Once upon a time, I went to work and had the cheapest ass bitches in all the land sit in my station. Hos from far and wide wanted to grace my presence and each and every one of them kept their pennies pinched tighter than a twat at a tumbling tournament. (That makes no sense at all, but I like the alliteration.) The first maiden I took an order from exclaimed surprise at being required to have two beverages during her time with me. “I wasn’t planning on drinking, my lord. I thought it was just a show.” “Sorry, m’lady.,” I countered. “Two drink minimum.” It says it on the postcard for the show and the menu. We told you when you made your reservation and we told you again when you were given your seating pass. Suck it up. She ordered hot tea because she thought it would be cheap. It’s the least expensive thing on the menu, but it’s not cheap. It’s $5.50 for a cup of tea and another $5.50 for the second. Two drink minimum achieved!
Every table I went to that night was like that. The future of my tips was not looking good. For when people order hot teas and bottled waters instead of a signature ($15.95) martini, the check averages are low and the gratuities are even lower. The performer that night was a hot mess in a dress who sounded like she had been booted out of her church choir and decided to set up shop at my job instead. Between the caterwauling on the stage and the bleeding from my ears, it was not a fun night. After she gave her unrequested and decidedly unnecessary encore, I handed out checks to the tables. Most of them looked like they couldn’t wait to get out of there and go rinse their ears out with peroxide and stab their eyes out with forks. The first person who gave me their check asked for change. The bill was $12.98. She handed me fifteen dollars. When I returned with her two dollars and two cents, the money went right into her fake Louis Vuitton hand bag and she stumbled out on her wannabe Manolo Blahnik shoes that she got at the BOGO sale at Payless last week. Customer after customer stiffed me. Maybe they were subconsciously punishing the performer since they were so angry that she had raped their eardrums for the past hour.
Another lady called me over to retrieve her check. As I approached the table, I saw a pile of coins. “My dear sirrah,” she said. “My bill is $28.08. Please take these twenty-three dollars in bills and two dollars in coins. And I asketh that you put $3.08 on this credit card. I do hope it goes through.” Who the hell has to worry that their credit line is good enough for a three dollar charge? This lady, that’s who. I scooped up the crumbled bills and the coins and went to the credit card machine to run it. Thankfully it went through because I had a feeling if it didn’t she was going to ask to wash some dishes in exchange. Of course she left no tip.
Another man handed me his credit card which got a big fat “declined” when I swiped it. “Forsooth, try it again, my dear sir,” he said. I did. It was still declined. He fished another card out that was approved. No tip.
After they all left, I started to count my money to assess the damage. With 18 people in the room, I made thirty dollars, half of which would go to the bartender. Just last week I had only seven people in the room and made ninety bucks because they knew how to tip with class. They were also older gay men which always helps. I divided up the thirty dollars and pulled out the handful of change to split it as well. One of the quarters was Canadian. Bitch didn’t even have American money.
It was not a good night, but once I realized it was going to suck, I just went onto automatic pilot and got through the night. When it’s that bad, all you can do is laugh at this ridiculous profession we have chosen and suck down a glass of Pinot Grigio. After my glass of wine, I was okay with the lords and ladies who didn’t know how to tip for service. I assumed that karma would get them in the end and if not karma then maybe a big ass fire breathing dragon can scorch their asses into oblivion. Or at the very least the M15 bus can splash some nasty sewer water up on their leg when they are walking to subway. And then I can live happily ever after.