Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The beer thief returned last night

He ended up sitting on the patio and surrounding him was a small group of regulars. I was running 6 separate tabs between the two tables. Anyone who cocktails knows how much of a pain this is. If your POS system is set up where you can type in a name or number to label the tab it is much easier. My POS system is not set up this way. In order to start a tab I must enter a table number. Say I have three tabs at table 12. I would enter them as tables 12, 112, and 122. Only three numbers are allowed, so having more than three tabs per table makes it a bit more complicated. When the Beer Thief started his tab I had to enter an obscure table number.

I am a fairly organized person at work. When I am holding a credit card for a tab I make sure to wrap a copy of the tab around the card so there is no mistaking which table the card belongs to. Since I also had a table inside that had three separate tabs, I began a list for quick reference. While still irritating, it made the multiple tab situation much easier to handle.

The Beer Thief and his friends sat outside for several hours. When it began to rain, slightly harder than a drizzle but not enough soak through the umbrellas on the patio, I figured they would head in. I was wrong. I served them for another two hours in the aggressive drizzle. One regular made it a point of coming in and complaining to the bartender about my lack of attention to her water glass.

Typically when it rains, the patio is closed. I have to work outside when it is 60 degrees and people still want to sit outside. I have to work outside when it is 90 degrees and people still want to sit outside. I do not think it is unreasonable of me to not feel I should have to work outside in the rain, light drizzle or downpour. I did not completely ignore the group. There is a small awning over the doorway outside and I was regularly stepping out under it and calling over (only about 6 or 7 feet) to ask if anyone needed anything. I decided this was my best option when I was caught in a conversation with one of the people at the table while I was being rained on. Eventually they came in and sat at the bar when it didn’t stop raining.

Please keep in mind that these are regulars. By regulars, I mean people who spend upwards of 4 days a week at the Bar. They know how things work, and they know the bartender doesn’t share tips with the server. Several of them refused to close out their tabs with me, insisting that they would tip both the bartender and me individually. At the end of the night, the bartender was given the payment and tip. She split it herself and gave me my share. I’m not sure I trust the split. In this case, she said she split it 50/50. Not exactly fair when they sat outside in the rain and had my services for 4 hours and hers for 2.

I was entering an order for another table when manager T came up to me and said “If you have a tab with [beer thief] you’d better give it to him. He’s leaving.” I pulled the tab from my book and asked manager T if he would stop him for me and give him the tab since I was caring for another table. Manager T agreed and went to stop the man. I was getting drinks for my table when he came up to me with a daunted look on his face. “[Beer thief] didn’t leave you a tip.”

I gave him a blank look and said “That stinks, but it happens.” In my head I was livid. The bartender came up and asked manager T what was wrong. He told her and she grabbed money off the bar. “He left this on the bar.” Handing it to me “Take it.” It was better than nothing.

About an hour later, beer thief’s friend came in and asked the bartender where the money he had left on the bar was. She told the friend that it was only about $12 and she had given it to me because he didn’t tip me. The friend didn’t press, but didn’t seem happy that I had received the money. I would have felt bad, but it was left on the bar when the man left, and was not asked about for an hour. If it had not ended up in my pocket, it would have been in the bartender’s tip jar.


purplegirl said...

Love the balls on some people. Next time they come in, give them the bare minimum service. Or sweetly tell them there's room at the bar.

The Veteran Server said...

Wow, and I thought food service was rough! Hang in there, you're awesome! :) God Bless.

LW said...


Anonymous said...

The nerve of some people! And they are supposed to frequent your place often.

Waitress said...

People suck. Trust me, I understand.

Awesome post though!


Waitress said...

Would you mind if I linked to you in my blog?