Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Whinging Wednesday


This is officially Whinging Wednesday.

It was originally going to be Feedback Friday but I had to bring it forward two days due to my need to whinge now. My neck, shoulder, and right arm are sore and stiff. I assume this is some sort of "the way I slept on it" type issue. Well that's what every amateur doctor and so called expert/taxi driver I've come across today has told me. The next mook that remarks, "You must have slept on it funny" is getting a smack from the hand on my one good arm. Oh and a filling has just popped out of a tooth. This didn't really come as a surprise as I'd been jabbing it with pens, pencils, and forks for a few days now as it was pissing me off. Dentistry for morons if you will. But the pain has gone so that's that sorted. I've also got a seven day stretch at work, including three doubles, before I see Little Miss Manuel again.

I'm in a mood.

But it's not all about me, it is, but it doesn't have to be. So have at it, spill, share, tell me what annoys you most about going out to eat. This is a follow on from last weeks post on the sexism of restaurant service. We seemed to have opened a whole world of dissatisfaction there. So there must be other things that make you wanna stay home. Help me learn. Saying that I might just get moody and tell you all to go, "Serve yourselves" if you know what I mean.

So go ahead let loose the inner restaurant rage and share with Manuel.......

54 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

witchypoo said...

I hate it when I'm hungry enough to eat the arse off a skunk, and the overpriced food is not very good, but I'm too hungry to send it back.

bendersbetterbrother said...

It's the basics. For example, went out for a family meal at the weekend with my parents, etc. Seated and left with menus, waitress doesn't take a drinks order first and we wait 10 minutes before hse reappears and still doesn't notice the lack of drinks on the table. She was asked to send someone and a scouting party was sent out to the bar. When the barman did come he forgot to take my dad's drink order because he forgot the basic "count 'em and make sure you have the same number of people and drinks. Fuckwit.
Then starter plates left for 10 minutes after everyone had finished.

I like to see somebody in charge in a restaurant, overseeing at a distance, keeping an eye and making sure the simple things happen without the customer having to ask for it to be so. It's difficult in a lot of places to find any such person and some tables or sections just get abandoned for lenghty periods.

And don't make me ask for the bill. I've finished. I don't want a dessert or coffee. You know because you asked me. My drink's empty and I've declined another. You need the table so just get the bill and we'll both be happy.

Will that do for start?

Medbh said...

We went to a new pub/restaurant in the 'hood last night and my god everything was a problem.
Shitty beer selection, got the order wrong, had no club soda and didn't take credit cards. Okay, they've only been open for less than a month but get it together folks. Everytime she came to the table it was a problem and it took forever. She was so green she could have been an ornament for St. Paddy's day.
Why leave the place in the hands of the inexperienced? It's not like there isn't a large community of talent here in Toronto in the biz.
We still tipped 25%.
That is all.

Manuel said...

Oh sweet jebus what have I unleashed.......???

bendersbetterbrother said...

"Oh sweet jebus what have I unleashed.......???"

Bottle. Genie. Suck it up. Our turn now.

Manuel said...

bbb: you're for it when I'm able to type properly......right now it;s left handed with one finger....not easy.....

belfast plate carrier said...

Hmmm, waiters sans docket books. me and some friends has reason to eat in one of Belfast's more pretentious locations, which I won't name. So the waiter in The House (whoops) took a table of six's order without writing it down. Now I don't know if it's house policy or I just had a lazy waiter but lets face it, you won't be able to remember the order, unless you're Rain Man. I pointed this out to my friends who said I was just being 'paranoid'.

True enough when the mains came out we were one short. I had the dubious pleasure of watching the waiter approaching the chefs (by now out of their whites and enjoying a staff drink at the bar) and having to explain why they had to return to the kitchen, fire up the cookers and get a chicken breast to table X ASAP.

echo said...

I hate it when I've not finished my main course and I'm already being presented the check. Please don't assume I don't want dessert; or that I want to share my dessert with the whole table. I also hate it when there's less than five minutes between receiving the salad and the main course. Isn't it possible to by given time to eat the salad before the steak arrives ?

And finally, I'd really prefer mid-level attention. You don't have to hover (which really annoys me) but I don't want you disappearing either. If you've brought the main course, checked that we have everything, and refilled the drinks, then I don't have to see you until you're coming to take the plates away and suggesting dessert.

