I went in to work yesterday morning knowing that I needed to make at least twenty dollars to add to what I already have in order to cover my power bill and my therapist appointment. That doesn't include gas to the appointment and back, or groceries.
I went in fairly chipper, despite the fact that I wasn't feeling or looking my best. I ran out of orange juice yesterday, and all I had was some weird tea that promised pumpkin spice but was really rather weak. It came as a sample. Anyway, mornings are all downhill from running out of orange juice. Plus, I had some sort of crisis the last time I bought bagels and went with whole grain instead of my usual blueberry. Edible, but not pleasant. I slapped some make-up on rather haphazardly before I went out the door and tried to make the best of it. I was ready to work and get things done. I ended up rearranging the drink station to a much more space-conscious and intuitive system. I dug my manager up from her hole in the office and brought her out to see what I had done. She was appreciative.
The first table of the day was a singular woman. She came in, asked to be seated at a booth, and was placed in my section, as I am the opener and first to be sat. Lucky me. She ordered a margarita. We have them on special Fridays and Saturdays. Again, lucky me. I get her rolls and stop by the bar to pick up her margarita. The bartender, who has strange, StarWars-esque double buns in her hair, is in the back. I stand and wait. She comes up lugging a container of ice, holding her cell phone to her ear with her shoulder. She asks me what I want. I point to the order wheel and say, "That margarita, please." She quickly makes a margarita, pours it into the glass. No salt on the rim, no cut fruit for me to garnish the drink with. I point out the lack of salt. With an exhaled breath, and still on the phone, she reaches behind her to get the salt and another glass. I don't bother with the lime.
I take the rolls and the hard-won margarita to the lady. I ask her if she's ready to order. She says something that, at the time, I could swear sounded like "I need another minute." Whatever she said, it was accompanied by her flipping through the menu. I walk off and return a few minutes later. This time, she looks at me like I've got something wrong with me and, swishing roll around in her mouth with her tongue, finally advises me as to what I have sensed all along - that she's just here for the margarita. I take off for a few more minutes. When I go back to check on her, she's up at the host stand, bothering the host to tell her how much a margarita costs. She's interested in paying her tab - for the one margarita (the rolls are free) - and leaving. I print out her check, take her twenty dollar bill to pay the $2.14, go to the bar for change, return her change to her, which she takes and presently walks out of the establishment without returning to her table to offer me so much as a damned quarter for my services.
We've got five other servers on the floor, and it's a slow day. I wait another hour to get sat again.
When I do get sat again, the next table takes advantage of our "two-fer" steak special, our free refills on soft drinks, and our rather sparce dessert menu to amass a bill of $46.23. They leave me four dollars.
I had one other table. I was there a total of three and a half hours. I ended up walking out of work with six dollars in my pocket.
When I got home, I went immediately to the bathroom, which is something I had not done all day. Molly had vomited on the bath mat again.