Friday, 15 December 2017

TBE, Water and Glass: a Pathetic Potted History

So this week it’s all about pot plants. And glass vases. And TBE (aka The Boss Erratic). Of course.

Ah, the pot plants…..

Only TBE could make pot plants controversial (plants in pots, not the other type. Christ, if she had any of that she’d be hands-down The Most Annoying Stoner Ever. I’ve already seen her drunk, and it is not a pretty sight).

Here’s the thing: TBE is really good (Oh god, it pains me to say this), at visual displays. She creates beautiful window arrangements, loaded with imagination and stuffed full of products. Admittedly, this does make retrieving anything from the display nigh on impossible without disastrously overbalancing and dislodging everything around you like some accidental life-size game of dominoes – in full view of everyone in the street - but that’s another story.

Original photo: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

 
Our Sacred Creative Genius likes to pepper her displays with plants. Real plants; proper, living plants, usually in rustic wicker pots or similar. And the thing about living plants is, they need watering (yeah, yeah, I know: astounding, but stick with it). So, I have to water the plants. Doesn’t sound too difficult, right?

I think you’re forgetting who I work for…………..

you see TBE…... doesn’t seem to understand how water works.

The first time I watered her display plants I was quite pleased with myself: I’d turned contortionist and managed to reach her precious begonias or whatever without breaking or drowning anything else around them. But then, as I stood there, admiring my handiwork (it was a slow day), most of the water I’d just poured in ran straight out of the bottom of the pots and all over the display below.

It appeared TBE hadn’t water-proofed the plant pots. Ah well, it’s an easy thing to forget. Although, actually, no, it’s not, but TBE is away with the fairies half the time, so I just thought she’d made a mistake.

Until it happened again.

Clearly rather stupidly, I had assumed, given the previous Niagara episode, that TBE would be extra careful about waterproofing the bottom of her plant pots before shoving them in amongst the precious scarves, cushions, toys, clocks and artwork.

Not that precious, as it turned out.

I watered the plants and, five seconds later, murky liquid cascaded out of the pots and drenched all that lay below. Aargh! She’d done it to me twice! Once might be a mistake, but twice is careless.

Original photo: wileylong, Pixabay


Ultimately, I blamed myself; it was a rookie error. I had clearly forgotten Lesson One in, ‘Surviving Life with TBE’: never, ever, assume an intelligent, logical thought process.

By this point I reckon I hadn’t clapped eyes on TBE for several months (I know, mixed blessings), so I brought her attention to her water-blindness in the strongest, most direct way I could: I wrote a stiff note in the message book

I explained – politely - about water; gravity; and the wisdom of not positioning a water-bomb over a load of expensive stock. TBE is in her forties; I felt sure she would grasp the concept.

Sadly not.

Another display, another bunch of plants, another leak. She’s done it numerous times since. In fact, she does it every time.

TBE is an idiot.

Now I don’t water the plants at all. I just watch them slowly shrivel and die. That’ll show her. Except it won’t, because she’s an idiot.

And speaking of idiocy, let me introduce you to another ‘delightful’ quirk of the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop: the cutlery holder (oh be still my beating heart).

Excess cutlery for the cafe is stored in an upright container in the OOF shop kitchen. Every day, cutlery gets hurriedly and roughly shoved in and grabbed out of that container. The cutlery is metal and heavy.

The container is glass.

A fragile, engraved water jug to be precise. Used as a cutlery container. Who does that?

One day, surprise surprise, it broke. I came in to find the base had entirely separated from the rest of the thing. Now, I knew if I mentioned this to TBE (via the message book, obvs), she would blame me, and I’d already broken way too much shit in that shop already, so I kept quiet and waited for the next person to take the blame (don’t blame me for non-team sentiment; it’s everyone for themselves in that shop).

There wasn't any blood. That was just for effect. Original photo: Hans, Pixabay


Meantime, I just ignored the plight of the water jug. After all, it was still operational. Yes, OK, so there were a few shards of glass around and about, but, if I was really really careful, I could add and subtract cutlery without making anything any worse. No one would ever know I knew. And I always made sure to wipe the shards of glass off the cutlery before I gave it to anybody. I just had to wait it out until someone else discovered the breakage and told TBE/took the blame.

