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My local pub has started being rude to its customers – and everybody loves it

My local pub has started being rude to its customers – and everybody loves it


In this age of corporate coddling and passive-aggression, how refreshing to be treated like a grown-up who can take a little plain talking


Source: The Telegraph

By Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski

19 Feb 2016


This is very much the age of the customer. When we ring the NHS the (outsourced) person on the other end of the line calls us a customer. Our universities increasingly use that particular “c word” to describe their students too.


There are, however, areas of British life still fighting against this “customer is king” culture: step forward the Mucky Pup, a pub in North London.


“The Bartender is 100 per cent in charge of who is next. So do not piss them off. Yes, they can see you”


Up on the wall of the men’s toilet is a set of rules of how to queue and how to behave at the establishment.


“News flash: You are not next. You might have been in the bar queue longer than anyone else but that doesn’t mean you are next,” it states baldly, warning drinkers against waving money or clicking fingers to get served.


Interior of The Golden Heart


Another rule – “Hot Girls Get Served First” – uses “Western Civilisation” as its defence. Presumably this is Western Civilisation prior to the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.


In a wonderfully eccentric English way, the rules start at number four and end at seven – whether one to three were lost, stolen or torn down in outrage remains a mystery.


Like a theologian piecing together the roots of Christianity from half-decayed Aramaic scrolls, we’ll have to learn what we can from what survives – and what survives is a far cry from the kind of modern name-on-your-coffee-cup service most will be used to. There are, however, some rules that may attract more sympathy.


Take Ray, the regular who always gets served before you do. Many will feel that he’s welcome to keep his local to himself. But in an age where we’re constantly told that companies wish to meet our every need and expectation, there will be others who pine for this kind of no-nonsense approach.


Isn’t there something to be said for earning your place at a pub? After all these places are about far more than purchasing drinks. The pub is at the heart of so many communities, where we meet, talk, argue and share hours with neighbours, loved ones and the odd stranger. Doesn’t it cheapen this if everyone gets treated like an old friend from the moment they get through the door?


And if this argument doesn’t convince you, consider this: restaurants such as Chinatown’s Wong Kei or US bar chain Dick’s have gained international acclaim for “surly” or “quite nasty” service. Perhaps the Mucky Pup is Britain’s rather good entrant in an international game of rudeness.