Everyone’s In On This Act

Posted on Thursday 31 August 2006

“I have to tell you about my experience making a reservation,” Mr. Restaurant Gal said when I called home to see what was up in the late afternoon, knowing I wouldn’t be home before 10 p.m.

“Oh, okay. What?” This is not a usual topic of conversation for us. “I have to tell you about the new home automation system I’ve got running,” or “So, here’s where we are with the start-up.” These would fall under the “normal” topics for us to talk about. Not restaurant reservations.

In fact, never restaurant reservations.

“First, they didn’t answer the phone the first time I called. A few minutes later they finally picked up.”

“Yeah, not good,” I agreed, realizing I was going to hear every painful detail of this reservation-making.

“Then she asks me, ‘Do you want to come in earlier or later?’ What the hell does that mean? So I said, ‘Seven p.m.'”

“And?”

“She says, ‘Well, I can only do 7:15 or 7:45.’ And I am thinking, so do it! 7:15 is close enough. Why make it such a big deal?”

“Yeah, not good,” I agreed, again. Who knew Mr. Restaurant Gal had actually listened so closely to all my rants that he could deliver a rant as well as anyone?

“So, I took the 7:15, of course.”

“Of course.”

Later, much later, when we both got home after 10, he was anxious to continue the story.

“They were much better in person. But then half my party didn’t show up. So I told them, if they needed the 4-top we’d move to a 2-top.”

God love Mr. Restaurant Gal.

“Next time say deuce.”

“Huh?”

“Deuce, not 2-top. Sounds better.”

“Right, deuce. Maybe I did say that. Anyway…”

Anyway, Mr. Restaurant Gal volunteered to move, the restaurant graciously accepted, and Mr. Restaurant Gal then tipped his server 25% for the trouble.

“You did good, you really did,” I told him.

“I know,” he smiled.

Was it only two days ago that Restaurant Gal Son called to describe how he had helped one of his favorite professors–the “wine course guy” who also heads up the greenhouse, who is also an incredible cook who garners $1000 or more for charity when his dinners are up for auction–pair wines, cook, and serve a 5-course tasting menu for a party of eight recent winners?

“You would have loved it, Mom, with all the wine and such awesome food.”

Yep, I would have. And then we joked about how he had more experience in fine dining than I had.

Was it only last week that Restaurant Gal Daughter wondered how the swank spot we took her to for her last dinner in town could “lose” our reservation, when there were only two other tables dining at the same time? “What, they couldn’t look us up in ‘Guests’ on Open Table to figure it out?”

They did do that, finally, but not soon enough to convince her that she wasn’t light years beyond them in hosting.

Which, of course, she is.

So, here we are. Restaurant Gal Family.

Far flung though we may be at the moment, we’re still dining together almost every night.

6 Comments for 'Everyone’s In On This Act'

  1.  
    Joe
    September 1, 2006 | 9:27 am
     

    So I seem to be one of the few commenting lately… I can attest that I always have been above average in my treatment of waiters compared to friends and family but after reading your blog and waiter rant I go much further in trying to be nice and to encourage those I am dining with to do the same…

    On the otherhand I dislike bad service from those who you can tell don’t care a lot more… I am pretty good at figuring out if people are just having a bad day and I try to cheer them up… The others just tend to annoy me…

    Sorry for the ramble…

    Joe

  2.  
    September 1, 2006 | 9:33 am
     

    Joe–Rambles are always welcome!

    –The Gal

  3.  
    LB
    September 1, 2006 | 1:50 pm
     

    It cracks me up that you’ve rubbed off so much on the whole family! But then again, The Sister (who is a cocktail waitress) has had quite an influence on my family too – once pretty good tippers, we’ve all become rather extravagant tippers. My personal take on the whole thing is that, if the service is good, am I really going to miss an extra $2 – $5? Because usually that’s all it takes to bump it up from 20% to 25% or 30%, and it will make a big difference to the server.

  4.  
    Jean
    September 1, 2006 | 2:51 pm
     

    I read your blog everyday and didn’t realize how into this I am. Having been in the industry on and off for 30 years I get a real kick out of your perspecitve on the day to day workings. And, congratulations on the new gig!

  5.  
    September 2, 2006 | 12:35 am
     

    Jean–Thanks!

  6.  
    Restaurant Gal Son
    September 3, 2006 | 4:31 am
     

    Thought I would correct the story slightly…it was a thirteen course menu that we served…but about 5 or 6 different wine courses…good times

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