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Date: 07 Apr 2007 11:57:52
From: Danny
Subject: sitting in a field XIX
Sorry but we have to discuss Lesbians. This week I had to part
company with two of them - Charlotte & Michelle.

Charlotte has worked faithfully for me for nearly five years. Until
she bacame a lesbian last year. No problem with that. I even gave
her partner a job (Michelle), and hoped they would get on in the
trailer, which they assured me they would. Trouble is, Charlotte is
the "male" in the relationship, and over time she acted more and more
"blokey". Even started swearing in front of customers, and actually
at them, under her breath, when they changed an order or other equally
inconsequential action. Even Michelle said she was embarrased at
how easily Charlotte was becoming irritated with customers. They also
had many lovers' tiffs and once neither of them came to work due to a
row they were having, which is most unlike Charlotte. Understandably,
her attitude to men has changed, which she can't see, but more than
one male customer has noticed the lack of banter they used to have
with her.

So I realised a few months ago that I would have to act, especially
since a couple of customers had made comments too (I'm not always
there, Charlotte and Michelle worked some days on their own). I
didn't want to dismiss Charlotte, because of her past efforts, but I
also knew that many chats with her about her actions had always been
met with strong denials, so I knew that we would be parting company.

I decided that I wouldn't sack her as such, as I didn't want her to
feel bad, and I don't believe in burning bridges, so she could come
back at a later time if we agreed on her behaviour. Instead, I
informed them that their employment status had to change - a change in
accounting procedures, shall we say. They wouldn't accept this, so
they decided to leave. Tomorrow is their last day. I had hoped that
the parting would remain amicable, but it appears that Charlotte is
telling some people that she has been sacked after all she's done for
me. Shame, since I've bought them both leaving presents etc and had
suggested we go for a meal in the near future.

Anyway, from next week it'll be myself and Lucy, with a new trainee
starting at the end of the week. There are so many Polish immigrants
around that are potentially good workers, but want cash in hand, that
it's difficult to actually find anyone these days.

The customers who have spoken to me have begged me to ensure
any new staff are heterosexual :) I'm sure that it something-ist so I
won't comment further :)

Anyway, spring is here!

I took Lucy to France on the bike a few weeks ago. Just a short trip
to Honfleur to aclimatise her to biking. She was brilliant. Carried
a rucksack, since she felt *everyone* must have at least 5 changes of
clothes for a 3 day holiday. But she carried it, and endured the
worst weather going for biking - sleet, snow, wind & rain, and that
was just the Sunday :) Spent a peaceful day or two in Honfleur,
riding out to Deauville and Bayeux etc. Lucy said she didn't like to
go fast, but during a petrol stop I asked if 150+ would be too fast,
to which she said yes, so I told her it was too late, since we'd
already done that :) but she thought it was fun.

Force 9 on the ferry outwards, force 7 on the return, so now she
doesn't like ferries.....but she does like the Honda Blackbird except
that it's not pink...

/aggressively non smokers skip next paragraph/

Brittany ferries are a strange lot. On the way back the captain had
banned any access to the decks due to the high winds etc, so I went to
customer services to enquire where it was possible to have a
cigarette, since the entire ship is non-smoking (even though they sell
cigarettes in every bar and shop). The lady assured me that I should
go on deck. What about the captains orders? Don't worry, it doesn't
apply to smokers! Excuse me, but I believe I paid the same price for
my ticket as a non smoker, and whilst I have no desire to inflict my
habit on them, are smokers so disposable that we can be blown
overboard without any worries? What about my frequent customer
mebership - will they refund it for me? Not even a chair outside
(probably all blown overboard too).

/end skip/

Coffee in France was universally bad, but when you are sitting next to
the harbour in Honfleur, cradling a cappuccino whilst escaping the
rain on the terrace, it tastes fine. Also very expensive, even though
I admit it's a tourist destination. Was a bit cheaper in Caen.

Paris in a few weeks time...If I can take a couple of days from the
trailer.

