Kitchen pickers wear big knickers.....

Posted on 21st March, 2016

Monday is office day at Wee LOCHAN. When Roo and I were young and were working in a restaurant in the Cotswolds, the VAT man came-a-calling. He waltzed in unnanounced and asked for all the receipts from three random days in the previous couple of years. The look on our boss's face has never left me. It haunts me. If I get behind on the paperwork the mere thought of the glazed look in his eyes is enough to motivate me. To a degree his filing system was excellent. He never misplaced an invoice. There was a huge cardboard box sitting on top of another cardboard box in the office. In this box he chucked all till rolls, receipts, invoices and bills. When the box was crammed full he squashed a lid on it and got another one. And when the VAT man arrived our boss spent the best part of a week sifting through these boxes, searching for the receipts required. Even then he didn't think to get them into date or supplier order. Nope, he just sat on the floor picking up each receipt, checking its date then placing it back in a box if it wasn't relevent. I never found out if he retrieved all right documents from the box, all I can remember is his weary face staring at that awful pile and him muttering obscenities about VAT inspectors as he searched.

So Monday is office day. And all my friends know it. They also know that I am delighted to be distracted for any reason however trivial.

So today my friend Ruth arrived for coffee. I had just started on the VAT return for the next quarter and was finding it hard to stay awake. To say I am not a natural in the office would be being kind. For starters I have trouble sitting still for more than 10 minutes at a time. (Normally I think of this as a positive in my life but on Mondays I can see the limitations of perpetual motion). The idea of focussing on one topic for the hours it take to organise a VAT return is exhausting. So happily I relinquished my computer spot and headed for the coffee machine. And as I passed through the kitchen, Vic-the-chef was putting a box of brownie cuttings up for staff.(If you've ever wondered why the brownies always seem to have a perfect edge, it's because the chefs trim off the wobbly, rough edges and feed them to staff). They are put at just an arm's length from the restaurant where we can all help ourselves as we go past. So I grabbed a few pieces for nibbling with our coffees. As I sat down, placing the goodies in front of us, Ruth said, 'kitchen pickers wear big knickers'. I looked at the brownie trimmings. I looked at Ruth. I looked back at the brownie trimmings. Ruth helped herself. I thought about my VAT return and my boss's face. I thought about the size of my knickers and I helped myself. Sometimes, even the thought of big knickers can't dissuade the Monday-office-bored me from eating all the brownie trimmings. And if the VAT man ever pops in, the big knickers will be worth the investment.