Single & Silent Four-Top


The end of my Thursday evening resulted in Yvonne coming home from work totally unraveled. She had a very traumatic experience during her workday and she was anxious to share it with me. I could tell she was chomping at the bit to recount the event that had permanently placed a dent in her day and a scar in her bucket of memories. When she finally got around to telling me, I asked her to wait until we were sitting at dinner.

A short drive up the street, we found ourselves waiting for our order of salad and wings at a local Pizza joint (you figure it out). So I look at Yvonne and I ask her what had transformed her day. She finally responded by saying one sentence:

“My boss has crossed the street of reason and is walking through the road of insanity.”

She then proceeded to tell me how at lunch, earlier in the day, they had gone to a new Italian place near their office. Unfortunately, when they got to the restaurant there were no tables that could accommodate their party of four. Rather than split up their party and sit at two available tables, Yvonne’s boss did something that Yvonne deemed unthinkable – he asked a single diner sitting at a four-top (albeit in the most polite manner that a type “A”, bullish, seasoned attorney can ask) if he would move to one of the smaller tables. The diner refused and Yvonne’s lunch party had to sit at two different tables.

Yvonne was mortified at her boss’ hutzpah and proceeded to admonish him for the duration of their meal.

When she was done telling me the story, I was appalled myself.

How dare that single diner hog a table for four during the busy rush lunch hour? Frankly, I was shocked that my wife showed so little solidarity with her boss who, in my opinion, had merely used the law of numbers to claim the table his party needed. He wasn’t being rude or presumptuous, he was merely being efficient. Furthermore, the single diner was selfish, unthinking and gluttonous in his consumption of personal space. This is exactly what I told my wife as our wings were being delivered. I felt she was wrong and that she had misjudged her boss’ actions. Unfortunately, my words were not received well as was evidenced by the silence that followed for the rest of our dinner.

And although there were two of us at a four-top, I felt like the single diner who earlier in the day had refused to move from his table.


4 thoughts on “Single & Silent Four-Top

  1. The single diner has no friends, no blog and nothing to call his own…..his waitress also hates him. Let him be.

  2. Sometimes, our better halves are not interested in us “fixing it” or espousing our opinions. Sometimes we are just there to listen…. 🙂

  3. As a long time restauranteur, I can tell you that in a self seating scenario as described in your blog, a busy place runs the risk of the lone diner not realizing that by sitting at a four top, he/she has just cost the owner 3 paying seats and by not having an active host/hostess, the owners have no one to blame but themselves. A word of advice to the uninformed out there: If you are by yourself or with one other friend—–sit at a two top and have the courtesy to save a four top for others who need it. Oh, one other thing: If you are done eating, drinking and having coffee get out and let some hungry diners waiting for a table, have your seat!!!!

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