Friday, 8 February 2008

You can take the waiter out of the restaurant....

one of these kids
is doing his own thing....


London eh?

Bloody hell

What's that all about?

The day did not get off to a very good start. Actually that is an understatement of this mornings fuck up. My taxi, that was booked for 8.30am, arrived at.......wait for it.......wait for it.......9.03AM! Well you can imagine the swearing, the smoking, the kicking of random things that went on as I waited for it to arrive. The bastards offered nothing by way of explanation. I'll not be troubling Value Cabs again.

I arrived at the airport to find my three traveling companions, The Supreme Leader, The Supreme Bean Counter, and The Canadian all dressed in full executive combat gear. They looked like candidates on The Apprentice. I looked like an extra from a Saturday morning kids show. So I was late and dressed inappropriately. I looked good, don't get me wrong, but I probably should have bobbed my suit on. Arse. This wasn't a good start to the day. I tried a quick joke which obviously bombed as no one laughed or even remarked. I needed a smoke......

I never got a smoke.

I didn't get one when we landed as the train from Gatwick to Victoria was there when we arrived. I never got one when we arrived at Victoria as the bloody taxi rank was full of waiting cabs. Oh the irony. I never got one when we arrived at Ludgate House as we got there with about a minute to spare. I was eating fingers by this point, any ones fingers at that.

We were shown up to the 9th floor to a board room, the staging area. The views were unbelievable. To the left was the London Eye, ahead was St Paul's Cathedral, to the right Lord Fosters Gherkin thingy and behind that Canary Wharf. Despite what I had said previously it was hard to stay aloof and cool. Below us was Blackfriars Bridge were God's banker, "Roberto Calvi" was found hanged. This was all very very fucking cool. Not for the Calvi family I mean, but for me this was impressive stuff.

Then things went a bit tits up.

We had been pretty much alone in this room for about ten minutes when in strode more Pin Stripe Warriors. The room reeked of testosterone and aftershave. And there I was with jeans and a shirt nicely finished with a man bag. Blackfriars Bridge was looking like a good option. One of the organisers wandered over and there was lots of introductions and hand shakes, "I'm the MD and these are my senior managers and Manuel. He's a waiter."

EARTH SWALLOW ME NOW!!!

I was well out of my comfort zone. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn't even remember where it was anymore. I stuck out like a drunk in church. I'm much more used to serving these types, not loitering with them and discussing golf handicaps. My insistence that the greatest golfing handicap were the jumpers didn't go down well either. The golfing conversation was started by some Alpha male with a really bad perm job. Seriously it looked like a Brillo Pad. He wandered over and I'm not making this up said...

"Well chaps, who plays the old golf then?" whilst simulating a golf stroke. I nearly had a stroke of my own. What a plum. I never realised that people like that really existed. He was inviting us all for a golfing weekend in Malaga. I said I would check my diary. The Canadian shot me a look.

The room began to fill with Chairmen and Managing Directors and Operation Managers and what have you. The only other waiters there were the ones that brought in the coffee. I tried to give them a look of solidarity but they didn't want to know.

At this point a rather hyper lady arrived with name badges for everyone. Each one bore your name, company and position. At this point people stopped talking to me. Which in many respects was a result. After more pissing about and wank chat with pin stripped people we were finally summoned for our interview.

The main interviewer was from CAMRA. CAMRA for those of you who don't know are the people who campaign for Real Ale and real ale drinkers. The very real ale drinkers I was slagging off on here a week or so ago. What are the fucking chances eh?

I said two things.

I nodded a lot. I looked interested. I tried to add a few points to the discussions. But in the end I said two things. Neither of which I'm sure went very far to securing us our award. But what the hell! It was over 6 hours since I had last smoked and it was all I could think about. Well that and a decent coffee.

We had time to kill after and we went for a wander about the area, past the Tate and the Globe Theatre, across the Millennium Bridge, over to St Paul's and then to Fleet Street for a pint. They walked and talked, I smoked.

By the time we got back on the plane I was shattered. As soon as the safety dealy was over I nestled in for a bit of a snooze power nap. I woke up after about ten minutes to find a trail of drool down the window. I didn't care any more. I just wanted to go home. I tried to stay awake but kept drifting off and doing that silent head banging thing you do when you are neither awake nor asleep.

It was fun, to a point, but I'll be glad to get back to my happy place tomorrow and I'll be looking down my nose at them and not the other way around........

p.s I'll be round the blogs tomorrow. I've got to eat.....and smoke...

23 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Bitchy Waitress said...

Shit, Manuel, what a day! Sit down, put your feet up, and smoke it all away! :)

Old Knudsen said...

