I left a slower then typical restaurant a little while ago having received a 70% gratuity on a $97.00 check. And I'll tell you why...
Personal Disclaimer: I have been on such the writing hiatus this past few months(?) that I had forgotten my damn password. No excuses on this end of things, but to explain: The restaurant is on average more quiet in the summer months and I have spoiled my family and myself with two weeks of vacation away at the beach over the last month.That said, I have been Back To Black so to speak (Amy Winehouse your talent was exceptional, bless your soul) for a week and was welcomed back with a crazier than average eye-opener, that I may still be recovering from, just a few hours ago.
I spent the majority of my dismal evening pacing the restaurant avoiding my section of the dining room, as to not look too fucking bored out of my mind on this not-so-typical dead Wednesday in late July. I crawled through my night waving off the other servers one by one, until the only people who were left was my brother, the hostess and counter girl, the kitchen staff and myself. I had one pitiful and curious pizza table in the front dining room as the clock struck 8:30 and I contemplated reviewing previously pondered suicide plans for such horrid displays of "wealth gaining" as I saw the family who would rescue me from borderline-complete mental breakdown.
I graciously greeted Mike, his wife and 2 boys as they sauntered into the front room to the table of their choice. Mike and his younger teenage sons have been coming in pretty often lately, but I haven't seen Her much at all this summer.
She wears a wedding ring that could help chip away at our national deficit, like 3 karats and then a couple extra boulders, in case you missed the mountain of pristine center diamond stone on a hefty platinum wedding band. Different Louis Vuitton bags, updated per season of course, hang on the back of her chair whenever I have seen her in another server's section. But for some reason I feel as though I have only seen her at my table once before. Well, let's just say she made a lasting impression this evening.
The early middle-aged couple always order multiple bottles of pricey red wine with dinner and over spend on additional food or wine to take home for the following day, and they are also always very generous to all of our servers. Only two nights ago he left me $25 on $75 just because, and I am not one to write about shitty or awesome grats, but they are exceptional tippers.
Their meal was going accordingly. The boys were served their usual drinks, ordered an appetizer and a large pizza, as well as additional entrees, as I popped open their second bottle of wine. The misses didn't care for her entree choice, as she had modified a menu item and forgot that she previously had requested it another way. That's not a big deal when the customers are patient and have a reputation of being generous. She then handed me her credit card to express that she didn't want to keep me too late at work and commented that my wife must be a wonderful woman for tolerating my work hours. And yes, babe, you are wonderful! So I cleared most of the table and asked if she was enjoying her dinner a bit more after we made her her second choice, when she aggressively lashed out at me, presuming that I had forgotten her and her name. I took a quick breath and apologized that we had never formally met and I had "..never known your name to have forgotten it <taking the credit card from my breast pocket>, Michelle. She glared at me as if i just called her a fucking whore and paused. _?_ Ok, what now?
She began to scream at me about how it was really shitty the way that I "did that" and to "just go run [her] card." My jaw dropped as I trying to wrap my head around what was happening. My head spun as her boys began to laugh hysterically in rounds and her husband said with a chuckle, "hey man, we have to live with her." As I regained my bearings and attempted to grasp whether or not she was messing with me or if the joke was me, the rich bitch (whose mother is British to support what next spewed from her mouth) snips, "I wasn't kidding! Piss off and go run my credit card." The boys continued to howl as I glared at her trying to decipher where in the fuck this outburst come from. Piss off, really? She might as well have told me to fuck off! Anger overcame me as I spun on my heals mumbling audibly only feet from the table, "what a fucking cunt", as I brooded that this crazy shit only happens to me! No other server has experienced the crazy shit that lands on my tables. WHY?!?!?!
I re approached the table silently, credit card swiped. I make eye contact, place the checkbook on the table's corner, smile and nod (fucking bitch). I ask if I can wrap up the remainder of her chicken dish as I am hastily trying to end this awkward interaction and chug a cold ass beer and go home to my apparently miserable and suffering wife, when my new best friend grabs my hands in her cold and boney palms and with a face as serious as death tells me, "my son doesn't think that you found my joke very amusing." Amus-what? Joke? Fuck you lady you psycho it's closing time and you want to play some kind of creepy, psychopathic joke on me? Piss off! Okay, to set the record straight: I had just "met" Michelle and we certainly don't know each other nearly well enough to be letting the bats out of the (her) closet, let alone play weird "jokes" on each other.
Mike finally chimes in with a chuckle, "we'll be ou'da here soon man." Michelle begins profusely apologizing for ME taking her joke the wrong way as her husband exclaims, "she took extra good care of you because she felt bad." Huh? SHE felt bad? I'm super confused because an already crazy lady who probably shouldn't have drunk a bottle of wine on her Lithium medication just freaked out on me and felt bad after the situation was calmed?
After a final goodbye and "is everything OK now Michelle?" and an affirmative, "yeah, are we good? OK, yeah we're good" exchange and handshakes, and a final "your wife is a great woman. i meant no disrespect" did I see that this crazy woman left me a $70 tip on a $97 check. That is just another reason why this lady is visibly insane, and now I think I like it. I'll be ready next time, Michelle.