When the pressure is too much

In an earlier post, I mentioned the pressure to buy-in to a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas. Unfortunately, it isn’t the only pressure we encountered in our sojourn south of the border. And something has to give when the pressure is too much.

At our resort, there are evening performances and themed buffets on a nightly basis. It sounds like a good deal. $29 per person for an all-you-can-eat buffet: prime rib, pasta, salads, fruits and desserts.

A stage show of “Broadway Musicals” is included with your meal. Dinner and a show for $29? Honey, we’re not in Vegas anymore.

On goes the paper wristband (which is a thing because it came with other activities, too). As she’s slapping the colorful accessory to our wrist, the hostess says, “It’s an open bar. Do you wish to purchase all-you-can-drink for $14 per person?”

“No thank you.”

And that should be the end of the discussion, right? Beverages shouldn’t be a topic for concern among the myriad employees in this restaurant.

Another hostess takes us to a table. Do we want to be close to the stage? We’re okay near the back (I’m afraid the blast of the speakers might give me a headache).

They’re all so polite. She’s pulling out the chairs for the women. And talking in barely accented English.

“Jose will be your server, but I can take your drink order.” (Sounds reasonable so far. And then the other shoe drops.) “I highly recommend the all-you-can-drink option. Only $14 per person.”

We have a reasonable explanation for our refusal of this option. We don’t drink alcohol, so we’ll pass. Sure, it includes soda and water, too. It is ALL you can drink, right?

And still we say: No, thank you.

The server appears. She hands him our drink order – five sodas and one bottle of water (no gas – oh, that’s Germany).

The first words out of dear Jose’s mouth: “Amigos, I suggest you purchase the all-you-can-drink option. It will save you money.”

Really? Maybe we are misunderstanding and it is $14 for all six of us to drink as much soda and water as we want. So, we do what reasonable people do: seek clarification. $14 for all of us. No, $14 per person.

Now it’s time to calculate. Let’s do the math; at $4 per non-alcoholic drink, we would each need to drink 3.5 drinks to make this the promised “good deal.”

We’re just not that thirsty. So our answer: No thank you.

And the sales pitch continues. Really? We’re being pressured to buy the all-you-can-drink add-on to our buffet?

In the end, I realize the pressure is to save our server the headache of keeping track of our drinks. We aren’t a difficult tab. Only two people get second drinks. In the end, our drink bill is $21.

Anyone care to do another round of math? $14 times 6 people equals an amazing $84. We spent $21 (in part because three people in our party staged a non-drink protest; the sales pitch apparently dampened their thirst for Coca-Cola products).

At this point, we had to raise our voices. Strenuous refusal was required to end this lengthy discussion concerning pairing bottomless drinks with our buffet.

Don’t give in to the pressure, friends. It will cost you $63.

What situations have you faced where the pressure became too much?

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.