Monday, March 07, 2005

Gimme Free Water Now!!

While all the people were happily enjoying the previously mentioned $3 gourmet meals. Mine Host was quietly pleased to note that most people were having a drink with each meal.

Goody! He exclaims, we are actually making a small quid from this whole cheap meals programme. Still, lots of work & lots of money handled for not much return, but at least the Wayside Tavern is making a small bit out of it.

However, a dreadful feeling began to creep up on Mine Host, something was not right! Perplexed he investigated and found that almost everyone who was availing themself of the $3 lunch, was drinking water with their meal. Instead of making a dollar, Mine Host was funding staff member who was doing nothing but serve glasses of chilled water, then clearing the empty glasses, & washing them.

Gasping with the shock that comes to all of us when we discover a hole where our wallet had been, Mine Host added up the cost, about $26,000 per year to fund the free water at mealtimes.

"I don't know how much most people in this town are paid, but $26,000 out of my salary is a bit too much." bleated Mine Host in a manner most forlorn. "There be a limit to altruism, & $26,000 a year out of my pocket is a shade too much."

So the Wayside Tavern joined the ranks of those pubs which charge for water. A fine bottled product was made available, & a glass to drink it from.

Naturally there was resistance from all to *ugh* paying for water. Mine Host was steadfast in his resolve. A drink of water supplied has the same costs as soft drink, beer, or orange juice, & he had to charge for it or face the prospect of eviction. For the Wayside Tavern has flint-hearted creditors of its own.

"No, I don't want the bottled stuff, just pour me a glass from the tap" was the cry from all who had been greedily slurping at Mine Hosts water trough. "Certainly" came the reply from Mine Host "However the service charge for pouring water will be the same price as a bottle"

The resulting stream of invective was as water off a duck's back to Mine Host, for what choice did he have? He was perfectly happy to pour a glass of water for someone, however he was paying someone to perform 6 hours of free water service, every day of the year.

Then came the expected scream about "charging for what the council gives free" & "I'll sue you" etc etc... Never mind that the council water rates were of an amount to render Mine Host parsiminous, he explained to the angry hordes that "This is not the american south, is not the 1840's, & this girl is not anyone's negro slave, it is The Wayside Tavern, the 21st century, & if you want her to pour you a glass of water, you shall pay her for it"

In a strongly trade untion town, this very powerful choice of words ended the matter with all seeing Mine Hosts' point of view & firmly agreeing with him.

However the complaints about "paying for water" never stopped, so Mine Host, seeking a stress free life, adjusted the price of meals from $3 to $14 ,watched as the budget driven water guzzlers decamped to the supermarket for $2 noodles, water arrangements reverted to normal & the clientele complimented Mine Host on the wonderful meals at "excellent" prices ($14) whilst ordering a beer or two or three to wash it down. The takings went up, & Mine Host vowed to never again do anything for the public.

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