Thursday, 28 February 2008

What happened next?

It was about 7.45pm and a young woman called me over to her table, she was clutching her bill and looked anxious. Not the "I haven't got enough money" sort of anxious, more the "what the fuck is this?" sort of anxious.

"Yes madam, is everything ok?" I enquired

"Well it's our bill you see."

"Yes?"

"Well you implied...."she said implied in a very nasty tone "....that we got side orders with our fish course? But you have charged us for them? Seems like a bit of a con."

There was more than a whiff of a teacher about her, a first year teacher at that.

Now, my question is what did Manuel do next?

But before you rush to answer there are three vital pieces of information that you will need in order to make the right decision.
  1. It was busy, hella-busy, bend over and take it without any love or even a cuddle after sort of busy.
  2. Lucyfer had phoned in sick so I was left to fight the good fight on my own. I say on my own but the Glorious Leader set down his clipboard and helped. Huzzah!
  3. And I had been given some bad news minutes before the shift started so my mood was less than favourable.
Did I.....

A. Check the bill and in a gentle conciliatory voice say "Oh madam I'm sorry I think you have misunderstood me. I was recommending that you get side orders to accompany and compliment your fish dish. Dearie me, you must have thought I was a right scoundrel trying to swizz some extra money out of you lovely ladies. To make up for this little boo-boo I'll take those of the bill for you. "

or

B. Check the bill and in a firm but fair way explain that side orders are only included were stated and that I was recommending that they get side orders to accompany and compliment their fish dishes. But take nothing off the bill.

or

C. Refuse to even look at the bill reasoning that I know what it says as I printed it and in a voice verging on the manic say, "Implied? Hold on a moment I never implied a thing? Those fish dishes are not served with any side order so I was asking you if you wanted anything to go with it right? The menus clearly state what each main course is served with and if you didn't want a side order you didn't have to get one. I don't need to con anyone and I find that offensive in the extreme. " And then storm off muttering about a la carte menus and "bloody people who don't know how to order."

And if you cant make up your mind what I did and said I should add that they left me 15p.

a fun time wasn't had by anyone, least of all me
and it wasn't my finest hour

23 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Quickroute said...

Option D.
You lap-danced again - didn't you?!! Advice: Never lap-dance in front of the clergy (especially lay clergy) - they are really bad tippers - 15p you should feel blessed!

daisyfae said...

...and as she was leaving, you ate the 15p, and using the steam-engine of anger still churning inside you, then shat the coins out, hitting her squarely in the back of the head as she walked out the door.

Medbh said...

Even if you had kissed her ass or even taken the dishes off her bill, she still wouldn't have left a decent tip, Manuel. You were better off being curt and firm.

I hope your news wasn't too distressing, btw.

savannah said...

option c, sugar...only because there were no stories on bbc america about a waiter going postal on some "customers" ( i was going to use a bit of profanity but at the last minute chnaged my mind)

conortje said...

I'm sure the pleasure you got from your response was well worth the lack of tip. You really do have a lot of knobheads as customers don't you.

Rosie said...

(b)? i'd have gone with (a) but i'm a wimp.

Margaret said...

I would have gone down the C route myself in my past life as a waitress, but my boss might have brained me.

It is a never-ending source of amazement to me how many people don't read the menu and just assume that you get chips and a side-salad no matter where they are.

Manuel said...

quickie: what a horrible thought.......

daisyfae: you were there? You saw that? and I thought I had got away with it.....

medbh: they had been nice before that happened, no problems at all......customers are like dogs, they can turn on you at any point.......

savannah: swearing is accepted, encouraged, and admired round here.....you swear away!

conortje: no! In the end I felt bad.....I'm going soft....

rosie: c, always c........

margaret: Welcome! I'm amazed I haven't gone mental......

Conan Drumm said...

15p... hahahahahahah!! That's like winning damages of 1p in a libel case.

Can I put a punter's perspective? No? Ah, go on... thanks. Yes, they hadn't read the menu closely enough. But, bear with me, but when they ordered the fish and you asked if they wanted anything with it you might have prefaced that by saying the dish did not come accompanied. Yes, you would then have been guilty of implying that they were thick/blind/illiterate... an implication they would have been happy to hear between the lines since it had consequences for their wallets.

