Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thank you sir can I have another

We've really grown to like each other...Bartender's Song, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

First of all, the family is OK after Wilma, but I understand that one family member that lives in a trailer park in Fort Lauderdale (why, I have no idea) had to stand against his wall at one point, bracing it to keep it from caving in, and lost his screened-in porch. Most of his neighbors were not nearly as lucky...Gotta move, man...Other family, nothing major, just no power at all, though they did vow to evacuate the next Class 3 or higher. They said that Wilma was a howler.

So! That being said, what do you do with unruly guests? I guess that they have to go, and sometimes by any means necessary. I was working at the wild restaurant/bar one Saturday night and Noah had already gone home; it was maybe 1a.m. In comes a large group all dressed to the nines, many already buzzing, that had just come from a now-over-with-wedding reception. This happened often enough, and the group of about 12 people cozied up and began drinking, chilling out, laughing and otherwise continuing their good time. I figured out where their tabs were to be kept, who was paying for what, and began the steps that keep them all happy. Drinks are enjoyed, some shots ordered, people laugh, more drinks, and then last call. More drinks ordered for last call, checks dropped off, and happiness is continued. Group 1 pays, thanks! Nice tip! Group 2, same thing. Group 3, WHAM! Great tip! Group 4? Not paying yet, hmmm. Clean the bar, prep for close. Management comes in and asks if I have any open checks. I tell him yes, one. Ask them to clear it up so they can run the end-of-night reports. OK.

This last group is about 5 whitey white young folks of about 25-30, 3 guys 2 girls.

JCL: Hey guys, we need to run the end of night reports, could I please clear up the tab here?
Dude 1: Oh, yeah, sure man! Can we get some more beers?

It is past last call, but their group had been hooking me up, so...

JCL: here, let me buy you guys some small ones and then clear the check up right away!
Dude 1: Sure, thanks man! Hey guys, we need to clear this check up!

He then digs into his pockets, the rest of the group soon follows suit and a pile of money appears on their $76 tab. That is when "fat chick with Coach purse" steps in. She, who hadn't dropped a penny of her own yet, counts the money and starts saying that they have left too much. The half drunk crew doesn't really respond, so she starts repeating herself, saying the group had left $90, and that someone should take some money back. Dude 1 tells her that they are cool, just give it to me so I can close out the tab. Fat chick with Coach purse insists that it is too much, which frustrates me. I have had a few drinks at this point, and was starting to lose my cool. That is when the manager comes in and asks for me to close out my last check (for like the third time now) and I tell him I will try. He stands there impatiently, eyeing the scene. I then go over to the group and ask fat chick with Coach purse...

JCL: Hey! I have really got to get this check cleared up so the manager can close the place up. (I eye him with a fake nervous glance over my shoulder in his direction as if to prove my point) If we could worry about the tip after, and just pay the tab I would appreciate it.
FCwCp: (indignant and angry at my request) HEY! I am the customer here, I am the consumer! JCL: I know that, and frankly all the manager wants to do is close out the bill so we can leave at a reasonable hour.
FCwCp: Listen, if you don't back off you aren't going to get shit for a tip!

Now she has done it. I already know that they SHOULD be leaving me $14 except for her stepping in, and that is a fraction over 20%, all well and good. She felt that that was too much, so whatever. Now she is going to stiff me. It was a very busy night, so though I hadn't counted it up, I know that Noah walked with over $200 two hours ago. I know that I will be taking home $300. This $14 isn't going to hurt me. Still something in me can't let this one go. The group was cool, the rest of the party hooked me up, the other dudes even tried to leave me some scratch, but this surly JCrew biatch is trying to fuck with me...

JCL: Look, how about this: You had a large party in here tonight, I might add, since it is the restaurant's policy to add a 15% gratuity to your check so now can we all behave and get this check cleared up?
FCwCp: OH! FUCK THAT!! Show me on the menu where it says that!

