Monday, 25 February 2008

Life is too short, even when you are 80

Quote of the weekend,

"I thought you people were meant to be jolly and happy?"

You people?

You mean waiters?

"No, fat people"

I had been joking with a table of 4 but still that was a bit harsh. I laughed it off at first but by the time they left it was all I could to stop myself setting about them with a bag of sugar and a blow torch.

Cheeky old men who should know better aside, it was a great weekend. Saturday was a bit of a shocker as it turned out to be our busiest of the year so far. It was the sort of weekend were you need everyone pulling together, singing from the same hymn sheet, shooting the same ducks in a row, or at the very least not bitching and whining about each other. No "I" in team and all that bollocks.

Alas, that was not the case. The kitchen were magnificent. The bar was quick and accurate. I was my usual ray of lightness and perfection but not everyone wanted to play ball. No to be exact some people wanted to play their own game, their own one player game at that. It all started last week. The Princess and Lucyfer don't get on. Cats and dogs, waiters and chefs, Hillary and Obama I mean they really don't like each other.

Not liking each other is fair enough, I could care less if they hate the hell out of each other. But at least have a reason, which they don't. And if they wanna go toe to toe, well I'll hold their coats. But they don't even speak to each other, they don't call each other names, they don't try and trip each other up or anything like that. No, what they do is far more annoying than that. They use me.

I've become the conduit through which they fight. If The Princess isn't calling Lucyfer lazy in one ear then Lucyfer is calling her skanky in the other. It's all very unseemly. I feel like the child from Kramer V Kramer. So I cracked up towards the end of shift last Saturday night, telling them to shut their yaps and get over it.

I used to work for the UN you know.

Well my words seemed to work. They have stopped using me as their conduit of hate. But my attempts to get them to call a truce appear to have floundered.

"Talk to her? Fuck right off." They said in some bizarro union.

I left it at that. But decided for the sake of my ears, the other waiting staff and the customers to put some distance between them, two flights of stairs and about 30 customers to be precise. Where is the love people, where?

Sunday was much more like it. P-Chops and I had lovely day, tag team smoking, occasional customers, and coffee until the machine threw a huff and decided it wasn't going to do another thing. Nearly wrecked my afternoon. But as I stood there waiting for P-Chops to come back from her smoke, she must have been having a 2-smoke break, I began looking at the customers we had in for lunch. Not in a stalkerish sort of way you understand. There they were the same people, at the same time, sitting in pretty much the same seats, eating the same meals they always do.

It was sort of comforting.

Sunday is a day for regulars.

And after four years you really get to know them.

You watch their kids growing too big for the highchairs and having no need for a "wee spoon" any more. They stop calling you "mister" and start calling you by your name. They ask how your week was and seem to mean it. You watch as relationships come and go, new guy here a new girl there, new babies, new customers on the way. Haircuts change, their fashions change, their waistline changes too. They all get a little older, some get wiser with it, some wont ever stop putting brown sauce on rare beef. They still have the pork with an extra boat of gravy and the ice cream with "loads of sauce". There is always the same table of four, the same table of eight, the same tables of two, the same tables of one. Except today there was a table of three that used to be a four. It wont be a table of four again. Poor love.....

It's funny but you don't notice them when they are there, but when their seat is empty it seems to be the brightest thing in the room.

Life is too short, even when you are nearly 80, for petty squabbles about nothing that really matters.....

Unless of course they are calling you a jolly fat man

15 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

daisyfae said...

amen, brother... we're all circling the drain. no point getting the panties bunched up over random (or even non-existent) things.

watched my mom deal with a funeral every week this winter as her friends have started to drop off. there's a wake up call in there somewhere...

ellie said...

Poor you being Piggy in the middle, I hate that, at least you have set them straight now, shame on them if they involve you again.

So sad about the empty seat but lovely that you took time to notice and then to share it, some people pass through life and are never missed when they go.

Manuel said...

Daisyfae: My dad has the same trouble too, his friends are dropping off one by's not comfortable viewing.....

Manuel said...

Ellie: It hit me a bit.....that little family come in almost every week, they hadn't been in for about 2/3 weeks and now I know why....

Quickroute said...

every time I speak to my parents, they reel off a list of neighbours and relatives who have passed on or are well on their way. Life's too short alright! said...

Jolly and fat?
They're not asking when the baby's due are they now?
That happened to me, and I'm clearly too old.

Gypsy said...

Familiarity is strangely comforting isn't it? Sad about the empty chair, but lovely that you noticed. Just goes to show we are here for a good time not a long time.

nursemyra said...

that was lovely manuel. you've made me all misty eyed xx

gimme a minute said...

How dare they call you jolly? How dare they?

MJ said...

Table of 4 does not appreciate a man with a sizable sugarloaf.

Dessert should be withheld from Table of 4 as punishment.

Medbh said...

How awfully stupid to insult the man who brings you food and drink. I would surely joke that I'd be spitting in it.

Queen Of Clean said...

But are you 'light on your feet' as my mother would say?

Bad situation when you are expected to choose between people, I mean you always end up pissing them both off...adults are worse than kids, one minute they're killing each other, the next they're best can't win, unless you say in a particularly loud voice "play nice" when they kick off again.

sassysundry said...

Sounds like you handled yourself well. Didn't set any rude people on candied fire and didn't succumb to petty gossip. It does, however, sound as though you succumbed to smokey treats. Oh well.

The regulars sound like good folks.

Sianers said...

I don't know why this observation touched me as it has. I think it's to do with what someone else mentioned- that you noticed.

It is all too easy to go about our own wee mundane lives without ever sparing a thought for those other random souls that share our oxegen.

Sometimes it gives me hope that somebody you would never imagine to care, does.

Thank you Manuel x

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