Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't hate me

A few weeks ago, I was at Pam Real Thai (one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the city). It was a very cold day and predictably, there were many people crammed at the entry way, waiting for a table. Instead of faithfully and blindly taking a spot behind the last person waiting, I decided to charge my way through the crowd to inquire about a table. I was immediately seated with my companion. The hostess had muttered something about a table for two being available. I assumed that the throng of people waiting were one big party - more difficult to seat.
As soon as we were ensconced in the warmth and comfort of having a table inside the restaurant, I thought I saw some nasty looks from the waiting crowd.
I remarked to my companion - You know, there's no reason for them to be pissed at me. Yes, it's true they arrived before me but I'm sitting here and they're not but they shouldn't be mad at me but at the hostess. I just happen to be the person she seated but it could've been anyone else.
My companion agreed and added, Yes, you should always get pissed at the wish granter, not the wish receiver.
This is an apparently less novel concept than I thought, as the other day, I was watching a Chris Rock show and he appropriately summed up my sentiments, "Don't hate the player, hate the game." I wish I had shouted that to the mad crowd.


farnk said...

This has several unpleasant implications. The bottom line is that it would be unethical to leap ahead of a waiting line even if it was the host's mistake. Only if there were no larger tables available (assuming that larger parties were waiting) wouyld it be acceptable. Otherwise, you are just another 'pushy' Asian. What comes immediately to mind is the NRA's nonensense slogan: 'Guns don't kill people, people do.'

RC said...

Could they have been jealous looks? If you are at a table that only seats two and they are more than that, of course you would be seated immediately and they would have to wait. This is the most basic hostessing rule. You don't wait at the end of the line until it is your turn to tell the hostess how many people are in your group just because the restaurant doesn't have a waiting area! Don't feel bad. I do it all the time. If you don't, the person behind you will push ahead, tell the hostess and then you'll be seated after THEM. Plus, sometimes it's the takeout line and you stood outside for nothing. Having been in various waiting line situations and being a person who has extreme anxiety about waiting in lines (I will often break out in hives), I assure you that you did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

why didn't you just talk loudly about how you and paris hilton are bffs ? then people would have adored you and speculated that you are lucy liu.

Cassandra Jupiter said...

So glad for friends who get it like RC. Isn't there a parable about a bunch of people waiting a long time for the elevator because nobody pressed the button? I refuse to wait in a line without checking to see what the protocol could/should be. People in crowds don't think individually.