This story is a little different. Scammers are a big issue at The Restaurant. The Restaurant must adhere to strict corporate guidelines when dealing with complaints.
Basically, once a customer complains, they are going to receive something for free. This is a good strategy in most cases. Bend over backwards for them and customers will come back and give your restaurant another chance.
However, when you have folks that are less-than-completely-honest, this strategy will backfire. They will take advantage of you. Instead of bending over backwards for the customer, you are bending over and taking it from the customer.
This post is going to be the first in a small collection of short stories about some of the Scammers that have come into The Restaurant. Don't worry if Scammers don't interest you. There will be other stories in between the Scammer Series.
-A Description of Scammers-
There is no clear-cut description of a Scammer. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, financial backgrounds, etc.
-The 75% Scammer-
(I have waited on the 75% Scammer twice. She has come into The Restaurant quite a few times since.)
It is the middle of the lunch rush. The hostess seats me with a two-top. A well-dressed couple in their early-to-mid 40's, dressed stylishly. I move in quickly. Rich folks are demanding, but they also have a lot of money. I just want a small piece.
"Hi folks, welcome to The Restaurant. I will be your server today. May I start you off with something to drink?"
The woman answers, yet she doesn't look at me. I don't like her already. At least have the courtesy to make eye contact when someone talks to you. Didn't her mother teach her that?
"I'll have an iced tea, and he'll have a Diet Cola. Make sure it's diet." She speaks in a clipped tone with a staccato rhythm.
Now I like her even less. First, I don't like the way she's treated me. I know the difference between regular and diet cola. I can read. I have dissected Chaucer, Dickens, Shakespeare, and Homer. Noticing whether there is a "diet" on the nameplate of the soda fountain is not an issue.
Second, I don't like the way she treats her spouse. Her husband is sitting motionless, trying to hide behind his menu. She obviously wears the pants in the relationship. I don't like it when anyone "wears the pants." My firm belief is that all relationships should be an equal partnership that involves give and take from both parties. I hate it when one partner rules the other.
"Right away ma'am." I hustle away and grab their drinks. I give brief thought to bringing them a hot tea and a club soda, but think better of it. I'm busy, and I don't have time to deal with a customer complaint.
Returning with their drinks, I take their order. Again, she speaks for her man. I briefly entertain the thought that he is mute. However, when he hands back the menu, he says, "Thank you." Looking in his eyes, I see a defeated man, beaten down by years spent with this horrible woman. I am sympathetic.
I punch in their order and go about my business. Ten minutes later, their food is ready. I bring their dishes and they dig in. Two minutes later, I check to see that all is well..
"How is everything, folks?"
They both nod. Sweet.
About twenty minutes later, I go back to clear their plates.
"How was everything, folks?" This is an automatic question. Usually, it's met with either silence, nods, "fine", or "excellent". I am not prepared for this response.
"You know, I didn't really like it." The woman looks at me for the first time. I look at her plate. She has eaten 75% of a rather large dish. Not wanting to pull a Judge Reinhold in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (100% guaranteed breakfast), I grab Valerie.
Cheap as Valerie is, she's powerless when a customer complains. She visits the table before telling me to comp the bill.
"The entire bill?!" I am incredulous. The woman eats almost all of her meal, the husband ate all of his meal, and they aren't going to have to pay a single cent.
"Yes. She say the food awful and you not check on them." Valerie is pissed.
"Valerie, how long have I worked here? Do you really think I didn't do a check back?" I'm even more pissed.
"I know. I think she full of shit." Valerie adjusts the check.
I return to the table to let them know that their bill is taken care of. The woman smiles.
"Harold, take our coats. We're leaving." She throws him her full-length leather coat. They leave the restaurant, the man trailing behind the woman like a lost puppy. No tip.
Less than a week later, I have the same couple again. To my utter surprise, she orders the exact same dish. Half an hour later, I find myself in the same predicament. She has eaten 75% of her dish, and yet now she says it's awful. I'm wondering... if the food was so bad last time, why would you come back? Further, why would you come back and order the exact same dish?
I know these people are Scammers. Valerie knows these people are Scammers. Hell, I bet these people even know that they are Scammers.
But they still pay nothing for their meal.
Last week, I ran into one of the servers from the Restaurant. I asked about the 75% Scammers. They still come into The Restaurant about once every two weeks. They have yet to pay for a meal. The woman still orders the same dish.