I was off work on Sunday and enjoyed a wonderful and spiffing day both lounging and indeed reclining. Not even the hideousness of The Attack of the Clones could ruin my lazy Sunday. Still, not all Sundays are as fantastically lovely. Take the previous one for example. That was a "fun" day at work. For a while it was fun like dangling by your extremities over a pit of less than pleasant and quite angry vipers.
(I knew this picture would get used again one day)I was still in somewhat of a daze as I meandered through the kitchen, the exertions of the previous shift had left me feeling less than perky. But I was happy to get through the lair of a thousand smart ass remarks and out the other side without having to tell someone to go fry their head. It was way too early to have to deal with chefs and their questionable witticism. It was only when I was back behind the bar a while later that I realised that we were missing not just the smart assed remarks of the chefs but the large gaping holes from where they emanate. In other words, there were no chefs.
They had all retired to a local hostelry for a post shift beverage or two after work on Saturday night to bid farewell to one of their brethren who was moving on to pastures, or should that be cookers, new. Clearly they had many many more beverages than the "couple" they had mentioned before they left. But knowing why they weren't in really wasn't helping with the roasting of beef and the mashing of potatoes or for that matter even with the switching on of things. We were staring down the barrel of a busy Sunday lunch with no cooker monkeys. Now I've always said waiters are more important in a restaurant than the chefs but now that theory was about to be put to the test.
So after a good twenty minutes of head scratching, the furious necking of espresso, three mild panic attacks (there was nothing mild about it) we all agreed that waiters are not more important in a restaurant than chefs. Better looking, but not as important, obviously. Many phone calls were made and many phone calls went unanswered. Waiters arrived and then went on elongated smoke breaks, this was awesome. The manager, one not noted for calmness under fire, was in a right state. Guests were beginning to arrive.
This was squelchy time.
"We need a lie", I ventured to the flame haired key jangler. Nothing works better than a good lie to get out of trouble. So I came up with a massive one about electrical problems overnight having rendered the kitchen unsafe to work in but that experts were winging their way to address the issue. I may have used the word widget more than a few times and managed to deliver this fantastic story whilst maintaining a very sombre and lugubrious visage through out. And who was the first person I lied this lie to? That's right a Vicar and his lady friend. I enjoyed that.
The first of the bedraggled and sorry looking chaps showed up at twelve, which was okay as he was due to start at twelve. He didn't look too bad at first but as soon as he realised that he was on his own his hangover took over. So at least there were two of them in the kitchen. There was much discussion between him, the manager and another manager over the phone. This didn't seem to go well as there was a near walkout, of the one chef we had, and it took a further phone call and much calming of nerves to steady the ship, the ship that was sinking that is. I was busying myself with the telling of massive porkies to unhappy guests at the restaurant door whilst my waiter chums caught up on gossip and filed their nails.
It was 2pm before we finally opened. The errant chefs, including the monkey in chief, the head chef, finally dragged their drunken asses into work over the next few hours. But it was all fairly pointless by that point as I had knocked back many phone reservations and walk ins already. There is talk of getting them all electronically tagged, like sheep or prisoners so that this wont happen again but they are devious little chaps, like Jack Russell's, and would just chew their own legs off to get a beer.
What a wonderful Sunday it was though, no kids with their sticky fingers touching things that don't concern them, no post church holier than thou sorts sticking their noses up at the hungover staff, and no smart ass remarks from smart ass chefs.
No tips either but life is full of little trade offs. If only every Sunday was that lovely......