I work at a high volume roof top bar/restaurant in a city famous for
it’s beautiful weather, historic charm and abundance of watering
holes. Needless to say we get insanely busy during the summer and
especially holiday weekends.
The Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend I was working the upper level
of the bar starting at 2pm. Before the bartender and the other server
and I were even done setting up we had a crowd of people waiting. Mind
you we also do not have a hostess, so there is nobody regulating where
and when customers sit. By sunset around 7:30 we were completely
slammed with customers waiting for tables and immediately sitting down
at dirty ones that had just been vacated. I was 9 tables deep when a
couple sat down at a recently vacated (and dirty) table with beers
they had gotten from the bar. Normally customers ordering bar drinks
then sitting at my table would annoy me, but on this particular night
I was actually relieved to have one less table available. Minutes
after they sit the woman impatiently waves her empty Miller Lite at
me, so I give her a nod of recognition and ring in another one.
Approximately 15 minutes go by with me running around trying to please
everyone in my section, then I look up to realize Miller Lite lady and
her husband nowhere to be found. I can deal with people being rude to
me, but a walkout is something I absolutely will not tolerate. So I
tell the other server to watch my tables and fly down 4 flights of
stairs to track down the couple.
I was able to find them walking out of the front door. I chase them
out and hand them their tab (which was only $4, but hell if I’m going
to pay for them walking out on me). After telling them that what
they’re doing is not only extremely rude but also illegal, the lady
responds “Well we haven’t seen you in 45 minutes.” Not only is this a
complete exaggeration but she is also being a total bitch and failing
to understand how busy we are. I say to her “I apologize for the poor
service but we are very busy tonight and I can’t be everywhere at
once. I understand if you don’t want to tip me, but please pay your
tab.” The husband then says “Yeah, we’re not tipping you. Do you have
change for a $10?” I reach into my book, hand him 6 ones, take his $10
and turn to get onto the elevator to take me back up to the bar. “You
have a good night!” The woman shouts at my back. I can’t take it
anymore. I lose it. So I did what any rational human being would do,
pop my head out the elevator doors and say “You do the f***ing same!”
The couple and the bouncers stare at me in horror.
I knew I could get in major trouble for speaking to a customer that
way, but damn it felt good. Of course the second the elevator doors
shut I burst into tears at my own misfortune, but it was almost worth
it to get to play the bad-ass for a few seconds.
Oh, and I walked with $320 that night, so suck it Miller Lite lady.