I hate scammers…people looking for a freebie at the expense of the restaurant. It takes profits out of the owner’s pockets which means, sooner or later, it comes out of my pocket. One of my biggest peeves is the free pie for birthdays when it’s NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY! Even on a birthday it’s annoying. It’s supposed to generate more dessert sales, but everyone at the table ends up sharing the free pie and the restaurant gets dick. With that in mind, there was a situation last night that even I thought was handled poorly.
I had a nice younger couple in my section who I’ve waited on before, and they usually tip pretty well. They were very polite and smiled a lot until the SW approached their table with water. I was right behind her and I heard the man ask if we did anything for birthdays. The SW asked, “Do you want me to sing, or what?!” which in my opinion was a pretty snotty response from someone who instituted the “smile or you’re fired” rule. I would never say anything like that to a table.
Anyway, the guy asked if we gave out a free piece of pie. The SW sorta stammered that we could…then the woman said that it was the guy’s birthday too. This got the SW’s back up. She asked if they were really both born on the same day. The woman admitted that her birthday was the next day and the guy’s birthday was on Friday. The SW told them to come back on their actual birthdays and we would give out free pie. The woman meekly said they were leaving for spring break and wouldn’t be around. The SW said, “I don’t have any sympathy for people who leave for spring break.” My jaw hit the floor. Holy shit. She was trying to be funny, but it came off as rude and snooty.
Talking to a table like that is a guaranteed way for me to lose my job. Her whole philosophy is she wants people to leave happier than when they walked in. I’m betting those two didn’t leave happy at all, and since they left me a 5% tip, I’m willing to say it was all my fault. What’s worse is the SW and I are both blonde and we were both wearing red shirts. If they decide to call and complain, guess who’s getting the ass chewing.
While scamming pisses me off, there are ways to handle it without alienating the customers. The SW needs to learn a little humility when dealing with the public or back off from my section before I go broke.