Today started out as a typical Monday, steady but overall pretty slow. It was the sort of day when having three girls one the floor was painful and eventually even having two of us became unbearable; one girl could easily handle the floor with the bartender taking tables if need be. So at slightly passed 2:30 p.m. the floor was cut and I was the sole waitress in the restaurant.
At first things were fine, at my busiest I had three or four tables - very manageable. Then it happened, looking out the window I saw the bus turn the corner. Not a school bus, not a city busy, but one of those big tour buses that screams hungry people. It didn't turn at IHOP. I crossed my fingers it would turn at Johnny Carino's , but it just kept coming. Finally it disappeared from view and I cautiously walked to check the back parking lot through the patio garage doors. There it was, the bus. I could vaguely make out figures moving toward the front of the bus through the tinted windows. Then I saw them. Teenagers. Lots and lots of teenagers. My worst nightmare.
Now, I've written about teenagers before and how they generally tip like shit. This hasn't changed, teenagers still tip like shit. What do twenty-four teenagers tip like? Yes, I said twenty-four teenagers on a tour bus. Of course as they entered the restaurant led by their fearless chaperone the first thing I heard was "split tickets." Why does one go to a restaurant with twenty-four effing people and think that they will get separate tickets? Believe it or not this a lot of extra work. But that's another story.
In addition to having separate tickets, I am informed that no one wants to sit at one table. Try as I might they don't want to wait for me to push some tables together to accommodate them. They want to sit at seven different tables. Apparently, there were cliques in the group. Now I am quite annoyed. I now have seven separate tables, wanting individual tickets in addition to the three tables I already had. Fabulous!
Even though things are a little stressful I manage to get everyone their food in a timely matter and get everyone on their very own ticket. Each and every teenager seems to be having a good time. They like their food. They like to hula-hoop. They joke with me. I have tip hope as I carefully print twenty-four individual tickets. I apologize to the Earth.
I deliver the tickets. If I get a dollar on each ticket I'll be happy, I tell myself. Tickets are paid, most with cash (remind me why you need separate tickets when most pay with cash?) and souvenirs are sold. These kids had enough cash to buy over $200 in shirts, shot glasses (underage) and lanyards. The whole time I am curious what I'll find on the tables.
What do I find? I find fourteen effing dollars. $14?! Had each tipped me a dollar, this would mean that ten of them left nothing. Of course some teenagers understand the world and those ones left me more than a dollar. That means even more than ten of them didn't tip me a dime. WTF. At least you'll have a nice t-shirt to remember your cheapness by!