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Jeremy Pearce - 09 Dec 2020


"It had been a Complete abuse of man by man by mankind " "The printer had been rattling like a Gattling gun spewing out Check after check relentlessly till the place reached capacity "

I had a pretty good guess at what was going to happen just before the seven day holiday in Lanzarote in the beginning of March .The hospitality industry wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders in 2019 or the economy.  The pub restaurant sector is always a good barometer of the real state of the economy, opposed to the bent statistics spewed out by The Office Of Statistics and the Christmas run started late too coinciding with the political uncertainties and the ongoing Brexit farcical mess and now as the Italian Lock down commenced, it would only be a case of days until the Tory Government would follow suite and follow its European counterparts.  As we watched a lot of Fake Chinese on line footage of dead bodies in the streets and fumigation on social media and the ever decreasing availability of proper news whipped up more and more hysteria and everyone became shit scared about their businesses and job security.  Mass hysteria panic buying cleared supermarkets of bog roll and pasta.  I had no job security being in the gig economy but did know that the industrial sector would still be operating so I signed up with Blue Arrow A long established temp agency that specializes in these staffing sectors that I had used in the past and they have kept me going just about, till  the time im writing this.

The rest of Europe had put together Furlough schemes to stave off mass unemployment and poverty and safeguard the Arts.  The UK government farted into the wind for a long time and the Snake oil salesman Sunak chancellor of the exchequer put together a rushed thought out plan, open to blatant mass fraud that gave money to a lot of  people  who did not need assistance but left 100,000s deep in the shit and still does .They neglected to provide any clear guidance or support for the Hospitality casual labour  and will continue to do so as the economic crisis beds deeper and deeper into QE and Brexit and Trillions of Debt and bankruptcy.

Last year I had been treading water basically earning enough to get by and enjoying myself writing ,Getting more involved in Campfire and doing what I wanted to do. I had decided to, when the spring came and the rain stopped. Invest in a mobile food unite and sell my own food off it. I have the "Life Skills"  to do this with out much guess work and wouldn't have anyone feeding off me either.  My main income had come from a company called Evolve hospitality, they work as middle men (Technically Labour  pimps ) who together with about ten other companies.  This one being one of the more coherently run that supply catering labour to the high profit margin end of the industry in London Event /Contract.  The big contract caterers who supply the" In house food requirements" for big offices and banks  and Directors dining, surly a massive "Tax deductible must have " For wining and dining clients.  The true arse hole of the industry and sports arenas like soccer clubs cricket grounds and race tracks.  These arenas are Carved up by Compass, a vile catering conglomerate that turns over massive amounts of money for share holder dividends and CEO' s at the expense of paying decent wages that trickle down and  a company called Delaware North, named after an off shore tax haven in the USA, that operate with the same principle and Sodexo the French conglomerate with its fingers in many holes.

When Sunak  announced his scheme and happy days I thought I would be covered   I had been working on the books for Evolve for the criteria period so I emailed them .The emails I received I cant copy and paste on to this blog because there s a legal notice at the bottom saying they can take legal action if I do, so basically they told me that they had worked out their Furlough scheme making anyone who wasn't on active payroll week before 19th March 2020, would get sweet fuck all and the last work I had carried out for them was the 8th December 2019.  I should guess they shafted a lot of people doing this and I guess if I read the reports right pocketed £2k from the government for every person they didn't furlough.  I tried to contact the Inland revenue about it, but no one could he everything had melted. 

I was also working for a company called Syft and I finished work a few weeks later with on the Christmas and they sorted out Furlough for me?  They actually sorted this out I think two weeks before Evolve even started. I have a stream of emails that I sent and got answers back from the "Temp Controller" I had been delegated work through and his attitude and ignorance and rudeness was quite shocking  It was quite a shock actually getting looked after at all by one of these companies and Syfts doing it again or genuinely attempting too for their catering Labour force.  So they do actually care about their people on the books and possibly the only company with any morality.  I read a shocking Guardian article back at the start of lock down.  A reporter had written an article about jobless homeless hospitality workers just roaming the streets in central London. The industries massive. A lot of restaurant labour is still illegal and very low paid and a lot made up of young transient migrant labour. Lots of people were just fired .I noticed last year I was working with many Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Greeks who when I asked them said the European central bank had put such bad debt and austerity measures that unemployment and slavery wages that didn't even pay for a roof over their heads. This left them alone of a normal existence with workers rights and even though the extortionate London rent they were better off here .I guess a lot of this labour and the massive influx from the Balkans have gone back home now when they actually could.

