Oh, how right I was to curmudgeonly post regarding pub amateur month. In particular my bit on new bar staff. Last night I had my first call in ages to call for a manager and argue licencing law with her. Of course it did me no good, but let me name and shame:

Fancyapint link of badness.

Oh it looks fine, a bit refurb spangly, but appearances can be deceptive. Unfortunately it is the work local of my works other site, where I find myself for a few drinks which become a lot of drinks. The venue has never bugged me that much before: the bust heating a month ago was annoying, and the repeated showing of the mini-cab rapist advert grated. But the company was great so I overlooked the joints minimal failings (no cooking lager on etc).

Last night the evening was progressing nicely, I had started writing some lyrics for a song another bandmate had proposed (“Wait Until You’re Legal” if you are interested). It was my second round, and I checked my funds. £8 – that should be enough for a gin and tonic, dark rum and coke and half of coke. I go to the bar, wait a couple of minutes as the barstaff fannydangled, and then the youngest male barman came to me (this one was Chinese, apropos to nothing except to distinguish him from the Russian and Polish bar staff). I make my order. He looks confused. I say it again. He looks panicked. He hunts his back bar and then comes back to me. “A coke?” I repeat the order. He makes the Coke, plops it infront of me and then goes off to serve someone else.

Odd behaviour yes? I try to attract his attention. After a couple of minutes the Russian comes over. “Are you alright” he says aggressively. I repeat my tale of woe. He counters with “We don’t have any dark rum.” This is annoying, especially when they have a back bar stocked with ten different kinds of vodka. I suggest he gives me the Golden Havana Club at the same price. This idea he looks at with incomprehension so I acquiesce however, and order a gin and tonic. G&T and V&T are plomped infront of me, and he asks for £8.60. I – somewhat flabbergasted by this cost – ask if the spirits are doubles. They are not. He fetches the itemised bill. £2.50 for the spirits each. £1.15 for the baby mixer. £1.50 for the half of coke. I offer him the £8 considering my inconvenience – and a desire to haggle in the pub after poor service. He asks if he should get the manager. I say yes.

At this point the arsy bit of me gets het up. The pub has no price list on display: breaking the law. The pub also does not have its licence on display: also breaking the law. I explain the problem to the stone faced manageress, lousy service, rude staff and grossly overpriced drinks (for a pub). She takes the drinks off of the bar, saying if you aren’t paying for them, we will keep them. But I don’t want to go back without the drinks, that is petty. So muttering discontent, and pointing out that the bar is breaking the law, I give her my card to pay for it. She wanders off and does not come back for a minute with my card in a chip and pin machine. I pay, she takes the wrong bit of the receipt and I swear at her again.

I retire, having lost, feeling a bit petty, but convincing our threesome that there are clearly better pubs in the area. Oh, and the Russian had got the G&T and V&T mixed up. But I for one will not be going back.

And there was.