Diary of Lisa Taylor, reluctantly 42 (and a half)

Or.. 'f.ck me I'm forty.. two.. and a half', though can look 38 on a - not so deluded - good day. Or 'How to reconcile a well experienced mind trapped in a still - but for how long? – youthful body.' Don't have the 30somethings angst/problems, neither have the resigned (?) ageing baby-boomers in safe family territory outlook yet. Here's how I cope, one day all sexy women will get old... but never invisible. © Lisa Taylor 2005/6/7/8/9. Jeez.. so much for the 42 and-a-half delusion

Monday, April 20, 2009

19 April - Fave restaurants & mucking it up

The Cecconi debacle can be put down to human error of course and not one but several but...
A while ago had booked table at 8.30pm for dinnner for 4 on a Saturday.
When a lady rang the day before to reconfirm I was partially listening so it's lucky I heard her say 'So that's 4 people for breakfast at 8.30'. Wooohh, er no, I booked a table for dinner. She said no. I said most definitely. I have no idea how busy you may be on a Saturday morning at 8.30am since I presume not many power breakfasts take place at that time but mosth emphatically no.

She said they were now fully booked and had a table at 6.30pm or 9.30pm. I said no, neither works, so find me a table, since am sure you hold tables back in case Madonna walks in on a whim. So she did.

On the night I said to Toph let's go a bit earlier to grab that table and wait for the others. When we arrived the lady (I sort of thought was the same who had rang since accent seemed same) can't find my name anywhere. I insist so then she find a major unrecognisable mispelling of my surname and says 'Oh yes, table for 2, here you are'.

Aaargh. NO, it's a table for 4 you moron. She and the 3 other idiots standing there with her says they're fully booked. I said we're going to the bar, send the manager over and he'll have to do something. The girls are still looking at me like I don't exist and surely I must be bridge and tunnel to them but not a hint of apology. The thing I forget to mention is that 2 friends are major fans of the Wolseley and had taken a bit of effort to shift them to come and try Cecconi's.

Manager is now a manageress (of course the fab one is in LA) but she's cool. Gets the story and especially the bit where we suggest staff are trained to show some respect to cutomer and not just look as if they don't give a shit. She confirms they're massively booked but sets about inventing a table at the back which gets hauled in from some store room. By the time our 2 friends arrive our table has been ready for 20 mins but... lo and behold we get shifted to a better one that's just vacated and manageress says 'I'll personally follow you throught he evening' and she does. I feel now majorly guilty that my 2 friends are on a self imposed non drinking month, that one is one that hungry so our table for 4 probably yields the restaurant a very small return for a Saturday night. But... can't do much about that. And true to her word some things don't make it to the final bill so it's even smaller. Hence great tip. Oh and at some point in the evening she made culprit front desk girl come and apologise to me. I was good. I spared the much embarrassment and said look things get lost in translation, just sort out the attitude (well no, didn't say the last bit, as I was a waitress briefly 30 years ago and I simply HATED customers as I had to work to serve them and they were out on a jolly with money I didn't have to spend but then again nobody had bothered to give me any training or a bit of a speech about the value of customers).

So, if you're reading Mr Soho House, your staff did you proud. Now I just wish had been in less dark mood when the rather professional bartender was serving us drinks at the bar and Toph and I were just bickering on how to handle situation. At some point Toph (fresh from LA where customer rules) had actually uttered these words to me 'Do not ever undermine me' , since I had told him to tone down the aggrieved customer and was pulling him away from what I thought may turn into a scene. Very blokey this 'do not undermine me, ever.' Rather like it actually.



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