I had the most exasperating conversation with a service staff at a coffee place yesterday.
Scene: Four of us walk up to the entrance.
Staff (S): “Hi, welcome. Table for how many?”
Me (M): “Four please.”
S: “Would you like to sit indoors or outdoors?”
M: “Outdoors, thank you. Do you have a smoking table available?”
S: “Oh there are no smoking tables available at the moment, but maybe you can sit here (gestures to an empty table in a corner) first?”
We are feeling mildly perplexed because the table in front and beside our supposed table were smoking like chimneys. What does he mean that our table is a non-smoking one when it obviously shows otherwise? Furthermore, that table had four seats but was shunted so far in by the fucking selfish patrons of the surrounding tables that unless you’re Thumbelina or Tom Thumb, it would be impossible for you to squeeze yourself in.
M: “How about this side?” I gesture to the left side of the cafe which is totally devoid of any living thing. “Can we sit there first and you move us to a smoking table once it’s available?”
S: “Oh you can’t sit there. We are cleaning the area.”
By now, I’m slowly losing patience with this guy. When you say you are cleaning the area, there should be some form of actual cleaning activity going on. I did not even see a single fucking broom in sight. And, does it really make business sense to close off half of your outdoor area when you’re running a 24-hour business? I would think some flexibility would be in place. I don’t see how taking one more small table near your other customers would hinder your would-be cleaning process.
M: “Ok, we’ll sit inside then.”
S: “Oh you can’t. It’s full inside. There are no more tables left.”
Then why the fuck did you ask me that question in the first place?! You just wasted five minutes of my fucking time bringing me round and round the fucking mulberry bush.
If I were the boss, I would fire this guy. Maybe he’s a conscientious worker and all, but he’s really not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I cannot allow and employee to turn business away when I have an half-empty cafe and ruin potential earnings.
It may be just one of me, but I’m never going back to that place again. It could be because I was tired and needed to sit, or the heat, humidity and haze were getting to me, but I was so infuriated by his stupidity that I swear my friends would have to hold me back from beating him up if I had to continue that conversation for another second.