Monday, 27 April 2009

Arf!

Yahoo Answers eh, there's an slightly odd/icky concept. Idiots Ordinary people, in search of the answers to life's prosaic and in many cases embarrassing little conundrums, turn to the wise and great oracle of Yahoo in search of enlightenment. Not that Yahoo itself answers the questions, no Yahoo turns the question over to the general populous. It's like getting to the end of the yellow brick road and finding not a lovely wizard but three taxi men, an unemployed PR consultant and a whole nest of level seven nerds. Oh my, imagine. In many respects Yahoo Answers is a bit like Wikipedia but for six year olds and with just the same level of accuracy and incisiveness. That is to say none whatsoever.

Take this doozy of a humdinger, that's right it's a humdinger of doozy proportions, I wandered across the other day. I spat tea, beautiful life affirming tea, all over my Mac as I read it. You can imagine my consternation at this loss and waste of precious tea.


"Can a very handsome, but quiet, guy be successful at being a waiter?", asks someone who refers to himself as "Good Guy". [Snicker] Thankfully he goes on to explain his vexatious dilemma, "I'm good looking, but I'm not sociable and it's almost impossible to make small talk with strangers. Could I make it as a waiter?"

Where do you start? I mean where do you start when the laughter stops?

There were a number of fantastically ludicrous and downright preposterous answers given. My favourite response was from "Milo's Mommy" who said, "You don't have to be sociable to be a waiter..." Oh really, is that right now is it? Yes Greta Garbo would have made for a fantastic company through a full house Saturday night shift.

Milo's Mummy also goes on to say that a good waiter needs to be a good listener and have a good memory. Again not so sure about that. I mean my memory is for shit but I have an order pad which really does a smashing job at "remembering" orders. As for being a good listener, I have one ear that is about as useful as a trophy cabinet at manchester city but still I manage to hear all the bits n bobs that I need to.

There were many other arseholey answers all testifying to the fact that a good waiter doesn't need to be able make small talk or be sociable and that being prompt and courteous and have the ability to check on the level of water in a jug is all faaaaar more important than being able to pass a few civil words.

Bobbins. These people are talking absolute bobbins. Bobbins and balderdash.

If I may be so bold to suggest I think these people haven't a bloody clue what they are talking about. The best waiters I have ever worked with have been the ones that could talk. They could talk themselves into your wallet. They could talk themselves into your bed. They could talk themselves out of trouble. Give me a kid that can talk and I'll give you a waiter back.

A good waiter knows when to talk and when to shut the fuckity up. But dull as dishwater waiter who remembers to refill your water and is more ghost than human can do that as he cant talk at all.

So in answer to your question "Good Guy", no you cant be a successful waiter if you cant small talk and are lacking in social skills. And lets be honest you'd probably just spend your time looking at your ever so handsome reflection in the wineglasses.

But that's just my opinion, what say you oh great unwashed readers. Do you prefer your waiter hot and silent or squat and chatty?

30 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

ninetyninewords said...

Given the choice I'd like hot and chatty.

Manuel said...

99 words: yes well it ain't gonna happen.....you get squat or you get hot.....I suppose other waiters may be hot and chatty but I wouldn't know about such things

Boxer said...

I'd prefer squatty and no chatty.

First because I don't truly care how they look as long as they're good. Second, good (to me) means; no chatty.

Manuel said...

boxer: and that's fine. I mean like I say a good waiter knows how to read his or her punters and makes decisions accordingly.....

savannah said...

professional.

like you, sugar! xoxoxo

Manuel said...

savannah: I have moments it has to be said that are less than that.....quite a bit less.....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I am in agreement with you. It is about talking when you need to and shutting up while people eat. I write the food order down on my pad and while doing so repeat back to the guest what they ordered. That sort of takes care of the hearing part. Then it is about service and table maintenance throughout the dining experience. Then hopefully they have enjoyed their own company and not been looking around for their waiter half the time who failed to do a quality check.

sugarpie said...

If you're going to work with the public you're going to need a line of bullshit. No need to snow everyone with nonsense-just an agreeable personality. It can be learned, but not if you are just "staring at your reflection in a wine glass". For fucks sake. Where do these people come from?

About the only job that really requires some good looks is modeling. A good waiter is not only a servant but a salesman-and some of the best salesmen I've known have looked like bridge-dwelling trolls. A really good salesman assures that the both buyer and the seller are happy once the deal is done.

Sorry. Rant finished.

MJ said...

I'd like him hot and nasty.

daisyfae said...

everyone knows that attractive people don't have to work as hard... or have as many skills...

at least that's how it seems to us homely chicks....

Medbh said...

I'm all for waiters writing down the order. Over here and in the U.S. the trend seems to be set on forcing waiters to memorize it. Who the fuck can keep all that in their head on top of everything else? Invariably, they have to come back and double check.

I don't care what a waiter looks like, my only concern is that they're not rude or snobbish.

Samantha said...

Squat and chatty, baby! What's the point if they look good and are useless to me? Yeah, I can whip around a hottie in my bed, but he'll be boring when it's over, and that's no fun. I tip for service and personality/humour. I love a server that knows how to work it and have a good time.

