Friday, November 19, 2010

day shift surprise

Yesterday was supposed to be a day off. I had tried, really tried, to pick up a day shift but was shut down quickly. Melissa was uninterested, Katie had an "amazon party" or something, and I knew Jena wouldn't be interested in giving up her shift. I have learned that you must time it right to get the positive results.
I woke up, refreshed, from a wonderful night of sleep. I needed that. Made coffee and headed to the laundry mat. Due to running, I am forced to frequent the laundry mat frequently.
Between washing/drying, I receive a text from Katie--saying, I know this is last minute, but I had a little too much whisky...would you want to work?
Of course, I agreed.
I have a marathon to think of and want fun money to celebrate post-race. I dream of food, wine and restaurants to enjoy these two fundamental needs in my life at. A day shift was welcome.
I arrive at work and find out that there are two large parties on the books. One was at Eleven and the other was at noon. The one at Eleven did not scare me. I knew that I would be able to avoid that one. When the party showed up, they were fun, all men, and mostly drinking.
The party at noon wanted separate checks. On the reservation slip, there was a notation about it and how they "tipped well". I think there is a difference of opinion in what tip well means.
I know that most people do not understand why separating a check is a huge pain in the ass. It is time consuming. It can be complicated to keep everything in order while taking care of the rest of your section. It is inconvenient. And, after everything is said and done, rarely are you compensated for your effort. I dine with friends, often, and we never ask for separate checks. I have good friends, though, that support my foodie love. They enjoy the food experience as much as I do, or they lead me to believe that they do.
Regardless, I really did not want this party. It was 10-12 women, flight attendants, and so I was scared of what they would need.
Of course, in rotation terms, it was my turn. They walk in, individually, with a cake, multiple balloons and big hair. Initially, there were four of them. I bring twelve waters and they tell me that there would be fourteen women. I make adjustments---add a table, two chairs and bring additional waters.
Meanwhile, they lawyers show up and they always are needy. They need a personal assistant to attend to their needs.
Anyways, while there were four women, one approaches me and says--we would like separate checks and we will compensate if you do it. If you choose not to, well, that is your choice.
I told her that as long as they remained in their designated seat, I would be happy to do the separate checks.
This woman, introduced herself to me and said--if you have any problems, please let me know. We do not want to be problematic.
Eventually, there were thirteen women, in all. The first lady to leave did not compensate well and I was annoyed. I had refilled her tea, countless times, and she was able to leave in a timely fashion.
A few of the women drank cocktails. Most of them preferred iced tea. I refilled and refilled and refilled. I saw their cake and brought forks, plates and arranged to have a knife available to them. They were surprised, I think. The main woman had brought paper plates but opted to use our plates when she noticed they were available to them.
I split the checks and handed them out.
Like I said, tip well does not mean the same to most people.
It was a mixed bag of compensation and I felt betrayed.
But, I still refilled the coffee that they ordered and cleared away some of the glassware that they were no longer using. The main woman asked me over, said thank you, and handed me more cash.
Yes, it was worth it. I was hasty in my judgment; yet, I had been handed all of their cashouts. I saw the return to my investment based on their credit card slip. Why would I think they would hand me an additional $30?
If every party did that, of course, I wouldn't mind doing separate checks. Tipping 12-15% on a separate check is not compensating. It always astounds me when people forget, conveniently, what they ordered or take in to account the tax/tip factor. Instead, they hand their friends, twenty dollars and figure they are done. They do not worry that they are screwing someone over. We all know these people. If I dine with someone that is cheap and does cover the tab, I won't go out with them again. It isn't worth it to me.
Alright, I will get off of my box. The day shift was surprising and lucrative. And, I did deserve the extra $$$. All of their needs were met.

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