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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Lions led by donkeys

I think everyone's probably had enough of the cold weather by now. Certainly everyone at Yeovil Town will have had enough of it. No game for a fortnight and even though we've enjoyed a mini-thaw this weekend (enough of a thaw to make one wonder if the Peterborough game may not have been postponed in a little too much haste earlier in the week), this Tuesday night's re-scheduled 2nd round FA Cup tie at Hartlepool is by no means guaranteed to go ahead regardless of what today's pitch inspection might bring, as a return to freezing temperatures is forecast from tomorrow onwards. [Edit - as I write, the news has just come through that the match is indeed off, re-scheduled for 14th December]

On the other hand, maybe an enforced break was just what we all needed. Time to recharge the batteries, to reflect on the season so far and to put right what's gone wrong. Time for the coaching staff and the players to step back away from the treadmill of game after game after game and to focus on the things they do well and to work on those things that haven't gone quite as well. Time for a fresh start, in other words. Time too, to hit the ground running when football does eventually resume. Lest we forget we are 23rd in the table and 6 points away from safety coming up to the Christmas period. It's going to take a huge effort to make that gap up.

Away from the football and I'm sad to report that once again the club has proved that it has difficulty in organising a piss-up in a brewery. A group of ten of us booked a table at the club last night - a 3 course dinner and Abba's Angels, in honour of my sister-in-law's birthday. Unfortunately when we got to the club we found that the lift to the top floor was out of action which meant that I, as a wheelchair user, was unable to access the Alec Stock Lounge. It was explained to us that the lift had broken down the previous day, an engineer had attempted a repair that morning but didn't have the part required. We asked why the club hadn't contacted us after the engineer's visit to tell us not to come because they knew that a wheelchair user would require access to the Lounge via the lift and they also knew that the lift was out of order, but no-one could answer that question.

Well, these things happen. In the event a charming young lady - the head waitress I think, though unfortunately I didn't get her name - dealt with myself and my wife with great courtesy, gave us a refund and went further than that by giving us a bottle of wine and plated up our dinner for us to take home. Kudos to her and her staff, who all seemed genuinely embarrassed and upset. In the meantime and after much discussion we persuaded the rest of our party to carry on and enjoy the evening, accordingly they went upstairs to claim their table, whilst we made our way back home with our wine and our dinner.

Except that when the rest of our party got upstairs they found that their table wasn't actually there. Despite two previous vists to the club; once to put the dinner order in and once to pay for the evening, as well as a phone call from the club to my sister-in-law to confirm the booking; on the night there was no record of their order. My brother, by now angry as well as Amazed, confronted the catering manager, Mr Robinson, and demanded an explanation as to why no-one had contacted us to tell us the lift had broken down, and how had they managed to lose all trace of our party's food order not to mention the table booking? Mr Robinson claimed not to have a contact phone number to ring, forgetting, perhaps, that he himself had phoned my sister-in-law earlier in the week to confirm our booking and to confirm that he was aware that a wheelchair user was included in the party and that a space would be left on our table to accommodate. He couldn't explain how the dinner order and table booking had gone missing.

To cut a long story short the evening was by now irredeemably spoilt. A refund was demanded and given and everyone left. We never did see Abba's Angels and the club missed out on £300-worth of ticket money plus another £100 (at least!) that would have gone behind the bar. More to the point, the attitude and evasions of the catering manager has ensured that none of us will return for a function at the club, at least while that particular gentleman is still in his post.

In the great scheme of things no harm was done. No-one died or was injured and all we lost was an hour of our time. But the whole episode is symptomatic of the decline of our club. The poor bloody staff doing their best to provide a service led by an incompetent management who couldn't care less. Only at Yeovil Town FC could such a culture thrive. Change at the top to get rid of the dead wood is so badly needed that it's not even funny, not anymore. Is there no-one out there who can save us?

1 comment:

  1. It beggars belief how fantastically some restaurant staff can make a complete and utter mess of something as simple telephone and online table reservations. It's especially amazing when you have had both written and verbal confirmations. It'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic.