Friday, 10 October 2008

This isn't Burger King so you can't have it your way......

I popped out for a sandwich the other day to my favourite sandwich emporium.

"Oh Hi Manuel how are you?" asked the young lady behind the counter.

"I'm very well ta for asking. And you? You have a good weekend?" I replied in a jovial and friendly way. All this was delaying the sandwich getting and more importantly the sandwich eating. But one must make nice from time to time. I mean it would be a wretched world if we couldn't exchange pleasantries over a sandwich counter.

"Well I was at a funeral, so it wasn't so good." And with that her top lip began to quiver and her eyes filled with tears.

"Oh sorry to hear that. Eh.....yeah really sorry to hear that."

"Thanks, what can I get you?" she asked through misty eyes and with her voice breaking.

"Eh can I just get a coffee to go?" Well what else was I to do? I couldn't very well have her make me a sandwich in that state. Plus in that condition she would have made a right mess of it.

This is what happens when I go out for a simple sandwich - people cry.

I'm a simple chap with simple needs. And it would be both fair and accurate to say I like to keep my shit simple. I like to go to work, do some work (not a lot but some), and then come the fuck home again. This is the way I live, a credo if you will for my perfect work/life balance. I try to maintain this keep shit simple philosophy in my personal life too.

For example if I go out for something to eat I like to look at the menu, choose from the selection available and then inform the waiter of said choices. Keep shit simple. Oh how I wish the world at large could keep their shit simple too.

"Now sir are you ready to order?"

"Hmmmmmm not sure maybe ten fifteen more minutes?"

"Ten or fifteen more minutes?"

"Yes, I'm just not sure. That okay?"

I meandered back behind the bar which gave me a great vantage point from which to view this oddity. If he took the full further fifteen minutes to choose what he wanted that would mean he had spent half an hour to select his dinner. Half an hour? Are you kidding me? Wars have been won and lost in less time. In half an hour I can eat dinner get hungry and eat all over again.

But I'm a waiter, so I waited. And muttered. I am also a mutterer.

Eventually he closed his menu and I was on him quicker than it takes your average bank to go bust.

"So sir what can I get you this evening?" Not that it was going to be evening for much longer at this rate of going.

"I want a steak, the sirloin....." Half a fucking hour to choose a steak, sweet mother of Gordon Ramsay! "....I want, are you writing this down?"

"Yes sir I am writing this down." The stabbing fork was looking good for some action.

"I want half of it cooked rare and the other half cooked medium. I want the sauce from the pheasant served with it and the potatoes from the chicken. Have you got that?"

"Yeah...eh....let me get this straight. You want the steak cooked both rare and medium?"

"Yes, you'll need to cut it in half."

"Obviously sir. And would you like it cut length ways or width ways?" I asked in the most sardonic tone I could muster.

He tutted as if I was the mental one, "Width ways of course." I swear if he had rolled his eyes I would have stabbed him with my pencil. And followed up with the fork.

"And would sir be ordering some wine this evening?" I was thinking maybe a half bottle of the shiraz mixed with a half pint of Guinness.

"Yes, Cabernet, a bottle."

"Very good."

And off I popped. I gathered my waiter chums around me as I entered the order in to the register. They all shook their heads. They all stared at yer man. We all waited for a reaction from the kitchen.

"Yeah, they aren't gonna do that. Not. A. Chance." Said waiter chum number 1.

"I know but they deserve a laugh."

I answered the phone. I listened. I hung it up. And then I went and told chummy that the kitchen wouldn't be fulfilling such a ludicrous order. But not in those words.

"I'll have a steak then, medium rare with chips and pepper sauce." He said this with no hint of surprise or anger. A very odd chap indeed.

"Good choice sir, good choice."

He had wasted a half hour of his life. He hadn't wasted my time as I got a giggle out of it.

Arsehole, should have kept his shit simple.

31 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

A.B. said...

something tells me he's tried this before.

Manuel said...

a.b: welcome by the way! Yeah that's the way it seemed to me. And probably not the first time he's been knocked back......

Manuel said...

a.b: oh i get it now.......

Medbh said...

So it took him a half an hour to figure out how to be a total diva dick with the order?
Fucking lame.

Manuel said...

medbh: diva? bwahahahahaha........btw the next time you are here i have to take you to the greatest cheese shop in the world......no sickies this time...promise

problemchildbride said...

