My employee wants broadband at his holiday house. Am I a sucker?


Dear Aunty B,


I am reeling in shock. My staff keep asking for things all the time. Last week a junior asked for a payrise so big he would be earning more than his boss. Then on Friday, a guy who has been with us four months asked if we could pay to have broadband put on at his holiday house.

So far this year my staff have asked for fitballs, watercoolers, weekly fruit and flowers, a personal trainer and a table tennis table.

I said no to fitballs and table tennis but yes to everything else, and now our office looks like a Maharaja’s retreat.

Is this going on all over the country or have I been picked as a sucker?

Gerald S,
Eagle Farm, Qld




Dear Sucker,

What made you think that bosses were in charge? We are mere pawns who come to work every morning to service the needs of our employees. Mind you, I do think you are whinging about nothing.


I read a list recently of the most outrageous demands made by staff in fast growing Australian companies (the name of the company is in brackets).


These were my favourites:

  • That I give them one of my Porsches (SecureTel).
  • That a spa bath be installed to reduce stress and encourage fraternising between staff (WorkPac).
  • That I drive a staff member in her traditional wedding dress to her wedding in my two-seater (Complete Financial Services Australia).
  • Travel allowance as his girlfriend lived in a different state (Smart).
  • Work part time for us and part time for a competitor (NetReturn).
  • Asked for a bonus when he just cost the company $70,000 (Vantage Holdings).


So Sucker, take heart and keep a cool head. Agree when it contributes to better morale and productivity, and make sure staff know that you do have those expectations. But don’t go overboard.


Meanwhile, I would like to offer my services to Crazy John – he took most of his workforce to Queensland for a holiday earlier this year. And I do need a new car – Rowena Szeszeran-McEvoy and Kerry McEvoy (who run the Australia Institute of Fitness training colleges) have given key staff Ferraris and Porsches.



Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
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