Restaurant Dramarama, Part 2

August 3, 2009

Here, as promised, is the story of the incident. Sorry it took a little while—I needed some time to get the order of events straight. There will actually be a third part, as I just found out how everything turned out this morning.

When I attempted to walk into the main kitchen, I found Sisters B and C blocking my path, red-faced and looking highly perturbed, to say the least. Sister C held a few tickets with credit card slips in her hand. Before I even had the chance to ask what was wrong, Sister C enlightened me.

“Hipster’s been mixing up the tips again,” she said, shoving the tickets into my hand. “We haven’t been getting our money.”

“Ok, I’ll talk to her.”

“I don’t care. Go get the tips.” Sister C demanded, in a tone that implied this was somehow my fault. Irritated, I gave the checks a cursory glance and saw Sister C was owed $7 and Sister B, $2. I stomped over to the register, and retrieved the cash for the waitresses.

“I had more than this.” Sister B whined.

“That’s all that was on the tickets your sister handed me.”

“Well, go back and check, because I know I should have more.” Not wanting to escalate this further, I shrugged in resignation and went back to the register. By now, Hipster looked like she wanted to disappear into the candy shelves.

“Why didn’t you separate the tips like I showed you?” I snapped as I started digging through the credit card slips.

“But—but, I did, I thought.”

I froze. Almost comically slowly, I turned my head to look at her.

“What?”

“I put them up on the shelf, like you told me to.” She gestured to the wire candy rack and lifted up the candy price list to show me a small pile of tickets. Tickets that had been hidden behind said price list.

I looked at the tickets Sister C had given to me. I looked at the pile. I looked back at the tickets Sister C had given to me. I looked at Hipster.

“Where did these come from?”

“I don’t know; they came over here and started moving stuff around.”

Great. A bad situation to begin with was now turning into a veritable clusterfuck. If the tickets were mixed up, then it was going to be very difficult to determine which tips actually had been distributed and which had not. And it also opened up the possibility that I had given tips to Sisters B and C twice.

Looking back at the three tickets in my hand, I realized that I had, in fact, double tipped at least once. How did I know? Because one of the tips was one I had written and remembered giving to Sister C. Hipster had written the other two. I held them up.

“Did you give these out?”

“I’m not sure…maybe?” Well, she was no help. At the very least, I knew the $4 tip, the one I had written, would have to be retrieved. I caught Sister C in the kitchen.

“I made a mistake and gave you an extra $4. I need you to give it back.”

“Ahahahaha, no.” she laughed. Rather, she tittered, like a snotty cheerleader spurning a lonely nerd’s request for a date. It was the laugh of the beautiful and spoiled. And when I heard that disgusting little titter, something in me snapped.

“Ahahahaha, yes. I wrote that tip and gave it to you personally, and I am not going to have the register come out short because of you!” I fired back, the last few words almost yelled.

“Ohmigod, K, what are you doing?” her smile frozen, Sister C looked around nervously. “Don’t be so loud.”

It was about this point that Owner decided to step in. He separated me from the stunned waitresses (whether they were more stunned by my volume or by my actually standing up to them, I don’t know) and began giving me quiet instructions.

“Babe, I want you to calm down,” he said. I nodded and bit back the vitriolic tirade that wanted to spill forth.

“Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna look at all those credit card slips. You’re gonna figure out what happened and if you owe anyone money. And then you’re gonna put a rubber band around them and we’re not giving out any more tips today until the end of the shift. Okay babe?”

“Yeah, I got it.”

“And I don’t want any waitresses by the register,” he added before walking back to grill to inform the waitresses of the situation. Almost immediately, Sister B, the biggest control freak of them all, started stomping to the register.

“I SAID, NO MORE WAITRESSES NEAR THE REGISTER!” Owner bellowed.

“But I just want to look at the tickets!” Sister B whined.

“K is looking at them and sorting this out. You just go take care of your customers.”

“But I want to make sure I got all my money!”

Owner’s tone became positively venomous. “K is taking care of it. You can look after she’s done.

With the waitresses out of my hair, I was able to finally sort things out. Hipster informed me that she didn’t think she had given Sister B the $2 tip, but she wasn’t sure about the $3 for Sister C. I didn’t feel like starting another row, so I just told Owner that I thought all the tips were given out by now, but that three things might happen: everything could be fine, the register could come up $3 short, or we might owe Sister C $3.

After I bound the tips together, Sister B came over to check my work.

“Are you sure I don’t have any more tips?”

“Yes. I’ve gone through all of them. And look,” I added, “I need you guys to not be over my shoulder, checking on your tips. We will make sure you get your tips.”

“Well, it’s our money, so we’re going to check.” Sister B said, in that same snotty tone that had set me off on her sister previously. I kept my cool this time, though.

“No,” I said. “You’re not. I need you to trust me to do my job.”

“Well, you guys need to keep track of these things,” she said and started to walk away. I wasn’t about to let her have the last word on this, though.

“We can’t keep track of things if you come over and mess with our system. Stay out of the tips if you want to get them!” She didn’t stop walking, but I know she heard me.

I had about fifteen minutes left in my shift, but Owner decided to let me go home early to rest up before that evening. I thanked him, clocked out, and went outside to sit and wait for my ride.

As I waited, I felt ill at the prospect of returning to The Restaurant in a couple hours. I almost never get embroiled in drama. If it occurs while I’m on the clock, I’m usually uninvolved or just a bit player. This has allowed me to maintain a decent relationship with my coworkers. What if I fucked all of that up? The Sisters (with the slight exception of Sister A, who’s a little more laid back) are not the type of people you want to piss off.

A couple minutes later, Owner poked his head out the door. “K, you did everything I told you to do and you used your best judgment. Don’t worry about the register or the waitresses—I’ll take care of it. Good job, babe.”

Well. At least my boss isn’t pissed at me.

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One Response to “Restaurant Dramarama, Part 2”

  1. PurpleGirl Says:

    Good for you, standing up to them! I hate people like that, who think that being a waitress means they’re in charge of everyone.

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