Posted by: Rae | October 2, 2007

Opening day

We opened on April 20. I had staff lined up, food ready, everything set. I’d programmed the cash register (nice, personalized greetings on the receipts), tested the cash register and the credit card machine both. I was READY.

Our first customers showed up at 7:30, when we opened, and before we knew it the place was bustling. Not packed, thank goodness, because in those days we struggled to serve 35 people in one day, but just busy enough. The food was coming out of the kitchen, and people, except the “there’s no brown on an omelet” crowd because my chef was determined to brown them, were happy, and we were doing well.

I rang up the first order, proud of myself because I remembered how to do it. $14.83. The customer handed me a $20 bill. The register displayed the change amount — $5.17, and the cash drawer popped open. Empty. I had forgotten to put cash into the cash drawer.

I called the bank. “Hi, this is Raechel at the Alcove Cafe. I wonder whether you’d be willing to bring me $250 because I forgot to put cash in my cash register.” Long pause. “Sorry, do you have an account with us?” Once we established who I was and that I did have an account, the wonderful folks at Citizens Bank walked over with some cash and I made change. My employees spent the rest of the day laughing about the expression on my face when the cash drawer popped open.

Moral of the story? Don’t get too big for your britches, or the world will hand you a humility lesson.


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