Hot In the Kitchen
Written by Patricia Beloscoli
Story Date Wed 26 Oct 2011
Looking at Duncan with distaste, Sandra noticed how greasy and unkempt his hair looked. He never wore his chef’s hat, it was mandatory- so why didn’t Karl pull him up about it. His whites were slightly ripped and certainly hadn’t seen a washing machine in days. Turning to Karl, the head chef, she asked in a moderately angry voice “why does Duncan get away with breaking health regulations?”
“Calm down Sandra,” he answered.
“I know how you feel but we have to put up with it. At least he’s a good chef even if he is lazy.” Shocked she raised her voice an octave,
“We have to put up with it! You know once the store opens we are run off our feet.” Stopping to draw breath she continued……
“Its 7.am and we have only half of everything prepared, where is Duncan?”
“I’m here” he answered walking coolly through the door! Looking directly at Sandra Duncan asked “how can I cook food that is not prepared, dearie?” Karl could see red blotches creeping up Sandra’s neck. He knew when it reached her nose there would be fireworks. How can I calm this one down he thought? Sandra realised that if they were to be ready on time, she would have to do some of Duncan’s work too.
“Lazy beggar” she called him under her breath.
Karl and Sandra worked very hard over the next two hours. Duncan went for his regular smoke breaks. Although you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, no one made any comment.
That night Sandra found it very hard to sleep. She Tossed and turned for most of the night. All she could think about was that obnoxious man, Duncan. Why did Karl do nothing about his attitude? She wondered if Karl was frightened of him. Did he have a hold over Karl? After a long restless night Sandra came to a decision.
Sandra was up bright and early- making phone calls. Feeling very happy with herself she practically skipped to work. As usual Duncan was there, looking as unkempt as yesterday. Karl asked her why she was so happy this morning.
“Wait and see” she replied.
Duncan was on a smoke break when the man came.
“Good morning my name is Henry Ball,” he offered. He was rather small and plump. His bright red waistcoat didn’t enhance his figure at all. In a voice that split decibels he spoke..... “I would like to speak to the head chef.”
“At that Karl answered somewhat timid and worried at the same time” I’m the head chef what can I do for you?
“Mr Ball told him he was here for a ‘health and safety check.’
“How many people work in the kitchens?” he asked in a voice that held a certain threat.
“Three,” Karl answered cautiously. “
”Good, good,” he answered. “Now I would like to see you all here in 5 minutes- PROMPT! “
Sandra looked at Karl smiling ever so slightly.
“What have you done?” he asked.
“What do you mean what have I done?”
“You fool Karl cried out, Duncan is the bosses’ son, if his father finds out that you brought ‘health and safety’ here; Karl said no more -
he just dragged his finger across his neck as if cutting it.