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for wait staff to spit in his food before serving it to him.
When I was a student at the University of Montreal in the late 50’s and early 60’s, I learned that several of my male colleagues were working as waiters for summer jobs, and all they made was tips, the got no pay. I then started to give tips. I made it a habit of giving generous tips – If I could not afford the tip, I could not afford the meal either. Over the years, I greatly benefited from doing so. I made good friends – there are many nice people working in restaurants. And since I live alone, have no family nearby and work of my apartment, sometimes I just need to see people and eat a better meal than what I can hurriedly make. It is very nice to be greeted with a friendly smile as I come into the restaurant and to have a chat with a human person for a change,..
I developed the habit of eating breakfast out several times a week during a nightmarish family crisis. It’s heartening how kind the minimum-wage waitstaff can be to someone in grief, and as I could afford the meals I could afford 20% tips.
Leaving a 90% tip on an $11 meal two days before Christmas made me feel good all day. Different pleasures for different people.
One of my favorite things to do is go to IHOP after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and leave a ridiculously exorbitant tip (normal for me is 20-25% plus one more dollar).
If the waiters put as much energy into seeing the laws changed and getting higher wages instead of trolling this guy´s posts then they wouldn´t NEED tips. In civilised countries a tip is an extra that goes above the wages.
But then this is america …
Yes, because getting laws changed is as easy as blowing off steam after some jerk posted a contemptuous blog entry.
Oh, yeah. Just as easy as amending the Constitution, which is a piece of cake.
It’s also assuming changing the laws would actually benefit waiters and/or customers, which I highly doubt. the most likely outcome of forcing restaurants to do away with the system would probably be higher prices AND lower wages.
I’d hoped it would be hard to get lower than $2.13 an hour.
Well, no one actually makes $2.13/hr. A server is guaranteed minimum wage if their tips combined with the $2.13 don’t amount to minimum wage. But my point is that even a flat rate of $10 per hour or so would be a significant step down for most servers in mid-level establishments, who make anywhere from $12-20 per hour for the most part.
Anyway, my point is that I have very little faith that any “flat rate” negotiated by businesses and governments would be equal to or higher than what servers currently make on average.
Wow, reading the comments in that thread is like reading from the keyboard of Greed itself. It’s utterly spiritually poisonous. “It’s MY money. Mine, MINE, MINE!” It’s like a bunch of rich 3 year olds, no offense to the 3 year olds.
I hope you’re talking about the greed of people who don’t tip out of sheer malice, such as the man who wrote the post. And make no mistake, it’s malice and greed that drive people to not tip. “It’s not my fault restaurants don’t pay servers a flat wage” is morally equivalent to “it’s not my fault it’s country has no minimum wage laws”. The reality is simply that in the US, a tip is payment for service full stop. Not payment for exceptional service (and the blogger seems to believe there’s nothing meriting a tip at all).
Bottom line: not tipping IS defrauding someone of their wages (except for exceptional cases, where the only constructive thing to do user leave a note or see a manager). Just because some service industry people are whiny about it doesn’t change the fact that it IS, under the current arrangement, a payment that is rightly theirs. It’s not like an entitlement to a gift of free money.
It says a lot that you seem to be complaint about the greed of waiters, but not the sheer, spine-chilling coldness of the blogger, who KNOWS people
depend on tips to make a living, and chooses to defraud them of that because it will save him a few bucks. Or also what is essentially contempt for service industry people and contempt for US cultural norms (i.e. friendliness). That guy’s behavior and attitude seriously warrant someone spitting or worse into his food, but thankful most service industry folks have more class than he does, and would never do such a thing.
Phew! This is an epic example of misreading a comment. I didn’t think I was that vague, but more explicitly: I was referring to the author of the post and his greedy rich buddies in the comment boxes.
My family and I are GENEROUS tippers (in line with you based on your prior comments), BECAUSE of our personal experiences in the industry. You could have asked instead of spouting off in addition to your posts above.
Sorry … I realized after I posted that that I might have been reading to wrong. I avoided the combox on the other site because I usually do avoid comboxes. I’m sorry I misread your comment.
I think I may have read you wrong because I was reading it along with the guy below who seems to think waiters should just like, “work to change the laws or something.” Sorry to lump you in with that.
And oh man, I just went and read some of it. I sure hope
most people are trolls leaving comments like that to either get a rise out of people, or to subtly make fun of the author. I’ve literally never met people who are so openly cruel and consciously so.
I’m truly sorry for associating you with that. Really. Please accept my apology.
Hey Chase, no problem. In my head, I was hoping that’s what happened. I hope my comments about how I tip didn’t come off as a brag.
I’m sure we’re in agreement that tipping is the cost of being the person who gets to sit down and eat (generally during times of day when most people like to relax – lunch or dinner) while someone else doesn’t. I’m sure we all have grand schemes to “fix the problem”, but until then our personal actions will be all that help us get to Heaven. Take care!
