“One of the toughest jobs when managing a business is keeping the takings and sales in order. Would you fire everyone if the tills didn’t add up to what was sold one day?”
Andy had been a publican for many years. Those who knew him, called him eccentric, to say the least. He always wore the brightest shirts and mismatched ties. Even his glasses look to have been made from a packet of Skittles. That was the least of his eccentricities. He was obsessed when it came to counting his takings. Being accurate made him smile. Inaccurate made him mad! He’d line up every coin and note in banks of five — then count them five times. If the figures were good, he’d rearrange everything into banks of ten — then count everything ten times to be sure. With the takings counted, he turned his attention to the proof of sales sheets. He’d go through every transaction; checking and counting every single penny. Two hours of counting every night would ensure the takings and sales were right to the penny. They always were; until they weren’t.
“What! How can I be twenty pounds down!” he yelled to nobody as he completed his accounts at 1 AM. “I’ll begin again,” he determined as he laid the money out once more.
Again, and again; all night he counted. Try as he might the discrepancy never grew smaller. twenty pounds was indeed missing. “Perhaps something wrong with my calculator. Nope — No … That’s preposterous I count everything in my head!” Andy began pacing. He downed a glass of water. Took up as proof of sale sheets and scanned every last detail for the fiftieth time. “I have a thief!”
Bartenders Susie, Alice, Richmond and Terence were all summoned and regimented by the bar at 10 AM. Each decked out in black trousers and their choice of brightly coloured shirt. Each looked petrified with only their eyes moving, following Andy as he roamed back and forth before them.
“Andy, what’s wrong? I can tell by the circles under your eyes you never went to bed last night,” Susie said looking concerned for her boss.
“We have a thief. One of you stole twenty pounds last night. I …”
“No, that’s not possible none of us would steal anything,” Richmond said looking shocked as he glanced at the others. Had they? Could they steal anything?
“Don’t interrupt me, Richmond.” Andy scowled at him, “I counted everything a hundred times. I checked and rechecked all night long. I finally gave up just thirty minutes ago. Twenty pounds is missing and one of you took it!”
“Never. You look shattered. Why don’t you let us count everything to be sure,” Alice said looking hopeful for a solution.
“My maths are sharp and perfectly accurate. The accounts are always accurate to the last penny. It is an eccentric day when I get something wrong … “
The bartenders looked at each other struggling not to laugh.
Andy caught them and banged a hand on the tabletop. “This is not funny. You have five minutes to own up or I’ll fire you all!”
Terence looked at his colleagues and received a nod. “Andy, did you happen to look at the clock when you started counting?”
“What? Why would I do that when counting?” Andy snapped.
“Humour him. What time was it when you started counting?” asked Susie.
“12:15 AM why?”
“The date?” Richmond pressed.
Andy’s eyes roamed between his team members faces. “April’s first.”
“April fooled you!” Everyone pulled on large grins. Each withdrew a five pounds note from his or her pocket.
“Five, ten, fifteen, twenty.” Andy counted each note five times, “You mean you each stole five pounds as a joke?”
“Yes, we always work hard to make sure our tills are spot on every day for you. You see, we know how much you love all of your figures to be accurate. We thought, just for once, it’d be funny if the tills were inaccurate. We didn’t expect you to stay up all night counting though.” Alice collected the money and presented it to Andy with a huge box of chocolates. “We’re sorry if the joke went too far. Here’s your twenty-pounds making the account accurate again. This box of chocolates is from our own money as a gift to you. To thank you for being a wonderful boss.”
“Thank you, Andy!” Everyone chorused.
Andy took the money and chocolates with teary eyes. Looking around at his team he shook his head. “I should still fire you all on the spot.” He broke into a broad smile, “However, that was a damn good joke and a very nice gesture. Happy April Fools’ Day everyone!”
Have a great day!