Monday, 20 April 2009

The bitterness of Waiters shines most when the sun comes out

I was filling the empty moments whilst the credit card machine performed it's dramatic whirring and beeping with the usual banal chit chattery. It's always the same, "Heading on out this evening are we?" or "Any plans for the weekend?" or if conditions are right, "Beautiful evening sir, could be a good weekend for [insert any number of prosaic middle class activities here - boat sanding, horse grooming, writing angry letters to the Daily Mail/Belfast Telegraph and so on]

I went with the weather, obviously, as it was warm and pleasant, outside that is, it was hot and sweaty and generally disappointing conditions for the waiting of tables inside.

go away...

"Looks like a cracker couple of days ahead sir. Do you have plans for the weekend?", I asked with no real care for the answer as the machine performed it's overly complicated ritual of dialing and waiting and dialing again.

"Oh it looks fabulous doesn't it?!", exclaimed the previous sullen looking fifty year old gentleman.

I mean right up to that point he had shown no enthusiasm for anything, not the exquisite duck and foie gras terrine he dined on nor the spiffing bottle of Chablis he took 15 minutes to choose and certainly not the playful hugging of his super sweet grandchild. No right up until that moment he was a contrary old bastard. But as soon as I mentioned the favourable weather conditions predicted by scientists, farmers and old people (they can feel it in their bones, apparently) for the weekend he was Mr Saturday Night, Mr Jovial even. His change from sour faced old bastard to the campest man in the restaurant was really rather remarkable.

"Fabulous! It's going to be just fabulous!", he repeated with an unnerving and unexpected swing of his arms. Oh my. I had to take a step back lest he strike me with one of his flailing arms. But he was still to tip so I had to play along.

"Indeed sir, any plans?" I was staring at the machine and willing it to process the payment quicker with every fibre of my sweaty being.

"Well I fancy a jaunt up the coast, let the old girl out", the previous look of death and bitterness that had haunted his eyes was gone and had been replaced with an impish twinkle. I wasn't sure how to respond, was he talking about his wife? She was sitting right there for fuck sake! Oh please god no, I wasn't in the mood for an all boys together type nudge-nudge wink-wink conversation.

Treading where even angles fear I carried on, "Right so...eh..up the north coast then is it?"

"Yes yes....", he was so excited little bits of saliva where forming on the edge of his mouth, nice "...I have a little MG sports car. Gonna let the old girl out, let her rip"

My relief was palpable.

He droned on about the car for what seemed like four hours, "saved her from a scrap dealer.....restored the old girl myself....gotta treat them right...blah blah fucking alloys fucking racing green...blah blah blah" but in fact only about 30 seconds.

Cars bore me senseless but people who talk about cars make me want to hurt something, normally the person talking about them. I glanced, between politely nodding, at the credit card machine. It finally clicked into life and spat out the little receipt. Thank fuckity.

"And there you go sir, you have a fabulous weekend now." I was gonna say fierce but thought better of it.

"Oh I will", says he as he lifted his jacket.

"And what about you, will you be out taking advantage of the sun this weekend waiter?" People who call me "waiter" as if that was my name also make me want to hurt something. Douchery at it's best.

"Me? Oh no sir I'll be working all weekend", I said applying some final leverage into his wallet. Sympathy rarely pays off but worth a try.

"But it's the weekend!", he says all aghast at the thought of someone having to work an entire weekend, more douchery thought I.

"Ah yes sir but your Friday is my Monday and it's a very busy weekend for us."

Slipping some dosh, a decent amount at that, into my sweaty, wet, paw he bade me farewell and off he trundled, no doubt with dreams of racing round the north coast with the wind blowing through the part of his head where there used to be hair.

It's easy to spot waiters on their way to work when it's sunny outside. They walk like whatcha call him from The Verve in that video for that song, Bitter Sweet Symphony. But they slouch like they are carrying the woes of the world and they begrudge, they begrudge everything for everybody. Even happy go lucky me (arf) threw a tantrum on the way to work on Saturday. Repeated punches to the face from Little Miss Manuel put me right. Bless.

Seriously, I hate working when it's lovely and sunny and all your tables are late because they are all drinking outside soaking up the final rays of delicious sunlight and I am left to stare out the window like the child with the debilitating illness that means he isn't allowed to go outside and play with all the other boys. I am off on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, have your brollies at the ready, it will pish down.

Todays post was brought to you by bitterness, an almighty persecution complex and prayers for rain, but not for Tuesday.

24 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Anyone with outdoor seating over here it raking it in right now.
You could serve dog piss, and folks would gladly pay a stiff price for it, as long as they were able to sit in the sun as part of the deal.

Tessa said...

Ah Manuel, you bring such cheer into my life, so you and I both have something to be grateful for after all. And I swear, I would never be nasty to a waiter, or call him "waiter." Jeez.

Word verification is pothr, which is very appropriate, no?

Native Minnow said...

It's very nice weather here, but next week may mark the end of spring for us. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s.

