We Are Closed, So Get Out

I almost committed murder last night. Or manslaughter. Assault maybe? What would the charge be if I violently attacked a man with a ladle because he wouldn’t shut up and get the hell out of the restaurant 45 minutes after we closed? Could I claim self defense? Or a kamikaze mission if I killed him and myself in order to save the lives of my co-workers? It didn’t matter anyway, because I suffered through this horrible event and today I am a stronger waiter because of it. Bitchier, but stronger.

The place I work has lots of regulars who sit at the bar and talk. And talk. And talk. Some of them have a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth and I would give anything to offer them a bottle of Pepto Bismol. And I don’t require that the bottle have any medicine in it. I just want to cram the bottle down their throat until they can no longer utilize their vocal chords. Is that so wrong? Last night at work was pretty busy, but it died down at just the right time. Fifteen minutes before closing, there was only one table left who was paying their check and they left at exactly closing time. The only people remaining were two regulars sitting at the bar talking about mundane crap that nobody cares about. They don’t even listen to each other; they each wait until there is a pause in conversation so they can take the opportunity to speak endlessly about whatever is floating through their brain at the moment. My sidework was done at five minutes after closing time. I was ready to go, but couldn’t because these two yappity yaps had not paid their bills and the bartender couldn’t close his checks so I could do the paperwork. My blood pressure was climbing as they continued on with their talk, completely unaware that the only reason we were there was because they felt the need to discuss very important things.

“You know what show I liked? What was it called? It had a female comedian in it. It was really good.”
“Margaret Cho?”
“No. I don’t remember what it was called. Good Grace or Grace Under Pressure?… I loved it.”

Tell me they were not talking about Grace Under Fire which was canceled in 1998. Am I really sitting here twenty minutes after we close so he can try to remember Grace Under fucking Fire that hasn’t even been on television for eighteen fucking years?

Grace Under Fire, that’s it! What was that woman’s name? Grace something? No, it was a man’s name. Erin? She was really funny.”

I wanted to scream out “Brett Butler, now get the fuck out!” I couldn’t do that though because the owner/manager was there and he seems to be fine with just patiently waiting to go home. The two guys did a Google search to discover her name and then they moved on to their next topic.

“Did you ever see Samantha Who? It had Christina Applegate in it.”
“Really? It was great. It had that lady from Designing Women on it? What was her name? The Southern one? She played Christina Applegate’s mom. You never saw that?”
“It was really funny. It was about…”

He went on to give the entire plot line of a sitcom that was canceled in 2009 as I slowly became covered in cobwebs and my bones turned to dust. I kept looking at them with disbelief. My mind was racing. Are they really that unaware that the only reason we are still here is because of them? Do they know we closed thirty minutes ago? Why won’t the owner kick their asses to the curb? If I puncture my own throat with a pen will I die immediately?

After an explanation of why one of them does not like to listen to Broadway musicals out of context (his favorite is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in case you were wondering)  they finally decided to say good bye. We had been closed for 45 minutes. I raced through the paperwork and punched out. As I walked home, I saw one of the guys ahead of me walking slower than a doped up sloth who just woke up from a nap. Urgency was not a priority for this guy. I passed him on the sidewalk and made my way home. He didn’t notice me as I passed him. He was surely lost in his thoughts about why News Radio wasn’t still on the air and trying to come up with a better ending for Hill Street Blues.

On the off chance that you are the ones I am writing about: No disrespect but please leave after we are closed and by all means please understand that no one gives a shit about Grace Under Fire. Thanks.

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19 thoughts on “We Are Closed, So Get Out

  1. Mary A.

    You should have totally joined in their conversation. Answered the question before they got it out. I bet they would have left sooner.But then they would expect you to talk to them every nite & I get that you can't do that.BTW — What was the one with the girl who looks like Brett Butler, but has a midwestern accent & she was Randy Quaid's sister??? I don't think it got picked up, but the pilot was really funny.I know you know this.

  2. Anonymous

    I had this same thing happen to me last night. I had a table of four men, who showed up one by one over the course of three hours and stayed 30 mins after we closed. When I finally announced to my coworkers that they had paid, one of them asked if they had paid for rent too since they had set up residency. We have lives too! Although I did get to eavesdrop on their very interesting convo about cheating, so I guess it could've been worse!

