What is phasing? When it's time to "phase" the manager basically makes the decision to take one server off the floor and the remaining servers gain more tables to their section. This is where things tend to get crazy, if you're still on the floor.
After the call to phase, my section kept getting sat. I went from a four table section to a nine table section. I now am pretty good at dealing with this. This type of phasing used bury me deep in the weeds and cause some anxiety. Now, I'm much better and don't allow my emotions to get the best of me.
Well, after it all started to die off, it was down to one other server and I. She was the closer, and I was pretty much expected to rock out the side work. I finished off most of my tables, and the place was dying. I had two tables left. One table was just ordering and the other had already ate, but was chit-chatting over drinks. I was not really worried however, since I still had a lot of side work to do.
Soon, I was getting close to finishing my side work and was pretty much ready to go home. I stopped by the table that had just ordered and they were doing a good job at eating their meal (3 guys, pretty hungry). They asked for their check at this point were pretty much gone in another ten minutes.
I went over to my last table, the drinking table. Who ordered more drinks. "Fuck," I thought, "they're gonna drink all night." I ordered the drinks and dropped the check off with the drinks after asking if they needed anything else. I do this to kind of give a clue I'm leaving. The one and only guy at the four top table looks at the check. "Oh," he says. "Are you taking off?" I kind of felt bad at this point, as the restaurant was still open for a good hour and twenty or so minutes.
"Yes, I'm getting ready to go. But don't worry, I don't want you guys to rush. There is still plenty of time." He reaches for his wallet. "No it's cool, we're pretty much done. Here cash us out. I'm sure you have side work to do. There's no need to wait on us, this pretty much it." BINGO! He used the term side work. That said it all. He got it! (They never do!)
With that, I ran the card, dropped the check and he had that baby signed within seconds. Close to 30% tip too. I easily made it out of work close to the time I was phased. I love waiting on those in the business. It is always nice to wait on one of your own.