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The Month of September and October


Jason Rimbaud

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I must say I like the new look of our Blog's as well as the upgrade. It seems to be a step-up though it gives me more work as now I need to change my Blog to match the face lift of the site. But I'm ready, and if I'm not ready I am at least excited to start.

It's been a while since I lost posted, ignoring my Election night brief entry because that doesn't really count, two months. I've had a lifetime worth of events transpire and its taken me that long and more to sort it all out.

I hate left-overs, something about half eaten food makes me shake. I've never understood why people eat left-overs, if it was so good then you should have eaten it all and if you couldn't eat it all then you shouldn't have ordered so much food. Much like the way I can't drink out of an open container, I waste so much Orange Juice I really should be brought up on charges of abuse.

But that's me, left-overs and open containers freak the shit out of me. I've learned to live with it, it's my cross to bear as it were and for the most part it's harmless and doesn't affect anyone else.

Mark loves left-overs, and for some reason he doesn't eat them, but he loves to bring the containers back to my house and settle them comfortably in my fridge where they sit forgotten and over time to get back at us for leaving them alone in the fridge they begin to mutate into something unrecognizable.

I beg, I plead, I implore with my logic, I threaten, anything to get him to stop this madness but nothing gets through. I once decreed that he was no longer allowed to open the fridge for any reason and this only empowered him to become extremely lazy. I was then forced, by my own words, to become his bitch and wait on him hand and foot.

He is of the opinion that he paid for the food, and he won't waste it by leaving it at the restaurant. This would be fine if the fucker would eat the food instead of waiting for it to grow green legs before I finally throw it out.

Work has been progressing, sometimes rather well and sometimes not. Based on the current economy, people are having less disposable income and instead of going out two or three times a week, they are only going out once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. This has caused the servers to become a bit more stingy with their money as they went from X amount a week to Z amount. Tempers are flaring, arguments are happening between the staff and everyone has a general feeling of stress.

This makes my job harder, controlling these tempers is like walking a fine line between a volcano and the pits of hell. One wrong misstep and life becomes way to hot to handle.

A few weeks ago, I was counting the cash in the restaurant, tallying the books for the days business. When I discovered that I had somehow lost two hundred dollars from the opening cash to the closing cash. Seeing how I am directly responsible for the cash, and must pay for any shortages, I opened all the checks for the day and begin backtracking to find where my mistake occurred, hoping that it was an addition error as opposed to me giving either a customer to much change or a server to much tips.

In this time consuming process, I was going over a server's checkout (for those of you that have never worked retail, a checkout is a list showing each and every transaction a particular server did on that particular day, with detailed accounts of credit cards and cash.) and saw a discrepancy on a credit card slip. The amount of the credit card was $119.45, the guest added in a tip of $10.00, making the total on the slip $129.45. Granted this was a horrible tip, and the guest really should be taken to a square somewhere and flogged. But be that as it may...

When I looked at the slip, and the compared that transaction with the server's checkout, I noticed that the server had adjusted the credit card tip to $20.00 dollars instead of $10.00 dollars.

I'm the first person to realize that mistakes happen, you might be tired, you might be joking around and not paying attention, loads of things could happen.

But this sent up a red flag, and I began to cross check every credit card slip with the checkout for that particular server. On that day alone, I found two other "mistakes". I forgot about the $200 dollars at that moment and started going back and checking each day that server worked. Over the course of a month, I found several mistakes on that server's books, totaling over $150 dollars of stolen tips.

Love is a wonderful thing, you accept someone's faults, overlook the bad annoying habits, and focus on the feelings that bubble over every time you look at your lover's face. Mark snores, I find this to be cute with him, all of my other roommates I've had I threatened to kill them if they didn't stop snoring, even when they were in another room on a different floor.

Mark is messy, to the extent that drives me completely crazy. When he gets out of the shower, he doesn't bother to dry any part of his body before stepping on the floor, leaving water spots everywhere. When he's done with the towel, he leaves it on the floor in a ball. We've managed to work around this, I yell at him, he giggles and slowly cleans up after himself, not good enough so I always have to redo it, but we work through it.

He leaves empty glasses everywhere, along with plates, forks, spoons, not understanding that if you do that, it leave a better chance of ants crawling around everywhere. He can't wash a dish properly to save his life, though it makes me all fuzzy bunny slippers when he tries.

Love is what makes us overlook these annoying habits, because though he has faults, he more than makes up for it with his grand gestures of romance, his subtle yet loud declarations of love.

But to be honest, I'm glad we don't live together. I would kill him.

Being that I'm rather new to my job, I wasn't sure how to handle this situation of a sever stealing. What would happen if a guest realized that the server did this? I'm pretty sure my owner doesn't want her restaurant to gain the reputation of not running an honest establishment.

I knew I had the server dead to rights, once could be argued away that it was an honest mistake, $150 dollars is a bit harder to explain. If it was a mistake, then that server is pretty fucking stupid and doesn't need to be handling money whatsoever.

