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The golden rule seems tarnished

A rainbow over the Ausable Club golf course with Giant Mountain in the background. (Photo provided — Diane Chase)

Recently I was waiting for a table to become available at a restaurant. I don’t get out much, so it didn’t bother me to be waiting for a table. The alternative is not to wait, meaning if I didn’t want to wait, I get to walk out and go to a different place. I was invested in this place.

I’d stayed in my car. I’d waited at the door. I’d waited in the waiting area. I was going to eat at this particular restaurant.

While waiting, I checked my email, played video games, started watching a movie on my phone, and pocket-dialed my kids. I knew the timeline. So far, no surprises. We’ve all eaten out. There is no scientific study on when people will finish their meal, stop socializing, and vacate the premises. I looked, people. There isn’t. It’s always an estimation.

I’d heard stories, but I hadn’t witnessed that some people think there is a third option, to completely belittle a hostess because a table isn’t available by the suggested wait time. I did not stick up for the hostess because a manager came over and defused the situation. Everything happened so fast; I’m not sure what I could have done. I frequently reevaluate the scenario, inserting myself into the case. It never ends well.

I did sit next to this person’s table. It turned into a bragging party about getting seated and “getting something free” from the manager. I wish I had a better poker face, but I blatantly eavesdropped with my mouth wide open in horror. I wasn’t at their table, but I heard a bit of the Golden Rule being tossed around in an unfamiliar way. This person wouldn’t keep people waiting, so, therefore, should not be kept waiting. This person keeps their word and expects others to do the same. It was a very rigid way to live.

Even if I were to eat out all the time, I can’t imagine a scenario where I’m angry at a hostess, a server, or a bartender and be proud of my accomplishments. My advice is to eat your fries and be kind. Your food will taste better.

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