It was a normal September morning, and as usual, Catherine was an hour early for work. As she sat at the back entrance of the shop she worked out she was playing on her phone trying to pass the time. Today was the day that she was going to meet her new boss, and was the last of the staff to do so. Catherine wasn’t expecting to like this new man, purely from what the others had told her about him. There was also a sense of bitterness to this new man as well; this was because everyone was so attached to the old manager. The clanking of the fire doors closing made Catherine look up from the game that she was losing and saw a man walking towards her. He had a bald shirt head and his face reminded her of that of the grim reaper. He wore small dark glasses and had a thin layer of stubble. It was when she saw that he had on the same uniform of her she knew that this was the new boss. Unwilling to let the words of her colleagues push her into making a decision about the new boss without meeting him first, she stood up from where she was sitting, dusted herself down and in the friendliest way she could she held out her hand to meet him properly.
“Hello, I’m Catherine, and you must be Brian?” Catherine was her normal bubbly self
“Yes, that’s right, I take it you’re all that’s left for me to meet?”
“Yep, that is correct, you know what they say, save the best ‘till last” Catherine cringed a little inside at her joke, but hoped that this kind of attitude would make her work with this man easier. He didn’t seem to be that impressed. It was then Catherine thought that the old manager Craig would have made a joke back. Brian unlocked the back entrance of the store and turned off the alarm with the chunky key fob that was attached to his keys and Catherine followed him into the back office.
“Hmm right ok, how do the lights turn on?” Brian turned himself slightly in the dark office.
“Look, the light switch is here, surely you should know how to work a light switch by now” Catherine knew that her comment would get under Brian’s nose, so she purposely said it in the tone of tongue in cheek.
“Well actually at my last store we had sensor lights” Brian didn’t seem to be able to understand Catherine’s humour. No wonder the other staff hadn’t taken to him! Everyone whom Catherine worked with all was capable with being the butt of jokes and making jokes about each other. It was the way in which everyone showed their friendship. After putting her phone in her handbag and hanging it upon a peg with her jacket, Catherine walked into the hallway and turned on all the store lights, went out onto the shop floor and started doing all of the menial tasks that had to be done in order to prepare the store for the customers. This included making sure all products were neatly on their shelves, the spotlights in the cabinets were all on and working and that there was minimal dust around. When the doorbell rang, Catherine decided to ignore it, and let Brian answer the door. She knew it would be another member of staff ready but unwilling to start their shift, and who could blame them really. After a few minutes, Catherine still hadn’t head the door go and decided to go and see for herself. Walking past the office she noticed Brian on the office computer but not for office work. He was on a website that showed homemade video clips.
“Did you not hear the door?” the bell was ringing continuously this time.
“I heard it but I was busy” Brian was purposefully being condescending towards her
“Of course you were, not to worry I’ll get it” Catherine knew her sarcasm was always spot on.
“Hey babes! Take your bloody time don’t ya” This was Catherine’s closest work mate Jen.
“Heya, sorry I was on the shop floor and Brian was um, busy” Catherine winked at Jen and used air quotation marks around the word busy so that her friend could understand the deeper sub-textual meaning behind her words.
“Oh I’m sure he was” Jen also being sarcastic in clear ear shot of Brian. Catherine walked into the office again, this time meaning business. “Brian, the store opens in 10 minutes don’t you think it’s time you sorted out the floats?” with this he did not reply, just opened the safe and pulled out two carrier bags of money and walked to the tills on the shop floor, followed by both girls. The back door bell rang once again, Jen skipped straight too it and let Rob in. Rob was the last staff member needed for the shift.