Sunday, 2 December 2007

Assholes, they are like busses...

chaos theory
if you show up late, you don't get dessert...


You wait all weekend for an asshole and then 15 show up at once. Which is nice. Sorry did I say nice? I meant to say it's fucking typical. To be exact it wasn't 15, five of the guests showed up on time the other ten arrived over a 45 minute period. Which was nice. Sorry did I say nice again? I meant to say it was frustrating to the point of stabbing. Each one of the late comers was greeted by me at the door with "Oh yes you were booked for 7.15, they are waiting for you." But no one seemed to get my dig or care. They just meandered in like cows ambling around a field, without a care in the world. So by the time the last of the guests arrived they were a total of 45 minutes into their 2 hour sitting without so much as sprout having been served. Whilst the rest of the restaurant was stuffing their bakes with turkey and ham my table were pondering which course they weren't going to get.

You see it's just not possible to serve 4 courses in an hour and fifteen minutes. Cant be done. No chance. Forget about it. So I approached the table and put the situation to them, a whole course had to go. Some people didn't quite get what I meant. In order to comfortably enjoy two courses of food one entire course had to disappear altogether. Some people were happy to drop their first course some were happy to forgo their desserts. And they thought this was the situation resolved. Good holy fuck this was becoming harder than the time I had to explain the Chaos Theory to a group of Vietnamese Sailors, (chaos theory describes the behavior of certain nonlinear dynamical systems that may exhibit dynamics that are highly sensitive to initial conditions (popularly referred to as the butterfly effect). As a result of this sensitivity, which manifests itself as an exponential growth of perturbations in the initial conditions, the behavior of chaotic systems appears to be random. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully defined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos). Obviously.

After further discussion, the drawing of a large clock, a quick explanation of how a modern professional kitchen works, and version of, "He's got the whole world in his hands" it was decided that desserts would be cut from tonight's menu. Fantastico! We were getting somewhere. Drinks and first courses served. I started to relax a bit and decided it was time to climb down from my very high horse. The guests at the table were a little scared of me and I was feeling bad for them. My initial tone may have been that of a shitty head teacher. So I decided to cut them a little slack. I schmoozed them with a bit of silky banter. They were actually quite nice, for dentists that is. A bit of Restaurant Rainman work later and I had changed the table plan for the evening allowing the tardy dentists plenty of time to scoff our Christmas Pudding and custard.

I know I know I'm too soft....

But this was only possible by relocating a table in the next sitting to a very peculiar position somewhere between the toilets and the delta nebulous. Not a pretty place to be but if there was any grief from the next table I would schmooze my way out of it with a round of drinks or something. As it happens there was a minor moment of, "Oh is this our table....?" from the next group of guests. I bullshitted more than I schmoozed, but it worked and that's all that counts. They got a great meal with greater service and a fantastic view of the toilets and I got tipped handsomely by the dentists who seemed happy to pay the "we are sorry we stressed you out by being late and are really happy you sorted us out with our desserts even thought we took up more of your time than we should have" tax without me having to suggest it. Now that is nice.

We had our first Christmas crier and first Christmas mentalist of the season tonight. And it wasn't very nice to watch at all. Normally we sit back and marvel at the mentalist as they let a full year of grievances out on their bosses. Normally we snigger and giggle cruelly at the Christmas crier, making up a back story for their public crying fit. But not tonight. Both Christmas offenders were on the same table, a table for two. EEK! The restaurant was a cacophony of noise. There was much laughter and over exuberance on the behalf of the table of 30 bin men. But the atmosphere was great. The music system was playing all the tunes it refused to do on Friday. But this was broken by the raised voices from one table. A man's voice. We all shot looks at each other and raised eyebrows. Plates were dropped off without being scrapped, drinks orders were put on hold. We had to see. But by now Mr Shouty big voice was standing up and trying to force money into his partners hand. She wouldn't take it and was trying to calm him down. She knew we were all watching. We knew she knew we were all watching so we pretended to go back to work. He stormed off leaving the money on the table. She cried. Oh what to do. I went over to see if she was okay and give her a napkin for her tears. What the hell else was I gonna do? She just wanted out of there quickly. She handed me the money Mr Shouty had thrown on the table and left. And you know what, that's the biggest tip they have ever left me. They are normally quite mean. So more tantrums if you please. I like a crier and mentalist as much as the next waiter but come on, don't make me have to feel bad for you too. Waiters, seeking gratuities where there is only pain and crying. We are a classy bunch.....

Not sure how the whole blogging thing is gonna work in December. I will have the stories but may be short on the energy to write them.........

9 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Anonymous Boxer said...

I love your solutions to these nasty puzzles you are thrown!

You are NOT soft.... you are

P r o f e s s i o n a l.

nick said...

I imagine groups are the worst to deal with, having been in a few myself. Tardy, noisy, demanding, dithery, getting so drunk they are ruining everyone else's meal etc etc. Don't know how you manage to cope with the vagaries of the general public. You have the patience of a saint Manuel.

Anonymous said...

When did you get your Phd in Particle Physics?
I thought it was a wine course you done.

dave

Medbh said...

I love that she just handed you the money he left without knowing how much was there. That's classy.

How did the wine exam go btw?

yoyo said...

"Plates were dropped off without being scrapped.."

You complete..bastard!!

AS my lovely kitchen has been dumped down to two people (thats' a cook and a chef) it means that at the end of the night we have do dig into that lovely pile of dishes that the waiters have lovingly and carefully scraped and stacked in tidy piles..
No,really. Not actually stacked in piles. Not scraped.
GAHCK!!!


K you're not really a bastard. :)
Just a bit of a git..


*shakes kitchen knife in Manuels direction*

ellie said...

Oh the shame, tears and tantrums in public. Poor woman.

You realise if you don't blog the December stories they will be lost forever ... make time ffs, your audience awaits!

Upset Waitress said...

Glad you had something to whine about tonight. I actually had to do some research after reading your post. About your food courses etc. We don't practice that shit over here. Very very interesting. As a matter of fact, I'm watching Ramsey's Kitchen hell stories right now. You guys must be in total shock dining in the states.

Manuel said...

Boxer: MMMMM they beat me with their pearly white straight teeth......

Nick: Oh no I don't.....

Dave: Wikipedia....so it must be true....

Medbh: Result in 2 to 4 weeks...there'll be no further comment....

YOYO: I went back and did it though.....did I tell you about the kp called dragon?

Ellie: I will have to take notes and write in the toilets.....

Upset Waitress: I think it's the other way round you know. Your guys cant pull their bullshit over here.....I love them all though...ALL

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