Honestly, most of the people who come into restaurants are pretty nice. It's the other 5% who are assholes. And one of those 5% was sitting at table 12 last night. I work in a music venue where we have a showtime. If the show is at 8:00, we ask people to get there by 7:30 so they have plenty of time to check their coats, find their seats, order their cocktails, chat with friends, douche, etc. We also have a two-drink minimum as is customary at many of these types of clubs. Two. Drink. Minimum. We tell them when they make a reservation, it's on any postcard or flier that the performer passes out, it's on the menu, and we tell them when they get there. The only way we could make it any clearer is if we tattooed it on their faces which would be a truly wonderful thing.
The show started at 9:30. At 9:40, the door opened and in dragged a latecomer looking all pissed off that he had missed the beginning of the show, as if it's our fault for starting on time. "Hello, sir. Welcome," said the hostess. "Do you have a reservation?"
"I was told I didn't need one," he said. It sounded like he was pushing out a really solid piece of poop as he said it because his teeth were grinding and he had a serious constipation face.
"That's fine. And what's your name?"
He gave her a look of disdain. Or maybe it was sign of relief that his poop had receded back inside. "Bobby Douchebag Face." (The names have been changed to protect the assholes.)
"Alright, and can I get a phone number for you, Bobby Douchebag Face?"
He sighed heavily and and furrowed his brow. "Why do you need my phone number?"
The hostess explained to him that we take phone numbers so that if something is left behind like a scarf or dildo, we can call them to let them know. This is true, but mostly we do it so that if some low-life scumbag tries to skip out on his check, we can track his cheap ass down. He gave her his phone number. "Do you need my fingerprints too now?" Such a charmer. The hostess then asked him what he wanted for his drinks that evening. Plural. Drinks. He ordered some wine and a cheese plate and was taken to his seat. The show was now fifteen minutes in.
I quickly placed his wine before him and told him I would be back shortly with his cheese plate, although cheese seemed like the last thing this constipated asswipe needed. He called me back. As I leaned in towards him, he jutted his chin forward and pulled the corners of his mouth downward. (Do that.) At the same time he raised his eyebrows really high. (Do that too. Doesn't it just make you look like an asshole?) "Might I get some water with no ice?"
"You might if you say please," I thought. "Yes, sir," I said. Of course he didn't say thank you for the water. He didn't say thank you for the cheese plate. He didn't say thank you when I noticed his water glass was empty and I filled it without being asked. He never said anything to me. I repeatedly asked him if he wanted another glass of wine and he never did. Since we have a two-drink minimum, I added the minimum charge to his check which is for $5.50. After the show, when he looked at his bill, he called me over.
"Excuse me, but what is this 'minimum charge' on here about?"
I switched on to automatic waiter mode and smiled brightly. "Well we have a two-beverage minimum and you only had one so I have to add the minimum charge."
"I had food instead of another drink."
"Right, but we have a two-drink minimum and I can't substitute food for a beverage." This is true. Even though the food is more expensive than a drink, the mark-up is not as high, therefore two drink minimum. Sometimes I can look the other way, but not for this asshole.
"I assumed that the food would take the place of the second drink." He now looked like he was full on taking a dump in his pants, his face was so red and veiny.
"No, I'm sorry, it doesn't. Did someone tell you that?" Still smiling, me.
"No, but I assumed."
"Would you like a bottled water that you can take with you?"
"Well I suppose so since I'm already paying for it. I just don't understand why..."
"Sparkling or flat water, sir and I'll be right back with it."
He agreed to a Pelligrino but I saw him go back to the hostess to complain. She told him the same thing I did. He stared at his check for about ten minutes. Maybe he thought his Douchebag Face stare would remove the charge from his bill, but it didn't. He finally handed me his credit card and I charged him the $50.00. Knowing I would get no tip, I placed it back in front of him and told him thank you and to have a good night and all that other bullshit. He left me four bucks, which was more than I expected.
Had he been nice at any point during the evening, I would have been happy to remove the minimum charge for him. Yes, it's a rule, but sometime they can be bent. If he would have been kind and smiled and said, "I'm sorry. I really thought that since I ordered the cheese plate, it could take the place of my second drink. I guess I misunderstood," I would have been apt to be kind in return. But he was an asshole from the second he walked in (late) and I had no reason to do anything for him.
Moral of the story: be nice. Just be fucking nice, you grumpy asshole.
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