Community Spirit – Episode 32

JEANNIE pressed Send and whizzed a job application out into the ether and hopefully into the inbox of someone who would take one look at her CV and know she was the candidate for them.

There were plenty of jobs out there, but not at the level Jeannie would prefer. Most were for kitchen or waiting staff, but she couldn’t stay at the Goose for much longer, so she didn’t feel as though she had much choice.

She stood and stretched. The clock on the computer told her Tasha would be home soon, hungry

and grumpy until she’d been fed. The cupboards offered up little; it would be either pasta with a tomato sauce, or noodles with sweet and sour.

Jeannie knew she should cook something fresh, but time was limited and the fridge was even more bare than the cupboards.

As she reached for the noodles the doorbell rang.

Pamela bowled into the lounge, instantly taking in the job application still open on the computer. She looked Jeannie over with a mixture of concern and practicality.

“I won’t stop,” Pamela said. “I’m sure you’ve got supper on the go, but I wondered if you were interested in a catering job. It’s just a dinner party for a few of my husband’s business associates, and because we’re local it won’t be a problem that you don’t have the van.”

“Oh, that sounds great,” Jeannie gushed. “How many for?”

“There will be eight for dinner, but one’s a vegetarian, one doesn’t eat red meat, and one’s allergic to mustard.” Pamela rolled her eyes.

“That will make the menu more challenging,” Jeannie admitted. “But if it’s only eight people, why aren’t you catering it yourself?”

“Oh, Bernard has been talking about these clients for months and, quite frankly, I think they’ve been stringing him along, but he’s convinced a dinner party will seal the deal. Then he started telling me about their dietary requirements and I thought I’d pass and leave it to a real expert.”

“Pam, it’s really kind of you, but I don’t expect you to give me a job when it’s something you’re quite capable of doing yourself.”

“You’ll be doing me a favour, I can assure you,” Pamela told her.

“I rather suspect it would be the other way round.”

Pamela pulled herself up to full height.

“If you’re implying I regard you as a charity case then you’re wrong. Did I mention the pescatarian?”

“Er, no.” Jeannie giggled.

“Well, there’s one of those as well. I mean, honestly, I can’t be bothered!”

Jeannie smiled.

“If you’re sure you don’t want to do it?”

To her credit, Pamela looked genuinely relieved.

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “You’re a life saver. Now I can concentrate on helping Bernard win them over.”

Alison Cook