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[Complete] Old Money, New Flavours
Philanthropist

45 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: The Right Honourable Lord
Age: 50
Occupation: Baron, Politician, Philantropist
Registered: Dec 2019

#41
The kitchen was otherwise well organised and clean. There were a few items out on the table and other surfaces for the preparation of food, and there was something roasting in the oven, but the fireplace and kitchen range was clean and polished, safe for some vegetables there was no food lying about, and the tiled floor looked clean.

Arthur was still mortified. The shame of letting an experienced chef he was about to employ, and a lady too, see that this was going on in his kitchen! He had to look like a complete fool in her eyes. Or even morally corrupt. How long had this been going on? How long had his food been prepared on the same table!?

"Oh, I assure you, madam, they will both be out of work." He had half a mind to sack all the maids. If one had been corrupted, who said the others hadn't? They must have at least had a suspicion of what was going on? On that thought, he should sack the footmen as well. They might have known. And the housekeeper. The butler might have suspected something. And the steward hired that wicked maid... How many of the servants had been laughing at him behind his back? That was it! A complete change of staff!

"This place will be thoroughly cleaned." The other maids could do that, before he let them go. "I swear I had no idea..." He shook his head, still not quite himself. "I shall help you back up. I doubt you'll want to inspect the kitchen now..."
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Member

113 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: her/she
Age: 22
Occupation: Private Chef
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=366
Height: 5'5"
Registered: Sep 2020

#42
She nodded primly.  Sacked and rightly so.  She couldn't believe the idea of it.  She glanced around the kitchen but did not lay a finger on any surface.  It was of a good size and once completely cleaned with the strongest soap they could find, she hoped, it would serve her needs.  But he was correct.

"No, not in the state it could be ... anywhere..."  she indicated the room with a vague motion of her slender free hand.  The other hands still had her notebook and gloves.  She shuddered.

Apparently, he was not as organized and in control of his business as she had thought.  With how he had spoken earlier, she had gotten the idea that he was quite in charge of how his business was done.  The man was delusional if he thought he was maintaining an appropriate staff.  This had not been a sneak around kind of behavior.  This had been right out in a public room. 

Where were the others that should be monitoring what was cooking and where were the people that needed to prep for the rest of the next meal?  It was unacceptable for any quality chef and kitchen staff in her mind.  Come to think of it, if it was here what about other parts of the house when he was not keeping an eye on the staff? 

While her parents went to the city often, her mother kept a heavy thumb on checking that the job each house staff member did.  Surprise checks of cleanliness in each room and the housekeeper, who could have been in the military the way she ran the house, was, even more, stricter with the maids than her mother.  The staff was always working on some task, never idle, be it dusting (a never-ending task in the library) or shining the silver.

Perhaps that was the issue.  It was the wife of the house that normally saw to that type of thing.  The Baron's current wife did not seem to be of good health.  The man of the house tended to be focused on the management of the property.  She wondered at the housekeeper if the wife was not able to tend to the running of the house the housekeeper should have taken over that. 

She was baffled at how this house was organized now.  Well, it was not her business.  As long as he would make sure the kitchen was clean and the staff there more well behaved, she would be able to do her job.  Well, if he got the list of meals to her on time.  If not, then getting the groceries and the previous prepping would be a challenge, and if the meal was not at par to his wishes, that would be on his head, not her own.

"I will expect the kitchen staff to be on duty and of appropriately focused on the task when I am here, my lord.  I may be a lady, but I am not one to let things slip.  I am quite strict when it comes to how things are done in the kitchen."  She got up with the idea of heading back out of the scene of the crime.
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Philanthropist

45 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: The Right Honourable Lord
Age: 50
Occupation: Baron, Politician, Philantropist
Registered: Dec 2019

#43
Arthur offered an arm for support should the lady need it. Either way, he led her back through the corridor. "Believe me, Miss, the entire kitchen staff will have been replaced by the time of the party. And we will hire a steward and housekeeper who do know how to keep an eye on the other domestics." It would need some time, that was the frustrating thing. He couldn't sack his entire staff at once or he and his family would starve, freeze, and live in their own filth.

