Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Teflon Trousers for a sticky boy

It could be worse I suppose....

I've been following the excitement surrounding Alain Ducasse's new London restaurant. For those who don't know Alain Ducasse has 12 Michelin stars, Mr Ramsay has 11 (thus a smaller penis). Between all the waffle about the "energy of London" and the "aesthetic of the plate" it was revealed that the waiters were being fitted for their uniforms by two French tailors flown in by Mr Ducasse from Paris. What the fuck is this? I AM SERIOUSLY WORKING IN THE WRONG RESTAURANT.

My "uniform" was tossed to me in a plastic bag having being sized up by a manager. "You must be a large? Extra large maybe?" Cheeky bastard. The first uniform I was given was a maternity smock for men. Honestly it was huge, I looked like Homer in a Muumuu. But I was the new boy so I had to suck it up until I worked out how far I could push my luck. Shirts and aprons are issued like alms for the poor at Christmas, that is to say rarely, and you have to prove your need. Unless there is a visible hole on your shirts forget about it. It doesn't matter that your shirt is grey instead of black and practically dissolved.

No, if you need a replacement shirt or apron you have to be more than a bit cunning and take things into your own hands. Your options being:
  1. Suck up to a manager. Not for me but used quite a bit by the Princess. Lots of arm stroking and "Have you lost weight?" I'd rather walk about in the buff. Saying that I'm so hairy people would just assume I was wearing an all in one wooly jumper suit. The mind boggles at the thought.
  2. "Liberate" your shirt. If you find yourself in the office alone just bypass the open safe and head for the box of uniforms. You may not find your size but you should just go ahead and liberate something any way. You can swap it for fags or favours or something less prison like.
  3. Snatch the leavers bag. When staff leave they have to return their uniform and this can be another way to add to your collection. Okay it's been worn by somebody else but I ain't proud. If the guy was a stinker then his returns just get binned but if he was a washer and no stranger to deodorant then it's a winner! You just have to intercept him on his way to the office. "Hey I'll take that up for you."
  4. If you leave your apron lying at your arse then you can expect to lose it. This also applies to service cloths too. I tend to give it 24 hours but if it's still there a day later it becomes Manuel's property. Tough titty.
  5. Just throw a wobbly. Not very cunning but it works.
It would be fair to say that I have amassed a generous collection of shirts etc, enough for about ten days without having to do laundry. Cunning works! I'd love to have my uniform handmade by French tailors, even local tailors would be good. My trousers are sewn by people, probably 5 year olds, in China for the exclusive St Bernard's at Dunnes Stores, £12 for 2 pairs. Classy. Most restaurant uniforms in Belfast are paid for by the drinks companies. The rub being that you have to have their logo stamped on it. Thankfully we just have one small Guinness logo on the back of our shirts. But some places send their waiters and bar staff out looking like Formula 1 cars. You just know the French wouldn't be standing for that...

...a whole lot worse

18 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

If French tailors are designing for them then the staff will probably have to shell out some serious cash for their uniforms which is unfortunate.
Glad to hear that they don't make you wear the flair.

Manuel said...

Medbh: Something tells me if you're uniform is a bespoke French number then the tips should more than cover it.....

savannah said...

perhaps the resto will also provide laundry services for the staff, as well. how are they doing for staff, sugar? ;-)

sheepworrier said...

God bless wine inns - they always shelled out for new uniforms when i was one of their bar monkeys. Shite pay, but good uniforms (pre-beerbelly).

Manuel said...

Savannah; There is no doubt they are providing laundry services too. I have to take my uniform to the river with a washboard!

Sheepo: Wines inns eh, which location?

Upset Waitress said...

Manuel, would you really be willing to wear a paisley tie?

Manuel said...

Upset Waitress: NEVER!!

Conan Drumm said...

What about an orange cummerbund?

MJ said...

I've replaced the image of you in a muumuu with the image of you in a French maid's outfit.

sheepworrier said...

Ah now, cant be tellin ya that manuel! Im still tryin to figure out where you work.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Hee - What "mj" said.

Your tips might increase, also...

Upset Waitress said...

That waiter with the whitey tighty apron. It looks like a man girdle.

Manuel said...

Conan Drumm: What about it indeed? You got a spare one?

MJ: You sick little puppy.....

Sheepo: Never gonna happen.....Oh and that's not a challenge by the way...

Boxer: Or not!!

Upset Waitress: Man girdle, I could do with one of those....

Rosie Cheeks said...

hey, my manuel inspired halloween costume went down a storm at the weekend! though the waiters in supermacs in salthill didn't really get it. losers.

Charlie said...

My favourite way to get a new shirt is to wear an old one then walk into the half door at the end of the bar and "ta daa" youve lost a few buttons, you'll immediately get a new shirt but dont forget to pick up the buttons from the old one for re-attachment later!

Pat said...

Even get shirts that look ok in the packet but when washed srival up?

Shirts that are non iron or as close to that are the business.

Carlo said...

Good Job! :)

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