Dear Sirs,

First of all I would like to congratulate both your company and one of your employees in particular, Nigel, at the Happy Valley Outlet for a first class and memorable evening at your restaurant cum carvery.

I would like to take a moment to point out a few things in particular, which I feel ought to be commended.

I had ordered a ginger beer and was, through no fault of Nigel's, given a rather warm glass. As I do not normally take ice in my drink, I politely asked for a cooler glass. On second thought, this was a foolish request and Nigel declined my request (quite rightly so I reckon) with the response 1. Yeah right… 2. Away you go, 3. There's nothing wrong with the glass, 4. Put some ice in it, that will cool it down, 5. At least you know it's been washed, 6. (Rolls eyes), 7. (Mutters under breath).

This response I feel both conveys and symbolizes the ethos that I have come to know and love at the Happy Valley Carvery:

Nigel is a man who laughs in the face of the obvious and doesn't let common sense stand in the way of seeking both truth and justice. 1. Yeah rightThis shows confidence; I like it. Furthermore, it shows the ability to think for one's self. Many may argue that Nigel perhaps got a bit trigger happy in the old thinking for himself department, but not me. I knew where I stood and I liked it.

2. Away you go – Again, many customers may have taken great offense to this, perhaps feeling a little insulted and embarrassed, even left wondering why they had brought their custom there in the first place. Not me. Nigel's a man that knows what he's all about and I like that.

3. Put some ice in it – Here, Nigel demonstrated to me the ability to problem solve quickly and efficiently. Again, some might have argued that combining both ice (something I do not normally like in my drink) and a warm glass would have led to some dissatisfaction on my behalf, given that neither generally appeal to my sensibilities. Not me. Nigel's a man that knows how to take control of a situation and I like that.

4. It will cool it down – Nigel clearly has an excellent grasp of chemistry, particularly the three states of matter: liquid, gas, but more specifically on this occasion, solids. Nigel is a man of many talents.

5. At least you know it's been washed – It's always assuring to know that your bartender knows how to wash a glass. Nigel wasn't taking any chances here and I was pleased to be informed that they wash dishes at Happy Valley.

6. Rolls his eyes – Nigel let me know who was boss. I like to know where I stand.

7. Mutters under breath – Having bar experience myself, I understand the pressures that employees like Nigel are under, and I was touched that Nigel was able to keep whatever he had to say to himself to avoid going that little step too far and hurting my feelings. He's the caring sort and I like that.

It is on hindsight that I am able to truly appreciate the merits of Nigel's innovative style. However, on leaving the bar, I was discussing with my mother that Nigel's attitude could have been construed as belonging to a person others may describe as a, and I quote here, "cheeky bastard." Nigel overheard this conversation, and crikey Nigel was pretty unimpressed.

He asked me to repeat what I said, and out of courtesy and respect for one of your best employees, I repeated myself. Nigel wasn't pleased. He asked me to stop using expletives. I can understand that; he's a sensitive soul. As I have previously explained, it was only on hindsight that I realized the genius of Nigel's customer service technique, so at this stage, I asked him to stop being a "cheeky bastard." Nigel, being a man who knows the score, wasn't having any of it, and asked that I refrain from speaking to him in such a manner. I would like to hold my hands up and say that it is a curse of genius that those who possess it are misunderstood. I am sorry that I misunderstood Nigel. He then asked if I was dissatisfied with the service. Now, for me, this is the icing on the cake. Nigel doesn't leave anything to chance; he knows the score, yet he leaves no stone unturned.

At this point, having not fully appreciated Nigel's unusual methods, I replied that it was rather obvious that I was both unhappy with the service and having the bartender act like a, and I quote, "dick." I was premature here. Nigel is a man who laughs in the face of the obvious, plays by his own rules, and doesn't let common sense stand in the way of seeking both truth and justice.

Now, last but by no means least, at this point I left your establishment, mistaking Nigel's style as that of a man with limited social skills, having paid for two meals and two drinks. I now see the merits in this. I am training for the great Scottish run and am therefore watching my waistline. Thanks to Nigel, my calorie consumption has been approximately 700 less today than in a normal day. If I were to visit the Carvery every Saturday, this would be approximately 36,400 calories a year. That's approximately 15 days worth of calories. Nigel would effectively cut my annual food consumption by over 4.1%. I am sure with Nigel's help that I will be in prime condition for the great Scottish run.

Even my comments cannot do justice to Nigel's credentials, but I trust that Nigel's extraordinary skills in the field of bar work will not go unnoticed, and I trust that Nigel will have a long and illustrious career in hospitality.

Thank you again for an unforgettable experience.

Kind regards,
Iain Jones

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