Monday, March 31, 2014

Never Seen One of These Before


Encountering as an adult, something we've never before imagined existed, is quite an experience.

Things that you never imagined - such as the time changing arbitrarily by an hour.  (Yes, some places in the world actually do this - a most surreal event to be present for).

And then sometimes you encounter an implement that you've never even seen used, but it can't be that difficult - surely?

Mine Host encountered this when once when the boss instructed him to use a pitchfork and move some hay.

Pitchforks are objects that appear in Little Golden Books, and nowhere else.
Actually using one is nowhere near as easy as it looks.
It's like fixing 4 x knitting needles 10cm apart, then with the resulting contraption trying to pick up a pile of drinking straws.

But pitchforks are a unique implement, used only in labour intensive farming enterprises.  It is to be expected that outsiders may be unfamiliar with them, and may take some time to attain basic proficiency.

However some implements are universal.  Or so you'd think.

Mop & Bucket, for example.

On the Wayside Tavern staff was an eager 22 year old Zimbabwen citizen.  He had speed, energy, enthusiasm, and if called in to work unexpectedly, would arrive within 20 seconds, still dressing himself as he ran down the stairs.

This particular day Mine Host had occasion to ask the lad to mop up a liquid spill.  It started well.  Young Mr. Zimbabwe dashed to the laundry, returning at a trot with a mop & bucket.

.... then it all came apart...  He had no idea how to use them.  Yes, he'd seen mops & buckets, but had not the faintest clue what to do with them.

... Turned out he had no idea how to use a broom either.  He didn't even know which way up to hold a broom, or anything else about it.  Keen though he was.

From this starting point, instructing someone on the use of a broom, is not all that easy.

The mop & bucket took quite a bit longer.

So goes life in the pub trade.

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