And not in a good way. I got stiffed on three different tickets. Two were on the same table, but they paid separately.
I was feeling great when I got to work; but as soon as I walked in, the bad juju hit me. It was just one of those nights. My first table was fine; a regular and a friend of hers. My second table, though .... I wasn't thrilled to see them. I don't want to seem classist/racist/ageist/whatever; but they fit in to a certain subset of the population that doesn't tip well. I could tell from their appearance; and as soon they opened their mouths I could tell from the way they spoke. I didn't treat them any differently, other than I didn't try to upsell them--the chances of me getting a tip were low, so why increase the amount I'd have to claim? Of course, they ordered drinks and two appetizers anyway.
The woman sounded very final when she ordered the appetizers; so I asked if they were having dinner as well. She said they were just ordering appetizers, but still had a death-grip on her menu. So I just kept wandering by, making eye contact and waiting. At one point the table next to them ordered; they were in between the table that just ordered and the host stand. So I turned and was heading to hand the hostess back the menus. I was exactly level with my table when the woman snaps, "We're ready to ORDER!"
I set the menus down and turned with a frozen smile and took their order. Their food came out quickly, I kept their drinks refilled, they seemed perfectly pleasant. But my first instinct was right: $2 on a $45 tab.
The next couple of tables were 10% tippers; so were most of my tables tonight, actually. Bitches. But the absolute best was a couple and their daughter, who was at least 20. She had an attitude to begin with--wouldn't make eye contact, didn't say please, etc. The parents weren't much better. The mother ordered a soda; the father was in the middle of ordering a bloody mary with stupid modifications when the mother cut him off and said "make that an iced tea". She looked so annoyed I wasn't sure if she meant her drink or his, so I had to clarify, so she looked at me like I was stupid.
I came back with their drinks, and started to take their order. The girl tells me "I'll have the kids size chicken fingers and french onion soup." We have two sizes on the menu--the adult menu that someone her age should have been ordering from--so I politely asked if she meant the smaller meal. She insisted no, the kids meal. I made my apologetic face and said the kids' menu is only for (you know) kids, under 12. Oh god. The mother and daughter both looked like they had just sucked dog shit through a straw. Immediately, they start insisting they got it last time, they always get it, blah blah blah. I said I'd check with the manager, but that technically the corporate office says we're not supposed to let adults order off the children's menu.
"WE COME HERE ALL THE TIME AND NOBODY EVER SAYS THAT." the girl informs me in the bitchiest tone ever. Now, I've been there a year and didn't recognize these people, so obviously that's not true.
Then her mother makes an ugly noise in the back of her throat. "What if she were a gastric bypass surgery patient and that was all she could eat!"
I just love it when people pull that hypothetical bullshit on me. "What if this excuse for my shitty behavior was true? Then what would you do! It's not true, but what if it was?" It had already been a bad night; every customer that walked in the place was acting like they were on the rag, somebody pissed in the managers' Cheerios, and I just was not in a mood for this shit. I opened my mouth and was a split second away from saying, "If she'd had gastic bypass, she wouldn't be ordering a bunch of greasy fried food that would be shooting out her ass end in thirty minutes!"
I bested myself and said something conciliatory. The rest of their meal was fine; I let the bitch have her kids meal, I kept their sodas full, we even chatted a bit about ... well, something, I don't remember what. The daughter paid for her own meal, and the mother paid for the rest; I wasn't really surprised to see that both the rotten bitches stiffed me.
It was just attitudes like that all night long.
"MISS! Is our appetizer coming or WHAT!" (six minutes on wings, OMG)
"Is our food coming?" (sniped at me as I walked by with my hands full of food) "Yep, just making sure it's cooked!" (you know, since you ordered two medium well ribeyes and we have a jam-packed restaurant with a line going out the door because it's Friday night bitch!)
"You don't have sweet tea? How long were you going to keep THAT information under wraps?" (Oh, I'm sorry, somebody must have forgotten to put out the "No sweet tea" warning signs.)
"I'm sorry ma'am, that back page is our lunch menu, which is only available until three. (circling this information printed on the menu with my finger)" "Can't I get it now?" (It's 9:30 at night. What do you think.)
"Well just how big is your seven ounce steak!" (Seven ounces, you fucking idiot. See, steaks are done by weight, where the hell have you been the last forty years of your life.)
"Don't I get any cheese with this?" (How about actually looking at your plate before you put your bitch hat on.)
And it wasn't just me. Everybody in the place had this sort of night. By the end of the rush (at 9, late for us), everyone was pissed off and slamming shit around and wanting to strangle somebody. I had my easiest, nicest table of the night then; low-maintenance, didn't ask for much, ate slowly and didn't rush me; didn't even want drink refills. Stiffed me.
I could understand peoples' attitudes if I'd messed up, if I'd done something wrong. When I fuck up, I admit it. But the only mistake I made all night was forgetting a guy wanted cheese on his fries--and they left me 20%! I was there until 11:40 and left with $65 on $600 in sales. Didn't even eat at work.
I really hope tonight is better, but I'm not hopeful. This weekend is the annual art show at the park; the shuttle bus picks up and drops off people in the parking lot adjacent to ours. If last night is indicative of the sort of people who flock to this show, this might be my last update. They don't allow computers in padded cells.