The Festive Season.
It’s not exactly festive from behind the apron, christmas time brings with it a myriad of challenges – the influx of tourists, large family dinners *just add alcohol and let the fun begin!* Along with the infrequent diners who don’t get out much except for once of twice a year when they don’t make a booking and wonder why you don’t have a table for 12 on a saturday night at precisely 7pm. If you aren’t armed with a smile at these times and laugh about it then you would most certainly cry and end up bunkering down in the cool room to try to get away from it all.
Most of all it’s a busy time – which is best for waiter folk – except when casual staff take extended holidays at a moments notice & the whole team goes down with influenza simultaneously, then its super busy and super late the 13 hour days stretch into 16 and the restaurant floor changes each day to accommodate large bookings leaving poor waiters feeling like furniture removalists before the day has even begun. The divide between design and practicality will always be highlighted at moments like there *stone top tables look good – but fuck!, they are heavy*
I guess it’s a continuing game of plus ones more covers + more hours + more furniture moving + more hustle & less staff + more alcohol = more family feuds & missing staff meal by three minutes before working until 1am in the morning…. it’s all fun and games till a middle-aged irate lawyer type decided to project her pent-up aggression onto me about her failings of how to use the sensor taps in the bathroom – there’s ten minutes of my life I will never get back. PS. they weren’t “broken” or “blocked” – I checked after you left – water flowing freely from both taps.
I don’t mind if you are aggrieved because we have failed to meet the measure, or if indeed we have failed to pick up an error, under serviced you or sent out an invisible meal to you whilst your company enjoy’s their duck – but please don’t yell at me about the working sensors on the taps in the ladies loo’s, do I look like the designer to you? I mean, no waiter in their right mind would construct a restaurant the length of a football field, standing in the one spot is hard enough, we wouldn’t purposefully build a space where you need to do laps, this isn’t the biggest looser – how many fat waiters have you seen lately?
At christmas time people seems to operate in their own planet and ignore your advice and continually try to break the restaurant rules – making everything that much harder. They turn up late to their bookings, they increase in numbers, they ignore their out by times and generally disrespect the profession completely. If you turn up late to your booking and your waiter suggest that you order – they aren’t mucking around – that mean’s 50 other people are arriving in the next fifteen minutes and if you don’t order soon – they I’m afraid that your order will come out last.
And what’s with drinkers who want to hold onto their empty glasses?! there’s no wine in there – it’s just wasted space on the table and dirty smudged glass with nuclear weapon lipstick smeared around the rim – why are you giving me that face? Oh, you want to hold on to your greasy empty glass – by all means go ahead – don’t look at me when there’s no space for the potatoes.
My job is only ever to make things easier - and how you mock me in the festive season, during any given shift it feels like I am playing tug-o-war to get you to sit down and eat on time – it’s all about you, don’t you get that – I don’t want you to have the special because it’s expensive *truffles are expensive num nut*- I want you to have it because I tried it an hour ago and you’ll regret not ordering it when your wife won’t share it with you because it is that good. No no, it’s fine don’t have the truffles – why don’t you have the steak well done with no sauce and no salt and no oil – I can tell you don’t get out much. Merry Christmas meat man, your wife is going to torture you with story of having that dish for weeks.
Sure have your Kris Kringle at the table knocking over all the set glassware, but don’t leave your wrapping all over the floor like this is a some sort of local government subsidised child care centre – this is a restaurant and people will be coming into dine within 15 minutes of you leaving – show some respect.
The list goes on and on – oh the things people will do at this merry jolly time – jingle bells, jingle bells – laughing all the way.