A few weeks ago I suffered a barrage of verbal abuse from a pissed off German tourist, he came to the restaurant on Thursday night and loved it. He asked if we were busy on Saturday and I said yes and advised him to book. He didn’t.
Saturday night came along and he turned up when we were at our busiest and demanded a table. I managed to get him a table after a short wait, it was a crap table at the front of the restaurant by the door, but considering how busy we were he was lucky to get that without a reservation.
After his meal he came up and tried to get money off his bill. For the past few months we have been giving out 5 pound off vouchers to every customer. These have 2 conditions. They can only use one voucher per table and they are not valid on Saturdays. This German did not read these conditions, which were clearly printed on the voucher. He threw four in my face and demanded money off. Now I'm a fairly reasonable guy, if you're nice to me then I'm nice to you. But if you’re a twat then you’ll get fuck all from me.
I very clearly and politely explained the conditions of the voucher and said he could not use them tonight. He then went nuts! He kept shouting about how we invited him back to the restaurant and tricked him with money off. I will now repeat the conversation as best I can remember
German: This is bullshit. Do you know I am a journalist?
Andy: no I didn’t know that. What’s your point?
German: I am a travel journalist I travel all over the world writing about my experiences and write reviews of cities and restaurants for very famous German magazines.
Andy: I see. Would I have heard of any of them?
German now looks angrily at Andy
German: I am going to write a story about how you’re ripping people off with vouchers you can’t use. This is bullshit!
Andy: so you’re a travel journalist?
Andy: and you didn’t think to read the details printed on the voucher?
German: you are ripping people off and I'm going to write an article about it, you’re not going to get away with this!!
Andy: and what’s the article going to say? I went to a restaurant, had a great meal, got given money off vouchers for next time, but I forgot to read them! Forgive me sir but that will be a short story, are you paid by the word?
He then got very angry and threatened to report me to the Scottish tourist board. He claimed he was going to write a letter to the mayor of Edinburgh complaining about the restaurant, and more specifically me. As he left I gave him my email and said I would love to read the article. That was about 2 months ago and I have yet to hear anything back.
There is a point to me telling you this story. As you may be aware I have just returned from a stag do in Poland. It was awesome! However, like the German I was disappointed in a restaurant we visited, unlike the German my complaints were justified. I got to thinking if the German can write to the Mayor of a city to complain about something, then so can I.
Dear Mr Mayor,
I am writing to you to pass on my comments about your fair city. I have recently returned from the away leg of the stag do of Mr Mark Cruickshank. I feel I can speak for all the boys when I say we had an AWESOME time. We were very Happy to discover beach volleyball in such a landlocked location. Were you reading the several hundred emails that got sent to the boys regarding the away leg? One of my questions was if there was a beach! I find it an interesting coincidence that one of the first things I ask about, you provided. I am impressed, and a little scared that you wield such power! All the boys had a fantastic time in your fair city, were you out at the weekend at all? If you were, you probably seen us! We were the very loud drunk lads, you may have spotted us out on Saturday night, we were the bunch of guys with the fairy, oh and the stag was wearing a pink outfit too. We were all very impressed with the nightlife in your lovely city. And there is an amazing amount of talent in your town. I mean seriously, I don’t know how you guys get any work done. The boys were calling dibs on girls all over the place. (Do you know what dibs are in Poland? If not just Google it) It was mental. I suspect you already know this. I have met several polish women in my time and lots of them have been “Hotties!” I suspect however that you are keeping the best ones for yourself. I don’t blame ya. A few hotties are slipping thru the cracks and finding their way to the bonnie scot but all the really hot birds are not allowed to leave are they? I am impressed you would use your political power for such selfish means. I would do the same.
The prices are something we all appreciated during our stay. I was quite alarmed when I spotted vodka red bull was 10 Zloty, but then I realised that was 2 quid. I certainly had wings that night. I hope we will all be fondly remembered in your city. We spent a lot of money and i'm fairly certain that a couple of boys could have bought a small house for the money they spent in the strip club. To be honest we were slightly disappointed that we could only find the one strip club, but we were very happy when we discovered it was right beside the hostel we were staying in.
Now all this being said I feel I must inform you of our sincere disappointment in one of your cities restaurants “The Sphinx” beside the Cinnamon hostel and conveniently located next to the Go Go strip club. This was a thoroughly disappointing dining experience.
Now Mr. Mayor I don’t know much about your background, to be honest I don’t even know if you’re a man and there is a good chance I may be accidently insulting you. I presume you come from a political background filled with bribes and claiming too much on your expense reports. I feel I should inform you of my background so you know where I'm coming from when I go off on the rant I am about to go off on.
For several years now I have been working in restaurants in various positions. I worked as a waiter and barman in a Toby carvery in Aberdeen and then left the Granite City to work on the QE2 (perhaps you’ve seen my DVD, QE2 reloaded, if not then please just ask and ill send you one) while there I worked in every restaurant on the ship in various shitty jobs. I started as a commis waiter. Officially I was Chief Chocolate & Cheese Distribution Officer, Quarter Deck, Starboard Side (C.C.C.D.O.Q.D.S.S. for short) after this I worked my way up to become a Waiter in the top level restaurants. I left the ships in a drunken haze in July 2005 and started at a Restaurant in Aberdeen and quickly became Manager because I am so ace. I am currently one of several asst managers at an incredibly busy Spanish restaurant in Edinburgh. So you see Mr. Mayor I know how restaurants should operate, I'm not just another moron that’s been watching Ramsay's kitchen nightmares (although I do love that show). I am someone who has been working in the industry for a while now; this is both a good and a bad thing. People who work in the restaurant industry are always the most understanding when there is a problem, however we are also the hardest to please. In other words when I go to a restaurant I am a bit of a c**t! (I realise that due to certain cultural differences you may not understand what I mean when I type c**t! It means cunt! If you don’t know what cunt means then Google it.)
