So last night, I had the pleasure of a glamorous night out at a party venue in Penrith, where 200 guests and about 70 staff pretended they were in 1920s Manhattan, with a 3-course meal, cocktails on arrival, singing and aerial act entertainment and plenty of wine. All for the price of around £30.
And no, the food was a disappointment, the wine list touted two roses but the bar stocked only the cheaper one and the acts were only on for the shortest possible time.
But whereas I can complain with the best of them, I honestly felt that it wasn’t right to do so. Where does £30 get you these days anyway?
I had the wonderful company of Himself, (recovering from a hospital visit in the morning, but still…) the pleasure of a bottle of wine to myself; two cocktails on arrival; meeting people I haven’t seen in ages (all staff – I used to work there myself) and the roast parsnips were good.
Never mind the food – large numbers are a nightmare for a kitchen, but the chef’s food is usually good; it wasn’t the staff’s fault. They didn’t deserve the complaint.
My table egged me on to complain, so I took some notes, but my boss (who is one of my best friends) said that she wasn’t going to. She would mention it to the manager who sells the night (one of her best friends) but she was so well behaved, her judgement shone out against all those miserablists who didn’t like the food and didn’t eat it either.
The point is, it’s easy to criticise, but harder to engage. You get so much more out of everything if you engage with it.