Myself, The Boy (who at that time was just Boy) and Orla (see above story) were working our usual Saturday morning shift in Lentra.
Orla and I were camped out in the deli and Boy was on the shop floor (probably doing nothing). Following her usual pattern of pulling one of the three of us away from important, stressful jobs to perform stupid tasks that the rest of the staff could do, Weeble asked Orla to put that morning’s milk delivery out on the shelves and she disappeared inside her office.
Orla went about the task, heading in to the back room where the milk was kept, and while I was making a sandwich for a customer a few minutes later, I saw her emerge looking a little perplexed.
As I watched her out of the corner of my eye, she waved over Boy and after a bit of whispering they both went into the back room.
Now after the time we set the frying pan on fire, I knew myself and Orla weren’t the most accomplished shop people, but she could handle putting out the milk stock on her own….right?
When the queue of customers ended, she came out of the back room and over to me.
“Is everything ok?” I asked.
“Eh….” she said, “Can you come into the back for a second?”
When we reached the back room, I saw Boy standing over a package of milk looking puzzled.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“That milk smells funny,” said Orla.
“Is it from this morning’s batch?” I asked.
“Well if it’s gone off, just let Weeble know,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“No, it’s not gone off,” said Boy mysteriously.
“Look at that,” said Orla, pointing at a brown smudge on the plastic wrapper holding the ten milk containers together.
I looked closer.
“It’s shit,” said Boy.
“GROSS!!!! And you put it up on the counter!!!”
“I know!” said Orla. “I can’t put that batch out! It’s not just on the wrapper -it’s touching some of the containers.”
“You’re going to have to tell Weeble,” I told Orla.
“I can’t!” she wailed. “What if I’m wrong and she thinks I’m stupid!”
I leaned closer to the brown stain and sniffed.
“I’m pretty sure it’s poo,” I said.
“I can’t tell her,” said Orla. “She already thinks I’m an idiot!”
“Boy?” I asked.
“I’m not telling her,” he said.
“Hermia, you do it,” said Orla prodding me.
“You were supposed to be doing the milk!!”
“But I can’t tell her!”
“How am I supposed to tell our 70+ boss that there’s shit on the milk!?” I said. “I can’t say ‘shit’ to her! And poo makes me sound retarded!”
After much debate, I was emotionally blackmailed into telling Weeble.
Spotting her on the shop floor, I made my way up to her.
“Uhm Weeble,” I said.
“Uhm, can you come take a look at something in the back?” I said eventually.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Well, there’s a bit of a problem with the milk,” I said, vaguely.
“What is it?” she asked again, refusing to move.
Oh God…she was going to make me say it.
“Uhm….there’s something on one of the batches.”
She blinked at me.
“It’s, em, we think it’s….well it’s…poo.”
She blinked again.
“Poo…there’s poo on the milk….eh, yeah, poo,” I continued.
Stop saying ‘poo’, I told myself.
“Okkkk…” she said looking at me as if I was a bit simple and walking into the back.
In the end, it was poo and she returned the order, lashing into milkmen, who as usual looked terrified when they were face to face with her, but then acted like hard men and called her a bitch whenever she was tucked safely away in the back office.
And that was how I ended up saying the word ‘poo’ to my elderly boss several time.