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The Customer

Not everyone believes you're entitled.

By Mark GagnonPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - March 2024
26
The Customer
Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

The Epicurean possessed the title of best restaurant in the tri-state area. People would try for weeks before acquiring a reservation in the main dining room. Snagging a coveted table in a private room took influence and a great deal of cash. It didn’t matter whether someone was looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, reservations were a necessity. Jacque, the establishment’s owner, ran his business with discipline, plus a great deal of empathy for his employees. He recalled working in a burger joint as a teenager for minimum wage. Now that he was a successful owner, Jacque would tolerate no one mistreating his staff.

Cleverly hidden from the patrons by plush booths, dimly lit chandeliers and professional wait staff exuding a high level of competence was the organized chaos happening in the kitchen. Several chefs and their assistants bobbed and weaved around each other and the servers in an intricately choreographed dance that provided the best customer service possible. Jacque understood that the two ingredients required to run a successful restaurant were great tasting food and an outstanding staff. He had both.

Dickson James made his money the old-fashioned way. He inherited it from daddy. D.J., the nickname he preferred when socializing because it sounded cooler than Dickson, had grown up hearing the same answer to his every demand—YES. He considered being refused any request as a travesty of justice punishable by ridicule. The only way to stay on his good side was to placate his ego, no matter how belittling it was.

Friday evenings at the Epicurean is always the busiest night of the week. Walk-in customers are never seated. It was on such a night that D.J. and his entourage paid the restaurant an unannounced visit. He had told them that this was the best restaurant anywhere, and he wanted them to enjoy the wonderful food served here. Dickson remained in his limo while one of his sycophants went inside to secure seating for twelve. After what felt like an unusually long time, D.J. never waited for anything or anyone, his gopher returned with bad news.

“I’m sorry, D.J., but the maitre d' said they are booked solid for the night and they never accept walk-ins. He gave me his card and said we must call for reservations.”

“This is preposterous! Did you tell him who was out here?”

“Of course I did, sir, but he wasn’t budging. He said even the President needed to call for a reservation. It is a strict house rule. No one gets preferential treatment.”

D.J., now in a highly agitated state, pushed open the limo door, almost knocking over his messenger.

“If I want anything done right, I have to do it myself.” Pointing a finger at his messenger, “You’re Fired! Find your own way home.” He turned and stomped off toward the restaurant.

“May I help you, sir?” said a well-dressed man as D.J. entered the building.

“You can if you’re the owner. If you aren’t, get him now. Tell him Dickson James needs to speak with him immediately.”

“The owner is extremely busy. Is there something I can assist you with?”

“I’ve already told you what you can help me with. Now run along and fetch him.”

The maitre d' excused himself and went into the kitchen to find Jacque. He explained the situation to his boss and asked if he wanted security to handle it. Jacque was all too familiar with self-entitled customers like D.J. and decided to take care of things himself.

Offering D.J. his hand, Jacque smiled and introduced himself. “How can I help you, sir?”

“My friends and I require a table for twelve and immediate service.”

“Do you have a reservation?”

“No.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I won’t be able to help you this evening. Perhaps some other time when you have called ahead.”

“Are you telling me no? Nobody says no to me. Do you know who I am?”

“Yes, I know who you are. You’re the man who is dining somewhere else tonight. It is an honor to be the first person to tell you no.” With that, Jacque turned and returned to the kitchen.

A flummoxed D.J. returned to his adoring crowd, where one of them asked when they would eat.

“We’re not eating here. It’s no better than a Waffle House.”

“That’s not what you told us!”

“It’s what I’m telling you now.”

humanitysatirepop culture
26

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

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Comments (18)

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  • Novel Allen27 days ago

    Phew!!! I fully expected the AK-47's and Magnum whatevers to come into play. I wonder if the Yes man will return later for revenge. Obviously i have been watching too many crime shows lately. Great story Mark. Congrats TS.

  • A. J. Schoenfeldabout a month ago

    Oh this gave me such satisfaction! I've been in the restaurant industry for 27 years; I'm pretty sure I've met DJ a few dozen times.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    Love this Mark!! Some well served justice in my opinion!! (Pun not initially intended!! But on second thought... probably was!!!)😆

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Hahaha I loved it!! He put him in his place exactly right. 😂😋

  • Kathleen Warrenabout a month ago

    Great story! Like so many entitled people, D.J. Has no respect for anyone or anything. Reminds me of someone…but I can’t think of his name at the moment 😂

  • Navjot Kaur about a month ago

    Congrats on Top story!!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • LASZLO SLEZAKabout a month ago

    Congratulation. Good work.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Donna Reneeabout a month ago

    This pissed me off and I love it! 🤣. You really nailed the guy!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Great story, Mark. I love Jacque's attitude. Have that, Dickson! And to be honest, that is how it should be.

  • D. J. Reddallabout a month ago

    I resent what the D.J. in your satire and his orange prototype have done to sully the initials D.J.!

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Ha! You painted an accurate picture of entitlement and some of the baloney these guys try to dish out to get their way. And the line where Jacque said that he knew him as the man who would be dining somewhere else was golden! Great story, Mark!

  • Testabout a month ago

    Bravo! Your hard work is paying off—keep it up, congratulations!

  • Celia in Underlandabout a month ago

    Such a humourous take though sadly there are far too many DJ's in the world! Conrats of TS!

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Mark, I am so happy this is a top story. Congratulations

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    He has a fitting name, lol! But people like DJ actually exist. I'm just so glad Jacque said no to him! Loved your story!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I owned a restaurant years ago, and we took pride in treating everyone equal. I had millionaires sitting next to the blue collar worker and many became friends. I love that he wanted a table for twelve. But my favourite line is his response to DJ himself. Mark this old easily have been a longer story, maybe word gets out to other restaurants that they too can say no to DJ….hmm? That would be a great read and a terrible night for DJ. Two big thumbs up

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