I start to show her on the menu and at this point the manager steps in. He is already intimidated by her screaming and I don't really expect him to stand up for me (managers RARELY ever do when it comes to the customer) but it amazes me when he starts saying that it was only fair. She becomes IRATE.
This manager sticking up for me was only doing so since the night before, he thought that he had caught me stealing. Inside the restaurant there was a little El Salvadoran Mafia going on. Tons of Salvadoreans work there, the ones who could speak English in the front of the house, the ones that couldn't in the kitchen. This manager was about 50, and was 5 foot 2 inches tall and he was the front of the house Salvadoran Don. He was always lurking around, checking up on Noah and me, trying to catch us stealing. Well at one point the night before this happened, another of the Salvadoran Mafia was waiting tables and a group of four guys from his section comes to my bar to smoke away from their group, and order some shots. I pour the shots, they drink them, and try to pay. I tell them that they will be on the waiter's check, no worries. I tell the waiter, he rings up the drinks, and things go on the normal way. So then I am in a different area of the restaurant and I overhear the midget Salvadoran Don and a cashier going over all of my checks on the computer. He is eagerly scanning each one, looking for the incriminating evidence. I ask him if there is anything that I can do to help him. He glares, and demands to know where the check was for the four shots I had poured, that he had seen me pour them, serve them, and then the guys tried to pay, but no check was ever rung up and did I steal the money?! Now in his defense, this is a common (and extremely easy for anyone who wants to risk their job) tactic when stealing from a restaurant. I had, however, done nothing wrong, and this manager was extremely humbled when the waiter confirmed that I had done what I said I had done.

So there he was in the trenches the next night, fighting this Jabba-the-Hut Chick with Coach purse. He fights her tooth and nail, but to no avail. She pays the $76, and if I remember correctly kept the $14! As she is leaving she can't leave well enough alone:

FCwCp: I just want you to know I have money, that both my parents are lawyers, and that I know how to treat waitstaff, when they know how to treat me!
JCL: Whatever! I can see your Coach purse, and nice clothes! That still doesn't make you cool, though does it! I don't need your money anyway.
Dude 1: Sorry about this man. I...I don't know what to say.
JCL: It's cool, I know it's not your fault.
squirrelly dude #3, who by the looks of it is "attached" in some sort of boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with the FCwCp: It just goes to show you that the customer is always right, understand?!
JCL: You know what? I hope that you guys come in here again. I'll remember each of your faces and and then we'll see who is right after the service that you'll get. Go ahead! I DARE YOU BOTH to come back in sometime!
FCwCp: DID YOU HEAR THAT?? He is THREATENING US!! Manager, you need to fire that guy RIGHT NOW!
FCwCp: FIRE HIM!! FIRE HIM!! She is being physically restrained at this point by her friends and her boyfriend as they drag her out of the restaurant kicking and screaming to an awaiting cab. That isn't good enough, and she won't get in the cab. She is screaming for the Police to come and arrest me. The police are ALWAYS in the neighborhood at this time of night. When they arrive, they promptly threaten to put HER in jail if she doesn't shut the hell up right now. She wisely gives up and gets in the cab.

The next day I was eating the pre-shift staff meal and I was kind of worried about my job after the previous night. The midget manager enters the room, sees me and sits down, and just laughs repeating in a mumbling fashion "bitch, suck my fucking dick" I can't believe you said that to her! That was so great.

See how much fun that job was?


At Wed Oct 26, 02:23:00 PM, Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

Oh that is so funny...I love it that she thought you were breaking the law, and that she could get you, her parents might be lawyers, but she certainly doesn't have any grip on the pathetic.

There was this train wreck of a show on MTV a while back, called rich girls, and it was about Hillfiger's daughter and some other 17 y.o. and their grasp on reality...and when talking about how "nice" someone was: yeah, I mean, she treats the garbage the same as everyone else....

Also, I love it how they assume that they are so much smarter than you, and better...because gee, you are a waiter, and they aren't. Similarly to how Americans are treated in


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