We've all been there. We've all experienced it. If you claim you haven't then you're the douchebag friend/co-worker this article is about. I'm referring to the "deer in the headlights" dance everyone does at the end of a group dinner when splitting the check. That dreaded moment when all of your friends/co-workers act like they're the stupidest people on the planet, which let's face it, they probably are.

If it's your friends you're dining with, then you certainly expect more from them. If it's your co-workers sharing a meal with you, then you probably already hate them anyway and this just proves why. Either way, there is nothing more awkward than those minutes of complete horseshit after the bill arrives at a group dinner.

Let's start with eating with friends:

Three American Express credit cards at a dinner table
Pick a card, any card…
I know this country is severely lacking in it's educational system but that is no excuse for your stupidity, people. I have seen most of you fire off a text at the speed of light so I know your mind works quickly. I am positive you all passed basic math since you actually made it to college in the first place. Hell, I have even seen some of you graduate and go on to medical school because you had me proofread your personal statements. So next time we go out as a group and the check comes at the end of the night, the first person to throw up their hands and exclaim, "I was never very good at math" PAYS THE WHOLE BILL!

iPhone check splitting app
Yup, there's an app for that.
Bullshit you aren't good at math, you got a 39 on the MCAT! Bullshit you aren't good at math, you majored in it! Bullshit you aren't good at math, you got an "A" on your calculus exam and Twattered (er, Twittered) it to the entire world! I'm so tired of people pulling the stupidity card when the bill comes and then casually continuing a conversation about the probability of black holes. Furthermore, in today's age of iPhone zombies, everyone is good at math because I'm positive there's an app for that!

Something happens to everyone's brain when money gets involved and it seems the simplest solution, to their sudden ignorance, is to just split the bill equally among everyone present. Well, that would work just fine if we all ordered the same exact thing but guess what? There are fifteen of us here and the statistical probability that we all ordered the same thing is right up there with Stephen Hawking getting up out of his wheelchair and cranking dat Soulja Boy. In case it escaped you, that "complete tool" of a date you brought, currently snorkeling in his soup, ordered five margaritas and six Coronas. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for the reason he will later attempt to date rape you in a drunken stupor.

This isn't that hard guys: you look at the bill, add up what you ordered and pay your share, then pass the bill to the next person. If we come up short, we'll deal with it, but you know as well as I do that every time you pass the bill around, the waitress ends up getting a 300% tip—because everyone rounds up so they don't have to make change, so in the end we ALWAYS end up with MORE money, not less. Personally, I would rather round up from $19 to $20 than pay $95 for my dinner and your upcoming sexual assault, courtesy of your, once again, stellar choices in men.

Don't you dare suggest that I'm cheap either, because you and I both know that's not remotely true. I'm just tired of some of the smartest people I know claiming to be complete idiots because society tells them they will seem more attractive if they pretend to act like twits. I'll be "nice" and stop there, because after all, you guys are my friends. Remember though, next time, dinner is on you if you ever utter the words, "I was never very good at math" to me again when the bill arrives.

Now on to dining with co-workers:

Has it escaped your attention that I don't like most of you? I mean seriously, I sit all day with my headphones on, listening to music (sometimes there isn't even music) and NOT talking to you.

Man with one finger up saying Hold OnWhen you come to me to discuss your latest (and completely disgusting) boil removal situation, I continue to work, pretending you aren't even there. When I'm on the phone and you come stand six inches from me, ignoring my universal sign for "FUCK OFF" (holding up one finger…you know, like "one minute please, I'm on the fucking phone") I NEVER then come and see what it is that you wanted later after I'm off the phone. When I'm walking down the hallway with my headphones on, I never remove them to say hello to you. These are all pretty clear indications that I don't really like you. So when it's so-and-so's birthday and we all agree to go out for lunch (and by agree, I mean one of you organized it and told the rest of us that "everyone is going to lunch," thus forcing everyone at work to participate) I would really rather be getting a root canal instead.

I know I'm digressing a little from the check splitting scenario but I want to touch on a few other obnoxious points about going out with co-workers in general. Every one of you amazingly manages to get to and from work on a daily basis, but for some reason when "we all" decide to go to lunch it takes 50 minutes to figure out who's riding with who. Fuck the environment, I'm driving myself! That way when we leave this forced social nightmare, I'm not asking random strangers for a ride back to work because "my ride" suddenly decided to use the rest of the day for errands, even though they assured me a ride back before we left (yes, that has actually happened).

The downside of driving myself is that I always arrive at the place 20 minutes faster than everyone else, even if I left work 10 minutes later than all of them. Invariably, five people always end up at the WRONG restaurant even though they were physically handed directions to the place. They walk in exclaiming, "Hey, did you know there was another [insert most common chain restaurant here] ten miles in the other direction?" YES, THAT'S WHY YOU WERE GIVEN DIRECTIONS, YET SOMEHOW YOU STILL SCREWED IT UP!

