Thursday, 27 September 2007

Is there anything more offensive than "Easy Listening" music?

Daniel or Kerry
take your pick....


There are many factors that can impact on the customers experience in a restaurant. Is the waiter sober, has he washed this week, does he know the difference between lamb and pork, is he writing down your order or the lyrics for his band's new song? Then there are the chefs, are they stoned, have they washed this month, do they know the difference between lamb and pork? A wonky table can leave your white linen pants with a lovely minted jus coloured stain. You could get hepatitis from the dirty glasses, or worse from the toilet seats. (Well aren't you a ray of light and a true ambassador for the hospitality industry-LMM) Hell yeah, going out can be a mine field.

But saying all that you know what pisses people of more? Bad music! They tell me over and over again. Now, you get old people complaining about it being too loud no matter what, and young people complaining that it's not belting out at 10,000 bpm. But people really do get their napkins in a knot if the music is inappropriate or even if it isn't to their taste.

The music in my restaurant is at best eclectic and at worst offensive in the worst way. It is controlled by the ghost of a 1960's DJ/hamster inside a jukebox. It's stored in a very dark corner of the building where only angels, and bar staff, fear to tread. Seriously there are 3 flights of stairs to get to it and the lift stops short of the last flight. So I ain't going near it. If Metallica comes on in the middle of a quiet Thursday lunch service by the time I get to the jukebox it's already too late and it's changed back to something more sedate.

Our music system has a nasty sense of humour. If you have a table of pensioners in for dinner it will move from nice background music to 50cent or Mr M and M's. If you are doing a funeral lunch it will quite unexpectedly play Slayer's "Angel of Death" to the dissatisfaction of all. If you have a football team from a Protestant area of town it plays Republican tunes such as "The Four Green Fields" or "The Men Behind The Wire". Why are those songs even on the machine? WHY? When is the right time to play Republican anthems? I swear it's trying to get be beaten up or at the very least fuck with my tips.

The staff were banned from using the machine ages ago after abusing the "privilege". Fair enough to be honest, you would walk in before the place opened to be met with either Hippidy hop or death metal at maximum output. And quite often it would carry on even after we were open. Managers couldn't hear it as they were safely tucked away in the office, drinking coffee and talking on the phone, or something like that.

But even when the machine isn't making your ears bleed or playing inappropriate tunes it still manages to annoy the hell out of you. When it is properly set it is supposed to play selections of "Easy Listening" during the day and moving it up to the even more upsetting "AOR" at night. It makes me want to rip my fucking ears off sometimes. These tunes are interspersed with "Oirish" music. Now I like traditional Irish music as much as the next person, but traditional this ain't. Daniel O' fucking Donnell, Paddy Reilly, and Foster and bloody Allen torture me all day long with their wrapped up in nostalgia hymns to an Ireland that never existed.

It's cringe-worthy, sometimes I pray for Slayer or even some Jazz. Now Jazz really pisses people off. Restaurateurs think Jazz elevates their eaterie and makes it appear cooler and more intelligent than it actually is. No, no it doesn't it, it just pisses most people off. I like Jazz, I used to have a lot of Jazz Mags too. Ahem.

And then there are events and holidays that require their own special music to be played. From the First of December to the 26th of December it's bloody Shepherds, Mangers, Fah la la la la's, and baby Jesus' and Mary on the Little Donkey. St Patrick's day it's Daniel O'Donnel and the Pogues all day but louder than normal. If there is a concert on in the area we tend to play that particular artist's work until the crowd all heads off to get the real thing. Now this is fine if it's something half decent like...............well I cant think of anything half or even a quarter decent that's been on recently. The night Dolly Parton played was awful, same goes for Rod Stewart and that awful cunt Keith Urban(e). The boy bands are the worst though as they only have about 6 or seven songs so they just get played over and over again for 2 hours.

Now I realise that we have to play music to suit all tastes. Left to me we would all be listening to Americana and Nu-Folk. But it seems to me we are playing music that offends all not pleases all. When I finally do go bonkers with a rifle through the restaurant it will be the music that will trigger me. You will find me in the corner rocking from side to side with my hands over my ears babbling about the Hotel California or The Gambler.....

23 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

savannah said...

the thing about music in a service establishment is that it should be just barely audible...you can play anything that has a melody if it's really low...i worked in a children's toy store and we used to play till tuesday doing"voices carry" and none of the stick-up-the-butt-uptight-yuppie-biches ever complained or even noticed...

Manuel said...

Savannah: Is it really you or one of the family? Hehehehehe. Your point is very true, but why do even deaf pensioners complain about it being too loud? How can they hear it? HOW?

angela said...

that sounds like the radio station here...they have such crap on the automation sometimes. because anyone can put basically whatever they want, so it's like 75 percent really crappy death metal/symphonic metal/black metal.

yuck. haha

Manuel said...

Angela: I like Slayer, always have, seen em a few times too. But everything in it's place....You like Elliot Smith don't you? Try some Bonnie Prince Billy/Will Oldham...lovely stuff....

John Cav said...

I worked in a bar and restaurant where we had a minidisc player to soundtrack the establishment during the day... It was situated behind the bar. And barstaff had control of it.

Therefore I burned a CD of TV and film theme music onto a minidisc and brought it into work... Oh the fun I had with that.

Some customers is having a big argument and one storms off? The Eastenders theme tune.

