Spouse & I like the Outback Steakhouse. A lot. Due to time, money, and diet considerations, we've not yet spent $300 there this year. Due to today's events, we'll likely not come close for the next several years.
We had 3 events we were trying to fit in tonight, and with the first one being located so close to the Outback (the 2nd event) we didn't think to duck out of the first one part way through and do call-ahead seating. That, I'll grant was a mistake on our part.
When we arrived, they told us the wait was 30 - 35 minutes. We originally thought that was too long, but, realizing that every other restaurant would probably have a wait, we agreed. It was quite unfortunate that this estimate on their part was quite wrong.
At about the 40 minute mark, the spouse went up to ask how long before we'd be seated. Already we were pushing it to get food done and get to our 3rd event before it started. "Oh, just a couple more people," she said. Ok. Fine. We'll wait.
Unfortunately for them, (1) we can count, and (2) I have no patience with lies ... or with stupidity for that matter.
After about 10 minutes, they'd seated 8 people. Other people. I went up. I mentioned that 8 people ago my spouse had been told that there were only a couple people to go. Oh, she smiles, there are only a couple people to go. (grrrrr!) I point out that that is what she said 8 people ago, and pressed her for an exact number. There were still 3 people in front of us at that time, assuming she could really count that high. "We're doing the best we can to get you seated as quickly as possible," she whined.
Not my point. I understand busy. I understand that table turnover is not an easily predictable rate. I, however, have no patience with someone who will look at a number that is clearly larger than 6 and say "a couple". (And as literal minded as I am, giving them that much lenience is a concession.) If they had told us sooner that "gosh, it'll really be about half an hour longer" or "you have a dozen people in front of you" we could have left *then*, maybe gotten something fast to eat somewhere, and gone on to our event. My stress level continued to rise, and at the 54 minute mark, we agreed that we just didn't have the time. I turned the pager back in to them and we left. We'd have left if they'd admitted sooner how bad the situation was, but we'd have left planning to go back, and probably soon.
As it was, when we got to our stop number 3 (I arrived 15 minutes before it started, spouse about 7) we were both hungry enough that we hung out under 10 minutes, and then decided that we really needed to just go somewhere and eat, blowing off the meeting.
I'm annoyed enough that I'm naming names. If I were less annoyed instead of saying Outback, I would likely have just said "A local restaurant that both the spouse and I like quite a bit".