Manuel said...

medbh: it's so true......especially in this country....for all we know that's it.....summer could have been the weekend.....seriously, but then again you'll discover that soon enough

tessa: new? welcome! you are very kind to say so...pothr? sounds about right

Manuel said...

minnow: 90's? oh my.....couldn't cope....I'd die of sweating.....not a pleasant way to go I assume....

MJ said...

I'm happy anytime you use the word 'fuckity'.

Manuel said...

mj: it was used many times on sunday afternoon.....mainly directed at small children and the parents of....

PatrickCorrigan said...

As already noted by MJ, you had me at 'Thank fuckity'. The English language somersaulted with Joycean joy. I just rocked back in my chair. Metaphorically speaking only, of course.

daisyfae said...

suppose you could blast a skylight in the ceiling with your wrath... get the open air dining at least until repairs are made?

mago said...

"Fuckity" is British? I learned "fuckery" from an American blogeress ...
Sunshine is evil for the security assistant. Either one has to sit in a glass cubicle and gets roasted, has to walk miles over shadowless sunsoaked industrial areas, or has to deal with middle aged assholes that race their cabrios to/through the entrance/exit area in full expectance that the gates will open ... it is so tempting to press a button and let the barrier boom down hopefully decapitating one of these cheap account fiddlers ... ach ...

B said...

the people with children always occupy the outdoor seating don;t they?
...and smoking swine.

that's why everyone should always opt for indoors.

Old Knudsen said...

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck!

From 4 wedding and a funeral I believe.

Its so warm and sunny here the gravy is dripping off me balls. Then again thats what its like most days, horrible lad.
I think I might let the old gurl out for a bit, shes getting a tad pale.

sugarpie said...

Oh yes indeedy do! Fuckity! My new favorite word. And, dude, WTF with those damned credit card machines? I can get instant access, half way across the world, to my favorite sites (ie Well Done Fillet and Tibetan porn) and it takes 45 fuckity seconds to process one lousy restaurant transaction? The fuckity starters come out faster than these damned machine's receipts.

sassysundry said...

I think "Thank fuckity" is my new favorite expression. Sorry you're stuck indoors. I hate that Verve video.

Your old patron reminds me of my aunt's new husband (I don't think of him as "uncle" because he's old enough to be my great-grandfather, and he's stodgy). Mention the weather, and he'll perk right up and talk about golf. Fassssscinating.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Manuel...I feel your pain working inside when the weather is good. I see you still have those dial up credit card machines. They are a nuisance aren't they.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Ahhhh stop while I wipe the tears fae the eyes...

Sipping cool drinks behind the air conditioned glass of your high street domains morelike, young sir.

Some of us were filling holes in the road from sun up to sun down, not pressing their magnificent conical breasts against the windaes as they waved to those of us who toiled.

Waiters are the kings of sarcasm, the ironic barons of mirth, they swoop on the tablecloth shilling, yet spit in the soup of life.

Nice post.

silverstar98121 said...

Do you know what they call a sunny day after two days of rain in Seattle? Monday.

Word verification is testies. Are they trying to tell us something?

bek said...

Really really, working through the hot weather is no loss. When the hot weather hits, the majority of the populace strip off and head outside with the sole intention of having Fun. Which leads to a country of pink, fat stressed sweaty grumpy people stuck on the M4 swearing at each other. You, on the other hand get to glide round the cool shadowy caverns of your resteraunt occaisionally rearing your head out to glare at the world, much like a catfish. Oh, bliss..

ninetyninewords said...

Unfortunately I've spent this weekend, as most others, looking out from a desk trying to soak up some knowledge.
I feel your pain.
And I didn't get a tip.

Manuel said...

patrick corrigan: why thank you.....!

daisyfae: oh yeah...the boss would be delighted!

mago: irish, but lets not quibble...oh my, I feel your pain...

b: yes....indoors, with me, the angry waiter.....

old k: oi I never claimed it as my own....also four weddings? you sensitive old bastard

sugarpie: it's mental eh? And time stands still as work builds up all around you whilst it processes......meh!

sassy: golf is the most wankerish game of all.......

steve: it's a bluetooth thingy..but slow and cantankerous.....like me

jimmy: "Waiters are the kings of sarcasm"? really? are they?

silverstar: testies.....?what a lot of balls

bek: and taxi men, you forgot about the taxi men and their "wonderful" mantra of, "good weather brings all the hotties out" except they don't call them hotties....meh...bek, are you new? welcome!

Manuel said...

99 words: whoops...well you know then.....I'll get you a pint/non alcoholic beer with the tips.....

B said...

exactly

Manuel said...

b: I'm not always angry....wasn't tonight even when the table of 20 walked in with no reservation....

nil zed said...

I went to Ireland last week! It rained, but we went out touristing anyway. We went to the Guinness place. Fun! Free Pint! We went to Kilmainham Prison. We didn't have enough cash & their credit thingy was down, so the nice man let all four of us in for the Euro 4.37 we had in our pockets.

Naturally, it was sunny on Saturday when we could only look through the windows of the bus/airport/plane/train/rail replacement coach on the way home.

Next time, we'll come see your bit. I'll be sure to check your days off so I can avoid the rain then.