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Underserved And Overblamed

, , , , , | Right | August 24, 2009

(The day I turned eighteen, I got my pro-serve (licensing to sell and serve liquor) and started bartending. Six years down the line, I’m working at a small town lounge/bar with a restaurant on the other side. I’ve only been here a few months but know all the regulars and ins-and-outs of the business. One of said regulars comes in and orders his usual: one single beer and an order of wings. About two minutes after he’s served his drink, he says he’ll be right back and goes outside. Not unusual for this guy, as he’s a smoker. A few minutes pass and he’s back in and gets his food. After two bites, he again says he’d be right back, pays his tab and goes outside. About a minute later, I hear a BANG followed by squealing tires. A truck has backed into another vehicle, HARD.)

Me: “Whoever owns the red Ford Taurus, please come up to the bar immediately.”

(A woman, about twenty, comes up with her boyfriend. They’ve had a couple of drinks and a LOT of food.)

Woman: “Hey, that’s what I drive. What’s going on?”

Me: “I’m so sorry; someone just backed into your car and took off. Police have already been called.”

(The woman LOSES it. Bear in mind, the car was rusty and old to begin with, but I can understand her frustration.)

Woman: “What the h*** do you mean? Where did he go?”

Me: “Don’t panic; we have cameras outside and that guy sitting by the window saw the whole thing.”

(The police arrive and start asking questions, getting the camera footage, etc. Focus turns to me.)

Officer: “So, [My Name], who’s the driver?”

Me: “I believe his name is [Common Name] or [Super Common Name], but I never paid much attention.”

Officer: “Okay, and I’m going to need you to be very honest with me here, because you can be arrested for this. How much did he have to drink?”

Me: “Only one beer, a [popular LITE beer]; nothing else. I have never over-served.”

(My manager nods in agreement, adding that I’m the strictest employee they have when it comes to serving.)

Officer: “I don’t believe that. I’m gonna need to see his tab, and it better correspond with the video.”

(We spend the next twenty minutes watching and showing the officer the footage and tab, which proves he only had one beer. I have a revelation at that point.)

Me: “WAIT! He didn’t even finish his beer OR wings; they’re still sitting behind the bar! He said he’d be right back so I set them there so nobody would touch them!”

(Sure enough, we go back and find a bottle over 3/4 full, and wings with a bite taken out of one. The officer is adamant it’s somehow my fault.)

Officer: “That’s fine; that means he was drunk when he came in and you still served him.”

Me: “Okay, I don’t mean to be rude and I’m cooperating fully, so I don’t get the vendetta you have for me. He was not drunk whatsoever. I served him a beer which you saw he only took a couple of sips from. He didn’t smell of alcohol or have any warning signs at all. He was totally sober. Dude probably just didn’t want to get caught and have his insurance go up.”

(The officer seems satisfied with this and walks off to talk to the owners of the other vehicle. We finally find the guy on Facebook and get his details to the officer. I take photos of the damage and text them to the woman since her camera didn’t work. All is fine and dandy and they leave, until…)

Me: *to Manager* “In all that chaos, that couple didn’t pay their bill!”

Manager: “D*** it! Ugh. Okay, how much was it?”

Me: “$89.”

Manager: “You best be calling that officer and finding out who they are. I cannot discount or write off liquor.”

Me: “Oh, right, I texted her photos!”

(I send a text to the woman; no reply for fifteen minutes. I call and leave a message. No reply after thirty minutes longer. I send another text advising her I’ll contact the officer for her details if she doesn’t come back to pay. She finally replies and says she’ll be right there.)

Woman: *while punching in her PIN* “I figured since you over-served that guy and he f***** up my car, you’d buy our food.”

Me: “Erm, no. For one, the officer called. They found him. He’s sober as a nun. For two, why would I buy your food for you for any reason? This is how I pay my bills. I don’t do this job to blow my money on other people.”

Woman: *now finished paying* “Well, we will see about that I guess.” *mumbling* “You’re a s***ty server… Crappy place… Food sucked!”

Me: “Okay, seriously? I used MY break to scour Facebook for that guy. We had ZERO mutual friends, so it took some digging. I sent YOU pictures of the damage. I called the cops for YOU. I gave them the video footage. I did all this for you, and that’s how I’m repaid? With attitude and blame? It’s a d*** good thing I work in a bar or I’d never, EVER say this to a customer, but f*** you and don’t ever come back. And by the way, for our food being so crappy, you sure ate a lot of it.”

Woman: *mouth wide open, gasping*

(No tip.)