Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Some years ago I was helping to run a pub in Surrey by mistake*. I ended up in the predicament because one day I went to do some part time work helping to get a pub up and running somewhere else, and didn't go to Lego Land which was an option that crossed my mind on the journey there.
Anyway, by the time I ended up in Surrey a manager had been employed by the 'Boss with the Money' also known as the BFG** and this was the beginning of the end of the BFGs 'empire' as this so-called manager couldn't manage a cheese sandwich, let alone a pub.
It befell upon myself and the 'then-partner-in-crime' do do the majority of the work that involved a brain leaving the 'manager' to do the occasional lunchtime shift when he didn't have to look after his daughter, although surprisingly, he could always manage to get a babysitter when ever he wanted in order to spend the evening drinking at his local pub.
As well as doing the bookwork for the 'company', I also did shift work behind the bar, managed the cellar when needs be'd, did all the food shopping and catering side of things, did all the sign-writing and as I also had a car, the banking on top of everything else.
Now, in the previous pub I'd been working in, all that was needed to do the banking was to tally up the monies and nip round to the bank round the corner, but the nearest bank to the pub in Surrey was a good ten to fifteen minuted drive away, which for some inexplicable reason the manager couldn't manage to get done, even though it was on his way home.
Usually, the then partner would do the banking tallying and so, but one day the manager decided that he was going to do it, seeing as he was 'in charge' and so.
I'm not normally the sort of person to make fun of the slow of brain and those left unarmed in a battle of wits, but this bloke really was a fucktard of the highest order. To give you an example, one night he did manage to do a shift and not only did he let a bastard local bully who was not only barred from the premises and on Pub Watch into the pub because he was scared of him, he also let the bully buy him drinks all night until he passed out unconscious and woke up wondering where the takings from the previous three days had gone.
I kid ye not. This was another reason the banking was not done by him.
But as the BFG thought the world of him, the ex and I didn't tell the boss and just made sure the money got paid back so he could keep his job.
And so, the 'manager' sat in the bar with the bank books, calculator and money, and about two hours later handed me the bag with the books and cash all ready to be deposited in the safety of the bank's vaults.
The TPIC was there that day as well and I asked if it needed to be re-checked before I tootled off to the bank only to be told by the manager that he was not stoopid, and of course it was all alright, after all, he was the manager wasn't he? Not little ol' me, oh no.
And so off I went into town to do the banking and also the shopping for the pub, and seeing as because I was so slow at doing anything (In the manager's opinion) take most of the afternoon off.
I went to the bank first and helloo'ed the regular clerk as I handed over the bag. He counted out the money and checked the book's total, and then counted out the money again.
He asked me if I had done the banking to which I replied 'No, the manager did' which caused him to call over another member of staff to recount the cash again.
I was beginning to worry when he called over the manager and I asked what the problem was.
The manager gave me a smile and said all was well before he counted out the money as well.
When he'd finished he explained that somehow the cash tally didn't add up to the money given. In fact, the money given was rather too much.
Fifty quid too much in fact, and he showed me the book and cash to prove it.
The bank manager had met the pub 'manager' before and simply nodded and smiled when I told him that he had been doing the books that day, and so I went and had a pleasant couple of hours to myself before trundling back to the pub.
Upon my return I immediately went up to the manager who was in conversation with the TPIC and handed back the money bag with the books inside.
As I did so I asked him if he was sure he had not possibly made a mistake while he was adding everything up.
His rejoinder was full of scorn and derision as he explained that of course it was done correctly, after all, he was the manager wasn't he? He was the one that the BFG entrusted with everything; I was just a minion of no status and as so, how dare I question his ability to do the banking?
Again I asked him in a pleasant manner if he was absolutely certain he might not have overlooked anything, and again, (being in front of the TPIC who was one of the bosses) he said that his making a mistake was not an option; how dare I imply he might be wrong?
And so I said 'Fine by me! I'll keep the extra thirty quid then'.

'Ah' was all I heard as I walked away, whilst the then-partner-in-crime tried desperately not to laugh out loud.

Sadly I took pity on him and gave back the thirty pounds I'd told him about.
The TPIC and I left the pub very shortly afterwards due to a number of things***.
The pub lasted a month before it closed.
The BFG (who had emigrated to Portugal) lost his pub empire.
Whoever is sorry now, it's not me.

*Twinned with Brigadoon under Lyme.
**He thought it stood for the Big Friendly Giant because of his ample girth, but it did not. We called him Bastard Fat Git behind of his enormous, lardy backside and unpleasant personality.
***Another story for another time.