Julie Kemp Pick
My younger son is turning 20 soon, so I asked him where he would like to celebrate his birthday. As usual he wanted to finalize his plans with his friends first, before he could think about our small family dinner. He thought carefully about selecting a continental restaurant that everyone would enjoy, and left me to make the reservations.
The woman who answered the phone placed me on hold to see if she had any openings for that evening. She apologized profusely for the wait, before asking how many guests were in our party. I told her 6 people for 7:00. When she asked for my name, it showed up on her computer, as we've been there before, and she asked if we were going for a special occasion. When I told her that it was for my son's birthday, she was very appreciative and asked if there was anything special she could do to accommodate us. Soon she would be very sorry that she asked.
The restaurant is divided into three rooms, so I requested one of the smaller quieter rooms. I also asked for a round table, as it is more conducive to conversation. After taking copious notes, the cheerful manager asked if there was anything else she could do for me. Then I remembered to mention that my mom uses a walker and to make sure that the aisle is wide enough for her to get through en route to our table. By this time, my son had already taken a shower and left the house.
Now the manager's only concern was how to condense the instructions. She pleasantly asked, "Would it be okay if I left out the part about the walker, as it might bring up other issues? Oh and if your mom enters near the restrooms, there will be three steps up to the dining area. Will she be able to go up the steps, or should I make a note of it?"
I pointed out that if she entered from the vestibule, she could avoid the stairs altogether. She concurred; silently wondering how I knew the layout better than she did, when she was stationed at the hostess stand in the middle of the restaurant. Then she inquired if I would mind if she didn't mention the part about the stairs either. I said that I would leave it up to her; silently wondering who exactly would be reading this report and if it would be part of my permanent record.
As we were getting ready to say our goodbyes, she confirmed that our reservation was for 7 people at 6:00. I gently reminded her that it was for 6 people at 7:00. She apologized and thanked me for the 100th time. To be on the safe side, my mom will be sporting her track shoes as we will be stopping in the night before for a test run. I never realized that's why they have rehearsal dinners.