Saturday, 2 July 2016

Saturday, July 02, 2016 -

The Caning of the School Dinner Ladies

by James Simpson
Published: Jun 20, 2016
Words: 16,591
Category: caning, school
Orientation: M/F
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Caroline's story

I was the canteen manageress at a very old established, traditional, semi-independent boys' grammar school in the sixties, very happy in my job, and fully intended to remain there until my retirement. However, one day an incident occurred which was so serious it nearly led to me losing my job.

It was a busy Monday morning and our annual audit was due. The Bursar, Mr Eric Williams, a very precise and pedantic semi-retired chartered accountant, had requested the canteen annual accounts, and I was in my office double-checking and entering and filing the latest invoices.

I had delegated kitchen responsibility for that week to my supervisor Maggie Jones, a capable organiser but a rather uninspired cook, who was in her mid-forties. At least I knew she would never take risks or allow bad practices.

The senior cook was Jackie Dawson who had only recently moved into the neighbourhood after being tragically widowed by an unfortunate accident. She was a superb and very experienced cook and produced inspired and delicious meals on our miserable budget. I had been extremely fortunate that, due to a personal tragedy, she had left her previous job as a chef and, after a gap at home, had looked for a less demanding position, eventually choosing ours. Her main course menu was an enormous improvement on Maggie's uninspired but edible and filling school stodge, although Maggie was a superb pudding cook. The only irritant was that the bursar was able to say 'I told you so, a shilling per portion is quite adequate if you know what you're doing.'

Another recently arrived employee who worked in the kitchen as a general help, mainly doing the cleaning and washing-up, was a young and very pretty Irish girl called Siobhan Fitzpatrick who had just come to England and was living with her aunty. She was a very willing and hard worker, but hadn't been well educated by the nuns. We were soon to discover just how lacking her education was.

I had approved the week's menu and budgets and was concentrating completely on the last quarter's accounts when Maggie suddenly burst into the room and shrieked, "Come quickly, Caroline, something's gone badly wrong!"

I put my pen down and with as much dignity as I could muster I entered the dining hall to find the Headmaster waiting for me.

He directed me to taste a teaspoonful of cottage pie; I carefully took a tiny taste and spat it out immediately. It was so salty it made me gag, and I drank a glass of water.

I looked at him and said as calmly as possible, "A little too salty I think, Headmaster; I shall investigate further."

The Headmaster replied, "A masterpiece of understatement I think, Mrs Brown. However, I shall leave the matter in your capable hands. Please report to me tomorrow morning after assembly. My secretary will phone you to let you know when I'm available."