Friday, 14 March 2008

Paying for stuff

How's this for absolutely fucking moronic...

There I am, walking up to the counter at a cafe to pay the bill after feeding my face. I have bothered to look at the menu, so I know the bill comes to $12. I have a $20 note in my hand, ready to pay and split.

But I am beaten to the counter by two fiendish women, who proceed to get the bill and then haggle over who should pay for what. At this point, I can't pay as the waiter has totalled up their account and can't clear it and process mine until he has dealt with them. The curses of modern technology - he can't open the till to get my change until they have forked out.

After 30 seconds of examining the bill in great detail and deciding that, yes, they had one soy chai latte and some other beverage and some toast, and that one should pay $5.20 and the other $4.80, they proceed to search through their handbags for their purses.

Oh for fuck's sake.....

At this point, I start tapping my foot. One of them shoots me an evil look, which states that it is her right to be a complete dipshit in a queue if she feels like it. I believe she then decides to fruitlessly root around in her handbag for the next two minutes to punish me for daring to tap my foot in her direction.

One eventually extracts a purse, and pulls out a $50 bill to pay for $4.80 worth of toasted bread. The other, just to completely fuck my morning, pulls out a bit of plastic and waves it around, expecting the waiter will agree to put a $5.20 transaction through the plastic-swiping machine.

Right. Ladies, this is how you pay bills. I know that some of you might not be used to it, given that men used to do it for you, but that all finished about 30 years ago, so I would expect that by now, you would have learned the etiquette of paying for a meal.

If it is a cheap cafe, and they expect you to pay at the counter as you leave, make sure you have your purse or wallet in your hand when you get to the counter. If you have a good idea of what it will cost, have that amount in your hand when you ask for the bill. That way, the whole process can be over and done with as rapidly as possible, and irate men in the queue behind you will not ram your head through the glass of the cake stand.

If the bill is small, and the two of you eat out all the time, learn how to "shout" each other a coffee.

Thank you.

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