I was in a very fancy restaurant, an occasion restaurant, which is mostly a story for some other time, and I saw a group seated. They were given menus. A man at the table said very grandly to the waitress "I have studied your menu online for days and I am going to be making this incredibly easy for you. We are going to be your easiest table!"
I recognized this introduction. I have worked with the public for a very long time and know exactly what an introduction like this really means.
"I have an easy question." "I just have a simple request." "This will just take a second." Are never the introductions to "Which way to the bathroom?" or "What time are you open til tonight?" or "What's your favorite cheese?" No, never. Because people who are going to be super easy don't mention it. They don't have to sell it. They aren't trying to prove something, to themselves, to me, to the world. "I have an easy question." is followed by "Can I get my fines waived and be taught how to use these computer things?" "I just have a simple request." is followed by "Can you call the police and have the alien agents following me arrested?" And "This will just take a second." is followed by "I need library cards for my eleven children. And, by the way, one of them threw up."
So I recognized "I have studied your menu online for days and I am going to be making
this incredibly easy for you. We are going to be your easiest table!" as "I'm going to be making things more difficult than usual for you."
And so it was. The man proceeded to order a tasting menu that had to be ordered by the whole table. His whole table had other ideas about what to order. The man had studied a menu that told him he couldn't do what he then proceeded to try and do. He contested the policy. The waitress needed to do a lot of explaining.
He wasn't a terrible person as far as I could tell, I mean, all in all. He seemed to take it well enough in the end. The restaurant had a lovely, soothing atmosphere, and he gradually made peace with his order, and saw its virtues. He probably had a nice dinner because that place could cook like no restaurant I had ever encountered before.
But he, and all those others I have met before, were not, and will never be, easy. And, strangely, as with many things, they let us know ahead of time, by telling us the opposite.