Category Archives: credit card

Danger: Waiters Ahead

There is an article floating about on the Internet and the Facebook that has been brought to my attention by more than one person. (Two people.) It is a list of who you should and should not trust with your credit card. The list is only eight people long: your child, your loved ones, the hired help, virus protection (that’s a person?), the debt collector, people who call you on the phone, your waiter and yourself. Basically, they are saying every single person in the whole entire world is someone that may try to rip you off. Doesn’t that list sort of encompass all human beings? Even the Pope could be classified as “hired help.” They did, however, leave off the cocksmacks who work at the Home Depot on 59th and Third Avenue who ripped me off four years ago, stole my identity and racked up some plane tickets to Puerto Rico. Here is what the article has to say about we horribly untrustworthy waiters:

6. The disappearing waiter. Anytime your plastic is swept away by another person, you have reason for pause. Unfortunately, some restaurant staff may be especially dangerous. “Many skimming networks operate using wait staff,” warns Steve Rhode of “They will pay $50 or more for credit card information that can be swiped off your card using a small electronic device that reads the magnetic strip on the card. Skimming only takes two seconds.” While you can’t always control where they take the card, it’s important to check your receipts and statements immediately.

Dangerous? In all my years I have never known any waiter who was being paid fifty bucks to lift credit card info from customers. Then again I never worked at BBQ’s either so maybe it does happen. This article is typical fear-mongering in order to get more people to read it. It seems to me that swiping the info from a credit card at work would be way too easy to get caught and therefore not justify the federal credit card fraud charges that would soon be filed against the waiter. But there it is: DO NOT TRUST YOUR DANGEROUS WAITER. Not only will we read the magnetic strip, we will also take that gold Am Ex as soon as we get it and run to Macy’s for a new black belt and shoes for work. As soon as I have that hot little Discover card, I am going to log onto and buy as many books as possible. If I see a platinum Visa card, I am immediately calling my cell phone to order a lifetime supply of Snuggies. That’s right, I’m dangerous.

That’s not to say that we should not be vigilant about our credit cards. In this world, you never know who will rip us off, but to specifically pinpoint waiters is wrong. If someone is so freaked out by the use of credit cards, they should look into this thing called “cash.” It works too. I use it all the time. And since we are pointing fingers, why not point at the actual credit card companies themselves? They have the right to jack up their interest rate any fucking time they want to. They can rip you off and do it legally. Say you have credit card with a 6% interest rate but one month you pay your bill one day late and then all of a sudden the interest rates jumps to 27% plus you have to pay a $35 late fee. I’d way rather trust my waiter with my credit card than whoever the fuck runs the credit card company. Fuck them.

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Don’t Care Who Pays; Just Pay

Maybe it’s me, but I am rarely in a situation where my friends and I are fighting to pay the check. It has been rumoured (and confirmed) that I am cheap, stingy, greedy and poor. So last night when I saw two people arguing over who would have the privilege of paying the bill, it was like looking into this weird other world that makes no sense to me. Coming from a history of dollar menus, Top Ramen and trailer parks I give thanks when someone says “no, let me pick up the check.” Here is what I do not say after hearing those words: “Oh no, let me get it.” Instead I say, “Okay, but let me order another round first then.” (Right, Marlene?)

Last night at table six, three different people out of five wanted to be the big shot and pay the bill. The check was substantial too; about $179. As they were all flashing their credit cards at me trying to get me to take theirs, I looked at the two other people and gave them a knowing look. I shared a brief telekinetic moment with each of them as we looked deep into each other’s souls and recognized the cheap ass kinsmanship we shared. Meanwhile, three credit cards were being thrust at me. I have a rule. The first person who either says they are paying or gets the card or cash in my hand is the one who pays. I don’t care. I wish I could just flat out ask who is going to tip the most because then that would be who will pay, but it somehow seems a bit tacky to do that. I may be be cheap, but I ain’t tacky. Okay, I admit it. I am cheap and tacky. Case in point. So I took the credit card from the pasty faced man because he was the one who made eye contact with me first and had his credit card the most accessible. As I walked away from the table, I heard the other two wannabees grumbling about how I should have taken their credit card. Again, it makes little or no difference to me who pays. Unless Pasty Face’s card was declined, he would be paying. The only time I may go back on my own rule is when the people who are both wanting to pay are of different genders. In that case, I always go with the man. No, not because I think a gentleman always pays or I think that women don’t deserve equal rights. It’s because in my experience, men just tip better. Sorry ladies, it’s a fact. If I have a choice between a four top of men or a four top of women, bet your bottom dollar that I am going to take the men. In the case last night, all three who wanted to pay were men, so Pasty Face won. When three men are trying to outdo each other by flashing their American Express cards, I just wanna tell them to get a ruler, go to the bathroom and measure your dicks already.

