Variance

April 5th 2016

Today I worked a 12 hour shift (waiter, restaurant) and I have a story to tell from it. 

There was one table who came in during the dinner rush, ordered with one of my colleagues, ate, and left. Between us none of us could figure out who took their payment. The other two were pretty adamant that it wasn’t them but I couldn’t remember if I did or not. It was a busy night and I’d been working for 8 hours without a break. In the end I just gambled and assumed that it was me that took the payment, and if it wasn’t then it would show up somewhere by the end of the night. So I ‘cashed off’ the table. 

The problem is, that at the end of the night the payment still hadn’t shown up. I didn’t have a card receipt to show for it, and I didn’t have any cash from it either. But I’d ‘cashed it off’ on the system, meaning that the system expects me to have £23.66 that I don’t have. 

Only then did I realise that the reason none of us could find the payment was because there wasn’t one in the first place. He’d done a runner. Which, although annoying, isn’t the end of the world if we catch it just after it happened. The problem lies in the fact that I told the system that I had the money, but I didn’t. 

So effectively I’m down 20 quid at the end of the night. 

Now, usually, if you’re ‘down’ a couple of quid for whatever reason you’re supposed to pay the difference yourself to make it up to the amount of money that you should have. That can happen if you give too much change, or give the wrong bill, or whatever. A couple of quid isn’t a big deal. 

I didn’t want to pay almost £25 to make up the difference. Especially given that I don’t consider it completely my fault. I shouldn’t’ve ‘cashed it off’ if I weren’t sure that I had the money, but I just assumed that one of us the payment, and it would show up later on when we counted up. I was wrong in that assumption, because there never was a payment. I didn’t want to pay £23 for that assumption. 

If I had undercharged someone, or lost some money, then fine, that’s my mistake, and I’d happily pay. But I didn’t consider this to be my mistake, so I didn’t want to pay. 

I told my manager that and apologised to him if it made me sound like an arse, and he didn’t mind too much. But the problem is that it’s his duty to make sure all of the money is accounted for at the end of the night. And it wasn’t. There was money missing. So he said that he’d pay the difference, which made me feel even worse, and of course I told him not to, and in the end he didn’t. 

It was left as a variance; that I don’t have £23 that I should because that £23 never existed in the first place. I assume I’ll have to give some kind of explanation tomorrow, but at least I didn’t have to give £23. That would’ve wiped out most of what I earnt in the shift. 

I felt guilty for being stubborn and not paying, but I didn’t feel that I should take the hit because some scummy man decided not to pay for his family dinner. 

Until tomorrow, don’t assume. 

Jacn 

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