Life in espresso heaven is OK. This week was a downer since I arrived
at work on Tuesday to find the glass-door fridge had many cracks in
the glass. New door? Yessir, that'll be 545 please. New fridge?
That'll be 400 please....no prizes for the correct answer, except
it's Easter and I won't get an order fullfilled until late next
week...so it's out with the Gaffa tape and drive home very carefully.

Last few days have been gloriously sunny, with temperatures a pleasant
mid-60's and higher to come. Bring on global warming. The canopy has
been handy for the few wind and rainswept days we've had, or it was
until the giant gust came along and ripped it from the ground.
Snapped a scaffolding pole support clean off and tore the canopy in a
couple of places. Quick trip to local fabricators for a new pole, and
vist to seamstress for big sewing job and all was secure by the next day.

Ye olde ancient lever machine holding up fine. Frank, my man at
Visacrem thinks he has one available since it was refurbished for a
customer who then didn't pay or collect it, so I might take a trip to
Birmingham with mine for a refit, and bring the already refurb'ed
machine back in it's place, so I also have a spare machine in
emergency, although I'm also contemplating shoehorning the 3 group in
the trailer instead...

Found another Cimbali Cadet to stick in the trailer so I could service
and keep the original in reserve. New one throws grinds to one side,
unlike old one, which staff don't like, so old one going back in.

Customers are getting better. I hope to salvage new customers by
being there a lot more in the future. Customers prefer coming when
myself & Lucy are on, since I'm a bit lazy and tend to socialise with
them whilst clearing tables etc, jumping into the trailer when there
is a queue. People really do like some conversation - they don't just
come for a coffee.

I'm starting to see many customers change - little ones in prams are
growing up, and a couple have fallen off the other end of the scale.
People like Rose, who has come for years, and is now so befuddled that
she forgets her order between placing it and sitting down. Always
looks shocked when I deliver the small cappuccino she ordered :)

One of the elderly customers "Mr weak latte man" complained that I
take his coffee to the table for him (as we've always done) but the
"girls" don't. Charlotte said she was too busy to do that. It takes
less than 20 seconds to assist the customer.

Trucillo still the coffee of choice - still gets good comments when
used as either a straight espresso, or as a base for the milk drinks.
I know it's unholy - roasted don't know when, but grinding fresh
seems more important, and I've never detected a staleness from the
one-way valve bags. It helps that my supplier now sells it to their
other restaurant customers, so turnover is faster - I think he brings
in a fresh pallet every month or so.

Not bothered with doing any events now - fees are astronomical and the
big guys are moving in with their suitably equipped 32 ton articulated
coffee bars, so they can pay the pitch fees. Mind you, since
Portsmouth is soon to be massively redeveloped (after the various
public enquiries are complete) I might have to re-evaluate my event
stance, since I won't have a pitch in the same spot in the town
centre. I've yet to find out whether there will be any consent
pitches in the new layout.

We've actually got customers now who know what a ristretto is! Unlike
the cafe we went to in Bognor this week, who had a large jug of
espresso that they watered down before steaming it and pouring some in
the cup as the base for a cappa. Busy, they were, too. Just doesn't
seem worth trying, really.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)






 
Date: 08 Apr 2007 17:01:17
From: bernie
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Great post, Danny. I've been through that with both genders. My rule is
now to never hire lovers or partners if I know about it. Thanks again
for the great post which looks fine.
Bernie


 
Date: 08 Apr 2007 03:29:28
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX

"Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:57pbnhF2dlh47U1@mid.individual.net...
> Sorry but we have to discuss > --
> Regards, Danny
>

Another great piece, Danny. Thank you very much!

ken
(now in France, enjoying the exquisite coffee here:-))




 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 21:14:46
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Great post as usual. Any way you can transport your espresso setup to
France for your holidays -- maybe they'll develop a taste for
something other than their usual charcoaled robista.\

>Charlotte has worked faithfully for me for nearly five years. Until
>she bacame a lesbian last year. No problem with that. I even gave
>her partner a job (Michelle), and hoped they would get on in the
>trailer, which they assured me they would. Trouble is, Charlotte is
>the "male" in the relationship, and over time she acted more and more
>"blokey". Even started swearing in front of customers, and actually
>at them, under her breath, when they changed an order or other equally
> inconsequential action

Could be the problem is about couples at work rather than lesbians.
Charlotte is probably much more concerned about what Michelle thinks
of her than the customers.


