At my restaurant job, they decided to train me as a fill-in hostess. Saturday night was the first night that I was on my own.
Our restaurant is run a bit differently from others (from my understanding). Our waitresses don't have sections of tables that are theirs, rather the tables are assigned as customers are seated, and it's the hostess' job to make sure the tables and amount of customers are as evenly distributed as possible so that the waitresses make as close to the same amount of tips as possible.
This is where the politics enter. I've seen the waitresses throw fits because they didn't get what they perceived as an even amount of customers. The hostess training me told me that no other restaurant would put up with this, but at ours we do. Go figure.
At any rate, Saturday was thankfully slow for my maiden voyage hostessing. The tables and sitting times were working out perfectly. One waitress was going to get 3 more customers than the other, but that's as good as I could make it. I was feeling fairly confident (and competent, for that matter).
Well, when it came time to add up the tips, one of the waitresses got $114, the other about $65, for reasons that were out of my control. I could immediately smell trouble. My only hope was that the waitress with the big bucks would just keep it to herself.
Guess what? She didn't. Miss Got-Bucks comes up, picks up her tickets and declares, "Holy Cow! Oh wow! I had a better night than I thought! Woo look at this!" Then the other waitress, gets all sullen and starts going over her tickets with a fine tooth comb, and complaining, "Well, it didn't even pay me to show up tonight." (Although $65 is nothing to sneeze at in my opinion, considering that the hostess doesn't even GET any tips!)
I tried to explain that I did my best to keep it even, but it fell on deaf ears. I'm a terrible hostess because I didn't force the customers to tip her exactly the same as the other waitress. Grrrrrrr.
I'm sure that suggesting that they pool their tips and then divvy them up equally wouldn't go over too well. It would take all the competition out of it, and make the hostess' job way too easy and less stressful. Or maybe they could just be good sports, and not gloat, or fight over customers and tips. Yeah, that's not going to happen either. Oh well.