How To Get Fired From a Restaurant

by ANDREW HICKS

If you can name the movie this image comes from, chances are you've spent some time sitting at home watching TBS after being fired from a restaurant.

1. Confront Customer About Bad Tip
I work in semi-fine dining. A couple weeks ago, a server who had transferred into our store from out of town — a dude in his late 30s who reminded me of an unfunny Christopher Walken — waited on a couple whose bill totaled $123.65 or some shit. The gentleman paid Walken 130 bucks cash, told him to keep the change. Unfunny Chris, upon noticing the customer’s 5.3 percent tip, went boltin’ like Michael up to the entry vestibule, where he caught up with the couple. Unfunny Chris, by the way, is like 5’10”. This customer was like 6’5″. And big. And black.

And, during the moment where — in theory — he’s supposed to feel all embarrassed and cheap over his awful tip, this customer EXPLODES with rage and booming obscenities. Walken tries to come back with some vocal and body language intimidation of his own, but instead, in a matter of minutes, he gets slowly cornered by this dude, walked backwards in tiny steps from the front door to the side entrance to the back of house. A half-dozen or so guests sitting at the bar all quickly pay their tabs and leave. Meanwhile, the disgraced customer screams on: “This is bullshit! I thought I was in [name of rich neighborhood]! I’ve worked in restaurants for 20 years! Here, punk ass, here’s 20 more bucks. Is THAT a good tip?!” (Answer: yes.)

The manager on duty quietly slips the general manager’s business card to the enraged customer, tells him he knows his boss will make the situation right for him. Unfunny Christopher Walken fumes off, does his sidework, cashes out, tells everyone he’ll see them tomorrow and leaves. No, Chris, we will not see you tomorrow. We will never see you again.

2. Perform a Dramatic Exit
The bartender who witnessed the Unfunny Walken bad-tip confrontation told me it was the second craziest restaurant firing he’d ever seen. The first? Years ago, at a popular mid-priced national chain, a female server is slammed-busy, in way over her head. She’s at the bar to pick up a drink for a table, and the bartender is nowhere in sight. She waits for him, waits for him, and she can see all of her tables getting pissed across the room.

She finally decides, “Fuck it.” Goes behind the bar, grabs a bottle of Bicardi 151, pours it out on the floor in front of the bar, lights it on fire and starts dancing all around it, after having first removed her shirt and vest. The customers give her a standing ovation as the manager races in with a fire extinguisher. No charges are pressed. How exaggerated or just plain made-up this story is, I don’t know, but it’s fun to tell. [Ed. note: The day I posted this, the bartender who told me the story insisted it was not embellished. Awesome, yes. Embellished, no.]

3. Crack Under Pressure
Same deal here — it sounds too good to be true, but it was presented to me as factual. A middle-aged busboy at a banquet hall, a Vietnam vet, suffered a post-traumatic stress flare-up while working a large party. He thought he was back in Hanoi or wherever, and he suddenly sprang into action. Flipped over a big-ass table full of food to take cover behind, because he was getting shot at or some shit. Instantly fired, and mentally fucked, on top of it.

4. Don’t Show Up
‘Nuff said.

5. Steal
Plenty steal and don’t caught. Mostly petty shit. I worked with a dude who got fired for stealing a pack of SOS pads. I knew a Denny’s busboy who used to snatch the servers’ tips off the table. (UNFORTUNATE SERVER: Damn, I got stiffed seven times today! Can you believe it?) I’ve known managers who stole from the company. I’ve known bartenders who hook people up with tons of free drinks in turn for ridiculously high tips. On a Royal Caribbean cruise, we figured out that if you slip the bartender a five instead of pulling out your Seapass card (which is the only intended method of payment on the ship), your next two drinks are free.

We just lost a server at my current job because he was scamming during brunch. Think about it — this is the one shift of the week where orders don’t have to go back to the kitchen in order for the customers to get their food. Everything costs the same. So if you have two people who pay cash at one table, you can turn around and give that same check to your next table and keep the 45 bucks. The only safeguard put in place by the restaurant is to match up old school carbon-copy restaurant checks — the hostess turns in a copy, the server turns in a copy. This and good old-fashioned paranoia (also, morals) prevent me from attempting this scam. Consequently, I still have a job.

6. Complain To Management That An Ounce of Weed Was Stolen From Your Coat
A cook named Thug Bob went to the proprietor of a restaurant I used to work in, angrily complained about his missing weed stash, and demanded compensation from the company. The small print of the employee handbook, by the way, explicitly states that employees will NOT be reimbursed for missing weed ganked from their coat pockets. Also, just admitting to your boss that you brought an ounce of weed to work with you demands dismissal. Shit, wait till the end of the shift and buy a knotted-up, skeet 20-sack like the rest of us.

One Comment to “How To Get Fired From a Restaurant”

  1. Back to the Future 2 :D

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