Yet I liked this server, we had worked together for over two years and I trusted him. Plus I know how much this job means to him, he's still in college that he pays for, his car just got painted and redone, plus I'm assuming he has other bills. Losing this job would affect his life in grand ways. I know, sometimes I'm a bit to nice.

I was confused, I knew this behavior had to stop, but I didn't want to call in my boss just yet because I liked the guy. After a restless night sleep, I decided to confront this server on my own, and gage his reaction when I showed him the evidence hoping that we could come to some kind of agreement without him getting into trouble.

The next day, I called the server and asked him to come to work early, right after his classes were over.

A few hours later, he walks into the office smiling, happy as hell, and sits down across from me, "What's up?"

I take a deep breath, I admit I was a bit nervous but had decided this had to be taken care of. I retrieve just one slip from the night before, hand it to him, and said, "You screwed up, you adjusted the tip wrong."

He looks at if for a moment, shrugs, and says, "Oops, do you want the ten bucks back right now?"

"That would be cool," I smile. He gives me the ten dollars and as I begin correcting the mistake in the computer, I ask smiling, "Have many times do you make this mistake?"

"Come on, you know me better than that." was the reply.

"So if I check, I won't find any more of these mistakes?"

"Nope." He says, looking straight in my eye.

For some reason, I took great offense in this. Here I was trying to keep this quiet so the big bosses won't find out, basically trying to save his job, and he looks me right in the eye and fucking lies to me.

"That's weird, because I spent most of last night going through your slips and I found many more mistakes. So either you are lying to me, or you're stupid, which is it?" I was past nervous and slipped into anger by this time. "Is there anything you want to tell me, Mark?"

His smile drained from his face and he stared at me blankly for a moment. I didn't know what to feel or what to say. This was a man that I shared my life with, a man that came out to his mother just to be with me, a man who faced the world and his own insecurities with his head held high. A man that I realized that I didn't even know.

He started changing his story, saying that times were hard, and he only did that to the guests that didn't tip him accordingly to the service that he provided. He said they deserved what they got because they were cheap.

I can overlook many things in a relationship, but this was something I couldn't overlook. I pride myself on my moral and work ethic. I do my job to the best of my ability and when I don't get that tip, or when a guest complains, I tightened my belt so to speak and continue on, knowing that in the end it all works out. One table doesn't tip you well but the next table tips you extra, it makes up for it and after all, we can't force people to tip.

"I have to report this," looking him in the eyes. "If I don't, and my boss finds out, I could lose my job."

"I won't do this again," he promises. "Just don't tell."

"I can't, you are committing credit card fraud, that's a felony. If someone says something, we could lose this entire restaurant."

"You're my boyfriend," he said, his anger apparent. "Can't you just forget about it."

By this time, we're yelling at each other. He wants me to hide it and I can't. He accuses me that my job is more important to me than my relationship with him. And I guess in a way, it is. Loss of trust is what destroys relationships, and I don't think we could last with me knowing that not only does he steal but he doesn't have remorse or even thinks it wrong.

Needless to say, I did tell my boss about the incident when he came to work the next day and Mark was gone. I showed him the evidence, my report on the conversation, and told him that I fired Mark.

My boss is no longer worried that I would allow my relationship with Mark to interfere with my job, he knows how much this cost me, and understands how hard it was to do.

My fridge no longer has left-overs inside it, I wish my heart didn't either. But time heals all wounds, and looking back, I believe I did the right thing.

Mark and I haven't spoke a word to each other since that day. I gathered up his stuff that was at my apartment and gave it to a mutual friend to give it to him. It's weird that he was such a huge part of my life and suddenly there is a hole. The last two months have been difficult. I haven't been drinking much lately, I guess I have nothing to celebrate. And yet I've thought less and less of using cocaine. I go days without it entering my head, slowly over time I think it will gradually disappear all together. I guess I owe Mark that, because no matter how it ended, he helped me learn that if I focus on other things, namely my happiness, I wouldn't focus so much on the past. And my future is looking pretty fucking bright.

I did find the missing $200 dollars, it was an addition error and our books match up perfectly.

I'm moving at the end of the month, my lease was up and sadly I didn't want to live in a place that reminded me so much of Mark. I have a new place, smaller but with cheaper rent but in this economy, I'd rather live cheaper than resort to stealing.

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Wow! I thought I knew you, just a little. Now I feel I know you a lot better. And with that comes a great deal more respect. I already liked you. Now, I like and greatly respect you.It's often difficult to do the right thing. It's often easy to justify not doing the right thing.You had a resopnsibility to your boss. He trusted you. He expected you to do the right thing for his business. And when the chips were down, when it mattered, you came through in spades.Mark's being gone might hurt, but it'll be a temporary hurt. The pride you can feel in yourself, the knowledge of who your are, who you'll be when push comes to shove, will remain with you for a lifetime.I'm hugely impressed, Jason. Good for you, man.C

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Dude, I'm proud of you. I really didn't think you had that in you. I thought for sure you'd go for the boyfriend over the right thing. I misjudged you.I'm willing to bet that you'll find a lot more if you keep looking. I've actually been a victim of "tip theft" and I report it to the CC company. I've been told that if they get enough complaints, they stop letting the restaurant take credit cards.You did the right thing. You also found out Mark is a thief. And he cares only about himself. If he cared about you, he'd never steal from where you worked and then put you in such a shit position. YAY YOU :)

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I guess I am not surprised that you did what you knew was right, Jason. Your story causes me some heartache for you. I just want to give you a huge hug, too, and tell you that it is an honour to be in the same forum as you. :hug:

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I've always thought you have that inner strength, morality, and decency. Sadly, you will be paying for the short term, but that spirit inside you will overcome. I'm so sorry you were let down. HUGS to you.

