I'm often found reading a book, waiting for my family at my favorite restaurant, which is somewhat exclusive. It's very small so if you don't have a reservation, you may be waiting for a while. If you do get a spot, then you should say Thank you & sit your derriere down. (Potentially printing that out & posting it at the door because it happens all the time...Oh, that's the only place available?)
I've written about it before in this very spot. But what happened this week really bothered me. Because I've gone through the same thing, many times.
Two gentlemen, over 50 based on stories I overheard, arrived at 5:15. I myself had not had a reservation, but I was perfectly content to hop up to our usual spot at the common table. It's well-lit, Lil does her homework there, I read...it's our "thing." A female server came over to ask if I would slide down a seat, because that way she could slide in these 2 guys who were waiting for another person. I scowled a little, but accepted my loss of the end seat.
She told them she had nothing else available. They didn't believe her. Because at 5:15, the place was empty. But they have reservations starting at 6 PM, so the place would be full in 30-45 minutes with people who had known they should make reservations. She told them there was no flexibility because they had 2 large parties that night. She escorted them to the common table, laid down their menus and went away.
They didn't sit down. They stood there complaining...
"Last time, the owner's son was here. He got us a table."
Their server, a male of about the same age as the female server, came over to get them started with drinks. They asked him if he was the owner's son. He said no & they asked if he was there. Upon being told no, they explained their plight to him & he offered to help. He went over to the computer & came to the same conclusion. They argued with him & he said the same thing the female server had said. As this was going on for way too long & driving me nuts, I finally interjected "You're lucky to have a table. This place is really busy." One guy said "Really? Because I live around here."
Of course if he was a regular patron then he would know that I'm probably the most regular regular, the most consistent customer, the one who is there on most days of the week that end in "day."
They looked again at the male server & he reiterated the situation. Finally, they sat down.
But here's my thing - they didn't believe the female server & they didn't believe me. They wanted a man to help them out.
I have encountered this lack of credibility in my judgment before by men & sometimes even women. I worry about this for my daughter. It's tiring constantly being second-guessed. It's not that I don't appear confident or have the right resume. It's because I'm a girl. The only time I never felt like that professionally was when I worked for a company where the CFO was female. Although look how that turned out...