Tuesday, 11 December 2007

It's the way I tell 'em...

that's a cracker...

You have to wonder why some companies bother to go out for Christmas dinner. Some people can barely make eye contact let alone speak to each other. The atmosphere around the perfectly set table (what else would you expect) can range from indifference all the way down to outright hostility. There are the usual cliques that don't like the other little cliques and so on. Now this wouldn't be a problem if the boss wasn't there, but the boss is there so they have to pretend to get along. Or at the very least try not to stab, verbally or actually, each other before the boss excuses themselves and beats a hasty retreat. So most choose to say nothing rather than have to fake it for a couple of hours.

I can't be having that. A dull table makes for a dull night. A dull night makes for an unhappy waiter. An unhappy waiter makes for a grumpy waiter. A grumpy waiter....well you get the point. What these customers need is something else to focus on, something other than the office politics to deal with. That's when I step in. Not being one to hide behind his apron I like to get in there and mix things up a bit. Sometimes I just need to light the fuse, to break the deadlock if you will and they do the rest themselves. Sometimes I have to tell all the jokes, laugh at them and tip myself.....

I have a few one liners that work a treat, for example if an older lady asks for some wine I will ask her for ID. That always gets a giggle and endears me to the ladies at the table. It has to be a one liner. Whilst I would love to regale my guests with amusing and long winded anecdotes about this and that I haven't the time and frankly they would get bored. Short and sharp is the key. I like to say things that they just don't expect. If someone asks for a glass of water I will say, "No", they are shocked for a second then they laugh. You can get away with this if you have confidence and a cheeky smile. And you need to know which tables can take a joke and which cant. A lesson one of my colleagues learnt at the weekend....

I do this thing when I leave down an obviously large bowl of fries or potatoes or anything that is clearly for sharing. I turn to the person closest to the bowl and say, " Now sir, those are for sharing." It gets a big laugh every time, never failed yet. I can hear the table bantering at the fall guy for my simple cheeky joke as I walk away. Well The Princess tried it on Friday night. She set a bowl of potatoes between two ladies and said, "Now ladies those are for sharing."

There was no laughing.

There was no bantering round the table.

There WAS A stunned silence, a reddening of cheeks, and looks of puzzlement.

Then one of the ladies spoke up to say, "Is she calling me fat? What the ....."

Crikey....It took me ages to get all the tumbleweed from the restaurant. I hadn't seen a joke bomb so bad since "I pronounce you Chuck and Larry" (the fucking worst film ever made). The Princess died a little after that. Confidence all shattered. Afraid to go back to the table, she never quite recovered. Neither did her table.

I've had jokes go bad too, like the time I asked the table of 8 60-something women where the men were that night only to discover it was a widows group, ouch, free wine ladies? But I recovered that situation with lots of over the top compliments and practically pimping myself. But the main thing is that The Princess learnt a very valuable lesson.... get your own material.....

I'm sure Bill Hicks would have said the same thing to Denis Leary

31 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

hyperhan said...

Ahh the late, great, Bill Hicks - "If men could give themselves blow jobs ladies, you'd be sitting on your own, watching an empty stage.." (or words to that effect anyhow...) I know that's nothing to do with the gist of your post but indulge me Manuel, tis my birthday...

ellie said...

Open your mouth and put your foot in it aka foot in mouth disease, the only cure is to eat humble pie. Poor Princess.
Thanks for reminding me of Bill Hicks will have to youtube him later x

ellie said...

Happy Birthday Hyperhan

bendersbetterbrother said...

That reminds me, please stick a frozen chilli in Frank Carson's eye socket if he ever graces your restaurant.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Ouch. Men can take "don't eat too much" jokes, women can't.

We're fussy that way.

OK, not me. I would have answered, "bitch, you better be bringing another bowl for my dinner partner, because this is MINE."

Gypsy said...

LMAO at Boxer.....Poor Princess, I hope she recovered eventually. Some bloody people just have no sense of humour and are WAY too precious about themselves. Sheesh!

sheepworrier said...

"A dull night makes for an unhappy waiter. An unhappy waiter makes for a grumpy waiter" - Grumpy waiter leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side...

Deborah said...

Oh no! Poor Princess - I would have died! You're really making me look forward to the husband's party on Saturday now. They all hate each other and he's the boss. Being the social butterfly I am, it's ME who has to mingle and tell everyone how great they look (muffin tops abound here) and what not. Fuck me. I need to catch the flu. And you can bet there are no witty waiters like you around to lighten things up. In this place the servers are pushing 70 - if they can hear your order you're up one point! *SIGH*

Old Knudsen said...

Widows have no sense of humour about their dead husbands, if it was the other way round the widowers would bring dates. Men are just more funnier than weemen, except you of course.

colin said...

I've lost track of the amount of times myself or fellow waitrons have put our collective feet in it. The standout one by a mile is when a typically painful hen party came into the restaurant.

Customer -

"Sorry dahling could you cut moy pizza foh me>"

My buddy trying to be funny but having no time for the woman

"sorry madam we only cut pizzas for children"

She then held up her hand, she literally had no fingers outside of a thumb.

I will never forget the look on his face to this day..

Medbh said...

