(The image has nothing to do with the entry, it's just one of the first pictures that came up on an image search for "bastard conductor" and I thought it was hilarious!)
I gave up my shift last Tuesday because I was sick, so I fortunately wasn't stuck there until one in the morning like my friends--because a group of ten or more showed up late and sat forever. We close at eleven, and they sat in the restaurant until 12:40. The ringleader is their orchestra conductor, who comes in by himself two or three times a week. He then sits for two or more hours writing music in one of our booths, and tips two dollars. He speaks to all the employees as if we're servants, and never says please or thank you. It's quite aggravating, especially during the dinner rush.
Unfortunately for my friends, Lapdog was managing the night this group came in and stayed forever. Despite him being a big asshole to employees, he won't ever say anything to customers like that, not matter how long they stay or how ridiculous it gets to be.
Tuesday this week found me closing, and it hadn't been a very remarkable night. We were all looking forward to getting out early, and then three small tables came in about half an hour before close. And then, fifteen minutes before close, two more came in. When my coworker, Anna, went to seat them, they told her they would wait up front for the rest of their "big group"--they didn't know how big.
Me, Anna, and the bartender all just looked at each other and slumped in defeat. Anna went to tell Chicken Little that those people were back, and that's when the unexpected happened: CL went up to the group, which was four people now, and had a little chat with them. She told them the cooks left at eleven, so they had ten minutes to order, and if somebody hadn't shown up yet they couldn't order. Then she told then they needed to be out by 11:45, that an hour was plenty of time to eat and talk, and we couldn't be kept there any longer.
I could've just hugged her. I didn't even have to wait on the jerks--it was Anna's turn to take the next table--but I wasn't going to run off and leave my friends with them. I still had two tables even if I'd wanted!
The jerks ended up being ten in number; they each had a couple of beers, and they shared all of three appetizers. Closing time came and we locked the doors; we still had the jerks and two other tables. The jerks ordered another round of beers after we made a point of locking the doors, and were really pretty rude about it. At 11:15 one of my tables left, leaving us with the jerks and two other two tops. At 11:25 another table left; at that point we turned off the music. The jerks were oblivious.
At about 11:30, they all paid their separate ticket, and two of the ten left. Ten minutes later, three more left. At 11:45 we unplugged the festive Christmas lights strewn about the place, and two more took the hint and departed. That left Mr. Bastard Conductor and two of his friends. At midnight, an hour after closing, our last two-top left and we started turning off lights. CL didn't come out and force them out because she still had some paperwork she was finishing, but the other three of us got out our purses and coats and sat at the unofficial staff table grumbling.
At this point all the televisions were off, and the music; the Christmas lights were unplugged; all the lights were turned off except for over their table, over ours, and the host area. Finally, at 12:15 Bastard Conductor looks up, points across the bar at us and yells, "You ready to go home?"
We all just looked at each other, none of us trusting ourselves to speak at first. Anna finally says, "Yep, whenever you are."
He turns back to his two friends with a chuckle, and they sit for five more minutes. At that point, CL comes out from the back in her coat and with all her things to go. I think she knew they were still there, but when she came out of the kitchen her back was to them and she said loudly to us, "You guys ready to go?"
At that point, Bastard Conductor puts on his coat, gets up, and leaves. Oh wait, not really. He does those things, but it takes another five minutes because they keep stopping to talk. They weren't even out the door when we swooped down on the table, cleared it off, and got everything back in order for the morning. Even CL was swearing about how rude they are, and how if they come in and she's not here we're allowed to be pushy to get them out of these even though the other managers are pansies and won't do it.
So after closing at 11, we all finally left at 12:25.
The bartender and Anna had gone and started their cars because they're a couple of wimps and can't deal with the cold. They'd done this at about midnight, so the had nice toasty vehicles with no ice on the windows, and they skedaddled immediately. CL had started her car while we were cleaning off the jerks' table, so she was almost ready to go too. I had to scrape the ice off my windows--turned out that was a good thing, because as I was getting in my car, I saw CL hurry back in to the restaurant.
Now we live in a fairly safe little town, and it was a well-lit area. Still, it was 12:30 in the morning, there was nobody else around, and I just didn't feel right leaving until she came out and got back in her car. She was parked right by the employee entrance, so I pulled up a few yards away, locked my door, and pulled out my new faerie porn book.
After about five minutes she finally came out, but she waved at me to come over. Something had happened to the lock on the door, and the key was just turning and turning without the bolt popping out. Then it would suddenly pop out--but there was some snow and ice down at the bottom of the door so that it wasn't closing entirely tightly, so the bolt would graze the door jamb and stop moving. After five minutes, we finally got the door to lock--after I threw all my weight against it from the outside and she turned the key a whole lot and eventually the bolt popped out. She ran to the front of the building and came out the door there.
As she was approaching her car, I was trying to get my car door open. Apparently the lock was still half-way engaged or something, and I was locked out of my car in the cold. I was just started to swear when CL jumped back out of her car and said she couldn't find her purse--so she had to unlock the door we'd spent so long locking and go back in. As she was running inside, I was wondering what the fuck I was going to go, and I was so pissed off, and so angry, and so desperate to get home, that I was about to put my fist through Fahrfugkugel's window.
And then I remembered that I'd gone to Wal-Mart the night before, and after unloading my groceries I hadn't re-locked the hatchback. Halle-fucking-llujah. So I was able to crawl in the back, and over the back seat, and get the door unlocked. Then I went in to help CL find her purse; then we wrestled with the door all over again; and then, finally, finally, we left.
The restaurant closes at 11; I got home at 1:15. Not my favorite night.