Don’t shoot the vegetarian


“What can you do for vegetarians?” asked my fiancée.

“Vegetarians?” The chef, who would cook eighty meals for  our wedding guests in three months time, mulled over the question.

He’ll say soup, I thought. That’s the easy answer. Or some kind of salad. Pine nut, maybe.

“I’d have them all shot,” he said, folding his arms.

No pine nuts, then.

He hadn’t thought to check if either of us were vegetarians (we’re not) but then, he probably didn’t care. I wouldn’t have argued with him, either. He was built like an aircraft carrier and, had I been a vegetarian and taken offence to his suggestion that we should all be dead, would probably have punched me in the face immediately and without hesitation.

It was a minor hiccup during our menu tasting but I’ve noticed that our dealings with the reception venue have been littered with similar hiccups. Silly things. Things you probably think I’m a bit of an arse for highlighting. But I couldn’t care less. As someone who spends his entire working life ensuring every piece of communication, whether it be written or spoken, is the best it can be, such disregard for the most basic of requirements really makes me very cross indeed. So cross, that I’ve decided to write about it.

I’m not perfect. In fact, quite often, I get it wrong. Take the time I called a prospective customer Brian. That would have been fine, only his name was Bernard and he was quick to point out that, because I got it wrong, I was not allowed to continue breathing any more. Thankfully, this exchange happened over email, but I felt pretty bad about it, regardless.

It surprises me, therefore, that other people don’t take similar pride in their jobs and the firms they work for. Our chef friend, for example, should perhaps have thought before opening his mouth. Similarly, the events manager neglected to shake either of our hands after our meeting. As far as I’m concerned, that means the meeting is still very much taking place, only I’m writing this three days later and there’s no sign of her. Perhaps she’s gone to harvest the coffee beans for the drinks we weren’t offered.

There was one thing which really got my goat, though. A couple of weeks ago, we received some documentation from the venue stating that I was marrying Gemma Allen. I’m not sure who Gemma is, and I think she’d be equally surprised to find out she’s getting married to me in three month’s time – as would my fiancée, Lindsey. I politely pointed out the mistake and asked them to ensure such an error wouldn’t happen on the day, because that would resemble more a scene from Friends than our dream day. They apologised profusely. It wouldn’t happen again, we were told.

This week, we sat down to our menu tasting and were handed a form on which to make notes about the food. At the top, Lindsey’s surname was spelt ‘Allan’.

It’s spelt Allen.

“Oh, silly me. That’s obviously me typing too quickly!” Exclaimed our wedding coordinator. I would have been dying inside. She didn’t appear to be.

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