So, the gloriously refurbished Out Of Favour shop was reopened, with fancy wallpaper, gorgeous displays of jewellery and scarves, beautiful clothing, and a sweet little vintage café area in the corner. Customers think this is marvellous. They love sitting on a vintage chair at a vintage table and having coffee and cake from vintage china (well, vintage style. In reality it all comes from Ikea). And who doesn’t love coffee and cake on vintage china? But pull back the curtain and the shoddy workings are revealed: the refurbished Out Of Favour shop has no fridge.
It mysteriously disappeared during the refurbishment. Replaced, instead, with a bowl of cold water. This is where the milk lives. In this bowl. This is the milk used for customers’ lattes, cappuccinos and afternoon teas.
There was also a note, in TBE’s (aka The Boss Erratic) handwriting, hanging over the hole where the fridge had once been:
“The fridge wasn’t working and has been removed. It will be replaced very soon.”
No fridge? Milk in a water bath? How completely rubbish! Health and Safety would have a fit! But I reasoned it was only an emergency stop gap until the new fridge arrived. It wouldn’t be like that for long……’
But I should know by now; I’d forgotten that TBE is an organisational car crash. Of course the Out Of Favour shop didn’t get a new fridge straight away. Oh no. There were long, dark, lukewarm days ahead……
- Month One: I got nervous every time anyone asked for a drink containing milk and tried to subtly gauge its freshness without the customer noticing and thinking I was some sort of weird surreptitious milk sniffer who was infecting their drink.
- Month Two: I gave up hiding it and openly told everyone we didn’t have a fridge and if they wanted a drink they could sniff the milk themselves to see whether it would poison them or not. Surprisingly, this didn’t put many people off.
- Month Three: I had repeated conversations with the MAMAAs and Local Chinwaggers about the broken fridge and the merits (and speed) of AO, Gumtree, Ebay etc.
And then, at the end of month three, all three members of staff (Colleague Craft, Colleague Coffee – both of whom work in the New Favourite Shop – and I), together with our other halves got an invitation to see the fabulous new house that TBE had moved into. (It was the procurement and decoration of this house that prevented the Out Of Favour shop from being open for five weeks and consequently cost me five weeks’ worth of wages).
TBE proudly gave us a tour of the house: the living room, the dining room, the bedrooms, the kitchen….. …….And there, sat in TBE’s posh new kitchen was the old fridge from the Out Of Favour shop.
In perfect working order.
We still don’t have a fridge in the café in the Out Of Favour shop. Over three months and counting. The milk goes off quickly and has to be poured away. I’ve poured away enough dodgy milk to start my own personal milk lake. What a waste.
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