"You there!" he said, when he spotted an unfortunate maid just coming from another direction. She jumped and blushed when she saw the baron and the lady, curtsied deep and kept her eyes down.

" 'pologies for bein' in yer way, my lord," the girl said nervously, as if the corridors of the servant section themselves had become forbidden territory by the mere presence of the baron. It was true, Arthur would normally sack any maid he spotted who hadn't been summoned, but that was in the main house, as he never came down here.

"Call some other maids and tend to the kitchen. There's something cooking. The chef is not to be allowed in, you hear me?" Not that he would eat from his own kitchen anymore until it had been thoroughly cleaned. He wasn't sure yet how they were going to eat tonight. But he didn't need a housefire to add to his problems. "And send the steward and housekeeper to my study!"

"Immediately, ser," the girl gasped, and she hurried away.

When they had gone up the stairs and were back in the Entrance Hall, Arthur turned to Miss Rosewine. "I am so terribly sorry for what you had to endure, Miss Rosewine. Can I offer you another madeira, or something else to calm your nerves?"
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Member

113 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: her/she
Age: 22
Occupation: Private Chef
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=366
Height: 5'5"
Registered: Sep 2020

#44
Vela was surprised that he planned to fire the whole staff.  She totally agreed with the chef and the maid.  That had been totally out of place and unforgivable.  However, she knew that a chef could be intimidating and either held a powerful place in hiring and firing recommendations or faked it quite well in some places.   They could make things happen that the lower staff members would not feel able to counter.

She thought about how to hint a bit of mercy for the rest of the staff.  She did not know them or how far they were lacking proper kitchen rules/behaviors, but being a chef herself, she felt a lot of the weight was on the chef's shoulder for this disgraceful show of morals and cleanliness.

"Would the rest of the staff feel the right to challenge the chef's manner of behavior?"  She asked quietly and with a tone of curiosity.  "I suppose they would feel it was appropriate to bring it directly to you in person if they were not involved in arranging for that ... " she went blush..." behavior." 

She finally found a word for it that was not describing the behavior directly.  She had a feeling he would know that they would feel coming to him directly was not likely if he did not allow for them to be in his sight, as it seemed to be around there.  She let that there as if his staff would bring issues to him regularly feeling free to discuss items of concern, and not press it any further.  It might place a thought in his mind, or it might not, but she had put the hint in there for him to think about it.

With her hand on his arm, she walked along with him.  At his offer of another drink.  She nodded.  This had been more shocking than she was used to.  She had handled a lot of crude comments and suggestive comments, but seeing something like that was definitely beyond her experience.  She would bounce back and was nearly back to normality already, but a bit of liquid spine would settle her.

"Yes, another glass will be helpful.  Thank you."
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Philanthropist

45 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: The Right Honourable Lord
Age: 50
Occupation: Baron, Politician, Philantropist
Registered: Dec 2019

#45
"Well, they might have known, and if they did they should have reported it." He did not have the time nor the desire to figure out who had known what. The mere possibility that they might have known compromised the maids. It was easier to just fire them all. Better safe than sorry. "Oh, don't worry yourself about it, Miss. Maids are easily replaced. We shan't go without servants, and there will be a full staff to assist you by the time of the party. It's no trouble."

He led her upstairs. Just then a doctor came down the stairs. "Ah, my lord..." With curious suspicion, his eyes landed on Vela holding on to the baron's arm, but he quickly recovered and turned back to the baron with a placid smile. "Lady McPadraic is alright now. She's resting. I advice as little disturbance as possible. Keep the children away from her, and anything else that..." he looked shortly at Vela. "may upset her..."

"Thank you, doctor. You may send us the bill," said Arthur brusquely, and he led Miss Rosewine up the stairs in a steadier pace, his face grim. "Impertinent old quack," he muttered underneath his breath while he led the lady back into his study.
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Member

113 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: her/she
Age: 22
Occupation: Private Chef
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=366
Height: 5'5"
Registered: Sep 2020

#46
Vela gave the doctor a direct glance in return.  She was glad that the doctor had gotten there.  At the doctor's directions, she wondered if the woman had a heart condition or something of that sort.  Glancing at the Baron, she felt a bit of sympathy.  Losing one wife, and then marrying again to an unhealthy woman.  He must have a lot on his shoulders and in his heart.  With the sound of children, she wondered how old the children were.  Were one of them that was born when he lost his first wife?  Or were they all from the lady she had met earlier?