But it turned out everyone else was playing the same game. Nobody mentioned it, nobody moved it, nobody changed anything. For months. we all played a big, tense, unspoken game of Kerplunk with the glass jug and the cutlery.

Until one day I couldn’t stand it any longer and binned the thing.


Apparently nobody noticed.

Friday, 1 December 2017

MAMAA: get your shit together - and stop talking

Mr Schadenfreude Socialist is in again. He’s definitely my most frequent, and tedious, MAMAA (Middle Aged Men Always Around). He keeps banging on about his cherries. And his veg.

Apparently his cherries are bigger and more numerous than anyone else’s. And people would marvel at the size and freshness of his vegetables if only he was given the chance to show them off.

Photo: Momentmal, Pixabay

Friday, 24 November 2017

A day in the life. Or: dear God rescue me from all this broken shit


Everything is broken in the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop. Everything. This is a typical day. I’m not even joking:

The front door
The door is not my friend: the lock jams and the door itself sticks. Consequently, I have to play, ‘push-me-pull-you,’ with increasing vigour - and temper - whilst hunched over the doorway like the world’s crappiest lock-picker for a five full minutes every morning. That’s every morning; for months. This does not make me happy.

The coffee machine
I turn the coffee machine on and it begins to leak. I put a dinner plate underneath to catch the drips. The machine has been leaking for, perhaps, three months now. Apparently getting an engineer to fix the thing is a ridiculously unthinkable idea (see also: Servicing/ behaving like a mature, responsible shop owner), so it just gets worse, day by day. The plate is full after twenty minutes. It is extremely important I remember to empty the plate in a timely manner, otherwise the overflow will rain down onto the OOF Shop Plug-Extension-Lead Modern Art Installation, which TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has positioned, rather astoundingly, underneath the coffee machine.

The OOF Shop Plug-Extension-Lead-Modern-Art-Installation.
Under the coffee machine
.
Photo: Shop Girl Tales

This morning, the coffee machine springs two leaks instead of the usual one. Water pools all over the counter. I manage to shove a second plate underneath the newcomer leak, and then pointlessly write yet another doomed message to TBE in the message book. Then I take the liberty of swearing liberally to myself.

Friday, 17 November 2017

I think you might be flogging a dead cow, love

TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has gone bonkers.

Yes, I know, but even more bonkers than usual.

She seems to have lost her mind over a pint of milk. Well, an ex-pint of milk. Actually, a pint of milk that never was. Well it was, it just wasn’t when I found it.

Picture: creades, Pixabay

OK, let me explain properly: I threw away a pint of milk because it was off, despite it only having been bought the day before by Colleague Craft(y) for the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop cafe. Then I bought another pint to replace it.

That’s it.

I left the receipt and a little note to explain why a second pint of milk had been bought in as many days, and thought no more about it*.

*If you’re new to this blog you might reasonably assume that the purchase of two pints of milk in two days is extremely conservative for a café. Unnaturally so. And you’re right, it is. But then, you’re probably under the misapprehension that the OOF shop café is normal. It is not. Apart from anything else, it doesn’t have a working coffee machine.....

Anyway, that was the wrong thing to do, apparently.

Friday, 29 September 2017

The MAMAA Returns

Right, so you all know by now that your average high frequency MAMAA (Middle Aged Man Always Around) is under the tragic misapprehension that I delight in their glittering company and, during their regretful absences, yearn for their swift return in order to hear more of their enthralling stories and wondrous escapades, right?

Given this sad state of affairs it logically follows that a long-term absentee MAMAA, returning after many months, is almost bleedin’ unbearable.

MAMAA Yorkshire Casanova, turned up yesterday (calm down, he’s really not worth your hopeful imagination).
No....... Photo: skeeze, Pixabay.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Say what now?

Call me old fashioned, but I am of the mind that a conversation should really make sense to both parties taking part. Isn’t it just plain rudeness for one party to carry on regardless of the obvious slack-jawed confusion playing about the face of their fellow conversationalist?

Here’s a tip: if the person standing in front of you looks massively puzzled and clearly has no idea what you're banging on about, stop bloody talking gibberish. 

Try to actually make sense. 

