Coffee?

The theme for our writing group this week was Humour. We had a list of 16 possible prompts from which to write something humorous.  The one I randomly chose was to write about an amusing incident at work.  This true story comes from my time working in London.  Although this wasn’t included in #BerwickStreettoBarcelona there are plenty of other stories of a similar vein.  Have you got your copy yet? (All proceeds go to  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anthony-stiggants )

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Working in a hotel has its ups and downs, its poignant moments and funny ones.

For a few months in my twenties I worked in a hotel restaurant in central London, managing a small team  serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lunches were often hectic and fraught with hidden danger, both from the diners and from the restaurant equipment.

“We’ve run out of coffee,” cried one of the waitresses as if it was the end of the world. She was prone to the occasional exaggeration. Her nickname was Donna Drama.

“Give me the cafetiere and I’ll make some fresh,” I offered taking said cafetiere from her and heading back to the behind-the-scenes servery.

I took the coffee down off the shelf and was about to put it into the cafetiere and add the hot water from the boiler when I noticed a slight crack in the glass.  Thinking quickly I grabbed a spare one from one of the store cupboards, whilst helping myself to a cheese vol-au-vent at the same time.

“Table three needs coffee now,” called Donna as if her life depended on it. Did I mention she was a bit of a drama queen?

“It’s coming,” I called back.

I poured the coffee into the replacement cafetiere and added the boiling water, carefully replacing the top.

“I need it now, like now now,” Donna almost wailed as she came into the servery.

With a sigh and roll of my eyes I pressed down on the plunger on the cafetiere.

Unknown to me this one had also had a crack in it and for some reason had been put aside, instead of being thrown out. As I pushed down on the plunger the cafetiere exploded covering all points south with scalding coffee.

Bravely, I only screamed a little as the boiling liquid soaked through to my more delicate parts.

At this point the food and beverage manager burst in. “What is…” he began to say then on seeing the scene rushed at me and pulled my trousers to the floor. “That was close you could have burnt… er scalded your…. Er …. Well you know what I mean.” On his face was a look somewhere between relief and embarrassment.

Standing there with my trousers round my ankles, not a position I was normally averse to, I couldn’t help but smile at the food and beverage manager and tell him, “Trevor, If you had only asked we could have done this a long time ago,”

Now he looked even more embarrassed.

“And thanks for saving the family jewels, I may need those later.” I laughed.

“I think you should go change your trousers,now, don’t you?” was his reply. “And take the rest of the afternoon off.”

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