Just another day in the life of Detective Laura

I’ve just got a minor annoyance to share before I start today’s post. I would like to know when the government started dipping into my pay cheque to get student loan repayments? Surely they’ve got to wait till you’re not a student any more? It was only £3 from this month’s pay cheque so it’s not a big deal but I hadn’t realised they were doing it and I’m still technically a student.

Anyway, moving on. I’d like to talk about the time I single handedly fought crime and saved the world… kinda.

I worked in a coffee shop in a station for a few years, while studying my undergraduate degree. This one customer would come in a few times then we wouldn’t see her for months, then she’d come in again, out of the blue. She was Scottish and rude. Not many teeth. Short, orangey badly dyed hair. And she was very confrontational. Any words that came out of her mouth felt like an invitation for a fight. She refused to be served by anyone but the white people who were on shift so sometimes she’d stand for ages, refusing to give her order to the Burmese guy who was on the till that day.

One day, she came and asked for porridge and a chai latte. I made both and she sat down. A few minutes later, she came back to the till and declared that I’d made the porridge wrong. Her main argument seemed to centre around the fact that she was Scottish and, therefore, porridge making was inate in her being, so it was impossible that she could be wrong on this point.

She kept saying that to make porridge, you need pour the hot milk onto the oats, stir it, then let it sit for a few minutes, for the oats to absorb the milk. I, in turn, kept saying that that was EXACTLY what I had done. She got silly with her ‘explaining’ thing so I just said, “Ok, well what would you like me to do about the porridge you’ve got? Would you like a refund or should I make you a new one?”

It was like she couldn’t hear me. She kept ranting and raving about being an expert on porridge and got really rude about it.

“Ok, well I’m sorry about your porridge. There’s a customer behind you so could I just ask you to move along so we can serve her.”

She flipped.

She said she was going to beat me up. She was so angry.

“No, you’re not,” I said calmly. “I’m sorry about your porridge but this conversation is finished now. I need to serve the lady behind you.”

Still spouting threats to kick my head in, she came around the side of the kiosk and shook the side door. I knew she couldn’t get in, there was a code lock.

“I’m going to come in there and kick your head in,” she was saying, or words to that effect.

I sighed, picked up the milk jug and started steaming, for the next customer’s order.

“I’ll get in there!” she was still rabbiting on.

I just turned and looked at her.

“No. You won’t.”

“I will!”

“Well, come on then,” I said. She shook the door, menacingly. I was finding the whole thing highly amusing. Calm as anything, I gave her a withering look (or my best impression of one).

She circled the kiosk back around to the front again, trying to work out a way of beating me to a pulp. She was getting infuriated by my calmness. I could see this so was acting even more calm. She came around to the till again and said she was going to jump over the counter and kick my head in. I stepped aside to make a space to jump into and told her to go for it.

She knew she wouldn’t be able to. It was too high. Clearly wanting to kill me. She remembered the chai latte on the counter, picked it up and threw it inside the kiosk, aiming for me. It had cooled down loads so the bit that went on my arm wasn’t so hot. It went on all the equipment inside the kiosk though.

Realising that she might have done something arrest-able, she scuttled off and I reported it to the transport police, who took a statement.

A week later, I was walking along the high street after work and who should I see wrapped up in a sleeping bag with a paper cup held out, but the angry porridge lady!

I stopped a little further down the road and called the police, as I knew they hadn’t tracked her down yet. They told me to stay put and they’d come down and to inform them if she moved. I was like Inspector Morse or something. I lingered in a nearby phone shop peeping through the window display and trying discreetly to get photos on my phone as evidence in case she moved on. A few minutes later the police arrived. I burst out from my hiding spot and indicated it was her with a discreet, detective-like sideways nod of my head.

They arrested her. She said things like “I haven’t been in that coffee place for months!” And “I’ve never seen her in my life!” But she was carted off and given a fine under the Public Order Offence Act, or something and kept in the cells overnight.

Just another day in the life of Laura “Supremo Crime Fighter” Maisey. Watch out, here I come!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I’d get along to the auditions for CSI London! You could be in there.

    Reply

  2. Hope you collected her spoon and bowl afterwards and sealed them in a polythene bag with a label on so the cops could do a DNA swab at the labs!

    Reply

  3. Something I’ve learned while working in the service industry: some people are just plain ol’ nuts and nothing infuriates crazy like calm and rational. I once had a lady throw a bottle of shampoo at me…

    Reply

    • A bottle of shampoo?! Amazing! Someone must have been very angry! I got another crazy guy yesterday yelling at me about the difference between a korma and a curry. It was mental.

      Reply

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