Manny, hope your bad news wasn't BAD news?

sheepworrier said...

Im actually with Conan on this one, Manuel - people don't wanna look cheap and ask if the side orders are included in the price, and generally assume a chip or whatever is included if they order the steak.
I also friggin hate places that charge for sauces as well. Cunts. Its like the chinese's that charge for prawn crackers. Tight-fisted hoors.

I'm in a bitching mood today...

sheepworrier said...

And I don't mean bitching like - "that movie was bitchin, man!", rather "I'm determined to find something to complain about, no matter how good a day I have".

Karen said...

I'm kinda with Conan. Ok so most places have there on the menu "dishes 32 to 45 are served with seasonal vegetables and potatoes" or whatever and it must be REALLY annoying when people say "what does this come with" cos you want to scream "read the fucking menu" BUT, explaining the menu is your job.

If someone says "I'll have the fish" then you have to say "would you like some extra side dishes with that" and explain that the main course is unaccompanied. Sorry, but that's what I'd expect in a restaurant.

Also being in a bad mood cos you've had some bad news is understandable of course, happesn tot he best of us. But the fact that your restaurant is busy is no excuse. I really hate that, it happens to me here in Dublin A LOT with waiters/waitresses ignoring me, not bringing my bill, forgetting my order and then huffing "but it's BUSY" at me like that excuses it. It doesn't. Yes your restaurant is busy, because I'm spending my money here! Me and 60 others! You should be glad it's busy! The fact that someone rang in sick isn't the customer's fault. Speak to the manager about that, don't take it out on the customer. What would you prefer, an empty restaurant? (Actually don't answer that!)

Also (see, see what you started Maneul?!?!? THE RAGE) I really really hate when restaurants put on a dish with nothing to accompany it, meaning you've to pay extra. Here in Dublin I recently paid 20 euro for a duck breast. Seriously, that's all that came out on the plate. Now it was nice, but it was an average pan fried duck breast with some honey sauce. I had to pay extra for veg and potatoes, which the waitress helpfully said "comes separate". What. A. Swizz.

See Manuel, you woulnd't have these problems if the proprietor of your restaurant wasn't such a tight arse and actually provided a full meal, side dishes and all! Tight arse!

Right, I'm finished now, lambast me as you will!

sheepworrier said...

Jeez Karen, and I thought I was in a bad mood....

fatmammycat said...

I'm going with B, it's the manly option.

dave said...

I hope it was option c.
Please let it be option c.

And could someone summarise in 2 lines what karen wrote? I'm not in a reading kinda mood today.

Niall said...

dude take it from me I hope it was option C followed by an additional free side order of a kick in the nads. Hope alls well. Must get a chat with u sometime about wht u said yesterday...

toast said...

d) kill them in the face

toast wins

Gypsy said...

I'm surprised only some dishes come with a side order. Sounds a bit cheap and mean to me. That's like serving roast beef without the spuds and yorkshire puds. Not good.

I don't know what option you would have taken. I stopped caring after you said you got bad news before the shift started. I hope everything is ok Manuel.

The Troll said...

Do we win anything if we guess correctly? If so, I'm going with "C". Not sure what 15p means. 15%? 15 units of some kind of strange currency?

If it was C, I think you probably behaved badly. You acknowledge it was busy and that you were in a bad mood and not disciplined enough to suppress it.

Maybe you did phrase it in a way that a reasonable person would think you were describing free side items. Maybe the menu isn't as clear at a quick glance as YOU think it is having read it 120,000 times.

I was in the exact same situation as the Young Lady recently and I'm one of the smartest people on Earth. My waiter took the side-item off and was left a nice tip.

Manuel said...

later......honest

Manuel said...

conan, sheepo, karen etc......I think this deserves a proper post......So I'll do that.......next week

queen of clean said...

Answer...: None of the above.

You tell her 'shuffle up' and sit next to her, invade her space, take her hand in yours on the table, and say

'Did you enjoy your meal? was the service good? because it has been a pleasure to have you here, and I sincerely hope you come back again, and when you do, I will have complimentary deserts waiting for you.

She'll either lamp you or start crying, either way she'll pay her bill.

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