Demoted To Phone Answerer

, | UK | Working | April 13, 2017

(I work in a little deli/cafe as a part time job in a very small village. It’s an extremely informal atmosphere and everyone is always joking with each other and our regular customers. The owner is also the chef (and an extremely good cook); unfortunately, he is also the only chef we have at the moment so he’s been working every day including weekends since January. We also have some problems with telemarketers. Despite being told explicitly, and sometimes angrily, that we’re really not interested and not to call again, they continue to do so up to about six times a day. The biggest problem with the calls is that we only have one phone line and they often call when we are very busy, like around lunch time. This means that it blocks incoming take away orders and distracts one of people working. On this particular day we’re just calming down from a rush but the front counter is still very busy but the kitchen is okay so when the phone rings the owner picks it up in the kitchen. Normally he just tells them to “F*** Off” and puts the phone down, but he seems to be in a bit of a silly mood.)

Owner: *talking on the phone* “Hello, this is [Deli]… Look you’ve been told before we’re really not interested! STOP. CALLING. US! The owner doesn’t work here so there is no one you can talk to… Me? I’m just the chef, mate; I have no control over who our energy supplier is… All right, then. Bye.”

(The front of house is now clear so I feel like a bit of banter.)

Me: “So, [Owner], you’ve demoted yourself? What did you do?”

Owner: “Oh, it’s been a steady series of f*** ups. My constant insubordination, slacking, and undermining my ability to manage my staff didn’t help either.”

Me: “Sounds awful. I’m surprised you put up with yourself for so long.”

Owner: “Yes and the final straw came when he did a poo on table two.”

(We exchange blank looks at each other through the hatch as I don’t quite know how to respond and I don’t think he knew he was going to say that.)

Owner: “I took it too far, didn’t I?”

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