Just The Tip

I spent more time debating if I was going to make this post than it will take to type it. The problem is I want to make sure the person I’m about to talk about doesn’t get into trouble. I don’t think they (intentional use of a gender-neutral pronoun) will even if it can be figured out who I’m talking about. But they’ll know, and that’s what’s important.

Trish and I were out recently on a night we generally don’t go out on. It was late and we both had the tiredness of a busy day behind us. There was plenty of stuff we could have made for dinner, but we decided to go out. The plan was to swing by one of our usual haunts and provided it wasn’t too busy eat there, and if it was crowded we would head on to another spot. As luck would have it, it wasn’t that busy.

When we go out we tend to sit at bars and counters, so we were happy to find a spot at the bar. We even got to sit in the spot we like. We both knew that night’s bartender, which was one of the reasons we decided to swing by. It was a good night out, even though we didn’t stay much longer than it took to order a couple drinks and some food. But it was long enough to piss me off about something.

At the other end of the bar sat a guy that obviously thought he was the coolest guy in the room. Everyone knows the type: loud, takes part in any conversation he hears, tells jokes that aren’t funny (and often off color)…pretty much wanting to be the center of attention. A buddy would have referred to him as the “bar captain”. It was after he left that I got the most annoyed.

You could see something was up as soon as the bartender looked at the check. It was not hard to tell they had just gotten shafted. After a few moments they headed toward the back, muttering “I hate this f—–g place”. A couple minutes later they came back and told Trish and I what happened. The loudmouth jackass’ tab came to over $130, and he left a $10 tip. A whopping 7.7% gratuity.

What possesses someone to leave that kind of tip? You just dropped $130ish dollars at a chain restaurant and can’t be bothered to tip the bartender 15% (which would have been like $20)? Especially after being a loudmouthed jerk for the entire time I was there? The worst part is if that POS comes back that bartender who just got screwed has to smile like they’re happy to see them.

I wish I’d known how bad that tip was while they were still there. I would have loudly embarrassed his ass until he coughed up a respectable amount.

Another similar story, this time at another chain restaurant where old friend RM used to work. Almost exactly the same story too. Two people ordered enough food to feed a freaking army and drank a huge amount of mixed drinks. I don’t recall the amount of the bill but I remember the tip was $5.

Best part was one of them forgot their hat and came back, and RM (being the better man) yelled after him “Thanks, come again!”. Of course he said something else to his regulars sitting watching the ballgame. What he said would make George Carlin blush, so I won’t repeat it here.

I don’t get not tipping servers. I truly don’t. I know how hard they work and Trish and I tend to over tip because of that. But even if you’re not a person that automatically starts at 20% for a gratuity you really need to be tipping 15%. If you don’t plan on doing that, have the guts to tell your server beforehand you won’t be. That way you’re both entering the exchange on an even footing.

And if you can’t afford to tip your server, you can’t afford to eat out.