Actual Customer Interactions: The Phantom Seventh

The following was a recent telephone conversation I had the pleasure of fielding. 

call

MAN: Can I make a reservation?

ME: We can accommodate reservations Monday through Thursday for parties of seven or more.

MAN: But I only have six.

ME: Well, unfortunately, I can’t put you down if you have a party of six.

MAN: Why not?

ME: Because it’s our policy to take reservations for parties of seven people or more.

MAN: So I can’t make a reservation for six people.

ME: That is correct.

MAN: Then just put me down for seven.

ME: Sorry?

MAN: Put me down for seven people.

ME: Sir, I’m not going to put you down for seven people if you’re only going to show up with six.

MAN: Why not?

ME: Because it’s kind of a rotten thing to do. caller

MAN: I forgot that we’ll have someone else joining us.

ME: A seventh person.

MAN: Correct.

ME: So your party of six just became a party of seven.

MAN: Correct.

ME: Okay. Well, I’ll put you down for seven.

MAN: Great.

ME: But you’re putting me in an uncomfortable spot here, sir.

MAN: How?

ME: Well, I don’t have a lot of faith in this seventh person showing up, but I’m not going to argue with you. Seven people it is. And what time were you planning on coming in….