Dave and ‘Jim’
By The Eaghams
Note from the author: This short story is about a cool, suave restaurant owner, affectionately known as ‘Jim’, aka Jamal, who runs the restaurant in full style and panache in Central London. A few points of interest regarding his approach and manner is noted in the short story.
To continue reading the interconnected short story series simply click on the character’s link embedded in the body of the text. Samantha, Nigel and Luke.
The lively white guy came in to do the carpet cleaning. He was working class but cleaned carpets for all classes, his services were genuine quality. He assumed a tender tone talking to the Asian boss of the restaurant, as if it was his wife, ever so slightly, you wouldn’t’ve guessed. They were vegetarian, and more sensible with their drink. The Asian boss he referred to frequently as ‘man’, as one does to Asian’s throughout London. Asians were cool and debonair without trying, they were true Londoners! They emphasised style over the mighty cheer he had known on nights out on the town. The white folks from the local area called the boss ‘Jim’, short for his real name ‘Jamal.’
The previous carpet cleaner, was a bit quiet, who needed to stand has ground, as it was unravelled – he did his work and that was it. The Asian boss asked him asked him ‘How the hell are ya?’ in a cheerful tone. He needed to be talked to a bit to offset his mood.
The boss found it a bit laborious, so he rang up Dave, eventually. ‘Chop, chop’ he added politely, as it was furiously busy -A new booking was just made by the senior waiter, under the name Samantha. She was bringing two guests: Her husband Nigel, and his brother, Luke – The boss was adding the sauces to two starter plates with one hand.
Dave came in the time of the new year and as the boss was now doing his accounts at one of his tables saved for customers of up to four, who would wait with pints served from the bar area. He was effortlessly nimble with his figures, the large, simple to use calculator, he tapped through in seconds.
He and Dave talked about how he was redoing up the place, which he did periodically. They chatted about the wallpaper, the seats and the tables and the napkin designs and rings. He used a variety of storage items for the various ingredients they used. The wine merchant had arrived with his van of casement and papers, receipts, and so forth, that required signatures. He twirled the pen, flamboyantly. He had ordered several cases of French wine that went into their wine cellar.
The bar area was a place where the five drivers were contacted via phone, the orders ready to dispatch, they joked and jived, and came in and out through the entrance doors.
He signalled for the waiter to bring him a cup of coffee, as he worked through the night, doing the business’s stats. He was an unassuming kind of man, and he employed staff who were quite lively and raucous. He was almost shy, and his stuff were here, there, everywhere in the staff house, he remembered that one of his staff wanted his annual holiday, and he worked around that and rang the catering staff company, asking if they had staff available, his staff frequently argued about which days they would have free, and which days they were to cover for the working week ahead…
His listening rather than his professional authority, seemed to calm the team and brought them back to their senses, he seemed at once composed, and decisively open to what the colleagues said. It was difficult to work out what he quietly worked out but that was why he was the boss, he took everything in his stride, in flow, and many things worked out, in the clear and strategic way he had anticipated, eventually.
2. Actor Dude
3. Boy from Bath
7. The Workplace
8. Jack and Joseph
9. On Motivation
11. The Deep Sea Diver
12 After The War
13. Nigel, Samantha and Luke
14 James Changzhu
15. Ali and Some Books
16. Joe Bloggs
17. Naveed and Rupesh
21. Mr Jameson
22. Little John
23. Adventures of Zhi Xin
24. Dave and ‘Jim’