Saturday, March 10, 2012

Two Words: Basketball Tournaments

It's that lovely time of year again, the snow is melting, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming...and tournaments are back on at the high school.

Servers at my store have a love/hate relationship with the tournaments. We love the money that we usually make, we hate waiting on teams of 15 + teenagers. The straw wrappers flying across the room, the yelling when trying to get your attention, the countless refills...and that's just the coaches!

I waited on 3 bus loads of kids between 9 am and 11:30 am on Thursday. Two of them were great, please and thank-you well-behaved young adults. The coaches on those two teams took care of the bill with purchase orders, and I got 20% gratuity from them.

The other group were a loud, immature, pesky nightmare of a group that were, "Ready."

"Oh we're not ready. Take them first."

"Shut up, Christie*. We ARE ready. We'll get our food first." As I stand there for fifteen minutes while Still-Not-Ready-Christie makes up her mind. French toast or pancakes? French toast or pancakes? Christie consults with six other girls and finally the vote is in,

Ladies and gentlemen, Christie will have the pancakes! Ta da!

Sorry Christie's unlucky friend, no you won't get your food first. See I have your seats numbered, and guess which table is going into that computer dead last? That's right, the very indecisive yet democratic Miss Christie.

After finally serving everyone, I notice the coach has already whipped out the school credit card and tells me he needs an itemized receipt. No problem. Being the awesome experienced super server that I am, I have everyones food and drink rang in by seat. Easy for the coach, easy for me, easy for the kitchen, and most importantly, easy to split the bill if for some reason the little A-holes have to pay for their own. (God forbid!)

I swipe the card and return it to him, but another bus had rolled in so I didn't get to collect the slip until after they left. I walked over hoping for 15%, praying for 20%.

$167 bill. NO TIP on the receipt.

I noticed random dollars on some of the table and realized the worst had come true.

The team was responsible for the tip.



I gathered up my pittance. $17. On $167 tab. It worked out to be a little less than $1 per person. Shitty. At least the other teams tipped better, so my overall tips for the day worked out to be more than the 10% I get taxed on.

I really don't mean to whine, everything worked out okay, but some days I really wish my restaurant had automatic gratuity on large parties. Anyone else have any war stories to share?

*All names are changed because I still need my job, when I win the lottery and become independently wealthy I promise I will out all the evil customers I have ever had. Cross your fingers for me!


  1. Teenagers fucking sucked. I've never done serving before but I used to bus tables at a buffet restaurant (a tipping position) and the kids were always the friggon worst. I always got the assholes that competed amongst themselves to see who could be named the king of the jerks by spreading food all over the table or "accidentally" spilling drinks for me to clean off the table.

    Good luck, and welcome to the fabulous service-industry blogosphere. It lessens the hell that is daily existence. You're off to a great start so far! I saw you at BW, if you haven't done so already definitely check out bitter waiter and fuck my table. They're awesome, and so is according to Sauce (Hooters waitress, she rules).

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by. It really feels good to vent, and especially to those who are in "the business". Sure feels better to know you aren't alone!

      Ahh, the buffet restaurant. Did a two year stint in one of those myself as a server, blech. Have lotsa stories to share about that place. I know where you are coming from on that.

      Will check out those other blogs you mentioned, thank-you for the recommendations!