Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Mini Restau-Rant of Sorts

Imagine, if you will, this scenario:

You're sitting in a restaurant that, while not exactly in peak hours, has now totally filled up in the non-smoking section where you're located. You're totally done eating (as evidenced by the closed styrofoam to-go box on the table), but you're just chillin', sipping some coffee and reading the paper alone at your four-person table. If you looked up from your paper, it would be easy to see the front of the restaurant, where a group of three is patiently waiting to be seated.

Fifteen minutes later, the three are still waiting, and other customers have bitten the bullet and filled up the smoking section as well. A group of seven comes in shortly after that, but you're still oblivious. You also don't notice the older couple who decided to dine elsewhere because the smoking section had been the only option.

Of course, you're under no obligation to leave, but if you're done with your meal and others are waiting, wouldn't it be a nice gesture to take your paper-reading elsewhere and open up a table for some new paying customers? It sure seems as though both the restaurant personnel and the customers would appreciate it. Sure, it's possible that you're so totally engrossed in your paper that you don't know what's going on outside of your little bubble. But if you do notice, and stay there anyway, are you being selfish?

This really happened this morning; I was part of the group of three. There's no reason to name the restaurant, but if you have to know, it's the answer you'd get if you asked the bunny or the kangaroo how it gets from place to place. The manager felt bad when we left, but we were on a fairly tight schedule. He also said that there was more than one table being occupied in this manner; we could just see the one with the styrofoam-and-paper person. I'm not saying that there should be a policy to deal with this--you can't legislate courtesy, after all--but it's a shame that some people are so caught up in themselves that they're so unaware of what's going on around them.

(This isn't the first time I've encountered selfishness in restaurants; the original Restau-Rant is here. It was written before Blogger comments had been developed, so feel free to chime in on that scenario as well.)

Here comes Peter Cottontail, clogging up the auto trail: Traffic on a major Hungarian highway was snarled when a truck overturned and released 5000 rabbits into the intersection.

He had quite a tail to tell after this: A young whale got lost and ended up in New York Harbor--not exactly something you see every day.

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