It was 1963 when one of my favorite musicals, Bye Bye Birdie, was turned into a motion picture. Of course, this was way before I had ever gone to a theater, and for that matter, had been a design of my parents loins. But thankfully, my parents were big musical fans and turned me onto this genre and film. It was also a time of apparent rebellion by the youth as noted in the lyrics to the song Kids from this musical. Little did I know that lyricist, Lee Adams, could see into the future. Today while working at my restaurant job, I felt as though I was living out the lyrics of this song.
During the lunch rush, a school bus pulled up in front of the restaurant. In walked 30 high schoolers and a couple of adults requesting a table. They did not have a reservation, nor did they seem to understand that a party of that size would need one. Reservation? What's that?! We are not Wendy's...buses are not welcome.
We sat them in different sections of the restaurant since we only had 4 waiters on the floor, and were not prepared to seat a group of that size. We all had other tables throughout the restaurant. If we had known they were coming, we could have saved an area just for them, and added additional staff. One of the tables (who also had an adult at the sitting with them) put black pepper in each others drinks then wanted the waiter to get them all new drinks. When they got the bill, the first and second round of drinks were on the bill. The adult at the table questioned these charges. One would think that the adult would have prevented the stupidity of this choice these brats made by putting a condiment in a soda that is generally reserved for a Bloody Mary. Another waiter, intelligently, told the rest of us to check our condiments for unscrewed tops. Those holy terrors unscrewed the tops of the Parmesan cheese, red pepper, salt, and black pepper so the next guest would fall victim to the oldest prank in the restaurant biz. I can only hope karma will wreak havoc upon them!
Later, a table of 17 college students, who did have a reservation, came in for dinner. When the waiter brought the check, they told him to they all needed individual checks. Our policy is no separate checks. The no separate check policy is displayed on our special board, which is seen by every patron walking in the front door, on the menus, and on the check presented to the diners. In this case, one would think that when going out in a group who intend to pay for their meal only, they would not only be able to do math (they are in college for Pete's sake), but also bring cash to make things smoother when paying the check. I know math does not come easy for some. I have a Liberal Arts degree, and was required to take only one math course. I chose Math: It's Spirit and Use, which focused on prime numbers and other third grade concepts. However, I did learn how to round up.
This table took 45 minutes trying to figure out how much each person owed. Some split meals and couldn't divide by 2 to figure out what was owed. When the waiter went to check to see if they were ready for him to run their 17 credit cards, they told him that it was too hard for them to figure out, and could he separate the check for them. He stuck to his guns and to the policy. One douche bag told him he was lucky the gratuity was already added. He did not give them bad service, but chose to enforce our policy. Narcissism lives on!
After they left, the waiter picked up the credit card receipts, and found a note written on one of the signed copies. It said, "It is not that hard to separate checks. It would not have taken us so long to pay if you would have done it for us. If I could have paid less, I would have." What the fuck?!
If it's not that hard, college boy, then why DID it take you so long?