  
Date: 08 Apr 2007 10:31:20
From: Danny
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
jim schulman wrote:
> Great post as usual. Any way you can transport your espresso setup to
> France for your holidays -- maybe they'll develop a taste for
> something other than their usual charcoaled robista.\
>
-snip-

Don't tempt me. Lucy would love to live in France, and most of my
friends have emigrated to either France or Spain. Need to check out
the espresso possibilities in the Loire Atlantique :)


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



  
Date: 08 Apr 2007 02:58:40
From: Steve
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 21:14:46 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>Could be the problem is about couples at work rather than lesbians.
>Charlotte is probably much more concerned about what Michelle thinks
>of her than the customers.

LOL
I was thinking the same.


 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 14:52:27
From: North Sullivan
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:57:52 +0100, Danny
<danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:

>Sorry but we have to discuss Lesbians. This week I had to part
>company with two of them - Charlotte & Michelle.

Excellent post. I'm glad I'm not the only one with unusual employee
problems. One of my employees has jumped deep into Wiccan. No way am
I writing about it here though; I don't want to wake up tomorrow
morning as a frog.

In all seriousness though, I wouldn't give a mouse's tail (heehee)
about employees' sexuality, religion, clothing, music, piercings,
personal alcohol/drug use etc., etc., as long as it doesn't affect
the job. Unfortunately,it sometimes does, and that can suck all of
the fun out of managing employees in the coffee business. Imagine my
surprise when I come in unexpectedly to find dirty dishes that need to
be done, while she performs tarot readings. You wouldn't think that
you would need a rule about such things.

The business, by its nature, attracts many young people who are in
transition. It brings both joy and sadness. The key has been for me
to find employees who take great pride in their work. They care about
doing things the right way, and how customers perceive that they are
doing things the right way. Every time I end up with a good one, it's
only for a short time, and they are off to college. I try to remember
that, while it's bad for me in the short run, it's better for them in
the long run.

North Sullivan







  
Date: 07 Apr 2007 20:17:24
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
I can trump the tarot thing. When I opened a drive through one of my
managers replaced the plain white napkins with some printed with Bible
verse. Not that I object to the Bible or any other flavor of religious
belief, but I did lay down the law to her. If she felt the need to
proselytize she could open a drive through prayer service but inflicting her
beliefs on MY customers wasn't acceptable behavior.
--
Robert (Gig 'em!) Harmon
www.tinyurl.com/34r5dx - My attempt at blogging.
www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - Guidelines for coffee newbies.
www.tinyurl.com/37gwfr - I have stuff available for sale.

"North Sullivan" <northwrites@bluebottle.com > wrote in message
news:65of13havlag8r1fhjtjr0dljbegnoamb6@4ax.com...
> On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:57:52 +0100, Danny
> <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com> wrote:
>
>>Sorry but we have to discuss Lesbians. This week I had to part
>>company with two of them - Charlotte & Michelle.
>
> Excellent post. I'm glad I'm not the only one with unusual employee
> problems. One of my employees has jumped deep into Wiccan. No way am
> I writing about it here though; I don't want to wake up tomorrow
> morning as a frog.
>
> In all seriousness though, I wouldn't give a mouse's tail (heehee)
> about employees' sexuality, religion, clothing, music, piercings,
> personal alcohol/drug use etc., etc., as long as it doesn't affect
> the job. Unfortunately,it sometimes does, and that can suck all of
> the fun out of managing employees in the coffee business. Imagine my
> surprise when I come in unexpectedly to find dirty dishes that need to
> be done, while she performs tarot readings. You wouldn't think that
> you would need a rule about such things.
>
> The business, by its nature, attracts many young people who are in
> transition. It brings both joy and sadness. The key has been for me
> to find employees who take great pride in their work. They care about
> doing things the right way, and how customers perceive that they are
> doing things the right way. Every time I end up with a good one, it's
> only for a short time, and they are off to college. I try to remember
> that, while it's bad for me in the short run, it's better for them in
> the long run.
>
> North Sullivan
>
>
>
>
>




