We have a staff canteen. It’s generally considered rather dingy and not somewhere you’d really want to hang out. The food is mostly OK though the menu is a bit repetitive. Oh, and the staff are insane.

Traindrivers are a strange lot. Tell us to stop skiving and get our arses on a train and we’ll refuse to move until you’ve politely asked us to stop skiving and please get our arses on a train. Make a managerial decision to change some of our cab equipment and we’ll sulk and not use it. Mutter about new rules and we’ll mutter about strikes. Mess us about in the canteen…oh, well, that’s ok then, sorry to be a trouble.

There is a theory that the insanity is of recent origin and mostly induced by antihistamines. This theory arose following the day that nobody actually got the food they ordered and the cook wandered off before any of us could pay. I have to say that I didn’t mind. The beef pie was just as yummy as the chicken one would have been although I’m not sure what the veggie guy thought of his fish and chips. But I don’t reckon this was down to drugs. Oh no. This kind of lunacy and goes way back.

As a prime example I present: The Cheeseburger Incident. The Cheeseburger Incident took place quite some time ago. In an unprecedented and never-to-be-repeated culinary experiment the surly French manager decreed that we should have cheeseburgers. The cooks duly complied and procured burger buns, grated cheese and patties of beef which were combined into a tasty meal. They were enjoyed by all who tried them. Except for one driver who (for reasons we won’t go into at the moment) I refer to as The Kidnapper.

The Kidnapper arrived at the canteen and duly ordered a cheeseburger. He was advised that it would take about ten minutes and sat down to lament not having been shortlisted for a promotion. We sympathised and after the alloted time period he was called back for his burger. I wandered over at the same time to buy a drink and watched him pay for his cheeseburger and drink. £1.20. Now our canteen is not expensive but there’s no way a cheeseburger and drink is that cheap. Hmmmmm. He glanced at his cheeseburger but all seemed well. Everything was there. Bun…check. Cheese…check. Burger….um….”Isn’t there something missing?”

“Cheeseburger”,replied the cook.
“Um….I think you forgot a bit”
“Yeah, there’s no burgers left”, she explained,
“Um…right…so this is a cheese roll then?”, enquired The Kidnapper as myself and the others in the canteen collapsed laughing.
“No, we don’t sell cheese rolls. They’re not on the menu. Look, there’s no butter. It’s a cheeseburger”
“…”
“I gave you a discount!”
“um….ok then”,

And with that he meekly sat down and ate his cheese roll…sorry, cheeseburger. After all, sometimes a thing is SO wrong you don’t know where to start in correcting it.

And you know, even though that’s weird and funny it’s not the strangest bit. What I want to know is ‘what was going on during the ten minutes it took to make the cheeseburger?’

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