Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bad Tipper

I have had many friends who have been waiters/waitresses.  They often told me the woes of the bad tipper, and I agreed with what they said.  For example, If you don't have the money for a tip, you probably shouldn't order a drink.  It's not your server's fault you're poor.  Don't punish them when they give you good service.  It makes sense.  I have always felt that a 15% tip was bare minimum.  (In other parts of the country you are supposed to leave at least 19%, but that's not the norm here yet.)

Then I married Hod.  He's picky.  If he doesn't like the service, he leaves a horrid tip!  This was very embarrassing to me.  There were times I would meet him in the car because I knew he was going to leave a bad tip.  However, when our server is good, he leaves a higher tip than I normally would.  There isn't much of a middle ground with him.

But... sometimes I think he has a point.  For example:  (Story time!)

I take a bunch of surveys online, and recently was able to earn a $25 dollar gift card for a restaurant. We found a baby sitter, and had a night on the town!  (Ok, not really, we're not that fancy.)  The Restaurant was kind of busy, and had a bar in it.  That's fine.  We ended up being seated near the bar.  Still ok, as it was a Thursday night and there weren't a lot of drinkers.  However... our waiter ended up being the bartender.  In between laughing and joking with the drinkers, he would come and serve us.  But we aren't as fun as the 3 guys sitting at the bar watching sports.  We were just a calm couple enjoying our time together.

The problem was, we could see (and hear) him chatting it up with the drinkers, and the other servers (And complaining about how much he hates his job and he has to work too much) instead of taking care of us.  We ordered our food, and never actually saw him at our table again.  There was a different person who brought us everything.  We pretty much never had anything to drink, and it was obvious he didn't care.  When tip time came... I knew it was going to be abysmal.  And for the first time, I wasn't embarrassed.  Yes, I feel bad that the hostess and bus boys were punished because of the poor tip we left.  It wasn't their fault.  (although the hostess did NOT want to be there either.)  I feel that when you go out to eat, half of the experience is the food, and half is the service.  And we only got the food.  (Which also wasn't very good.)  Since, we didn't receive service, we didn't really pay for the service.

Maybe I'm a bad person.  But, it was a little invigorating to not pay for something I didn't get!


Anonymous said...

I once left two cents because I wanted the server to realize that was about all we thought they were worth. We watched our food get cold as we nearly died of dehydration (okay maybe not that bad), while she went and sat down at another table and giggled with her friends. We rarely can afford to go out and didn't appreciate being ignored and cold food.

Laree said...


Here's my way of thinking about it: a tip was originally designed to reward a person for an exceptional service rendered - someone did you a favor, and you paid them for it. But now it's mandatory. I understand the waiter's point of view - but I already paid for my food. Why should I pay extra just because it's legal for your boss to pay you so much less than minimum wage!

I'm more like Hod. If you did a great job, you deserve a great tip. If you did an average job, I'll begrudgingly leave you an average tip. If you did lousy, I'm going to tip you accordingly.

I totally embarrassed Hubby one time. I flat out told the waitress, "I don't believe in tips. I think they are stupid and wrong. But you, YOU deserve a tip today!" I meant it as a complement. Hubby was just mortified!

If more people did quality based tips, I bet more servers would deliver exceptional work!