Pavarotti like-embonpoint impeded him from doing so) and help out. Obviously, his status would not allow him to do such menial things. Instead, he continued to chat with his mates and mutter comments about the poor waiter to his wife, while giving the unfortunate man dark looks. Observing the waiter, I saw a man terrified. He was glancing at his boss continually, waiting impotently for the next blow to fall. Indeed, I think it already has. I haven't seen him since.

Is this a way to treat someone who knows that his job is on the line every day, every minute? I think not. Shame on such arrogant, bullying employers with their monthly (weekly?) contracts.  Shame on such employers who think that public humiliation is a means of getting employees to perform better. While such instability exists, how can we expect to have a stable economy?



  1. A sad tale indeed. Such hectoring bullies as Antonio don't deserve to profit from the vulnerable and overworked but unfortunately they do.

    Ready availability of replacement staff desperate for jobs plays into the hands of employers like this one, depressing wages and working conditions.

    If I witnessed such a scene, it would leave me in a quandary. On one hand, I would feel I didn't want to contribute money to that establishment ever again and on the other I would feel that by abstaining I would be punishing the underpaid waiters more than the abusive boss.

  2. Since this sorry spectacle, I have tried to avoid the place as much as possible and have coffee etc. in another nearby bar. Unfortunately inside the smell of burnt, rancid oil is overpowering - so overpowering in fact that you can't even sit outside without noticing it. You leave wanting to have a shower and wash your hair (if you have any, fortunately I don't!) and clothes to remove the stench and feeling of being greasy all over.

    Fortunately, this lack of hygiene is almost unheard of in Spanish cafés, restaurants and bars, so if I wander slightly further afield there are many other places. Unfortunately, their coffee isn't half as good.