Home>>read Best of Bosses 2008 free online

Best of Bosses 2008(12)

By:Kate Hardy

Sally rolled her eyes. ‘Welcome to the madhouse, Fran.’

‘Thanks. I think.’ Fran smiled back.

‘Let me show you round,’ Gio said. He gave her a tour of the coffee shop, then showed her into the small staff kitchen, rest room and office at the back of the shop.

Judging by the papers piled in a haphazard mountain on the desk, filing clearly wasn’t his thing—and he obviously knew it, because he looked slightly embarrassed. ‘I do know where everything is. I’m just not that good at putting things away.’

‘And I bet your computer’s the same. All the files lumped under one directory.’

‘I’m not quite that bad.’ Gio’s blue eyes softened. ‘I’ve just been too busy lately to keep on top of the filing. I did tell you I needed someone to sort me out. I’ll get you a coffee and then I’ll talk you through the computer systems.’

He reappeared shortly after with two mugs of coffee.

‘You need these.’ She handed him an envelope. ‘Details for your personnel records.’

He opened the envelope and looked through the files. ‘CV, emergency contact details, NI number, bank details—great, thanks—hmm, no, don’t need these.’ He handed the references back to her without even a cursory scan of the text.

‘Why not?’

‘The new studio owners are probably going to feel guilty about pushing you out so they’ll have written you a very glowing reference to make up for it. On the other hand, they’re also too short-sighted to see what they’ve passed up—so I doubt if their views are worth the paper they’re written on.’ He smiled to take the sting from his words. ‘Besides, I told you yesterday, I’m a good judge of character. So even though one or two of my baristas came with less-than-glowing reports from previous employers, I went by my gut instinct and I was proved right. They came good.’

‘One of your grandmother’s sayings?’ she guessed.

‘If you see the best in people, they’ll give you their best.’ He nodded. ‘Actually, there was one thing we didn’t discuss yesterday. Money. You’re working for Giovanni’s, so you need a salary. What were you on at your last place?’

She told him.

He sighed. ‘I can just about match that, but I’m afraid I can’t raise it. You’d probably get a lot more from a financial services company or one of the big ad agencies.’

‘But you,’ she said, ‘promised me free rein.’

He smiled. ‘I trust you not to make changes just for the sake of it.’ He talked her through the different systems on the computer, showing her how the information was coded for each of the four branches and how they fed into an overall system. ‘Your username is “marsfran”, and this is your password.’ He scribbled her initials and a series of numbers on to a piece of paper.

‘You sorted this out for me already?’

He shrugged. ‘It didn’t take long. Besides, I’d left some papers here that I needed last night.’ He hadn’t stayed particularly long. In peace and quiet with no interruptions, you could get a lot done in a couple of hours. Which was why he was usually in not long after dawn. Before the rush started.

‘I’m beginning to see what your cousin means about you being a workaholic,’ Fran said dryly.

‘Don’t tell me you’re going over to their team. I need you on my side.’ He smiled at her. ‘Well, the best way to get used to new systems and what have you is to play with them. If you get stuck, just give me a yell. I’ll leave you to it to book yourself on the food hygiene course—the place I normally use is in the address book under “food hygiene course”—and take a look through the systems.’

‘And do your filing?’ she asked, raising one eyebrow.

Gio pantomimed innocence. ‘I didn’t ask—but as you’ve just offered…’

She laughed. ‘I’ll see what I can do.’

‘Give me a yell if you need anything or you get stuck. Otherwise, I’ll bring you some coffee and an almond croissant.’ He smiled at her. ‘I haven’t forgotten about the barista training, but the morning rush is probably not the best time to introduce you to the delights of the espresso machine and the milk frother. Maybe if there’s an afternoon lull? Or just before I strip the machines down after we close?’

‘You’re the boss,’ she said lightly. ‘You tell me.’

‘Later,’ he promised, winked, and left her to it.

The day went surprisingly quickly. Fran sorted out the filing and worked through the different systems, making a list of questions for Gio as she went. He came in a couple of times, bearing a cup of coffee or a cool drink—and one time bringing her a list of what he needed ordering from the suppliers for delivery to each branch, the following morning—but for the most part she was on her own in Gio’s office.