The Most Ridiculous Policy In the World.

According to Wikipedia, there are 53,500 pubs in the UK (Click Here).  Obviously I haven’t been to all of them, but I can say that I have been to quite a few in and around London over the past 3 years.  However, a couple of days ago I stumbled upon one pub that wins the prize for having the most RIDICULOUS policy in the world.

A friend and I decided to go for a quiet drink. It was relatively early on a Tuesday night, around 9 pm, when we entered The White Horse Pub in Parsons Green. I had never been there before, even though I live a stone’s throw away. I had visited the pub’s website and was impressed by the range of beers, ales and ciders it stocked, so being a true “drinks snob”, I thought it was the perfect place for me.

When we got there, we noticed that it was quite busy, so we cued up at the bar, waiting patiently for our turn (as you do in the UK). After a good 30 minutes, we noticed that for some reason, the bar staff was intentionally avoiding us (that’s what it seemed like anyway). Finally, one member of staff mustered up the courage and approached us. I tried to put in my order but was stopped abruptly and asked for ID to prove my age. This happens often, so I smiled, and jokingly asked him to guess my age. He said 19, and I laughed, so I pulled out my ID card, and proudly pointed at my birth year that read “1984”… making me 27 this year. He smiled back and said I look so much younger… but unfortunately he still could not serve us (note: my friend is 26).

This information shocked me, and immediately I asked : “why?”… and that was the golden moment where I was presented with ‘the most ridiculous policy in the world’…

Apparently, the policy that the White Horse Pub holds is that it only accepts UK Passports or UK Drivers Licenses. Here’s where the problems arose. I am Cypriot/American….and my friend is Palestinian/American…which means that neither of us have UK forms of ID….since we are NOT from the UK. For the White Horse Pub, this means no service. If you look young, and are not from the UK, you cannot drink at their establishment…(?@#$@#$?)

I asked to speak to the manager, and the bartender was reluctant, but went to get him. I watched him in a huddle with other staff members…and the manager. Then I noticed that the manager was totally uninterested to speak to me (his blank face and hand gestures were too obvious) and instead chose to send another member of staff our way. A new bartender approached us. This one was rude…so I guess he was the “tough guy” of the team. I re-presented my argument to him…and he gave me more stupid excuses, and tried to make arguments that were not valid, just to seem intelligent (something he lacked no matter how hard he tried).

I then asked him the golden question. “If I can travel between EU countries with my Cypriot ID Card, which means I can pass through UK Border Control, how is it possible that I can’t get a beer at the White Horse Pub in Parsons Green?!?”…he stared at me really confused, and tried to give me some inconsistent response which made no sense. After his soliloquy, he didn’t let me get another word in, and said “OK, sorry I cannot do anything else for you” and walked away. I stood there for 5 more seconds to allow it all to sink in, and then walked out, thinking that I shouldn’t be angry or confused, but that I should feel lucky to have come across “the most ridiculous policy in the world”…

We walked up the road to The Wheatsheaf where we got talking with the lovely bar staff, who were so polite and accommodating, and spent some time laughing at the ridiculous events that took place at The White Horse Pub.

What did we learn? We learned that companies like Mitchells & Butlers do not actually have any control over their brands like they claim they do on their website. It is also evident, that once again, the title of “Manager” in the UK means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING….and in reality, a barman has the same value as his boss. As for the overall experience at The White Horse Pub, I would have to give it an overall 0/10…sorry.


Burnt Out

I don’t tend to complain much…and I can’t say I am as observant as The Critical Eye. But I really appreciate it when people don’t challenge my intelligence. I’m not much of a cook either but I really do enjoy good food. So when someone serves me black eggs and claims that’s how they are meant to be eaten, then be sure I will speak up!

