I often wondered if restaurants had a table which was reserved for patrons they considered “undesirables.” I worked in a restaurant when I was going to college and I do not remember there being any such table. But then the owner worked in the kitchen which had an opening where he could see the entire eating area. Everyone was under the watchful eye of the owner. And owners do not like to lose business, no matter who you are as long as you can pay.
My last visit to a restaurant I used to love to eat at, confirms such a table does exist. The hostess (who I had never seen there before) led me passed a couple of empty tables to a booth in a corner. At first I liked the location because I could see what was going on in the restaurant. I could watch people come and go, even though business was slow. That’s probably why that table was chosen for the undesirable table. After about ten minutes I realized people who came in after I did was being served. And no one had even come over to see if I wanted anything to drink.
The hostess stood at her stand and kept looking over at me. At first I thought she was concerned because I wasn’t getting served. But she did not come over and give me a “feel good” excuse like, “Your server ended up with more tables than she should have. But she’ll be here soon.” I wouldn’t have cared if it was a lie, at least I would know someone cared. The more she looked at me without doing anything, the more I figured she was thinking, How long is that idiot going to sit there before he gets the hint? I certainly was considering walking out, but I’m a pretty patient person.
After twenty minutes elapsed, I was about to get up and leave when a server came over and said, “I’ll be with you in a few minutes.” I watched as she waited on people who came in after I did. By the time she got back to me I was pretty steamed. I told her all I wanted was a glass of tea and a bowl of broccoli soup (one of my favorites). I had originally planned to have a good meal, but by this time I just wanted something quick so I could get out of there and go somewhere where I would be appreciated and could get a decent meal. I don’t like complaining at a restaurant because you never know what you’re going to get. Possibly spit in your food.
Fifteen minutes later the server came along stopping at each table before getting to my table. She gave me the soup and tea and a small loaf of bread. I took a spoonful of soup and found it was lukewarm and way too salty. Did they add more salt because I was at the undesirable table? I suspect they did. But I was hungry and the bread helped deaden the saltiness. Once I finished the soup I slid the bowl to the outside of the table and within a couple of minutes a busboy came by and picked it up with out saying anything. Then went to the next table and asked if they were done with the empty plate they had slid to the side of the table. Since he didn’t say anything to me it made me feel as if all he wanted was for me to leave. Of course, I was at the undesirable table.
I finished my tea and waited for the bill. About that time a server who had waited on me several times in the past notice me and rushed over. “Would you like more tea or anything?” she asked. “All I want is the bill,” I said. My tone of voice must have told her I was not a happy camper. She practically jump back from the table and said, “I’ll have her get it for you.” She turned to walk away then spun back around and pointed at my glass and asked, “Do you want more tea?” I told her no. All I cared about by this time was getting the hell out of there.
The bill eventually came , I paid it, left and went to a restaurant where I got a decent meal. I do not know why I was seated at the undesirable table. I wore the clothes I always wear. I showered and used deodorant before I went. Maybe a few strands of hair were out of place. Or maybe the hostess just didn’t like me. I don’t know. All I know is I won’t be returning to that restaurant for a long time if ever. It’s sad because it was one of my favorite restaurants. And I also know I never again want to be seated at the undesirable table at any restaurant. I’m never rude at restaurants and I’m always kind to the servers and give a good tip. That is probably why I have never been seated at the undesirable table before.