It's always refreshing when someone who works in the service industry is able to experience some sort of justice when a customer has been evil. This edition is a tale of that experience.
I had a busy section one night. Sitting in my section was a gentleman who was dining by himself. At this particular time, I was working at a restaurant that is located inside a hotel. This gentleman was a guest of the hotel. He was having a great dining experience. He started out drinking a Manhattan, went on to a Pinot Noir with his dinner, and rounded out the evening with a nice glass of Port with his dessert. Throughout the man's dining journey, I checked on him to see how he was doing.
"How is everything?"
"Great. The Meatloaf is fantastic, and I really like the Pinot you recommended." The man boasted.
"Glad you're enjoying everything." I replied. I was happy that he was easy going because at that time, I was pretty busy with some other big tables that I was working on.
The evening continued. I approached the gentleman again. "Can I get you anything else?" He responded no, so I printed out his check, dropped it on his table and left a pen so he could sign it to his room. Now keep this in mind, I STILL had tables right next to this man. I was in sight the ENTIRE time. He finished his port, I saw him sign his check, and that should have been it. I left to use the bathroom, and when I returned, my manager quickly came up to the computer terminal with the man's check saying, "That man's pissed. He wanted a copy of his check." My manager printed out the copy, handed me my copy, and left. I looked at the check and saw that the man had wrote in a tip for 8 dollars. (An appropriate tip for the check amount.) But since he felt slighted by not getting a copy of the check, he crossed out the 8 dollar tip and wrote in 1 dollar. Again, this man had a great experience, and NEVER asked me for a copy of the check.
Wanting to resolve the situation and being the professional that I am, I quickly walked to where the man was standing to receive his copy of the check and offer my apologies. He had started walking down the hall to the elevators to go to his room. I called out to stop him.
"Sir, I apologize for not getting you a copy of your check. Since you didn't say anything about not wanting a copy, I didn't get you a copy. I just didn't know you had wanted a copy of the check."
"It's too late!" He barked. Apparently this man only works in absolutes.
"Again, I apologize for not knowing you wanted a copy of your check."
He turned and walked away. I went and closed out the check. Instead of accepting his dollar tip, I entered in "0" for the tip amount. I showed him! Then I closed it to his room number. Room 534. His name, Mr. Burke. "That's good to know." I thought.
Cut to later that night. At one in the morning, I decided to call and check in on Mr. Burke.
"Hi, can I have room 534 please?"
"The name on the room?"
"Burke. B-U-R-K-E" And they put me through. Nobody answered. I decided to stay up late and finish the movie I had started.
Before I went to bed, I decided to give Mr. Burke another call. I was 3:55 in the morning. After all, I was concerned that he was going to leave the hotel with a bad customer experience.
"Hi, can I have room 534?" They put me through. It rang twice. Then, a groggy man answered the phone.
"I'm just calling to let you know that the escort you ordered is downstairs waiting for you in the lobby."
"Where?" Poor guy, he was still trying to wake up and figure out what planet he was on.
"The lobby. The escort you ordered? He's waiting for you."
"I have to be at the airport at 4am. I have a meeting." Mr. Burke said.
"Well, it's 3:55am right now. Good luck with getting to the airport in five minutes." I said with concern.
"Thanks." And he hung up.
Until next time... Server's don't pay their rent with compliments.
"Bitter. Party of one? Your table is ready."
The Bitter Bistro