The Long Wait at Applebee's
Last Saturday I met Jim in Brick NJ, we decided to get a bite to eat at the nearby Applebee's.
We go in, get seated, and look over the menus. We compare what we're considering, then decide on our meals. Then we talk for a few minutes.
Then I realize that I hadn't decided on a drink, so I tried to find the beer listing on the menu (there isn't one). I was able to make out most of the tap handles at the bar, so we were both able to select our brew of choice.
Conversation began concerning a remark Jim had made earlier about writing. We talked for several minutes easily.
It was towards the end of this conversation that several memebers of the wait staff walked by. Each time I was ready to give my drink order (I was getting a bit thirsty from all the talking), but they would just walk by and serve another table. At this point the subject turned to the expectionally long wait and just how long it had been. We figured it was something like 15 minutes.
A manager walked down the row. He said something to the table behind me, then walked past our table (glancing at it for the briefest second) before hurrying to another table at the far end that already had their food.
We now began discussing where else we could go to eat. We weren't being quiet about this, it was a very frank and open discussion that I'm sure a few tables overheard. We took time to consider if we should bother to wait any longer, what the possible delay could be (smoke break? lunch break? someone not realizing they have a table?), also how long it had been since either of us had walked out of a restaurant. At least one or two more waiters/waitresses passed without any comment whatsoever.
We left. On the way out, the door guy offered his cheerful farewell. I couldn't resist any longer, over my shoulder I said "Now we're going to find a place where we can get a bite to eat!" The only reply, a startled "Huh?"