Question: You are the reservations manager for a restaurant called “APPETIZERS Bar” (the English equivalent of the Spanish TAPAS). On one afternoon like any other, the following happened:
At 15:15 a Mr. BROWN walks in and reserves a table for 19:45;
At 15:00 a Mr. JONES walks in and reserves a table for 19:15;
At 15:45 a Mr. ROBERTSON walks in and reserves a table for 20:30;
At 16:15 a Mr. SMITH walks in and reserves a table for 19:00;
At 16:30 a Mr. TAYLOR walks in and reserves a table for 19:30;
At 15:30 a Mr. WILLIAMS walks in and reserves a table for 20:00;
And at 16:00 a Mr. WILSON walks in and reserves a table for 20:15.
By which order would you jot down these reservations?
OPTION 1: JONES, BROWN, WILLIAMS, ROBERTSON, WILSON, SMITH followed by TAYLOR, is if you happen to be working in ANY restaurant in the world, except the most extraordinary one of all;
OPTION 2: SMITH, JONES, TAYLOR, BROWN, WILLIAMS, WILSON followed by ROBERTSON, is if you happen to be working in Ocean Club’s Tapas Bar in PdL.
As the “APPETIZERS Bar” is NOT “TAPAS Bar”, the correct answer is then OPTION 1: JONES, BROWN, WILLIAMS, ROBERTSON, WILSON, SMITH and TAYLOR.
In the question, it seems like I’ve given you a lot of information to digest and analyse, but in fact it isn’t.
It’s just describing SEVEN people walking, separately, into a restaurant to make a dinner reservation.
I just chose the CRITERIA of listing the surnames by alphabetical order, and that’s why, on a first look, it looks like it’s all jumbled up and complex (just a side note, the way you present information is VERY IMPORTANT to reach goals objectively).
The CRITERIA with which one lists things is the crux of this post. The logic and the reasonableness of the chosen CRITERIA are of the utmost importance when it comes to analyzing the veracity of the “Tapas reservation sheets”.
What CRITERIA would you then choose to write down the reservations as per question?
Logic, and all restaurants in the world except one, says that you would take note of the reservations by the order they came into your restaurant.
According to that, your reservation sheet would look something like this (we’ll pretend that desired eating times are needed, which we know they aren't, pretend that contact numbers are not and, as is obvious, what is written in between parenthesis wouldn’t appear, but we've I put in just to help you):
JONES - 19:15 (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:00)
BROWN - 19:45 (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:15)
WILLIAMS - 20:00 (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:30)
ROBERTSON - 20:30 (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:45)
WILSON - 20:15 (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 16:00)
SMITH - 19:00 (walked in the restaurant at to reserve 16:15)
TAYLOR - 19:30 (walked in the restaurant at to reserve 16:30)
Mr JONES arrives first, which means he gets the noted first, using the most logical of CRITERIA, which is first come, first served, or in this case, noted.
Mr SMITH, although wishing to have his meal before, appears in the listing after Mr BROWN simply, and LOGICALLY, because Mr. BROWN makes his reservation before Mr. SMITH.
If for anything else, the reason for ordering reservations by the times they are made is because, for example, when Mr. WILLIAMS makes his reservation nobody in the world can guess if Mr WILSON is to appear or not.
He does, but we only know that after he walks in.
Nobody did come after Mr. TAYLOR, did they? He was the last one to reserve, thus is the last person on the list for the day.
Irrefutable logic, right?
Wrong. In the OC, reservations are, according to the Tapas Bar management, to be noted in the order in which the clients want to have their meals.
Why do we say that?
The first three “Tapas reservation sheets” seem to be templates, in which there are boxes of 4 lines for each quarter of an hour, from 19:00 to 21:00.
But is it really so? We’ve discovered that the apparently handwritten “Das 7 p.m. ás 9 p.m. Mesas lá dentro – 4 Mesas com 4 pax máximo” on the top of the May 1st, May 2nd and May 3rd “Tapas reservation sheets” clarify absolutely nothing with the exception that it confirms that these pages are photocopies of each other:
This would reinforce the thesis that we were before an unique template that was used from May 1st until May3rd.
However, a closer analysis (and not that attentive of one) at that shows that it isn’t exactly a template.
Look at how the differently the times are written down each day (left column. May 1st, center, May 2nd, right, May 3rd):
Will enlarge the 19:15, and the 20:15 times so that you can better see what we’re trying to show you:
It’s unquestionable that each one was written separately.
They’re NOT copies of each other.
So, EVERY single day, whoever was responsible for the reservations would write down the times, defining then, and only then, the 4-lines-per-quarter-of-an-hour “reservation” blocks.
This means that it was EXPECTED to have only an average of 4 names, or less, per each “quarter of an hour”.
If, on a particular day, it happened that all supposed 20 vacancies wanted their meal at 20:30, then all this work of anticipation, and so neatly done, would have been rendered useless.
Here we have to go back to our “doodle” post, where it was shown how “boring” it must have been to work at Tapas.
You had time for doodles, and now, it seems, you had time to write down the times in a preemptive manner.
But it wasn’t just any writing down the numbers on blank spaces. Oh no. Please do take notice of the numbers “7” and “8”.
The number “7” is typed, identical in all 3 entries, which means it was already in the template, while the “8” is handwritten.
That is a big difference. It means that with the “7”. whatever number for the minutes that was there was tippexed, and written over, while the whole number that was where the “8”s now are to be seen, was totally tippexed.
To our Portuguese readers, to “tippex” is to pass on “white corrector”.
It seems that the Tapas, besides having its own separate reception, it also had it quite well equipped with stationary. And with a photocopier.
