They come in hoards, scratching at the windows with unblinking eyes, void of emotion, drool dripping out of their mouths, arms reaching to grab you…
And then they’re inside, right up against your face, breathing heavily:
“We’re a party of 5 adults and 3 children and we just got off a 46 hour flight so we’ll need a table immediately.”
“Three of us became celiac in the last hour, Janet has a 50% chance of getting food poisoning no matter what she eats, and Alex is allergic to molecules. I’ll need four highchairs and a table by the bathroom because Bobby has a bad case of traveller’s diarrhea. If we aren’t seated ASAP things could get messy because Gina, here, is recovering from cannibalism. “
The Hanger Apocalypse has found your restaurant. All you can do now is speak kindly, and carry a lot of menus.
“GREAT! We’re actually looking at a wait time of about a half hour right now, did you want me to put you down on the waitli-OH MY GOD OH MY GOD, how did you even get a flaming trident into the building? You know what, never mind. I-I’m sure we can work something out.”
“I’m just going to kneel on the ground here and you can eat off of my back, is that alright? NO GINA, please, I said ‘OFF OF MY back’, not my back!”
ACK. While this exact scenario has yet to occur to the same magnitude of what is described above, I can tell you that there is nothing scarier than a waitlisted, hangry mob of people, spewing expletives in the corners of your periphery. You must avoid looking into their eyes, or you’ll turn to stone.
Which is why, yesterday, I FINALLY sat a man still waiting for his date to join, and made sure to thank him profusely for his patience, simply as a means of survival.
“Not a problem at all! It was my pleasure to wait; I enjoyed it!”
Wait. Not a hint of sarcasm either?
I had fallen in love. “REALLY ARE YOU KIDDING WOW I LOVE YOU CAN I SHOWER YOU IN KITTENS AND START A PETITION TO MAKE YOU A SAINT AND GIVE YOU YOUR OWN HOLIDAY AND HERE IS A VOUCHER FOR 1000 FREE TAP DANCES FOR USE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE.”
The man was a magician. He had it figured out. For no matter the circumstances, being kind somehow will always get you better tables, and fresher food, and friendlier service. And when your date arrives, the entire staff team will tell her to marry you.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS, young Jedi. But let me tell you that the instant you choose to go to be a “dark-side” customer, your description on the waitlist becomes about a million times less flattering, which is a direct reflection of how you have presented yourself.
To rephrase that, your attitude determines between: “lady hiding dead body underneath her hair with her satanic pack of devil scum,” or “lady with pretty bouffant and adorable, angelic children in tow.”
Besides …Hint: The food tastes better on the light side of the Force.