I just worked my first swing shift. A swing shift is when you go in midway through lunch and stay until the restaurant is off the wait for the evening. Today I got to work at 1:30 and my station was cut at 10:30. Overall it was not a bad day, and I do have to admit that my new outlook is working great. For the last two days I’ve had great shifts, worked hard and made good money. And basically I just tell myself that no matter what’s happening there is no reason to be upset. It’s not worth losing your job over, yelling about, or losing your cool. And for the most part it’s worked.
I do have to admit though, that I had to take a couple of very deep breaths at the end of the shift tonight.
My last table of the evening was four British women who were sat around 9:30. There was nothing out of the ordinary about them and they were okay nice. They didn’t want to have fun, but they were pleasant enough. I should have known better. They ate at a snails pace. It took them almost an hour to finish their main courses. And when you have an appetizer, entree and dessert, that can take a while. They also had three rounds of cocktails. When it was all said and done, their bill came to $241.27 and they had been my only table for well over an hour by 11:30. At around 11:45 they finally paid their tab. They were very sweet and told me to keep the change.
And so breathlessly I took the money to the wait station and said a little prayer. And counted it.
They had given me $250.00. Good lord. And I got to keep the change. All$8.73 cents worth.
You have to be FUCKING kidding me. Eight bucks on a $240.00 tab. And it’s caused me to be at work an extra hour. Goddamn it.
I just stood in the wait station, cringing. I was afraid to go back on the floor because I didn’t want to be tempted to say something to them. With most corporate restaurant jobs, the one sure way to be fired is to say something to a guest about a tip. The same holds true in my restaurant. But at the same time you have to be kidding me.
Just to break things down for you. I have to tip out 4 percent of my gross sales. So let’s just do the math. 4% of 240 is 9.60. Yes, that’s right, it’s actually cost me money to wait on them, and in the end I didn’t make a penny. And I’m still at work at midnight, when if they hadn’t been here I could have been home by midnight. AAAAAHHHHHH.
By the time I got home, I just let it roll off my back. There’s no use getting upset about it. It really doesn’t do any good when it’s all said and done. I still managed to walk with 13% of my sales for the day and that was still a significant amount of money. But I just keep thinking how nice the fifty bucks would have been if they’d tipped the 20 percent they should have. Ah, wishful thinking.
And now I’m going to go to bed, so I can have my new outlook during my shift tomorrow.
Wish me luck.