Thursday, May 6, 2010

Prom season: Corsages and bad tips

Posted By on Thu, May 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

fatcitypromcouple_thumb_300x306.jpg
Glamour night: Dinner at Red Lobster, then Prom!
​When I look back on my career as a server, it seems as if I waited on more sweet, adorable young prom couples than bratty ones.

My favorite prom customer was the cocky Shawnee Mission East kid. His date was beautiful -- her hair teased, curled and sprayed into something resembling the Himalayan mountains -- and they were dining with three other teen couples. All the other young patrons ordered soda before dinner, but when it was his turn to order he lowered his voice and said, "I'd like a rum-and-Coke, please."

I asked to see his I.D. and he blushed. His date giggled nervously and the rest of their party grew silent. Without missing a beat, the teenager looked up at me and said in a much less-theatrical voice: "Do you have chocolate milk?"

But there are always the exceptions, such as the expensively outfitted pair who left me a thirty-five cent tip on a $70 tab. I followed them outside and threw the tip tray at them; it gave them a good story to tell at the after-party, I guess.

Most servers I know, past and present, have a prom night story to tell and most of them are pretty funny. But that doesn't mean they were laughing at the time. In fact, I used to cringe when I saw the hostess escorting a prom couple to one of my tables. I would glimpse the petals of the girl's corsage and think, "No tip from this deuce." And I was usually right.

(Image via Flickr: tobyotter)

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