An Upsetting Mr. Laudrup…

Date: 18th November 2022

This week’s second blog from our Donald.

An Upsetting Mr. Laudrup…

You know what happens directly after your promotion…

All your mates, former colleagues and those who slapped your backs and told you just how wonderful you were slowly become a best of vipers.

Instead of feeling warmth on your back from good wishes, you feel the threat of something lodged between your shoulder blades. It’s a heady turn around…

Imagine becoming shift supervisor at the local fast food, burger joint. Gorgeous Burgers of Govan a few months ago, recruited Mr. Van Bronckhorst as the new early shift manager after he agreed to return to the shop. He had previously worked the floor but had left for pastures new a few years back but now, he was back…

Initially people had been very excited by the appointment until one night last week, after a particularly testing shift, things came to a head with a certain Mr. Laudrup…

Picture the scene…

It is before the dinner rush and the early shift are about to handover to the late shift. For years the tradition had always been that at about 2.45pm, the early shift would shut the doors, roll down the shutters and close for a maximum of ten minutes to tell the late shift, on until the place closed at 1am, the state of the stock and the state of the till. It was a tradition instigated by the late owner who remembered that pubs used to shut in the afternoon but had forgotten why in the mists of his memory, but he wanted to keep to some kind of tradition, because he liked the way things once were rather than the way they should be. Initially he closed for about an hour and a half, but the loss of revenue kicked his idea near to touch until he decided that there should be at least a nod to tradition on a daily basis and closed for much shorter time that he had initially planned. Despite many objections, when the new owner took over, the tradition remained.

And the Gorgeous Burgers of Govan are a shop steeped in tradition. Winners of various awards over the years, they have been Scotland’s top burger establishment many a time until financial irregularity saw the shop come close to shutting years ago. Saved, eventually, after a few ne’er-do-wells had tried to exploit it, it was now competing back, close to the top and hoping to beat everyone once again to become Scotland’s top burger joint.

Mr. Van Bronckhorst was brought in to deliver that as part of a mini restructure.

Most thought it was an inspired appointment. Mr. Laudrup had kept his council. Until now.

Taking the new shift through the stock situation, Mr. Laudrup was taking advantage of Mr. Van Bronckhorst having nipped to the loo.

“Look guys,” began Mr. Laudrup, “we need to turn this around. The results have not been good.”

From the back a voice piped up. “It’s because of the new European stuff. People didn’t like it. Who wants that in their burger?”

There is a murmur of agreement from people round about them. One other voice adds to the dissent. “We should stick to Scottish stuff. People are more worried about us delivering the Scottish stuff.” Another, emboldened, joins the momentum with more bitterness. “We need the triple stack back. People were right on board with the triple stack. We need a commitment that shall see the treble delivered.”

Sensing that things were beginning to take a more militant stance than he had envisaged, Mr. Laudrup, decided to try and calm things down a bit. Of course, his was a little more Mark Anthony than Caesar when he said, “look, the European stuff is off the menu for the now. We don’t have to worry about the constant midweek disappointment anymore. We can concentrate on delivering the Scottish stuff.”

There was a murmur of agreement in the shop. Emboldened, Mr. Laudrup went one stage further. “Look, I know,” he began. “Things have been a bit tough of late. Mr. Van Bronckhorst, to some of us, looks like he has given up a little bit, but we need to rally. This shop, our shop, has been here before. We can rally and we can build, and we can be the best again. Trust me. You all know me.” They did. He was the flip cook with flair, the man who added hot wings onto the menu and revolutionised Gorgeous Burgers of Govan when he was there. He was part of a golden time when they could stomach a bit of European adventure.

“So what, if Mr. Van Bronckhorst doesn’t look like the guy who is certain he can turn things around.” Et tu Brute? “He is who we have and what we need to work with. And until there is change, we need to all pull in the same direction.”

With that, Mr. Laudrup picked up his coat to depart. He knew how to make an exit as the assembled throng looked ready to burst into a round of applause for his stirring speech, his final words delivered to the sound of the Dyson Blade in the men’s toilets. Mr. Laudrup’s disappearing out of the front door as Mr. Van Bronckhorst appeared through the toilet door. The difference in the weather each brought is now obvious to all in the room. Sunshine has gone, drizzle has arrived.

Mr. Van Bronckhorst picked up a clipboard to get through the changeover as quickly as he can but sensed mutiny in the air. He looked at everyone in the room and felt their venom. In his head he wonders what stupid things Mr. Laudrup has said now, but he has a job to do so he gets on and does it. Buns, patties, pickles and sauces, then home…

 

Whilst the author, asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that either Giovanni Van Bronckhorst or Brian Laudrup have ever worked in a burger bar together, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a piece of fiction, though we have used some words spoken and written by Mr. Van Bronckhorst and Mr. Laudrup in the pursuit of some authenticity.

The fact is that during the week, in the Herald, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst called comments made by Brian Laudrup as “stupid” following criticism from Laudrup in another newspaper. Laudrup had said in his column that Van Bronckhorst looked like he had ‘given up a little bit’ following the defeat to St Johnstone and insisted he ‘doesn’t look like a manager who is certain he can turn things around’. Van Bronckhorst responded, “I have given up? I think that’s very easy and stupid thing to say from Brian. He knows the pressure is under. I know I get a lot of questions about my body language, but I don’t think it’s anything about body language. It’s about what you bring to the players inside. I get many questions about how I should be different on the side lines, but I am me, I am me. I am not anyone else and the last thing we all need is people putting the pressure even higher by suggesting things which aren’t true. So, I totally disagree with him.”


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