Some potential employers have low requirements 🙂

A trawl through the advertisements in the Argus, 14 November 1860



(To the Editor of the Star.)
SIR,-Your leader on the above subject demands the serious attention of heads of families. There can be no doubt that all the evils and inconveniences arise entirely from a want of system. Labor offices, if conducted on right principles, might be a great benefit not only to the employed but the employers. As they are at present carried on, the incompetent savant stands as good a chance as the thorough domestic–no characters being required. The result of this want of system is dissatisfaction, bad feeling, expense, and disgust on the part of heads of families for domestic servants in general.

I believe many will bear me oat in the; assertion, that after engaging a servant who looks like her work, says “she can wash well, and is a good laundress,” she turns out after a week’s trial to be totally incompetent in both of these qualifications. Two cases occur to me which have happened within the last week. One likely looking girl, who evidently wished to have her own way in everything, on being found fault with for turning oat the first washing in such a rough-dried, slovenly style, replied, well if I don’t give satisfaction I don’t wish to stay; the other who could do better, after a three week’s trial gave the same reply.

Now, I have no desire to enforce unreasonable restrictions upon domestic servants, but I do think there should be some definite custom for the protection of both parties. I would suggest that printed forms of agreement be adopted by the labor offices, or servants’ registries, Betting forth that a fort night’s notice of intention to leave be given on the part of the servant, the same notice to be given by the employer; or if the servant leaves without such notice, that she forfeits a fortnight’s wages, and that in all cases, a written, well authenticated character be insisted upon.
Your obedient servant.

The Star (Ballarat), 21 May 1860

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