Jan 05 2009

People who save tables!

Published by at 3:00 am under Jerks


Let me set the scene for you…

You are waiting in a long line at a restaurant. Well, actually more like a local hot dog or burger joint that is always busy. It’s a long line that holds more people than the amount of seating in the restaurant. To the untrained eye, the eye of a selfish prick for example, it seems almost certain that you will get your food but will be unable to find an open table at which to feed your fat face. So it looks like you have a real problem on your hands. Oh my god, what should you do, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

I’ll tell you what normal people do, they wait in line, get their food and sit at the table that inevitably opens up just in time. Now the amateur, or “asshole,” will choose a different path, a darker path. They will rip apart the fabric that holds society together. These jerks will send a member of their group to save a table although they still have a good 10 minutes of line to wait in. I have two words for these people… go-fuck-yourself-you-table-saving-buttholes.

As soon as you jump the line to save a table you throw the entire symbiotic relationship of the people waiting and the people eating. In these types of restaurants the crowd generally eats quickly and leaves which means by the time you get your food a table will be waiting for you. But these selfish jerks fuck it up for everyone. They create panic and discord in the herd. They need to be stopped.

The real reason this gets me so red in the face is not so much that I am worried I will not find a table, rather it’s just another case of my fellow man acting selfish and remaining unaware that other people exist. Just wait your turn like everyone else.

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20 comments so far

20 comments to “People who save tables!”

  1. Yubberson 05 Jan 2009 at 4:23 am

    Know what sucks even more??? Whenever I see this happen this is the case….

    There’s typically one dude or chick that is holding the whole table- meaning there are technical open spaces for someone to sit. I always want to plop down, toss my jacket aside and start digging into my food. I mean- there’s no signs allowing these douchbags to hold the table so why should I NOT sit down right? Wrong. What happens is I wind up getting pissed, nostrils flaring, stomping around the feeding ground looking for another table. Why? Because I don’t want to cause a commotion. The moment I sit down at “THEIR” table there will no doubt be a commotion. And then I’ll feel bad for not only ruining my hot dog experience (because I’m too damn angry to taste food anymore), not only the nummy hot dog experience for those seated around the table because of the arguement that’s about to ensue, but I’ll also ruin the prick’s hot dog experience and I refuse to sink to their level.

    Get this straight- they are entirely aware that other people exist and they are entirely prepared to argue whatever semantical bullshit they need to in order to ensure they get to continue living on as the macho’ist prick that ever walked the hot dog stand! GAgererrrrr……

    That’s it. Next time this happens I’m sittin’ down. Be damned hot dog experience!! You’re taking this one for the team!!

  2. Jeffon 05 Jan 2009 at 5:59 am

    You have *nothing* to complain about – at least the group has sacrificed one of their own to stake their claim. In Asia (Singapore particularly), people leave a pack of 10 cent tissues to mark their spot, and I’m not talking just one – but I’ve seen a table of 20 ‘occupied’ by 20 packs of tissues.

    Of course you could just push these tissues aside and take the table, but I reckon it’s just not worth the ensuing confrontation. Others disagree, of course, and here’s 3 pages of excruciatingly boring discussion on the topic.


    (Another similar and equally ridiculous topic is how one particular northern European nation uses towels to reserve beach chairs)

  3. Jeffon 05 Jan 2009 at 7:33 am

    Whoa – apparently the tissue strategy has a name: ‘choping’ – and, as argued by a well-known economics blog (today, coincidentally), is a good way for those food outlets which produce the *best* food to get the *most* customers. The reasoning is that if people can reserve a seat (with a hostage or a pack of tissues) then customers will wait in line for the best food. If the practice isn’t allowed, then customers won’t wait in line and those who produce inferior food will benefit, whilst those who produce better food will suffer.


    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, YJMML!

  4. Creature of Habiton 05 Jan 2009 at 7:36 am

    I hate these assholes!!!

    There’s a great restaurant in Beacon Hill that does not allow saving seats – and they enforce it. Hardcore. There’s nothing that makes me happier than tattling on a fat tourist who is saving a table and watching the cook turn around and yell at them “no saving seats!”. It truly brings a smile to my face, almost as much as walking in front of them with my tray of food and plopping down at the very table they were trying “save”.

    You know what’s funny? As crushed and disgruntled as those assholes are that they no longer have a table (and I watch them mutter about it the entire time they snake through the line), a table ALWAYS magically opens up by the time they get their food. Funny how things work….

  5. guilty noodleson 05 Jan 2009 at 8:35 am

    I once was in a busy cafe and there was only one table left. There was a book sitting on the table, but no one in line. I asked the people sitting near the table if anyone was sitting at the table. Everyone shook their heads, muttering that they’d been there for quite some time and no one had sat down. So I took the table.

    30 minutes later, a woman arrived and announced I had stolen her table. She had set a book down (one that wasn’t even hers, but from the cafe bookcase) to mark her table and I had to find somewhere else to sit.

    What? Does it still count when you leave the place and hold the table with an item that doesn’t even belong to you?

  6. Yours Trulyon 05 Jan 2009 at 11:09 am

    People who save tables piss me off, but not as much as the people who DON’T LEAVE after they finish their meal. They just keep having their conversation and laughing with their annoyingly loud laughs. Laughing. Laughing at ME. Why don’t they just fucking leave like everyone else? Anybody with me on this?

  7. You Just Made My List!on 05 Jan 2009 at 11:17 am

    Yours Truly, I hear you on this and agree but I still find this to be a lesser offense. It’s true though, when you are at a busy burger joint where people are lined up out the door you really should eat and get out in a timely fashion.

