Reservations About Reservation Systems

Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.

For many years, I’ve used various services to make restaurant reservations online. It’s convenient to be able to book a table in just a few clicks, rather than attempting to once again spell “K-A-F-A-S-I-S” over a crummy cell phone connection. However, in the past year or two, I’ve started to become annoyed with even this process. A change has occurred, and I now frequently receive reminders about the reservation I myself made. These unnecessary reminders can come from the restaurants in question, as well as the services they use to manage reservations.

I work hard to be an organized individual. I use a digital calendar which syncs across my devices. Events on this calendar often have alarms attached to them, to remind me about them ahead of time. Ultimately, if I say I’m going to be somewhere, I’ll be there. It’s highly likely I’ll be there a few minutes before the agreed-upon time, solely so I can avoid getting there late.

All that is to say that when I make a reservation, I add it to my calendar, and then I show up. As a result, I’m mildly annoyed when I get something like this:

This is of course a silly thing to whine about. I clicked exactly one button to confirm my reservation.

Every so slightly more work is necessary for text requests, like this:

Here, I made a seven character reply, which is also pretty manageable on a good day.

The most annoying confirmations, however, have been via phone call. I avoid using my phone as a phone as much as I reasonably can. Heck, that’s why I book these reservations online. But because some people are flakes, all of us are punished. That sort of collective punishment is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and yet here we are. Here we all are.

Ultimately, these confirmation requests are at most a minor annoyance. I also suspect that if I opted not to confirm things, I’d be just fine showing up. I can’t imagine the restaurant cancelling a reservation for not confirming, though I also don’t want to test that theory.

The newest offense, however, really is beyond the pale. After confirming a reservation the day before via text, I was en route to a dinner when I received this:

A text message saying 'You're due at Pagu in 30 minutes'.

I’m due? No. A library book is due. A baby is due. A customer is not due, even if they’ve made a reservation. If they’re going to be both infantilizing and insulting, they could at least throw me a phony “We can’t wait to see you!” at the end of this terrible message.