I learnt a new phrase on Saturday night.
The Dentist had cleared meals from a table in the conservatory and reported back that a complaint was being made about the meal.
'Do I need to go over??"
'Yes I think so'
Sods law dictates that when anyone's making a complaint they will be sited on the only table that is in close proximity to another table.These two were walk ins who were seated at a table that we'd quickly separated into two twos.
I took one look and realised there would be no discreet cover up,might as well sing out loud so the table next to them could hear the whole bloody lot.
I'd already had a quick deeks at the offending rib that had just been cleared and duly noted that only 3 slices of beef from a 1 kilo joint remained uneaten.
I enquired as to the problem.
As is usual the woman made the complaint quite forcefully whilst hubby sat quietly.
'That rib was awful,very poor quality,I couldn't eat it'

Knowing full well that they'd eaten most of the rib I thought I'd use a bit of reverse psychology ..
I  explained that it was very unusual to get a complaint about the beef as we are very careful about sourcing and using a correctly aged product.However,every animal if different and I accepted that on this occasion the cut fell short of expectations,apologised and as they'd BEEN UNABLE TO EAT IT I offered to make a reduction on the bill.
The husband looked a bit shifty,they paid and left.
Presently, the couple of very lovely gentlemen(you know what I'm saying?)cheerily ploughing through the cocktail list,having the type of evening I'd aim for on a Saturday night out and seated at the table adjacent to the problem table gestured me over.
'Well... that was HASHTAG AWKWARD..'
He did that funny inverted comma finger sign as he said it and I couldn't help laughing.
I've never heard this term spoken in general conversation,is this usual down sarf??
'Very well handled dear,but just wanted to let you know those two were arguing before and  throughout the meal.He wanted to order a rib and she didn't.We could hear EVERYTHING they were saying.It was really HASHTAG AWKWARD..and actually I think the beef here(wink) is very good indeed'

The weekend continued in a similar vein with more HASHTAG AWKWARD situations including me chasing a shrew around the bar at regular intervals to various amused and some horrified feedback.
'Look there's a mouse!'
Me :'No its ok! its a shrew!'
Timothy is getting quite brazen now, even crawling nonchalantly over someone's shoe as they were paying the bill on Saturday night.
I'll be surprised if we manage to keep this one off Tw*tadvisor as none of us can catch the little fucker.
This place gets more like Fawlty Towers every day..
Extra protein

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I haven't mentioned OCD Boy for some time.
Well that's because he did one..
Finding competent staff who are prepared to commit to the job for a decent length of time is at best a challenge and at worst BLOODY TRYING.For some reason hospitality(especially front of house)in this country is still predominately viewed as a stop gap job,not a career choice,therefore in the main applicants tend to be students,people on gap years or people generally filling in whilst applying for other jobs.Which is a real shame as the opportunities for quick progression are probably greater than in most other industries.
Anyway, OCD Boy left under a bit of a cloud due to informing us after his Friday night shift that he wouldn't be  finishing the rest of the very busy weekend due to securing a job in his chosen career.I posed the question ‘Did you not tell them that you already had a job and would need to give notice?' The response ‘Well I told them I had a bar job’  pretty much sums up the view which many have that hospitality jobs are not proper jobs and exist for the convenience of the worker,not the employer.Never mind that this ‘bar job’ had provided continuous employment for two years,along with associated benefits including free staff meals(two steaks at one sitting in this particular case) and of course requisite holiday pay.
You might just want to bookmark the following statement and deploy in any future situation where you wish to remain on good terms with an ex employer:
My loyalties lie with my future employer,not with my soon to be ex employers,albeit NICE people
The Judi Dench line from the film Philomena came to mind: ‘remember how you treat people on the way up-you may well meet them on the way down..’ 
Anyway I digress.
In  light of the above I decided I'd try a more mature applicant,now we're not talking pensionable age here,lets just say that this person falls within the fourth(or third depending on which scale you look at) group range of a demographic profile age band.
*Cough* probably around my own age..

Come Sunday morning The Dentist,Sunday Girl and myself have gotten into the habit of starting early then sitting around from 11-1.30 drinking coffee and gossiping.Oblivious but Blissfully Happy comes in later,and usually only has to give the dining room a quick hoover then she's done.
Anyway this particular morning she steamed in as usual all guns blazing just as I was about to demolish a second chocolate muffin.
'MORNING how are you all?'
We exchanged a few pleasantries before OBBH leant in towards me.
'Eeh Biff me piles are giving me jip this morning,I'm going to have a nice hot bath when I finish and cream them up.'
Lets be honest,the last thing you want on Sunday morning when you're feeling slightly fragile having consumed a couple of small vinos quite late the night before is an up to date status report and full shipping forecast on someone's Farmers..
In a knee jerk reaction I quickly covered my half eaten muffin with a paper napkin to avoid any possible contamination.
There was more:
'I didn't have them before I had the kids,did you get them after yours Biff???'
The dentists face was immediately transformed into a particularly spectacular Hollywood gurn, whilst Sunday girl sat quietly saying nothing ..
There is no right answer to this question.
Do I:

a.deny the existence of any offending pile(which  no one is likely to believe given the aforementioned precursor 'having children' being a contributory factor)


b.admit to having piles( pffft are you joking?)

In the event I ignored the question and gave out an involuntary nervous giggle which in effect had the same outcome as the above two.

I looked guilty as hell.


How we managed to hold things together until the hoover switch was flicked on I have no idea,the early morning lurkers in the garden must have wondered what the hell was going on.The Dentist was crying,I was bent double with a terrible stitch due to the amount of coffee and chocolate I'd just consumed.
Sunday Girl was still quiet.
'What's a pile?'
Which of course was the cause of much further hilarity..
'Just Google Haemorrhoids dear..'

For the rest of lunch I couldn't get the thought of the Farmers out of me flaming head.
Halfway through service OBBH appeared in the kitchen
'Biff would you mind having a quick look at the Fosters please? It just doesn't look right to me,it looks a bit DARK'
It didn't help that I had to follow her out of the kitchen, (wiggling butt and the horrors which lay beneath directly in front of me) and through to the bar where I observed a Fosters glass sited strategically underneath the Guinness font,half full with….GUINNESS.
'What do you think? It doesn't look right does it?"
I stared in disbelief at the glass and the regular customer waiting patiently for his Sunday morning tipple obviously also equally dumbfounded by the strange turn of events.
'No... it doesn't look right because its Guinness..'
Bit dark for Fosters??

The regular glanced nervously at the pint and shuffled uncomfortably.
'Its ok I'll just have Guinness instead..'
And as any fule kno GUINNESS and Fosters are equally interchangeable….
I repeated the tale to Chef when I returned to the kitchen accompanied by loud guffaws and associated crying from others who had been witness to the debacle.
'Thats not even funny' said Chef 'that can't be good for business'
But I could see the corners of his mouth twitching involuntarily…
So you see every demographic brings its own challenges..and as I said later 'I'm keeping her she's good for morale..'

*I do not have piles (please believe me…)


m.lawrenson said…
Having many experiences like this at my place of work due departures/influx of new staff.

I keep having this recurring dream. I'm looking at my place of work and the theme from "Exodus" plays, then everything goes black. Then I see my place of work again, accompanied by the theme from "The Muppet Show".

What could it possibly mean?
Wally Bell said…
Will be seeing you soon.
That must have been a pint of O'Fosters.

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