Little stupid conversation

– What are these? – asks a security woman pointing her finger at our new breakfast item.

– Potato cones – replies Chef P.

– What are they made of??

Of carrots. They are made of carrots.



Poets Day

It was only Wednesday yesterday, but I was already thinking of Friday, of course. On Wednesday it is already down the slope.. Not including Wednesday, it is only two days left. You know you can make it through.

Customer to whom I’ve just made a coffee, which he now is adding sugar to, is telling me:

– In my previous job we used to call Friday a POETS day.

– Why? – I ask.

– POETS – Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday.

Idiot of the day (part 2)

Friday lunch. As always fish & chips and two other varying options to choose from. As alwas VERY busy. Like they didn’t eat for a week… As every friday we’ve run out of fish. It is just too busy, kitchen is too small, chefs can’t keep up with the pace, can’t cook fast enough to feed this angry horde.

A queue of 5 – 7 people waiting. Among them – Her. Regular customers know it happens, so they are waiting patiently (patiently <- patient = hospital) to be served. But some of them – I noticed before – develop a certain weird habbit. They stare at us. There is always two of us serving and whenever it happens that we run out of some dish and they have to wait, they stare. They keep following us with their eyes whatever we do. This usually give us time to refill other products, to bring more plates and take-away boxes, to wipe up surfaces or drink water as it is very hot in there. And when we do that they stare like it was a theatre, live show, TV. I usually try not to make any eye contact, but I can physically feel their eyes, watching my every move.

So is She staring. At me. I caught her with the corner of my eye. She is starring at me with an angry face, lips pressed tightly. Why is the fish not ready yet? – that face seems to ask. I am here, waiting? Why do I have to wait?! I am too busy to wait! I don’t have time for this! This is all your fault. I see she’s giving me an evil eye. I make a decision – instead of avoiding her, I decide to confront her. I turn to fully face her, I am about two meters away from her. Then I look her straight in the eyes, smiling a little. God knows, maybe my smile came out ironically or she saw mocking in my eyes. If that’s the case – it was unintentional. Suddenly She huffs and puffs, her head starts shaking, she takes a deep breath, lifts her green tray high up to drop it on the tray rail in front of her. There is so much impact in her move, though, that the tray bounces up and ends up on the floor. I am not sure if She even notices that as she is already marching away moving her arms briskly.

We look at each other with D., real angel of a girl, and carry on. Fresh fish arrives 30 seconds after She walked off.

Idiot of the day (part 1)

I decided to start a cycle of posts, each describing stupid human behaviour. Pretty much everyday something stupid happens so I will have a lot of material to work with.

So, let’s get it on…

A guy came today in the morning. He had a breakfast and he also ordered a cappuccino. I charged him and started making his coffee. In the meantime another customer came so I asked him if he wanted any drink. He asked for a tea. I’ve frothed the milk but I had to wait for espresso, so I made the tea first, before the cappuccino. I put it next to the coffee machine where we serve drinks. I didn’t put the lid on, tea was without the milk, teabag still in there. Guy who ordered the cappuccino looked at the tea and asked:

– Is this my cappuccino?

– No. This is a tea… – said with a voice tone of a parent who is about to lose her patient. With a voice tone that said Does that look like a cappuccino, you stupid imbecile? With the head that thought And it is ME serving THEM.

Bunch of cheapskates

Did you clock out? – asks Paul, one of the top managers as I pour my soup to the take-away cup.

No, not yet, I’ll do it after I get my food. – I replied.

Oh, ok – says Paul.

I just don’t want to waste 10 minutes of my break queueing to get my food.

Here he says something about paying me for my working hours not for my break, something in the sense that my too long break costs him too much. Blah blah blah. Like it was him, who is paying me.

And I have a right to have half an hour break, not spending half of it in the queue. I stressed it a little bit. I surprosed myself, not long ago I would be scared to answer back to the big boss. Now, I don’t care. Maybe I just don’t care anymore…

Then I went behind the hot counter to get my mash potatoes, broccoli and some spicy sauce, After that I went to the office to clock out as he ordered.

