Is it just ME?

Or are wait­ers with­out notepads mad­den­ing?

Daily Mail - - Inspire - By El­iz­a­beth Day

WHEN did wait­ers stop us­ing notepads? I think it hap­pened some time around the rise of the ar­ti­san cof­fee house, when sud­denly it was no longer ‘hip’ to use some­thing as retro as pa­per and pen.

What­ever the rea­son, the trend caught on. I have no idea why. And it drives me ab­so­lutely bark­ing mad.

You go for din­ner with friends, and each of you or­ders a starter and a main and drinks.

The poor, notepad-less waiter will stand there with a con­fused ex­pres­sion on his face, at­tempt­ing to mem­o­rise ev­ery­thing.

He gives a small nod ev­ery time a new dish is men­tioned, but you know it’s not go­ing in. Sweat breaks out on his brow. Sweat breaks out on your brow.

The waiter’s eyes ac­quire a sheen of panic when you be­gin or­der­ing side dishes. As you no­tice his in­creas­ing dis­com­fort, you feel guilty for want­ing too many things, so you speed up. Once it’s done, he makes a mad dash to the kitchen.

When the or­der ar­rives at the ta­ble, there will in­evitably be mis­takes.

That side of creamed spinach? For­get it. The steak? It will be served medium, not rare. The jug of tap wa­ter you asked for? Not a chance.

It’s not the waiter’s fault. It’s an im­pos­si­ble task.

I don’t ex­pect the per­son tak­ing my or­der to demon­strate im­pres­sive feats of mem­ory. I’m not sure why it’s nec­es­sary. A lack of a notepad doesn’t add to the am­bi­ence.

It serves no ob­vi­ous pur­pose and seems sim­ply to have been in­tro­duced to make life dif­fi­cult.

I say bring back notepads for wait­ers. And bring my tap wa­ter while you’re at it.

The Party by el­iz­a­beth Day (4th es­tate, £12.99), out July 13.

That creamed spinach? For­get it. The steak? It’ll be medium not rare. The wa­ter? Not a chance.

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