5 Hours and 15 Minutes

Yesterday two ladies came in for lunch and they stayed for 5 hours and 15 minutes. I am not lying or exaggerating. 5 hours and 15 minutes. At one point I said, “Wow! You two have been here for 3 hours. I think that’s a record.” I was mildly sarcastic when I said it, thinking maybe they would get a hint and leave, but no. They stayed for another 2 hours and 15 minutes.

To put this in perspective, a typical shift for me is 5 hours. They stayed for an entire workday. Yesterday I was half server, half cashier and they overlapped my shifts. I was still waiting on them while I was trying to be a cashier. Sections had changed. For an hour and 15 minutes, they were taking up space in Anna’s section.

Campers are annoying because they require the same attention as regular diners only hours and hours more of it for the same amount of money. More water, more coffee, more hot water for my tea, could you heat up my pie, could you heat up my tea water?

Could you go home?

Frankly, I was sick of looking at and listening to these two women. One was a cackler and she got louder as the day went on. I wondered if they were secretly nipping off a bottle.

Sometimes I complain that I don’t have a life. However, I have NEVER had the luxury of time to sit in a restaurant for 5 hours and 15 minutes. Something else requires my attention (dogs, duck, kids, wood stove) and I don’t like ANYONE enough to talk to them for 5 hours and 15 minutes straight.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DarcKnyt
    Dec 19, 2009 @ 14:23:52

    That’s pretty impressive. One thing might be, what if they met at the restaurant because it’s a halfway point between them and they don’t get to see each other often? You know, old friends who only connect once in a great while. I know I wouldn’t be mindful of the amount of time I spent with a friend just because some wait staff don’t like me hanging out so long. Could it have been something like that? Or did you recognize them from other times?

    They are local and have been in before for 2-3 hours at a time. Other servers have actually gone home and transfered the ticket to someone else. A few days ago they had to be asked to leave 40 minutes after closing time when everything was finished and they were the only two in the restaurant. They had been there for hours drinking coffee and talking.

    That’s a long time to sit though. Wow.


  2. Kate
    Dec 19, 2009 @ 17:04:13

    Makes you wonder what they could have found to talk about for all that time. Only thing I can think of is that if they do this regularly, maybe they each live alone and are saving on heating costs in their own homes.

    That’s a much better reason than the illicit lesbian love affair I was imagining. 🙂

    That doesn’t excuse them from inconveniencing others though.

    I know, “It’s my job” and all that, but being mindful of a table for more than an hour is taxing to say the least. When people are visiting, is it rude to keep interrupting them to see if they want anything else or is it rude to ignore them and let them visit? It’s a thin line to walk for hours on end.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  3. DarcsFalcon
    Dec 19, 2009 @ 19:51:38

    Wow. That seems kind of excessive. If they’re local, you’d think they’d be visiting in one another’s homes. Then again, maybe the husband of one hates the wife’s friend so they feel like this is the only place they can meet.

    Hmmm…I didn’t think of that.

    I dunno. It’s pretty rude of them to sit there that long taking up space without paying extra for it. Maybe if you told them there would be an additional charge for every 30 min they stayed over like 2 hrs or something … .

    In the afternoon we aren’t busy enough to need the table. If it was during dinner when we were waitlisted, I’d probably say something.

    But to stay past closing? Uh, no. Rude. Thoughtless. Inconsiderate.

    I agree.

    Are they homeless?

    No, they are both well dressed and have money for entrees, salad bar, dessert and drinks. They stretch the meal out f.o.r.e.v.e.r.


  4. ohsomehowimanage
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 21:49:46

    I hate campers. Unfortunately, where I work, I have nothing but campers. I get people who get there when my shift starts at 6pm or 7pm and stay until midnight or 1am. Yeah their tabs don’t really rack up either so I end up getting $2 for 6 or 7 hours of continued service.

    We aren’t a camping out type of restaurant. I do remember working in a diner where old fuckers would come in and drink coffee for half the day and leave a dime. Thanks!


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