Transient population means profit for bakers in town

SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Sitting down for some cake can be a good conversation starter.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS: Sitting down for some cake can be a good conversation starter.

IT'S long been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Apparently, it's the same way with employees. Or at least that's the tack The Observer is taking.

Since starting work in the office at the beginning of last year I've gorged on more delicious cakes than I can count, with almost the whole selection from The Cheesecake Factory getting a look in.

There's been a couple cake sittings this week alone.

Now this isn't to say the bunch here are ballooning blobs, there's actually a few fitness freaks - two people are easily spotting whizzing around on skates on a weekly basis.

But with a decent size crew, birthdays seem to pop up all the time and like most businesses in the region we suffer from a revolving door syndrome thanks to Gladstone's transient demographic.

Like most industrial towns Gladstone has a slightly different make-up than other places and if you live here, it's likely you know someone who works a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) job, if not someone in your own family.

Or at the very least you have the acronyms down pat.

With ties in Brisbane, I'm just one of many people with one foot in the door here and the other somewhere else.

The only difference is that I'm paying for my airfares out of my own pocket - something that I think has me on a watch list, if the fact I get "randomly" tested every time I go through security is anything to go by.

The constant travelling means I try not to tie myself down with too many commitments or future plans.

It seems to be the same with many workers as sport clubs, volunteer organisations and other community groups often despair of finding it difficult to recruit members.

With Arrow's plans for a $15 billion LNG plant on Curtis Island being given the green light this week, this transient situation may only increase.

Hopefully a few locals will get a look-in with jobs but as the FIFO scenario becomes more popular with businesses it's unlikely they'll make up the entire workforce.

This doesn't mean that other businesses that desire local workers won't open here in the near future.

The region's population is anticipated to grow to around 90,000 by 2031 under a low growth scenario, so entrepreneurs and investors would be crazy not to take up the Mayor's suggestions this year of opening stores in the region.

It might mean businesses look to hire for lifestyle rather than big money on offer on Curtis Island.

That's where delicious confectionary comes in.

For businesses dealing with high staff turnover, I wouldn't recommend stopping the continual cake circus just because it's an easy option.

The sugar rush may douse any down-hearted feelings that come from losing another comrade.

Or at the very least provide an opportunity for staff to mingle, which may lead to friendships and ties with not only the business but the region.