An Auckland office worker has been labelled a selfless hero after rescuing a colleague’s cup of tea yesterday afternoon.
Fraser Gerbest, 33, was at his computer entering data into a spreadsheet when he heard a cry of alarm.
“I knew something was up when I heard cursing from the direction of the lunchroom”, said Mr Gerbest.
“About a dozen of us raced to see what had happened.”
Mr Gerbest’s co-worker Deirdre Scrumple described what had happened.
“I had gone to make a cup of tea, like I always do at about three in the afternoon. I put the teabag in the cup, then the boiling water, and then I went to open the fridge to get the milk. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
“When I realised there was only trim milk left I let out a loud groan, and I may have even used the f-word,” said Mrs Scrumple.
“Thank God Fraser turned up when he did.”
Mr Gerbest and his co-workers hunted frantically through the fridge for blue-top milk, tossing aside lunchboxes and pots of yoghurt in a desperate effort to rescue the tea.
“We knew time was against us,” said Mr Gerbest. “The cup was sitting on the bench and we knew Deirdre’s tea would soon be too cool to drink.
"We had no more than five minutes before the tea’s condition turned critical.”
Realising there was no hope of finding non-trim milk anywhere in the lunchroom fridge, Mr Gerbest calmly walked to the upstairs kitchenette, where he found a fridge full of blue-top milk.
The crisis was over in less than two minutes, much to the relief of Mrs Scrumple.
“I don’t know what I would have done if Fraser hadn’t been there,” she said, struggling to contain tears. “I might have had to put that insipid green-top crap into my tea.
“I will never again put water into my cuppa before the milk.”
Mr Gerbest denied he was a hero, insisting he just did what any other person in his position would have done.
“Deirdre’s a real bitch when she doesn’t get her cuppa. She’s a total pig to work with, but when she hasn’t had her tea she’s even more unbearable. I thought if I just got her the stupid f**king milk she would shut the f**k up.
“I’m no hero. The real heroes are the people forced to work in the cubicles next to that cow.”