You ever worked in the hospitality industry? I have. I’ve dealt with the tits, twats, prats and gits which make up the 90% of the general public which doesn’t include my friends, family and YOU obviously, darling.
The very best thing about having to serve people relentlessly on a day-to-day basis is the free floating dread you get about having to go into work every day for low wages and long, anti-social hours. That and the tips, right?
Still, I forgot myself for a moment the other day. It was hot and I was sticky. (I don’t ‘do’ heat in the same way fish don’t do, you know, ‘breathing air’ or Jedward do ‘calming the fuck down for five minutes’.)
The heat got to me and in a fit of pique I wrote to the manager of Bills incandescent with sun-fuelled rage that I had been charged a couple of quid for a glass of soda water.
I know, right? Fucking loser. You should see the email I sent. Ugh. I literally don’t know what to do with it. It is poisoning my inbox every time I look at my messages. I’ve had to call a young priest and an old priest to dispose of it for me. In my defence I was in a filthy mood, but still. Yikes.
Still the guy from Bills sent me back a BRILLIANT response. If you’ve ever worked with a hostile, overbearing individual in any capacity you will recognise immediately what he is doing. A reply so ripe with charm and politeness that you cannot possibly find fault with it, even though – and here is the important bit so listen up – even though he is being deeply and sincerely sarcastic. I’ve done this and I suspect you have too. Teeth grittingly polite with an implied FUCK YOU so barely concealed it’s made the front page of Vogue.
“Please accept my sincere apologies for failing to charge you appropriately for a soda water.” It begins. “Clearly we have charged you far too much for such a simple drink. Simply not good enough and we must do better.”
Already you’re thinking alright mate I get it, don’t go over the top.
“I have reviewed with my team in Lewes the correct way I expect any non-menu drink request to be charged. In this case a degree of common sense was needed and we clearly didn’t deliver that. I’m so sorry for letting you down.”
That last bit is my favourite. As though I’d suffered a compound fracture of moral responsibility.
“A briefing and coaching session for our front of house team has taken place in light of your experience.” He agonises, with a degree of self flagellation which even martyrs think is excessive,
“Thank you for providing me with this opportunity. I will be keeping a close eye on their abilities with this in the future.”
Touche Scott, you brilliant man. I’m sorry I behaved like a complete twathat over a can of soda water. If I’m honest with you, I thought it came from a soda gun. I didn’t know you used cans. I DIDN’T KNOW YOU USED CANS. I’m sorry you even had to indulge my shitty complaint. If I ever meet you we will go for a drink.
You’re buying, right?