Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sorry. And... I'm sorry. But there's just one thing I gotta say...

You know that girl who, just a few blog entries ago, was all "open your mind," and "see the silver lining" and "you have it so much better than the homeless lady?" Yeah, she's not here right now.

I have to apologize in advance because last night, something inside me snapped, and the first words out of my mouth when I arrived home were, "I'm tired of waiting on assholes."

If you're in a hurry or want to take your time, I've got you covered. I'll rush your well-done steak or I'll put a nice long hold on your 2-minute meatloaf. If you need a vegetarian-friendly version of our "Uebermeatydeluxbaconburger" I will consult with the kitchen and put something together for you. You ask me questions about flour and cornstarch, I know to ask if you  might have a gluten allergy. You tell me you're Jewish, I know to remind you the day's soup has sausage in it before letting you order it. I'm not some dumb blonde who screwed up in some part of her life and that's why I'm waiting tables instead of walking around with a briefcase and my thumb up my ass.

To summarize, I'm tired of being a good, kind, attentive, server who will accomodate your every request, and still getting treated/tipped like shit.

So here are a few guidelines from people OTHER than me (to prove I'm not just being selfish), just in case you're out to eat and you have any doubts as to what you're actually paying for:

From Server at a full-service restaurant – 15% to 20% of your total bill. If you’ve used a discount or received any free items, you should tip on the amount that your bill would have come to if you’d paid full price. If your party is large or placing many special requests, you should increase your tip appropriately.

From (in an article titled, wait for it, "How to Tip Your Sever"!): Tipping is obligatory in North America, because the waitstaff are often paid fairly low wages.

And: The general guideline is 20% for excellent service, 15% for solid service, and 10% for bad service. On average, people tip 18%. (I wish to note, "excellent" service should not mean I'm leaning forward with a shirt unbuttoned or giving you my number. It's not bad service just because you're 65, reek of alcohol, and I am not humoring your attempts at flirtation).

From tipping.orgWaiter or Waitress -- 15% to 20% of bill. If you receive excellent service or if it is a 4 star + restaurant or large parties, a 20% or greater tip is recommended.

So, again, I know I'm being a total hypocrite today, as I think back to what I posted a couple weeks ago, but after 2 weeks of barely being able to cover the cost of my babysitter with what I've earned, I've had about enough.

If you're traveling, you owe it to the people who wait on you to consider the TOTAL cost of going out to eat. None of this sticker-shock bullshit where you stiff the people taking care of you because you spent more than you intended.

Keep in mind, we (servers) often split a portion of our tips with the bartenders and foodrunners. When you tip me $2.50 on $75.56 (yes, I'm in a petty enough mood to remember the exact total of the bill), I have to tip out %1 of the total of each check to the food runner ($.76) and %2 to the bar ($1.52). Which means, I've made a whopping TWENTY-THREE CENTS for the hour you occupied my table.

And I mean, really? $2.50? Even if the entire tip was mine to keep, that's not even acceptable by Waffle-House standards.

Here's an idea. If you don't know how to tip, DON'T GO OUT TO EAT. You and your loose change aren't helping any of us pay our bills.

Again, sorry. Really had to get that off my chest. Hopefully this will be the last time I'll gripe and groan about my line of work. It is the life I chose, after all...

(But please share away. Share a link on the FB, or just keep me in mind when you're out to eat with your grouchy uncle who still tips like it's 1954.)


Emz said...


I am sorry for all the sad, cheap, ass-y people out there.

Kate said...

First, let me just say I agree with you 100%. It always seems to be the jerks who make uber-bucks at work who feel it's acceptable to leave a 3.3% tip. To be honest, even when I was making less than 20G/year in grad school, I pretty much left 20% no matter what, even with terrible service, which also annoys me. I feel like the art of tipping is totally lost. I feel guilty leaving less than 18% because I know that waiters and waitresses make dirt money without tips, and I think my waiter/waitress will think it's because I was being a cheap ass and not because they tried to memorized my order so it came out completely wrong or because I tried to flag them down for 30 minutes to get a refill but they were busy talking to the cute bus boy. And this is not a rant against waiter/waitresses by any mean, just actual experiences I've had. (I also had a waitress get up and dance with the rest of the waiters/waitresses at a "fun" restaurant after I'd been waiting an hour for my food because she "didn't know how to use the ordering system"). I've had great service some places too, and I try to show it with politeness and a good tip. But I think people don't even think about the meaning of the tip anymore which is why you have cheap ass customers and crappy service people. I wish they would get paired up with each other more often. I also take issue with tip jars, but that's a rant for another time.

Sorry about your jerk customer. If you were my waitress, I would totally leave you a good tip.

misszippy said...

You are hilarious and totally entitled to this post, if you ask me!

Evolv Rose said...

Katie, I feel bad that you had bad dining experiences and I get angry that there are enough ditzy, young, inexperienced servers out there that there's this automatic assumption that we all are lazy.

I never half-ass anything I do and if I DID have a major misstep in service, I'd expect that to be reflected in my tip.

You are the acception to the norm. Most people out there assume 10-15% is more than acceptable because that's what Rachel Ray tips on "40 Dollars a Day."

Summer said...

The sucky thing about having to go out in public, is having to deal with the people. I certainly don't have it as rough as people in the service industry, but Oh-dear-lord the creatures I deal with on the bus. Oy. See one of my earlier posts.