Wednesday, March 08, 2006

service you can pay for...or: dude, where's my green papaya salad??

A few months ago, one of my coworkers struck up an unwritten deal with T, one of the waiters at a little bar/café that a few of us frequent (that's a photo of a drink from said bar). Nothing unusual or below board – simply a “you look after me and I’ll look after you” arrangement. It quickly expanded to include the other foreigners who go to this place. Partly, this was the “all foreigners are the same” rule that, for better or worse, is often applied here. Partly it was because the guy who struck the deal insisted that we uphold it.

It amounts to nothing more than T making sure that we always had a table and were well served, and the rest of us making sure that we leave a decent tip. This could be anything from 100 pesos (AUD$2.50) out of a P500 peso bill, up to a few hundred pesos or more for P2000 bill. Around 20%. It doesn’t seem excessive, but the hourly rate for a waiter probably isn’t much more than P50, so a decent tip can easily be a day’s wages.

And is T attentive? You bet your sweet arse he is. From pulling out chairs to clearing room on your table for the food you ordered from a different establishment (the area is a bit of a food court arrangement), T will be there to serve your every need. Try to order so much as a glass of water from one of the other waiters and you’ll be met with stunned silence and the sound of T screeching to a halt as he hip-and-shoulders the other waiter off to the cheap seats.

J (soon-to-be-ex-housemate – she’s leaving…*sob*…two doors down but at least I get to use the tables to put things on now), however, HATES it and now tries to avoid the place. I understand her discomfort (particularly when he fawned over J while apparently ignoring a Filipina friend of ours), but find it mostly amusing albeit rather over the top.

Take tonight. Tonight, T excelled* himself. The waiter from the bar/restaurant next door, from which I’d ordered a meal, delivered said meal. Spotting trouble from a good 15 metres away, T positively dashed over and moved a plate of Thai green papaya salad TWO CENTIMETRES along the tabletop so that my meal had just a wee bit more breathing room. I exaggerate not.


*I'm experimenting with underlining certain, appropriate words. I think it will take this blog to a whole new level.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This makes me want to check out this place.

Incidently to my mind, the occasional bold text is way cooler than underlining. What's the HTML for underlining anyhow?


4:41 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

Dude, bold text is SO September 10. I post using the html-dunce view that blogger offers. In Explorer, you can just use ctrl-u, but in Firefox for some reason that doesn't work, so I just copy and paste underlined text from Word.

2:00 pm  

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