donderdag 23 oktober 2014

The New Manager

How to ruin a good business.
The local brewery in our city has a tasting room, where you can try their beer from tap or bottle.
There are four pumps and they produce some more varieties than that. My wife and I love to come here. Local people have a good one and once in a while there are tourists who want to have a taste. They also sell packages of beer, very suitable for gifts.

We also like it over here because it’s very relaxed, no stress music playing, and people are having real talks where you can understand each other. The staff is friendly and patient and very capable of explaining the procedure of brewing or describing the differences in taste of the beers. They have been there for some years now and quite experienced. Even when things get busy, the atmosphere stays calm and sometimes clients even help out.

But when things go very well they should be changed, is an old saying. Some weeks ago we ordered the new beer that was on tap after getting a description of it. This was quite right: the beer was really excellent.

By now we had noticed a guy who came in the room with a checkered cloth in his hands. He seemed overstressed and had a mark on his shirt. It looked like someone had walked with dirty shoes over his back. He had a bottle of cleaner in his hands and cleaned the table and chairs of some people that had just left. When we ordered a new beer I asked who this man was. Was this a new assistant? We got the answer that this was the new manager.

My wife noticed that he looked like the temporary manager of our favourite pub in Norwich; the man who gave her friend such a hard time every time he was in charge. The manager over here seemed quite harmless, but a bit weird. While it was quite busy he took the coffee machine apart and cleaned every part thoroughly. He got disturbed a few times, had to tap a few beers. His technique was a bit different. We noticed he used double the amount of beer the others needed. This was caused by him being very impatient according to us. People asking for coffee were summoned to wait.

Whenever a person would leave, he would immediately run over and clean the table and chair. Like he had to disinfect them, we thought. Chairs he would bang into a right position.
The brewery is open till 7PM, but we were summoned to pay at 6:30. “What’s the reason to hurry?”, we asked an original staff member. He had no clue. The manager took our money and we waited for our change. It never came, we only got some words: “It has been very busy, that’s why we close early”. We are not the kind of people to moan about a Euro so we left.

The next week there was only the manager, the staff probably was not needed. The manager’s girlfriend was sitting near the bar. A man ordered cheese cubes and the manager seemed to get them from the kitchen at the back. Some people were waiting with empty glasses for his return. He came back and filled the glasses. The man and his company looked questioningly at him, but he seemed not to notice. So the man walked up and asked him about his cheese. After some words we saw the guest himself going to the kitchen collecting his cheese.

At a quarter to six new people came in. They were very welcome according to the manager but were allowed to order one drink only and had to pay immediately. He kissed his girlfriend goodbye. Then he came over to us. According to him it had been a slow day and a waste of energy to keep the business open. We should pay too. And so we did. But we still had to finish our beers. Of course we were the last ones in, when we took the last sips. He was very ready to grab our glasses as soon as we put them down. While we put on our coats he was cleaning our table and seats.

When we came outside, the girlfriend was sitting on a bench near the door.

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