Sevela would have written a more interesting piece 2
Started last Saturday:
- Part 1
- In 2003, municipal authorities 'allowed' citizens to spend money on renewal of pavement and to use new paving tiles for summer cafés. Plastic furniture went like hot cakes. Waiters and waitresses were graduates of universities. At that time, Yelena Ivanovna managed the restaurant, she was entrusted with after she left the district committee, with a newspaper in her hands. A cup of tea and a newspaper were actually her orb and sceptre. She even took them to the toilet.
Aliona — a graduate of the faculty of philology and foreign languages, who worked as a waitress back then — rather delicately called Yelena an old bitch. Yelena could not tolerate that and quitted in two weeks. Then Aliona made friends with one of summer guests and a month later left for Denmark with him for a trial 'marriage'. She is still there. Aliona has long changed the one who helped her and took abroad for new boyfriends, but still the Internet is enough to cope with her homesickness. Many other girls followed that successful path, or rather tried to follow. That couldn't but influence their approach to work. Those who were not pretty enough to flirt successfully relied on several bottles of wine imported from Georgia back then. Actually, only Aliona succeeded, but female personnel favoured foreign guests for a long time after that. 65-year old Frenchman Andre, whom his local girlfriends called Andriusha, came to the restaurant every day to wine and dine the ladies and to tell them about his beautiful country. He described, how he mixed beer with black current liquor and drank champagne with strawberries all the year round there, and how close his native Alsace to other famous European places was. But everything ended in talk and in autumn Andre returned to France on his own.
His girlfriends and waitresses remembered his stories about casinos in Baden-Baden and too small tips for quite a long time after he had left. One of the girls did not give up and spent Saturday nights at the corner table drinking tea and reading foreign newspapers. However, her catch consisted only of drunk locals or guest workers from Moldova pretending to be Chisinau businessmen. Once one of those 'businessmen' tried to pay the bill with a fake discount card and tried to persuade administrator Maria that he had got that card directly from the director. Although Maria came from Moldova (Transnistrian area) as well, she easily saw through such tricks, and if visitors had no discounts, she quite often used her own card, hoping to get bigger tips. That was customer's greed that made it possible to catch Masha. Somebody named Vladimir boasted on another shift that she gave him discounts... He told that to his lady, who could not but let the then-director know about everything, when they were agreeing on a small reception.
Masha wasn't fired, but warned. In a while, discounts became epidemic. The personnel battened, while profitability went down. On the other hand, controlling bodies did not focus on restaurants back then, and dealt mainly with big transactions/issues/projects. We faced no major problems in our work, even though our waitstaff was rather forgetful. The lady, who had told about Masha, soon married an administrator from another restaurant and did not drop by any more. Deribasovskaya was gradually sold out to insiders, while outsiders were able to rent and earn a bit. Everyone was satisfied, including ourselves, who liked such words, as hospitality, empathy and culture.
To be continued next Saturday: