Friday, 28 March 2008

First impressions

One of the best things about being a waiter, and there are so many, is that we get to scrutinize, evaluate, and generally make judgements about, you, the guest.

And I like to think I am normally right, hell this is my blog, I am always right.

Except, of course, when I am not.....



My first table on Monday night was a gruff looking three top of middle aged men. I wasn't particularly impressed with their Easter ensemble of supermarket jeans, black shoes and washed out polo shirts. But when the lead oik ordered a rather nifty bottle of Chateau Baduc I perked right up. I'm so easily impressed. I un-slouched my shoulders and started using actual words instead of grunts and pointing. Maybe they were film extras still in costume or maybe they were doing some work around the house. Either way they had ordered a decent bottle of wine so they deserved some lovin'.

And lovin' they got, by the bucket load. They ordered like condemned men, five starters, steaks with an extra side order each, a round of beer whilst they waited for the wine. There was no end to their extravagance. Mr Tippy would be visiting me with many of his cousins too. This table was tremendous if rather rough and unshaven. The food was served with merriment and laughter. They ate and drank like men who truly felt like they deserved it. I'm pretty sure that if I had forgotten to set the table they would have just gone medieval and used their hands.

Mains cleared, coffees and vodkas served. I was round these fellas with everything including my tongue. I could smell the cash, daddy wanted it, daddy has needs, daddy needs to stop calling himself daddy......

Arses licked, egos stroked, up's buttered, all that was needed now was my cash my mullah my return. The lead gentleman, as I was now referring to him, asked for the bill. I duly delivered it and enquired as to his satisfaction, my hands greasy with anticipation. He said his duck starter was a little lifeless, well actually he said it was "shite" but I'm sure that's what he meant. But he said it in a jovial way. I apologised and he said "don't worry young man". (Nah mate it's sweet)

I moved away from the table to let them settle the bill. The other two gentlemen left in what seemed rather a hurry, I assumed they were going for a smoke. Huh we all know how that feels I laughed. All was well in my world. I had the Oirish dancers and their mothers under control, the booking sheets were looking lively, and I had a table about to lay some fat cash down on my paw.

The lead chap approached with credit card in hand. I slid it into the machine and pushed the required buttons. I waited and waited and waited a little more. I apologised for the wait. Tum te tum tum tum. My this was taking a while then the machine burst into life. But not in a positive way........

DENIED

but not only denied

RETAIN

RETAIN

RETAIN

RETAIN


Okay I get the point. Bollocks. No tippy tip for me and I have the fun job of telling Mr No Cash that he wouldn't be getting his card back. One awkward conversation later he was assuring me that he had the cash and he would call in the next day and settle his bill.

Fuck that!

"Eh, nah mate. You need to settle this bill now." All civility had ended and hostilities resumed.

Goodbye sir, hello asshole.

Just at that a manager arrived. I passed the card and the bill to him and explained the situation. There was a tense stand off. There were many assurances given. Neither party seemed persuaded. They settled on the manager escorting the chap to the nearest cash machine and using another card getting the money to settle the bill.

Twenty minutes later and there was still no sign of the manager. The other manager got a bit worried something had gone wrong. Something had gone wrong I thought, I'd been stiffed! What could be worse! So he headed off to search for him.

Ten more minutes past before they returned minus the errant customer, the money to settle the bill and my tip. But they did have a fun story regarding a knife, threats, and running. All things I try to avoid. So after a two hour(!) visit by the police and after everything had settled down I asked about my tip.........

Well you cant blame a fella for trying! So what have I learnt from this whole experience? First impressions are normally right, if he looks like a shifty fucker then he probably is a double crossing shifty bastard fucker and asking a manager about your tips after they have had a knife put to them is not a wise move. As he put it, "It's better to be stiffed than stabbed." Fair enough...........

26 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

bendersbetterbrother said...

Wasn't it clear to the manager that he was, at the very least, going to do a runner? And aren't there security cameras on the door to record faces and stuff?

