“There’s wee on the toilet seat.”

I’m not sure whether Sir Alan Sugar has to cope with what I deal with and if he is a Sir, then I must be worthy of a Lordy thingy. Let me explain why.

A few months ago, Doreen joined Templeton’s Hardware from the local library to work alongside PC Tucknott.  Her initial hours were to cover Tucknott’s absence as he cleared through his community service order (300 hours) for the Scout in a headlock incident. But I have kept her on since as more women come into the shop now and the sales of Marigold Gloves have risen 50%.

Tucknott and Doreen knew each other before she joined the ranks  In fact I’m led to believe that Doreen used to baby sit for Tucknott when he was a youngster.  She is certainly quick to remind him of the fact when they have an argument; asking him whether he still sleeps with “Mr Fluff” – I haven’t asked.

When Doreen started work, I made some changes to make her feel welcome.  I made sure our little kitchen area was clean and I added some limited edition East Yorkshire Pansies to the window sills to add a bit of colour, which I know ladies like.  I sprayed the staff area with “Lavender Mist” and added a small radio which I tuned to Radio 2.   I had done well.   In one further gesture I changed the toilet seat, which to be honest had taken on a jaundiced yellow appearance in patches and I added a lock to the toilet door.

But the toilet seems to have caused issues from Day One. For obvious reasons Tucknott and myself have become conditionally trained to leave the toilet seat in an upright position.  I have never felt comfortable doing No 2’s at work – I think that’s a carry-over from my schooldays, but I am over that now.  In fact, when Doreen started and I changed the toilet seat, I found it  was stuck rigid in its erect position anyway.

Doreen complained about the new toilet seat being left upright.  Tucknott and I ignored her to start with, but Doreen then started to shout as she left the little room oblivious to whether we had customers in the shop or not.

“Someone’s left the toilet seat up!” she would shout.  “Derek, we need to talk about why the toilet seat is being left up. It’s discriminatory.”

I told Tucknott that we ought to make an effort to lower the seat after our visits.

Tucknott heard the bit about the need for the toilet seat being  down, but ignored the bit about lifting it in the first place.  The next day I was in the middle of handing Terry Brevitt  his change for three door locks when Doreen stormed out of the toilet.

“Someone’s wet on the toilet seat, Derek.”  I  froze.  “Would the person responsible for wetting the toilet seat please come now and clear it up. I’m waiting !”

“Tucknott !” I hollered. “Go and clear that up now and then wash your hands.”

He dropped his head and sloped off to see Doreen.

Doreen returned on the Friday after two days off and the morning started quietly. But a storm was brewing:  Tucknott was biding his time and announced that he was off to the toilet.  There was a pause and then he stormed out of the toilet.

“Doreen’s pissed all over the toilet seat !”  he shouted.

“Tucknott !  Unacceptable language in my shop !”   I checked around for customers.  There were none.

“Doreen, have you pissed all over the toilet seat ?”  I couldn’t believe what I was asking 48 year-old Mum of two.

“She has, T !” added Tucknott. “It’s disgusting in here, tell her to wipe it up.”

“I’m going on my lunch, Mr Templeton,” announced Doreen. “This is ridiculous.”

I was left with no option but to don the Marigolds and clean it up myself.

“Right, Tucknott,” I said. “Its clean in there now, you can go to the toilet.”

“I don’t need to now,” he said.