Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I had to call out sick tonight..

For the second time in my five years at the diner.
The first was strep about three years ago, when I literally had no voice.

Today, it's some sort of stomach bug. I thought I would make it, but had to pull over on the way in. Although I've often considered it, I don't think vomiting on a customer would be good for business.

It got me thinking about how sucky it is to get sick when you're in the service industry. Many people will slug through a shift, contagious or not, because they can't afford to lose the money. People have to come in last-minute to cover you, and then you owe a favor. I just hope to Saint Martha I can make it in tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I had a very bad table last night. Very bad. First time at my diner I've waited on the stereotypical drunk/high/otherwise fucked up table of teens.

They were nice, seemingly polite... ordered a LOT of food. Double orders of french toast, cheese steaks with honey mustard and barbecue, etc. One kid couldn't figure out how to use a menu.
Choice quotes I heard while ordering:
"You've already had enough to drink today."
"Duuuuuude. You are so fucking lit right now." (Apparently that means high. I am a bad young person because I had to urban dictionary it.)

They didn't seem too goofy. No red eyes, no stumbling. Maybe a little excessive giggling, but what do you expect from a table of teens?

Anyway, fifty dollar check. I'm hoping for ten bucks, expecting five. They pay and basically run out the door. I would have too if I were them - two dollars.

Monday, February 20, 2012

If you can live with it, I can live without it.

Two weeks in a row, I had a horrible family of regulars. The embodiment of every stereotype about white trash. They are loud, have horrible table manners and misbehaved children, and are an assault on the eyes.
The same table of regulars I saw out at another restaurant and told their waitress not to break her back because she would get ten percent, if she's lucky.

Last week and this week they have gotten ten percent service. I don't smile, I don't check back more than necessary, I ignored eye contact. I won't waste my time on proven assholes when I have perfectly nice customers at other tables.

This did not please them. When I come by to drop off their food and the little girl is hanging off the edge of the booth kicking her feet, I scold, "Food's here, don't trip me!" The middle-aged son (?) says something with a scowl - "I was about to trip you a few times!" I ignore it. I'm obligated to acknowledge their empty glasses, and he says "FINALLY." I shrug.

Monday nights, we have no busboy. So after they had gotten up to pay, but before I had a chance to bus the table, I saw my seven percent on the table. After bussing it and seeing no three dollars, I asked around. Did anyone pick it up by accident? Did anyone see anything?

Our hostess was convinced one of them went back and took it. I can live without the tip, I probably didn't deserve it for the service you received. But you should be ashamed of yourselves,  for so many reasons.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In other news..

So, reading my local paper today, I found an item in the police blotter that interested me.
I won't link it, because it would give away my location. But a restaurant on the same highway as my diner, within ten minutes walking distance from my home, where I had a lovely dinner just three days before, was featured.

Apparently, a trio of young women (late teens) were dining at the establishment. They attempted to beat feet without footing the bill. Their server ran out to the parking lot to catch them. In their hasty retreat, they struck the waitress with their car. I hear she was fairly okay - except for the trauma of being hit by a fucking car and stiffed on the tip. Luckily, she was able to get a partial license plate and the ladies were arrested. Unluckily, they have already been let out on probation pending the court date.

I don't know the lengths I would go to avoid a dine-and-dash, but if I get hit by a car, I'm out.

My first thought was, "these girls are younger than me! I'd love to meet their parents!"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I know times are hard...

But for the past couple months, I've gotten stiffed once at least every other shift. And it's ALWAYS the people who you don't expect!
I had two young girls, maybe a few years younger than me, and I talked, laughed, and joked with them. No tip.
Last night, it was an older couple. I gave them menu recommendations and lots of attention. They seemed happy with their meal, although they were a little... apathetic, or lethargic, or something. No tip.

Is anyone else experiencing a higher instance of stiffs lately?