Monday, October 21, 2013

A Struggling Single Mom ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all right reserved

     Big-eyed co-worker Carrie was looking through the trash cans beneath the POS register as I rung something up. "I lost one of my credit card receipts," said Carrie, "has anybody seen it?" Neither I nor the other nearby employee had. Carrie'd picked up the voucher from her vacated table, looked at it and then misplaced it.
     "Damn, that sucks. Do you know how much was on it?" I asked.
     "Yeah, the total was $34.something and they brought it up to $40. What do you think I should do?" said Carrie, a struggling single mom to whom every five dollars means a lot.
     Like at most restaurants, excepting Chili's®, our managers take our cashouts, glance at how much we owe, count our money and never look at our credit card slips. If you had, like, $1200 in sales or something and no credit card payments, I guess it's possible they might delve into that anomaly, but that's about it. Sometimes a client will pay with plastic and when you return to the empty table, you'll find they've taken the voucher and you're shit out of luck. But if I've seen the CC receipt before it got misplaced and know for sure what I've been left? You know what I'm gonna do and I'm sure you would too. I counseled Carrie thusly.
     "I don't know," quibbled Carrie, "I  don't want to get in trouble or anything."
     "Look. You do what you want. But you asked and I've been doing this shit for 30 fucking years," I exaggerated (but not by all that much!). "I've been through that credit card ordeal hundreds of times (another possible slight exaggeration), sometimes the amount's way more than five bucks. And you know how many times it's come back to bite me on my ass? Exactly zero.
     "I'm not suggesting you do anything dishonest—although it may be a rules violation—you're entitled to that money. Besides, what kind of trouble might you get into? You've been working here for three damn years and they've never had any reason to question your integrity. Worst-case scenario? You have to give back the fiver. And I promise that ain't gonna happen.
     "Yeah," replied the harried Carrie, "I guess you're right but I don't know..." Then we each went about our respective business
     I saw lunch-closing Carrie a little bit later as she was doing her cashout. "Wha'd ya wind up doing about that credit card?" I asked.
     "Oh," said Carrie, "I entered the tip as "zero." I don't want to get in trouble."

     Since I got fired from a restaurant I worked at for over nine years—I'm calling it the American El Chico—I'm really blessed to have been welcomed back on nights at a restaurant I worked dinners at during a lot of 2012. And I start another restaurant tomorrow on days. So I guess it looks like I'll be OK for awhile. At least financially. Since I seem to be totally incapable of getting any good women to even momentarily consider getting interested in me, I might as well work a lot and make some money I guess. Hell, I can be lonesome slinging chow in station seven just as well as I can sitting on the couch at home. Besides, what else do I got to do?

     Something that always bothers me at every restaurant everywhere ever is an even bigger problem at my current PM gig. Employees that bus and reset tables usually do an adequate job on the table tops. But they tend to suck at everything else relating to those tables. Like, you might have a buser take care of a table of yours that just emptied. You'll walk by there and at first glance it'll look OK. But look at the seats. There'll be crumbs and detritus, maybe some mayonnaise smeared on there. And crap under the tables, like used napkins or some dropped cutlery will be there that shouldn't be. I really hate that shit. Managers, do you think you could mention this in tomorrow's line-up? That'd be great.

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