Why do people think it is okay to ignore emails and phone messages? Here's a nasty little tale of of this rude and ugly practice that I was unfortunate enough to suffer through recently...
Through no fault of my own, I was thrown into a dinner fivesome for a Saturday night out which I knew would be problematic. Two of the five (a couple) will never commit. They are the types who don't actively seek out babysitters, lament how hard it is to find reliable sitters, but when I offer to share some of my contacts they say things like, "Well, WE are very careful about who we leave with our children" or "We are not as comfortable as you are about leaving our children with strangers." (The implication being, of course, that I commit reckless endangerment at least once a week or hire monsters to mind my offspring. You can see why I did not relish the prospect of dinner with these toads--but you know how social obligations are.)
Anyway, I made a reservation for 5, fairly confident that the toads would not end up coming, but, as is the way of the Grace, prepared for the possibility. I emailed them Monday and said, "Got us a table for 5 at the fab new french bistro--they would like a confirmation on Thurs, so please let me know if you will be joining us."
On Wed, I emailed; "Looking forward to Saturday night; must confirm count tomorrow. Let me know your plans."
Now, does it occur to anyone else that a table for 5 is significantly different for a restaurant from a 4, 3 or 2 top? Not these grunts, obviously. And does it occur to anyone else that I want to remain in good stead with the fab new french bistro so that when I call for a table henceforth, they will say, "Tres bien! Grace is coming. Set aside the best table in the house." Not, "Oh, this Grunt again. Hold the table by the loo; she'll be showing up 15 minutes late as a party of two when we've held prime real estate for five on Saturday Night." Or worse yet, "Sorry, we are fully committed."
Would you like to know when I finally heard back? Saturday afternoon. Not surprisingly, and to my enormous relief, they declined to join us. And we called the bistro immediately to release the large table, issued profuse apologies for the late notice, and had a delightful evening, toad-free.
But I would have much preferred to know this on Monday. If I had been dealing with Graces, I would have. They would have responded: "Thanks for making the arrangements, Grace. We are not likely to find child care for Saturday evening and we certainly don't want to leave you or the restaurant hanging, so count us out this time. Have a lovely evening, and hopefully we can take a rain check."
See how easy that was?
Just make sure you don't call too late, ala Larry David.....(Note: clip contains some R-rated language.)