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WOW! All of the comments here exprss my thoughts, but I need to say them myself.I've only been with these forums for a brief few months, and during that time, I thought I had gotten to know you a little. I always liked what you had said, even if it was just ranting about this or that, and that made me like you. It told me that you're honest.Most of the time our inner strength will not show itself until we're forced to see what we're made of by having to make a 'real' choice. I won't say that you surprised me by what you had to do, but it solidified in my mind what a wonderful, caring person you are who can use his inner strength to do what is right.You have not only my love, but my respect.You're a good man, Jason

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Cole Parker, Nov 7 2008, 02:07 PMWow! I thought I knew you, just a little. Now I feel I know you a lot better. And with that comes a great deal more respect. I already liked you. Now, I like and greatly respect you.It's often difficult to do the right thing. It's often easy to justify not doing the right thing.You had a resopnsibility to your boss. He trusted you. He expected you to do the right thing for his business. And when the chips were down, when it mattered, you came through in spades.Mark's being gone might hurt, but it'll be a temporary hurt. The pride you can feel in yourself, the knowledge of who your are, who you'll be when push comes to shove, will remain with you for a lifetime.I'm hugely impressed, Jason. Good for you, man.C I must admit Cole, the first month I wouldn't have agreed with you. Which I think its one of the reasons it took me so long to actually collect my thoughts and be able to put them into words. That night I found the theft, I barely got any sleep. Mainly because I knew that whatever way I went, I was going to be "unhappy" with that final decision. And as nice as the words everyone wrote concerning my character, it was in doubt in that long night. But even when I knew that it was over between Mark and I, I still wasn't sure if I would tell my boss or just tell Mark to never do it again. It wasn't until Mark and I were talking in the office and he started demanding that I cover this up because we were togther. In that moment, I knew what I had been entertaining was wrong. Character isn't something you truly know until you are faced with that choice. No matter my past and the things I've done, I am not that person anymore. I don't have much left, but I do have my pride, my honor, and my work ethic. When faced with compromise, I had no other choice.#2 writebymyself, Nov 7 2008, 02:21 PMDude, I'm proud of you. I really didn't think you had that in you. I thought for sure you'd go for the boyfriend over the right thing. I misjudged you.I'm willing to bet that you'll find a lot more if you keep looking. I've actually been a victim of "tip theft" and I report it to the CC company. I've been told that if they get enough complaints, they stop letting the restaurant take credit cards.You did the right thing. You also found out Mark is a thief. And he cares only about himself. If he cared about you, he'd never steal from where you worked and then put you in such a shit position. YAY YOU :)Concerning the credit card fraud, since this instance, my General Manager and I have put into place where each night we audit one server randomly. And we even went one step further and informed our servers that we would be doing this and why we decided to implant this policy. We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again.#3 Madrigal, Nov 7 2008, 04:49 PMI don't think any of us could ever expect any less from you, Jason. *gives you the most awesome hug in the history of gay hugs*Maddy (: Thanks Maddy.#4 DesDownunder, Nov 7 2008, 07:46 PMI guess I am not surprised that you did what you knew was right, Jason. Your story causes me some heartache for you. I just want to give you a huge hug, too, and tell you that it is an honour to be in the same forum as you. THankfully I've had a few months to come to terms with this decision. The sting has faded and I'm pretty comfortable with how it all played out. #5 Trab, Nov 7 2008, 08:07 PMI've always thought you have that inner strength, morality, and decency. Sadly, you will be paying for the short term, but that spirit inside you will overcome. I'm so sorry you were let down. HUGS to you. Trab, thank you.#6 Richard Norway, Nov 8 2008, 10:46 AMWOW! All of the comments here expree my thoughts, but I need to say them myself.I've only been with these forums for a brief few months, and during that time, I thought I had gotten to know you a little. I always liked what you had said, even if it was just ranting about this or that, and that made me like you. It told me that you're honest.Most of the time our inner strength will not show itself until we're forced to see what we're made of by having to make a 'real' choice. I won't say that you surprised me by what you had to do, but it solidified in my mind what a wonderful, caring person you are who can use his inner strength to do what is right.You have not only my love, but my respect.You're a good man, JasonWhat a nice thing to say Richard, I truly hope I can live up to that description. Thank you all, you've always been so supportive of my craziness and it makes me feel all fuzzy bunny slippers.Jason

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