Waiting for a Table

The lobby was filled with hungry customers waiting to be seated, wait staff were running from table to table taking orders and delivering food, busboys cleared as quickly as the laws of physics would allow. The smell of steak and fish filled the air and our mouths watered with anticipation. Our hostess took our name with a smile that strained to be sincere. With a furrowed brow she added us to the wait list. “I will seat you as soon as a table becomes available. If you would like to wait in the bar area you may find it more comfortable. Your wait will be about thirty minutes.” Neither of us drink alcohol so we thought it more to our liking to wait in the lobby.

We needed to find a small spot of the floor we could claim as we waited for a table when a gentleman burst between us. “There are empty tables and I demand to be seated immediately! Look Miss, over there! I see three tables ready to go. I want one of those tables!” His arm swung wide nearly missing my head. Before any physical damage could be done the hostess turned him back toward her, “What is your name sir? Let me see where you are on the wait list.” He gruffly shared his name and she checked her list. “Well sir, there are several people ahead of you and I will be happy to seat you when your name comes up.” His glare would have melted the polar ice caps. This gentleman (and I use that term very loosely) would not be satiated. The hostess was a monument to calmness as she looked at him straight faced. “I would be happy to seat you at one of the empty tables, but there would be no one to serve you. Would you like to sit where you will get service, or would you like to sit where you will wait until a serviceable table opens up?”

She held up her index finger pausing his next tirade. With her other hand she held the intercom close to her ear and listened. Nodding to the voice on the other side of the conversation she turned to the gentleman and said, “If you will follow me sir, my manger would like to speak with you.” They headed out of the lobby. He sauntered behind the hostess like a man who had just won the war. Only a few moments passed when the hostess returned with what could only be described as a victorious look on her face. Soon after the gentleman squirmed back to the lobby of the restaurant and slid solemnly in his seat waiting just like everyone else. The lobby sighed with relief. Looking around at one another we silently agreed that it was nice to see who the true victor was.

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