  3. Waiting

    I'm always thankful to be in Vegas when I read stories like this. I just politely tell people to leave when my shift ends. Before it gets to that I do several things to circumvent the situation.- When someone tries to come in and eat right before the kitchen closes, I tell them exactly how many minutes they have to get their order in and I also tell them that they have to be done eating and have their check paid 30 minutes after that.- A few minutes before I kick people out I sometimes turn the music off or the lights up. This change in atmosphere is usually enough to interrupt someone's riveting conversation about 90's sitcoms and draw attention to the fact that we are in fact closing.- I force people to pay their check before they finish eating sometimes and tell them the cashier is leaving.- If they are done eating and have paid their check, I just tell them they have to leave. I also tell them which bars are open so they can continue their conversation over a cocktail or a nice glass of water.In Vegas we area scheduled to work 8 hours and we make much more than minimum wage. Our employers want people who linger out even more than we do because they don't want to pay us overtime. So, If I didn't do the above things then my manager would.

  4. Gallo

    LOl I loved it!It is just amazing the lack of respect some people have, they don t care if you pay rent if you have a social life, anything. I hope they were good tippers.Tell me they did not start talking about Joan of Arcadia too…ugh!

  5. Anonymous

    This is happening to me as I talk but we've been closed for 50 minutes and they still haven't paid their checks. They've also decided to order two more beers five minutes ago and only decided to tell me they wanted split checks 30 minutes after I left their check there. Fuckers.

  6. The Empress

    Your manager should have a bit more respect for your time. If you have to stay around while clueless customers keep the place from closing, then you should be paid extra. Call it a jackwagon customer bonus or whatever. Or the manager should grow some balls and tell those morons to leave. You can tell them all I said so! ; )

  7. Derby Wallus

    I know how it feels! "Sorry gentleman, we're closing." First they stare blankly at you, continue talking, then take turns going to the bathroom. "GET THE FUCK OUT!" Stupid customers. >.<

  8. Belgie

    This is definitely a blog worth following. Youve got a great deal to say about this subject, and so much knowledge. I think that you know how to make people listen to what you have to say, especially with an issue thats so important.

  9. DD

    Idiots..I hate them. I always had regulars who'd order three drinks each at last call so they could keep me there after hours. Such bullshit, last call here is 2 am. I finally had to put a sign up saying ONE drink at last call and the cops do a drive by at 10 after. It helped a little. People are such fools.

  10. Rachel

    I had to open a note to cut and paste my top three favorite lines from this materpiece:-"He was surely lost in his thoughts about why News Radio wasn't still on the air and trying to come up with a better ending for Hill Street Blues."-"I saw one of the guys ahead of me walking slower than a doped up sloth who just woke up from a nap."-"He was surely lost in his thoughts about why News Radio wasn't still on the air and trying to come up with a better ending for Hill Street Blues."BW, I love you.

  11. GORE

    “so he can try to remember Grace Under fucking Fire that hasn’t even been on television for thirteen fucking years?”

    And it wasn’t even a very good show!

  12. Reed

    We have tables stay 1 to 2 hrs after we close, all my managers are scared because of Corporate except one he turns the lights up.and music off , he’s my hero sucks but comes with the territory. I work fine dining so it’s a little more dificult. My question is if they were at the bar why did u have to stay?

  13. sandy

    What I hate the most is when a party walks in 15, 10 or 5 minutes before you close! I want to shoot them – I think that is so rude and inconsiderate. I once had a party come in five minutes before, I had everything torn down and ready to close and she insisted I had to serve her and she wanted me to bring everything back out that I had put away (the salad bar). I refused to give her the salad bar telling her everything was put away for the evening. Of course, she only left me two dollars but she is a regular and only leaves me four any other time so no big loss there. So yes, there you are sitting in a booth impatiently tapping your foot and checking out FB because you are ready to go home and they want to linger. UGH!!!

  14. Anonymous

    At the last restaurant I worked in, one of the bartenders would (with manager permission of course) play loud bluegrass music over the speakers to chase out any campers after closing. It worked beautifully.

  15. Laura

    Where I live, by law, all glasses need to be off the tables 15 min after service has stopped, and all patrons out of the building by 30 mins. It’s a blessing. “Sorry guys, my hands are tied, it’s the law!” (Gtfo)

  16. Jonny

    I now live in Laos which is (as you may know) a communist country. Has some weird laws but by and by it’s ok – certainly not North Korea standards. One useful law is generally bars have to close at midnight (useful if you are a server/bartender like me). I just tell customers we are closing in fifteen minutes but if they want to get a drink they are welcome and if it’s 12 then I offer them a takeaway cup for their drink. If that doesn’t work I tell them how we had village security in the other night and they carry AK47’s and or M16’s and I really don’t want to see any of you nice people in trouble. That works every time 🙂


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