I don't like to add an automatic gratuity onto the checks of large parties. I wrote a whole episode of These American Servers on the subject, and then this happened, so I wrote about it instead. You'll probably get the original later this month. Lucky you! And even though it's spelled Tanya it's pronounced Tonya, just so you know.
I spend about five shifts a week working with Tanya G. and she's a fucking bitch! Actually, she's not a bad person; she's a good worker, has a lot of regulars and her tables seem to like her. She's just really annoying.
Instead of saying "Look out! (my own all-purpose go-to alert)" or "Behind ya!", she'll be like "Uh! Do you have to stand there!?" She's pretty good about doing running sidework but when I'm filling the ice holes she's inspired me to always say "Uh! Am I the only one who ever fills this ice!?", mocking her. It always gets a big laugh out of our coworkers. Like a lot of Americans, she suffers from a serious inability to be cool. If she sees a manager posting a notice about how they need someone to work Sunday morning, for instance, she'll immediately pipe up with "Joe's not scheduled then!"
On Thursday she had a real bad day. A party of students from Kraplan Career Institute or MedVance or Halfwit For-Profit Remedial Community Junior Bible Academy to Learn You Stuff (or whatever) had a reservation. There were about 30. The M.O.D. decided to put them in a large room that's pretentiously dubbed The Solarium. Tables weren't pulled together. Clients just plopped down at the various fourtops. As usual we were shorthanded and Tanya got the whole crew by herself.
I was bartending and not too busy,so after making her party about three LITs and a couple of Strawberry Banana Daquiris, I jumped in to help. I got some of her beverages for her and took a lot of the orders and she rang everything in. It went OK, but after all their food was out I had to go see to the service well and a few barflies I had. Tanya ran around looking for a calculator. She wanted to add a gratuity to her party and our shitty NCR cash register can't handle that. By this time the group was wanting desserts or their checks or more Diet Dr Pepper or whatever. I got some beverage refills, did some prebusing and smiled a lot, but any questions they had, I didn't speak English. Poor Tanya, already extremely weeded, broke down in tears when several of them started griping about the auto-grat, even though the menu says that it's added to parties of six or more and they were told about it when they booked the reservation.
I felt sorry for her, but not too much. For one thing, I'm no genius and I can figure out and add 15% to a check plenty fast in my head. Why can't Tanya? And the time she spent dicking around seeking and using her
ciphering device could have been better spent taking care of business. Sure, she was waiting on some reprehensible cheap-asses and would have gotten less than 15% without the auto-grat. But (of course) the manager waived the tip for anybody that bitched about it, so she got less than 15% anyway. Her stress about auto-gratting a herd of free-range A-holes made her bad day into a nightmare.