Early Customers Are Around

, , , | Right | May 8, 2020

I’m working my shift at the bar on a busy evening. The restaurant is booked and there’s no free table until around eight, since it’s Valentine’s week. Half an hour ago, a man called and asked to reserve a table for “around eight.” A man enters the restaurant.

Me: “Hello. Would you be the sir that called us about a free table at eight?”

Keep in mind that it is extremely busy, and only 18:20.

Guest: “Yes. Where is our table?”

Me: “There’s still another family sitting there, but you can take a seat at the bar and order a drink until your table is free.”

The bar is indeed only half-full, and they could sit quite comfortably at the main table. The guest glances at it and then back to my coworker.

Guest: *Sarcastic* “What a fine establishment you have here.”

Me: “Thank you…?”

Guest: *Now sneering* “This is terrible customer service! How dare you not have our table ready?! When will it be available?”

Me: “Roughly forty-five minutes, I’m afraid.”

Guest: “What?! Why?! I called you earlier to confirm my reservation! It should be done now!”

Me: “Well, you told us you’d be coming around eight, so there’s a different family sitting there and eating. Since you arrived earlier, you will have to wait. It is a busy night, and forty-five minutes is the fastest—”

Guest: *Rudely interrupting* “Around eight, yes! It is around eight!”

I remain speaking in a friendly tone.

Me: “It’s almost an hour and a half until eight, sir. That is not ‘around’ eight.”

Guest: “It is around eight! This is a terrible establishment! We want a table, now!”

My coworker then turns around to ask another one of the waiters if they’ll have a free table in the next minutes, and the rude guest visibly bristles.

Guest: “That’s it. Strike me off of your guest list; we will be going somewhere else now!”

He turned around and stormed off with his wife, leaving the staff staring. My coworker shook his head and muttered to himself, “Around eight at six forty? What even…?” before going back to work.

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