Check Please

Some of the names here have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent. In the big scheme of things this is not at the top of the list. But still it baffles me why anyone in this economy would turn down money for honest work.
Let me back up here. I have some friends who are part of a club. We will say it’s the ferret club to protect their identities. Imagine a group of ordinary folks who love all things ferrets. They have little gatherings of their little club in the summer, putting the ferrets thru their paces and award trophies for the best ferrets.

Once a month these ferret lovers like to gather and break bread. They choose among all the fine area eating joints and never had a problem. Never until the last meeting, that is.

The ferret club group on this evening numbered 9. They got a table at a local place known for its pizza. They asked the server if it would be a problem if they could please have separate checks and that’s when the night got ugly. I wasn’t there but I can recreate the scene. The waitress snapped her gum and placing her hand on her hip rolled her eyes. “We only do separate checks for parties of 8 or less.” She dug in her heels and as far as she was concerned that was that. The ferret club consulted each other and made a counter offer. They would combine orders so the waitress would need to write only four checks. No sale.

Now bear in mind that there were 9 people. One over the limit and no ferrets in sight. The manager was summoned. He backed his waitress up.

The ferret club looked at each other and agreed to leave and reconvene elsewhere.

I did a quick survey on the phone this morning. I called quite a few different restaurants. Coopers. Bennigan’s. Ollie’s, Hops and Barley’s. The Chicken Coop. The Dough Company. Pizza Hut. The Olive Garden. Ruby Tuesdays. Cracker Barrel. Red Lobster. Applebees. Lonestar Steak house. The results of my unscientific poll? Each restaurant I called said “no problem.” Would I like to make a reservation?

In the big scheme of things the loss of the restaurant that wouldn’t write separate checks was probably just over $100. The waitress, if she was tipped 20% would have made $20.

It’s not much money I know. But let me put it to you another way. One of the ferret club gave me a gift certificate to the restaurant in question. Why? They had received it as a gift and didn’t want to ever go back there, even for free. Ask yourself this.

If you owned this restaurant, would you want that to happen?

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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