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Life is only what you wonder.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Shakedown

Had some guests last night that I remembered waiting on before.
Now let me tell you, I wait on so many people. Hundreds upon hundreds a day. Their faces all blur together in such a way that in as little as a week, I won't remember at all.
If I've waited on you and I remember who you are, it's for these reasons and these reasons only:
  • You're a regular customer who I see every day or every other day, or otherwise pretty frequently. I know the names of all my regulars and greet them with it. ("Hey, Mr. Harold! Good to see you! How've you been?")
  • You are an evil mutant. You were a facist tyrant with nasty demon children that should have been strangled at birth. Evil mutants are engraved upon my memory like the searing hot scorch of a branding iron.
  • You are exceptionally good-looking. If you look like a greek God that fell from Olympus, I'm gonna remember you.
    Or . . .
  • You failed to leave me a tip.
That's about it.

Now, these people weren't regulars, they weren't mutants (or at least they daidn't act like mutants), and although the guy (it was a young guy and his pregnant girlfriend) wasn't ugly, he wouldn't have made the cover of any magazine, so they must have fit into the last category.

Here's my strategy for dealing with folks that don't tip that I happen to get the chance to serve again.
My service is generally good. Even when my section is twice as big as it should be and there's a line out the front door, I manage to give adequate service to all my guests. There are some exceptions to this, because nobody's perfect and some people can't get enough no matter what you do.
So if I get stiffed, it's insulting. (Back when I first started waiting I had a party of 20 that left me three dollars in quarters, nickels and dimes and I actually went in the back and cried. I don't cry anymore, because they're not worth it.)
Anyway, a guest stiffs me once and I get the opportunity to wait on them again, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they were short on cash that day. Maybe I took too long bringing that glass of water they asked for. Maybe the steak was dry and overdone (not my fault, but meal quality does affect tips to a certain degree). It could be any number of things and chances are, I'm not gonna know what the reason is.
I give them extra special service the next time. I'll give them such good outstanding service they will feel like dog doo-doo if they don't leave me something. They will feel like something on the bottom of someone's shoe. I'd estimate that 90% of the time, I get tipped exceptionally well. Last night I did, too. A 40% tip, not too shabby.
I turned it around.

You stiff me twice and get seated in my section a third time?
God help you.