The Olio Bites Cafe at Level 21 within the Microsoft offices at One Marina Boulevard closed on Feb 29 to make way for renovations and a new operator moving in in a few weeks’ time.
Occupying pride of place on the wall next to the cashier counter are three pieces of paper from A5 sized notebooks/exercise books. People who have noticed the drawings have asked the staff about them. They seemed odd found in a cafe that was operating within an office and would have appeared to be more at home tapped to the wall of a cubicle of a working parent.
Well, the artists were two of my kids, Emily and Erica, who had once spent an afternoon last June during their school holidays hanging around Level 21 of the Microsoft office under the watchful eye of Uncle Heikel and Auntie Helen.
I normally try and work from home during the school holidays, and on that one occasion, had to come into the office for a few hours. So Emily and Erica tagged along. I gave Heikel and Auntie Helen an advance in cash to pay for whatever food they ordered – the two of them subsequently ordered a ham and cheese omelette and spaghetti for lunch – and left them to their own devices at the cafe and to play with the X-Box and other devices that was at the Microsoft visitor centre.
Whilst I was two floors above trying to change the world, my kids were busy enjoying their food, playing at the visitor centre and apparently, getting to know Heikel and Auntie Helen very well. In exchange for a cookie and bag of chips, my kids produced those drawings which have been on that wall since that day till the end of February when they would have been taken down to make way for a new coat of paint.
Mine are not the only kids who have had the privilege of care and attention from Heikel and Auntie Helen as “special” visitors to Microsoft’s offices. There have been other children, some of whom Auntie Helen has seen grown up to be young adults now. It is so wonderful that in this day and age, we still get old-school operators like Heikel and Auntie Helen. Every so often, especially when the holidays come around, Emily and Erica would ask me when they would get to go visit Uncle Heikel and Auntie Helen again. Well, the good news is that the new operator of the cafe is re-employing Heikel and Auntie Helen to run the cafe in the office, so I will definitely bring them in to draw up a new set of drawings for the new walls of the new cafe. New operator and new food, okay, but nothing beats having old friends serving it up to you!