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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The Waiter Chronicles: Separate Checks

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tonight I waited on a party of 10 people, all men, and all seeming to be from out of town, visiting for some kind of convention. They informed me from the start that they'd be ordering on separate checks, a fact that made me a little nervous because I haven't yet had to handle that. But you gotta do it, right?

So they each ordered a beer. Then they each ordered a pasta--that's 10 different pastas. Then five ordered a dessert, while six ordered coffee. In the meantime several had second and even third beers. When it came time to split up their checks I was a mess. I had taken copious notes during their orders, but I wasn't the one who got the second and third beers. I was randomly assigning beers to guys who may or may not have drank them.

In the end there was only one mistake, and it was easily corrected. But here's the fun part: Only two of these 10 guys paid with a debit card. The rest paid with exact change. And I mean change. Eight separate collections of bills and coins. I couldn't bring myself to count each person's money and check it against their bill, so I just collected it all up and handed the stack of tickets to the owner, preemptively apologizing for any short tickets.

"What are these guys?" she asked. "Engineers?"

It could have been a lot worse. The Angry Chef assures me it will be.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 12:07 AM

2 Comments:

Hope the gratuity was already included.
commented by Anonymous Point of Order, 10:00 PM  
Rocky, just found your blog and love it. Don't lose heart. One of the many jobs I have had in my life was as a short order cook. I still at times miss the food biz. I also worked for and engineering firm as an office manager. I about died laughing when I found out the 10 guys you were serving and paid in exact change were engineers. Can't begin to tell you how typical!! All I know is that this will make good Sermon fodder for you in the future. Keep blogging. We miss you here in the Midwest! Carla Gentry
commented by Blogger Carla, 8:55 PM  

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