One of the perks of working at AMP Radio Networks is that you get two hot beverages delivered to your desk each day, prepared the way you choose to have it. The woman who makes this happen? Auntie Mallika. And she never gets your drink wrong.
Each day, Auntie Mallika prepares over a hundred cups of tea, coffee or milo. All you need to do is give her your personal mug from home and answer some basic questions she’ll ask you.
- Would you like a drink in the morning or afternoon or both?
- Would you like coffee, tea or milo? (You are allowed to pick a different drink for a different time of day)
- Level of sweetness.
Over the first few days of receiving your brew, Auntie Mallika will query you on it so she can make the necessary adjustments to get your beverage DNA right. The amazing thing about all this is that she doesn’t take notes. She just stores it all in her head.
There are some house rules. If you are not going to be in, you have to tell Auntie Mallika beforehand. She has the ability to remember multiple dates. So you could just tell her, I won’t be in Monday morning, Thursday afternoon and all of Friday, and she will remember it.
A sea of mugs. Hundreds of drink combinations. Changing schedules. How does she do it? She just does. One face at a time.
This morning, I had a real bad toothache and had to make a last minute trip to the dentist. I got told off quite badly by Auntie Malika when I got into work–for not informing ahead of time that I would not be in. Picture a large Italian grandmother doling out choice Italian while chasing you with a rolling pin… yeah, it was kinda like that. She even threatened to not make my afternoon drink.
I tried to keep my cheeky smile in, but some of it escaped as I pulled out a birthday cake from the box I was carrying. I got smacked in the arm. She could not believe that someone had remembered. A couple other people happened to be in the pantry at the time, and we sang her a song.
“So auntie… petang ni? Ada kopi?” (So auntie, this afternoon? Got coffee?)
You should have seen her smile. So glad I was, that on this day, I had remembered the lady who never forgets.