I'm really easy to please and will forgive any number of mistakes as long as you are kind.

sheepworrier said...

Other customers. If theres an obnoxious asshole being, well, an obnoxious asshole a few tables away (always a danger in Belfast - the place is over-run by them), it can really get my back up and ruin an entire night out.
It's different in a bar - you can easily move to another area or bar, but when you've found the perfect table in a restaurant and the management are usually loathe to throw out a paying twat, you basically have to just grin and bear it.

Deborah said...

You've opened a can of worms Manuel! Right now my biggest peeve in Ireland is with ethnic food that's not ethnic. I am sick of going out to an Italian restaurant say, and instead of real honest Italian food I get what the Italian owners think Irish people think is Italian food. Phew. It amazes me that most of them are actually run by Italians. If I were Italian I would be ashamed to serve the crap they do.

I understand that they aren't sure they would be able to sell proper Italian food to Irish customers, but I beg to differ. We have an Indian restaurant in town here and it is unbelievable. You'd spend half an hour trying to find Chicken Tikka Masala on the menu. It's there, but buried amidst an array of mouth watering dishes you've never heard of. Same with Naan bread.

They always have a seasonal menu for two on which is such good value- you just have to order it. You are likely to have tried nothing on there, but you leave feeling incredibly satisfied and happy that you ahve tasted lots of wonderful food you wouldn't otherwise. When you call for takeaway next time, you probably order one of the new dishes you tried. It's a fantastic business model and the restaurant has been there for years.

Why can't Italian and Chinese places do the same? If I go out for Chinese I want Chinese, not Irish with soy sauce. Dammit.

Conan Drumm said...

"Can you leave the parmesan on the table, please?"

"We only have the one..." and the broad welcoming smile of twenty minutes ago withers on the face of our hostess.

B said...

There's an Italian takeaway near me, serves fish and chips and nothing else.

I hate restaurants, I'm too cheap to comprehend the concept of paying someone to cook expensive food for me when I can cook crap myself at home for free.

I also hate places that only have about 1 or 2 starters, usually results in me sitting there not eating while everyone else is throwing it down their throats after waiting an hour.

Are we allowed just complain about absolutely anything here? cos I've an awful lot to get out of my system.

Manuel said...

b: go for it....

Conan Drumm said...

And while I'm at it, so what if we're ordering the set meal! And the house red. I see the look on your face. Get over it! We're going to push the boat out one of the nights, and it won't be here.

sheepworrier said...

Conan's looking angry... you wouldn't like him when he's angry...

Manuel said...

sheepo: y'all look rather angry......whinging fookers........hehehehe

B said...

lord... where to start... it's all gone down the toilet isn't it?

Manuel said...

b: spill...explain yourself......c'mon...

B said...

I had nothing to complain about but wanted to be the big man and scare you by threatening to have loads of stuff to throw into one huge comment... sending the world into chaos in the process.

I just noticed you use "..." as much as I do!

Manuel said...

b: "no" I don't......I do"........" a lot though.....I cant stop it, see there I did it again.......

savannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...

well my use of punctuation constists of "." "," and "!" so I use the good ol' "..." when a sentence has alreayd used ten of each other one.

I was gonna link every one of my "..."s to your blog as I thought it was plagiarism but now I wont.

fatmammycat said...

Waiters who don't write down the order. Waiters who call me and the paramour 'guys'.
Waiters who sigh when you ask for salt and pepper.
Waiters who clear the plates away while one person is still eating.
Waiters who hoover.
Waiters who deliberately avoid eye contact.
Waiters who don't know the specials.
Waiters who are simply too cool for school and they're like only doing that job until a producer recognises their AMAZING star fucking quality and offers them a hollywood contract.

Conan Drumm said...

Fmc, for me it's the hovvering I detest, and the star-fucking. I want to be alone, already!

And listen, you with the dish cloth, it's a legitimate complaint. Not a whinge!


:)

B said...

fatmammycat: just waiters then?

Manuel said...

FMC: "Waiters who hoover." I can assure you that if I ever have the pleasure of serving you guys I will not hoover, or polish, or perform any household tasks whatsoever......hehehehehe

fatmammycat said...

Hah, I meant 'hover', but I got distracted by the torrential storm outside.

I should point out that I eat out a fair bit and most waiters are delightful, and even if they only do one annonying thing I'd barely notice, but I've been in places where the level of service has been so bad that it's shocking.

