(A woman in a pantsuit walks into a bar, holds up two fingers….)
ME: Hello, there.
(WOMAN continues holding up two fingers, says nothing.)
ME: What can I do for you today?
(WOMAN says nothing, fingers remain in the air.)
ME: Would you like a table?
(Still with the fingers.)
ME: How many people are in your party?
WOMAN: (Exasperated.) I need a table for two.
ME: Sure. Right this way, please.
(Leads her to a nearby booth.)
WOMAN: Do you have any booths that don’t have padded seats? I have a bad back, and I’d be more comfortable without the padding.
ME: Unfortunately, all of the booths have padded benches. Would you be alright moving to a table?
WOMAN: That’ll be fine.
(Leads her to a table in the front of the restaurant.)
ME: How’s this?
WOMAN: (Squinting out the window.) Well, it’s a little sunny. Can we move over there instead?
ME: Of course.
(Leads her to a different table.)
ME: This work?
WOMAN: (Notices the air vent adjacent to the table.) Can you turn off the air conditioning coming out of this vent? I’m afraid I might get too chilly.
ME: Unfortunately, I can’t without turning off the AC in the entire restaurant. Let’s go right over here instead.
(Leads her to Table Attempt #4.)
WOMAN: Do you have anything more private? My associate and I are going to be discussing business.
ME: That sounds very important. Unfortunately, everything is pretty wide open in our restaurant space.
WOMAN: Nothing quieter anywhere? Is there another dining area?
ME: Nope. What you see is what you get. The restaurant’s just one big, rather loud cube, unfortunately.
(It’s at about this point that I realize I say the word ‘unfortunately’ a lot. #smh)
WOMAN: What about one of those booths there in the back?
ME: The booths with the padded seating?
WOMAN: Yes, that’ll be fine.
ME: Right this way.
WOMAN: Are either of your soups gluten free?
ME: Your server will be with you in just a moment.