The manager walks by in a strop? The Vader music.

A couple sitting at the bar, smitten? The Love Boat. On repeat.


I did fuck all in that job, now that I think of it. Good times.

Manuel said...

John Cav: If you ever need a job let me know. That's the sort of shenanigans we need round here.......

Medbh said...

Nothing pisses me off more than bad music that I am forced to listen to in a confined space, Manuel. Sorry, but fuck jazz completely. The dj at our wedding played it in during dinner service and I nearly lost it.
I prefer restaurants to be silent.

Anonymous Boxer said...

From the First of December you hear Holiday Music? From the FIRST of November we hear it in the States.

And they won't stop until January 1st. The Horror.

John Cav is funny.

angela said...

yees i love bonnie prince billy. "I Gave You" was my anthem for a while.

:)

Old Knudsen said...

THE GAMBLER ROCKS!

It sounds like that machine needs to be kneecapped for anti-social music.

The Devil went doon to Belfast he was looking for a soul to steal he was in a bind and way behind so he stopped into 'The Pancake hoose' for some death metal republican music and coldslaw.

ellie said...

In work we play background music, as we don't have a licence to play copyrighted stuff we are stuck with the Sound of the Pan Pipes Vol 34 and bad orchestral arrangments of movie soundtracks but on a brighter note we can play anything that was realeased more than 25 years ago!

Enda P said...

Here's where the nerd in me comes out. Is it an iPod? Is it one of those machines you get from companies? Who loads it up? Who presses play? Can I do it?

Conortje said...

and there was I thinking it was all Phil Coulter and Richard Clayderman in restaurants.

Manuel - we have a serious problem here. I will not hear a bad word for the wonder that is Dolly. You may have to issue a retraction now or I will be forced to play 9 to 5 and Jolene to your on repeat until you repent.

Manuel said...

Medbh: Wrong....Coltrane's version of "My "Favourite Things". Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain". Anything on Blue Note....tut tut

Anonymous Boxer: Why don't you and John Cav get a room together then......hehehehehe

Angela: Nice, very nice...

Old Knudsen: THE GAMBLER ROCKS!No no it doesn't. It gets the cultchies all riled up.

Ellie: Some good tunes then...ah pan pipes, brilliant...

Enda P: No, yes from some company down South (as we say up here), Davy, whatever manager opens in the morning, yes

Conortje: Richard Clayderman, brilliant! Jolene? Great tune! (The Whites Stripes version that is....) I retract nothing!!!

Conan Drumm said...

You should park Ivan Morrison in a corner with a mic and his instrument of choice and if anyone dares to complain he could stop singing and join them at their table.

bendersbetterbrother said...

The type of Jazz and whether it's listenable is directly correlated to the drugs that they had in the era it was recorded. Buy anything up to mid 60's, all dope/heroin inspired. After that mostly "experimental" or non-melodic jazz courtesy of acid etc.
Buy/play by date.

I don't usually notice the music anyway, unless I'm in a Chinese (not often) and jing-jang is playing through one of their compulsory tin speakers.

fatmammycat said...

Look here, if it isn't popular music played with panpipes I'm just not interested.

Fresh Hell said...

I've always liked a little unexpected Slayer assault at a fine dining establishment from time to time. Preferably South of Heaven. Gives the whole establishment street cred.

finn said...

South of Heaven is a bit soft dont you think. Raining Blood is more atmospheric.

savannah said...

it's me, sugar...drugged out and hobbling along...as too the deaf ones..fuckin ask'em next time...are they feeling the vibrations?

(gawd, now i'm turning ugly and mean...)

btw...just read the comment re jazz...your selections were perfect..i am in love with you now..ok, even MORE...(sorry LMM)

alan said...

I feel your pain. I used to live in a supermarket. I used to love closing time because it meant the music was turned off.

Our player wasn't haunted though... Head Office sent up the choons each week and made us play them. Imagine someone sat down and chose crap music to torture customers and workers with.

Manuel said...

Conan Drumm: He is a very happy chappie that's for sure, miserable old git...

BBB: Chet Baker was magic and a big fan of the heroin..

FMC: Go hang outside Primark then, there's always some guys there playing panpipes...

Fresh Hellie: MMMMMMMMMMMMMsouth of Heaven

Finn: Great live DVD too...

Savannah: Settle petal, I can only disappoint....I'm gonna put some Miles Davis on now...Porgy and Bess mmmmm

Alan: Sick sick minds, they have to be....

fgeegf said...

成人電影,情色,本土自拍, 情色聊天室, 寄情築園小遊戲, AV女優,成人電影,情色,本土自拍, A片下載, 日本A片, 麗的色遊戲, 色色網, ,嘟嘟情人色網, 色情網站, 成人網站, 正妹牆, 正妹百人斬, aio,伊莉, 伊莉討論區, 成人遊戲, 成人影城,
ut聊天室, 免費A片, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網,
美女交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, A片, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, UT聊天室, 尋夢園聊天室, 男同志聊天室, UT男同志聊天室, 聊天室尋夢園, 080聊天室, 080苗栗人聊天室, 6K聊天室, 女同志聊天室, 小高聊天室, 情色論壇, 色情網站, 成人網站, 成人論壇, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, 成人聊天室, 成人小說, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇,
日本A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友, 本土自拍, 免費A片下載, 性愛,
成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, aV, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片,成人電影,情色,本土自拍,