A BUTCHER caused some ‘beef’ this morning after a bit of light-hearted workplace banter backfired online.

When new employee, Lewis Jeffries, arrived for his second day of work two hours late – he realised he had to make amends.

The 16-year-old Barrow Bridge resident has struggled to hold down a job after leaving Rivington and Blackrod High School, but has been given a chance by Phil Barron of Barrons of Beef.

By way of apology, he crafted a sign reading “I was late for work again today. Honk if you think this is bad,” and went to stand outside the shop in Chorley Old Road.

Plenty of motorists took the stunt in good spirit, but when someone took a picture of Lewis and posted it online, it provoked a furious response.

Barrons' Facebook page was flooded with people damning the butcher’s actions and saying they were going to report them to the authorities.

One commented: “I think not only is it unprofessional to me it seems like there is at the very least some peer pressure going on towards the lad.”

But little did they know it was all Lewis’ idea.

“When I was late I said I’d do something to make up for it, so I went and wrote the sign and went to stand outside,” Lewis explained.

“There were loads of people smiling and beeping and having a chat with me.

“I went through school and didn’t get the best results. I had four jobs before this working in a warehousing, plumbing and in offices, but they were temporary. Phil has given me a chance to work here and I want to make a career out of it.”

“We have a laugh and a bit of banter and that’s all it was this morning,” added Phil.

“People were coming in the shop having a laugh about it and he must have been honked at 100 times.

“Just one lady drove past and then turned around. She was shouting at him that he shouldn’t put up with this and should find a new job.

“It was his decision to put the sign on and he carried the chair outside as well. He was stood on it for 15 minutes laughing.”

Now the truth’s out there, Phil’s expecting things to settle back down so the butchers can keep up with their popular Valentines Day special offer via their Facebook page.

He’s also confident Lewis will be on time from now on.

“He’s technically on a trial period. I could have told him we didn’t want to keep him on, but he’s a genuinely nice lad.

“After he’d been on the chair he came in and said ‘I won’t be late again’.”