The small differences that make the difference
A few weekends ago, I spent some time catching up with some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. After spending an enjoyable few hours chatting and drinking coffee, we decided to continue catching up whilst grabbing some food at a local restaurant. It was a busy Saturday afternoon, and we were worried that the restaurant might be full–but the waiter was extremely helpful and quickly found us a table. As he seated us he apologised that the table was really near to the kitchen door, and it might be a little noisy. This didn’t really bother us – we were happy chatting and generally catching up.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever sat right next to the kitchen door at a busy restaurant, but it’s quite an interesting experience. Every time the door opened, I could hear orders being shouted. The head waiter seemed to be doing an impression of Gordon Ramsey, barking orders across the kitchen which were then relayed by the chef with equal gusto. I heard everything – how previous customers had received the wrong meals, how table 29 were still waiting for their drinks order—and how one of the other waiting staff just “wasn’t up to the job” in their opinion. I learned about their booking process, that they hadn’t ordered enough of one particular ingredient and that they were running out of house wine. I have to say it somewhat spoiled the magic. A potentially fun experience was made less-then-acceptable by seeing too much of the ‘behind the scenes’ detail. It would be a bit like seeing a mall worker in a Santa outfit take off his beard and light up a cigarette as he opens the door to a 1980s rusting estate car. Some things should just be hidden from public view.