Did she actually think this was going to work?
All content has been edited for clarity.
You Can’t Do That
“Most shameful? Treating the wait staff like servants. Can’t stand it. But there’s no good story behind that, it just sort of happens here and there. Here’s the runner-up.
I was at a Cheesecake Factory location on a crowded night. The wait for a table was so long there was a waiting list for a pager. Some people were handling the downtime better than others. One woman was constantly at the desk, accusing them of making her wait longer because of everything under the sun. Heaven forbid she wait her turn! It was pretty obnoxious.
Anyway, after a very long time, we were called. And that’s when she did something I never would have expected.
The man I was with, never one to look back to see if I was following, took off after the waiter. The lady saw her chance. She was a big woman and fell right into step behind him, hip-checking me out of the way in one swift motion. I went staggering off to the side, unable to believe what had just happened. She continued at a fast clip behind my date, acting as if she were the one there with him the whole time.
Confused and irritated, I scrambled along just in time to see the waiter show my date to the table. He immediately sat down and picked up the menu, again, not the gentlemanly type. With almost palpable self-satisfaction, the lady sat down across from him and immediately took a sip of water. I was stunned by the nerve of that move. Being a pain to the wait staff was one thing, but to pretend to be a stranger’s date just to sit at a table!
My date stared at her as she smiled and unrolled her silverware. A few feet away, I was reeling.
Finally, I got the waiter’s attention and said, ‘She wasn’t with us.’
My date didn’t supply any backup for that. I don’t think he knew what to do. So, of course, it was on me to prove that I wasn’t the interloper.
To be perfectly honest with you, I seriously considered walking out and leaving them to it. But one must get along, right?
Finally, she was ousted, and she flounced away. They were going to leave her water and utensils for me, and I spoke up again, which was an unprecedented amount of speaking up for me.
It was a very awkward dinner.”