She did not speak to the doctor as that was not her business.  Once the doctor headed on out, she walked with the Baron.  His comment about the doctor surprised her though.  Why have a doctor if he didn't trust him?  At least it sounded like he didn't find him dependable.

"I am glad your wife is doing better.  Has he been your doctor long?"  She asked curiously.  "I am still a bit new to the area, and though I am healthy, I should find a dependable physician."  She explained.
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Philanthropist

45 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: The Right Honourable Lord
Age: 50
Occupation: Baron, Politician, Philantropist
Registered: Dec 2019

#47
Arthur gestured for her to sit down and he himself sat in his old spot. "Thank you. He has been for some years. An unpleasant person if you ask me. Rather impertinent. But he's the best expert in women's diseases in this area... My wife has suffered from poor nerves ever since our son was born. This doctor is really the best doctor to treat her. So we put up with him. Dr. Harris, if you're looking for him."

A man entered, wearing a neat suit and sideburns. "You sent for me, my lord," he said, looking from Arthur to Vela.

"Charles. Please return after dinner. I suggest until then you keep a closer eye on the servants. You will report any funny behaviour directly to me. And send the butler up with a madeira and a brandy... Closed bottles." Just to make sure. Not to mention, he might need more than just one more brandy this afternoon.

The man seemed confused by these instructions but quickly recovered, said: "Yes sir," bowed and left.

Arthur turned back to Vela. "I suppose these days one must run one's own household and can't trust a steward to do it on his own anymore..."
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Member

113 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: her/she
Age: 22
Occupation: Private Chef
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=366
Height: 5'5"
Registered: Sep 2020

#48
"I will keep him in mind, thank you." She would be looking into him, though she didn't need a specialist, just a typical normal doctor for if she became ill.  She had the answer to the questions that had been dancing around in her mind. 

She sat down and arranged her skirts with her empty hand as he talked to the man that had arrived.  That the man seemed clueless as to the reason for this discussion, Vela determined that the house was not well managed at all.  To have no idea that the staff was not monitoring the cooking food nor even around the kitchen working on anything, made her wonder how anything was done at all. 

After the man left, and the Baron spoke to her again, she nodded.  "It would seem so, my lord."  She agreed. 

She had seen her mother meet with the housekeeper and the chef regularly as she grew up.  Father dealt with the businesses and the property with regular tours to check in on things, and Mother had done surprise dust checks randomly upstairs and checked the silver and kitchen at least once a week.  Likely that was how Vela had gotten her own way of staying on top of things.  If you wanted something done, you did it yourself or stayed on top of it to make sure those you pay to do it are doing the job the way you want it to be done.

She tended to be very focused when on a job and seeing to the details, thus the discussion when she had first arrived.  Not having those details set down yet, was something she adapted depending on the client.  For this job, she felt she would have her hands full, as a new staff could be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how they worked with her.
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Philanthropist

45 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: The Right Honourable Lord
Age: 50
Occupation: Baron, Politician, Philantropist
Registered: Dec 2019

#49
Arthur sat back in his chair, while he waited for the butler to bring their drinks up. He looked around the room and then back at her. "I hope you've managed to find suitable accommodation in town? It can be difficult for those who do not know the place to know where to look..."
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Member

113 Posts
3 Threads

Pronouns: her/she
Age: 22
Occupation: Private Chef
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=366
Height: 5'5"
Registered: Sep 2020

#50
She nodded.  "I was able to secure a small cottage with a vegetable garden behind it to rent there near town.  My parents wanted to purchase something, but I want to make it on my own."  She explained. 

She had hired a maid to visit once a day and had hired a boy to bring in wood and lift things as needed, but she did her own cooking for herself and was quite independent.  She hoped to eventually need to hire a secretary and more staff as things would, she hoped, get busier.  For now, though, she was well set for what she needed.
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