The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Rules

December 5th, 2010 · 44 comments

Our submitter spotted this amazing stream-of-consciousness manifesto inside a small tea shop in Hertfordshire, U.K. “I especially like the lack of punctuation, constantly shifting tone, and preachy generalizations,” she says. “Apparently it’s not enough to simply request that customers wipe their feet or use a trash can — it’s necessary to subject them to a generational guilt trip as well.”

No Muddy Boots - Switch off mobile phones - Keep young Children Seated  What ever next!!!  It is worth reminding ourselves why it is we feel compelled to introduce restrictions and notices of any sort on our customers.  We can assure you that we would rather not!!!  The problem seems to be that we as a society we appear to have less respect for each other than in previous generations.  For example should it really be necessary to have a rule banning people from walking through the tearoom in muddy boots or to request mobile phone be switched off or to have a notice for the Ladies Loo -  Apparently so............  Ladies, PLEASE Use the Sanitary Disposal Bags for relevant items And place in the green bin that has been provided for this sole purpose  DO NOT Flush the disposable bag or any other item that has not gone through your system down our Old and very sensitive system!!!  (Its just not nice - the exception being the loo paper)  Perhaps we should simply have a customer code of conduct that reminds every one to consider others at all times

related: That must be some damn good coffee…

FILED UNDER: "customer service" · ellipses-crazed · exclamation-point happy!!!! · kids today · now that's management · restaurant · U.K.

44 responses so far ↓

  • #1   carrie

    And don’t forget to tip your waitress, she works hard and has 3 kids to support cause she doesn’t believe in marriage and sleeps around

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Mo®

      The dirty whore! She breastfeeds in public too I heard.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 7:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   mycaricature

    Actually I rather agree with this one.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Jorge Barnes

      The sentiment, yes. The tone is condescending and the length unnecessary.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   shwo! bang

    I dearly hope that sign is inside the Ladies Loo. Because if it’s in the dining room, it’s going to put a few people off their tea and crumpets.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   goose

      If so, it’s a bit late to ask people not to walk through the tearoom in muddy boots. Unless it’s an outside loo (it is the UK after all).

      Dec 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   farcical aquatic ceremony

      No joke, shwo. No matter how much the proprietor tries to cutesy it up–referring to “items” that “have gone through your system”–he’s still putting mental images of feces, urine, and other body-produced fluids–into the heads of folks to who he still hopes to sell FOOD! (ENGLISH food, at that!)

      Dec 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   eliz

      Really makes you rethink the blood pudding…

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   H Bomb

      Girls Girls Girls -
      Lets please be nice and just tidy ourselves up now, eh?
      your Items should be placed delicately in the bin and will be cared for most Sensitively
      Please think of our sewage system as a continuation of yours
      ………………..And do try the chocolate biscuits, you inconsiderate munters.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Boxstacker

    Rules Rules *beat* Rules

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   goose

    What ever next, indeed…

    Dec 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   pony girl

    Actually, I sort of want to shake this person’s hand.
    I am amazed daily at the lack of manners of those around me.
    I went to public school for pete’s sake, but most people I meet while out and about make me feel as if I had gone to a Swiss boarding school and the finest finishing school in England or something.
    People who ought to know better, don’t.
    If I had a tea shop I’d probably have a sign just like that.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   farcical aquatic ceremony

      I totally agree with the general public’s lack of manners, but wouldn’t you at least take the ‘feminine hygiene’ discussion & put it into a sign in the Ladies’ Loo..?

      Dec 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   pony girl


      Yes, definitely. That was a bit awkward to say the least.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 6:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      pony girl, your sign would be properly punctuated and capitalized.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 9:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   KST

    What the hell, excuse me, what the bloody hell does “What ever next!!!” mean? They lost me there.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 7:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   pony girl

      I was thinking that it’s short for “Whatever will be next?”

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   BunnyGirl19

      I think it is a British phase of exasperation.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Grant

      It is an expression of exasperation. I live in Hertfordshire, but I’ve not seen this tea shop. I’ll ask my mother, she’s been to every one in the UK (I think, or she has a built-in tea shop radar).
      If it’s an old, old shop, as many are in Herts, it may have carpet and be quite small. A problem for shop keepers is the number of workmen in boots who pop in for breakfast or lunch. Whilst it’s lovely to see ‘the boys’ enjoying a decent cup of tea and real home-cooked food, these small shops cannot remain competitive with McThroughput and still be having to replace carpet every year or employing someone just to mop the floor and clear out the toilets.

      Oh, and English plumbing is notoriously dodgy.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 4:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Cizzerhand

      “What ever next!!!”
      American translation: “Disregard the following!!!”

      Dec 7, 2010 at 12:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Kay

    One sign above ample boot mats (located in immediate entryway): “Please remove your soiled shoes and boots. Thank you.” (Or what? Provide equipment for them to wash them on the spot?)

    One sign in each Ladies Room stall: “Everything other than human waste and toilet tissue must go in bins provided. Thank you.”

    No commentary on the state of the general population’s manners.

