Big Ben, Where Are You?

My heart sank a few night ago when I saw one of our regulars lumbering into the restaurant an hour and fifteen minutes before we closed. He’s notorious for staying way past his welcome and the very sight of him made me realize that an early night was now out of the question. He plopped his gloobber globber ass onto the bar stool and ordered his first drink of the night. When he came in, the restaurant only had a couple of people in it, so chances were good that sidework could begin and we could waltz out of there within minutes after closing time. With this guy at the bar, it was unheard of. He runs his mouth to anyone who will listen and our manager/owner encourages it by actually asking him open-ended questions like “What’s new?” and “How are you?” This is not the kind of person you ask any question to unless the answer is yes or no. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with him since he only sits at the bar, but I still feel the consequences since he won’t close his check until long after closing time. I don’t comprehend a few things in this situation. It truly baffles me that he has no issue nursing his drink for an hour after we close as we servers stand around with our arms crossed with nothing to do. What confuses me even more is why the manager/owner allows him to continue ordering drinks thirty of forty minutes after we close. “Well, we have to take care of our regulars,” he tells me. I get that, Mr. Owner, but I don’t own this restaurant, you do. You are the one who has chosen to be at the restaurant six days a week from 10:30 AM until midnight. You have no life. Well, except for your wife and kids who I guess don’t even know you. I, however, do have a life and it does not revolve around your restaurant. I work there part-time and can’t wait to get the fuck out. If you want to take care of your regulars, do it, but I don’t see why I have to stay at work for an hour after my last table has left and my sidework is done just so you can “take care” of this piece of shit.

Piece of Shit continued rambling on about nothing important. The bartender begrudgingly listened to him because he was simply trapped behind the bar. Piece of Shit takes that as interest when we all know it’s obligation. He then began talking about his trip to London that I don’t think anyone asked about. He was one step away from pulling out a projector and giving us a freaking slide show. All I could think of was I wish that Big Ben was there and ring out that it was time for him to go the fuck home. I have never been to London, so I can’t judge what he was saying, so I put it to you, readers. Piece of Shit said that London is the coldest place he has ever been. He said that the damp air seeps into your bones and the chill is impossible to get rid of. In fact, he told us that this is where the phrase “bone cold” came from. Really? Londoners, is this true? Do tell. He also said that every house in London is always cold, because none of then have good heating systems. I guess he went to every fucking house and checked this factoid out himself. He went on to say that the only place that is ever warm are the pubs and that is why people are always there. Really? I had no idea that when I go to London, I will be perpetually cold unless I am sitting in a pub. “Oh yes, I could not shake the chill. It was in my bones.” I looked at his 350 pound frame and wondered when was the last time his bones felt anything at all other than excruciating exhaustion.

At 11:56 PM, almost an hour after we had closed, he finally paid his check. At last, we could run our paperwork and I could get out of there. He left a $12 tip, so after we pooled and divided it up, four dollars of that was all mine. The bartender was stuck, but I wasn’t. Piece of Shit said goodbye to me as I left and I mumbled out a fond fuckwad farewell to his fat ass. Who knows how much longer he stayed. Last week he stayed until 12:45 AM, almost two hours after we closed. Manager/owner really needs to grow a pair and tell him he doesn’t have to go home, but he can’t stay there. Do people have no concept of anyone but themselves? I really don’t get it. And I really hate this guy.

So tell, me Brits: are you cold?

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14 thoughts on “Big Ben, Where Are You?

  1. Waiting

    I've been to London in November and it was pretty fucking cold. It was also very rainy the entire time but I've never shared that with waitstaff.

  2. The Empress

    How annoying! Perhaps his house is really cold and that is why he and his inconsiderate ass are "always" at your place of business well past closing time. The owner definitely needs to grow some balls OR else let the staff leave at closing and then personally take care of Mr. Know It All.The Ranter’s Box

  3. london bakes

    Yeah, he's talking shit. Because we're English, all we've talked about for the last two months is how warm it is. Last time I was in New York I had to go and buy a new coat because it was so cold.

