Modern life is such relentless progress that it’s hard to know that we aren’t leaving some simple pleasures behind. I’m always on the look out for things we may have left behind, and I think I have found one.
In old movies and books, I am pretty sure that if you went to a restaurant and you didn’t have enough money to pay for your meal, then you would be forced to do the washing up. And of course now that we have modern dishwashers,this noble practice has died out.
I however have some questions:
1) What was the exchange rate?
What I want to know is, say you went in and had a simple bowl of soup, maybe you had some bread which was on the table anyway, surely you don’t have to do as much washing up as the guy who had the Chateauxbriand to himself? And what about washing or drying, is one more valuable than the other? I think we should be told.
2) Could you keep doing it?
So say you don’t have any money, no job, you’re hungry, can you just go back each day and wash up for food?
3) What about the people who were supposed to be doing this job?
What are they doing while you do it for them? You are doing their job, you might be back again tomorrow. Sure, they get the afternoon off, but if you keep turning up and working for food instead of money, the restaurant manager is going to start getting ideas.
4) Most importantly, what is the modern equivelent?
What would you do now? You could work as a waiter or a cook but I would say that both of those jobs are a bit too client facing (if you don’t cook the food properly then you really will be facing the client soon).
So what about the restaurant’s VAT return? Probably not. I suppose that now they’ll turn you over to the police. It’s just a bit less gentle than the old ways.