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Server Hell: “But we’re getting, like, BOTTLES of champagne.”



From always_asdfghjkl, Tales From Retail:

I work as a hostess at an upscale cocktail bar in the basement of a swanky hotel in my city. It’s a cool spot, and my job involves a variety of tasks — managing coat check, occasional server support, and most of all, seating patrons. Guests get kind of thrown by being seated at a bar, but we’re a small space and we like to maintain some semblance of crowd control. On weekends, this can definitely get complicated and hairy. When our seats fill up, we’re left with standing high-top tables where guests can stand until sufficient seating opens up. Most people have no problem with this... most people...

Last Saturday night around 9:30 — the height of our weekend post-dinner pre-night-out rush — a group of five comes in. Pretty clear they’ve already had a couple, but hey, it’s the weekend and they seem to have it together. Our larger tables and the bar are full. We offer them a standing high-top, and they seem to get the gist... seem...

I grab menus and walk them down, past a long rectangular table, which is half-occupied by a party of ten that hasn’t completely arrived yet. “Can we sit there?” The leader of the group, a short young woman, asks me. “No, sorry, it’s reserved.”

The leader stops, slaps her hand on the table, and says, “No, we want to sit HERE.”

I reiterate, “No, sorry, it’s reserved,” then set their menus down at the standing high-top table.

“Are you telling me we can’t sit?”

(We told them it was a standing high-top about three times before we brought them down.)

Forcing a smile, I say, “Yes, unfortunately, all our seating is occupied or reserved, but if some seats open up, we’d be happy to accommodate you.”

This little ringleader and her friends interrogate me for a solid minute, with different wordings and iterations of “Why can’t we sit?” And “Why does everyone else get a table?” I bite my tongue, resisting the urge to say, Sorry, sister, it’s a Saturday night and you should have called ahead, you’re SOL.

Defeated, the leader sighs and says, “But, we’re going to get, like, BOTTLES of champagne.”

Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize. Let me shove aside the people who had a reservation and were here first to accommodate your many, many bottles of champagne.

I told them again we’d seat them as soon as we could, then walked away.

I looked back down about twenty minutes later and the leader was sipping a singular glass of champagne, the surliest, sourest look on her face.

I love my job, but sometimes I can’t with the entitlement of our patrons...








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