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Carol Perkins: Nothing as important as good name

Carol gets the inside story on diners and customers who try to get out without paying, and the extent to which they will go to do it. - CAROL PERKINS
Talk to Carol Perkins 10am-12pmNoonCT, Tues 17 Nov 2015 on The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: The lure of Christmas Open Houses

By Carol Perkins

My mother, brother and I were eating at a Red Lobster in Louisville last week, and the waitress and I began a conversation about her job and long hours and how difficult it was.

She was going to bring our bill when my jokester brother said, "Oh, I was getting ready to duck out." Of course, he would not do that but that comment brought us to a conversation about those who would and have.

"Have you had many people try to get out of paying their bills?" I asked.

"You wouldn't believe what people will do. I have had to chase more than one out the door. If I don't get the bill paid, I get blamed by management."

I didn't understand how she could be held accountable, but supposedly she was to keep a better eye on the customer, and if she noticed any unusual movement before paying, she was to dash to the table and make sure they didn't leave without paying first. That might sound easy, but most servers have several tables to "keep an eye on."

"One woman brought her two children with her, and I heard her tell them to run once they got to the door. They were on their way out but I was behind them, saying 'Ma'am you forgot your bill."

"What did she do?"

"She gave me a cussing right there in front of her children and ask me how I dared to be so insensitive to the fact she had her two little girls with her." I wanted to lash out and tell her what a bad mother she was, but I would have lost my job. She put the girls in her car and came back inside to pay the bill. She acted as if I had committed the crime. I don't think this was her first time at this trick, but what kind of a woman would use kids as a shield?"

She told of people sneaking off to the bathroom and then out the door.

Hostesses don't know who have paid and who haven't so they tell everyone to have a nice day. Sometimes by the time the server realizes that the person is not coming back from the bathroom, the crooks have driven off and out of sight. What happens if someone does this? Do servers have to pay for the meal? She indicated that she didn't have to pay, but her job would be in jeopardy if it happened twice.

There is more than one way to rob someone and not all of these robberies are done by guns held to heads or stockings over the eyes. They are commented by the average citizens trying to "beat" someone out of something.

They think they are slick, but most of us know them and if we do business with them in something other than cash, we can only blame ourselves. Restaurant owners know them, retailers know them, schools know them, and their families know them. They cannot be trusted. What a shame.

Nothing is as important as a good name.

This story was posted on 2015-11-11 11:29:11
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