I know it takes some effort, but for the love of god, take a good look at yourself and reign it in. Don’t witter lazily away, zig-zagging this way and that like some self-absorbed linguistic equivalent of a downhill skier on a freshly snowed-on black run. 

Give us all a break, no one should have to work so hard. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The topiary trees and the customers: a cautionary tale

Why is everything TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) does the retail equivalent of wearing a fur coat and no knickers? It looks good on the surface, (if you like that sort of thing), but underneath it’s all total disorganised carnage.

(OK, probably best to pop a quick note in here: I have no idea what your nether regions look like, and I’m certainly not saying that everyone’s knickerless loveliness is disorganised carnage. I mean, it might be, but that’s your business, not mine. No, this is simply a metaphor for how generally shit TBE is about the stuff behind the gorgeous image. But you get that, don’t you?).

Definitely best kept covered........Photo: Shop Girl Tales.

So, the latest idea is two 5ft high, puffball shaped topiary trees, one either side of the doorway to the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop.

I can’t deny they look gorgeous. I can’t deny they make the tatty outside of the shop look attractive. And I can’t deny the customers really like them.

Unfortunately, so do the wasps.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Another nail in the Coffee Coffin...

The coffee machine has basically had it. I think it’s seen what a clusterfuck the Out Of Favour shop has become and has decided to slowly shut itself down in order to escape.

Picture:kerttu, Pixaby

The latest bit to go on strike is the steam/ milk frother spout.

For those of you happily uninitiated in the ways of barista-ism, there are three, ‘stick your cup under,’ parts on even the most basic commercial coffee machines, (which, of course, is what the Out Of Favour shop has):

1) The circular bit that grabs onto the big spoon thingy full of ground coffee, and filters hot water through it; 2) The hot water spout – like a kettle, only posher; 3) The steam spout – for frothing milk and generally burning your hands.

The steam spout is pretty much essential. Without it there is no frothy milk – and no frothy milk means no cappuccinos and lattes.

Obviously, not having a working frothy spout thing is a fairly massive problem for a coffee shop, and in any normal shop, with a normal boss, it would cause panic and an undignified scrabble to get it fixed as soon as possible.

But I don’t work for a normal boss. I work for The Boss Erratic (TBE), and clearly she doesn’t see this as the problem I do.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Clueless conversations and mysterious MAMAAs

Skills are great, aren’t they? Who doesn’t love a skill? And who can think badly of a workplace that develops and nurtures skills?

Working in the Out Of Favour Shop, for example, has allowed me to develop the, frankly, amazing skill of successfully holding a lengthy conversation with someone without having the first clue what we’re talking about.

"Hi there, I'm fascinating." Original image: Prawny, Pixabay

Friday, 21 July 2017

Shop mannequins: white trash

This shop is where mannequins come to die. Or, more specifically, be killed. They’re beaten up, neglected and sworn at (the last one might just be me).

First there was Wobbly Wendy. She used to lean awkwardly into the corner between the till and the wall because she had no base plate. Any time a customer wanted to look at the clothes she was wearing I had to warn them to stand back in case Wendy suddenly took a lunge at them whilst I was trying to get her kit off and took their eye out. Either that or she’d slide resolutely to the floor and refuse to get up.

Photo: Free-photos, Pixabay

Months later I found Wendy’s base plate base in the kitchen. There was no need for Wendy to be wobbly at all.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Archaeology and Agatha Christie. Or not

Why do I always end up in conversations with customers on subjects I know nothing about?

This week’s gem was all about Amelia Peabody. Now, you may know everything there is to know about Amelia Peabody, but I’ve never heard of her and wouldn’t know her from a tin of peaches. Not that it made any difference to the customer. She wanted to talk about Amelia Peabody, so talk about Amelia Peabody we did:  

Amelia Peabody, apparently (but not that Amelia Peabody). Picture source: www.apcfund.org

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The cafe that never was.....

Oh my goodness! Have you heard about the fabulous new café in town?!

It’s the Jewel in the Crown of the New Favourite (NF) Shop! It’s the last word in cafes! It’s the holy grail of good food, good beverages and good atmosphere! The décor is amazing! The cakes are to die for! It’s hands down the best place to grab a bite and a cuppa for miles around!