That little incident happened a couple of months ago at Megan’s – a cozy little Chelsea joint renowned for its ‘atmosphere’ and ‘home cooked food’. With its lovely decor and welcoming feel, my flatmate and I sat at the table, starving and ready to eat a hearty brunch. Almost 20 minutes after putting in our order we finally received out lattes (yes 20 minutes later). The mugs were stained from the outside and the coffee did not taste great. I thought ‘ok’ I will let this slide – as I said I don’t like to complain much. But then came the ‘meal’. My English breakfast – served with bacon, toast, beans and a large portion of black scrambled eggs. (Yes black.) I of course called over the waitress to ask her what had happened. She apologized and took my plate away towards the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later, with what seemed a new portion but when I looked down, there they were again…black eggs. She relayed the chef’s message to me: ‘that’s how these eggs are’. I said, ‘really now..?’ and told her to get me the manager. The manager of course apologized again and told us that they had just gotten a new supplier and perhaps that was the reason why these eggs were not normal looking. He also told us he had a taste and that they tasted a bit off.  With an empty stomach and following this huge disappointment, my friend and I left Megan’s, never to return again. (Poor and ignorant people around us continued to eat their meals.. I only hope no one ended up at the hospital.)

And now we come to today.

This evening I ordered some pizza, chicken strips and choc chip cookies from my local Domino’s. My flatmate and I were bored to cook and this seemed like a safe choice. Not expecting much from the pizza, we ate it and an hour later were ready to enjoy the dessert. We opened the box of cookies only to find that the cookies were burnt. So here we were again. Disappointed and unsatisfied. My friend phoned the local store and politely asked them to replace them. Shortly after, the 2nd batch of cookies  arrived. I went downstairs to greet the delivery guy and much to my surprise saw that the new portion of cookies were equally burnt – if not more! At that point you can imagine I was quite frustrated and annoyed. I called the guy at the store right in front of the poor delivery guy and told him that this was getting a little ridiculous. And guess what the Domino’s employee said to me on the phone? ‘Please miss just take a bite and I promise you won’t get food poisoning.’ (!) I did not find this funny in the least. He also tried to convince me that they were not burnt and that this is the way they were usually made. He said we always serve them this way. Again this stupid phrase ‘oh that’s how they are meant to be’.. Well here is some news for you. NO ITS NOT HOW THEY ARE MEANT TO BE. Cookies are NOT meant to be burnt, eggs are NOT meant to be black and there NEEDS to be a better freaking standard of quality in this country!

P.S. This is how Domino’s Pizza describes their cookies: “Domino’s Cookies – 4 crunchy chewy warm & gooey cookies loaded with choc chips”…No mention of burnt cookies anywhere.

Faith No More.

“The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world.

They can sit at their ease and gape at the play.

If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.”

Oscar Wilde

Image taken from Dutch Uncle Agency / London

In other words : “Ignorance is Bliss”…and I have come to accept that it truly is. Unfortunately for me, I am not Ignorant, therefore I cannot experience Bliss. Lately, I wake up before the alarm goes off, and lay in bed staring at the clock, waiting for it to go off. Why do I do this? Because, I’ve lost faith in the world and it’s seeming increasingly difficult to restore…

How I dread leaving the house and entering a world where the stupid, ignorant and undeserving seem to be in charge. When did we give up our power to them? What happened and who put them in charge? I’m tired of meeting people who don’t do their jobs well, or don’t know HOW to do their jobs well…either because nobody showed them how, or they just don’t care to find out… I’m sick of talking to bland, boring and uninteresting people who hold positions WAY above their capabilities… It makes me nauseous when I realize (after 5 minutes of conversation) that someone is as uncultured as a tomato, and should never be let out of their house… I hate it when businesses are INCONSISTENT and fail, every second of every day, to meet their true potential… I despise the idea that the WRONG people are in the RIGHT positions… BUT what really makes my skin crawl is when I meet rich people with power, that shouldn’t have a penny to their name and should be shunned by society as a whole.

Society is grossly disillusioned, in every aspect. Money goes down the drain on a daily basis because salaries are paid to the useless and start-ups go up in flames due to lack of knowledge by all the participants. Businesses, governments and entire countries are run by idiots that have been put there for all the wrong reasons. Nobody wants to listen to those who know better…they prefer to blindly follow…the blind. How many times do you have to think “I could do your job in my sleep” before you lose your cool…? Is it just me that feels this way?

Where are all the inspiring, cultured and deserving people to give me an ounce of hope? If you are one of the rare few, please speak up, tell us why and scream out to the world ” HEY! HERE I AM, I DO STILL EXIST!”…

We Are Animals.

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense – not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.

Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Conclusion.