Change Will Do You Good

The holiday season is a magical time, no doubt. And working in a restaurant in December for the most part is excellent. I have gotten some pretty excellent “holiday” tips, regular customers have been showering me with cards and candy and gifts. It has been fun. Until yesterday. There is always that one day the Trailer Park Trash descend upon the greater Walmart area, and just guess where my restaurant is? Right in front of Wally World. Time to vent, people!!

There was just a vibe about yesterday. I got lulled into thinking it would be a great day because 3 of my co-workers separately brought in doughnuts. Why wouldn’t it be a great day? Sprinkles and sugar mean great things, don’t they? Nope. But those tasty pastries did help to soothe the pain, because comfort eating is one of my biggest downfalls.

It was a day where I just couldn’t crack about 15% most of the day. That is unusual on a Saturday. Have people started peeking at their credit card balances already? Wait until January before you depress yourself like that. But whatever it was, it hit me and my co-workers hard, because the other servers said it was bad too.

I had a table of three women, a grandma, mom and daughter (the daughter was adult aged, not a child.) They were not so bad it seemed, although grandma was one that spoke down to me a little. Bummer, because she paid the bill at the end. I helped her navigate the menu, she wanted just a taco and enchilada, not a whole meal. She didn’t know the term “a la carte” so I explained it to her, not in a bad way. She just didn’t like me for whatever reason. One of those, you know? She probably doesn’t like her own family either, she seemed pretty salty about everything. They ate, we boxed up leftovers, and after all of that I dropped the check. Grandma pulls out a card, and as I reach to take it from her, the granddaughter slips her what looked like about $40 in cash. I return with card, receipts and a pen and thank them for stopping in, and I wish them a Happy New Year. Then, as I walk around I hear the very distinct sound of change getting dumped out and counted. Yep, they’re leaving me all change for a tip. I return to the table after they leave to $6.41 in quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. No pocket lint this time. Bummer. This was about a 14% tip, more than I figured I would get, but it’s a very defeated feeling you get when this happens.

My friends Amy and Mike were sitting at the bar along with my friend Jaime when this all occurred. I had mentioned that I could hear them digging out change. They were amazed, and then because they are all comedians, they emptied out their change and gave it to me too. But all that change does add up, and I save it. I don’t change it in at the end of my shift. That’s like free money in my world, I pay for vacations and stuff with change. But it just boils down to how some people are, and why some servers and bartenders have negative attitudes sometimes. It’s cumulative.

Those ladies were not the worst though, the last 2 of my shift take that prize. They did not seem to care for our salsa, which is served complimentary with chips. Free. No charge for that. They complained to me about it, and I apologized, because that is all I can do at that moment. I don’t make the salsa. I didn’t even serve it to them, the Chip Guy does that. I brought them extra bean dip, but the one lady just didn’t let it go, and kept making snide comments about the salsa. Now, my bad attitude had reached it’s peak, but I was still polite, I served them, was pleasant and finished serving them. They paid, separate checks, which is fine. Their table total was about $38. They sat for a while after, and I was finished so I waited for them to leave so I could pick up my tip. All $1.15 of it. I don’t make the salsa!!! The Change Ladies actually were a dream compared to these broads. It was just the cherry on top of the crummy day that started so promising with all the doughnuts.

I cannot stress enough how rare days like this are. I love my job most days and the time flies on the fun days. Yesterday felt about 3 shifts longer than it was. But let me tell you, I will run out the door the next time I see so many doughnuts in back. I know a sign when I see it. Yes, I will grab three of those doughnuts and probably end up in a corner rocking and mumbling to myself. At least my vacation change jar is almost full.

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