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Sign-waving Graham finally finds that job

Graham Smyth at his new job in the bottle shop at the Beach House Hotel - the unemployed man had been standing beside the road with a sign looking for work for the past few weeks.
Graham Smyth at his new job in the bottle shop at the Beach House Hotel - the unemployed man had been standing beside the road with a sign looking for work for the past few weeks. Alistair Brightman

GRAHAM Smyth's days of standing on the side of the road with a job seeking sign seemed like a distant memory yesterday as he put on his crisp new work uniform.

The Hervey Bay dad's plea for work ended with a phone call from one of the region's biggest employers at the weekend.

Managers at the soon to re-open Beach House Hotel had seen Mr Smyth's plight in the Chronicle and promised that if the 54-year-old fit the bill, they would find something for him to do.

Lucky for Mr Smyth, he had the skills manager Paul Robbins was looking for.

Showing Mr Smyth the ropes yesterday, Mr Robbins, who has already helped employ 30 local staff, said it was easy "to show anyone how to pour a beer" but a positive personality was most important.

Mr Smyth, who spent many days holding up a cardboard sign on a corner of Maryborough/Hervey Bay Rd could not be more grateful for the chance to serve the first customers at the hotel's new bottle shop.

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Despite having various qualifications and Navy experience, Mr Smyth struggled to find anyone who would give him a go.

"I haven't been this excited in many, many years," Mr Smyth said.

"It sounds silly but I'm so looking forward to being able to pay for things many people take for granted... like red meat.

"I couldn't be more grateful to Paul for giving me the chance and all the support I received from the Chronicle."

Asked if he had any advice for other job seekers, Mr Smyth said not to rely on employment agencies, take initiative, cold call, and if all else fails "you could always try standing on the side of a road with a sign".

Hervey Bay man Graham Smyth, 54, stands beside the road with a sign in the hope of being offered work.
Hervey Bay man Graham Smyth, 54, stands beside the road with a sign in the hope of being offered work. Brendan Bufi

Topics:  jobs unemployment



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