Jail Would Have Been Less Painful Than The Embarrassment

, , , | Legal | November 17, 2020

I have been in the service industry for about four years now. I’ve had my share of rude customers, complaints, and the occasional — but mostly rare — dine-and-dashers. It’s part of the job, nothing I take personally.

One night, I have a two-top arrive about thirty minutes to close. These two seem like they are on their first date; I can tell off the bat that they haven’t known each other for very long. They are extremely polite and don’t need much attention, so I figure it’ll be an easy table. These two get full-course meals. I’m talking multiple alcoholic beverages, appetizers, baskets and baskets of fresh bread, combo entrees with add-ons and extras, salads, dessert, everything you can think of.

About halfway into their meal, they call me over and the man starts to complain about his half-eaten well-done sirloin steak.

Man: “My steak is overdone and tough to chew!”

No kidding. It’s well-done.

Man: “I will not be paying for these entrees!”

I happily offer to grab my manager to work something out, and I promise him that he will not be forced to pay for his half-eaten steak. My manager comes to a compromise with the couple and gives them a generous discount from their $160 tab. It brings their total down to $38. My manager runs their check out for them and they seem very pleased with the outcome.

By the time I arrive back to the table, the two are gone. I don’t panic too much, considering the lady has left her purse. I immediately go to the host stand.

Me: “Hey, the two from my table have both gone to the restroom, so don’t bus it off yet.”

I figure they will be back shortly and be ready to pay. Five minutes passed, then ten minutes passed, and then I pay a visit to the women’s restroom… which is empty. I grab my manager to let her know that they belong on the show “World’s Dumbest Criminals” and pass off the lady’s purse for safe keeping in the office.

I walk up to the host stand a short while later to discover my manager is on the phone with the MOTHER of the lady who left her purse. She had called to inform my manager that her daughter had forgotten her bag, to which my manager replied that she had “forgotten” to pay the bill, too. This lady’s sweet mother offer to pay their bill, as well as to pick up the purse soon after. My manager politely declined and told her that if her daughter wanted her bag back, she would have to show her face and come pay her bill.

I was getting ready to leave for the night when my manager handed me a credit card and told me that the lady from my walk out was here to pay her tab. My manager told me to run the charge and then hand her back the card myself. At this point, I was thrilled to see that she was willing to come back in and face anybody.

I swiped her card and handed her the receipt with THE BIGGEST smile on my face. I told her I hoped she’d have a really great night and to be safe on her way home. She wouldn’t even look me in the eyes. I stood and waited while she signed to ramp up her nerves. Zero tip, but so satisfying.

If you’re going to commit a crime and walk out on your bill, make sure all your ducks are in a row.

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