So Manuel do you think you became a waiter because of yer inferiority complex? At least you didn't wear yer 'Too drunk to fuck' t-shirt.

psychicgeek.com said...

Hope you wore your "I <3 my waiter" badge. I got mine today, thankyouverymuch, and can't wait to go out somewhere fun and fancy sporting it.

daisyfae said...

did this really happen or was it a nightmare? sounds awful...

i once ended up at an east coast business meeting that i assumed was to be 'casual' where everyone was wearing a suit except me...

i lied. said my luggage was lost. went out at the lunch break, bought a suit, changed in the ladies room, and made it back for the afternoon session.

you at least maintained your integrity. i sold out like a whore at a plumbing convention...

Gypsy said...

Cringing....that sounds horribly awkward and I'm sure your lungs must've been fit to burst by the time you got your smoke. I'd rather be an underling any day of the week.

toast said...

man, you have my sympathies - when i started my job i used to have to go abroad quite a bit for meetings like that - they rarely let me leave UK now - sounds terrible fella - still you got to see lovely london town from the angles it should be enjoyed from - thats a great thing

conortje said...

Oh I really really feel for you - I have no doubt though that you were the most interesting person their by far. Reading this makes ME want to have a cigarette and I haven't smoked in years!

livesbythewoods said...

Aaah London. It's always like that. Even when you are one of the suited and booted goons.

Manuel said...

bitchy: thanks...I did and it was great!

Old K: who said I didn't......both questions......

PGeek: wear it with pride....

DaisyFae: oh it was all for real.....Shit I ain't that bad....

Gypsy: 3 in a row.......I smoked em one after the other...

toast: it was and I'm really looking forward to going back in May.....

Conortje: you need a light?

woodie: yes I suppose it is.....

fatmammycat said...

Sounds ghastly. I must say I am a fan of ale though. Golf swings, how lame.

Crispy said...

Jesus did I laugh, you never learn do you??? Always dress to impress! Did you have your converse on too!!
I'm away to phone dad.....brilliant!!

Native Minnow said...

By the time you got around to smoking, you were sucking them down two at a time, weren't you?

Medbh said...

The alpha suits are such a fucking bore, Manuel. Life isn't better being one of those vapid douche bags.
They may have more money than you but you have a wealth of wit, charm, and style.
So fuck them.

Queen of Clean said...

The clothes were not the problem, believe me, most of these hooray henrys live in wellies and just pretend they know one end of Bond St from the other, (London reference, sorry)...no the real clanger dropper was the golfing insult, never come between a manager and his inexplicable love for thwacking a little ball around a beautifully manicured, er, field, it has caused many a war and missed promotions, be warned.

Glad you're back in one piece.

K8 the Gr8 said...

The good news is that statistics show that your average layman only has to sit through three brown-nosing sessions in one lifetime.

I usually just sit in my chair and fart loudly until the level of conversation is brought down enough for me to participate.

This is an excellent description of boredom. I was squirming with you.

INNER VOICES said...

ah, the pain of not smoking during a trip. ive been known to simply light up. fuck em, "oh im sorry, is this a non-smoking ______? i'm almost done. what i can't smoke in here? my bad, here shall i put it out on yer face? no? well fuck off!" so i find it good of you too hold back!

Tony said...

i've never felt more self-conscious than times when i've been inappropriately dressed, or undressed, as per the circumstances...

Anonymous Boxer said...

grrrrr - my standing offer to kick some snobby asses is there for you. The most important thing is you were happy to be home. That's never a bad feeling.

Niall said...

I ask the question, do you really seek the approval of someone who is effectively the head of the real ale drinkers? Ill bet he had a plastic bag too and walked with a jingle owing to the pockets full of change. fuckers.

London sounds good, have the chance to go to a design thing there in a week or so with my uni but Im on placement... in glorious cosmopolitan belfast. wonderful

Manuel said...

fmc: ah it could have been worse...oh and it came with sound effects too

crispy: nice...how;s about I do a post on percy's pee pee? mmmmm?

Minnow: oh hell yes..

Medbh: hell yes! hahahahaha

Queen: awh I liked it when you spelt in quenn....

K8: I'm well over that average by now....

voices: yeah but now they have the law on their side....

Tony: it was cringe worth tony...

Boxer: I'm the original home boy.....

Niall: Ah Belfast...such a lovely place and you know it.....

Sweetchuck said...

excellent manuel,

surely an early contender for the bloscars next year.

QUEEN OF CLEAN said...

Oi oi cheeky bugger.....you're a fine one to talk about typos....even if it is my own name!!!

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