I declare this silly season open

Despite Manuel being well on top of preparations for the Silly Season leading up to Christmas, I fear I was caught unawares.

It was a fairly common scene: a member of staff comes over to me and asks me to have a word with a customer who’s being aggressive and abusive. I go over, intending merely to have a word regarding their behaviour, possibly throwing them out if their behaviour warrants it. Then the open their mouth, and the first words out are “You fuck away off”

This is generally considered an unwise opener.

Continuing in this vein, and then waving a finger under my nose, is not conducive to a patron staying in the building, so a quick-march guided exit was arranged.

So far, so normal.

Then, of course, the dreadful truth revealed itself. The patron in question was not, as I’d originally thought, a man used to going out; he was not a regular punter. Instead, he was one of a party out for their Christmas do, all at the expense of the boss. Which generally means that there’ll be unwelcome amounts of talking involved. And this was no exception; once the guy was outside and about to be sent on his way, the boss emerged. And politely informed me that none of his group could be kicked out without his permission, sonny, and there’s no need for anything like what I did, and he’ll be coming back in now.

I immediately recognised that this man had a point and let the patron back in, with heartfelt apologies and arranged for a free round of drinks for the entire party.

Five or ten minutes polite conversation ensued, where the old twat nattered on for a while, and I made the following points:

  • A sixteen stone man leaning nearly over the bar and being verbally abusive to a 17 year old girl working said bar is not acceptable behaviour in any establishment.
  • Even if said man is ‘generally a good sort’, and his boss vouches for him.
  • Even if said boss is paying quite a bit of money to the establishment.
  • Telling all and sundry to fuck off, unprovoked, counts as inappropriate behaviour also.
  • No, no refunds will be given, seeing as how one member of the party was kicked out due to an entirely self inflicted set of circumstances.
  • If you keep referring to all of us as ‘sonny’, we’re not liable to bother listening to anything else you have to say, sir. And good night to you.

If you think it’s boring to read, imagine how boring it was to have to be there…

And, because of the nature of such things, you can be sure that written complaints will follow. Which means incident books need filled out. Which means paperwork.

I hate paperwork.

Bah. Christmas. Can’t wait for it to be over…

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