MadTV: The journal

The world is full of some really odd people
I might do a few more waitering blogs over the next few weeks and I thought it'd be best to put some background in place for you gentle reader.
I worked in the hospitality industry for nearly ten years, originally as a bartender and later as a waiter. I have worked in many, many restaurants ranging from little cafes to huge central London chain restaurants. Probably the maddest place I've ever worked was a well known restaurant in Leicester Square London. That really was the ultimate restaurant for a jaded and cynical food server to end up, some of the things I've seen there would stop people dining in the West End forever. More on that place another time, today's delight is one of the oddest things I've had happen to me when dealing with the public.

It's Manchester and the restaurant is Riki Tiki Tavi's, the very begining of the day shift on a bank holiday monday. The first table comes in and it's a four top; a couple with two teenage kids. They sit down and I go over to take their order. The guy asks about our normal monday "buy one get one free" promotion. Now I know that the management aren't going to run a promotion designed to buck up a slow day on a bank holiday and I suggest to the table that it's probably not on. He tells me that one of our hosts had told him about the promotion yesterday and suggested that he take advantage of it today. To keep him happy I say I'll just go ask the management and see if I can get the promotion for him.

It happens that my then girlfriend was the manager on duty and I went to ask her and unsuprisingly she said that, no, we weren't doing the promotion and she made a mental note to tell the host in question not to push promotions on bank holidays.

So I head back to the table and decide to make a little joke (the table had seemed lots of fun up to that point). I walked up, rolled my eyes and said in a very hammed up manner "I went to get you a deal and all I got was a host in trouble." -- Ok it was a rubbish attempt at humour but I was shattered from a long weekend -- Instantly the guy was incensed and started asking me loudly for the manager. I tried to tell him it was just a joke but he kept cutting me off before I could finish what I was saying and asking again and again for the manager. I had no choice but give up and go and get my girlfriend. I quickly explained the situation to her and sent her over. She went to the table and tells him "it's fine your server was just kidding" which deflates him immediately and I suspect makes him feel like a fool.

Drama over thinks I and I head back to the table to apologise and take their order. But now he won't order, he doesn't want anything and is obviously fuming. The rest of his family order and I put the check into the kitchen. By this point I'm getting pretty nervous about this table as the bloke is staring venomously at me wherever I go. So I was really pleased to see another waiter arrive (Leonardo one of our spanish waiters) and I instantly hand the table over to him as its become obvious that I'd best never go near them again. Problem solved? Nope, not on your nelly. Next thing I see is that he's left the table and is talking to my girlfriend and obviously complaining. At that point the general manager arrives into work and my girlfriend hurriedly hands the guy off to him instead. So now the general manager gets the whole story, seems he really thinks that we're going to fire the hostess and that his "whole bank holiday is ruined" and then to my manager's complete amazement he starts to cry. Seriously. Here is this middle aged guy crying like a baby to my boss. Seems he'd had a hard week at work and we were the culmination for him. My boss let him off the bill and ushered the still sniffling man and his family out into the street.

People are weird...

Gone Away
Hmmm, strange. Did you offer him a tissue?
Date Added: 10/03/2005

Hell, I didn't go near him once I'd got rid of the table!
Date Added: 10/03/2005

thats northerners for ya.

Date Added: 11/03/2005

Poor bastard.
Lucky you just got a crier - here in the New World it is just as likely to end with a shooting.
And I wouldn't have it any other way! ;-)

Date Added: 12/03/2005

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