Actually the 'guys' thing bothers the fuck out of me no matter who says it.

sheepworrier said...

I'd assume waiters who spend the entire evening chatting up the hot customers / barstaff while ignoring the plebs would be irritating.
It doesn't affect me tho, I'm gorgeous... *cough*

sheepworrier said...

FMC: what about "folks"?

Jessie said...

I hate obnoxiously happy hostessess.
I hate waiters who only come by the check up on you once before you've even taken a bite of your food...then come back to drop the check.
I also hate when the food is mediocre and the service is even more mediocre and me having to spend too much money on that.
Finally, I hate obnoxious, know-it-all pushy diners. I hate having to listen to them bitch to the hostess and the waiter and watching them roll their eyes and have a fit. I hate that the most.

fatmammycat said...

Folks I don't mind for some reason. Or not being called anything works for me too.

Flirty Something said...

when you go for lunch and it is pretty obvious that you only have an hour and the food takes 30 minutes to arrive

Anonymous Boxer said...

Waiters who sit down at the table with me to take the order and what??? to make a new friend? I'm out with a friend! Please. It's a business; you takey my order and I pay for it.

Whew. I feel better.

How's that tooth?

savannah said...

sorry, i got a little carried away earlier, sugar...(yes, i deleted my own comment) xoxox

Manuel said...

All replies are being analyzed by a team of highly trained boffins and an 80 page report will be produced next week......or maybe a post in reply whatever......thank you though and keep them coming.....

Harried_Dad said...

Screaming kids. Without doubt the single most annoying thing for me at the moment is screaming kids. I have two. Once they build up a good head of steam they can drown out the planes on the approach path overhead.

When the mrs and I want to go out, we hire a baby sitter. We leave the two of them in the almost sound proof confines of our home and go out for an evening of civil conversation and relative peace.

The last thing I want is some other sod's genetic deposit screaming in my ear.

I will forgive almost anything in a restaurant that is nice and quiet. Rubbish food, non-english speaking service, floaters in the toilet. Just give me an hour or so of relative tranquility and a chance to talk to the love of my life.

daisy mae said...

how about
- the kid in the booth behind you who keeps looking over the top, pulling your hair, and/or kicking the back of the seat
- servers who take one look at us, and see 'poor college kids' and treat us as such... even though we're 20% minimum tippers
- servers who look at me funny when i ask for the proper glass for my wine (they fill it to the brim in most restaurants here in montucky)
- servers who roll their eyes and get mad at me when i pull someone's hair/an unidentifiable object/the cardboard from the box the dessert came in out of my food and ask that they remedy the situation
- servers who spend their shift sitting at a table with their friends and 'forget' about our table


the list goes on, but you get the picture.

Sooz said...

I have a very very long list, it comes from being a poor waiter/barperson myself, bad service is much more noticeable when you know what good service is!

I HATE staff who disappear- you have a section, look after it! Same goes for the ones who are over every 5 minutes though, check on me pretty swiftly after the food arrives, take a wee walk past a few minutes later, check if my drink needs topped up, then leave me be till I've finished! Oh, and for that matter, I'm a fast eater, I don't mind waiting until whoever I'm with has finished- never EVER clear a table while someone is still eating! Don't call "mains away" as soon as you hand me my starter- I'd like to enjoy it, and the main course that follows it, at my own pace.... But also, don't forget to call mains away, no-one wants to eat their starter then wait 45 minutes on their mains (it has happened to me, not fun!)

Other things that bug me: staff that have no idea what can/can't be modified on the menu, staff who can't recommend anything, waiting longer on drinks than food (thats actually my main pet peeve, especially when I don't order cocktails- get it sorted, it takes two seconds to open a bottle of Magners or set up a bottle of wine!), having to search for staff when wanting the bill, staff who make excuses when something goes wrong (oh it was the kitchen, or my manager, or whatever- OWN YOUR OWN F***IN PROBLEM, a simple "I'm sorry" or "I forgot" will do- if you're honest, I'll still tip you!), staff who don't smile, clusters of staff standing around- find something to do!, etc etc....

Ok, rant over! As you can tell, I'm perfect at my job.... :D

Sooz said...

Incidentally, I mean "poor waiter/barperson" in the "woe is me" sense, not in the "I'm shit at my job" sense....

Anonymous said...

