Meet Barista Boy.
Barista Boy was headhunted by TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) to work in the cafe of the New Favourite Shop.
Trouble is, the New Favourite Shop doesn’t have a cafe, it has a building site, and unfortunately Barista Boy believed TBE’s promises that the cafe would soon be up and running.
It still isn’t.
Instead, the room became a dumping ground for old bits of furniture, assorted crap TBE bought at charity shops, nasty second hand tat donated by random people, and god-awful home-craft aberrations that TBE’S, ‘special friends’ insisted on leaving: “In case (TBE) is interested in selling them.”
Beaded toilet roll cover anyone?
Meanwhile Barista Boy, instead of crafting coffee confections, stood in the main shop selling smelly candles, cute cushions and funny cards.
To break the monotony Barista Boy helped the builders rotate TBE’s dumped crap around the ‘cafe’ space so they could reach where they needed to work. This was a thankless and often repeated task due to TBE’s pathological habit of filling any empty space with anything she doesn’t know what to do with.
Eventually the builders got fed up with TBE’s chronic mess and mind changing and buggered off. So TBE asked Barista Boy to take up plastering duties.
Oh yes. TBE asked her fully qualified barista to plaster walls.
Plastering may indeed be a skilled and specialist job, but apparently being the master of a milky foam spout is qualification enough.
At least in TBE world.
In the end, Barista Boy needn’t have worried. He didn’t have to skim any walls.
He wasn’t around for long enough.
Barista Boy committed the cardinal sin of being demotivated. Slowly crushed underneath candles, cushions, cards, boredom and TBE’s procrastination, he started to let things slide. Just little things, but it was enough for TBE to be roused from her slumbers, open one lazy eye, switch her green horned tail and take notice (you’re getting the dragon analogy, right?)
So TBE took him aside, asked him if he was OK; asked if she could do anything to help, and asked what would make his working life better.
Oh no, sorry, no. She didn’t do any of that.
What she actually did was, moan about him to all her friends and colleagues, including me, and tell us how she was plotting to get rid of him.
Which she did.
She reduced his hours to below what she knew he needed to pay his mortgage each month. And she told him it was because the shops were quiet over Christmas.
He knew she was lying. There is only one person in each shop at any one time as it is; how can you have fewer than that? Staff them with wishes and fresh air? He might be demotivated, but he’s not stupid.
So you may well whisper, ‘constructive dismissal.’ I couldn’t possibly say.
Anyway, Barista Boy now works for a proper company, serving proper coffee and getting proper wages. I’m not sure even now he fully realises the lucky escape he’s had.
But the story continues.
Officially, I still don’t know he’s gone. TBE hasn’t told me, which is amazing since Barista Boy comprised 25% of our workforce and he left two weeks ago.
So how long do you think she can keep it a secret? Start counting.........