This subject comes up in lots of posts where someone is complaining about poor service but I once had something happen that was more related to management policy. I was wondering if similar policies exist elsewhere and have affected others. I've gotten years of "only in in New York" jokes with this, but it really did happen.
Many years ago I was in upper Midtown Manhattan for a trade show at the Colisuem on Columbus circle. Three of us decided to go to the Carnegie Deli for a late lunch. At that time (didn't notice it in a recent TV feature on the place) the Carnegie had a long, family-style table set down the middle of the place, just past the deli counter.
The three of us were seated at the only open space for three, with my two friends across from each other and me next to one of them, across from a stranger. When the server came he took the orders of my two companions but would not take mine because I was "at someone else's station". Now..... I grew up in New York, so I know how this kind of thing can be, especially at a deli, but REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I waited a few minutes for the 'correct' server to arrive, then got up and went to the 'hostess' to say that I had a limited amount of time and couldn't wait while their natural order of selection worked itself out. She didn't seem pleased, but I did receive service shortly after that.
It wasn't really a huge deal for me and the discontent of the moment has long ago been outweighed by the usefulness of the story when in conversations about restaurant service.
Anyone have similar incidents to share?