I had a VERY stressful night at work.
Tonight around 11:30 I was working trying to get through the end of the night. I picked up money for a check. Went to the wait station and counted out the change, put the money back in my pocket, dropped off the change and went to the bar to pick up drinks. When I got to the bar, I did what I often do and put my hand in my pocket. And my money was not there. I panicked. I went running toward the wait station and as I turned to go in someone yelled my name. I looked back and there was a trail of money all over the floor. Several of us picked up the money as quickly as we could. Picture one of those machines that’s blowing the money around and you are grabbing it as fast as you can.
I get all the money back in my pocket and go back to work. About 30 seconds later I panic. What if somehow we missed a twenty dollar bill, or a fifty or even worse a hundred. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
I realized there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to finish my shift and pray for the best.
Just a note to all you non-restaurant people out there. Most waiters carry their banks in their pockets. Not just their tips but all the revenue they’ve collected for the evening. At the end of the night they run a report. The report totals up all your sales, from that amount it subtracts your credit card payments and then you get a total due. You give the restaurant it’s cut and what ever is left is yours to keep. If by chance you lose your bank you are responsible for it. So let’s say I hadn’t found my money tonight. I would have had to cough up all the money I owed out of my own pocket. To put this in perspective as to how much money we are talking about. I’ve had to pay as little as a couple of hundred dollars. And one night I had over 2300 dollars in my pocket. It’s a little scary when you think about it.
So as soon as I ran my report. Before I’d even finished my side work or gone to the office where everyone else was doing their cashout, I counted my money. I owed the restaurant 900 dollars even. I had 927 dollars in my pocket. I counted again. And again. And again. And again.
FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.
I counted one last time and realized that basically my whole night had been a waste of time.
I went in to the cash out office, pulled out a chair, plopped down in it and started doing my paperwork. As I was doing it I told everyone in the office what had happened. They were all very compassionate. Not compassionate enough to offer me money, but nice all the same. So I’m sitting there counting my money again and Melissa says, did you drop some money on the floor. I look down and there’s about 50 bucks on the floor. I assume in my despair I’d dropped it. I count it all out again and now I have 975 dollars. Perhaps I’m just stupid. I count again. And yep. It’s 975. So I made 75 dollars not 27. Big fucking deal. I stand up to go turn in my money and Nick, my fellow cocktailer says to me, “Yo fucktard. You dropped your money on the floor again.” I pick up the money and what do you know. I now have 1045. What the fuck.
And then I realize what has happend.
I’ve told you guys a lot about my restaurant. Some of you by now even know where I work. My restaurant is big. There are 130 servers on the schedule. With so many people and so many shifts and so much stuff to cover most of the time their is very little attention paid to our uniforms. I should also say that as a rule, I’ve never met a waiter who has a clean uniform every day. A clean shirt maybe. But never new pants every single day. Some of the people I work with wear the same pants for weeks at a time without washing them. I know it sounds gross, but in the big scheme of things that would gross you out a lot less than some of the other things I could tell you about. I have a pair of pants that I wear to work that I’ve had since I started. They fit me better than most of my other pants so I wear them a lot. I’ve worn them a couple of times this week and since there were no ranch dressing splashed all over them I decided to wear them again today.
Now the thing about the pants is that they are two years old. And have been worn to hell and back. The cuffs are ripped and torn. The right side is bleached a lighter color because of the towel I carry. And there are four of five holes in them that are mostly covered by my apron. One of the holes happens to be a rip that is parallel to my right pocket.
So tonight I’d put my money in my pocket.
Only I’d missed my pocket and put the money in the hole in my pants that runs parallel to my pocket. When I went running the money fell out of my pants leg. I picked it up not realizing that there was more there. When I sat down more fell out. When I stood up to take my money to the cashier more fell out. When I realized what was happening I shook my leg and a whole pile of bills fell out.
When it was all said and done I counted my money and although it was not as much as I’d have liked it to be it was a realistic amount based on my sales for the evening.
Those pants are going in the garbage tomorrow. And even though I don’t have any other clean pants, I’ll be scrubbing the ranch dressing off another pair so I have pants that are safe to wear to work.
I’ll take the money I didn’t lose tonight and buy new pants on Saturday.