So there I was waffling on about how accidents happen and about people need to be less litigious and how much nicer the world would be if we all just treated accidents as being just that. Eh? Remember how I was galloping about on my high horse looking down on the little people with their mouths open who demand financial recompense and handjobs for even the most minor of mistakes, boo-boos, and gaffes? Well that came back to bite me on the ass with no small amount of gusto.
Which was disappointing.
"And Manuel will take that for you", says the manager and hands me the credit card machine.
I performed all the usual post meal niceties and checks. When the waiter asks you if you loved everything when you are paying the bill it is mainly to remind you that the service was top bloody notch and seeing as you have your wallet open and all that ahem cough-cough. But I wasn't really worried as it was a table of twenty so they would be liable to incur a service charge of 10%. Their bill was £671.00 at the last count, nice. God bless expense accounts and the associated gold cards that come with.
The woman paying the bill handed me her American Express card. We don't take Amex cards, who the hell does in this town? I made my usual little joke, "Ah sorry madam we don't take Amex.....Visa, Mastercard, Valentines, Christmas, Mother' Day cards are all good but no Amex." She chortled, politely, and called me a "character". I was hoping she meant somebody smooth and lovely but she was probably thinking more of Groucho Marx's cynical and sarcastic, Rufus T Firefly. Meh.
She reached into her wallet, purse, filofax thingy-ma-jig and produced another card. If you wanna know where all the credit has gone I suggest you take a peek in this woman's bag, she had more cards than Christmas. Seriously. Anyhoo she handed me her card and I slotted it into the machine but as I hadn't printed the bill I wasn't quite sure of the final total so I asked her to hand me her copy. Which she duly did.
I scanned the bill once, got the total and keyed it into the credit card doofer. I checked the bill again and realised that there had been no service charge added. At first my heart sank and then started racing as I wondered just how I would stab to death the manager, in a manic frenzy or slowly thus making the pain last longer. Now normally I fill the minute or two that it takes to process the credit card payment with inane but jovial banter. I did not fill the processing minutes with inane or jovial banter this time. No I just stood there seething and shaking with rage.
£67 for fuck sake! That's like a hundred of your US dollars, seventy four of your funny Euros and like 4000 of your Canadian dollars. Rage!
Sixty fucking seven quid, lost and gone. No hope of recovery. I said goodbye to the business people who were here on business and then turned to immerse myself in the task of clearing their shit up. It wouldn't have been shit if I had got my sixty frigging quid but I had been stiffed because the manager had forgot to put the service charge on the god damned bill, so it was shit. I muttered my plan of attack as I cleared the table. I was thinking that I would start by playing it cool, disappointed but mature and then crank it up to an almighty ruckus, maybe a brouhaha, but probably just a ruckus, it would really depend on his reaction.
But then my words came flashing back,
"There appears to be no such thing as an accident or genuine mistake anymore. Well actually there are plenty of accidents and genuine mistakes, it's just the reaction to them that has changed. It's all, "Woe is me"...."Sake. So I just sucked in my cheeks and chalked it up. Plus the manager that omitted to put the service charge on the bill is actually the nicest person in the world, true story. Shouting at him would have been like shouting at the Andrex Puppy.
I really hate growing up and being mature about things. I'd much rather mess myself. Actually I'd much rather have the sixty quid. If I'm really being honest I'd rather have the sixty quied and mess myself......