And in comment to daisyfae - pretty and stupid doesn't earn a good tip even if they get my order right. Don't give those pretties all that dcredit because hot fades to fugly ;o)

The Mutant said...

Maybe this is just me, but I like my waiters to be squat and chatty over being hot and silent... then again, same thing applies in the bedroom really. If only I could get a sqaut and chatty waiter in the sack - my night out would be complete. Any ideas how to make that one happen Manuel?

Jimmy Bastard said...

I like a waiter to be polite, but not arse-lickey, and to understand that no... I would not like to sit at the table next to the feckin toilets.

One thing I insist on.. when I give you a £20 tip at the end of the night, put it in YOUR pocket, not the tip jar for all.

If I wanted to put money in the pocket of the spotty girl who slopped gravy on my jayket, I would have given it to her first!

Manuel said...

Steve: exactly....

sugarpie: hahahaha best first line of a comment....ever...the rest was good too....

mj: obviously

daisy: awh

Medbh: I don't understand it.....is it seen as a sign of weakness to write the order down? it's daft eh?

Samantha: again that's exactly it...a waiter makes short brief visits to the table and they need to make a positive impact every time......it's all about the green......!

the mutant: no......I wouldn't know about such things....you could leave a breadcrumb trail of money and shiny things.....we really do like money and shiny things....

jimmy: pooling tips makes us all richer.....We operate the communist pool system at my restaurant......it works, it also irks from time to time but better than any other system.....and £20? from a Scot? Arf! you are a funny man.....

Conan Drumm said...

Waiters should be seen and not heard - like the old guidance for children who should only speak when they're spoken to.

I know this sounds rude but if I hear any unctuous "Sir" or "Madam" talk I feel obliged to remind the waiter that we are citizens of a republic.

Manuel said...

CONAN: oh? really? I am a big fat fan of the sir and madam route. I take it daily. Some people need it, some people don't....! but a good waiter knows......

Manuel said...

conan: and as for seen and not heard.... my hole.....this waiter cant be silenced.....no seriously it;s like I have tourettes....

Conan Drumm said...

Sorry, I'm being a difficult punter, waiters should materialise and dematerialise as required, and be as voluble as Marcel Marceau.

I wonder is there a restaurant anywhere in the world where the waiting staff are entirely silent? Should be possible, no?

Manuel said...

conan: no but there are many shops were you can be served not only in complete silence but without eye contact too.....is that what sir wants? I would suggest such a world would be a hideous place to live in.....

Anonymous said...

when I was in chef school, we had to spend 2 semesters in the school restaurant. The first as wait staff, the second in the kitchen. Oh my gosh, I hated the waitering semester. I do not want to talk to people I don't really know, who are, in fact, judging my behavior. add the host (teacher) observing me & the exec chef (another teacher) tracking me & consider that yet more teachers often ate their discounted meals in there instead of the school cafetieria & I was beyond a bundle of nerves.

I'm the backroom sort. When I was in high school, I was involved in the school plays & such. I created scenery, I ran lights, I found or made or cleaned costumes.

I'm happy to make the behind the scenes part of the world work. Hence, I'll cook. I'll clean up. Don't make me go out on-stage. Good looking Yahoo guy should work with his personality & apply for back of house positions.

Conan Drumm said...

Ah, shops are different and cheery shop folks are great, like your butcher boys!

Conan Drumm said...

And calling people "Sir" is perfectly acceptable in a monarchy where there's an aristocracy and folks are 'subjects' rather than citizens.

Stephan said...

The host should be hot...that way you have eye-candy to play with as you wait for your table. The waiter needs to be sociable and good. If he's hot--or at least has a good ass you can watch as he toodles on back to the kitchen--well, that's just a bonus!

bitsofeverything said...

Why do people post questions on that thing? It's totally insane!

fmcgmccllc said...

First-anyone is says they are good-looking is suspect. Have you ever had a real ugly person say to you that they are repulsive?

Second, I expect gossip and entertainment. 10% more for innocent gossip and looking innocent and grinning when I guess the truth about the weirdo's.

A waiter can make or break the event.

Native Minnow said...

Can he make it as a waiter? Yes.

Male stripper? No.

Old Knudsen said...

I prefer 'get my food and don't expect a tip type'

Flann O'Coonassa said...

Do you prefer your waiter hot and silent or squat and chatty?Too few options Manuel. Personally, I like my waiter to be chatty to the point of Michael Parkinson (that's pretty chatty), but to have the good telepathy to realise when I've undergone a murderous mood swing.

Is that too much to ask? A little telepathy in this day and age? And maybe a little telekinesis, so that orders can be floated to the table by unseen forces? Forces that will not engage the eater in idle banter? Am I asking too much?

Manuel said...

anon: heh...I know what you mean.....it is a stage.....some take to it and some defo do not....

conan: some are...but I like calling people sir...!

stephan: tut tut tut

bitsof: I KNOW! why si the sky blue? Why do I have feet? blah blah blah.....

fmcgmccllc: well that is exactly my point! how vain is he? !

minnow: probably the other way round....

no seriously....

old k: you get your dirty problems sorted out or what?

flan: no....that's exactly what a good waiter should be able to do and cope with.....customers are for the most part huffy mood swingers.....