We have all had people who have tried to skip out on their check and the occasional walk out who actually succeeds at getting a meal without paying for it. It happens rarely even though it seems like it would happen more often. A few days ago, I encountered a man who was either trying to skip out on his bill or he was incredibly forgetful. Either way, he got on my nerves and as I was trying to fix the situation a thought popped into my head: at least I have something to write about.
At my job, we place all the checks down at the same time immediately after the show is over. Therefore, we have to make change for everyone at once and it can get very confusing when you have ten or twelve tables all throwing credit cards and cash at you at the same time. Table six had a pile of money on the check presenter and when they told me they didn’t need any change, it went to the bottom of the stack since I was finished with them. About ten minutes later when I started closing checks, I came across their $129 check and saw that the pile of money was only twenty dollars. Hold up now, wait, what? Frantically, I hurried around the club to see if they were still there so I could squeeze out the remaining $109 (plus tip) from their pocketbooks. At first they were nowhere to be found. Fuck, I had let them leave without double checking their total? What am I, a hack? An amateur? I ran downstairs and then back upstairs looking like a chicken with his head cut off who didn’t want to have to cover $109. Then, I spotted one of them up at the front of the room chatting to a group of people. I went up to the man. “Excuse me, but I just wanted to make sure of something. You said you didn’t need change right?” “That’s right,” he said. I looked down at the twenty dollars and then looked back at him with a “so what the hell?” expression. “That’s your tip,” he said. “I gave you my credit card, remember?” I was really busy so I though maybe he did and I had forgotten. Or maybe he gave it to someone else and he thought it was me. “Oh, alright then. Well, I don’t have the signed voucher, maybe you took both of them by accident?” He looked confused. I went to the computer and pulled up his check and there was no credit card info on it meaning it was not swiped by me or anyone else. I went back to the potential scammer.
ME: Can I see your credit voucher just to make sure it didn’t get rung under another server’s number?
HIM: I dunno if I have it.
Well, can you look?
ME: Did you give me your credit card?
HIM: Yeah, and then you handed it right back to me.
Without going to swipe it? Why the fuck would I do that?
ME: Are you sure you gave it to me?
HIM: I think so.
ME: And you don’t know if you have the copy that you signed?
HIM: Uh, I dunno. I don’t remember.
Okay, it was like ten minutes ago and he doesn’t remember? Is he playing dumb? He seemed too young to be in the early stages of dementia. And I must ask, if one is in the early stages of dementia, how long does it take to be fully demented? (Stole that line from Naked in a Fishbowl).
HIM: You can swipe my card again if you need to, just make sure I don’t get charged twice.
Listen buddy, I don’t wanna charge you twice. I wanna charge you once.
I took him to my computer and showed him the check. I showed him how there was no credit card info on it and then after I swiped it there was meaning this was the first time it had been swiped. He shrugged his shoulders and said “Okay, if you say so.” I do say so, ass. You didn’t pay. Maybe you forgot or maybe you were trying to be slick, but you didn’t pay and I caught your ass. I do think it was an honest mistake, because if he was trying to skip out, he would have left immediately. But what irked me was that he was acting like I was the one doing something shady. In the end, he paid his check, left me a decent tip and was nice about it, but I don’t really get it. Can someone really forget something that quickly? Maybe he was so wrapped up in my attentive and stellar service that he was unable to focus on anything else. Yeah, that’s it.