I was in no mood to go to work last night.  I was tired, cranky, and really annoyed that I has only made $75 on Saturday after working ALL DAY. 

I didn’t think that last night would be any better. I was, what we call Circle of Death. Let me explain this: our floor plan is called the Dining Room Assignment, or DRA for short. In order to avoid mixups with closing the wrong server, our host will circle the names of our two closers and the names of the latest three start times on the DRA. Translation: Don’t even bother asking when you’re getting cut, because you’re there ’til the end, sucker.

Next to the closers, I was the latest start time, meaning I get stuck with a crappy section out in the badlands (the back of the restaurant, far away from the bar and the kitchen).

So I walk into the restaurant, and the lobby is FULL to bursting with waiting guests at 5:15pm. There are hordes of children running around and screaming. (Well, it is March Break)  Then, the host walks up to me and says to put tables 96 and 97 together because me and another server are getting a party of 11. All I can see is a classroom’s-worth of the diaper crowd. I’m doomed. Then the host looks at my crestfallen face, puts her arm around me and says: “I have a gift for you, Candice. Your party… well, it’s 11 ADULTS.”  SCORE! Even though one of the guys in the party had to wait an extra 15 minutes for his food after the rest of his family had already received theirs, he still left $52 for me and the other server to share!

I also served two guys. One, who was the spitting image of Santa Claus, and his younger son. They ate, and drank beer after beer after beer. When it came time for dessert, they had shots of Baileys and Cointreau. I really didn’t want to cut these guys off… after all, they were polite and they behaved themselves. But, hey, I have to be responsible, right? I could see my tip going down the toilet. He asked for the check right then and there. I went to get it, and when I came back, there was a third man sitting there. “Would you like something to drink, sir?” I asked the newcomer. Santa chuckles, ” You see how skinny he is?  He can’t drink like we can. Candice, meet our designated driver, Skippy!” Santa pays the bill and leaves me a $25 tip and a wink.

Table number three was a party of 5. Mom and Dad and their 3 adult(!) children. It’s mom and dad’s birthday(on the same day, how cool is that?) They asked me if we do anything goofy for birthdays like sticking moose antlers on your head or get the whole restaurant to sing. I told them the standard “No, but if you’d like to buy a dessert, we’ll stick a  candle in it and sing for you” response. “That’s okay, we’re pretty low-key people anyway”. Niiiiiice. So, son and daughter decide to split the check between them. Daughter leaves me $3 on $87. Son leaves me $36 on $87!

The whole night was freaking amazing! Karma was really smiling on me at this point. My smallest tip of the evening was ten bucks. And my last table of the night, I finally did get some young children who made a big mess. But their parents were really sweet people. All I could do was wave goodbye to them while rolling cutlery and counting my money.

Grand total after tip-out: $302

Kinda makes me want to go in tonight. And its my day off.