 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 17:38:47
From: Steve
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:57:52 +0100, Danny
<danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:
(snip)

As always, thank you.
BTW, it looks fine to me , too.


 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 06:29:59
From:
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:57:52 +0100, Danny
<danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:

Loved it too! Thanks for your slice of life. I bet your customers do
enjoy you Danny. Good luck with the new person:).

It's a coffee flowering day up here, a half a world away, on the same
planet:).

aloha,
Cea


 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 09:25:29
From: cpaullie
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
On Apr 7, 9:55 am, "Robert Harmon" <r_h_har...@Zhotmail.com > wrote:
> Howdy Danny!
> I enjoyed your meanering prose yet again. More, please! And the formating
> looked fine on my reader. Good luck & keep posting.
> --
> Robert (I don't think I'm a lesbian, but some of my best friends probably
> are!) Harmonwww.tinyurl.com/34r5dx- My attempt at blogging.www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87- Guidelines for coffee newbies.www.tinyurl.com/37gwfr- I have stuff available for sale.



Not that there's anything wrong with that..........................



 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 15:55:04
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Howdy Danny!
I enjoyed your meanering prose yet again. More, please! And the formating
looked fine on my reader. Good luck & keep posting.
--
Robert (I don't think I'm a lesbian, but some of my best friends probably
are!) Harmon
www.tinyurl.com/34r5dx - My attempt at blogging.
www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - Guidelines for coffee newbies.
www.tinyurl.com/37gwfr - I have stuff available for sale.




 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 11:19:40
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Enjoyed your adventures, as usual.

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 11:43:18
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Danny <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:



  
Date: 07 Apr 2007 19:08:25
From: Danny
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
D. Ross wrote:
> Danny <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com> wrote:
>
>


  
Date: 07 Apr 2007 09:03:42
From: sprsso
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Actually, I found this post very interesting and not at all offensive.
Hopefully the polically-correct bobbies aren't towing away Danny's
trailer right now.
And, by the way, I am a lesbian. There. I said it....al

On Sat, 07 Apr 2007 11:43:18 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>Danny <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com> wrote:
>
>


 
Date: 07 Apr 2007 12:00:11
From: Danny
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Danny wrote:
-snip-

I give up on the formatting in this newsreader. It compiles a message
with too short line lengths, then lengthens them when save to drafts
to work on later - sorry.


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



  
Date: 07 Apr 2007 11:50:53
From: Dave S
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
Danny wrote:
> Danny wrote:
> -snip-
>
> I give up on the formatting in this newsreader. It compiles a message
> with too short line lengths, then lengthens them when save to drafts to
> work on later - sorry.
>

Not sure what your reader is - message properties says Mozilla 5.
I do see the change in line lengths within paragraphs in your message.
Not a major hindrance to me.

Mozilla Thunderbird, which I am using, will reformat to the line length
you specify (72 characters for me).

Dave S.


  
Date: 07 Apr 2007 09:51:11
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: sitting in a field XIX
In <57pbriF2dlh47U2@mid.individual.net >, on Sat, 07 Apr 2007 12:00:11
+0100, Danny wrote:
> Danny wrote:
> -snip-
>
> I give up on the formatting in this newsreader. It compiles a message
> with too short line lengths, then lengthens them when save to drafts
> to work on later - sorry.

Apparently the problem is only in the way your reader
displays it to you. The formatting looks perfect in
slrn, and as a matter of fact, looking at the raw post
on the server, I see no lines over 70 there.

Number XIX was excellent as usual. Thanks for taking
the time.