Saturday, March 29, 2008

perhaps vampires is a bit strong but...

We have a new Operations Manager at work. I’m not entirely sure what he does (carry out spying operations? Operate complicated machineries? Both?), one thing’s for sure, it involves wankery.

On Friday, he did ‘the rounds’ and basically 'taught' us how to sell our souls the restaurant, which left me a trifle confused as we’ve never been busier. He also pulled me aside regarding a complaint... Guess what? It wasn't for me. Another sign that this guy knows his shit: “The one thing you must ensure is to keep that customer and not let them walk out the door, even if we’re full... How do you feel about getting them the ringer?” Faced with the unabashed puzzled (and slightly frighteningly appalled) gleam in my eyes, he explained that ‘the ringer’, instead of being a krav maga move or the really bad movie that Jackass guy was in as I suspected, is a gadget given to clients while they wait for a table at the bar or some such sort, and as soon as it's ready, transmits a ring and/or vibration via a controller so they can trod their way towards gluttony goodness. Not unlike the cattle we ironically sell them. Because, you know, walking up and greet them to the table yourself is just too damn personal for a small restaurant like ours. And I suppose it does slow down the entire spending process.


Sure, I’m no business woman – heck, I’m can barely haggle my way through a decent deal with that shop keeper on the street who sell his pashminas £0.83 more than the one on the other side of the road - but it seems that all these ‘strategies’ and ‘gadgets’ to ‘upsale’ sounds a bit cold and unfriendly, donnit? And from a customer’s point of view, rather obviously desperate? And off-putting? And did I mention cold, unfriendly and, you know, generally unattractive? Because when I go to a restaurant, beside the food, it’s the homely and welcoming atmosphere, the comfort in knowing that you’re not just a walking dollar sign nor will you be treated as such, with overbearing greetings, fake friendliness and obvious sales pitch - that stinking smell of cheese (not the good kind anyway) - that gets me through the door. Or is that just me being childishly naïve again? No, like, srisly, I can’t tell anymore.

A colleague and I, in what we innocently thought was a random conversation with one of these new Sales-y managers (we’re trying to ‘re-brand’ ourselves, apparently), were suddenly quizzed on what the ‘6 R’s’ were. As we looked at him as though he landed from Planet Twat, surprised mostly of the existence of such a planet in the first place, he made a note to speak of it in next week’s meeting. Oups. Apparently, when faced with a complaint, the infamous 6 R’s, as he was happy to inform us, are: 1) Remove object of complaint; 2) Report to upper management; 3) Replace item of complaint; 4) ...frankly, I was too repulsed at this point as I realised how retardedly unaware of his own moronic rapport with human reasonning to concentrate on what he was rhyming at. Then I was distracted in wondering if there’s an R’s rule on how to not smack your boss? Refrain, restrain, re-consider, run and retire?

Anyrooney, if this is how it’s going to be from now on, I’m afraid I might have to kick my Do Not Bite the Hand That Feeds You policy right into Bitchville on these virtual pages. As well as start drinking heavily .

Friday, March 28, 2008

my home ghost

It’s a really bad sign when you can’t enjoy the one thing that has always cheered you up.

Whenever I reach That Point – when I can break out in tears, turn to pyromania and/or slice various things, living or otherwise, that fall upon my path – a nice meal, on my own, always seem to keep me away from your evening news. Yes, glorious, life-saving, food.

But as I took a bite of that wonderfully baked garlic champignons with spinach and cheese à la raclette, tears welled up. And not just because I had burned my tongue.

“How izcit?”, the very pretty French waitress asked me in broken English. I nodded as I squinted one eye (the teary one) and tried to create an air passage to ease the burn in my mouth, and created instead a burn in my throat (because it's impolite to eat with your mouth open, especially when someone is talking to you.) Seemingly satisfied to make her customers painfully pleased, she walked away and seated a loud couple a few tables away from mine.

He’d enjoy this, I couldn’t help thinking to myself.

From where I sat, I couldn’t tell what my new fellow diners looked like but they sounded slightly, for lack of a more flattering word, pudgy. There was weight and heaviness to their tone - hoarse and tired, for all the volume exuberated. Their cheerful chit-chat quickly turned to growing resentment as my steak, perfectly rare, with frites & watercress, was presented before my hopeful hunger. “I know you don’t like them, but they’re still my family!...”, the lady spoke out, so defensively, I turned my head. She had curly hair. “And there’s no need for you to be so rude! Especially in front of me!”, she continued.

So some couples have more serious issues....

Still, the thought didn’t help me enjoy as I could this 7oz of juicy dead meat, the sweetness of which hasn’t melted in my mouth in months. Bastard. Because as I sat there, sipping the nice glass of red and guiltily amusing myself in eavesdropping, I know he is at home, sulking in his bowl of homemade fried rice. And though his fried rice is pretty good, somehow indulging an overpriced meal out without him, in spite of him, just doesn’t seem fair. Even if he started it. And slammed the door behind me when I continued.

“Fucking bastard”, the pudgy-sounding man shouted in tandem, but unrelated, with my head. He then mumbled something underneath his breath, quite angrily I noted, and shuffled loudly various things, the salt and pepper grinder probably, on the table. “And that’s how you speak of my family…”, surly curly lady sadly pointed out. An icy silence ensued, interrupted only intermittently by the restaurant manager asking the pretty French waitress to clean up just as the last customers left so they could all leave sooner, to which she replied ‘it donne madderre to mi - shure, but it donne madderre eder wé…’.

It doesn’t matter indeed.

I finished my steak, satiated, asked for the dessert card but didn’t order any. “I’m just going to finish my wine, thank you”.

I just wanted to go home. Wherever that was.

Monday, March 17, 2008

who's got the crack

I [re]organised my bookmarks this weekend.

Feel loads better.

How about you?

Your weekend, I mean.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

nothing came out

Quand je fais la montagne de vaisselle qui pourrit dans l'évier, quand je descends les pavés inégaux de Regent Street, quand je remonte les escaliers mécaniques du underground (à la DROITE, à la DROITE!) ou m’assieds sur les bancs feutrés style soixante-dix du tube (surtout quand je m’assieds sur les bancs feutrés style soixante-dix du tube), peu importe ce que je fais, je ressens cet intense désir de m’évacuer. Ça s’accumule et s’empile, ça gronde et ça grouille avec une lenteur souffrante, juste là-là.

Mais quand ça compte, quand je pose mes fesses et dégourdis mes doigts, avec anticipation et transpiration, ça ne. Sort. Pas.

Ça bloque.
Ça enfonce sans pousser.
Ça agace comme une grosse merde.
Ça fait chier, mais pas vraiment, vous suivez?

Mesdames, messieurs, je suis blogstipée.

Mais en attendant que mes muscles relaxent, veuillez visionner mon band* chéri du jour. Merci.

*Quoi, vous n’attendiez pas du Beethoven quand même? Pas après ça... (Ô! R’gard les jolies couleurs...!)