Monday, 10 March 2008

Monday 10/03/08

On Sunday the week before last, Scott and I go to Marks & Spencer, because we’ve been given £50 worth of vouchers each and we have to spend them in there somehow.  Now most people might choose to buy food at M&S because apparently the food is really good there (I wouldn’t know), but I think it’s a waste spending my money on something that a) will be gone in 10 minutes and b) will increase my paranoia and self loathing after I’ve swallowed it anyway.  So I go there and my aim is to get something that will last forever, an eternal item, with the added criterion that it will not make me fat. 

So two hours later, in the Marks & Spencer menswear department and having tried on every baggy jumper, pair of oversized khaki shorts and ill-fitting chinos, I realize this is not a shop made for me, not with the smallest waist size they do being 32 – 30 fucking 2 – so I leave and decide to come back when I’m 55 and I’ve put on those additional two inches around my waist. 

On Monday night last week, after the gym I meet Scott and Matty and Nicole and Mean and we go out for dinner.  And we decide to go to this place called The Real Greek and when we get there, we’re told by the ridiculously-short-but-still-not-Greek maitre d’ that we’ll have to wait five minutes for a table, and we’re OK with that, we’re not unreasonable or anything.  Fifteen-twenty minutes later we’re still waiting, so I’m nominated by the group to go up to him and ask what the fucking story is.  Well, not so much nominated as volunteer because everyone else is too chicken to say anything and I like few things more than causing a fuss to staff in public places. 

So I talk to that idiot and he’s trying to tell me that a group of people is about to leave, in two minutes perhaps, and I say well we heard that one twenty minutes ago.  Then I point out an empty table with five chairs (even though a couple are taken up by the coats and bags of a group of single fat girls who are sitting nearby) and I say why can’t we sit there and he’s giving me some bullshit about us being more comfortable at the other table, so I realize I’m fighting a losing battle and walk back to my group to come up with an alternate plan. 

And the plan is that we’ll wait but they can forget about the fucking tip.  

Much later, when the bill comes, they have added the tip on themselves (15%) so I tell the grumpy Eastern European waitress to take that off (once again I’m the one to do this, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t get infinite pleasure out of it or anything) and as soon as we’ve paid she runs up to the maitre d’ and starts bitching about us, but by that time we’re already walking out the door, never to come back again.  

I don’t know if it’s because I’m short or because I have a tiny willy or because of a general inferiority complex, but I like being a twat like that.  


NGM said...

congratulations your officially a Londoner

Marcus said...

Tasmanian devils are short and can wreak havoc wherever they want to, particularly when it comes to eating. They actually tend to eat in groups and scream really loud while doing so.

I love Tasmanian devils.

semistraight said...

Actually I think that's lovely ;P. I would have needed you when I was in France a couple of weeks ago (some waitress bitch decided to add every single item to my bill even though I had ordered the all-you-can-eat-menu...).

London Preppy said...

ngm: I was born one. I didn't learn these manners here :-)

marcus: I kinda like that. I've certainly been likened to worse things

semi: I really like doing that. Call me next time. I'll be round

Graham said...

You mention two things in that post that really piss me off. Having to wait considerably longer for a table than I've been assured and getting a bill with the tip already added, especially when it's not even a big group of people for dinner. It really bugs me, but I never say anything :(

London Preppy said...

graham: That's right, I mean if he had said it's gonna be half an hour, fair enough, we would have made our decision based on that

McKenzie said...

You should have called her over after she started bitching and said you changed your mind and then taken the receipt and written "Here's a tip..."

London Preppy said...

mckenzie: "Here's a tip: don't eat yellow snow"

Butter said...

Before you guys even sat down you'd decided not to tip the waitress? I'm sure that the ten extra minutes you spent waiting could have been WAY better spent listening to that crap Madonna song for the 52nd & 53rd time... I know being self-important is your thing, but come on man! Serving put me through university -- it can be such a crap job at times, why make it worse for someone?

London Preppy said...

butter: I guessed this post might have been controversial and I don't really mind. I can explain. I don't believe in tipping. End of story. I don't really care if this makes me a horrible person, that's the way it is. Nobody tips me at my work.

Also if people want to make more money and they struggle with a waitressing job, hey, maybe they should get a different job that pays more

woofingle said...

Yay! you used 'criterion' when most others would have settled for 'criteria'; that makes me beyond happy :)

London Preppy said...

woofingle: Criteria used as a singular form really annoys me!

chabang said...

...and the "added gratuity / tip" on the bill doesn't go to your server - at best it goes in to a communal pot but it useually just goes to the owners.

Maitre d's are just frustrated concierge's

London Preppy said...

Nice one chabang, snap!

Stephen said...

You probably know but I just found these 2 short stories by BEE on;

Jim said...

Oh my god. You just used the exact same line my dad uses "Nobody tips me at my work."

Congratulations. You're not a Londoner, you're a 78 year old man.

Dan said...

I'm not sure what the situation is in the EU/England, but in the US servers are exempted from standard minimum wage laws. In many cases, their base pay assumes they will receive approximately half of their total compensation in tips. So when you pay less than the standard 15%, you're effectively giving them a paycut. Granted, this is warranted in some circumstances. But as a rule, I do not tip below 15% unless the service was truly atrocious (i.e, worth walking out on).