Maybe he likes to tease himself with the thought of the impossible. He might not even need the actual food to be satisfied. The anticipation is all. Maybe he practices Tantric dining or something.

Maybe he's a prat.

Manuel said...

sam: bwahahahaha never thought of that...maybe he's just an attention seeker......

daisyfae said...

your 'emo sandwich artist' reminds me of a horrible moment in Hooters. i had a friend who was dealing with much frustration and sadness, and he'd hoped i'd cheer him up! taking him to Hooters? Why perfect! Those pretty little bimbettes are always perky and cheery!

as our server came to the table to get our drink order, i mentioned that my friend was a bit blue, and some extra special fuss would make him smile. She then proceeded to tell us about how blue she was, why her boyfriend was a worthless fuck, how her dog was sick and she couldnt afford to get him treated...

sheesh... i was ready to flash my boobies at HER after all that...

Manuel said...

daisyfae: bwahahahaha and hahahahaha that's what you get for going to hooters....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

That is a new one for me having the steak half cooked one way and the other half another.Maybe he has a split personality or something....Like one minute he is Fred and the next one he is Dan.

Manuel said...

steve: weird eh?

Silverstar said...

Or maybe one minute he's Fred and the next minute he's Ethel. Hats off for not using the stabbing fork on him. At least he didn't want a white wine with that.

Native Minnow said...

Stop making people cry. And stop muttering to yourself.

MJ said...

Mistress MJ examines the menu online first as many restaurants have their own websites.

Thus hopefully paring down decision time once she's seated.

sheepworrier said...

Im guessin your favourite sandwich emporium isn't Ann's Pantry?

Can I have a half a bowl of cornflakes and the other half weetabix? But I dont want milk in the cornflake side!

Ricardo said...

I reckon he's a lurker on this blog and was just trying to wind you up and get you to write about him... a sad kinda fame...

Margaret said...

I once had a customer ask for two sunny side up eggs, but on opposite sides of the plate as he was hungover and might get sick if they were together.

Manuel said...

silverstar: one minute he was arse one minute he was hole....

minnow: [fucking tell me what do....fishy bastard]

oh thanks for that!

mj: mistress mj is highly regarded amongst the waiting community.....

sheepo: ah poor old ann and her filthy pantry......apparently you could see the rats through the window.....

ricardo: have you got something you wanna tell me? eh? are you a 50+ old man with a english accent but with a hint of north antrim in it? well?

margaret: people are freaks!!!

Maxi Cane said...

Why can't people keep shit simple? These are the people I don't miss.

What I do miss is telling them where to go when they ask for Oysters out of the shell, because it's not shellfish they're allergic to, just the shells.

Melissa said...

I think he was the guy who stole your laundry. I bet he had your underwear on.

Coco said...

My friends and I were in the pub one evening. One of our number popped out to get something to eat. He returned with a kebab pizza. I still haven't figured it out.

belfastyouthworker said...

lol, 'emo sandwich artist', in reference to your previous post i was also in muriels thursday lunchtime....oooohhhhhhh lucky us!

Manuel said...

maxi: you miss it and you know you do.....

melissa: eeeeeeewh

coco: that's sort of awesome....

byw: what time where you there? I was there at one point.....

belfastyouthworker said...

i was there between 1.20 and 2.00! what did you eat? i had a liquid lunch. did you know it's the sister bar of the spaniard? i had many drunken student days in there :P

Manuel said...

byw: Of course I knew that....I know everything.....I was there about 2.45. I had the sausage and mash. Lovely stuff...had the chicken casserole the day before....again excellent stuff...

belfastyouthworker said...

i will be staking out muriel's all next week's lunchtimes looking for a manuel-shaped figure. i'm in the dark-framed specs and red hat!

Manuel said...

byw: you'll never see me.....I'm like the scarlet pimpernel...but I'm not a ginger....

Conan Drumm said...

Yeah, the Chinese have it right. Keep it simple and give every option a number.

And - the kitchen folks may not like this - there are those of occasional diners who think if a kitchen can't give us the combination we desire off the menu then it is because
1) the food is rigidly prepared in advance, or
2) they're not very versatile in the kichen, or
3) they think they are culinary artistes and are up their own bums about what goes with what, or
4) all of the above...

samcrea said...

Does these people, who dont serve for a living, have any idea how close to the stabbing Fork they come every time they go out to eat or drink??

savannah said...

i think i'm just going to eat top ramen for the next month and not even step outside! xoxo

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