Keep Calm and Ring The Bell

Upon arrival at Meade Cafe, one is greeted with a friendly sign reading: “Keep calm and ring the bell”. A sign that has more meaning to it than meets the eye. For the gate at Meade Cafe has a will of its own.

Being gatekeeper at Meade Cafe is a tough job, it most certainly is not for the faint hearted and not for the chaotic. One should be able to be fluent in reflex, intuition, multitasking and have good patience. Also, one needs to be very fit, since running to the gate to open it manually happens a lot. Yes, a job that requires a lot of skill.

The gate does not make any sound when the button is pressed to open it, thus most people stand by the gate, quite annoyed cause no one is opening the gate for them. Yes, we have a doorbell, but some of our arcade night visitors has made a fun habit of stealing the batteries of the bell.

Another regular occurrence is the jail-effect. We have had quite a few customers who reach hysteria when the gate does not open immediately. Which has ended in people rummaging on the bars and pulling the gate as if enclosed in a tiny cell. Even a few swear words have been shouted out when panicked customers stood shaking the bars from the inside, with a big arrow indicating “gate button” right next to them.

And then, another frequent occurrence is the right-left-right pull-push confusion. When a sign says push, they pull. Or pull the right gate when the left one should be pulled, vice versa from the inside. It is all a great confusion to open a gate.

The staff are instinctively on standby to open the gate for customers, but we are only human, and humans make mistakes. It so always happens that the moment when one turns your back there will be new customers impatiently waiting for you to press the button.

What can I say. An endless struggle, which causes quite a laugh, panic, rage and confusion. A gate with its own attitude.

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