Giving The Wrong Card To The Wrong Person

End of night, band just got done, lights are up, people are finishing their drinks, my fellow bartender is picking up empties, I’m running cards. It’s always a cluster-fuck at the end of a busy night. 25 people want to close their tab RIGHT NOW. I’ve got one machine, you can only go so fast.

At about 1:55am, I’ve still got cards out. CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. I announce. I grab all the cards. JENNY, AMANDA, LUCY, SASHA NEED TO COME UP AND CLOSE THEIR TABS.

Girl at the bar, says haughtily, we’re right here!

Yeah there are three girls at the bar. I start running them. Ok, here’s your card, here’s your card, here’s your card. They all sign it, take off in a group.

It’s around 2:05am, I’m done. You know what I mean?  Done. Girl comes up to the bar, says, I need to close my tab. I look back, grab the last card, say, Sasha, right? She says, no. Teresa. It’s a red Bank of America card.

Oh shit no I didn’t.

Yeah. I think I did.

I say to her, give me one minute please.

There is a horrible sinking feeling when this happens. One of the worst things you can possibly do as a bartender.

Give the wrong card to the wrong person.

I must’ve given Sasha Teresa’s card. Fuck a duck.

I take off, run out the side door. I look around. There’s six people tops milling about. No, no one that started a tab with me. I run towards the front of the building, hoping, praying I can find Sasha. I look around, a number of people are on the street, but no one that was in the club tonight.

I take a deep breath. I made it all night long no mistakes, then at the last minute…BOOM.


I get back in, Teresa is standing at the bar. I get back behind the bar, say, we have a situation here. She says, what’s that?  I say, I believe I gave your card to a Sasha. Do you know a Sasha? She says, no, I don’t. I say, this is what we’re going to do. I know Sasha is going to realize she has your card, and she’s going to come back in, because I have her card. Let me have your number, I will text you, call you, as soon as I hear something from her.

I look back, check my tally, I say, you have a $20 tab. I’m going to comp your tab. I feel terrible about this, and I’m really sorry. She says, no, no. It’s cool. It happens.

Oh glory this girl’s being cool about it. THANK GOD. I have done this before couple years ago, and a girl went BEZERK on me.

I get her a piece of paper and a pen, say, please put your number down here. She says, ok.

While she’s writing her info down, I realize something significant. If I in fact gave her card to Sasha, Sasha signed and tipped it. I don’t want that to happen, I’m not charging her tab.

I go to the register where we keep the receipts, flip through them, about five in, I find the receipt, it says Teresa Blank on it, I take it over to Teresa, say, here’s the receipt she signed for you. I just wanted you to know that I’m going to void it out. She looks at the receipt, says, that’s my signature. I say, what?  She says, that’s my signature.

She opens up her bag, gets out a wallet, opens it, takes out a card, says, oh here it is.

I must’ve forgot I ran it.

-Clint Curtis

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