Saturday, August 12, 2006 by Ospite.

We, like most restaurants out there, have a pager system for when our wait gets excessive. Name on the list, pager in hand.

Contrary to popular patron opinion, they do not work outside. So on a gorgeous night like tonight, when the hostess has handed out 50 of these, you better be prepared to answer that page within seconds. Sitting on the benches outside, sadly, is out of pager reach. Now, we don't simply make people learn by experience alone, we make the pager range quite clear.

"So, do these work outside?"
"No, they don't work any further than the front doors."

They immediately proceed to exit the building. about 15 minutes after their quote time, they wander back in, a little past being perturbed.

"Yeah, so we were quoted a half-hour wait. We've been here for about 45 minutes now. Clearly you don't understand how to tell time. Either that or you need to fix the system."

"Sir, I informed you that they work only as far as the doors. You asked me. We rang up your pager, you didn't show, so we moved on the list. You'll have to wait for another available table."

"That's ridiculous" As he storms off to the right, all of five feet, making sure he doesn't miss the page again.

Now, some people feel a certain attachment to these pagers. As if it is their chosen time. Or as if they've won the lottery. Still others get too personal.

I approached my 5top this evening. Five lovely ladies all around 25-30 years old. After running through the speech, I noticed they still had yet to return the pager.

"Miss, I'm sorry, you can't take that home." I say with a jestful tone. She replied with a wink and a smirk.
"But I like it. ...It vibrates."
"Ah..true. But you need the base station to transmit and set it off."
"Well, that's why you're here..."


Blogger Brad #1 said...

Those pagers are ridiculous. I've ended up with one of those from a place 3 blocks away. Why in the hell do people carry them that damn far?

As for my place, we call their cell phones when their table is ready. You want to wait? Let me use up a minute of your cell time.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Ospite said...

Yeah, we considered the cell phone version. The main issue is gathering personal information from patrons, and the fact that all we want to do is feed you. The last thing our owners want is lawsuits from missused cell numbers.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family went to a restaurant a short while back and recieved a pager. I had put it in my pocket without thinking and when I got in the car and told my family the length of the wait, they said no way. So we left.

About 5 minutes down the highway I thought I heard something. 7 minutes later I shifted positions in my seat and heard this REALLY LOUD music... coming from my butt. It was the pager. For some reason they have these things programmed so if you go out of range it plays REALLY LOUD ANNOYING music. The batteries are under the screwed in plate, so when we arrived at a restaurant a few minutes later, I stuck it in a bush in the parking lot.

An hour later when we finished eating it was still providing music for the entire parking lot :)

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't know that about the pager. I was at a restaurant recently and got a pager and a twenty-minute wait. So we went outside for fifteen minutes because it was packed in the tiny, tiny entranceway, and because we were with an elderly person who kind of couldn't stand for twenty minutes. Back inside, we waited for another half hour with no call, and I noticed that my name had been crossed off the list! Wow, was I steamed...but I guess I know now why it happened.

Nobody ever mentioned that we couldn't go outside, though. We've been going to this place about once a month for a few years, and nobody has ever said anything about that. What really sucks is that the bench we were sitting on was closer to the host station than a lot of places we could have stood inside.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Logical Philosopher said...

With a finish line like that it was either a) her tip; or b) the beginning of a potentially good tip.

SO which one was it?

12:13 AM  
Anonymous restaurant gal said...

Ah, a post near and dear to my heart! How many ways must I say, "These pagers only work inside the restaurant" and not watch folks walk out the front door to wait for their table....

6:26 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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