Autumn 2001, Kilkenny Ireland
Moody Cool's restaurant was bad; a disaster before it opened, a poor venture even by the standards of those booming times.
Two days before opening, rainwater was coming through the hole in the ceiling where the exhaust fan was meant to be. Electricians had not yet wired the kitchen, and the gas was not connected. Once the gas was in, the pipe feeding the oven was too small useless. Then when the electrical supply finally was in, too, it was inadequate, also: the microwave oven blew a main fuse.
The cabinets had doors on them, and the plates were almost inaccessible. The dishwasher was a household version with a 45-minute cycle and a door at shin height between the kitchen and service. The list goes on.
The head chef was a plonker. He wanted to reverse the order of cheese and toppings on pizza because everybody does it the other way. He stored raw beef above strawberries, which is wrong everywhere.
And whatever debauchery went on in lieu of business drinking, taking pills, chasing women, fighting the problem was it happened in lieu of business. It was stupid.
These boys, working in a serious industry, pissed away the business if it ever had any chance at all.
They cut employees' hours, without saying anything about it which unfortunately is industry-standard behavior. A little bit, and a little bit more....
And then, without being fired, I didn't have a job.
And then nobody did.