Saturday, October 27, 2007

meal mix-up

After my shopping stint last night I headed over to Basil, an Asian bistro where I was meeting Natalie, Em, and some of their visiting college friends for dinner. I am hardly ever on time anywhere, and almost never early, but at 6:55 I decided to head on inside to meet my friends for our 7 o'clock dinner. It's not a big restaurant, but I did glance around the bistro before approaching the hostess, just to make sure the others hadn't arrived yet. "I'm meeting a group of people," I said, and the hostess acknowledged that we already had a table, and asked would I like to go ahead and sit down? "Sure," I replied, as she led me to an open 8-person table in the corner of the restaurant. I engrossed myself in the menu, reading all about the different kinds of sake. A few minutes later, the other 5 girls showed up.

As we were settling in, talking about our days, Emily announced that a few other people who were 'maybes' for dinner weren't coming after all, so we had 2 extra seats at our table. Then one of the girls thanked me for getting us a table so we didn't have to wait. I had a sinking feeling as I responded, I didn't get us a table, I thought you did, looking at Natalie. I had assumed, incorrectly, that someone from our group had called ahead, and the Basil hostess had been more than accommodating to make me think that as well.

We started to laugh as we realized our mistake, and as I was the first one to arrive, I felt responsible for the mix-up. We couldn't in good conscience just waltz in and take someone else's table, so I headed back up to the hostess stand to straighten things out. As she confirmed the last name of the table's party, and it didn't match with any one of ours, she gawked helplessly at me as I explained the misunderstanding. What ensued made me speechless though. Not only were we expected to give up our table, for a party of 8 that hadn't even arrived (and it was well after 7 o'clock at this time), I was told there were no other tables and the wait would be "a long time." That's all she would tell me. Miss Basil hostess wasn't accommodating to us at all! I couldn't believe she would rather a party of 6 walk out of the restaurant after doing the honest thing and confessing our mistake, rather than finding a solution to an embarrassing situation. So be it. We 6 gals humbly gathered up our belongings and proceeded down the road for a lovely dinner at Jasmine, a nearby Thai restaurant.

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