It’s a Friday evening, and the restaurant has just moments ago gone on a moderate wait.
“What bullshit!” the woman in the large sunglasses and dangly costume jewelry says as she plops down on her bar stool.
“Can I get you something to drink?” I offer, choosing to ignore her previous declaration.
The woman ignores me. She is digging around in her purse, presumably to find her cell phone. I slide a drink list her way, and begin to walk away.
“Excuse me, sir?” she says, suddenly interested in talking to me. “Can you explain something to me?”
“I’ll certainly try,” I say, turning back towards her. “What can I do for you?”
“That man at the host stand won’t let me have a table until the rest of my party arrives!”
“Well, that is our policy.”
“That’s stupid! I just can’t believe it!”
I attempt to deflect. “Can I get you a drink while you wait?”
“Can you explain to me why he would do that?” the woman insists, determined to receive an answer for her injustice. “I just don’t understand. What a silly policy!”
“It can be a little frustrating, but we don’t seat incomplete parties while we are on a wait in an effort to be fair to all of the guests who are waiting for a table.”
“What’s not fair about it?”
“Well, it’s not fair to have a dining room full of half-full tables of people waiting for their friends, while parties with everyone already here have to wait. As soon as your party arrives, you’ll get the first available table. The list can’t be long at this point. Can I get you something to drink?”
“Well I think it’s bullshit. My friends are going to be here any minute.”
I choose not to engage the woman further. “Can I get you anything?”
“No,” she huffs, turning on her cellphone. “I’m just going to sit here with nothing until they come.”
“Okay.” She thinks she’s making a point, but it’s a full bar. I’ve already spent too much time with her as it is. I move on to another guest waving his hand around like an idiot while the woman with the sunglasses and dangly jewelry begins fiercely attacking her iPhone with crooked fingers.
I hope and pray she’s writing a Yelp review that I’ll be able to read later. I love reading poorly-articulated Yelp reviews written by enraged imbeciles. More than anything in the world, almost.
My coworker asks the lady if she’d care for anything. The lady gives my coworker the same spiel. My coworker backs slowly away, and the woman continues to sit, sulking and beverage-less, hacking away at her phone.
“This is just bullshit,” I hear her mutter once or twice more as she taps wildly at her touchscreen.
Roughly fifteen minutes have passed when the host comes up to the lady with the sunglasses and the dangly jewelry to inform her that the rest of her party had been seated at a table right behind her for the last twenty minutes. Evidently they were the last table to be sat before we went on a wait, and too much frantic Yelping had caused the lady to miss any of the text messages her friends were sending her, inquiring as to where she was.
The woman slunk over to the table, reportedly left her server a lousy tip at the end of her meal, and all of us moved on with our lives.