Sunday, March 27, 2011

Someone's thirsty

Ruby is an active lady who is always off and doing something or other. She has her own courtyard and it is filled with flowers, and she can often be seen there with her watering can and a smile. She seems way too young to need this place, being perhaps in her late 50s or early 60s. She is obsessed with good health and frequently asks for extra of the healthy items, for instance, an extra piece of fruit, or more salad on her plate.

Around July, we started running out of orange juice every week. The kitchen supervisor remonstrated the staff for drinking it. Most of the staff looked at each other in disbelief, wondering how a few glasses of orange juice warranted a lecture, and why the supervisor didn't just order a few extra litres. And then the milk and cereal started running out. Carlotta had to run to the corner shop one morning when it became apparent there wasn't enough milk for everyone's cereal. Again, the reaction was to chastise the staff for drinking the milk and taking the cereal, and then for taking the bread. My goodness, this was getting ridiculous. What staff member needed food that badly that they were taking bread and cereal home, we wondered. The last thing we suspected was a resident. They get their meals included anyway - a full breakfast, a hot lunch, three courses at dinner, morning and afternoon tea with cake and biscuits - why would they need extra food?

One staff member was a bit more clever than the rest of us. Alison resented being blamed for the theft, and so she did some thinking. It was only the Royale's bar area which always seemed to run out - even though the staff spent very little time there. And Ruby, living close to the lounge area, had spent way too much time there of late, always with some other legitimate reason, like washing her cutlery - when she had her own kitchen. So she became the suspect for the missing food. The kitchen supervisor put a lock on the bar fridge.

We couldn't prove who was taking it of course, so we just put up with the inconvenience of the lock, and got on with life. The next week we had eight litres each of orange juice and milk left  over. Sheesh - Ruby had been drinking eight litres of each, per week.

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