Me and my mates from uni like to get drunk and gossip but we be classy like, so when we want to get drunk and gossip we book in a brunch. I can't speak more highly of the benefits of day drinking - the deals are better, recovery time longer and I can still get to bed before midnight.
My mate V is our unofficial (actually pretty official, we should probably pay her but don't tell her) social secretary. She makes organisation look sexy and she can always scout out the classiest venues and the most inviting menus. I'm so grateful as when choosing a dining experience my imagination doesn't venture much further than Nandos.
Last Sunday we had a brunch scheduled. I had told V that it was one of my dreams to go to a bottomless brunch, an experience when you can drink as much as you like for an entire meal - a booze buffet if you will, so she booked a table at Drake & Morgan. The night before, I went online to choose what I would eat (I'm not the only one that does this right?) and I noticed an apology on the website. The apology stated:
'....Drake & Morgan as a business do not discriminate on the grounds of race, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability or colour.'
Intrigued I investigated further. It seems that a table had received a bill that clearly stated 'No ice ni**a'. Shock and horror indeed. The assumption was that the message was directed at the only black member of the party and the employee involved was duly fired. And whilst the incident is sweat inducingly shameful, I couldn't help but take note of the fact that the message read 'ni**a' and not its predecessor 'ni**er'.
Ni**a is accepted in common vernacular as a term meaning friend or compadre. I have met young folk that have never even heard the word in its original form, a fact that warms my heart. I imagine the missive 'No ice ni**a' was a message to the staff member preparing the drinks (and having visited the chain I can confirm that the person taking the order and the person preparing the drinks are different staff members), a sad attempt to inject some humour into a long shift.
I remember holding office chair races in my first job and trying to get away with slipping rude words into telesales pitches. The difference being that when I was doing these things Twitter didn't exist, a catfish was just a lunchtime special and Donald Trump was an odd little man fronting a mildly interesting reality TV show. Times were very different and a lot less scary.
It made me think that somewhere out there is a 22 year old lass or lad feeling very sorry for themselves. Imagine having your youthful exurberance mocked globally. This is something I would like to protect my own son from experiencing so I think I'll try and teach him the new rules of keeping it classy.
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR END GOAL If what you're trying to achieve will gain you less than what you stand to lose, don't do it. In this scenario, a laugh from a colleague vs instant firing, a bad reference and online humiliation. No contest.
IF IN DOUBT, DON'T Sometimes it's not always clear whether you should commit to an action or not. I don't want to raise a child that acts from a place of fear but it is rare that a decision can't be put off for another 24 hours. A good night's sleep can bring a lot of perspective.
LOCK IT DOWN You will be googled. Every job interview, date and prospective in law will look you up. Learn about privacy settings and use them.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST This is one of the four agreements, a code for life devised by Don Miguel Ruiz. I think if you follow nothing but this, it's difficult to go wrong. The waiter in question was trying to find job satisfaction but was going about it the wrong way. It would have been far more rewarding to focus their energy on getting a really fat tip.
My friends asked me if we should cancel the booking in light of the scandal and I said, 'Are you serious? The service is going to be exceptional.' And I was right. Drake and Morgan is a beautiful venue, it has my absolute favourite balance of intimacy and elegance. I'm a burger and chips girl and can sometimes end up feeling a bit short changed but Drake and Morgan elevated this classic dish to a ladies wot lunch level. The booze was indeed bottomless and this girl left the venue drunk on life and a little bit drunk. I loved it and I would certainly go again so if you're booking, holla at me ni**a.