i close 5 nights a week and i know the occasional last minute customers are to be expected. It doesn't happen that often so i deal with it. Sunday night it was about 10 minutes to close and i was in the back cleaning--i hadn't had a table for the last 30 minutes and everything was about done. That's when the bartender came bounding back to tell me she'd just sat me a table (thanx!) and they had no idea what they wanted to drink. After a long dramatic "fuuuuuck!" i stalked out onto the floor to get a look at them--it was a burnt out hippy looking couple. Duuude had a beard and long blonde dreadlocks and the woman--well she was his female equivalent, just way older. They were on some seriously good pills...Old Girl did most of the talking and i could barely understand her disjointed whispery speech as she struggled to keep her eyes open. She told me that Duuude worked at a liquor store so he's very particular about what he drinks, and she used to be a server and she hoped i didn't mind them coming in so late. It's not like i'm allowed to say "yes, i do mind" but you'd think the cook, manager, and bartender glaring at them from the end of the bar would have been a hint.
11 pm--finally, a beer order! They had no idea what they wanted to eat but they did know they were interested in pie later.
11:05--i let them know the bar was doing last call...if they thought they'd want more drinks later they needed to let me know. I had to go ahead and ring it up now because, like, we're closed. After looking at me blankly they agreed upon another round of beer. Then Duuude decided he wanted a Stoli white russian--but he didn't want it til the end of his meal. I pointed out the bartender was leaving soon (cause we're closed) and he said he'd take it right before she left. They still had no clue what they wanted to eat and Old Girl said she'd wave me over when they were ready.
11:15--sunday night i was working with Half Assed Manager, who always wants out of work at 11:45 at the latest. He'll huff around and act exasperated until everyone's finished, yelling "rapido" at the dishwasher and sighing at me. One time he pulled his truck around to the front of the restaurant and stood out there smoking cigarettes and glaring in til i was done cleaning. So the burnt out hippy couple's existance was pushing him over the edge, he kept muttering "this is fucking ridiculous" and staring daggers at them. Finally he stormed over to their table and informed them that they needed to order NOW because the kitchen was closing.
11:20--i'm back at their table, trying to extract an order from them. Surprisingly it's nothing bizarre. I sprint over to the edge of the bar where the cook's still standing and pass the un-rung up ticket to him like it's a relay, yelling "Run! Run!" I slapped her side salad together and checked out what pies we had left. That's when the cook let me know we had no bacon left for Old Girl's order. Fuck.
11:25--i bring out the salad and drop the No Bacon bomb on the table. Even though the bacon is not a major part of her entree Old Girl is not happy with this news. She completely changes her order and asks for more salad dressing. Meanwhile Duuude's confused--even though he ordered a vegetarian meal he thought the No Bacon bombshell was about his meal. Old Girl pats his arm and tells him it will be okay.
11:35--the meals hit the table! Old Girl wants still more salad dressing, Duuude's ready for his second beer.
things really start going downhill from here. They're barely touching their food, too busy playing with each other and staring off into space. Half Assed Manager is pacing around, still muttering "this is fucking ridiculous!" Our store has a written in stone rule that you cannot hurry the customers in anyway. I cannot do any closing duties that make it look like we're closing, like putting chairs up, turning lights off, telling people to get out, etc. Half Assed Manager starts slow--first he turns the music off. Then he turns the neon beer signs off. He glares some more. At this point the bartender's about to leave so i go tell Duuude it's now or never on the white russian. He decides to cancel it so now i'll have to comp it off his ticket. Old Girl hasn't touched her beer and has just picked at her food.
11:50--Half Assed Manager decides to create a new company policy for the occasion so he marches over to the table and tells them that "for security reasons" customers can't be in the building past midnight. This of course is a flat out lie since i've had customers hang around past midnight before but it's not like i can over ride his decision. He brings them to go boxes and tells me to get them 2 pieces of pie to take with them. Then he disappeared in the back, leaving me to deal with the pissed off hippies. Duuude is just silently disappointed but Old Girl rambles on and on about the injustice done to them. She was mad at me for not letting them know about "the midnight rule", which i couldn't do since the manager had just invented it. She was totally convinced that if her and Duuude had just sat at the bar they'd be allowed to stay as long as they wanted, never mind the fact that the bartender was gone and all the lights were off behind the bar. "If you people had just let us sit at the bar like we wanted, we wouldn't be rushed out of here like this!" I thought about pointing out that the bartender was the one who sat them in my section, they obviously knew we were closing because of the "i hope you don't mind" comments she'd made, and that it doesn't matter whether you're sitting at the bar, on the can, or at one of my tables, when we're closed we're closed. But why bother. Old Girl demanded to know the manager's name, told me i needed additional server training, and that i'd better have the manager tip me because she wasn't 'cause this was all my fault.
12:00--Half Assed Manager comes out of hiding to see if they're gone, of course they're not. Duuude's dithering around with the to go boxes while Old Girl fumes. Then they start inspecting the hell out of the ticket i had dropped off with the pies, i can see "does not compute" all over Duuude's face so i go back over. He tells me that he's confused. I walked him through the ticket, pointing out how i'd removed the two drinks he's pre-ordered. Then Old Girl starts saying that they should get the pies for free because the manager had been glaring at them their entire meal (which was true) and he made them feel unwelcome.
12:10--Duuude's sitting on the floor beside Old Girl's chair while she digs through her purse and drops shit everywhere.
12:20--Duude goes outside with their to go boxes, Old Girl disappears into the restroom. Half Assed Manager gallops to their table and swoops up their cash payment. The change was $2.25. As long as Old Girl was taking in the restroom i was starting to worry she was taking a dump on the floor as retribution (i've seen that happen before). Duuude pulled his car up outside and waited...and waited. Finally she comes striding out, and yells "i was a restaurant manager at 23, good luck to you !!" as she slams out the door. I immediately check out the restroom...no sign of foul play.
after Half Assed Manager wrote up his incident report and had me check over it we got out of there just before 1 am. While i in no way condone the manager kicking them out i can't help but wonder just how long they would have stayed. They were making no effort what-so-ever to have their meal in a timely fashion and obviously thought nothing of keeping a business open way after close just for them.
Et tu, Brute?
2 weeks ago