Brian Belter, 33, struggled to understand Pythagoras' Theorem, let alone SOHCAHTOA in school, along with quadratic and simultaneous equations. 'I couldn't see where I'd use them,' he admitted today. 'They seemed thought out, fair enough, but pretty useless to a guy like me bent on a career working in Wetherspoons,' said the bartender, now in his sixteenth year working for the pub chain.
'I'm a manager now, hiring and firing, sorting out orders, checking the till receipts, fudging the bouncer paperwork, but I didn't need anything other than the arithmetic I learned in junior school,' he added. 'The rest,' he added, 'is bollocks, frankly.'
Then he had a customer ask for a pitcher of Harvey Wallbanger with the straw being covered for 23cm exactly when delivered. 'It was a City crowd, pin striped suits, clearly on a dare from his well-heeled friends. I wasn't going to pander to them so I measured the height of the cocktail, the distance of the straw from the base and applied the equations Mr Grimshaw hammered into me to work out the hypotenuse. A few re-calcs sorted out the errors and I got the angle dead right. What a waste of time,' he added.
'Just after they ordered that silly round one of my bartenders came to me with another problem, from some drinkers suffering from the financial issues. He said, 'if they have two pints and five halves for £15.23 or four pints and three halves at £18.33, how much is a pint of beer?
'I told them to f*ck off, obviously.'