I got into the taxi and sighed with relief. I had been almost in pain trying to keep my face from scowling over the past few hours and there was also the fact that I was absolutely starving – I had just been at ‘The Meal from Hell’. Pretentious overpriced food, combined with snooty yet inefficient wait staff AND that I was out with work colleagues I didn’t want to spend a second more than necessary with, this had all the hallmarks of uncomfortable dining before we picked out the wine.
I was in a very well known restaurant on Stephen’s Green. My boss was there to pay and the marketing witch was there to try and beat us into enjoying ourselves. It had been her idea, one that was met with rolled eyes and lots of grumbling, asking why did we have to go to dinner with people we barely put up with in work and who we most definitely didn’t want to go to dinner with. Everyone felt the same way, no one wanted to go as it was an unwritten thing that none of us liked each other and just accepted we had to work together. After one person dropped out with a pathetic excuse, the rest of us were told that no matter what we were going and that we were going to enjoy it no matter what. You can imagine how much I was looking forward to this then. Groan.
Sitting in reception, waiting for everyone to arrive set the scene for the uncomfortable silences that were to come. When at our table it started off with the horrible little annoying man, grabbing the wine list and arguing with the boss over which were the best wines and being told that he wasn’t allowed pick any bottle over £60 [this was a number of years ago]. And then the resident alcoholic slimy sales guy announced that he wasn’t hungry and didn’t want anything. The waiter that arrived merely added to the tension with his appalling attitude. Maybe our money wasn’t the same as everyone else’s eating there that night. Continue reading