Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can't Shape Up*

This was the start of a series of unfortunate events for JJ and I over recent days. The night following our Amersham visit, we met up in the Euston area, so decided to have dinner in Drummond Street in one of the very many superb Indian restaurants there. Only trouble being that the one we plumped for was far from being superb. Rude and unwelcome staff who never cracked a smile throughout our stay. Bland food. Small portions. Bottle of water cost £4. If only we had read about the place here first. We shall not be returning.

A few days later we find ourselves with a day off work and so go up to the West End for window shopping. We wander around and make our way through the streets of Mayfair and decide to have a drink. As you do in such places, we head for the bar to order. We are told by friendly bloke to take a seat and someone would be over to take our order. We wait. We wait a bit longer. And we wait even longer without being asked what we would like to drink. We wonder what is going on as there are plenty of staff around and not very many customers. The staff are busy though. One is filling the ketchup bottles with ketchup. Another member of staff is filling up mayonnaise bottles with mayonnaise. Another is talking to the one filling up the mayonnaise bottles with mayonnaise. Another member of staff is talking to the one filling up the ketchup bottles with ketchup. Another member of staff is cleaning tables which have neither people nor empty drinks on them. The latter is eventually asked to go and take orders. She tells her colleague that she is busy. She is then told to go and take orders. She makes her way over to our table and asks me what I would like. I tell her. She turns and walks away. I tell her to return and take JJ's order. She takes completed order (only after saying that she doesn't understand what a slimline tonic is) and then goes to the bar. She then walks from one till to another about five or six times. She then seems about to talk to the mayonnaise bloke but holds back. She then seems about to talk to the ketchup bloke but holds back. She then stands in between them both and looks decidedly indecisive. JJ and I are laughing. But, after over five minutes of this, we decide to leave. What a bizarre place!

We then take a walk through the back streets and try to find our way back to Oxford Street. A few turns and we are unsure where we are but think we're going in the right direction. Just to make sure, we decide to ask a traffic warden the way to Oxford Street. We ask, but we don't get an answer as said traffic warden refuses to acknowledge our existence. He mumbles something as we walk away, but we decide to take a chance on our own directions rather than wait for the rude cunt to finally give us an answer.

With all this stuff, we could have been forgiven for getting a bit narked, but we weren't. Laughed it all off and had wonderful time together.

*The Wonderstuff



Blogger J.J said...

That Indian was quite exceptionally bad...toilets were vile too. But that woman in the bar can not possibly still be in a job - what on earth was she ever going to do when they got busy as opposed to have a total of 2 tables filled?

8:42 am  
Anonymous Messalina said...

Yes, this accords with my own experiences of going out and about in London these days. It seems increasing difficult to have the conversations with people that one used to take for granted as one made one's merry way through life with a smile and a song. I remember that passive-aggressive blank indifference when I got my first Oyster card and boarded a bus, cheerily asking the driver whether I needed to swipe it again when I left the bus. A harmless request, I had thought, and one which I was entitled to make. But no ... oh you really have got me started now. I don't want some shiny customer heaven, just to be treated like a fellow human would be enough.

10:50 am  
Anonymous marc said...

>>It seems increasing difficult to have the conversations with people that one used to take for granted as one made one's merry way through life with a smile and a song.<<

What parallel universe have you been living in??? Kind of like those revisionists that bang on all misty eyed nostalgic about the 50s. The 50s were shite!!

Sorry messalina, just taking the piss -- couldn't resist that one! You are right, tho -- this new rudeness these days is really a whole different animal...

BTW -- make sure Reidski gets home ok after the Christmas party!!!

3:43 pm  
Blogger Reidski said...

JJ - forgot about the toilet situation ... yuk! Bet that woman is still in the bar and bet she's still standing between those two blokes looking like a right numpty!

Messalina - Yes, it's going downhill. But should you venture to the Marquis or Hobgoblin in New Cross or the Somers Town Coffee House you will find really friendly staff. Not unlike the friendly bloke who serves JJ and I some ace wine in the White Hart in Northampton.

Marc - what was it like in the '50s, then? Was everything in black and white and did everyone wear top hat and tails and shit like that? Btw, Messalina will not be making sure I get home ok, she'll be slumped drunk in the corner. JJ, on the other hand ... well, she'll probably be slumped drunk next to her!

10:14 pm  
Blogger J.J said...

That is not beyond the realms of possibility.

8:52 am  

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