This past weekend, there must have been an Idiot Special at our restaurant, because a lot of idiots showed up. I was working overtime to not explode and kill somebody. First off, somebody came up with the smart idea of placing our sign out in the atrium instead of behind me, where people ‘mysteriously’ manage to miss seeing it every time. Now out in the atrium, I turn it around so that it says, ‘Please wait to be seated.’ It’s the first thing a person sees when they walk in. And they still choose to ignore it.
The one question you don’t ask the person who is clearly the hostess is, “Can we just seat ourselves?”
“Oh, sure! Go ahead! It’s not like I have a job to do here or anything.” That’s what I want to say at any rate. The rate that this question was asked this weekend was phenomenal. Everyone must have taken their stupid pills! There were also a lot of large parties this weekend and that of course put us on a wait for tables. Humans seem to have this nasty habit of challenging me when I tell them that we are on a wait. “The wait for a table of four is half an hour.”
“Yes, thirty minutes.”
“Are you sure we can’t just squeeze in-?”
“Oh, yes! I’m sure.” People do that to me all the time, as if I’ll suddenly change my story. I’d love to change the octave they’re currently talking at. With a swift kick between the legs. Then… there are the five tops. I just don’t get it. I can understand it if it’s a family with three kids; that makes sense. But when it’s five friends out for the night, I’m kind of like, “Who wanted to be the fifth wheel?” And then they try to finagle a table and add a chair, I’m like, “No.”
“But we can make it work,” they plead.
“And then you’ll complain to the server, and they’ll come up to me, saying you want to switch tables. Not setting myself up for that, *sshole,” I say under the simple, “I don’t have an extra chair.” I did actually have people I sat at a table when they were going to be three. They were right by me at the front and when I came back to my post, the woman leaned over.
“Hey, I have a request,” she said. I gave her the ‘really?’ look, but she continued, “Can you put us on your wait list for a table of… (has trouble doing basic math)… seven? We invited some people over.” Okay, first of all, that should have been the plan at the beginning of the evening, not a spur of the moment thing. I know, sometimes a friend says they can’t come, then a few hours later, ask if they can come. But, if you’re going to a restaurant and ask for a table for one number, then suddenly up that number on the hostess and your server, they are going to hate you. Needless to say, I gave the woman an incredulous look and she just gave me a stupid smile.
“Okay… it’s going to be close to an hour,” I told her. And I wasn’t just saying that to mess with her. I was on a half hour wait for parties of four or smaller. She was slapping me with a party of seven last minute. But as for the picture overhead, the reason for that was because on that same night, I got a four top while I was in the middle of my long wait. They wanted a low table for Grandma, and I gave them the wait. They didn’t believe the wait time, and I had to tell them in a dumbed down version. Finally, they said they would seat and in our lounge with a low coffee table and booth seats instead of regular chairs. First, the one man came out and asked us to turn the fireplace on in there. We still consider it sort-of summer in the restaurant business, and my manager was all against it. Afterward, I just heard the server complaining about how needy and demanding they were. When the ladies left, the two men stayed behind and grabbed my manager again.
“I don’t have a problem with you, but…” and everything before ‘but’ is bullsh*t. My manager took them aside, defended our position and they left in a huff. They did not acknowledge me when I told them to have a goodnight.
“And don’t let the door hit you in the *ss on the way out,” I mumbled to myself.
And on that note, it’s been real!