Thursday, 13 October 2011

Savings and Expectations

The sewing ladies' group has the routine of going out for lunch together twice a year, in summer and near Christmas.  It's a bit tricky finding a place everyone is happy with from the standpoint of food preferences, transport and price range, but there are loads of places around from which to choose.  I'm generally happy to just go along with the majority, but one thing I don't do is hand over money each week to save it up.

This is a very common British practice.  I saw it at work, where most members of staff gave £1 a week or so to the head secretary to save up for them for their Christmas meal out.  They might also give £1 or so to put on the lottery that week, but that's another habit I've never formed.  I saw this saving for Christmas as part of the running club as well.  Whenever I go to the supermarket they ask if I want to buy savings stamps, which I gather is a similar thing, as the supermarket doesn't pay interest; one just uses the stamps to buy the larger amount of food needed around the holidays.  (That could be a whole other post, why do we spend that much more on food, or the case for taking turns hosting...). 

I'm always amazed when I see grown-ups handing over their pounds - and grown-ups who apparently have quite a bit of disposable income - to someone else to take care of for them.  As though they can't just put the money aside themselves, as though they trust that person more than they trust themselves, as though they won't be able to afford the meal out unless they save up for it.  I'd argue about lost interest, but it's not worth the keystrokes now, is it?

Anyhow, a few months ago we went to an Italian restaurant down on the fish quay where I'd not been before.  Not this one of the chain, anyhow.  It was so inexpensive, it was decided that everyone would just pay rather than draw on their lunch accounts; I always just pay anyhow.  It costing what it did, I didn't have very high expectations of the food, but it's one of the very few occasions when I just didn't think it was worth finishing.  It wasn't awful but on the day I decided it wasn't worth the calories.  Since Italian food is my very favourite, this is a pretty sad comment.

The service was pretty bad, too, even by British standards.  Mind, I cut them some slack because a table of 12-13 is a challenge.  What we all found rather annoying was that the bill presented was practically illegible, with no itemisation to speak of, so we had no way of determining whether we'd been charged fairly and could only estimate what we each owed. 

In their favour, I loved the decor and grabbed several photos which I'm happy to share.  So perhaps I got £7 worth after all. 

1 comment:

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Interesting custom...we do the lottery "pool" here in the US on occasion, although I don't participate in it either.