Tuesday, 27 April 2010

oh, the people you meet

Work started at 8.30am today. We're due an audit and a secret shopper so everyone is stressed and desperate to do everything extra-specially well. I find it a bit farcical to be honest; I work to the same (good!) standard whether we're being observed or not, and therefore recognise the fact that I should be stressed to the same standard whether we're being observed or not. Hence, as work doesn't usually stress me out, today was no different.

We usually get a few would-be customers before we open each day, asking what time we open then never coming back, and so I paid no extra attention to the plump, middle aged Asian lady who approached at ~9.30am. She perused the menu for a couple of minutes, before asking when we open - the usual script. Though what happened next was not the usual:

Without any kind of transition from opening hours, she launched into a deranged tirade about her life. I kid you not, she claimed to have ten degrees, all from Cambridge University, as well as ten O Levels from the same. She (apparently) teaches Psychology to students all over the world, and (apparently) plans to move into publishing next. Recently she took a trip to CroyDON (pronounced thus), whereupon she was offered money for sex. I find the latter most unlikely considering her less-than-desirable age/figure/mental-state.

Nevertheless, she continued on for a few minutes, advising my colleague to "be rough if you have kids, not like these English!". He then aborted the conversation and she finally left, at which point I uttered the witty retort "looks like you pulled there, mate!". To which he replied: "fuck off, you c**t".


The rest of the shift was fairly usual, until a lady ordered and paid for a cappuccino, then walked off before I gave her the drink. This made me laugh loudly for some reason, but I made the drink anyway and she came back around 10 minutes later when she realised something was missing from our previous interaction.

I worked some more during the day, then got some buses and sat down for a while. Nothing hugely interesting happened apart from getting free Ben & Jerry's ice cream! I've put pictures below; as I'd eaten the ice cream when I took the photograph, I included a realistic representation of what my free Cherry Garcia cone looked like.

Om nom nom.

Monday, 26 April 2010

what a load of crepe

NB I wrote this yesterday

I'd like to write about work. Recently I've been praising my job, and for the most part I enjoy it, but today I would like to post a small rant:

At 8 o'clock we begin to prepare for the 9 o'clock close, and so implement a "take away only" policy. You'd think, considering the fact that we put tables across the exits, turn the stools upside down, and, here's the kicker, tell customers we're implementing a "take away only" policy, that this would be fairly obvious?

It isn't.

Last time I closed, I began preparing at the usual time. I cleared the tables, cleaned them, emptied the bins, moved the tables and the stools, and went back to start cleaning the kiosk. Then some customers arrived, and move aside one of the tables to sit down at the 'bar' area (this area has high chairs that stay upright, but even so they are all pushed to one end and the rest of the customer area is clearly closed). The gentleman then comes to the till to place his order, whereupon I told my coworker to tell him we're take away only after 8 (it was 8:17).

He didn't.

So now we have two customers in the closed eating area. Another couple arrive, decide they want in as well, and request that we move one of the tables back and take two stools down. I told them that no, we can't do that because we're take away only after 8. They look smugly at the two already sitting down, and I explain that they aren't supposed to be there, slightly louder than usual in the hope that they'll hear me and clear off, but no such luck. Instead I am obliged to fulfil the new couple's wish and undo yet more of my work.

I shrugged it off as "one of those days" and got on with making their food, figuring that I could get tidying behind the counter until they finished, then quickly go out and tidy up after them as to catch up with the schedule as quickly as possible. I prepared the food as usual, according to the guidelines, and took it out to them as a quasi-peace-offering, only to be told shortly afterwards that "the food [was] horrible" and to "make it again".

At this point I was very unamused. Two customers in the seating area who had already been told the seating area was closed were complaining that my correctly timed, correctly filled, and well presented food was "horrible" (not "unsatisfactory", "average" or even "not nice", but "horrible").

I then told them to fuck off, whilst constructing an impromptu missile from leftover food (mainly old egg), and launched it at them as hard as I could as they left. (Not really of course). I sure felt like doing it though; what I actually did was put the "horrible" food in the bin, made a new one, took it to them, cleaned the kiosk diligently while they ate, cleaned the customer seating area for a second time when they left, then finished and closed the kiosk as normal, all whilst maintaining a steady sense of rage.

Only when I was given 4 smoothies, 4 waffles and 2 croissants did aforementioned rage subside.

Friday, 23 April 2010

dizzy rascals

- a point to whoever can identify the pun in the title.

Yesterday was rather pleasant; it was my first 'day off' from the deranged rota I've been working lately, and I believe my intentions to make the most of it were justified. The first point of action was to catch up on sleep; I turned my alarm off and didn't get out of bed until 12.15.

Mum and bro were milling around downstairs when I woke, and I was invited to accompany them on the day's escapades. After a quick mental rearrangement of my plans for the day I agreed to go, and made myself presentable before we left. Mum is feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, so we took bro to a semi-local play area to exhaust himself; it's one of the big foamy contraptions with ballpits, slides and similar distractions. I was slightly jealous of him really, I miss being able to run around like a maniac in those places...

While he was charging about and jumping around, me and Mum spoke about stuff, ranging from family affairs, my living arrangements later in the year, and my financial situation. I felt very sophisticated, but still envied bro in the playpen; Mum picked up on this and called him out, instructing him to show me the slide. I had to accept of course, he needed "adult supervision" in there; it wasn't an excuse for me to have fun at all *shifty eyes*.

I felt a bit old going on the slide though, it made me feel dizzy...

Anyway, next on the agenda was to have a 'cuppa' at Mama's house. We drove there, then waited for a while for Mama and co to arrive, then went in. I had Green Tea infused with Ginseng and Raspberry for aforementioned cuppa. The kids were playing in the garden while the grown ups (me included) sat in the living room chatting. It was nice.

On the way home we went to Lidl to pick up some salad, a snack, and unexpectedly, a watch. I've been looking for one for a while but haven't been able to find one I like (black 'leather' strap, analogue, no roman numerals on the face, face a sensible size) until now. It cost me all of £6, and I'm very pleased with it:

The rest of the evening was spent catching up on a backlog of note-taking work, playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, eating dinner and watching House.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Hello, all.

I'd like to do several things in this post; explain my recent lapse in blogging, provide a brief update of what I've been up to, and briefly outline my plans for the near future. Not the most thrilling subject matter unfortunately, but oh well.

Firstly: I haven't been blogging much recently because my laptop decided it would be better for everyone if it broke itself. Obviously this is frustrating at the best of times, but the fact that it was caused by the installation of a "vital" Windows update is what annoys me most. I am currently trying to fix it without the loss of my files, but this is looking less and less likely.

Secondly: The last couple of weeks have been taken up mainly by working and looking for work. I've been averaging ~20 hours a week at the food kiosk where I work, which is nice, but I think I need more hours/money to be able to survive upon my return to university. However an interesting revelation today; it seems there is the possibility of a promotion soon, which would provide more of both hours and money! I'll probably keep you posted.

Thirdly: In the near future I plan to get around to sorting this blog out. I still need to copy over posts from Sugiharagami, as well as catching up on several posts (Japan and Canada mainly). This is feasible but sadly blogging is one of my less important priorities at the moment. The fact that no one seems to be reading at the moment does relieve the pressure, however :)