Considering the amount of time I spend talking about myself on this blog, it strikes me as strange that I’ve never really spoken about what is to date my favourite job.
It may sound a little sad, but the best place I’ve ever worked – with the exception of some week-stints at summer camps – was Londis.
Which changed to a Centra after I’d been there for two years.
Which we then fondly called “Lentra”.
(Londis and Centra are convenience store chains if anyone is confused…they also usually have a deli down the back)
The work wasn’t very stimulating and I hated most of the customers and despised wearing hairnets, but the people were what made it great. It was there that I met The Boy and also some amazing characters, such as the girl that brought you This Story.
I have hundreds of stories about this shop but the one will share with you today is the time Orla (see above story) was felt up by our elderly boss.
One of the shop’s owners was a 70-something-year-old woman.
Who referred to me as “That Girl” and “Caitriona” a few weeks before I quit.
I’d been working there for more than three years at that stage.
Let’s call her …Weeble.
Weeble was an interesting character.
Herself and her husband had been in business for a b’zillion years and this venture was with two of their sons.
She had a tendency to give use all mental whiplash: ridiculously chatty one minute, tyrant the next.
She also had an annoying habit of thinking her way of doing things was better than everyone elses.
Cue numerous stand-offs between me and her over how to cook a fried egg.
I was the Queen of the fried egg.
She thought it was Ok to serve someone a shrivelled brown blob.
And then there were the weekly demonstrations in Lettuce Spinning, which she insisted we did and which resulted in limp, old-and-torn-looking lettuce
But that’s not what this iss about.
In fairness, she had a good heart and as annoying as this habit was, we put up with it and then did it our own well-practised ways once she wasn’t around.
One of her pet criticisms were of the way we dressed.
There were no uniforms for staff, so we wore our own clothes in.
The shop was usually cold – even in the deli – so during the winter I’d have a wool jumper under my apron, which she’d lecture me about, informing me that it looked unprofessional.
Well Weeble, either give me money to go shopping for better clothes or give us a feckin’ uniform!
During my last few months, she bought cheap black polo shirts (all in either large or medium mens sizes) and gave them to all the staff.
I artfully avoided wearing them.
They were hideously big.
Her biggest beef was with Orla who hadn’t mastered the “Your top must go comfortable past the band of your jeans” rule (altho, sometimes she didn’t have a choice as her sisters constantly steal her clothes) and so every time she bent down, we all got an eyeful of back-and-crack (sorry Orla!).
Weeble used to say it to her nearly every day and Orla would grin, apologise and continue to wear what she wanted.
One day, myself and Orla were working in the deli.
I was making an roll for a customer and she was crouched down, sweeping up some dirt from the floor.
Weeble spotted the bare back and swooped in.
However, instead of saying something to her, she reached for Orla’s back: we still don’t know if it was to pull her top down or pull her jeans up.
As she was about to touch her, Orla stood up, oblivious to the fact that Weeble was there.
As she did, Weeble’s hand slid down the back of her jeans.
Weeble snapped her hand back, Orla grabbed her jeans and swung around looking horrifed.
Cue awkward faces and some mutterings from Weeble.
Orla tried to adapt a “Oh it’s grand, total accident, no worries” face, but instead just looked violated.
They avoid each other for the next week, smiling awkwardly and running away whenever they saw each other.
And Weeble never gave out to her over her clothes again.
Stay tuned for the tale of the Poo Milk…..