All of a sudden the other day at mini-meeting a draconian new smoking policy was decreed at my work, effective immediately. No employee, including managers, can smoke anywhere on the property. Our GM, Brenda B, is a big-time consumer of Marlboro Lights. She announced the new rules but I promise they weren't her idea. Rumor has it that one of the area directors, supposedly a long-time secret smoker, finally managed to actually quit and in celebration got all johnson skull on everybody.
It used to be that individual GMs could set their store's smoking policies and ours were pretty liberal. Except during the rush, waitstaff and kitchen crew could just duck out to the back dock and satisfy their cravings. Even bartenders could usually find their way out there for a few quick drags occasionally during a shift. As far as I'm aware there were never any problems. Now you have to leave the building, cross the parking lot and go to the other side of the street if you want to burn one. Even if you woof 'em down pretty quick you're going to be gone five minutes easy, maybe longer.
After a good stretch where we used a lot of different AM bartenders, the task has fallen to a coworker named Quinzell. Today at about 2:00 I was pretty close to walking out the door when "Zell asked if I'd watch the bar while he took a trip to Marlboro Country (although in his case I think it's USA Gold Menthol Lights Country). I guess he had permission and it's not my problem if he didn't so I said "OK" and jumped behind the bar.
Usually when you watch the bar for a few, something fucked up happens or you have to deal with something complicated. Not this time. The few barflies were all in good shape. One guy was just finishing his Southwest Grilled Chicken. I could see 'Zell had already run dude's credit card. When he was finished I cleared the plate and wiped beneath it. Jones had eaten every bite so I said, "I'm sorry you didn't enjoy that, sir. We'll try to do better next time." That's one of my jokes I throw at them sometimes. Feel free to use it if you want. Being as how nobody reads this, everybody'll think you made it up.
"Can I get this to go?" the guy asked, holding up his nearly full tumbler.
"Sure thing, just a sec." I got a to-go cup and filled it with new tea, instead of just handing him the cup to pour into from his glass. See? I'll even go that extra mile for your guests.
"Anyway, the guy thanked me but added, "Quinzell always gives me a big cup." We've got kids' cups, regular to-go cups and large to-go cups. The large are for only if everything's going to the trailer, and they get charged for. If a dine-in customer wants to enjoy their (non-alcoholic) beverage with legs, it goes in a regular to-go cup.
The guy seemed pretty nice and must be at least sort of a regular and since you can say all kinds of shit to them if you smile, I said, "Then how about not repaying his kindness by snitching on him?" The client laughed a little and left, clutching his regular to-go cup.