Today supervisor Ludie told me that Paul said he doesn’t want us to go behind the counter and serve ourselves. We should stand in the queue. Paul wants us to 1st clock out, 2nd to queue, which can take 10 minutes easily, and then to have 20 minutes left to eat and do whatever business we have to do, including toilet or smoke if someone likes.If we take too long, he is loosing money.  Paul doesn’t want us to serve ourselves – which takes 2 minutes, not 10. He is loosing company’s good image if we do that.

So far I’ve never seen Paul doing anything else then pointing his finger at things: Why is this paper under the cakes full of crumbs? How much salad do you put (on customer’s plate)? Remember – portion control! Don’t put too much. Do you remember the size of the portion? Why isn’t drinks fridge restocked? (When two of us had half an hour to set up breakfast, coffee machine, cakes, sandwich counter, etc).

When he’s in the restaurant this is all he does – he can stand all day in the corner by the hot counter which is a great vantage point from which he can observe all three tills and the counter. He is one of the top dogs – he should be sitting in the office, starring at a computer screen, filing forms, making phone calls, only occasionaly peering out for a quick look.

Besides, this is food not a science, you can’t plan it and weight it to the single grain of rice. Some people want more salad, but some people don’t want it at all, it balances itself. Another thing: whatever he saves on being a cheapskate, he will have to write down in wastage sheet when throwing it away at 3pm when we finish lunch. Does it make it financially better for him to waste it instead of selling it? Maybe the system should be turn 180 degrees and people would be paying first and then be served what they have on a receit? Maybe they should buy us a sensitive scale so we could mesure the portion to the single gram? Maybe they should realise that happy customer will come back bringing their friends?

Grumpy Doctor

forgot his money so he is pissed off with me...

forgot his money so he is pissed off with me…

This blond-haired, wrinkle-faced doctor came one day to buy his dessert – some sort of fruit crumble with custard made of powder, not home-made, all worth exactly £1,40. When he was at the till it turned out he forgot his wallet, so he asked what he should do with the dessert. I told him to give it to the chef – as they have hot cupboards to keep it warm. Doctor then looked at me like I was some creature from space or an idiot at told me “It can’t go back on the counter”. Like I didn’t know. I tried to explain him that they will keep it for him, but he kept looking at me with his eyes wide open, unbelieving, shocked, so I said “Leave it with me”. And then I just disposed of it. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I didn’t have time to go to chef, to explain it, it was just easier for me at that moment, besides, it is so easy just to come and get another one – they are displayed, just grab and go. Few minutes later Grumpy Doctor came back: “Where is my desert”? When I told him to get another one he got really angry. What a service! I don’t have time for this! I am busy saving lives! This place has such a bad service! Etc. If he, instead of arguing, just get his dessert it would be much quicker and easier. Hey, but why making things easy? When you can let all your stress out on a catering assistant! This is my job to listen to all that crap. They but a dessert for £1,40 or a coffee for £1,60 and they think your soul goes as a freebie. He didn’t have time to get another portion, when there was absolutely no queue, but he had enough time to go back to get his wallet, and had enough time to try to create an unpleasant situation.

After that, whenever he comes, I pretend it never happened and he does the same thing. I am polite and he is polite back. He orders his coffee “cappuccino. Oh… no, maybe latte will be better, it is much more sublime”.

Rubbish donations



SHOPPING LIST: Pasta, Rice, Carton of Milk, Cans of food etc.

These labels are displayed all over the massive blue container – above it on the wall, on the lid, at the front and on both sides.  Container was put there during NHS Sustainability Day, food is for homeless shelters – I think.

  • Now, children, would you tell us who works in the hospital?
  • Doctors! Nurses! Porters! Managers! Secretaries! Administration staff. Pharmacists! Consultants! Builders and maintenance staff!
  • Great answers! Lots of different people with different occupations work for the hospital. All of which have to learn a lot, study a lot to achieve their success. Who will now guess, what ended up in a big blue container?
  • Packets of rice? Maybe can of beans? Sweets! Dried fruits? Can of tuna! Everybody love tuna!
  • No, dear children, none of theses answers is true. I will have to tell you what was found in the container after it was open. It were: used take-away coffee cups, empty sandwich packets – or not entirely empty, chocolate bars wrappers, take-away food containers and so on.

That’s the end of story. Do I need to add what wasn’t found in the big blue container? No pasta was found, no tuna was discovered among rubbish, no packets of rice, no beans peering ut us from the corner. We took the blue container away…