A fortnight ago I went out with some friends for drinks. The venue was a relatively new lounge in my neighbourhood. I was not too excited about hanging out in my hood. As a recovering ‘alcoholic’ I was very aware that the closer the source of your problem is, the more likely you are to slip and go back to your old ways. I had been sober for a week which for me was pretty darn good and I didn’t want to mess that streak up.
We got to the lounge at about 10:30 pm. Its facade was all wooden cladded and was strung with yellow lights that made it impossible to read anything. It reminded me of a badly decorated Christmas tree! I scanned the horizon for any sign of the three stooges I came to meetup with.
I noticed the usual stereotypical types:
-The table with the young “millionaire” and a bevy of Gen-Zs with cheap champagne flowing like confetti;
-The middle aged man who ran away from home and his problems to come nurse one bottle of club;
– The table with the girls’ girls’ all-dressed-to-kill-but-would-play-extremely-hard-to-get vibe. It was a full house.
I found my group. They hadn’t bothered to wait for me and were going through their second and third bottles. I quickly fist bumped all and sat down. Eddy, who did all the ordering when we went out (and never paid) called the waitress to bring me a Club, my beer of choice There is a pecking order when it comes to beer but that is a topic for another day.
The waitress eventually came to my table and brought me one. I was famished and looked at the menu. I never trust new joints that have everything from Chinese to continental to local dishes. After I was informed that my first five picks on the menu were not available, I settled for chicken wings and gizzard as a safe bet. Time moved slowly like a snail climbing up a hill. Two generations later, the waitress brought a plate of cold gizzard and chicken wings.
“These are cold. Are they from yesterday?” my buddy Kofi asked, to which the waitress retorted “If you don’t want it, I can take it away”.
Ding! Wrong answer! I wasn’t drunk enough to start being rude.
“Can you please go heat the food?” Eddy asked tersely.
Patrick was quiet, he was the group member that avoided conflict at all costs and kept looking furtively around like his wife would appear anytime and drag him home.
She took the plate after making some guttural sound, in the midst of our pre-occupation with our argument about politics or soccer (I forget).
Shortly after, she brought back a plate of burnt gizzard and chicken wings!
“Erm, we can’t eat this!” Kofi said annoyed.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the “Group is one sitting” it is a simple arrangement, unwritten rule (Rule 21 of the Bro code) which is when one member orders food, it is for the group, so goes without saying that everyone in the group is invested in the outcome of the food.
“Ahhh sir, did you do this on purpose?” the waitress asked irritably.
I looked at the carcinogenic gizzard and chicken wings and looked back at her. I wouldn’t give this to my dogs.
Truth is, on such outings we barely look at the serving staff until we are drunk, upset or there’s something peculiar about them. All three applied here. I noticed her knuckles were dark whilst her hands were a much lighter shade (a result of her bleaching cream running out), I noticed she chewed gum in the most annoying way ever and I noticed her makeup was smeared.
Patrick, the escaped convict, was torn, he knew the heffer had fucked up but was terrified of creating a scene.
I was enjoying the buzz of my cold club beer and a much needed respite from work and did not want this to escalate. I was not ready to leave this lousy joint and go home or try to find a new hangout. I had become so used to bad service that this was not the event that triggered a walk out. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 was a walkout, we were still at a 5.
Patrick, in a bid to de-escalate things, quickly asked for the manager. Ten minutes later, a diminutive figure with too many garish chains around his tube-like neck and a gaudy ring on his pinky appeared. He seemed bored with our rantings from the get go and was clearly unimpressed at being summoned, especially after glancing at our table and noticing that we hadn’t bought champers like every other group around. The idiot thought he had just opened the Ritz. He continued about how he had poached the chef from somewhere, and how it was our fault that the food was burnt, because we insisted it had to be hot, so it got overcooked. The guy wasn’t there to be a problem solver. He even alluded to the fact that if we weren’t happy he would let us leave without paying (that offer made me wish I had ordered a couple of champers).
Ultimately that manager with the awful service ended our night. I reflected later on why good service in this country is such a rarity.
What are some of the experiences you have had? Pray, tell and let us put those mofos to shame. I want details and names of locations. Don’t hold back!