It’s 6:00 on a Saturday night and the Bistro’s already mobbed. I look at the reservation computer happily. The reservations stretch on into infinity. I’m gonna make a lot of money tonight.
The phone rings.
“Hello the Bistro,” I answer, “How can I help you?”
“Hi,” a voice crackles through a bad cell connection,” We’re five minutes from you guys. I need a table for eight in five minutes.”
Eight on Saturday night without a reservation? Cracksmoker.
“Sorry sir,” I say,” We’re completely booked.”
“That’s ridiculous,” the man replies, “You must have something.”
“I can take a party of eight at 10 o’clock.”
The man hangs up abruptly. How nice.
The hostess returns from her bathroom break.
“Any calls?” Celine asks.
“Just some nut who wanted an eight top in five minutes.”
“Idiot,” Celine snorts,” What’d he expect on Saturday night?”
I just shrug and go back to my tables.
Five minutes later Celine waves me back over. An aggrieved Yuppie male is angrily hovering by the hostess station.
“Can you help me?” Celine asks.
“What’s up?” I say,
“This gentleman is unhappy with his table,” she says, gesturing to the man.
“How can I help you sir?” I ask, turning towards him.
“My table’s next to the men’s room,” he says.
“Sorry sir,” I reply, “Did you have a reservation with us tonight?”
“No,” the man says, “I didn’t think I needed one.”
I resist the urge to laugh.
“How many in your party sir?”
I look at the reservation computer. “Anything else open?” I murmur to Celine.
“That’s the only table I had for a walk in,” she says.
“Sorry sir,” I say turning to the man, “But without a reservation that’s the best I can do.”
“Unacceptable,” the man says firmly.
“My table is unacceptable. Give me that table by the window.”
“It’s reserved sir.”
The man points to a six top set up on the aisle.
“Well, why don’t you break up that table?” he asks incredulously.
“That table’s reserved for six.” I say. I want to add they made reservations a week in advance. But why poke the bear?
“I’m leaving if I can’t have a better table,” the man huffs.
“I’m sorry to lose your business sir,” I say. That’s Latin for “Tough shit.”
The man looks at his wife. “These people don’t want to accommodate us.”
The wife looks like she’s gonna stroke out.
The man stares at me. He thinks if he stares long enough I’ll buckle under his gaze and give him what he wants. A fine example of delusional thinking.
After twenty seconds the man realizes Jedi mind tricks only work in the movies.
“You’re serious?” he says, “You have nothing?”
“Sorry sir,” I say.
The man and his wife STORM out.
“How rude,” Celine gasps.
Before I can answer another couple walks in the door.
“Any chance you can seat the two of us?” the man asks.
“You’re in luck. A table just opened up,” I say cheerfully.
I escort the couple to the table next to the men’s room.
“Sorry about the location, but it’s what we have open.” I say.
“That’s fine,” the man says, “Beggars can’t be choosers.”
This guy has the right attitude.
“Sir,” I say, “The best table in the house is the one you’re in.”
The man smiles winningly. “You’re absolutely right.”
“Have a nice dinner sir.”
Therein lies the lesson. Bitch about your table all you want. Someone else will happily take it.
It’s all about supply and demand my friends. Supply and demand.
Deal with it.