Thanks anyway for the advice. If I got your message correct the moral of the story is always bring a knife and trainers if you intend to use one your recently stolen credit cards to waz up a bill in a restaurant. Got it.

Manuel said...

BBB: well deduced, that is indeed what I was saying.......I'll not be chasing anyone in my fat assed condition.....oh they are caught a dinger on cctv and we have "his" wallet.......

daisyfae said...

So. Did you get a tip?

MJ said...

In addition to the "No shirt, No shoes, No service" sign, there needs to be a written policy on supermarket jeans and polo shirts.

Medbh said...

Jeebus.
Dine and dashers suck, even more so when they are using stolen plastic.
Fuck 'em.

Manuel said...

daisyfae: you're mocking me......it hurts.....no I got no tip.....

mj: you would think it would be obvious.....

Manuel said...

medbh: word has it that it wasn't stolen, it was his card he just doesn't have any money......which he obviously knew.....this was more a case of dine act walk pretend threaten and dash

Niall said...

jeese man, thats unreal. Glad nobody got hurt to be honest. Thats madness that people go that far to be honest. Lesson learned tho. Add a new sign.

" customers must submit to weapons searches and credit checks before dining... try the steak. - the management"

Quickroute said...

I say never trust anyone who orders extra starters! - did they finish all the grub? If not dead giveaway!

Native Minnow said...

Wow, reading stuff like this makes me feel like I could have been getting away with so much more all my life.

Sorry you got stiffed.

livesbythewoods said...

Blimey, they must have been pretty nimble to be able to leg it after a feast ike that. I reckon I'd get as far as the front door before needing a little sit-down.

Manuel said...

niall: customers? a few of the staff could do with the same........

quickie: oh they necked it all but complaining about his duck starter was seriously cheeky all things considered.....

minnow: try it......go ahead......make my day

woodie: having a knife definitely gets you a head start....

yoyo said...

It's better to be stabbed than stiffed, surely?
A body heals, but the wallet constantly weeps..

AnFearBui said...

Not the brightest spark, threating with a knife when your name is on the Card.

fatmammycat said...

Well fed bastards! it's going to get to the stage where dodgy looking diners are going to be made pay a deposit before they eat.

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

What are the odds on catching these low-lifes?

I hope your manager wasn't too shaken up, that's some scary shit.

INNER VOICES said...

is there no law about socking customers in the face when the cant pay? while they are still in the establishment? who the fuck agrees to go to the atm machine with a guy whose credit card is empty? hmmm...

dave said...

What's wrong with supermarket jeans and polo shirts?

They're trendy and cool.

savannah said...

yikes, sugar! i am speechless! xoxo

j0j0 said...

When I worked in retail the credit card companies paid a £50 reward to the cashier who retained the card for them. So you might get some moolah out of the experience after all, worth checking up on!

Mudflapgypsy said...

Scebby bastards!

Manager leaving to go to cash machine with customer..is that boy MAAAD?
Lucky he didn't get a hidin' once they were out the door.

Trust the gut instinct everytime.
It never lies.

Pat said...

The manger going to a cash machine is dangerous.

It is a hard one - food is ate and customer has no cash.

Doing the dishes or police seem to be the better options.

Supermarket jeans and polo shirts are not bad.

What is wrong with buying such stuff from a supermarket?

Manuel said...

yoyo: so well put........

anfearbui: but the best bit was when he complained about his starter the fucker....

fmc: christ that would be most of them......

sam: high....we have his name and now we have his address....quality

voices: in hindsight it wasn't the smartest idea

dave: ok......mr gucci

savannah: so was i.....well after i swore a lot.....

j0j0: missed you the other day when I was in.....i have made inquiries regarding my reward.....

muddy: He realised it half way to the machine but......

pat: first time in nearly 20 years that i have been in such a situation... so hopefully it's just a one off.....not a think....it's where i get my beans....hehehe

K8 the Gr8 said...

Nasty motherf...

There should be an insurance company paying tips to unrequited waiters.

Sharon said...

Stupid, evil, maggot scoundrels.
How could they do such a thing to Belfast's premier waiter, and that thing with the manager was bad too.

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