Hicks had the talent and Leary has the looks. Life isn't always fair.

I knew a first year teacher who was joking about crack whores in an example for one of her first year comp courses and a dude came up later telling her that his mom was a crack whore. He was upset.

Princess should know better than to joke with women about eating too much.

crispy said...

Oh Princess, I felt her pain. I am the worst joke teller known to man, even my kids cringe when they hear me say " Paddy englishman...."

Tony said...

Two keys to comedy are timing and know your audience. We all learn that the hard way...

Dennis said...

"...like the time I asked the table of 8 60-something women where the men were that night only to discover it was a widows group...."

Oh my GOD that's funny! Tell us more stories about stupid things you've done, Manuel. Please...then we'll all go right to sleep. We swear.

Peace,

- Dennis
www.donttipthewaiter.blogspot.com

Mudflapgypsy said...

Denis Leary is a little gimp. Unfit to lick Bill's boots.

I made a quip to Oz guy I met through work who had moved to Ireland that Irish girls always like to live near their Mother. He replied" Her Mum died, thats why we moved here".

Tumble weed in a car I tell you. I wanted an ejector seat.

Manuel said...

Hyperhan: Happy birthday!!

Ellie: Poor Princess indeed......made me laugh for ages though...

BBB: Not a fan?

Boxer: Actually it's never been a problem with the ladies when I do it. I think it didn't work because it came from another woman....plus I'm funny/cute so I can get away with it......

Gypsy: It's true....but when it happens you just want to die.......

Sheepo: Sometimes I say I'm laughing at peoples comments when I'm not laughing at all. But that made me laugh hard....

Debs: Can I call you Debs? 70 Year old waiters eh......ah the future....

Old Knudsen: Oh bitchy...

Colin: Welcome.....you new around these parts eh? Jesus that's bad....very very bad.....did the something similar to a fella with no legs once.....I don't want to talk about it....

Medbh: I know you are right.....but it was funny...

Crispy: I cant tell jokes either, that's why I stick to one liners......

Tony: Correct.....sometimes v v hard....

Dennis: My pain is like food to you eh.....

Manuel said...

Flappers: Hahahahaha ejector seat for him or you? You are correct about Leary.....stole Hick's whole act.....and that whole Oirish thing gets on my titties......

sheepworrier said...

Ah, I just noticed the much more understated banner Manuel. Me likey.

Manuel said...

Sheepo: It was doing my head in too.....Christmas Decorations eh.....?

MJ said...

I volunteer to be your pimp.

I'll be good to you, not like those others.

Manuel said...

MJ: You'd hit me and take my money......actually that's what my girlfriend does......so carry on....

INNER VOICES said...

wack em up side the head, i'll bet youve never seen a waiter do that before!

Manuel said...

Man I would love to do that......I dream about doing that......

Mr. DNA said...

Wait, you're telling me that cute waitress last night didn't really like me? She used your "No" to the water line as well as the " Now sir, those are for sharing" line with a twist. She was rubbing my shoulders at the same time. It was all a calculated scheme to get a better tip?

Next thing you're gonna tell me is those girls at the strip club aren't really working their way through college.

Damn.

The Little Cheese said...

Well. I for one loved Denis Leary. Especially his asshole... the song obviously, not his actual... nevermind.

And I also empathise with Princess. I have a habit of telling jokes and missing out the middle bit:

"A man walks into a bar and sees the barman with an eight inch pianist.
...and then suddenly he is surrounded by pots of honey. And then the barman says... no hang on. Go back. There was a genie right, and..."

Manuel said...

Mr DNA: i'M JUST HERE TO SHATTER YOUR DREAMS/ILLUSIONS.....[FUKN CAPS LOCK!]

Cheesy: Bum lover....you know what I mean....

The Little Cheese said...

Talking of Christmas rage, here is a story to warm up your cockles:

"A THUG who punched a colleague who was dressed like Vicky Pollard at a fancy dress Christmas party has been told he faces jail.
John Ricketts, 31, was fittingly donning an outfit to make him look a character from the movie A Clockwork Orange for the boozy fancy dress party on December 22 last year.
Ricketts of Frinstead Road, Erith - then a foreman for leading electrical firm Batt Cables - clashed with Samantha Simmons, 21, on the dancefloor at the Leather Bottle pub in Belvedere.
Fittingly dressed like a 'Droog' from the ultra-violent classic the yob turned on Ms Simmons, who was wearing a pink tracksuit like the teenage Chav from Little Britain.
Ricketts smashed the accounts worker in the mouth leaving her with permanent damage to one of her front teeth and four stitches to a nasty cut."

PS: I'm not a bum lover

colin said...

Cheers Manuel, yeah relatively new to this whole blogging yoke. I won't even start on the time I made a pretty inopportune joke involving a customer and her wheelchair...

Oh the shame

Medbh said...

Manuel, I was in the markey yesterday and thought of your post when I made a sharp remark at some old lady and her son for taking too long to let me clear an aisle. Afterwards I noticed that her son had no arms and felt like an ass.

Manuel said...

Cheesy: The cheese doth protest too much...

Colin: Shame? It;s not shame, it;s a very good story....

Medbh: Oh Medbh.....eek....

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