FRIDAY 16 JUNE – TUESDAY 20 JUNE LITCHFIELD
These were routine days to begin with.
Boss 1 seemed to be feeling in an unusually expansive mood on Friday morning. He really was quite mercurial. He decided that we should have a staff breakfast, starting at 8 and opening the cafe a little later than usual. We sat out on the lawns in front of the cafe, eating grilled haloumi cheese that he had made for us, and drinking coffee. It was a pleasant start to the day.
The boss swap happened as usual on Sunday, with boss 1 and B heading off to Darwin.
But boss 2 came down with some sort of flu bug, during Sunday afternoon, and took to his bed in the old caravan.
That left the three of us to look after the evening trade at the cafe.
I had to wing it a bit with the evening menu items. Fortunately I had observed the men making things like the special rice they served with the poached fish. Also fortunately, only a couple of meals were required on each night – and they were items I knew how to do. Also fortunately, the dinner guests did not stay late.
As well as staying on duty for the evening meals, I had to start early in the mornings, due to having the cafe open for breakfast from 8am. I did a couple of 12 and 13 hour days.
Each of the two nights that boss was off crook, I closed up the cafe and took the register tray to his caravan, before heading off to ours. I didn’t know what the bosses usually did with it, but I wanted to be safe.
We had noticed that each of the bosses, when heading off for their turn in Darwin, took a heap of cash out of the cafe register. The register itself did not work properly – hitting the keys only rang up that sale and opened the cash drawer, it did not tally any ongoing amount. So there was no record generated. We felt this was risky – made it easy for any light fingered staff. i.e. some of the WOOFERS, who we overheard talking about helping themselves to some pocket money. There was no way of knowing what should be in the till. I decided the book keeping here must have been somewhat hit and miss!
When we first started work at the cafe, wondered if there was a cash flow problem – that might have accounted for the fact of no produce deliveries. For a while, wondered if we would get paid! That seemed delayed, but we had received some wages now, and could only hope that they got all caught up – and that the compulsory superannuation got transferred as it should. This was especially so as all of John’s wages were to be salary sacrificed into super! But, sometimes one had to both trust their gut feelings about people – and I felt boss 2 would do the right things – and just have some faith.
John was given Tuesday off. He enjoyed his leisure, but of course it meant no wages for that day. But I needed to start at 7.45 to open the cafe, and was needed to do the bulk of the kitchen work. Although boss was back on deck, he was still not feeling great and went off to have an afternoon sleep.
I finished at 6.15, when he came up to take over and do the dinner shift.