The sheer ugliness of that post…
The way I see it, a tip is
part of the cost of eating out, and I figure that into my decision when
determining how much a meal is going to cost. I always tip, even tip
for mediocre service. If the service were ever so bad that I would
consider not leaving a tip, I would speak to the manager instead.
Yep, that’s how I see it too. I only tip less than 15% if the service is absolutely abominable, and even though I don’t go out much that’s only occurred once in my life (that I’ve been responsible for paying for my own meals in restaurants).
I do think that waitstaff should be paid more, but a zero tip is just going to tell the waitstaff that you’re cheap. If you really want to send a message about the service, tip, but less. Most of the time the service I get is well worth the 20% or more tip I leave. But then again, I also know how to be a good customer.
Actually, zero tip does not mean “I am cheap.” Ordering water and mixing your own Crystal Light in it means you’re cheap, or complaining that your second helping of *extra* salad dressing costs extra gets you pegged as “cheap.” The same goes for a 10% tip sometimes (the only thing to clearly communicate bad service is to write a note or a verbal comment) Not tipping at all can only be interpreted as “I am ignorant of this custom or I simply forgot” OR “I am a huge jerk with no excuse that does derive from my bloated and repulsive ego”. There’s no other option.
I am just expressing what people have said to me about it who have worked as servers. Though yes, it was usually in conjunction with some of the other “cheap” behaviors you describe here.
I do agree that if you’re tipping low because service was bad, you should say something, not just leave a low tip.
I tip at least 15%, even if the service is bad. Either they are new and getting use to the job (why should they pay dearly for doing their best but being new?) or because they are having a bad day (if they get bad tips all day, what should motivate them to do their job well?).
I must not have very clearly worded my comment, or maybe I’m misreading the responses to it. I have only tipped less than 15% once – and the service was unbelievably bad, and yes, the manager was notified and he did make an attempt to fix it. On that occasion I tipped about 10%. Even though it was horrendous service, I don’t tip zero, because I know servers make next to nothing without tips. (But I’m pretty sure she lost her job that day.)
I make an effort to be a good customer. I know there is a learning curve, and I know people have bad days. Although I’ve never worked for tips I have worked in service and I know it’s hard to always do the job well, especially when there’s customers like the guy who wrote this post. I try not to make a fuss, make my server’s job easy while I still have a pleasant time, and I leave a minimum of 15%, but usually 20% or higher.
I’ve worked for managers who, if a guest makes it clear ahead of time that he will not tip, will kindly suggest they’re not welcome.
Some people also commented on that site saying they cross out automatic gratuity (common practice so cover servers working large parties). Every manager I have worked for when people do this has told servers to go ahead and charge them anyway, and let them call and complain. They’d rather allow corporate to reimburse the customer’s money after the fact than see a server get tipped.
Plus, honestly who cares about jerks like this and their “valuable patronage”?
And in fairness to rich people in restaurants, when I worked fine dining, even the snootiest and most bloated egos of lawyers, politicians, and businessmen who came in may have acted like jerks at times, but never didn’t tip. In fact, many were aware that the ladies who waited on them almost every day seriously relied on their tips, and were glad to pay them for the job they did.
That’s why I think so many of those folks posting are simply trolls either messing with people or subtly making fun of the blogger.
“The way I see it, a tip is part of the cost of eating out, and I figure that into my decision when
determining how much a meal is going to cost.”
The added bonus is that it reflects to my wife and me how much our laziness to not want to cook that night is going to cost us. 🙂
(Edited to fix my grammar)
This guy is disgusting, but some commenters here don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not a matter of greed, but a matter if paying people for their work. In the US, the system works in a way that what we call a “tip” is unreality a service charge. It can be bigger or smaller, and yes, 20% or so is “extra”, 10% says you don’t deserve your wage, and 0% says “I refuse to pay you”.
Whether customers, especially non-American customers like this is irrelevant. That’s silly how the system works. It might be unfair, some argue immoral, but it is what it is, and anyone who leaves less than 15% is knowingly refusing a worker what they work for. You might say it’s not your problem, and that may be true, but the way the current system works, it IS your problem, and if you don’t tip or is YOU who are defrauding the worker of his wages, knowing he depends on his wages from you. People who do not tip are simply either ignorant (I’ve met many non-tippers who mean no malice whatsoever, just don’t understand). If you do not too because you cannot afford to, then you cannot afford to eat in a restaurant. If you don’t because you prefer not to, yet could afford it, you are a scumbag rationalizing your scummy actions.
Oh yes, the workers should be spending their time lobbying for more “just” conditions. Besides the fact that that is not so easy, did you very stop to think about the fact that most waiters are more than satisfied with the way this works? That this is why they wait tables/bartend instead of working in retail or fast food? That it provides an opportunity to make a decent living, where one’s skills at salesmanship and personal attentiveness have a direct impact on how much one makes? No waiter should be making less than minimum wage – the law guarantees that they wil make at least that much. But most waiters do not consider their work to be minimum wage work, either. And while yes, the restaurant could theoretically pay $10-$20 an hour to waiters, if you don’t think you’d be paying at LEAST as much as you do with a hefty tip, you probably believe in unicorns too.
