We have two new members in the office this week. Well three if I include Bruno! Please note, however, I would prefer not to include Bruno. So, who is Bruno you wonder? I will get to him in a minute. For now I want to tell you about two new members of staff. ( Oh and by the way I haven’t forgotten about Farhad, our Persian friend who spits on the floor if you mention the ayatollah Khomeini…..not that we do, that often, but if it does slip out, then cover your shoes. But more about Farhad another day………
I would like to introduce Tomasso here. Tomasso is from Roma, so that should tell you plenty. He does have a very catchy line in shirts and wears a beautiful ironed one each day with different cuff links. He also said he doesn’t wear after shave but would prefer to call it cologne. Well whatever it is he is wearing, is so strong we don’t need any sort of air freshner in any part of the building. Yes, you can smell him at 100 paces… so getting him out of the office so we could get some fresh air was a ” must do” However his idea of business wear was as original as Akiels. But I digress…. His first assignment with us hasn’t gone too well. He had to take a group to Arundel for the afternoon before they went on to Portsmouth. It all seemed to be going well but after the Castle he had to walk them across a field, by the side of the lake and out onto the main road to meet the coach. We talked him through it. We gave him a map. He showed the coach driver ( who happened to be female, ) where she was to meet him and off he went.
An Italian in charge of other Italians. Well, it seemed a good idea at the time. About 30 minutes after the agreed rendezvous time, the coach driver called to say that her group had still not been seen making their way across the fields . She was a trifle concerned. I said to give it ten more minutes and then I would call him. I didn’t want to contact him on his first sojourn in case he thought we didn’t trust him. So we waited.. and waited.
After forty minutes the driver called back. She was on her way to look for them. She was, to put it mildly, concerned! I called Tomasso and no answer. I tried again and again. Finally I got a call back… so if nothing else, we had made contact. I wasn’t prepared for his reply. ” Tomasso, where are you?”
“Lost. Lost. On no, we are lost. Oh what can I do. Alone out here in the wilderness”
“Well just a little bit maybe dramatic Tomasso. You cant be far off track and lets be honest, its hardly wilderness. Do you have any idea from the map?” Silence followed.
” Tomasso…. do you know where you are? ”
“No No No” he replied in more than a state of panic. This was, as they say in the movies, NOT going well. I wondered about my next move when all of a sudden I heard a bit of a whimper. ” Tomasso, is that you? Are you crying”
Silence save for a sniff. A muffled one, but a sniff.
“Tomasso, whats happening?”
“Oh I don’t know. Where are we? It will be dark soon. We will be lost in fields. It will be like Picnic at Hanging Rock.
We will be dead. All dead. Oh I don’t want to die in a field in England. ”
I didn’t bother to say any more. What was the point. It was obviously walking around the Lake which put that idea into his head. He was definitely showing his Italian Side and with that it was panic full speed ahead. I called the coach driver and being a woman ( sorry about that Blokes!) she didn’t panic. She said ” don’t worry, I will wander ( wander? oh please run…) down and see if I can find them in the field. I know the route they should be taking.”
Meanwhile, whilst Tomasso was out having his own private drama lesson, I was left with Bruno in the office. Meet Bruno….
and yes, those teeth are real !!! Sadly the trade off was if Tomasso went and looked after our Italian Group and impressed them with his chi chi Roma style, we would look after Bruno. But Bruno is a small dog with a huge chip on his shoulder. And whilst he is ok when Tomasso is around, when left alone he becomes a right royal pain. Tomasso acquired him from his dead neighbour. She died almost because of Bruno or more accurately because of him!.
Apparently because the old lady ill treated Bruno he bit her one day. She deserved it, I am sure you will agree. Sadly though he bit her on her freshly amputated leg. ( that’s the honest truth). She had lost her leg because she was diabetic. So he bit the stump and it became infected… she died! He was homeless and so Tomasso adopted him. He said he is normally very noisy but at the funeral he took Bruno and Bruno was very quiet. Almost smug one would say.
Anyway, no one goes near him and we leave him to sleep in his doggy bed, which was purloined from an Italian hotel Tomasso once worked at . We also seem to trip over dog toys and bones and he has only been here a matter of a week or so. No one has the nerve to move them and we leave them where they are dropped. ( as the Pilot used to say, ” Jacks, this is about to become interesting!” ) and for once, I can concur with that.
However he seems to smell a change in situation and when Tomasso leaves, then the little darling comes right to life and bothers and worries around our ankles. With teeth like that, who would upset him but I do notice a lot of feet on the desks currently?
Meanwhile, Mohammed comes into the office having just stopped in on his way home.
” Ah Missis, bad day today. ” ( he seems to forget I have a name and always refers to me as Missis)
“Whats wrong Mohammed? Not taken anyone down in the Sim (Simulator) today?”
Mohammed now has to keep a very low profile at Flying School because the last time he was in the Simulator he showed off by trying to get an A320 to do a ” loop the loop”. Needless to say, the Instructors were not impressed and he is on a Warning. He, however, doesn’t seem to worry because, as he told me, his father paid someone in Benghazi to get him through his test there and, for some strange reason, he thinks the CAA will be just as open to that idea.! Oh the ignorance of youth….
Anyway, the bad news wasn’t anything to do with flying but rather Mohammed having a fall out with lovely Soo from the Co-Op. He fancied some fish for tea and popped into the Co-Op to buy some. Sadly, however, he didn’t find any and so thought he would ask Soo where they were. Soo, was very agitated by the question and said they didn’t sell any. Mohammed was most insistent that he had bought them in there before and continued to stand his ground. Soo thought he was taking ” the mick” and walked away. That resulted in Mohammed getting even more irritated and shouting some curse in Arabic at her. Additionally, he popped his head into the Freezers moving everything about and sliding the lids to one side without closing them. Eventually he was asked to leave. He didn’t go easily either and caused quite a fuss at the check outs. I asked him what he had said to upset Soo, because Soo is so lovely no one could or would want to upset her.
” Oh Missis, she was so rude. So rude. She lied. She said they didn’t sell sea horses and I shouldn’t bring my dirty food habits to England. She upset me, Missis, she did. Because I know this lady lie to me. I buy sea horses there all the time. I don’t have dirty food habits”
It took me a minute or two to realise his idea of Sea horses, were really our ideas of prawns. I slipped downstairs and went in search of Soo. I explained to her and she started to laugh. And laugh and laugh so much she had to grab the counter to steady herself. I returned a few minutes later with King Prawns and dropped them in Mohammed’s lap. As he opened them, along came Bruno, who had obviously smelt the fish. Mohammed quietly shared them with him. Well with teeth like Bruno’s, would you?
Oh and in case you are interested, the driver found Tomasso. He didn’t get murdered and they all drove off happily to Portsmouth. As for Bruno…. well he is currently on a 3 month trial ( along with his owner ) His bed is going to be moved to the cloakroom and I am going to demand Tomasso feeds him before he comes to the office.
Meanwhile, Mr Wu has been googling ” how to braise a dog” and leaves the window open on Tomasso’s computer. Strange, but somehow I sense Tomasso wont be with us for too long. So until next time….. arrivederci 🙂
PS> Tomasso and Bruno out on one of Bruno’s teeth filing walks.