If you’re ever having a stressful day at work, spare a thought for the staff of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, who spent four years bending over backwards to please the president.

Former workers have revealed that Trump would frequently eat at the restaurant, along with his “Ferris wheel of allies”, from Rudy Giuliani to Michael Cohen, and other members of the Trump family.

The restaurant staff were given detailed instructions, which included keeping Trump’s table free at all times, sticking to a script during interactions with him, and specific instructions on how to serve his preferred meal – pouring his Diet Coke alone was a seven-step process.

Here are some of the most bizarre revelations about working for the Trump hotel, as detailed by former staff to Washingtonian magazine.

1. The Diet Coke rules

The aforementioned seven-step instructions on how to to pour the president’s beverage included four detailed pictures. The process involved opening the bottle at the table with a longneck bottle opener held by the bottom third of the handle, with the bottle also held by the lower third in the other hand.

Once poured, the drink was to be placed on the right hand side of the former president, with the whole process repeated until his departure.

2. Serving food

Trump’s order was always the same. Servers were instructed to serve a double-portion of popovers within two minutes of his arrival, with a shrimp cocktail to arrive “immediately”.

He would go on to order a well-cooked steak with fries and required Heinz ketchup on the side. This was to be served in a miniature bottle which would be opened for him at the table, “taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the ‘pop’ sound”.

Servers were also required to ensure that there was a tray of junk food available for the president, featuring Lay’s sour cream and onion potato chips and a variety of sweets including Snickers, Oreos and Tootsie Rolls.

3. Dealing with the president’s guests

Trump’s guests varied from visit to visit, but various Republican senators and cabinet members – and their staff – frequented the restaurant, as did allies such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and the president’s lawyers Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani, who was reportedly “the most notorious VIP”, sometimes staying there all day doing paperwork, according to the chef.

The former restaurant manager said Giuluani was “the biggest pain in my butt”, but that Trump’s children were relatively low-maintenance, although Tiffany frequently made reservations she didn’t show up for.

4. Embarrassing mishaps

Former workers revealed a number of awkward situations relating to high-profile guests of the president.

During the 2017 inauguration, overwhelmed by hoards of people and Marla Maples’ surprise visit, the staff managed to lose Steve Mnuchin’s coat. On a separate occasion, Hope Hicks ended up waiting “forever” for her meal, before the manager realised who she was. Arthur Schwartz, a political operative who’s close with Trump Jr, got covered in steak sauce after a member of staff dropped a full ramekin in his vicinity.

And speaking of steak, there was the time Trump himself was left unhappy after apparently thinking his dining companion had a bigger piece of meat than him. The former first lady was no easier to please either: according to the former executive chef, she once sent a Dover sole back to the kitchen because it included garnish.

5. The extensive notes

Staff revealed that having such high profile guests meant delivering hyper-personalised service “to feed their egos”.

In order to achieve this, they would keep detailed notes on “anyone who was anyone”. These would include information on their order preferences, down to how many olives should be added to a martini. If VIPs were staying in the hotel, the information would be detailed in a daily book, even including pictures of the most important guests so that staff knew who to look out for.

6. Looking the part

It’s not unusual for staff in luxury establishments to have dress codes, but the Trump hotel took it a step further, with a detailed “Appearance & Grooming Policy” which specified everything down to the permitted length of facial hair and fingernails.

Women employees added that while trousers were “permitted”, they were frowned upon, with dresses and skirts unofficially preferred. One former manager said her approach was to try to make herself like a Fox News anchor.

7. Pretending to be Trump supporters

While most of the senior staff presented themselves as Trump supporters, this wasn’t exactly accurate. Washingtonian reports that the majority were “ambivalent at best”.

One bartender who worked in the lobby bar said that he “was lying” in order to avoid problems, even going as far as saying things like: “Yes, I support the President. He’s an amazing guy.”

A former manager found herself agreeing with an employee who was waxing lyrical about Trump being “so good to the people”. She replied: “You know what? You’re absolutely right,” but added: “Inside I was dying.”

One of the attractions of the job was reportedly the high salary. The aforementioned barman said it was the best-paying job he’d had in his 25-year career, disclosing that he could make more than $100,000 a year thanks to the high salary and generous tips.

Every cloud has a silver lining...

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