10 am, a phonecall breaks the calm before the storm known as brunch

"Hello, I would like to make a reservation."
"Sure. We only take reservations after 3PM. Would you like a table at that time?"
"What time do you open?"
"I want to make a reservation for 1:30. 3PM is too late for lunch."
"I am sorry but that is our policy. We can only take reservations after 3PM."
"That is not acceptable. My friend, she has a bad leg. She has difficulty walking..."
"I am sorry to hear about your friend. I'd be happy to reserve a table for you at 3."
"I want a table earlier than that."
"Well, if you can get here at 10:30 when we open, you are pretty much guaranteed a table."
"That's no good. We're coming from Mississauga. We won't make it in time. We want to come for lunch."
"And we are open for lunch. Before 3PM, it is first-come-first-served."
"What if I bring a food writer? She's a critic for a newspaper in the UK."
"Everyone is welcome here."
"So can I get a table for 1:30 with my food critic friend?"
"I am sure that your friend will understand that this is the nature of the industry. A policy is a policy. We have a line up outside right now and we get line-ups all morning. It would only upset our regular customers if we allow you to cut in front of them after they've been waiting for so long."
"But if you let me make that reservation for 1:30..."
"I can take a 3PM reservation."
"What time does it slow down?"
"Around 2:30 or 3"
"So anyone can pretty much get a table then?"
"So why are you offering me a 3PM reservation when just anyone can get a table then?"
"If you would like to make a reservation, we can hold a table for you at 3PM. I am sure your food critic friend will understand."
"This isn't about the food critic! This is inconvenient for my friend who has a bad leg."
"You want to come at 1:30?"
"YES! For lunch!"
"Then do come and join us for lunch. People rarely have to wait more than an hour. We have a lounge where you can wait with some coffee, scones and newspapers. We will add you to the waiting list the moment you arrive."
"Can't you make this exception for my friend?"
"No exceptions will be made."
"This is ridiculous. What is your name?"
"Well Loretta, you are not very helpful. I want to talk to your manager."
"I am the lead on the floor today. Our manager is not here. If you email him he'll get back to you on Monday."
"That's too late! We want to come for lunch today!"
"I am not saying that you can't come. I just can't take a 1:30 reservation."
"I want to talk to someone else."
Hold on, let me see if I can find someone else who is willing to break the policy for you, your critic and the imaginary cripple.
I handed the phone over to my supervisor and held my breath as he repeated everything I'd said to the titbag on the other line. After he hung up, he said "No fucking way is she going to get a 1:30 reservation. I told her to come and that she can wait with everyone else." I exhaled.

In most cases, saying "no" to people is not easy for me. But when it comes to demanding customers who think that speaking to the manager will solve everything, I deny them with relish. The fun part was keeping my calm and condescending (she made me whip it out!) tone while listening to her whining escalate into a shriek.


Post a Comment

<< Home