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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Famous Person Dines and Dashes

I have a moral dilemma. Lots of things happen at work that I take notes about and share on this blog. It's what has gotten me to where I am today which is almost exactly where I was when I started this blog over three years ago. Sometimes things happen that I question whether or not to write about it and if I do decide to post it, how specific should I be? Is it wrong to "out" people who leave crappy tips? It's not really slander if I know for certain that someone did something, right? Recently, I had a walk-out. For those of you not in the restaurant business, first off, let me congratulate you on that, but secondly, let me explain what a "walk-out" is. It's when someone simply leaves the restaurant without paying their check, be it knowingly or unknowingly. There was a news story just this week about four people who committed a "dine and dash" at a restaurant in Sylvan Beach, NY. They were charged with theft of services and issued appearance tickets. Depending on the restaurant, it can really hurt the server because very often the cost of that check comes out of the server's apron. It's probably illegal to do that, but it happens all the time. It's happened to me. I had a walk-out last night.

The audience at the club are all very wealthy people who came out to support their equally wealthy friend who fancies herself a singer. I use the term "singer" lightly. Very very lightly. Like, if the term was any lighter, it would float away. The room is full of people who come from money and they are all entitled elitists pricks who want what they want and they want it now. The problem is they don't know how to ask for anything, they only know how to demand.

"Give me a vodka martini," barks out the Lady With Dyed Black Hair.

"Yes, ma'am. Is there any particular vodka you'd like?"

"What? I dunno." She looks around for a friend, a butler or a maid to make the decision for her. Clearly, someone else usually makes this call. "Just bring me a martini," she spits out.

"Very good. One Belvedere martini, coming right up," I say, choosing the most expensive vodka on the list.

Five minutes later, I am sliding past a table while holding a tray of nine beverages. It's crowded, dark and the tray is very precarious. Just as I reach my table, I feel someone tapping me on my back. I turn my head to see what kind of medical emergency must be happening that would cause someone to need my attention at that precise moment and a woman tells me, "Vodka tonic."  Yeah, these are the people I am dealing with.

At booth three, I am waiting on a very famous 89 year old gossip columnist. She's crotchety and obviously does not want to be at the show. Seated with her, but on her own check, is the widow of a very well-known actor who died earlier this year. She's pretty and relatively friendly, especially compared to the royal pains in the asses filling the rest of my section.

"I'll have a margarita, frozen," she says.

"I'm sorry," I reply. "We can't do frozen because the blender makes too much noise during the show. Is on the rocks alright?"

"Too much noise? Oh.." She laughs a bit as if she doesn't quite understand why a blender crushing ice during a musical performance would be any problem at all. "Okay, I guess that's fine."

I return with her cocktail and she never needs anything else. As soon as the show is over, The Grand Dame of Dish and the Widow get up to make their way out of the room. The gossip monger's check has already been taken care of but the widow's has not.

"Ma'am, I have your check. Do you want it now or would you like me to leave it on the table?"

"Just leave it on the table," she tells me.

Famous last words. She never reappears. I go to the host and ask if she saw them leave. "Yes, they both left. I told them that there was an encore but the really old one said she didn't care."

"So the blond lady left too?" I ask.

"Yeah, why?"

"She didn't pay her check. It was for $45. I just fucking told her I had it."

"Yeah, she's gone."

And now I reach the moral dilemma. I know the woman's name. I want to out her as a "dine and dasher" but is it ethically okay to do that? Luckily for me, I work in a place where the managers know that these things happen on occasion and the money does not come out of my pocket. But she should know that what she did wasn't right. Maybe it was accident and if that's the case, then she would want to know, right? And if it wasn't an accident, then I should tell the world so that if you see her in your station, you know to acquire a credit card as soon as she puts her privileged butt in the seat. What I should do, is send this blind item to Page Six and let them publish it. Then I can wash my hands of the whole thing. But I like dirty hands.

Her name is Elke Krivat, widow to Ben Gazzara. If you have a Google Alert for yourself, Elke, you owe the club $45 and you owe me $9. What's wrong with you?

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MarketsNYC said...

Go, Bitchy!

Chantel said...

