Tacky or rude?

The other day, The Day Job hosted a meeting for a group on a day we are not normally open for business. On such occasions, if other people happen to come in, we’ll feed them if we have enough food prepared, and usually we’re happy to have other customers.

We had gotten everyone fed and some of the dishes cleared away when a young woman walked in with a briefcase and armload of books. She made herself comfortable at a corner table and was joined a few minutes later by a middle-aged man. Apparently he was interested in advertising something because they launched right into a discussion about pricing and such.

I’ll interrupt myself here to say that we have seen similar situations before. We don’t mind if people come in to conduct business over lunch or coffee. In fact, we do our best to accommodate them. Here’s the rub, though: The two of them didn’t order anything. Not coffee. Not dessert. They seemed annoyed to be asked if they wanted anything. I left before they did, but I found out later that they stayed until the meeting started to break up, and then they went on their merry way without a word to the staff who was still there.

To me, that’s just rude. It’s a restaurant. I would never go to Applebees and take a table to conduct business and not order anything. The fact that we were technically closed is icing on the cake. Is it just me? Am I more polite that the rest of the American public? Or maybe just a little too sensitive?


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