So we have someone, who takes the time, and the care, to tippex numbers beforehand, EVERY single day on what are supposedly reservation sheets.
I would like to remind you that anywhere in the world, “reservation sheets” are documents NOT meant to be subject to any inspection or external presentation. Their purpose is to register reservations. As such, they are INTERNAL working documentation, to which practicality is given primacy, which certainly is not given to neatness.
If that were the case, the lack of care for neatness in the last 3 reservation sheets would’ve resulted in severe punishment, or possibly heavy fines.
On the previous post, Question #8, I showed, or tried to show, how irrelevant it is to book meals with a quarter of an hour precision.
A time specification is required in restaurants that, as I said, wish to make as many servings as possible, and want an idea from when on they should consider a guest is late, so that they can get some profit out of what is to be then considered as an unused table.
As a reader exemplified, restaurants are that when a table vacates and whoever reserved isn’t there, they lose their turn and go to the end of the line, so to speak.
When a time is asked, it's NEVER more precise than half the hour.
I believe that in the U.S., restaurants that have a daily high occupancy rate, in order to maximize the use of their tables, don’t accept reservations at all (the finest restaurants do reserve, and if what we see in the movies is true, do it with weeks and months in advance), but do, when you walk in, give you an electronic gadget that lights up and vibrates when there’s a table for you.
That way, you can always spend some money in the bar while you wait…
You run a business to make a PROFIT, that's the bottom line.
Ok, let’s disregard the complete lack of logic and usefulness of filling in quarterly hour reservation times, and consider them essential.
You may then say that the Tapas could have filled in the customer's surname in according to its “box” as the reservations appeared. This way, the sequencing is not per whole page, but only per each “quarter-hour” box.
This would, indeed, provide some logic to the sequencing as it appears, as I said, on the first three reservation sheets.
And we’ll leave at that, although there are other some details that contradict this, but we'll leave these for another post. There are, however the three other reservation sheets. And they throw this whole logic straight out the window.
On these, nobody has, strangely, decided to write down the times before the guests appeared to reserve, like it was done with the first three.
But the times ARE SEQUENCIAL.
Look at how they appear for those 3 days:
Friday, May 4th: 19:00, 19:30 followed by 20:15
Sunday, May 6th: 19:00, 19:20, 19:45, 20:00, 20:15 followed by 21:00
Monday, May 7th: 19:00, 19:15, 19:45 followed by 20:30
It's not possible to establish any coherence in the time intervals, or their respective spacing within the pages, with these last three reservation sheets, except for the fact that they’re CLEARLY sequenced in the order in which the clients wanted to have their meals.
If for the first three reservation sheets we could have the excuse that there are blocks for each quarter of the hour, for the last three, the CRITERIA used is clear: simple and straighforward sequencing according with the desired meal time.
This means that in our little exercise, the reservations, if made in the TAPAS Bar way, would have been written down the following way:
19:00 – SMITH (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 16:15)
19:15 - JONES (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:00)
19:30 - TAYLOR (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 16:30)
19:45 - BROWN (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:15)
20:00 - WILLIAMS (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:30)
20:15 - WILSON (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 16:00)
20:30 - ROBERTSON (walked in the restaurant to reserve at 15:45)
Seemingly impossible, Mr. SMITH, who arrives 45 minutes after Mr. WILLIAMS, to make a reservation, is to appear first on the reservation list.
This listing would ONLY be possible if the people who made the reservations arrived in the EXACT same order of the time that they wanted to have their meals, otherwise it would be COMPLETELY ABSURD, as only after is known the TOTALITY of reservations for the day is it possible to order the names by desired meal times, the CRITERIA used to list the reservations on the "Tapas reservation sheets":
So, for the "Tapas reservation sheets" to be filled the way THEY WERE, with the SEQUENTIAL CRITERIA they present, it would have been necessary, on those various days, for the people who wanted to reserve to have been standing in the queue in the EXACT same order in which they WANTED to have their meal!
And this, when all these people are supposedly strangers to each other.
Coincidence or what? That’s stretching the concept of coincidence even beyond the McCann margin of tolerance for coincidences.
Other than this, I can only see two other possibilities for it these listings to be feasible.
One would have been in auction-style bidding for hours. Whoever was responsible for the booking would address the “crowd” and ask “Let's start with who’s for 19:00? Please step aside and come forward…”
This would be practical but rather unfair. If one wanted to dine at 21:00, one would have to bid for an earlier hour just to make sure that one would make it and be able to have a meal at the renowned Tapas Bar.
Also, I just can't see how it would be possible for people to be able to get the 21:00 timeslot, which some did get, without surpassing the 20 available seats figure.
There was a queue wasn't there?
The other possibility would have to have been for this whole "reservation process" to be done “military” style.
In this, the Tapas management would come out, this time to address the whole line and inform “The reservations today are up to this gentleman/lady. The rest of you please go home and try again tomorrow”.
And then turning to those that remained in line “And you, you lucky nincompoops, do organize yourselves in which time you want to have dinner, and be quick about it as we have many other important and useful things to do such as doodling and tippexing…”
Is either possibility feasible? Well, as we’ve seen, in “McCannland” it’s like with Peter Pan: ALL is possible as long as you believe in it.
No, not really. You really don’t have to believe. All you have to do is pretend that you believe, and defend that, regardless of reason or logic.
And preferably with some help from your friends. INFLUENTIAL ones, mind you.
For those who've tried to fool others with the vain attempt of stating that we were running out of material, let me disappoint you by telling you that there's still very much to be shown about these fake reservation sheets.
For example, this post, and this post alone, makes it there to be four or five additional pertinent questions.
Can you see them?
Well, they have to answered if these documents are to be REAL, otherwise... they're NOT.