Eat out to help out . The supply and Labour  chain and the Covid spikes

I got pretty suspicious about the Supermarket Power grab through this .They have completely different supply net works to the Restaurant and dine out industries .  Dry Goods and perishables It was like a" Power Grab "  .When Lock down happened every thing stopped but the same amount of people in the country stayed basically the same . So Say Tesco for example sources most of its pig mince from Poland .because even with the transportation They make more profit .There must have been tons of produce just destroyed .Left rotting in the fields with no one to pick it or distribute  I was also thinking  of fresh fish landed with no buyer and no way to ship out because the continents population was on house arrest too  . The bulk of the population only eat certain cuts of meat and fish  when they eat out .So Sunaks fired the starting pistol and all the Chaves have rushed out for a something for nothing deal .Ive got a mate who runs the Kitchen in a very busy destination (Gastro Pub) 4miles from me Ive worked there my self .When I popped up to see him he had turned grey with stress and tired ness .This place is nothing special food wise but its not branded and every things made in house  .Its consistent .The place had been recently sold to a builder with dubious business interests  who was putting decking in and renovation at a really slow rate before the deal and still when it kicked off .All the equipment for processing high volume of food  had either been stolen or trashed and the only bit of surviving kit left was a Hobart mixer and a Rational and the new owner wasnt paying for any new equipment  .My m8 reckoned possible 350k plus went through the tills during the period .200 covers a day with no social distancing and skeleton staff  .Years back I worked in a Modern European restaurant that kicked mad volume This too was local but has been shut for almost 2 years now  It had a Zimbabwean Kitchen porter known as the "Doctor "who worked there for years  He was very dark and always wore Yellow marigolds .Doctor came out with some words of wisdom  He exclaimed them after a particularly brutal service and he Said "It was a complete abuse of man by man of man kind by mankind " and I had never heard anything so accurate and eloquent and this was what my friend and his sous and chef de parties had been subjected to for the complete duration of it and that includes the suppliers too .And then the deal ended and the numbers dropped right down .My mate said during the time when the Chaves and value pie chicken nugget chewers crawled out of the wood work he was actually sent an order for a Cote de beuf medium on one side and rare on the other .Came through on the check printer as it was firing off like a Gattling gun These people didn't tip either .Just ignorant ungrateful scum .

So now we have had another economic stop and 3 weeks before Christmas The government decides to let hoards of drunk un masked people go out on a food shopping and Booze frenzy depending if the ridiculous non functioning tracking system puts where you actually live into a certain tier bracket  .I just went to another close friends mother and fathers funeral this week .He just lost both in a week to this virus

Then they decide to put every one on house arrest again  Way after any restaurant or catering businesses could cancel orders Leaving  everyone unable to sell anything .What they did was so clumsy and detached from any kind of sane competent government is just incomprehensible .Its almost as if they are intentionally trying to break people

Right through this I have mostly been picking up shifts in places that either have staff sick or quarantined and touch wood I hadnt picked anything up ,that is until last week  when I was sent to work in a junior school In Canning town with the development chef for Caterlink .What Im about to write is true and I still cant believe how criminally negligent the man was .Covid had been running rampant through all the London councils schools that wanted to shut them early .This place all the catering staff were positive or quarentined  .I was booked on a 7am till 2 shift for 4 days All we were doing was making cold packed lunches upto 900 sandwiches a day and cake .On the monday morning  He arrived with another relief chef from Caterlink (Part of Baxter Storey) For  the last 5 months where ever I worked catering workers wore masks I was here But none were provided I had to use one I had brought with me .This bloke not only didnt  cover his face with one ,he had one round his neck the whole 4 days .Also happened to have a filthy bronchial cough I never saw him wash his hands once the whole period either .He also was using his mobile phone whilst preparing sandwiches .This looked like it was in a porous case .He never once sanitized it .There were no disposable gloves on site either and the surface sanitizer and degreaser cleaning products were both blue .What was inside the surface sanitizer bottles I dont know I thought the practice of making industrial cleaning products the same colour as black current drink concentrate had been banned years ago after old ladies in care homes were accidently given drain unblocker to drink .So here I am watching this bloke whos in charge of Menu development, health and safety and staff training  do this like as if he was some Qannon Gammon from Greys .On the Tuesday I was surprised he turned up because he said he was visiting another site in Dagenham but he said the place had been shut down because 160 kids tested positive the day before .

Monday I woke up coughing with a sore throat and today I posted off my Serco Swab to see if what I had picked up was Covid(wheather the tests accurates debatable anyway ) .I feel fine now  glands are up but the coughings stopped sitting at my lap top quarantining ,because quite possibly the idiots given me it . It might not be Covid But what ever it is if he gave it to me would most probably ended up in alot of Tuna mayonaise sandwiches  Happy Solstice and Happy christmas

So the madness rolls on conspiracy or not and we are all caught up in this Led by donkeys into the Brexit abis and the Disaster capitalists wet dream .Sitting tight waiting for the money to run out and Nigella Lawson to cook the "Last Supper "for the Old School Club whilst Sunak tells us all to spend our life savings .Anyone fancy some French revolutionary cake after Christmas because He definitely seams as detached from the bulk of the populations predicament as Marie Antoinette was in the 17th Century

Campfire x




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