When The Chips Are Down Part 3
I have to be honest in saying that I pissed my underpants with laughter at the articles (When The Chips Are Down Part 1, and When The Chips Are Down Part 2) in the Readers Submissions. They sent a torrent of memories flooding back into my mind about the times I have received “poor” service.
I would like to…in fact…I would LOVE to name the establishment that I dined at last month, but it is not nice to name names and give business owners more financial hardship. They’ve had a hard time already with (1) SARS, (2) War (3) Terrorists etc… So it surely will not do any good if I tell you the name of the bar. I would even go as far as saying that I will not name the Soi either in case one deduces accurately.
– FLYERS BAR, Corner of Sukhumvit Rd and Soi 22 (I know you’ll edit that). <No, I won't – Stick>
Anyway, this place used to be my local hangout for almost a year (in Bangkok), because it was always such fun there until they screwed it up and changed the layout, closed the upstairs and changed the staff. (And then they wondered why sales figures plummeted) errmmm hello…please get your head felt by a local head-shed… and stop smoking that dope!!
So here’s my story!!
About 8 months had passed by since I had been to that old local bar of mine, so I decided to give it a try to see if any old mates were in there. Also I had heard they’d re-opened the 2nd floor again which I always found to be very comfortable with low music, dim lights and good conversation.
In I walked and headed straight upstairs!! Great to see that upstairs was open again. It was quiet. Well, in fact it was very quiet there. I was the only customer.
As I’d just finished a very long, long day of work, my belly needed filling with food. I was fucking ravenous. I had not eaten very well all day. So at this moment in time, I really could have eaten the life out of a rat’s arse. I was at the point of feeling dizzy.
I quickly ordered a cheeseburger with chips, mayonnaise, a bottle of water and a bottle of beer. (Yeah, I was on a diet at the time!)
Then, they turned up the music very loud. That pissed me off because it was silent in there until I had ordered my food. They must have waited for me to order before turning the volume to near maximum. I spoke to the English manager politely “do you mind if I listen to the commentary on the sports channel”? He agreed to this and things all seemed to be going well as he turned down the music and turned up the volume on the TV for me.
I was by now wriggling with hunger. Even the smell of the waitress’s farts reminded me of food.
The burger turned up, minus the chips, about 30 minutes later. I was not too bothered about the missing chips at the time, because at least I could eat the burger, right?
The burger bun was cold on one side and red hot on the other. It was rock hard too on one side, so it did not take long for me to start wishing I had brought my own chef with me. How difficult is it to cook a burger and chips? All you do is put the little fucker in the microwave, then “nuke” it. Either that, or flip it over a few times on a hot plate.
Hey, don’t all get sentimental! It’s just a burger, ok! And if it weren’t a burger, it would be a baseball glove!
So, after a few minutes of constantly trying to attract the waitress’s attention, she drags her steaming, sweaty arse off the bar-stool and ambles lethargically over to my table with the look of an unfit long-distance runner of regret.
I sarcastically offered her oxygen and told her that my food was not cooked properly. I also enquired about the chips and whether or not I would be expecting to take delivery sometime before closing, or would it be best to come back when they are, indeed, closed.
Of course, she did not understand any of the sarcasm. She was not meant to either. I did it just for my own fun. But let me point out I was never loud, aggressive or disrespectful in any way. I smiled politely and remained calm at all times. Though I was pissed off inside, I remained a true 2-faced bastard and conducted my complaints “Thai style” with calmness! Full marks!
So, the burger returned. It was the same one.
So she took it back and replaced the bun. I was not going to eat a stale bun.
So the burger came back again, this time with a new bit of cow and cheese inside.
But where the chips got to, nobody knows!
So, I asked about the chips again and pointed out that if they don’t have chips, they can tell me and I will order potatoes because potatoes would be a fine substitute! (Puzzled looks? yes!)
“Coming now” she said (Was it a question or a statement? Wonder where she learned that?)