Please Wait to be Seated signThen there's always Mr. Organizer who shows up last regardless of the fact that they organized it. But don't worry, they have a "really valid" reason for being late: they had to stop by the grocery store for a tiny cake, a card, and their groceries for the next THREE WEEKS apparently. It's all good though because we still have to wait 30 minutes for a table because Mr. Organizer didn't call the restaurant ahead of time. "I know! Isn't it simply shocking that the establishment wasn't ready to instantly sit 26 people at peak lunch hour?"

Finally, your table is ready and you figure the only way you're going to survive this forced work social situation without killing someone is to make fun of it with that one other person at work who remotely "gets" you. Guess what though, no matter how hard the two of you try and orchestrate sitting together, that person always end up sitting in BUMFUCK EGYPT compared to where you're sitting. No, you somehow always end up sitting next to the unintelligible, creepy co-worker with the table manners of a goddamn llama with an over-productive salivary gland.

Ordering the food is nothing short of a logistical nightmare and personally, I spend the entire time mentally apologizing to the poor waitress who must have drawn the short straw and had to serve us. From the moment the waitress leaves (likely to go slit her wrists) most of the time is spent in total silence wishing, with all our mental energy, for the food to come. You see, if we're eating then it makes total sense that 25 minutes passes and not a single word is uttered, because it's rude to talk with your mouth full. Did you hear that LLAMA BOY?!?!? IT'S RUDE TO TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!

Then there's that "oh so subtle" moment when Mr. Organizer passes the card under the table to all 25 non-birthday people to sign. (Damn, you are a Ninja, Mr. Organizer, aren't you?) The thing that kills me is that when the card gets to me I actually TRY and hide it under the table from the birthday person and I hate you, Mr. Organizer, for making me play this stupid game. Actually, I mainly hate you because when I went to sign the card it fell on the ground and the next person picked it up thinking THAT was my ultra ninja move, to get it passed to them. FUCK! I just wrote, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD, PARTY HARD" on the crotch of my jeans, in permanent ink! The rest of the meal is basically spent dodging llama projectile spittle and pretending to actually comprehend whatever the hell it is that the unintelligible llama is saying.

Now back to splitting the check.

Spoon on a guy's faceEventually, the bill comes and we have another little check pet peeve of mine added on to the inevitable group check splitting scenario that's about to ensue. The "birthday person" has to argue about us all paying for them! Okay, listen up world! It's a GIVEN that if a group of people, who are NEVER seen together in an "actual" social setting, go out together FOR some one's birthday, then the birthday person ISN'T paying! If you're that birthday person, don't feign surprise and pretend to reach for your wallet because it "just occurred to you that we're all paying for you." Furthermore, don't you DARE start an argument about it or one of these days, I just may jump up on the table and fucking stab you in the eye with a spoon while yelling, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" (Little tip, if you take someone out solo for their birthday and they pull this crap, just reply to their little charade and argument with, "Yeah you're right, I shouldn't pay for you. In fact why don't you pay for both of us." Then get up and leave. See, driving yourself is key.)

If it's YOUR birthday, of course we're paying for you. Just sit there graciously and say, "thank you" and laugh at the ridiculous antics of all of us NOT being able to do basic math when splitting the check. Although nine times out of ten, one person, usually Mr. Organizer, takes the check and spends the next twenty minutes with a look on their face like they're trying to shit out an entire person right then and there. Then they end up pulling out their credit card and telling the rest of us that we can pay him later.

Presto! You just turned into his own personal ATM machine with surcharges that rival every banking establishment on the planet. Later he will tell you that everyone owes him thirty dollars because of the cake and card. It is this moment in time that you know you have just been completely screwed over by someone you already hated for simply existing. $30 for lunch, a microscopic slice of cake, and a card that I technically never signed?!

See, this trick works, asshole, if all the other people truly don't know how to do math as they claim, while waving their arms around like a spaz. Let me tell you what I KNOW though. I KNOW how to do math. I KNOW that everyone got the lunch buffet and a drink which was a grand total of $15 each, including 20% tip, tax, and extra money thrown in for the birthday person. I KNOW the price of a tiny cake and a card from the grocery store and they don't cost $375!!

You know what else I KNOW, Mr. Organizer? I KNOW what my extra $15 just bought me. Anytime I'm pissed off, frustrated, aggravated, angry, or frankly just bored out of my mind at work, I have $15 worth of endless, guilt-free fun at your expense. That's right, I have a CRAZY fucking imagination when it comes to tormenting people. I have literally brought people at work to tears, just by messing with their heads for my own personal amusement. So "thank you for doing all that " my thoughtful little social organizing co-worker. Here is your $30, "Money well spent!" I exclaim with a smile while handing him his cash.

Man crying posterYou see people, I misspoke before. There actually IS something more awkward than those minutes of complete horseshit after the bill arrives at a group dinner. What is even MORE awkward is when one of your co-workers breaks down into tears at work, sobbing uncontrollably, while running off to the bathroom. However, in those awkward moments as they rush out in their tearful flurry, look around. Likely, someone (me) in the room is smirking and muttering under their breath, "Happy Birthday….Happy Fucking Birthday."

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