Just a heads up for the next time you're over here. I didn't even know about this until my then bf (a maitre d') told me. And I'm sure you don't want to contribute to the already horrible reputation european tourists have in US restaurants.

Actually, no I'm not.

A said...

Good on you for being the one to speak up for your group. You may think you've got a tiny willy (not that any of us believes that), but you've more than proven it comes with big balls.

bob said...

I totally agree about tipping - if you want more money, then include it in the price. Feeling obligated to tip is something I despise.

Now... on to the tiny willy part. I think you should let us decide on that.

Auctor Ignotus said...

By the time you've added two inches to your waist, you won't bother with crap little greek restaurants because you'll be rich from your fifth book deal.

You'll tip for the same condescending reason I do. I see it as a form of welfare for the unfortunates who are self-saddled with servitude.

Yikes, I actually wrote that.

Dick Pics said...

you're like a gay napoleon. and i love it! though i must ask, a greek restaurant? i'm guessing that wasn't your idea.

Bobby Van Quish said...

Well, that's the Real Greek off my list of must-see places to eat, then. Thanks for the warning.

You know, if I were that irritated, I would have a thrown a plate at them.

Sorry. :-)

London Preppy said...

stephen: Thanks! I do have this, it's just two stories from The Informers published separately, I don't know why

jim: I guess it's only a matter of time before your dad starts posting a blog with lots of half-nudity, being conceited, self absorbed and depressive then!

dan: Yes, the situation is different here, I guessed the story might not translate well for America. You guys usually tip around 20-25% don't you? This would be quite unheard of here (well, I think anyway)

a: Yeah it's a trade off really

London Preppy said...

bon: Good, I knew there are people out there who'd agree, it can't just be me and my friends

auctor: Ha. Self saddled with servitude. I'm sure I could steal that and use it somewhere

dick: It was my idea actually. It's like Greek TV. I like short, controlled experiences of Greek culture. Just as long as I can walk out / turn the TV off when I've had enough

bobby: Oh it's a quality establishment, you're missing out. Have you really not gone to one, they're all over London. They're like a Greek Burger King, both in quality and prices

Dick Pics said...

is it just me or did you just describe yourself in a nutshell? a short greek experience you can stop reading when you've had enough. not that i would ever do that mind you. reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day. and i can't wait for london preppy down under.

Bobby Van Quish said...

I honestly haven't noticed them but you can take me if you like. Don't worry, I'll tip. And I've been to the website now to see what's what and I think the bifteki with yoghurt sounds nice.
So I'll have that one. Thanks.

London Preppy said...

dick: Yes, you're lucky you can just close this window when you've had enough. Can you imagine living with this? Poor Scott

bobby: Deal. But we'll have to go to a different one naturally

Graham said...

A couple of things:

Minimum wage here is the same for pretty much everyone (including waitstaff) and it's almost €9, though in reality many waiters earn close to €11-12, which is like US$25 an hour or something!

I do tip appropriately, when the service is excellent. If the service is poor, the tip reflects this. I think 10% is more than enough, unless the service was really really outstanding. And the tip is based on the food, not the food and alcohol!

I have worked as a waiter in the US and yes, it sucks when someone leaves no tip and you're still taxed based on expected tips earned (in CA I was). But the incentive is there for good service and thats generally what I gave and got tipped well in return.

In europe, service is not always the same and I refuse to award someone extra money for a sour faced attitude, food proactically thrown in front of me and the order fucked up again and again and again (as has happened at times).

george said...

.....suffering LP withdrawal for last 5 days. final get to your blog and you mention....THE CARDIGANS and SAINT ETIENNE....what more can I say.....I with you all the 8hr flight that turned into 16 hrs all seems like

Auctor Ignotus said...

€12 is $18.
£12 is $25
fight fight fight

Impressed Guy said...

Kalhspera apo Athina! Efxaristw gia to comment - h psilikatzou einai h pio diashmh blogger sthn ellada :)

Parepiptontws aksiwthika epitelous kai se evala sto blogroll mou!

Filia polla

London Preppy said...

george: :-) sweet thanks

r!ch said...

Annual Expenses: £-13,000
Student Visa: £-300

Minimum Wage: approx £9,000

The amount of people that actually tip: 70%

The average tip: 5% (even though this should be 10% - it's getting worse and worse even though the service is spot on...)

The amount of fucking rich, wealthy cunts who enter our restaurant: 70%

The amount of those rich bitches that do not tip at all: 60%

The amount of tips I've lost due to the chef's fuckup: 40%

The amount of time's customers don't leave when they were already told before they sat that they only had 1:30 hours: 50% (therefore making people like LP wait longer than expected)

The computer automatically adds service charge at times, not the waiter.

Always check with the waiter when you pay what happens with the tip.

People who don't tip at all are cunts. Nuff said.

London Preppy said...

The number of times I yawned reading the above: 34

The percentage I'm interested in pedestrian problems of mickey mouse waitressing jobs: 0%

How much I think that if it's such a bad job that makes you depend on "cunts" you should GET ANOTHER ONE: 100%

r!ch said...

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find work as an international student?

London Preppy said...

No, when I was an international student my parents were rich enough to support me and I didn't have to get a job. I would recommend that to everyone

r!ch said...

So what won in the end? Your soul or your ass?

London Preppy said...

my dick