We all hate customers who forget to leave their signed credit card slip thereby ensuring that we don’t get a tip. It’s annoying and I am not 100% certain that it’s always an accident. Surely there are some less then moral folks who do that in order to make it appear as if it was a slip of the mind and save themselves the few extra dollars of a tip. It’s similar to mailing your electricity bill and “forgetting” to include the check or not sealing the envelope so that it looks like you did enclose payment but it must have fallen out. I was stiffed last night on a $75 check but I think it really was unintentional because the man who did it is a regular who always seems half a step away from complete and utter dumb fuck.
As per the norm, I sweep the room and drop checks as soon as the show is over. I then sweep back and pick up any checks that are ready to be paid, run the cards or make change and then go back to my section to return those checks and pick up the next round. The man at booth four last night watched me walk by twice without ever coming up with a form of payment. As I stood at the bar swiping the credit cards of the four tables who did manage to hand me payment, Mr. Village Idiot wandered into the lobby with his check in his hands and asked nobody in particular, “Who do I give this to?” The man was not the brightest bulb. The lights were on but nobody was home. He was hit in the head with the stupid stick. Now, I ask you, is it that hard to figure out who to pay? There were only two servers, I was the only one who dealt with him and I was also the one who gave him his check and said “I’ll pick that up whenever you’re ready.” To me, it seems pretty obvious, but then again my brain is not the consistency of mashed green peas mixed with bottom shelf scotch. (Truth be told, my brain is the consistency of refried beans and bottom shelf tequila, but whatever…) Enrique the bartender says, “Sir, we go through this every time. You pay your server, who is right here.” Old Foggy Forgetful handed me his credit card and I told him I would take care of right it after I get through the stack of checks of people who did not stumble to the bar like lost lambs who just had lobotomies. He was put out by the fact that he was going to have to wait so I realized he was just playing dumb because he thought it would get him out faster. I took his credit card and put it at the bottom of the stack. “It’ll be right here on the bar when I’m done with it.” He told me he was going to go say hello to someone and would be right back. I very quickly got to his card and placed it on the bar for him to sign when he was ready. Fifteen minutes later, the card and unsigned slip was right where I had left it. Absent Minded Nutty Ass Professor was nowhere to be found. Perhaps the person he wanted to say hello to lived in New Jersey and he just wasn’t back yet, but it’s more likely that he saw something shiny on the sidewalk and went out to chase it.
After about ten more minutes, it was clear that he was not coming back. Maybe the shiny object he saw was the taillight of a taxi and he was now lying face down on Sixth Avenue and wondering why he suddenly had a perfect view of the back of his own ass. I had no other choice but to close the check without a tip and accept that I was getting stiffed on his $75 bill. Less than moral servers would add a tip but credit card fraud is not on my bucket list so I was willing to eat the loss. A message was left for Shit For Brains on his voice mail telling him that he could come pick up his credit card at his earliest convenience. He’ll probably show up today and act all embarrassed and ashamed but you can be certain that he won’t leave the tip. That would just be too kind. And we all know that shit for brains foggy forgetful absent minded professors who have mushy green pea brains mixed with cheap scotch will do anything to save themselves seven dollars and fifty cents. (You just know that he was going to leave 10%, right?) The next time he sits in my station, I will make sure to give him his check right away and I won’t leave until I see him scrawl out his signature (in the form on an X, no doubt) on his credit card slip. There still probably won’t be a tip but I can deal with that. If he can accept that his brain is smoother than the humus on our menu, I can accept that he can’t understand that I live on tips. I just hope he doesn’t mind that the bottom shelf scotch on the rocks he orders might be in a smaller glass with a shitload of ice and a little bit of water that went over my thumb on the way into the glass.