by Anna Blanch on July 26, 2010

Every Monday morning a plate of shortbread appears in the two kitchen areas in the building where my office is located. I don’t always use the kitchens so it took me a few months to even notice the pattern. The wordless plate of freshly home-made shortbread left on top of the small fridge in the kitchen next door to my office every week. At first I thought that it was just another of the sporadically left plates of goodies bakes by the talented wives of my colleagues and then I noticed that this was so regular. It probably took me six months before I tried a piece. Then I realised what I had been missing out on. Melt in your mouth shortbread. 

About a month ago I happened to remark on the overflowing plate and one of my officemates mentioned that it was left there by one of our cleaning ladies. These two ladies Ella and Rachel are always dressed in prim blue uniforms with the university crest on the tunic. They clean our kitchens, mop and vacuum our floors and clean the bathrooms. They organise the plumber when someone clogs up the pipes with coffee gounds, and the Electrician when the new fangled environmentally friendly lights stop working or won’t turn off; they even wrangle IT and organise new stores of printer paper for us. Even though most of the last few fall outside the strict purview of their jobs they are friendly and genuinely care. In short, they make my workplace a comfortable and clean place to be. 

More than this, though, they give shortbread. 

This morning I am sitting at my desk with a cup of Twining’s special edition Rose garden Earl Gray tea, and a little plate of shortbread and my heart is just a little bit joyful. 

Image: Stef Noble

  • The Regal Renegade
  • Goannatree
  • Kaz

    mmm Earl Grey is my fave, oh and shortbread!!!
    You are in heaven :O)
    That is so awesome that they take the time to do the little bit extra! So little of the "bit extra" is done these days
    You should do something special for the ladies for christmas… somehow return the blessings

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