The afternoon I arrived I happened to be dining solo, and upon entering, noticed that it wasn't that busy, although there was a party ahead of me waiting to be seated. As I was waiting, a woman ahead of me became consternated as apparently they didn't have the reservation her husband made. Immediately as I saw the terse, frustrated expression developing on the brow of this woman, and the panicked, fearful expressions developing on the waitstaff and host, I wondered whether I, by my lonesome, would ever get acknowledged to be seated. Apparently the answer was "never". Now the host, waitress, and the manager were all gratuitously patronizing this woman because they lost her husbands reservation. Meanwhile I'm still standing there being ignored.
Finally after their business was sorted out I was able to get the attention of the waitstaff (the host was not present), and I asked to be seated by the river, outside (as it was sweltering inside even with the ceiling fans going). She asked how many in my party, to which I responded, "one". Although my response was in the same tone as my question, for some reason it was not heard and she asked me to repeat myself. "One" I repeated, slightly louder, and "is it okay to sit outside?" She said she would check, and disappeared (in the opposite direction of "outside"). When she returned shortly thereafter, the manager immediately engaged her about the incident and they and the hostess began discussing what went wrong with the woman's reservation, again, ignoring me standing right behind them. To try hinting at the fact that I was still present and interested in having something to eat (probably 10 minutes after I first entered), I said to the manager sarcastically, "it was my fault. I distracted her so blame me," hoping they would realize that the problem was useless to begin with but by this point was certainly averted.
Nope, they went right back to questioning the reservation, etc., and the waitress eventually walked away again. In any event, I walked outside and looked at the outdoor seating area, and it was still completely open. Wasn't sure whether they were saving tables for larger parties or what, but I didn't appreciate being completely ignored. If they didn't want my business they would've saved me a lot of time wasted standing around like a dummy by just saying so at the beginning. Perhaps they were too flustered by a simple mishap to remember how to seat a customer? In the end I walked away, not wanting to hide my anger any longer. In fact the menu wasn't anything special and what I could see of the the decor from the front entry, felt far removed from a real Central Asian tea house. A very, very, gentrified Central Asian tea house, perhaps, but I was mostly interested in an authentic experience, which Dushanbe is not.