    Counsel your staff on how to politely ask a parent to keep their children seated, “for the safety of your children… there are a lot of boiling pots of tea being carried around the room at all times”.

    And although I am still getting used to them and often jarred by the choice of ringtones, cell phones are now a fact of life. People speak to their tea party companions anyway — or wait! Is no speaking at all allowed in this tea shop? Just pity the companions to those who will not turn off their phones.

    And please, honey, pass the sugar. xo

    Dec 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Resident Grammarian esq bang

    I prefer having lots of little signs scattered over the walls, so that people would find a new one each time they visit. Maybe trading cards with a different rule on each one, one comes with each tea pot. Number them so that I can collect em all.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Kay

      That is a smashingly good idea. Manners cards could so easily work into the theme of a tea shop.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   JetJackson

    Well maybe I will just take my muddy boot wearing, loud phone speaking, sanitary supply flushing, kids jumping business elsewhere!

    Dec 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   SarahWoopWoop bang

    Well, if I had seen the “ladies only” part of the sign, I think I may have had to walk out of there pronto. What if the plumbing had backed up into the sink where they wash dishes? Blech!

    Dec 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Walker, "Tex" (a stranger) bang

    When removing your head from your arse, please use a disposable sanitary bag and place it in the green bin provided for this sole purpose.

    Dec 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Lisa

    I’m most impressed that he/she spelled and used “sole” correctly. Do you know how often that happens? Hint: nevah!

    Dec 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Divvitar

    No tea for you! Come back one year!

    Dec 6, 2010 at 1:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   the Librarian

    The loo paper *is* quite nice; it is the exception to the generalized lack of respect we have for one another these days.

    Dec 6, 2010 at 7:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   North

    That note makes me think they resent having to properly clean their floors which if they are serving food needs to be done several times a day anyway. I mean even if you don’t see dirt on some one’s shoes they are dirty, because *gasp* people wear their shoes Outside, can you believe it.

    Dec 6, 2010 at 8:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Woman on the Verge bang

    I get the whole “muddy boots, cell phones, wandering children” thing… but when it devolves into ladies’ sanitary napkin disposal I begin to picture a crazy person scribbling this on toilet paper late at night.

    Dec 6, 2010 at 9:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Madrias

      Agreed. I wish people would get off the damn cellphones and control their children. That and if you have your boots full of mud, it is considered to be courteous to wipe them on a provided doormat.

      However, it is entirely improper to discuss bathroom duties in a dining room. What was this person (not) thinking?

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   divaandwriter bang

    This notice has been put in a proper picture frame. How very elegant! The elegant decor almost offsets the content about bodily wastes in the ladies’ loo.

    Dec 6, 2010 at 10:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   berge bang

    Ah, pontificating on the manners of people today. Maybe they have framed signs at each table with different “rules” so the tea ladies can discuss “what ever next” in society.

    Dec 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   chilly

    My favorite part is the last bit: “Perhaps we should simply have a customer code of conduct…” Perhaps you should. It positively screams “To be continued.”

    Dec 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Mindy

    I live in Hertfordshire, England!
    Wish I knew which coffee shop this is…

    Dec 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   molly moon

    I wonder if the people from the shop will take the sign down now that it’s on the

    Dec 6, 2010 at 8:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   Canthz_B bang

    Ah, the transgressions of youth.

    You know, the proximate cause of the fall of the Roman Empire was the young people, with their dirty sandals, and constant public scrolling one another.

    They spent far too much time on Bookfaciem as well.

    Dec 7, 2010 at 12:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   ashmeadow

      Facieilibrum, CB. You can’t forget the plumbing either. It was novel, but there weren’t quite adequate aqueducts for those soiled tunics.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 3:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.2   Canthz_B bang

      LOL, I used Google translate on that one, and had a gut-feeling it was dead (language) wrong! :-D

      Dec 7, 2010 at 7:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   FG

    I always use the sanitary disposal bags for relevant items. I use them to dispose of the nuclear waste I pick up at the local laboratory, the uranium deposits I acquire from my friends at the nearby military base, and those dangerous glow in the dark stick thingies they give you when you attend ill-advised Justin Bieber concerts.

    Come to think of it, I should probably use those sanitary bags to safely dispose of my Justin Bieber albums. Hmm.

    Dec 8, 2010 at 9:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   elysianhunter

      A sanitary bag is too good to waste on disposing of Justin Bieber anything. Acck! Throw ‘em outside for the dogs to chew up and then poop on. Save the sanitary bag for used gum or – spent feminine hygiene products. Those things would clog up my toilet too.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Ally

    I’m from Herts and I think I’ve been there! I remember the ‘old and very sensitive system’.

    Dec 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   elysianhunter

    There should be a set of regulations in the grocery store, WalMart, Target, etc. regarding the muzzling and or leashing of rugrats. Every time I try to go to the store one or more apathetic parents are letting their kids run around the store like crazed wild animals. I raised my kid already. I taught him better, and I shouldn’t have to put up with your kids’ incessant screaming and dashing about.

    Jan 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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