Ask the manager

I ‘had a drink’ with author Elen Caldecott today, between an event she did in Manchester and her catching a train home. We went to one of the bars at the station, because time was short, and it was raining outside.

I’d done a recce before Elen arrived, and had come to the conclusion the Mayfield Bar was the best place; looked nice, not too full nor too empty, had a sign saying it does coffees, and – always good – it has a toilet. Just in case, you know.

It was fine. I had water. Elen had tea. We talked. At least until the music on the nearby speaker (very nearby) suddenly decided to get a lot noisier. Could have been the music. Could have been the volume control. Hard to say. But too noisy, anyway.

Elen asked a waiter if he could turn the sound down a little. Just so we could hear ourselves speak. He looked doubtful, and said he’d have to ask the manager.

I’m guessing he never did; either because he forgot, or he simply felt we were stupid.

It’s an interesting world when staff have to ask their manager before making a customer more comfortable, after an actual request. Is it avoidance of fuss (either the asking, or the turning the volume down himself), or are there rules that absolutely everything passes through (ew) the manager?

The customer is obviously always wrong.


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