Today was almost perfect. I got to work early. Did my side-work, prepped my section, stocked my peanuts, clocked in, and was ready to go. I was first off, so I knew if I got my stuff done early I could jet the second I was cut off the floor.
My first ten or so tables were amazing. Very friendly, easy, straightforward orders, not alot of extra running around. Their food came out just right, and nobody had to send anything back. Now in a Steakhouse it is quite common to send back an under-cooked Medium Well, or an over cooked Rare, and I understand that. If you are spending 25-30 dollars on a piece of meat it sure as hell better be perfect. But not today. Everyone was perfectly happy with there dinner, and then left 20-30% percent tips. I was in a great mood and then it began, so subtle at first.
A very well dressed man and woman with British accents were sat in my section. They asked to see a wine list, and I went to go grab them one.
Now, I might mention that in the restaurant world, each server is given a very specific section, and must stick to those tables, unless either 1. The manager shifts us to ease up on a server that is struggling, or 2. We personally ask another server to take a table, and they agree.
Well, British Couple order a $75 dollar bottle of wine, and seem very interested in the 30 dollar special. So as I walk to the bar to get the wine, I do some quick math in my head, and figure that I should be getting no less then $25 from this table if I do everything right, and they tip accordingly. This was an exciting thought, as I knew I would be cut soon, and wouldn’t have many more tables.
I head back to their table with the bottle when I see a fellow waitress taking their order, I assume she is just being helpful, so I proceed to the table and pour their wine and say
“I’ll go track down K.B and make sure to get your order in right away…”
They smile and nod.
In the kitchen I see K.B, thank her for her help and then ask her for there order, when she responds
“I’ll just go ahead and take the table since I already went through all the trouble of taking their order, but you can have the next table that sits in my section.”
Well, I did take the next table that sat in her section. They were complete assholes, and stiffed me on a $60 dollar bill. While needless to say K.B got a $45 tip from the lovely British couple in my section.
Now, I guess this is all my fault. You’re right I could have told her no, but I really hate to cause riffs. That coupled with the fact that I’m still considered the FNG, and there was no way I was gonna start shit with a 5 year veteran.
And just to pour a little more salt in the wound, when she asked how my table in her section tipped me and I said $0, she laughed and said…
“I guess you should have kept the other table after all….”