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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Service with a scowl is fine by me

It's usually your mam and dad who embarrass you.

smalleymg711
Happy family? Brother and sister John and Emma Smalley

It’s only ever your sister of brother when you’re a teenager. They always do it in front of your mates.

But Emma Smalley actually leapt to the defence of her brother after he upset customers at their Keswick cafe, Temporary Measures.

John didn’t provide a smile with the sugar, a laugh with the latte. The irked customers wrote about it on Tripadvisor, saying they were made to feel unwelcome and Emma responded admitting he didn’t have a “sunny disposition” but is not “mean, patronising or aggressive”.

I’m most definitely on John’s side. Personally, I prefer that sort of service to the plastic smiles, patronising comments and pretend pals attitude you get from some waiters and waitresses.

All that ‘hi, how are you?’ and ‘have-a-nice-day’ stuff really grates. How am I? How am I? Why? Are you a doctor? Do you recognise that I have some form of life-threatening illness?

How am I what? Living? Managing to cope in life? How am I at speaking French?

A polite but terse ‘hello, what would you like?’ is quite enough for me. They could manage a tight, short, smile if they really wanted. At a stretch, they could mention the weather – if a tornado has just ripped through the area or a solar eclipse is about take place.

Why bother with anything else? All we, the paying public want is decent service.

All I want is a strong coffee or builder’s tea and a few minutes peace and quiet to myself.

What I don’t need is some syrupy conversation about my welfare, whether I’ve been for a walk and what a lovely pair of socks I’m wearing.

I’m buying a drink, not pretend friendship for 10 minutes.

But all’s well that ends well. The cafe has had a stream of publicity as a result of these whingers and John, who is a folk singer songwriter, has plenty of new material for some new tunes.

Me? I’m off to book a well-earned rest in Fawlty Towers.

Have your say

If you haven't visited Temporary Measure already (which you definitely should) you won't realise that the service you are paying for is the close-knitted family atmosphere, and the homely feel of the shop, and of course the delicious tea and cakes. The family, and rightly so, do not stand for any nonsense, they are a quirky bunch and their personalities are what makes the cafe as it is. Any down to earth person would appreciate this.
And although not an entirely useful news story
you should definitely try the cake :)

Posted by Tasmin on 28 November 2013 at 14:00

What an odd article. She's basically saying "I'm scatty and will mess your order up so you don't want me serving you, and yes my brother is miserable enough to make people completely disregard our food and instead focus on what a terrible service he provides, but HES A MUSICIAN don't you know so that makes it all OK."

If I come into your coffee shop I'm paying for a service, not music, it's not hard to be pleasant to people providing your living so stop sticking up for your oh-so-talented Demi-god brother and tell him to plaster a smile on his face!

Posted by Charlotte on 11 November 2013 at 22:41

View all 38 comments on this article

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