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Saturday 15 January 2022

Entitled arsehats at cellar door

It is just not as much fun being a cellar door operative as it used to be. 

Rather than pouring wines for the crowd milling around the tasting bar and telling a few funny stories, the responsibilities are far greater, and more stressful. 

You have to make sure tasters are signed-in, seated, spaced, and satisfied.

At larger cellar doors you may well be understaffed due to colleagues with Covid, co-workers who won't get vaccinated or casuals who are in isolation. 

In addition you have to wear an uncomfortable mask all the time - and deal with the occasional arsehat into the bargain. Most of the time it is great. There are dozens of jobs far more onerous.

During the recent lockdowns I have been filling in one or two days a week at a local family-owned cellar door. 

It is a lovely setting, open 11am to 4pm with six wines for a seated, educational tasting for an $8 fee, refundable if you make a purchase. Tasting can take between 15 and 30 minutes depending on how quickly you taste and how many questions you have.  

I maybe dealt with a dozen groups today. Some just wanted to taste, others tasted then purchased a few bottles. All were engaged and a pleasure to deal with. Happy to pour an extra taste of the wine you like so you can make up your mind.

Until 3.50pm. The winemaker messaged and said a couple from Brisbane were at a location 15 minutes away and wondered if cellar door could remain open until 4.30pm so they could do a tasting. 

No problem. I removed the whites from the fridge, set up a tasting for two with water glasses etc. And waited.

No sign of them by 4.25pm, so I put everything away again, let the winemaker know and locked up again. No call to say they were lost, or running late.  

Just as I was driving out at 4.32pm, in drove a Toorak tractor. 

The bloke held his hand to his ear and mouthed: "We called." The woman said: "X X said 4.30pm."

Yes, 4.30pm to finish, not arrived. I wonder if they expect Bunnings to stay open late for them if they are running behind schedule, or demand their chemist stays open to fill a prescription? Probably.

I told them to go away.

They are not the first arsehats I've had at cellar door recently. There was the group who had a long-standing tasting booking and wanted to put it back until after 4pm because their members had got uproariously drunk at the previous cellar door they visited.  Err no. 

Then there was the group of women unwilling to wait when we had hit maximum Covid-safety numbers. 

"I have some people leaving very soon, if you could just wait outside," I said. No. They stormed off in high self-important dudgeon. 

Please remember you are not special. And if you want special treatment you are probably entitled. And may well write a negative TripAdvisor review. Try being kind instead. 

Generic image: Pablo Nidam,



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