As my regular readers will know, in addition to working a full time day job, I also bust my butt a couple nights a week as a server at a local restaurant. I have been at this particular place over 7 1/2 years. I am not the best server in the whole wide world, but as a general rule I'm pretty darn competent.
Except last night.
Seriously, it was one of those nights where it is really good that I'm not a brain surgeon, or the person on the assembly line who was supposed to install brakes on a car. It might as well have been my first day. Heck, I was probably more put together on my first day. I started things off by ringing in the wrong entree for someone (caught it before anyone notices, whew!), forgot to ring in a table's entrees (they were too engrossed in their smartphones to notice) and then I shortchanged myself over $55.
How on earth does someone do that? Damned if I know. Basically it involves a dimwitted server misreading the printout from a gift card and telling the (surprised) patron that not only did their gift card cover their bill but they still had some left on it to boot! It was a random amount left on the gift card and I know from personal gift card use that I often have no idea exactly how much is left on a card, so obviously if my cashier told me it covered my bill, I would presume that it, oh I don't know, covered my bill.
So, not wanting to look like a greedy server I didn't take back the black billfold with the gift card slip inside (it is possible for people to tip using a gift card balance) until after the mother and daughter had left the table. It was when I went to close their bill out in the computer that I realized what a complete and utter bonehead I was. Yup, shorted myself $55. At that point it was almost funny that that was the next blunder in my comedy of errors sort of night. Like, crying funny, but funny nonetheless.
Well, bless that woman's cotton socks if she didn't call back about an hour later wanting to double check that her bill had been fully paid. Obviously the more she thought about it she was able to recall that there was no way that the gift card had covered her entire dinner and left change. So a confused hostess who had answered the phone came up to me wanting to know if there had been some sort of gift card problem at one of my tables earlier (because what kind of idiot server would let someone leave without paying their bill?)
So, thanks to Esther's good conscience (I caught her name when she called) I did not end up short $55; as she had correctly realized it would likely have come out of my pocket. Esther, wherever you are, you're good people. Thank you again.
Hopefully I should be good for a while now, since I committed about an entire year's worth of mistakes in one night!