It is now over four years since I left school, so little did I expect to turn up to work this evening and be told off like a schoolboy. What was my terrible crime? Well let’s catch up with the drama as it unfolds…
It is just after 5pm at Britain’s favourite restaurant. Sven appears and is ready to start work.
Co-worker: Ooo, Steve. I’m glad I’m not in your shoes, you’re so dead. Sam is well angry with you.
(Sven thinks: Hmmm. What could I have done?)
Enter Sam. He is actually an OK bloke, but on this occasion is a snivelling jobsworthy who is going to patronise me to the point that I want to write ‘nob’ on his forehead with a big black felt-tip pen. Think ‘Gareth Keenan’.
Sam: Steve, as you know, I am a reasonable man, but this takes the biscuit.
(Sven thinks: ‘Well that’s a relief. I though you were a crazed impulsive bezerker for a moment there. And where is the biscuit being taken? Do its parents know?’)
Now usually when I come into work on a Sunday morning, I like to have a cup of coffee for an hour before work, and then I clean the Ice Cream Factory.
(Sven thinks: ‘No time for your life story sunshine, gerron with it.’)
But unfortunately this Sunday morning I had to spend TWO HOURS finishing off the job you should have done last night, and was unable to have my coffee as usual.
(If you listen carefully, you can hear a violin playing very faintly in the background.)
Me: What am I supposed to have done, or not done?
Sam: Well as you are aware, we have a lot a fruit flies that breed on food that is left lying around. They only have a 24 hour life cycle, and so when I come in here and find flies on a Sunday, I know that someone who worked on Saturday did not clean up properly. That person is you.
(Violin stops suddenly. There is a dramatic pause.)
I found a piece of chicken behind the bin Steve.
(Sven laughs inwardly at the absurdity of the situation. Outwardly he gawps in disbelief that anyone could have actually been waiting two days to tell him off for such an offence. I mean so what? Most people in the world are starving.)
Furthermore*, you also left a pair of tongs in the lettuce overnight. Are you beginning to see why I am angry? (Well, no.)
(*The use of this word clearly indicates that he had prepared his sermon-cum-lecture over the weekend and probably rehearsed it in front of the mirror.)
Tongs do not stay in the salad overnight Steve. You know that.
(Sven thinks: ‘Well I’m sure that all the other vegetables were positively scandalized when they heard that the lettuce had spent the night alone with a pair of tongs. What did the Police say when you called them to investigate? I imagine it was something like ‘Stop wasting our time. This is not important at all, in any way.’)
Sven turns his head 180 degrees and stares out of the opposite window to the one he has been staring out of previously.
I’m not happy. Not happy at all. Not only did you leave the tongs in the salad and fail to pick up a piece of chicken from behind the bin, you also left the salad bar on overnight.
Sven: It’s not my job to turn the salad bar off. I don’t have the keys required to do it.
Sam: Perhaps, but you did leave beetroot and tomato in the fridge instead of throwing them in the bin.
(continues in similar vein for the best part of ten minutes. During the course of the rest of the trial/lecture, Sven is charged with 26 counts of NOT refilling the small pots of Parmesan cheese, not turning the dishwasher off, strafing Vietnamese civilians in 1969, dealing smack to children, failing to stop at a red light, perjury, not refilling the coleslaw tubs properly, smuggling weapons grade Plutonium into Iran, not taking the problem of fruit flies seriously, farting, stealing the crown jewels etc etc…Sven becomes disinterested to the point of actually physically being in a coma.)
So next time you have to close the restaurant, I want you to think more carefully about what you do.
Sven: Ok. Was that everything?
Sam: Yes, for now. But please remember you are working as part of a team, and that means commitment, drive, focus…
(Sven thinks: ‘Say one more patronising word, and I will actually yell ‘BUM!’ really loudly in your face and tell everyone you still wet the bed.’)
Sam finishes talking and smugs off to lecture someone else. Sven is left infuriated that he has actually been spoken to in such a way and contemplates the options that now lie before him. Does he a) sulk b) whinge internally to himself c) Tell Rambo what happened d) Pre-empt Rambo and blow up the whole restaurant (including fruit flies) with a flamethrower?
Thus far, I am mostly stuck at points a) and b), though headed towards d).
Conclusion: Jobsworthies shall be crushed.
This has really annoyed me for some reason. Grrrraaaaaagh.