One of the coolest parts of having this blog is the fact that people randomly send me material to write about. This comes in particularly handy when the snowpocalypse hits and I end up not waiting on many tables. This is an example of one of those stories I might have missed. Normally I would hold off on this story until my Saturday column. I just have a rant coming on and Bob The Trainer will do just fine as a subject.
For those of you unfamiliar with Bob The Trainer he is a popular cartoon character amongst the under 5-year-old crowd. He builds things and teaches kids valuable lessons. My Godson is totally into him. Oh wait, that is Bob The Builder. Who the hell is this Bob The Trainer guy and why is he newsworthy?
A quick wiki-search reveals that he is a personal trainer on “The Biggest Loser.” He is also a yoga instructor, was voted sexiest vegetarian, and has a third nipple. I tend to doubt the validity of at least one of those wikifacts. I don’t watch weight loss shows on television. If I were to start, it would not be with a show whose title is subtly mocking the participants. Call me crazy, but at surface level this show seems as exploitive as anything on television and I have watched an episode of “Rock of Love.”
So the story that got sent to me details Bob The Trainer trying to get a last minute reservation at a sold out restaurant. Actually he didn’t try himself; he had the AMEX concierge service do it for him. Oh he is one of those people. Bob The Trainer has the AMEX Black “I have such huge insecurities that I am willing to pay an exorbitant annual fee for the privilege of whipping out a card that shows I have money to waste” Card. The card comes with a concierge service to save members the hassle of having to say, “do you know who I am?” in person.
So the concierge service calls the restaurant. The restaurant informs them that there are no openings. Then the concierge calls back to say that the cardholder has authorized them to reveal his identity. This might work if “DeNiro” or “Dylan” followed the name “Bob.” The restaurant informed them again that they were still sold out and refused to cancel the reservation of another guest in order to accommodate them. For those of us who are not reality television “stars” this is the right thing to do.
Bob The Trainer does not take this laying down or even in downward facing dog. He tweets, “OMG!! The manager at Bar Lagrasa in Minneapolis was SO RUDE to me. I wanted to have dinner there. Why are people so mean sometimes?” First of all, no 45-year-old man should ever write “OMG.” Bob is not only rude, but he is incredibly lame. Second, Bob never even called the restaurant. They were not rude to the concierge who Bob made call back to flex his “celebrity” muscle for him. Soon the restaurant was inundated with angry calls from fans of his show. Which brings a whole new meaning to the name of the show.
In the end, the manager did the right thing. Michael Lecy of Bar La Grassa stood up for those of us who do not have our own reality show or concierge service. I have a feeling most of the people he fielded phone calls from fall in that category. People like you or I to whom going to someplace like this is a special occasion. People who don’t have a black card and have to save up for a dinner like this. People who are not pampered pseudo celebrities who feel entitled to special treatment because they have an army of followers who don’t know how big of a jerk they are.
I am not anti-celebrity. I have waited on some exceptionally cool and down to earth celebrities. When Ty Pennington came into the restaurant on a sold out night, he sat at the bar. He made jokes with the servers at the well and was incredibly gracious to all of his fans. He didn’t get bitter and slam us. He came back in the next night and took a seat at the bar again. One day I will have a friend tell the story of Jack Nicholson coming in on my night off and striking up conversation with anyone who came in. I have a couple of coworkers who still beam when talking about Elvis Costello coming in. I hope when they become as famous as Bob The Trainer they don’t become jerks as well.