Firstly to follow on from my earlier post here are some examples of ‘just past time’ reasoning. I share this for two reasons; firstly you can smile when you realise that you have used ‘that one’ and secondly so that you realise that the sober one behind the bar knows what is happening:
- Hearing failure – You may have called last orders or even time but they were outside/in the toilet/on the phone/talking and so they missed it. Here is the thing it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the time and ensure that your orders are made in a timely manner, if you didn’t hear us or see the associated rush to the bar or change in lighting levels then that’s tough.
- Volume disparity – Your mates have full drinks and you don’t so could you just have one to drink while you wait for them? This is invariably coupled with assurances of discretion such that nobody will know that they had another drink. At this point we are already eyeing your friends drinks and wondering how quickly we can get them done plus we know that when you get one they will all want one. It has been a long night and we are not going to let you make it longer.
- Taxi –The taxi, which you have just decided to call, is going to be another half an hour so can you have a drink while you wait? Just like the whole lost orders scenario some small level of planning is required from you with regards to onward transportation, if you have failed in this aspect then the issues is all of your own making. You are, of course, welcome to sit on the pavement and await your belated chariot.
- I am a friend of the governor – He always lets me have a sneaky one. No he doesn’t and, further, as a landlord he has no friends, jog on.
- I have been trying to get them down here all night – A favourite of the late arriving crowd and often coupled with exaggerated claims of distance travelled. We will tolerate this one if you can show us physical evidence of your tussle with a crocodile or wild bear en route otherwise no dice. What actually happened is that you were passing and saw the lights on so thought that you would chance your arm, consider it chanced and good night.
- They all have a drink – Another favourite of the late arrival. You are correct that they all have a drink, we are very much aware of that and are eagerly watching every mouthful disappear, however they purchased their beverage during the course of our trading night. We accept that we have to wait for people to finish their drinks and go home, that is what we do, we are not so keen on adding to the numbers.
There are many, many more and I will come back to this list in due course but that can be your starter for ten.
Since I was at my PC, which I discovered lurking behind a pile of paper, I figured that it was a pertinent time for an update. I guess that is as good a start as any, the paperwork. The pub generates an enormous amount of paperwork even more so since Outlook decided to randomly consume some critical emails. In a world that espouses the way of the paperless office it is amazing just how many times you see requests for “hard copy”. The other difficulty is that paperwork is spread over multiple sites and invariably either the item that I need or the thing that I need to check is at the other end of the country.
I am getting better at drafting the tasks that I need to achieve each time I am on site and actually achieving them of late. This became very clear when I started reading a book on the fast cat during the last return, this is normally a time spent chastising myself for failing to have answered key questions in preparation for the week ahead! Things are progressing reasonably well but I do find that I cycle between calm confidence and panicked terror when I look at how little time I have.
I have now learnt to hold back when people tell me that they know Shanklin and wait for more information before disclosing the pubs location. This new-found skill avoids me looking like a fool when I launch into “as you come into town, just before the Con club” only to be met with a blank look and the explanation that the person remembers it from a school trip or a childhood holiday. As the news travels the country I do remain astounded how many people have visited the island at least once and the memories are always positive. A number of current colleagues are regular visitors to the island and are pleased that there will be a friendly hostelry that speaks ‘Derby’.
The island, for its part, remains a wonderful and charming location despite the difficulties that the location can introduce to trading. I am still enjoying the occasional ‘win’ when I get a deal done with delivery to a postcode before the supplier realises that it is the Isle of Wight although in my defence there is no surcharge from most couriers. This weeks best island comment came from a national supplier who warned me that they couldn’t be sure on next day because of “weather conditions”, when I noted it was a bright calm day she was robust in her defence that “seas conditions change so quickly”; in this instance I deferred to the clearly superior shipping knowledge of a telesales girl in Essex!
As pub business cards hit a wider audience the surprise that there is only a picture, and that has the old name, has started to annoy me so this weekend I updated the site. Please take a wander over to www.ploughandbarleycorn.pub and you can see how I am getting on and follow the progress, don’t forget the blog though it’s still the best source.
I will leave you with the knowledge that I have nearly selected the product lines for the pub, there are some small tweaks to do and bits to negotiate but I know the direction. I know that this is not a huge announcement but I thought that if I shared it I may save just one or two people offering their thoughts. It is always nice to see enthusiasm but sometimes I do feel like I am performing a poll on favourite beers!