“I used to wait tables at this place called Winstead’s, a 1950s burger joint in Kansas City. The place was huge, and serving sections were massive, and since it was the only cheap eats option for shoppers, it got really busy really fast. Customers paid the server at the table, and of course, people took advantage of the whole ‘pay at the end of your meal’ thing.
One day, after my shift had just started, three teenage girls sat in my section at a table close to the front door. I guess I felt a little suspicious at first, seeing teenagers sitting close to an easy exit, but they seemed well-mannered and polite, and they were my only table. After they had finished eating, I asked them if they wanted any dessert.
At first, they shook their heads, but then one of the girls perked up and said, ‘I’ll take a piece of cheesecake.’
I looked at the other two girls and asked them again just in case they might have changed their mind, and they both ordered milkshakes. I walked over to the computer, and as I put the order in, I heard the front door open. I turned around and saw them running out to a car pulled up out front. They sped off before I could catch them, and I was livid. For some reason, when someone runs out on their check, I am more upset if they were nice to me throughout the meal. It makes it seem more malicious. Anyway, when I came back inside, I noticed my coworker standing in front of their table holding one of the girl’s cell phones in the air.
At this point, all the other tables were aware of the commotion, so I announced, ‘They left their phone,’ and I’m pretty sure a few people clapped.
I imagine there was a fist bump. Feeling excited and vindicated, I quickly realized that I should take full advantage of the situation.
First thing was first. I checked to see if there was a lock on the screen. There was, but a guy I worked with had once shown me how he could figure out the swipe pattern on my phone by looking at fingerprint smudges. I thought it was worth a try, so I took it to him. As I walked into the kitchen, the phone rang.
Man’s (or teenage boy’s) voice: ‘That’s my sister’s phone.’
Me: ‘Yeah, well your sister ran out on her bill, and the only way I’m giving the phone back is if she pays me.’
I hear her protesting in the background.
Me: ‘Let me talk to her.’
Me: ‘It really sucks that you ran out. I was super nice to you and your friends, and that’s a really terrible thing to do.’ She hung up.
So I took the phone into the back, and the guy figured out the password. I proceeded to call her mother (telling her about the incident and informing her of the inappropriate pics she’d been texting people) and sent messages to her friends: ‘I ran out on a check and left my phone on the table,’ or to various boys she was flirting with: ‘I think I luv u. Will u b my boyfriend?’ I’m sure the next day school was very confusing for her.
Then, a guy came in asking for the phone. I told him I wanted her to come to get it. He said she wouldn’t come in. I told him if she didn’t come in, then I would sell her phone to make back the money for her unpaid bill (we had to pay out of our own pocket for this. Stupid, I know).
She texted me from another number that night, calling me names, trying to convince me to give it back to her, but she still would not agree to pay the check. She just kept avoiding the question.
The next day, I sold her phone for the price of the bill, plus a sizable tip. Revenge combined with the piece of cheesecake she abandoned was sweet.”