I Don’t Know Why I Bother
Some people think we do it for tips but, actually, it helps to pass the time. A bit of chat, a spot of banter. Otherwise the evening just consists of being shouted at by the chef, taking long, mumbled orders for gluten-free, hold the mayo, can-I-replace-the-potatoes-with-spinach…Dull.
So I try and inject a bit of humour. Tease the customers, flirt with the older ones. There was a couple in there tonight older than God. But they seemed to really appreciate the restaurant, loved the seafood and I thought I could help enhance their evening – I took them for fans.
Me (clearing plates): Was everything good?
Old Lady: Oh yes, I just loved the bouillabaisse. Fabulous.
Me: I’m glad you enjoyed it. Did it make your evening better knowing that Rick Stein is sitting two tables down?
Old Lady: Who?
Me: Rick Stein.
Old Lady: Einstein? He’s dead isn’t he?
Me: Erm, Einstein is dead, yes.
Old Lady: What’s he doing here then?
Me: Not Einstein. Rick Stein.
Old Lady: A Philistine? Oh, charming! I didn’t come here to be insulted and if you think we’re paying a service charge when you’ve –
Me (hastily): No, no, madam – RICK Stein
Old Lady: Rickshaw? No thank you dear – we drove.
I don’t know why I bother.