Demanding women suck. Cheaters suck more, but thieves suck the worst. And boil it down, that's what this is.

I love dirty hands.

RealSugar said...

I love that you did this. LOVE that you did this!!!! Good for you. Im a bartender in fine dining and I hate how these entitled pricks act :)

fmcgmccllc said...

My friend posted that the window King of Metro Detroit did not tip on his bar bill and I will never buy windows from that douche.

bistis6 said...

I already knew in my mind who the "performer" must have been, but I went to the website just to make sure. How many times did you "YAWNA" during the show? And I wonder how much she paid to get that rave in the Times? Of all the audiences of the self-proclaimed entitled, hers - BY FAR - were always the worst.


Anonymous said...


Freddy said...

This is epic. Sorry this happened man. It's happened to me too a few times over the years and sure enough, it comes out of the servers pocket. Yeah - you should out them. Good work

Anonymous said...

I had a lady once tell me her debit card was in her car and she just "had to run out quick" and get it. She seemed nice and Honest, but fooled me. She never came back.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap this is my new favorite post of yours! The shamalamadingdong twist at the end made me SMILE SO MUCH!


Scott said...

A $45 margarita ?

I'd have ran out.

Mark W said...

Send this to TMZ and Page Six. Sometime next week, the woman will return to pay her bill and will give you an enormous tip with her apologies. said...

Out 'em! Out 'em all!

Anonymous said...

@ Scott... First of all there is a two drink minimum. Second, its new York not some dive bar in Arizona. Thirdly a maegarita with decent tequila at a nice place can easily run $22. If you can't afford it get out and buy some arbor mist at Walmart

Anonymous said...

"For those of you not in the restaurant business, first off, let me congratulate you on that,"

lol, agreed.

Mary A. said...

I am really impressed that you know who she is.


Now I will google her too & tell me husband: "That lady? Is a big fat thief."

Becky said...

I definitely think it's ok to out people who do blatantly wrong stuff. As you pointed out, not paying your tab is no better than stealing, famous, rich, or not.

Another reason for outing them? People like this behave like assholes because other people tolerate it. Um, no, it's not ok to be a dick and expect me to foot your bill.

California Girl said...

In Massachusetts they call it "Chew & Screw".

California Girl said...

btw, I was guessing Mayor Bloomberg & Faye Dunaway hahahahaha!

Sarah F. said...

I love this post! "I like dirty hands." BEST part. haha. :) And I would definitely do the same thing; why go out if you can't pay?? Maybe she has Alzheimers or Dementia or something. lol...

Anonymous said...

I was hoping I would recognize the name, but alas, I do not. Google to the rescue.

Confessions from the Hairdresser said...


WE (all of us, service people ESPECIALLY) have to hold these assholes ACCOUNTABLE because if the roles were reversed they would set out to have us punished in some way (and if at our place of business, they would make every serious attempt to fuck up our lives by having us fired).

They should be held to the same professional standard as service-industry people and when they act like assholes they should be written-up, disciplined, and eventually FIRED.

Anonymous said...

I waited on a congessman who was doing a fundraiser. Said Congressman walked out without tipping. I walked out into the parking lot and introduced myself to him. I proceeded to tell him I make 2.13/hour plus tips not a cushy 6 figure income. I thanked him for coming and walked back inside. 30 minutes later his assistant came back with $200.00 and apologized to me.
I believe sometimes we have to remind these people we are trying to make a living too.

Anonymous said...

I was horrified when I read this about my friend Elke. I've known her for many years and both Ben and Elke were and are very generous and big tippers. I asked Elke and she was invited to that show and therefore never thought that she owed anything. I think you should apologize to her and be informed before you slander someone else.

Anonymous said...

She was in fact informed that she had a bill before she decided to walk out without paying. As adressed above, it's only slander if it's not true. This is a little late to the game.

Jady said...

In reply to Elke's "Friend" and her thin attempt at defending Elke:

Even HAD Elke been an "Invited Guest" and not obligated to pay for her consumption, were she actually (as you claim) a "Good Tipper," then she would know she is damn well obligated to leave her server a TIP.

Case Closed.


Even Later to the Party

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