Pasty Face’s card was successfully run and he left me a fat 20% tip, so I definitely was pleased with the outcome. The two other men probably felt like Pasty Face was the winner but in my eyes the winners were the two silent people who never offered to pay in the first place. They kept their mouths shut, their eyes down and their penis in their pants and left without having to open their wallets all evening. Job well done, you cheap sons of bitches. I couldn’t have done it any better myself.

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Cash, Credit or Scamming?

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.

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Stop Taking Credit Card Vouchers

I know I must have written about this before, but it bears repeating. Why the fuckity fuck can’t people remember to leave their credit card voucher after they sign it? I realize that in this day and age of identity theft, one must be ever so careful with personal info and documents. I’ve had my identity stolen before and it’s a really shitty thing. (And I curse those assholes who worked at Home Depot and helped me fill out a credit card application and then stole all my digits and opened up a three new credit card accounts at Wal-Mart and the like.) We have to be aware. But we also have to leave the credit card slip for the restaurant. We need it. I need it. For my tip.

Last week a lady was paying for her whole table. They rang up a bill of $314.00 and she gave me her credit card to pay for it. Now this lady was pseudo-famous and had a crowd of people around her after the show so it was hard to get her bill to her and then collect payment. I pretty much had to get it to her via carrier pigeon, but I did. I watched her sign the voucher and place it on the table and then she continued talking to all of her fans. Finally, after about 30 minutes of her being surrounded by a pack of hounds, she left. With the credit slip. Goddammit, lady! There goes my tip on a $314.00 check. No! The humanity. The horror. I ran to the sidewalk and saw nothing but the usual bags of trash and cars about to be towed, but no credit slip. What do I have to do? Do I have to somehow attach our copy to the table so they know that it stays? I guess the words “restaurant copy” are simply not enough.

But I wanted that tip. It’s not cool (not to mention illegal) to add the tip. Not that I haven’t done that before but when I did it felt uncool. And illegal. I approached the performer of the evening, for it was her mother who jetted with my gratuity. “Err, is your mother still around because I think she accidentally took our copy of the credit voucher.” My subtext was, “I need you to find your old lady mom and get that fucking credit voucher or else I am getting stiffed on 300 bucks.” The performer was totally cool about it and said to just void her mom’s transaction and she would pay for it. So I did it and handed her the new voucher. Which she quickly signed. Without adding a tip. Seriously? Am I going to be stiffed twice on the same table? She thanked me and headed for the exit as I threw imaginary knives at her back. With one foot out the door, I heard her say, “Oh my God! I didn’t tip you!” I exhaled with relief and said something moronic like ‘it’s not my place to ask for a tip” or some other bullshit line. She scratched out $45 and handed back to me. I was happy.

But from now on I am stapling our copy to the table and hot gluing their copy to their face.

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Bad Credit?? No Credit?? No Problem!

Maybe it’s possible that I have a teeny tiny stripe of vindictiveness within my soul, but when a person’s credit card is declined I get some small bit of pleasure from it. Sometimes it happens to the most perfect person. I love when it happens to some asswipe who has given me so many problems and thought he was a big shot because he could boss around a waiter. When a guy like that has his card declined, my inner joy shoots right out of my eyes and onto his retard face when I utter those horribly embarrassing words. “Your credit card was declined.” People always have the same reaction. “Well, did you swipe it again? Or maybe type in the numbers, because the strip is bad? I’m sure that card is good.” Trust me, we always try it again because we don’t want to deal with it any more than you do. I would way rather it just be approved than have to go back to your bankrupt ass while you dig through your purse or wallet and try to find the “good” card. I usually try to tell them discreetly so as not to shame them in front of their friends, but I worked with this one guy at the Black Eyed Pea who loved it when a card was declined. One time, he went back to the man of no credit who was paying for his party of six or seven. He told him loudly and clearly “your card was declined.” He said it plenty loud enough so that everyone else at the table was sure to hear it as well. It was just plain mean and nasty. God, I loved that freakin’ guy. It’s the little things that get me through my shift…
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