Table for Two?

Photo by Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

You may have noticed that a little “rant” occasionally appears on my blog. Like other posts, it’s offered in the spirit of connection—with the hope that some reader somewhere will smile or nod in recognition of a shared experience, a similar feeling, or in this case, a frustration.

Once upon a time (yes, time, that precious commodity), you could call a restaurant to reserve a table. Not so much anymore.

Excited by the cautious return of local live music, but particularly eager to hear a friend perform, I went to the venue’s website to confirm the time. Once there, I was encouraged to make a reservation online. Hmmm. Well, since I’m already here. Okay. Click.

The page didn’t seem to offer me the option of a table inside or outside (the music was going to be outside) so I thought I’d just scroll down to the contact info and give them a call. A recording answered with the usual voice menu options. I pressed the number most likely (I thought) to connect me to a live person. No luck. It went to voice mail. I’m already feeling the social distancing and I’m not even there yet.

Back to the reservation page where I select a time and party of two. Now it wants my email address and mobile phone number. Okay, fine. I guess that’s a small inconvenience for providing a text box that allows me to enter “outside near the music please.” See how they get you?

As soon as I hit “submit,” I hear my husband’s cell phone go off with a text message. He’s working outside in the garden and left it on the kitchen table. Smart man.

I check his phone and realize I’d entered his cell number by mistake. Did I mention his is a flip phone? The message asks me to click on a link to confirm the reservation. Can’t do that. He has no internet or data service. I carry the phone back to my office and type the link, one alphanumeric character at a time, into my browser bar. Fingers crossed, I click “enter” whereupon a message appears telling me I need to DOWNLOAD AN APP to confirm this reservation. Are you frigging kidding me?

His phone is beeping again, asking me to click the link. I take a deep breath, go back to the venue’s website and dial their phone number. Again. Thankfully, after I press a voice menu option, a person answers and I’m able to confirm the reservation.

His phone beeps again. This time it says, “reply STOP to end messages.” Gladly.

One reply on “Table for Two?”

You can’t even get a real person to answer in a doctor’ s office, so it is no surprise that restaurants have caught on. There are a lot of us out here who feel your frustration. It’s really difficult to ask a voicemail a quick question. The only good thing? Maybe some day, when dealing with those annoying things in life, we can just press STOP.


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