Behind the Brewpub ScenesThey make driving at 30 km/hour look cool. Say hello to Jasim and Abdul.
Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stay that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
There’s very few cars these two haven’t driven, and they’re like a deadly duo right out of Fast and the Furious—except they’re more about making driving within speed limits look cool. But with the traffic scene in Bangalore, people have said they’re automobile angels of sorts. Say hello to Jasim and Abdul.
What were you doing before Toit?
Jasim: Before, work we used to work at other restaurants, doing valet work. We are both from Tripura. We met each other only after coming here, even though we are from the same district.
Abdul: I used to do housekeeping work in offices before this, along with restaurant work.
It’s been almost 9 years since I came to Bangalore.
When did you come here?
Jasim: It’s been almost 9 years since I came to Bangalore.
Abdul: I came a year after him, in 2007.
How did Toit happen?
Jasim: When Toit first opened, my friends told me about this place. They spoke about how the guests were great, and that a future at this place seemed promising. I heard this and liked it, so I came and gave an interview. I joined in March of 2011. Just a month after it opened.
Abdul: It was the same for me. I heard about this place and gave an interview and they selected me. I joined Toit even before it opened, one month before Jasim.
What is your typical work day like?
Jasim: We work in shifts. We come here in the morning, at 11:30, so we leave home at about 11, take a bus or auto and get here. Then we have a break in between, after which we come back here at 6:30 for the next shift. From then, we stay till closing time.
Is it a hectic job?
Jasim: Yes. It is a very busy job. Weekends are extra busy for us.
So where do you park?
There’s no designated space. We park on public space, roads, any place we can find. Whenever we park, we try to find a nice place nearby.
What do you do if you don’t find any parking space?
You always manage to find parking space somehow. If we don’t find it nearby, we search around and find it. We take rounds to find it.
No matter how many cars come, we manage to find space. But if you try doing this, you’ll end up roaming around in circles.
No matter how many cars come, we manage to find space.
So, does that mean you have secret parking spots then?
No secret spots, but we park in ways that you probably can’t even imagine, since we have access to car keys and can adjust the space between different cars. We do a little adjusting and manage to pull it off.
Is it a high stress job? How do you handle demanding customers?
Yes, there are always some demanding customers. But if this happens, we end up telling the customer that we’ve parked their car far away and that it will take a little bit of time for us to get it. We always make it clear from the start. In case they have an emergency or need the car immediately, we ask them to come along with us to save time. That time, we go with them and leave them till their cars.
Do you have a system you follow?
We are always in touch with each other, all the drivers. And we bring the cars based on who arrives first. So we are always communicating and making sure that we know who is handling which car, and which customer has been waiting for how long. Whenever one of us is free, we help the other out. There is a lot of teamwork.
How large is the team?
There are seven of us. On the weekdays, it’s about five of us, but during the weekends we all work.
Have you guys watched Fast and the Furious?
Have you watched Dhoom?
But we never drive the cars fast, no matter how urgent it is.
Do you sometimes have secret races like in the movie?
Jasim: *laughs* No, no! Our assigned speed limit is 30 km/hour, so we can’t even if we wanted to. Plus, our parking area is within a 200 metres radius, so it’s not like we have a great racing track either. Also, traffic here is always high. But we never drive the cars fast, no matter how urgent it is—the management has made this very clear.
You probably get a whole variety of cars to park! Is it difficult to drive some cars?
We’ve been working for a long while now. There used to be problems earlier, when we started, but now even if you blindfold us and make us sit in a car, we can tell you which car it is. That’s how much of an idea we have now. We handle almost 100 cars per day, so we’ve seen almost every type.
What has been your favourite car to have driven so far?
Unison: The Hummer!
In all the cars you have parked, there must have been times when you’ve got scratched or nicked in traffic. How do you deal with that?
Whenever we can, we stop the person and let them know that this is a customer’s vehicle and they need to settle it with them. We inform the customer accordingly.
But some people hit your car and then run away. If we can follow them, we do that. But at the very least, we take down their license plate numbers and give it to the customers, informing them about what has happened.
It doesn’t happen too often, but whenever it does, we inform our customers immediately.
The nicest thing here is the system…It is a good feeling.
So what do you do on your off days?
Jasim: I sleep a little longer, and then go out in the evening. Sometimes, if I manage to find the time, I go watch movies. But I mainly relax on my off-days.
Abdul: It’s the same for me. I mainly relax, and sometimes go out for a movie.
Do you both have girlfriends?
* Extra quick ‘no’ from Abdul and just a smile from Jasim.*
How has the experience been, working here?
It’s been very good. The nicest thing here is the system—when you’re working, you really feel like working. When you have a holiday, you’re fully relaxed.
Other places we’ve worked at before, there is not much discipline and the attitude at work used to be like a holiday.
So when we come to work here, we have this feeling inside, that we need to work hard. It is a good feeling.