Midnight Sun reader Rob sent me this email today. I wanted to share it with you, and get your opinions on his predicament. Here's Rob's email:
So I was out at the downtown wharf rat last night with my girlfriend and her roommate for drinks and food. We all live downtown (well I’m on the fringe, but I’m within a 15 min walk from wharf rat) so we go there quite a bit. Not on a first name basis with the bartenders but I’m in there once a week or so and tip well, so the occasional drink will be missing from the tab.
Here’s what’s odd about last night: The check cam and looked a bit light. Not the type of light where you know there was some sort of mistake that you should say something about, just a drink or two light. I tipped the guy (cash) 30% on a $65 bill and we left.
So here’s what I notice this morning – they charged my card (checking my bank account online) an additional $12.08, I’m guessing for the missing drinks. I figure one of the bartenders opened a second tab for us and we didn’t know it, The money isn’t a big deal, but it strikes me as a grimy way to go about doing that ...
I certainly didn’t approve that charge, I only signed off on the initial check. If the bartender had to account for the outstanding tab and he knew it was mine, he could have taken the $13 out of the cash tip I left. Personally, I think it would be smarter to keep a return customer happy, but if they felt like it was necessary for me to pay for the other tab they could have used that cash that was left.
I’m a recently retired part-time bartender so I understand that it would have blown for the guy to lose most of his tip, and he might not have had a choice about running my card a second time because of a manager or something. But I can say that I would have never had done that when I was bartending.
I can say that why I won’t stop going to the wharf rat because of this, it will certainly make me think before I stop in for a couple beers on the way home next time.
I should add – We were sitting at a table in the bar area being waited on. We were not milling around and ordering. It shouldn’t have been that hard to keep or tab straight.