Reservations About Reservation Systems

Friday, December 6th, 2019

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.

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