We went in around noon in the hope of having a big greasy fry up and some beers to help with our collective hangovers, sadly we were informed the restaurant did not do breakfast. Which is fair enough, we booked a table for 8pm that evening for 20 of us and headed to the pub, the group then split for the day. Some of us decided to stay at the beach volley ball and drink more cheap beer and some decided to go sight seeing. I’m sure you already guessed I stayed at the beach, there were better sights to be seen there, Miss Poland was there doing some kids sports day and then Tails (the really drunk one) tried (and failed) to jump over the pool. It was a great afternoon. As I understand it the guys doing the sight seeing enjoyed themselves too, I am told they went to C & A’s. After a quick power nap we all regrouped and headed to the aforementioned Sphinx Restaurant. I was initially confused as there appeared to be Egyptian décor and yet there seemed to be all types of food on the menu? From oriental style ribs to pizza. I did spot the Egyptian chicken soup on the menu; I was very surprised, as I had no idea chickens were from Egypt. In the movie Chicken Run they all sound like there from Yorkshire, someone is lying and I intend to get to the bottom of it, but that’s an issue for another day.
I was also very confused when our table was shaped like an L. This has always been a terrible choice for a table shape. Personally I have only done a table for a group like this once and only because they especially requested it. They were booked under the name ALF, the group seemed very upset when I asked which one of the guys were Alf and was later informed that it stood for Aberdeen Lesbian Federation. (In my defence they all looked quite mannish).
Anyway I digress. I was a tad upset at this table shape, due to unavoidable circumstances some of the group arrived 7 minutes later than the rest and I was forced to sit at the inside corner of the L. It was very uncomfortable as every time someone moved back they were banging into me, I had to move along and most of the time it looked like I was trying to shag the table leg. I know it’s been a while but I’ve not reached that stage yet.
After ordering we had beers and the banter was in full force. Then the starters came out. I was impressed they came so quickly, but then the restaurant was pretty dead except for us. As I'm a nice guy, Jonny and myself shared garlic bread as our starter. Poor Aders was sitting directly in front of us still waiting for his breaded cauliflower. By the time we finished ours Aders was still waiting as was Dazza and Adam, Dazza was only having soup! As I was finishing off my last piece of garlic bread Dazza finally got his soup. And Aders still had nothing. Then all our main courses came out. Before Dazza had his first spoonful of soup he was being told he had his steak thrust in front of him. All this and poor Aders was STILL waiting for his breaded cauliflower, He asked the waiter, who was clearly confused and offered him some bread. Meanwhile at the other side of the table Dazza had only just got his soup and had twice been offered his main course. Colin who was sitting beside him was RAGIN!( this was partly because he did not get the garlic bread he ordered) All the main courses got put down with the exception of Dazza, Aders, Lee and Adam. I had the black steak, it was alright, no one asked how I’d like it cooked though, which was weird. Do they ask in Poland? I assume they ask everywhere how you would like your steak cooked? Anyway we were all hungry and we all ate our mains while Dazza, Aders and Adam ate there starters and poor Lee was kept waiting, it seems they forgot about him. Eventually we all finished our mains and Lee and Aders were still waiting. I was tempted to run round the corner to MacDonald’s to buy them both a cheeseburger but sadly for them I'm a lazy bastard. Eventually Aders and Lee got their mains, 2 seconds after there plates went down the staff went to work of clearing the rest of us. I'm fairly certain they wanted rid of us. Mr Mayor I ask you, have you eaten in this place? Is this the norm? Or was this a tactic on your part to get us out of the restaurant and spend more money in the strip club? If so I applaud you, tell me do you have some financial interest in this strip club? Is this how your funding your next campaign? Sadly I doubt this is the case and so my whinge stands. I noticed on the sign for the restaurant it says “Sphinx” and underneath it says “Best Food by Tom Malton” Well Mr Mayor you must be a well connected man, get Tom on the phone and tell him to get his arse over to Poznan and sort out this bloody mess!!
Your city can be slightly intimidating at times, when we first arrived the woman at passport control scared the crap out of me. She had a scowl that could kill a man, why not greet everyone with one of the previously mentioned hotties that live in your town? Everyone would love that. I know I would!
I do not want to leave you on a sour note. Please understand Mr Mayor that we all loved your town, we had a great time. Everyday we found something better than the Day one we discovered the beach volleyball,
Day two we had a cracking night out in some awesome clubs I was a dancing machine and a couple of the boys paid for some strippers kids to go to university.
Day three we discovered my favourite bar, I can’t remember what it was called but it had fish tanks all along the wall and a terrarium with a snake and some turtles. That was really cool. I like the idea of combining a zoo and a bar. I hope one day you take it to the next step and employ Apes to take drinks to your table and have an elephant to give you a lift home. Imagine that Mr Mayor! That could help put your town on the map! I would be happy to help with this in any way I can. I should let you know that there is talk of a Stagiversary party (Please don’t let Kim know) and we may consider a return visit to Poznan, you would be very welcome to join us for a couple of beers one night. On that note Mr Mayor I shall end this letter. I hope you will take my comments on board, employ better looking passport control women and sort out that restaurant, oh and if you do find out where chickens come from then let me know.