Saturday, May 06, 2006 by Ospite.

It's late and we're almost closed. We have a single woman awaiting the remaining 2 for her party. They are 25 minutes late and our trattoria is too busy to hold a table for her without a reservation, which she's fine with. As her annoyance grows, she decides to call the incoming delinquents. She hangs up, visibly annoyed.

"Sir, you're going to have a party of 20 coming in in about 30 minutes."
"I'm sorry, did you say 20?"
"Yes...apparently my other two have multiplied themselves by 10."
"We can't sit a party of 20 this late."
"I told them that but they didn't care. They are hoping we can all split up."
"I will see what we can do, but I make no guarantees."

Dead on in 30 minutes, 10 walked in the door. The first gentleman alerted me they could split up and I had already planned for two parties of ten. As I attempted to seat the first group and begin the festivities, one man defiantly stood and approached me.

"Listen, we've got to sit together. That's the whole point of coming to a restaurant together so we can sit. Together."
"I'm sorry sir, but I simply cannot fit twenty people together at this point in time. It's late and my staff at this hour is not prepared for such a party."
"Sure it is. What you'll do is set up tables in that back section over there."

There's a certain type of customer that assumes if they get in my face, get a little aggravated and start to make a scene that I'll cave, giving them whatever they want. Just because you run an office of 100 employees, get your minions to scamper at your very gaze doesn't mean you can walk into my business and assume you're the top of the chain of command. We provide a service at our disgression, we are not your servants. When someone gets close enough that they are in danger of stepping on my toes, I don't back, I find it humorous. So at this point, I'm almost laughing at this guy for telling me how to best run my business.

"Sir, I can't do that. I have no servers back there."
"You will just take one off their other sections and move them back to take care of us."
"That I won't do. Without a reservation, a walk-in party of 20 can't simply take over my restaurant. Those other tables are paying customers and their servers need to continue taking care of them. I am going to split your party up."
"I'll just talk to your superior and he'll fix this."

At that point in time, my "superior" walked up, for he had heard the conversation.

"OK, you're his boss right?"
"I am."
"Listen, here's what you're going to do..."

That's when my boss turned a deaf ear and walked away.

With a wicked grin on my face, I turned to the disgruntled arrogant suit. "So sir, would you like me to split the party or do you want to wander to the next place to see if they'll accept a party of 20 without a reservation only an hour from close?"

He turned around and decided to be the bigger man by mocking myself and my fellow employees to his peers, who tried their best to ignore him. It was quite obvious he had made all of them uncomfortable.

The initial women whom I was using as my liason came over to me.

"So, can we b*tch about these pricks together then?"


Blogger Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

I love your blog! I can so relate and we are kindred spirits in being abused by the general public, or in my case rich white people. I loved the part about the women who wouldnt eat. I see that every single day where I work.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We provide a service at our disgression" Hee -- that's pretty funny...

8:18 PM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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