So we have survived Round 2 of our three-round Valentine’s Weekend bout. I channeled Michael Buffer on Friday night, trying to inspire the crew with a little “Let’s get ready to RUMMMMMMMMM-BULLLLLLLLL!” to get them in the proper mood for the next three nights. Pretty appropriate then, that when I got home last night at 1am, HBO was showing “Ali” with Will Smith.
The crew must have been pretty whupped after last night’s service, as the late night Facebook postings were at a minimum. Round One on Friday night was like buttah, and I was fully expecting the Other Shoe to drop, hard, last night; but it didn’t. I look forward to tonight with anticipation and just a little dread…
(Interesting little follow-up to the Atlanta Reservation Scalper storyline: I had a second cancellation Voice Mail for one of our phony resos, from a different caller than the previous one. Were these guys selling the same reservations twice?)
We had two “surprise” four tops that added to the fun last night. One was a group of four guys, who told me the concierge at the hotel had booked them lots of activities for their “Guys Weekend,” one of which was supposed to be dinner with us. And what better weekend for a testosterone charged adventure than Valentine’s Day in the Napa Valley? Have you heard of a little place called Las Vegas, boys? Or maybe Scottsdale, Arizona? They have a little thing going on down there called Spring Training?
Anyway, she had, for some inexplicable reason, called me two days ago and canceled their reservation. She had told everyone except them. Since I work with so many people who are so good at creating them for me, I had planned ahead for such contingencies by holding a couple of open spots on the reservation book. I had no trouble finding them a table. They ate, had a great time, and thanked me over and over for accommodating them.
The other “surprise” table was a little more irritating and problematic. They were a four top who had no-showed on Friday night. Now this woman is standing in front of me, lying to my face, that her reservation was for Saturday, not Friday; and that someone (me) had called and “left her a message at work” to confirm for Saturday.
She is either stupid, or a liar, or both, as she made the reservation herself, on Open Table. Don’t people know that when they make a reso on OT, I have a “Change Log” on my end that shows me, in glorious 3-color graphics, all the steps and alterations to said reservation? Her table was reserved, by her, on Open Table, on January 11th (nice job, with the planning ahead); a message was left, by me from my office computer, on Thursday, February 11th, with a request to please call to confirm said reservation (not so nice a job with ignoring the call back); and the party was marked as a no-show at 8:50 (pretty long Grace Period for a 7pm reservation) on Friday night. This woman had received two e-mail confirmations from OT, one the day she made the reservation, and one 24-hours before the reservation to remind her; plus the Voice Mail from me asking for a confirmation call, yet here she was, trying to tell me I was wrong and had screwed it up. I always try to subtly let people know that I am on to their game in these situations, but this broad is doing a pretty good Stone-Faced-Bitch to reinforce her position. Had she just responded with the courtesy of confirming her reservation as I had requested, we wouldn’t all be in this mess right now.
Being the gracious host, I apologized for the “confusion,” found them a table in about 10 minutes, and it was all good. It put us a little bit behind in seating a couple of late parties; but people can be a little more understanding when they see a place is packed, as they think it must be THE Hot Spot. They don’t mind waiting a bit, and while they wait they can congratulate themselves on the good choice they have made in picking such a popular place. But, it’s a sickening feeling to walk through the dining room, looking for tables that are close to being finished so you can seat somebody soon that has been patiently waiting, and finding that the only table that is even remotely close to being done has just been “marked” for their Cheese course…
A personal note to my own Valentine: Fifteen years (almost) you have been my better half, my Sous-Chef, my greatest strength and support, my biggest fan. You are an inspiration to me every day, constantly challenging me to be better. When we first met, I discovered your eye for detail on the even the tiniest of things, (like the way you wanted the Mortadella folded for your Hero; and I thought “How the hell could that make a difference?”) We have always had our “Vidal Sassoon” pact: “If you don’t look good, I don’t look good…” And Baby, you always make me look good. Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.