Another morning at work. Met Tom in the train, and after we arrived we decided to start off the morning with a nice breakfast. Two other guys joined in, and one of them was Andrew. Andrew is one of our new contractors; he’s a strange person and I didn’t like him from day one. Until now this was mostly based on his annoying habbit to grin like a psychopath and never shutting up. Instead of just saying “good morning” he’ll try to drag you into a personal conversation. Daily. And, always, grinning like a maniac.

So we went to the canteen. Andrew was the last in our little group. I was just picking up a Croissant when he was fiddling with the boxes of cutlery. I heard a loud metallic noise and turned in time to see how Andrew had managed to knock dozens of forks and knives onto the tiled floor.

No problem, it happens. What do you do when it does happen? You curse yourself for being clumsy and pick up the stuff you dropped.

Not so Andrew. He basically just stood there. An employee of the canteen, and another woman, proceeded to pick up the stuff. Andrew turned around and came over to the table with the rolls etc. By now, the cutlery had been picked up and the woman addressed Andrew.

“Look,” she said. “If you drop something, you pick it up. Just standing there and watching as other people clean up your mess is rude and shows that you lack basic manners. That’s what people without any kind of acceptable upbringing do.”

Andrew didn’t react to this, just stood there, grinning. I turned to him. “You know, the woman is right. That’s really a dick move of you.”

“But she is well-raised, afterall she picked it all up.”

I really didn’t know what to say to that. I frowned and just shook my head. Left Andrew to pick his choice of breadware and paid. The other two guys were already sitting. I told them what had happened. Took Andrew quite a while to show up, in fact I was already wondering if he dared to still show his face.

He did. And then five minutes later, we knew why he had been delayed. The boss of the canteen and the employee who had picked up the cutlery came to our table. At first I thought they’d tell Andrew he was out of line. But no.

“You wanted to talk to us,” asked the chef.

Andrew confirmed this, and, get this, actually had the audactiy to complain about the way the cutlery was stored!

The chef just told him that the cutlery had been handled this way for fifteen years and that Andrew had been the first person to complain about it. That was the end of it; the two left, leaving a grinning Andrew behind.

I did tell this story to Sven, Hans, and Gaby so far. I’ve no problem to completely ruin his reputation for this – his behaviour was just that unacceptable to me.

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