Monday, January 28, 2008

Must be this tall

We're all used to seeing things saying that you have to be above a certain height to participate, and others saying that you need to be shorter to do something. Even restaurants have used such a scale when it comes to determining pricing for children's meals. While not every eatery will rely on such devices, those that do make it fairly obvious about their policies. There may be some flexibility in the pricing, but usually if a policy is posted, it is followed.

So, naturally, when a parent finds out that their child is too tall to get the discount, it's time to complain loudly.

That's exactly what happened to a sushi restaurant in New York state. The restaurant had previously had a policy giving discounted meals to children between ages 3 and 10, and they shifted their policy recently to a height scale. After all, by placing a ruler on the wall, it takes a lot of the guess work out of the situation. So when an 11-year-old girl was charged full price because she was a couple of inches too tall, her mother became irate.

Now, we just want to point out again that the previous policy had been only for children between 3 and 10, so, even under the old system, the daughter would not have gotten the discount.

The mother complained, and she felt slighted. She even asked the manager, "Do you really feel that if my daughter is tall that she's going to eat more?" In many cases, a manager would probably say, "Yes", or at least indicate that there was a chance. After all, it has been fairly comprehensively proven that greater height is a combination of good genetics and better nutrition. While better nutrition doesn't always equate to a bigger appetite, it could at least be an indication. After all, it is relatively hard to believe that a 3-foot tall person will eat more than a 6-foot tall person. While it could happen, it's fairly rare.

Here's the bigger problem. The restaurant has a policy, and one that isn't veiled in secrecy. It's out in the open for everyone to see. So her little girl didn't meet the height qualifications. By the mother's own admission, her daughter isn't a fan of sushi, so that would cut the tab right there. And, again, we remember the old policy.

Maybe people are overly sensitive to anything involving their children, or maybe we're just too cynical when it comes to looking at the world, but it seems to us that, if the policy is in place, and you don't fit, you should either accept it or move on (as this family eventually did).

All things considered, this could have been much worse. After all, the family could have decided to sue the restaurant. In light of that, complaining to the manager and leaving isn't such a bad idea.

But hey, at least someone is thinking of the little people.

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