So I tried the burger and it was worse than the first one. I had lost all hope and therefore lay it down on my plate. I finished off my water and beer.
The chips arrived about 10 minutes later. Great! I looked around for my fork and realised that she did not bring one. This was now totally way past the bedtime of joking. How can I eat chips and mayonnaise without a fork? Its messy, it’s greasy, it's what forks are made for.
Well, I decided not to ask for a fork. There’s just no point in asking for one if its such a task to have given one out in the first place. So, I just used my hands. (Ah fuck it. Back to Neanderthal times!). Sometimes, I find you just have to get on with life and deal with problems “old-style”. If there is a mountain in your way, you either move it, move around it, or tunnel through it. So I solved my problem by eating with my own hands. I was hungry and was not prepared to rely on the idiot waitress any longer. She had proven her idiocy simply by being there, and confirmed it with her actions.
She brought zero salt, zero pepper and…yeah you guessed…nothing else in the way of condiments, all through this dinning experience! So, there were no tissues either to wipe my hands with.
I have to admit I was in a strange mood that day. I let them get away with too many things. I should have pointed out what was wrong, in its entirety, with the whole dining experience but I thought “fuck it, I should not have to tell them how to do it”. Plus I was tired too, since I had worked 15 hours per day for the last few days.
Really, I’d had enough of it. So, I asked for my bill. The bill came and was padded slightly. I could not fucking believe it. I sorted this out swiftly enough with the English manager, but still, it was the last straw!
I continued to finish the chips and mayonnaise. Since there had been no tissues, I looked at my greasy fingers and ran them wildly through my hair like an animal. (I was not worried about my hair because, I was having it shaved off for charity the next day). I just wanted to freak her out and show her that farangs can get down and dirty and don’t actually “need” to suffer from not having a silver fork!
The looks I got from the “waitress” were hard to describe. She thought I was a freak, I though she was a brainless dickhead. But inside I was just laughing, it was all just a wind-up. Funny thing is, if she spitefully wanked into my chips, I wouldn’t have minded anyway!!
As a parting shot, I took the burger off my plate and lay it to rest on the floor, then pressed it firmly into the carpet with my feet. Not particularly proud of that really, but it was not fit for human consumption in the first place. They deserved it!
I have been back since, but nothing was mentioned by any of the staff!!
The point I am making is this: – Reality can be boring.
I know I should have simply complained to the manager about the dire service and product they sold. But I did not. Why did I not complain? Because in Thailand, it really doesn’t do any good to complain. Plus, it is just fucking boring to complain. The realities of daily life, though however exciting they may be at the time, can become very boring if they are done on a daily basis. For example.
1. Smiling when you should have scowled, is dull.
2. Travelling the same road daily, is dreary.
3. Singing the same tune, hour after hour, becomes sorrowful.
4. Drinking at the same bar, night after night, is uninteresting.
5. Eating the same food daily, is plain.
6. Doing the “right thing”, like complaining quietly to the manager is boring.
Fuck it! Have fun, bring out the kid in yourself from time to time. When is the last time you laughed like a child?
Reality can be boring. Spice up your life every now and again. It is all about variety!
If you have a beard, shave it off!
If you don’t have one, grow one.
If your hair is long, cut it.
If you wear a suit, try a pair of jeans instead.
If you have hot showers, try a cold ones.
If you get the bus daily, try a boat or a taxi.
If you listen to chill-out music daily, try Brazilian samba, for a change.
If you receive a shitty cheeseburger, use it as an ashtray!
And…If you start the day with an erection…don’t’ change a thing!!
Press that burger into the carpet!!
When the chips are down. Get creative and let it rip!! (but don’t get caught being naughty!!)
One thing I have noticed when people complain in Thailand is that the service staff can get genuinely nasty, and in worst case scenarios can get help from others, usually undesirables, and even become threatening themselves. With this in mind, one should be prudent as to just how far you take your complaint.