Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Too fat to fit in a booth

True story.

A couple of weeks ago I watched a host bring to customers into my section. My section only had booths, and there were no nearby tables open. As I watch the guests walk in, it becomes abundantly clear to me that there is NO WAY that the woman will fit into one of our booths. In fact, I don't think the booth has been invented that will take this woman. It comes as no surprise that our host would try to seat a person of this girth into a booth. Our guests regularly harass our hosts about being seated at tables when there are booths open. They reflexively are conditioned to seat booths at all costs to save being harassed. This is multiplied by the fact that this host isn't one of our brighter host specimens, and the host is also fairly new to the job.

When they arrived at the final destination in my section, the host put the menus down, and the hilarity ensued. The conversation went something like this:

"Here's your booth, Lobster Boy will be your waiter."
"This won't work. We can't sit here."
"Ma'am, this is the only open booth I have."
The lady tries to wedge herself into the booth. I begin dialing for the fire dept. to bring the jaws of life. I hear the table emit a audible creak (they are attached to the wall). The lady wiggles herself around, the table clearly digging into her gut, and her breasts rested on the table as well.
"Oh, this will do I guess. Roger, sit down."
Her husband is standing still, staring at her heaped upon the table.
"Darling, would you rather have a table?"
The stare of death, followed by the "whisper-yell."
"NO! Sit down!"

By now she's sweating. The effort of walking to the table, combined with wriggling herself into the booth has caused the need for her to start fanning herself. The AC is on. Her husband shakes his head slightly, sighs, and sits down.

She orders a Diet Coke, and proceeds to eat at least a dozen pieces of our bread. 12 of those is probably enough calories to meet most people's daily requirement. She asks for a bib when her food comes (we do provide them with Lobster and Crab, but she had neither). When I see her leave, I see her light up. She must have a death wish.

In another Red Lobster I worked at, we had special chairs for the enormous people who came into our restaurant. 95% of our chairs had a wrap around back that would come part-way around a person when they were sitting. We had a select few that had fewer uprights and had reinforcements on the remaining ones.

I'm a big guy, I played football in college and I come from a big family, but we're nothing like some of these people. It is hard to comprehend how much a person must have to eat to maintain the size that some of these people are. It's really quite sad that those around them don't intervene and speak some truth into their lives.

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Andrew said...

People do not want"truth in their lives". Most just want to be happy, even if they don't actually know what that looks like. A 5'8" 30 year old 250 lb woman living a sedentary lifestyle only has to consume 2373 calories to maintain her weight. That's not that many considering all the unhealthy choices consumers currently have.

Natalie said...

The thing is most people don't start out that fat. They get bigger and bigger. And as they get bigger they have to buy bigger clothes. I always wonder what goes through their head when they make that choice to move on up to the next size.

Lobster Boy said...

The worse part is what goes through their minds when the choose NOT to go up a size in clothes. We have a particular sub-group of women in our area (perhaps this is universal for this group of women) who wear skin tight clothing (and we're not talking the poor) to "show off" their bodies. Ugh. That is more flesh than I want to see.

Lobster Boy

Peppers waiter said...

I had a guy at my restaurant once demand I put one of our chairs up to a booth so his wife wouldnt have to sit at a table.

We also had this one guy not sit in our patio wire chair because he "didnt trust" it

Beth said...

It breaks my heart to see anyone that uncomfortable. We ended up having a 'talk' for the benefit of the hostesses about seating severely overweight at tables.

WorkerBee said...

Tonight I watched a quite overweight woman (and her companion) move from a 4 top to an EIGHT top table b/c she could not shove herself into the former.

I felt bad for her for a whole minute before I thought about the fact that she did not just wake up one day weighing 350 pounds. You see that shit coming. Have a salad and not a double cheese burger, fries and the diet coke that does you no good- so that you can fit into the tables that restaurants offer.

Elizabeth said...

I'm one of those overweight people, can fit in booths just fine but I am signifigantly DO see it coming, but I think a lot of overweight people don't realize that they have an addiction.

Everyone associates food with emotions. We celebrate something good happening by going to dinner, we see women on t.v. bust out a pint of ice cream when they get dumped, we have food-filled funeral receptions and a food-related event for EVERY special occasion. What happens with some people, is that the line gets crossed and every emotion that is unplesant gets "stuffed" with food. It's a way to escape, just as a person drinking alcohal drinks because they had a bad day. Some people can drink a glass of wine at night and be fine, others can't. Each person has an obstacle they are going to have to overcome...even if it isn't something they put into their body there is restricting food/purging, compulsions with cleaning and with overworking, SO many out as much as it's easy for some to say "hey, clothes are tight, eat a salad" it isn't that simple for others. I am 20 years old, and fat, and am just realizing the extent of my eating habits and the fact that I eat when I'm not hungry for a number of silly reasons. People can be ignorant to their own compulsions, but you don't see post after post about that damn lazy alcoholic who just drinks the day away.

Lobster Boy said...

The drunk usually gets a DUI or kills someone or something rather tragic (wife leaves, looses house etc.) and it comes to a head faster than weight does. Obviously there are always exceptions. The Lobster Boy has seen the scale go past 300 for a period in his life (not currently) so I speak from some experience.

Lobster Boy

Unknown said...

I think society, doctors, etc. define "overweight" with way too low of a number. I think "normal" includes a greater range than is usually credited.

We are not talking about "overweight" here, we are talking about the insanely obese, the can't fit in a airplane seat obese, the ridiculously obese. THESE are the people that need to introduce themselves to a fruit or vegetable. THESE are the people that need to take a walk around the block once in a while. It's just sick...and its not you, elizabethsheryl.

Susan said...

I am the wife of a man who is 360 pounds. To the writer who said someone should intervene and speak the truth to these obese people, well I'll have you know, I have been trying unsuccessfully for 7 years to be encouraging and supportive in helping my husband lose weight to no avail. Ultimately the person has to want to lose weight and to do it for themselves, not for their spouse or their kids. My husband suffers from severe major depression and so most of his weight gain was due to his antidepressant (he takes 4). But now he isn't motivated to take the weight off. I am frustrated because we have no sex life, he has sleep apnea, and a whole list of other health problems because of his weight. Something terrible probably has to happen first before he will lose the weight, sad to say. I can only pray. It's an addiction. Most people eat to live. My husband lives to eat.

Anonymous said...

im fat as a heck and when i get in a boother i can't even fit in the sucker! fat rolls over the table. I just move to a different table with chairs its no porblem as long as they're strong chairs