Here’s What I Said

Scene: Gal, by herself. Manager is off for second day (because she just worked seven days straight). This is a job that three people–full-time–could do. There are two of us. We are that busy. We are more than that busy.

On this day, as I worked from two computers and frantically input event information for tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year, the call came in.

You want to book our smaller private room for Easter? I said it might be available, if their timing was flexible.

“We’d like to bring our own food.”


“So, if we bring our own food, how much will it cost?”

At which point, I looked around my cramped and cluttered office, willing someone, anyone, to be in there with me so I could share a silent, “Are you kidding me?” look. Where was the sous chef who always checked his email? Why wasn’t that really cute bartender in there, counting his bank? My God, does any manager in this place care what I do in here? They have to leave me alone? Now?

And I had to clamp down on my lip to keep from laughing.

“Well, you can’t do that,” I said.

“Can’t do what?” the client asked.

“Bring your own food,” I said, knowing, instinctively, that saying less under these circumstances was better than saying more, or citing all the real reasons why SHE WAS OUT OF HER F—— MIND!

“We can’t?”

“Nope,” I said, already looking ahead to the next email that had popped up. Done with this one, even before I am done, I thought.

“How about we buy your food? What’s your best price?”

I quoted our standard menu prices.

“We don’t want that. We don’t even like that food.”

“Then perhaps you don’t want to have your Easter dinner here,” I said, nicely, smiling into the phone because a manager once told me “people hear your smile over the phone,” and also because I was still trying not to melt down from laughing.

“Will you go half?”

“No, I am afraid we can’t,” I said, adding an attachment to the email I was now answering.

“That’s it?” she asked.

“That’s about it,” I said. Then, in the ultimate waste of breath, I added: “But I would be happy to make a general dinner reservation for you, if we have the space available.”

Because I knew she had no intention of booking anything with us. Or maybe this was a set-up from someone who knew me or something.

Or maybe she was just that clueless.

“Maybe next year,” she said. “Another time.”

“Thank you for considering us,” I answered, hardly waiting for her to hang up so I could regale the reservationist and the bookkeeper–the only other people in the outer office at the time–with this one.

Clunk. Powerful hang-up.

Ha! Powerful laughter.

Good Lord.






11 responses to “Here’s What I Said”

  1. Lisa Avatar

    Someone needs to let her know that crack kills. Seriously!

  2. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Clearly they do things differently in her part of town 🙂

  3. Kris Avatar

    Well, you handled it beautifully, but…how freakin’ ridiculous!

    “We don’t want that. We don’t even like that food.”

    And you are calling us because…. ????

    I hope this was someone just messing with you. Otherwise, I shall have to once again alter my perception of the human race.

  4. m Avatar

    The whole scene sounds hysterical. Glad you shared the ‘end of the story’! On those busiest of days, moments of crazy laughter keep us sane.

    Fun story.

  5. Angela Avatar

    Mmm yes, the trials, tribulations and utter hilarity of answering the phone at work… I’m a hostess, so I know that people truly will call in and share the most ridiculous thoughts with anyone who picks up the phone, it’s bizarre. I can’t believe you didn’t crack up,I’m not sure I could have kept myself from laughing at that one!

  6. Katie Avatar

    Why would you try to make a reservation somewhere and not like the food?

  7. Kim Ayres Avatar

    I’ve tagged you with a Thinking Blogger award if you’re interested.

  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Kim–I am flattered. Thank you.

  9. Gamestore Girl Avatar

    You handled it a heck of a lot more professionally than I would have, I’m sure. I’m always too quick with the sarcastic comments 😉

  10. 1662 Avatar

    How clueless!