Tuesday, 9 December 2008

I'm gonna get HAMmered today....

In order to give guests the best possible service during the party season we ask them to order their chosen meals in advance. It's the only way to get them in and out in two hours best attend to their every whim-cum-eccentricity and it's a system that has served us well for many a year. But now that pork has gone and got it's beautiful self all sullied and violated with the contents of the household waste of the good people of County Carlow I fear that our pre-order system is about to crash harder than Pete Doherty on a Monday morning after a weekend bender.

I miss you so so much

The phone, fax and email systems will be jammed with twitchy diners trying to change from turkey and ham to salmon or the, previously mad cow, steak or something else free from dioxins. And who will be on the other end trying to deal with this panic? That's right, waiter chum number one. Suppose I'll have to help. The problem being that our Christmas reservations book and pre-order folder is a very delicate ecosystem much like the Amazon. And much like the Amazon the less people crawling all over it the better. Once the order has been received we have to mark it off and note it on various other sheets, highlighter pens are deployed and strange codes are used to notify everyone that the order has been got. Now, to have to undo all that because the news is kicking up a storm about some teeny tiny risk is a massive pain in the ass.

But undo it we will. Not just anybody can do it, in fact very few, that is to say two of us, can do it. Others try and fail and fuck the aforementioned delicate ecosystem up. Their piss poor attempts at recreating our mythical codes and shorthand is the equivalent of bringing a flu sufferer to the Amazon - that is to say it causes chaos!! Chaos, I tell you with no hint of hyperbole. Some have suggested we have made it all too complicated. Others say we are full of shit. Most say we are full of our own self importance and are just keeping ourselves in jobs. But they don't know the ways of the booking system and more importantly the ways of the guest with their special dietary requirements and attempts at ludicrous substitutions.

I had one chap, last week, email me and ask for extra soup in his bowl and extra turkey with his eh turkey. Both were denied. Another didn't want pudding so he asked for an Irish coffee. Oh wouldn't it be great to live in a world were xmas pudding could be swapped for Irish coffee? But we don't. His request was also denied. This isn't a school playground were kids swap new shoes for a bag of Space Raider crisps. And what of the chap who was allergic to egg but still wanted his chicken breaded? We had to tell him to catch a fucking grip, politely, but still we had to do it.

You see these details were spotted not by the managers, who pass the emails to us, but by us. They would be happy to file it and say nothing. But we, waiters, are the guardians of the ordering/booking system, we are the ones who say, "no". We don't like having to say, "no" (actually that's not true, I love saying no) but we have to do it, for the good of the restaurant, for the good of society as a whole. I'm gonna get a little hat and a uniform to go with my new Mussolini-esque attitude.

Tuesday is going to be a wonderful day, I can feel it. And if any one of the twitcher switchers is a smoker I'll personally stuff a pigs head up their butt and then mark them all over with my highlighter pen.

Seriously.

15 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

What a major pain in the ass.
Give them all the salmon and let them cope.
Who doesn't like salmon?

Blondefabulous said...

I used to love it when people would come to our Sunday Brunch that had a fixed menu, and when ordering try to replace each and every thing in the menu with something else. "I'd like potatoes instead of grits. I'd like an english muffin instead of toast. I'd like yadda yadda yadda......"
SHUT THE FUCK UP! This isn't Burger King, and you don't get it "your" way.

Asses. All of 'em.

MJ said...

Off topic: I've posted "Your Favourite Post" on my blog.

Old Knudsen said...

Pigs are wonderful animals and anyone who doesn't eat them for any reason are my enemy and must be destroyed........... Peace out.

Sharon said...

What a nightmare. Hope it works out OK. Bloody dioxins.

Conan Drumm said...

Eight beef farms in NIronland fed the same shit to their stock - completely sHAMbollixical 'traceability'.

silverstar98121 said...

I love salmon, but you'd never get my father or brother near it. With no ham, it's either turkey or mad cow for them. Glad I don't have your headaches.

daisy mae said...

this reminds me of a time i went to dinner with a large group - we were told we could have free-reign with the menu, but the servers were told by the chef that we were limited to 3 options... absolute mayhem ensued, and there wasn't a dish without mushrooms!

i can't stand salmon, sorry to say. i'd much prefer a slab of the mad cow. preferably wrapped in some kind of pork product.

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

manuel,
love your comparisons to the amazon eco-system. Some people don't understand how changing things affects other stuff downstream. I just say, "no substitutions" otherwise pretty soon you've got the guy who wants to trade in his asparagus for a lobster tail. As for Mussolini--let's hope you don't meet a similar fate--even if the trains do run on time!
your friend,
mtw

Crisatunity said...

I switched Irish coffee for my entire dinner last night.

Boxer said...

"is about to crash harder than Pete Doherty on a Monday morning after a weekend bender"

Bwahahahaha - I'm sooooo lifting that line.

I think I'm Old K's enemy - I don't eat the piggie.

psychoknitter said...

I keep forgetting it's the Christmas season. Thanks for the reminder.

Manuel said...

clearly the good people of belfast aren't as easily frightened as I thought because there was only one change in my twelve hours at work. Which is nice.....

Frank B said...

Is it possible for the restaurant to obtain Danish pork or Polish pork or the like?

It seems easier than changing all orders.

Of course, I know nothing about the business what ever.

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