There's a cupcake/bakery in Copenhagen called Agnes Cupcakes. They acutally made the cupcakes for my wedding in July. They're good cupcakes (the icing needs more butter, but that's another story for another time).
They've been making headlines recently, but not for their baking skills.
The employment contract there features a confidentiality clause, with a fine of 250,000 kroner. That's a lot of money (about £29,000). Labour market researcher, Henning Jorgensen, says, "I've never seen anything like it. It is the first example I've seen on a slave contract in Denmark. And it is just a slave contract, because it breaks all laws."
Agnes' lawyer, Catrine Søndergaard Byrne, says, "I realise that it is a lot of money, but with Agnes, you get a special, better product than if you go to the local baker. It's a unique product, and if the business secrets are passed on, it can have a huge detrimental effect on business. Therefore, we believe that we can argue for a very severe penalty."
Well, I can understand that they don't want their secret to get out, but where exactly is this secret? If it's so secret surely it's only known to the head bakers, or management, and therefore up to them who finds out? Or is it just printed on a bit of A4 round the back of the shop?
Faced with all this, the owner, Kristian Vangsgaard, tried to demonstrate that his employees are good employees, hardworking and trusted. "A third or more of the girls are 'wannabe reality TV stars'. They think that working at Agnes Cupcakes is just cool, and looks good. Some of them don't want to do anything, just standing around chatting and not picking up the phone."
Oh, wait, what? You employed layabouts who don't give a shit? Kristian, Kristian, Kristian... Communicate much? We have to give them a little credit though, I mean, they do pay their wages on time...
An update has appeared on their Facebook page (horrifically translated by Bing).
Too easy? I doubt people will stop buying their cupcakes - we're such a fickle bunch, but one thing's for sure, Kristian needs a crash course in communication. If you're so worried about your secret, why not employ people who actually want to work? Who you can trust? They might cost a little extra, but hey, how much is your secret worth?
Quotes taken from Politiken.
Apparently Kristian admits that he 'speaks before he thinks', and does apologise to his employees. However, I'm still surprised to see that in this day and age, someone who runs a well-known and well-liked business would speak before thinking - especially to a journalist. Although it seems now that he's other other problems - old cupcakes. Is this just a pissed off employee, or is it fact? Either way, I'm glad I'm not Kristian right now.