So this is my first post on this site but I thought that y'all would get a kick outta this one... I know we sure did. The story goes a little something like this:
Setting: Saturday night - the busiest moment of the busiest night of the week of a very, very busy restaurant.
Cast: Surprise Party for one guest's birthday arranged by his significant other for close to 20 people.
Alright so now we're on the same page he we go. Surprise party guests arrived as schedule @ 6pm and the "guest of honor" arrives promptly at 6:15. Perfect. We managed to get the GOH to the table without anyone one of our staff asking them if they were there for the "big party" - its happened before but I digress. Dinner proceeds without much fanfare and no major snafus from the kitchen or our service. Here is where the story gets good. The host, (the GOH's wife), through her clearly strong verbal communication skills has made our servers aware that they will be taking care of the bill at the end of the eveing, so doing what any good server would do upon recieving that information, paid no attention to seat numbers, who had what to eat/drink, etc. One large party, one bill. Easy Peasy. Ring it up. Add the Grat. Done. Not a bad gig for a Saturday, right? Well here is where it takes a turn for the not so obvious worse. We've all had tables that waited until the end of the meal to tell you that they needed separate checks, kind of a given, but most of manage to read them well enough early on that we've hedged our bets that this is whats going to happen and prepare ourselves for the invevitable. Well in this case as I previously stated, it was made clear in advance that this time, that would not be the case. That was until the end of the meal came and the bill was only moments away from being dropped on the host something happened that in all my 12 years in this industry I had never seen or heard of. The check is delivered to the guest and low and behold manages to begin having some sort of "allergic reaction" and it becomes painfully obvious that this may escalate into something serious. The hosts wife, instead of rushing to pay the check and hurrying her now sick GOH to the nearest emergency room informs her guests, (not the servers working the party) that they would now have to pay their own checks and that they were leaving to get the GOH home to rest and feel better. At this point the host asked the server for THIER check for what they ate and drank only... Somewhere close to 20 guests who were under the impression that their pre-arranged dinner was being covered by the host and the GOH were suddenly and without recourse on the hook for an equal portion of a set menu dinner and any and all alcohol they consumed. As the camera now pans to the looks of utter terror on the faces of our unsuspecting servers who just now are coming to the conclusion that they are pretty much fucked and will never under any circumstances be able to cut and paste all of the drinks/wine/beer to everyone who now is in need of separate checks. Holy fucking trainwreck Batman. As the curtain closes we find our beleagured heros (the servers) hunched over a computer terminal working feverishly to get the payments processed for the remaining guests who are now indignantly and impatiently waiting for the checks that had not expected to have to pay for so they can go home. Once the last credit card is signed and returned to the last guest and the entire terrible experience and our latest Saturday night had drawn to a close we find ourselves left with a somewhat less than perfect reminder of why the vast majority of us that do this job for a living at a high level are functioning alcoholics. After a night like that, there is no way a server worth his or her salt could possibly NOT have a drink or 6. Cheers!