Sunday, 11 March 2007

Saturday Nights

Saturday nights are my favourite night of the week. I've worked more Saturday nights in the last 18 years than i've had off. And those Saturday nights that I take off are for special reasons, holidays, birthdays and so on. You get to my age and you really don't want to be bothering with all that going out malarky on a Saturday night. You can't get served, you can't get a taxi home, you can't get a seat (very important for the over 30's) and everybody wants to fight you. Not for me. Give me a 4 to finish shift and i'm happy as a Goth in the dark.

In many respects Saturdays are the same from one week to the next. You get large tables out celebrating birthdays and engagements, couples on dates, married men keeping up their end of the deal and taking "the wife" out for dinner, the whole gamut of human life if you will. And thats what makes Saturdays different every week. You never really know who or what you'll get in your section.

The sections are set and stock levels are replinished. Booking sheets are examined and you try to guess what type of punters you are going to get. You scan the lines for names that you remember and their habbits and pains. Like the table of four who order a round of drinks every 15 minutes (best avoided as you can't get any other table served!) Or the couple that, no matter where you put them, will ask to move to another table. You grab a couple of crafty smokes, maybe persuade a soft chef to sneak you a bowl of soup. The specials are memorised and you practice them out loud 'til it flows with ease. Then you wait...

Only the cut and thrust of a full sitting is better than the anticipation of a full sitting. The waiters pace about like thoroughbred horses at the start line. Checking and re-checking the booking sheets to see what time your first table is at. As if it could have changed! The adrenaline is flowing and everyone is eager to get started. Pens are swapped about 'til we all have spares. Cutlery is aligned to the correct angle and candles are lit. And we wait. Unbooked customers walk away with puzzled looks "but its empty!" We offer pointless advice about other restaurants they could try knowing that they shall be full too. And then BANG! And we are off!

Customers are welcomed and menus distributed. Specials explained and drinks delivered. Customers are examined up and down almost subconsciencly.
" What you got?" "Dullards!"
"Hows yours?" "Fine, but did you see yer mans shirt?"

And on it goes. Yeah I love Saturday nights. But see when the first table you get orders two very well done fillet steaks you just wanna f******g scream "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, YOUR RUINING MY MAGIC MOMENT"

Ho hum what can you do? Just another day in paradise eh?

1 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

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