  4. Mixed Martial Arts Los Angeles

    Haha, my roommate is from Britain and her dad was bragging to us until this week. Karma is a big one! I can't believe that a person has that audacity. After all, you're a restaurant, not a full-out just bar! Maybe you should start making passive-aggressive signs…Sara

  5. Practical Parsimony

    This is a powerplay. He is so important and fascinating that the whole place stays until HE decides it is closing time. I have a friend like this who would have bragged to me for months that the whole staff stayed and listened to his tales of war. The man is very insecure and an alcoholic. Remember, insecure people are very aggressive to try and prove their importance. New balls may be required.

  6. Frank the Angry Lobster

    Passive-aggressive doesn't work with this type of person, trust me. My brother is quite similar. He's never held a place up for an hour+ after closing, but he does love talking his face off and talking over other people and he just doesn't get body language or even subtle remarks of disinterest. Though he is high-functioning autistic, and people with autism are physically unable to interpret body language without training…something about missing neurons at birth. Maybe this guy is the same. Either way, the only approach is to tell him to please get out…fuckin' now.

  7. Bagel Fairy

    I spent time in London but in the summer, so I guess I can't say for sure myself. But I hear that their winters are mild compared to some American ones. The shit he's saying about London sounds more Dickensian than realistic – something people would expect to hear about it more than anything else.I feel bad for people like that because they wouldn't act that way unless they were completely clueless, but then again I'm not being kept at work for an extra 2 hours because of him so I can muster up a tiny bit of pity from hundreds of miles away, I suppose.

  8. hubbellbm

    I totally hate customers that do that think they can get away with that! I am in retail mgmt and despise anyone who walks in close to closing (15 minutes or so). I will turn off the lights fifteen minutes after we close and tell themthat the registers shut down in 15 minutes and if they want to purchase they better do it fast. I am so over this mentality that the customer needs to have their ass kissed and can get away with anything

  9. SharleneT

    There is no excuse for letting him stay past the one drink (bill for two minimum) when he comes in so close to closing. He's an alcoholic and needs a place to camp out. The bartender should tell him that he can only have the one drink, have to pay for two, because you're closing in fifteen minutes and STATE LAW (at least, in the states I've lived in) won't allow you to serve drinks after posted closing hours. They can come in and pull the owner's liquor license — in a heartbeat, right then and there. No rebuttal because you knew the rules when you applied for the license.The owner should be told he's risking his neck for an alcoholic who doesn't give two figs about WHERE he gets his drinks, just that he can because all the other restaurant/bar owners know the law and close their doors. That's what "last call" is all about. Losing your license.

  10. Emily

    As a Londoner I can tell you that London is actually a few degrees warmer than the surrounding area because of a cuddly layer of smog that keeps it nice and warm. Also, this has been the hottest spring since records began in the 17th century…As for pubs, we don't go there to keep warm, we go because as a nation we are naturally disposed to drinking inordinate amounts at extortionate prices. Nowt wrong with that.

  11. Ester Jean

    Tonight at work the bartender kept the bar open for an extra hour for ONE customer, hoping for something good to come of it, and he tipped her NOTHING. So I guess $4 is better than nothing. She was frickin pissed. I am becoming more of a stickler to the rules because I realize that although many of them are stupid or annoying, some of them are put in place for people who are too nice.

  12. Anonymous

    Wow, what an idiot. Gotta love generalisations! I do not live in London, I live in a town about forty minutes away called Reading, but that guy sounds like the kinda guy who would say Italy is the same as Greece and both of them are run by the Mafia so I doubt he'd care. Of course London is not always cold and damp. That's like saying New York is always covered in snow. And the reason people stay in pubs so much is not because they have crap heating, it's because your local is an awesome place to be!Your guy talks shit. If I was anything like him, I'd assume all Americans were the same. Thankfully, I am not judgemental and I have been following this for ages and so know different.Keep up the good work, Bitchy 🙂

  13. Jonny

    Well, if he was walking around at 2am in January or February then he would have been damned cold but no, it is not the coldest place ever. We have (sometimes) fantastic summers and quite incredibly we have something called central heating which every house, flat, apartment etc has installed. God knows where he stayed, maybe in a shed?


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