Photo: woodypino, Pixabay

Except it’s not, because it doesn’t exist.


Friday, 23 June 2017

A right royal headache

Original picture: Clker-free-Vector-Images, Pixabay
I think TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has secretly joined the CIA.

She’s joined the CIA and she’s using their unbearably effective tactics on me until I collapse into a broken heap in a dark corner of the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop and promise to tell her whatever she wants to hear……

“Yes (TBE), you are SUCH a brilliant manager! Yes, everyone loves your oh-so-quirky-and-not-annoying-at-all-ways! Yes, it’s such an honour to work for someone as great as you that I would be happy to work for almost nothing!”

Why else would she be torturing me? All day, every day. Constantly. With no respite.

I can’t stand it.

It’s driving me insane. I just can’t take it any longer.

She is torturing me – with whales.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rage against the wage

Oh TBE how do you shaft me? Let me count the ways.

Well, the Living Wage for one……….

Picture: Bluesnap, Pixabay

Remember, the UK Living Wage came in on 1st May 2016? Designed to stop tight-ass employers financially wiping the floor with their poor little worker slaves? This was proper, legal stuff; something that even TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) couldn’t get away from.

Or so I thought.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Liar liar, pants on fire!

Oh dear. I accidently caught TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) out in a lie, and now she’s got the hump with me.

Well, it wasn’t a lie exactly; more an act of complete incompetence and anti-management (yeah, I know: so what’s new).

Remember when TBE said this about Barista Boy?:

“I’m going to reduce his hours to a level I know he can’t afford. Mwa hahahaha, cackle cackle!!!”  (It’s possible that last bit existed only in my brain). After which, of course, he left.


Original photo: AndreasHolzner, Pixabay


Well,

Friday, 5 May 2017

Music music everywhere, and you’ve had too much to drink

Oh dear, the Upstairs Office Geeks aren’t very happy. 

They keep complaining about our music. Apparently it’s too loud, too bass-y……… just too music-y.

Is it wrong of me to find this wickedly funny and deliciously amusing? After all, they knew perfectly well the office was above a shop when they moved in.

But it seems the Upstairs Office Geeks don’t quite live in the same world the rest of us do. They’re sort of halfway there; they look normal (mostly), and they speak normally (well, some of them), but they don’t quite achieve full-on, “Yeah, we get life. We’re good at life.” It’s a bit like a Venn diagram.

A Venn diagram



Sunday, 30 April 2017

You thought I’d forgotten you, didn’t you?

Soooo…. You may have noticed I’ve been very quiet over the last six weeks.

You may have thought to yourself this is because all is going well in the Out Of Favour Shop. That perhaps TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has suddenly morphed into a supportive, attentive, reasonable and entirely sane boss.

That the Out Of Favour shop is being run efficiently and effectively.

That every customer who now enters the hallowed ground of the Out Of Favour shop is pleasant, normal, refreshingly free from tedium and not at all away with the fairies.

Well, to that I would say: snap out of it at once! You’ve clearly had too much chocolate over Easter and it’s affecting your sense of reason. Of course the Out Of Favour shop is still a head-slappingly bewildering hellhole. Of course TBE is still has mad and snappy as a box of monkeys. Where do you think we are, Hobbiton? Hogwarts? Get a grip!


Friday, 17 March 2017

Is time going really slowly, or have you been here forever?

Oh dear God, it’s enough to make anyone lose the will to live: Mr Schadenfreude Socialist has been talking at me for over three hours now.

Three hours!

My brain is numb with boredom. Please somebody make him stop. Sweet Jesus make him stop.

Original photo: cristels, Pixabay

Friday, 10 March 2017

One is the loneliest number.....

Remember the saga of the café without a fridge? Remember the Milk Wars with TBE (aka The Boss Erratic)?

That’s got to be all over and done with by now, right?

I mean, come on; it’s been almost eight months! There just has to be a spanking new fridge sitting proudly in the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop kitchen by now, right? TBE must have stopped the farce of storing milk in a bowl of lukewarm water, right? Surely we’re keeping that all-important café milk refrigerated so it’s icy cold and super fresh, right?

Picture:WikiImages, Pixabay

Well……