Saturday, January 05, 2008
I really don't want to begin this brand new, fairly unsullied year
with a rant, but our meal tonight at an unnamed Northern Kentucky
restaurant gives me more fuel for a particular fire (pun intended)
and this topic has been something I've wanted to comment on for
quite a few years.
Tonight was one of those, I'm too tired to cook" times for my wife,
so we picked an alternate option for our evening sustenance.
Upon arrival at the eating establishment to which we had a
two-for-one coupon (the deciding factor), we were greeted with
that oh so familiar question, posed to ascertain our air quality preference.
"Smoking or no-smoking?"
In years past I've learned that if you just say "no smoking, please",
that leaves the option open for them to seat you as close as
humanly possible to the smoking area, and still have met your
"no smoking" request. This is what happened to us tonight.
To me the concept of a no smoking area is a joke in most cases
because smoke has no idea it doesn't belong on my
"no smoking" side of the restaurant. I often liken the situation of
smoking and no smoking areas to a fireplace and a chimney.
The fireplace is where the smoke is made, and the chimney is
where it goes. Unless the restaurant is separated into two walled-off
rooms, the person greeting you may as well ask, "fireplace or chimney?"
So, to help the person who is about to seat us, I often try to kindly
insert a clarification like, "give us the cleanest air you've got please".
Sometimes this very clear and specific request is granted with a
favorable spot a good distance away from the smoking area. However,
far too many times, I have been seated very close to the
smoking area, if not right next to it when there have been plenty of tables
open well away from the smoking area!
One time this happened to me was late at night and I was the only one
in the entire place. Upon entering I made my preference for clean air known
in a nice way and was led to a booth connected to a booth IN the
smoking area. THEN a few minutes later, a second person arrived
in the restaurant, a smoker in fact, and this person was seated in the booth
connected to mine.
This happens to me enough that I'm beginning to think there is some kind
of conspiracy going on. Do the greet and seat people have a goal to rid
the world of people like me by killing us off with second-hand smoke?
Maybe it's a power thing and they love to see me ask to be moved to
where I should have been seated in the first place. It amazes and frustrates me
My purpose in posting this on my blog, is to ask has this happened to you?
How often? How did you respond? I'd really like to hear about it.
Anyway, Happy *COUGH* New Year!