The more likely situation is that restaurant would pay something like $9-11 per hour, raise prices anyway, and remove any incentive to work in the business as opposed to retail. You’d no longer find anyone excited to work a busy day, and put up with god-awful customers on Mother’s Day (the most hellish day of the year for waiters, dealing with people who don’t often eat out who are already upset they’ve had to wait an hour to get seated on “their” day, never noticing that it’s all the other women there’s “day” too.) I sum, a flat wage would guarantee higher costs on the customer’d end and lower wages on the server’s end.
Personally, I’d prefer to see something like a mandatory 15% sales commission, allowing for true “tips” for exceptional service. But people would complain about that too.
One more thing I find disgustingly insulting is how this fool, and others like him, beloved waiters see them as mere cash cows who pretend to be friendly in order to get money. In almost ten years in the industry, I have never met a good waiter whom this applies to. Some people do this, but their performance is usually shoddy and their fakeness utterly transparent. Did it ever occur to people that perhaps it’s a business that attracts friendly people who actually enjoy serving guests and making small talk with them? That maybe, just maybe, this friendliness is the normal sense of goodwill that should animate human intercourse, and which of itself tends to lead to mutual generosity?
The thing is, when I wait tables I’m friendly because I’m friendly. I enjoy talking to people. If people don’t want to be bothered, it’s not offensive to say “excuse me, but I’d rather be left alone, if you don’t mind.” But in an Maerican restaurant, *especially* in the south, don’t be upset if a waiter *dares* chat it up with you. Living in Europe, I at first thought all waiters were rude jerks. It’s not true – it’s called culture. If you don’t like it, adjust to it, or politely say something. But don’t expect us to stand around like silent sentinels or robots and not act according to te social expectations of our culture and profession.
Sorry, end of rant. I’m sure this jerk has never had to comfort a single mother who has just spent two hours working hard for a table spending over $300 on food and drinks, leaving her with 0 dollars (actually she’ll owe $9 to bussers and hostesses, but that’s a different issue.)
One more thing – I have NEVER met a waiter who would spit in or otherwise mess with someone’s food. I’m sure it happens, but it’s not common. More likely waiters will just be really upset, maybe cry, and at worst tell other waiters that guy is a jerk so don’t bother giving him any more than the bare minimum, if that much.
It’s also worth pointing out that, whether it is fair or not, international guests will be seen as representing their countries. Even if it’s not fair, I’m sure this fellow has led to other Indians being given crappy service. A good waiter won’t do this, and in fact, will give his best to even people he knows never tip, but surprise surprise, people do stereotype and generalize. This is something Americans should also keep in mind when visiting foreign countries.
And btw, no matter how elaborate or even partially correct the justifications are, at the end of the day, this guy and people like him are Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs.
The reality is tipping is an established part of our culture to tip wait staff in the United States. It’s anyone’s choice to tip or not to tip. However, it’s also the waiter/waitress’s choice to give you the stink eye and for more generous people to pity your covetous heart. Be generous with your gifts and kind in your demeanor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how God and other people reward you in this life, to say nothing of the next.
The reality is tipping is an established part of our culture in the United States. It’s anyone’s choice to tip or not to tip. It’s your choice and your money. However, it’s also the waiter/waitress’s choice to give you the stink eye and for more generous people to pity your covetous heart. Be generous with your gifts. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how God and other people reward you in this life, to say nothing of the next.
I wonder where this person lives? If he is living in Europe, it is quite possible that the waiters he encounters are not part of our system where tipping is morally and socially required because that is their pay. Some of the higher class places in Europe are getting infected by Americans, who normally tip, so the waiters come to expect it even though it is not really necessary. Did I miss a reference to where he lives?
Dwight Schrute put it better… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC7-L1hVjgA
I actually am frustrated by tipping, as well. I would gladly pay more for my food at a restaurant so that every waiter could make a better wage without having to rely on any tips. In many ways, I think it unfair that a waiter needs to rely on great performance to make a reasonable wage, while most of us get paid regardless of our performance.
All that said, I tip fairly generously. Regardless of whether I like it or not, it’s not the waiter’s fault the custom is the way it is, and he shouldn’t be punished for it.
I’d say though that any change in how it’s done would benefit not the waiters, but the restaurants, if that.
I think a %15 “sales commission” or so with the possibility of adding more would be the best of both worlds for guests and for servers.
Hmm. That makes sense to me.
For years I didn’t tip at all because I found it so embarrassing– the ambiguity of the thing. I fretted about leaving too much, leaving too little, whether it was appropriate to tip at all, the actual act of doing it and how flustered it made me. I don’t like the system and would much rather just know upfront how much I should pay. But reading this guy’s article makes me want to tip everybody I ever deal with as extravagantly as I possibly can.
Obviously there are two ways of looking at a service someone performs for you. One way is, ‘What’s it worth to me?”. The other is, “Here is a human being putting time and effort into helping me. How can I best reward them, consistent with my means and the situation?”.