Children! Hate them! Leave the screaming brats at home. Leave the "peeking over the booth for a fucking hour" brats at home. If you can't leave them, don't go to restaurants where civilized, rational humans go, because no, I don't think they are precious.

robin said...

I hate waiting on ex-waiters. They're huge snobs and think they know how, where & when it should be done at your place. They also tend to try to impress everyone at the table with their superior knowledge of your winelist, over yours. Ask me a load of bullshit questions about the menu (even though it's THERE in plain sight)so that your guests will think you're very intelligent and please go ahead & order the fucking shiraz to go with your halibut!

Manuel said...

robin: I couldn't agree more.....why is it the people who should know what it;s like are the biggest pains in the jam roll to serve .....? heartbreaking.....

daisy mae said...

i've noticed that it's not all servers who are a nightmare to wait on, but primarily crappy servers. more than once i've waited on some royal idiot who couldn't be pleased, only to end up in their section a month or so later.... talk about a miserable experience!

american.eejit said...

Btw Manuel, I know this isn't the forum for it but... just wanted to say I'm hooked on your blog! I really do enjoy it and thought you should know.

carine said...

when i ask for a still water with no ice and it arrives with ice in it. WITH. NO. ICE. this is not a difficult request. i'm not asking for something extra, i'm asking to NOT be given something. NO ICE please. thanks.

carine said...

oh, and waiters who look at you with pity at your obvious lack of culture and finesse when you pronounce bruschetta correctly ie: 'i'd like the brusKetta please' by replying 'you mean the bruSHetta?'. i want to stab them in the eye with my fork.

them and the water with no ice issue. i think that's it though.

x

carine said...

no - i have one more. when you're in a more salubrious restaurant and the waiter insists on putting your napkin on your knee for you. like i can't do this myself? i don't want your hands in my lap thanks.

i ate in one such restaurant in london where i took my napkin off my lap to go to the loo, but before i could stand up the waiter darted across the restaurant and bloody put it back. five minutes later, i managed to deftly remove my napkin and stand before he could get to me. however, he then WALKED ME TO THE TOILET. i then tried to sneak back to my table without him noticing me but to no avail and HE RAN ATFER ME (yes, by this time i was running across the restaurant), he then grabbed my napkin and thrust it into my lap the minute my ass touched my seat.

this is not normal behaviour.

right, i think i'm done now.

Silverstar said...

My boyfriend and I don't drink alcohol for reasons that are none of your business. Yes, you won't make as much on our table. Sorry about that. But we do tip generously, so keep my diet cola topped up just like wine. Thank you very much.

helenalex said...

On the 'lack of authentic food at ethnic restaurants' topic, is there a by-law in Belfast which says that all east Asian restaurants, including the upmarket ones, must, on pain of death, have chips on the menu? I know the city has more than its fair share of spides who probably do come in and go 'you don't do chips with curry sauce? what the fuck is this?' but surely customers like that should just be told that, no we don't, this is a Japanese restaurant.

Manuel said...

helenalex: I used to work for pizza hut, many many years ago. Pizza hut ireland were the first to add chips to the menu. People here couldn't eat their pizza without them apparently

Masquerade said...

Mine's just a personal irritation about a fellow server. She asks, 'How does everything taste?' For some reason this annoys the BALLS off me. If it didn't TASTE ok, would I still be EATING it?! I think it's because my grandmother always asks me that and her food is always horrid, so it invokes bad feelings.

How about 'Is everything cooked to your liking?' Maybe 'How are you doing so far?' Just don't ask me how the food tastes. Order some your own bloody self.

Ridiculous I know. Sorry.

Magdalena said...

I'm a thirty-something woman who loves to go travelling solo, but there is one thing about it that really upsets me. I hate being a "table for one". I hate that suddenly the only table available is a sad little one hidden in a very dark corner of the restaurant or tightly squashed in behind a massive pillar/staircase/whatnot, more often than not sitting right next to the loo.

Eating dinner alone is sad enough, having the waiter trying to hide you away is even worse. And please let's not talk about the smell coming from the loo every time the door is opened... :(

Yes, I might be alone that one evening, but it doesn't mean that I'm a recluse. I still like people, even if I didn't bring my mates today.

Thanks a million for a fantastic blog!

Manuel said...

magdalena: welcome! you know I've never really thought about it but I do that to single tables all the time. I will change my ways......!

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