  8. Christineon 05 Jan 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I’m with yours truly,
    I’m okay with waiting for a seat when I’m by myself or with friends my age, but when I’m with my 80 year old grandmother waiting for a table, and there are a bunch of middle-age fools sitting at a table OBVIOUSLY FINISHED, and chatting about the last episode of House or something, I want to stab each and every one of them with a fork. Let my grandma sit down, assholes!!

  9. Christineon 05 Jan 2009 at 4:00 pm

    And don’t even get my started on the two-person lunch parties who decide they need four-person tables so they can put their purses and computers and crap in the extra seats.

  10. Hilltopper Happeningon 05 Jan 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Yeah, I think people who put their towels on hotel beach chairs at night to reserve them for the next day are even worse. At least the people in the restaurant are actually in the immediate area. Although I agree they ruin the flow of things. But you always have the option to get your food to go if it’s too crowded, or eat somewhere else.

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but the award for the most selfish assholes goes to the people in Chicago who put garbage on the street to reserve a parking spot they may or may not have shoveled the snow out of. They will always be #1 on my list of ruiners.

    Oh, and I love the Singaporean tactic of putting a 10 cent pack of tissues on the table to reserve a seat. So simple, yet annoying;)

  11. andshewason 05 Jan 2009 at 7:46 pm

    this is yet another reason why hot doug’s is the greatest restaurant in all of chicago. no table saving allowed.

  12. You Just Made My List!on 05 Jan 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Hot Doug’s is a shinning beacon in the anti seat saving movement as is my other favorite hot dog place, Murphy’s on Belmont and Racine. Doug has the best “fancy” meats but Bill Murphy can not be beat when it comes to the classic Chicago style red hot! They are both Gods to me.

  13. hodanon 05 Jan 2009 at 8:40 pm

    You people are either incredibly lonely(a table holds more than one person!) or just insecure (no one is laughing at you Yours Truly if u r by yourself). if you have a large group of friends you’d realize it isn’t alien to save tables. sorry to be a bitch on this, listman.

  14. You Just Made My List!on 05 Jan 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Hodan, What? It has nothing to do with insecurity. I think you are missing the point. It has everything to do with the attitude that you take care of yourself first and at all costs. Forgot what’s fair, forget who was in line first, just take take take. Gimme gimme gimme.

  15. Jeffon 05 Jan 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I remain unconvinced. If someone has the chutzpah to grab a table, fend off the great unwashed from adjoining seats, and take the risk of not getting the right food from their co-conspirators, then I reckon they deserve the table. Besides – as you say – one always comes up anyway. What’s the big deal?

    BTW what happened to your Benjamin Button post?

  16. You Just Made My List!on 05 Jan 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Oh Jeff, have you ever agreed with anyone ever? So if I have the chutzpah to break into your house while you are away an steal your TV do I deserve to keep it?

    I just finished a post on Benjamin Button a few hours ago, you can read it tomorrow. (spoiler alert: I hated it!)

  17. SanFranon 05 Jan 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Hmm – out here in San Francisco, it’s widely accepted that strangers can sit and have a meal.. We do it all the time.

    It usually goes like this:

    Walk up to table and say “is anybody sitting here?” and if there isn’t, they’ll most likely say “nope! all yours..” Sometimes, good conversation ensues, other times, people just go about their business.

    Of course, these are usually cafes and restaurants, not fast-food places, because there are actually ordinances that don’t allow franchise restaurants in most of the neighborhoods, to promote small business and perhaps better eating habits…

    I think you should move out here – but then you’d have less to complain about, and that would make me sad. I retract my last statement.

  18. Jasonon 06 Jan 2009 at 6:34 am

    I think I agree with Yours on this one. I usually don’t go to lunch with others and I can understand why, when on the rare occasion I do go with other people, someone from the group would move to save a table. I come completely unwraped when I’m looking for a table and there’s a group sitting there and it’s obvious they’re done and just sitting and socializing when other people need the seat to sit down and partake of their lunch. These bastards should burn in hell! I mean that special hell, you know the one reserved for animal abusers and lawyers that bill at astronomical rates for companies whose products caused a little girl to have cancer and they know it but don’t want to pay up!!! Sorry tangent.

  19. Creature of Habiton 06 Jan 2009 at 7:36 am

    We’re not talking about one person sitting at a table eating. We’re talking about one asshole saving a table (sometimes that saving takes as long as it would for a party to eat their meal) in a crowded restaurant for the rest of their party that’s in line getting said food (not fast food, btw). You can’t approach that person, because they are willing to save that table with their LIFE. Honestly, if you’ve even confronted one of them, it will cross your mind that they might be willing to cause bodily harm over saving a stupid table. Meanwhile, it never occurs to them that they are disrupting the alignment of the planets and natural harmony on earth. Nooooo.

    The table lingerers… that’s another issue. They are assholes of another breed. I’m more than willing to approach them or burn holes into the sides of their heads with my laser vision.

  20. AlexandraJadeon 07 Jan 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I have to agree with this!
    In merry little England, it is very rare strangers will table-share.
    I have no idea why.
    I might begin enforcing it upon my fellow countrymen.

    But I must agree about the table-saving.
    I think the said group of friends should just wait in line together like every other human being and the friend who gets served with their food may then go and find a larger table to sit at and wait for the other.
    Because the point is, while the ‘saver’ is saving the table they are preventing someone who could be sat there eating from doing so.
    And by the time the potential eater would be done, the original saver would have there food and a free table and not piss people off by being a selfish dick.

    Logic eh?