Tipping may be one of the most controversial payment practices in America that is also legal. It's messed up that servers, as well as the runners and bussers and bartenders, depend on tips for the bulk of their paycheck. Some restaurants increase their prices and do away with tipping, but that also makes people upset. Unsurprisingly, the sort of people who tip badly also want to have a sense of control over the person bringing them food. Tipping is psychological warfare.
Any story about tipping will bring out people's opinions, as Imgur user noctynight discovered after posting their story about taking someone out on a date at a fancy restaurant. At the end of the date, they were a bit short to cover the tip—and well, things got out of hand very quickly.
So long story short, I’m trying to get back into the dating game and decided to take a date out to a fun and classy restaurant. We’ve been getting to know each other and I thought we could use something like this. Date was going well, food was great, our server was good for the most part. Then the bill came.
I could cover it because I always check the menus of restaurants like this to make sure I could afford it and add up the taxes and etc. Thing is, I always forget to factor in the tip. So when the bill comes up I realize I’m a bit short on the tip. I ask my sheepishly ask my date for some assistance with it, and she happily threw in a few bucks.
We managed to get to about 15%. So the waitress comes over and picks up the bill with a smile. A minute later she comes back, smile gone, asking if something bad happened or if we experienced poor service.
Now, this should’ve been a smaller, contained incident, but the server wanted EVERYONE in the restaurant to know my transgression because the volume of her voice was turned up just enough to turn the heads of everyone there.
Hmm, okay. That does suck that the server made a big fuss and embarrassed them, but I personally feel like saying you always forget the tip when so conscientiously checking menus is a bit of a red flag.
The saga continues.
After the server shamed the couple for not tipping, they left, infuriated:
Usually, this line would be read as sympathetic, but the glare, the body language, and the tone of her voice did not give off any sympathetic vibes. Especially following it up with things like “If you can’t afford the tip then I suggest you choose a more suitable establishment in the future,” doesn’t help either.
After the server gave her last remarks and stomped off with a “holier than thou” air, my date and I decided to leave before causing an even bigger scene. If people could glare daggers, my date would be glaring swords. She’s a head bartender at a higher end establishment and she told me that if she saw this happening in her work place, there’d be hell to pay.
Now look, I understand that being a server can be hard. Especially with terrible clientele, management, low pay, and even bad co-workers and work environment. I understand that there could be some drama or situation going on in her life completely unrelated to the here and now.
But causing a scene and shaming a customer because of a low tip while on the job to their face... well, she made sure to lose two customers that night. I know that doesn’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but as someone who worked in the service industry before, word can spread, both good and bad.
And that could be the difference between affording rent that week or not for you and your fellow servers. TLDR: bitch about the customers after they’re gone, not to their faces.
Noctynight eventually updated with the bill and the amount left behind, which was about four dollars shy of being 20 percent, according to them:
Edit: it was $70 with taxes and a $10 tip so in total a little over $80
Edit 2: it was my fault for poor planning which is why I left without a fuss.
FP edit: I look away for a few hours and this ends up on the front page... best not to ask how or why.
The story got a lot of sympathy in the comments. Apparently, no one likes complaints from the servers:
IF everything noctynight says about this situation is 100 percent TRUE, then I agree, she would have been better off keeping her mouth shut. But I am extremely skeptical about the whole ordeal, probably because I waited tables for years and have discovered people do all sorts of crazy things when it comes to tipping, and will use any excuse not to do so appropriately. Also, this person made TWO memes just to rant about the experience on Imgur? Their grip on reality is suspect.
But lots of people agree with them. Sure, you can say, "Get another job, if you don't like it!" to which I respond, "Clean your own table if you don't like tipping."
But both Imgur and Reddit users have a thing about tipping—there are basically a million threads where they opine about why they won't do it.
So, do you always tip no matter what? I always do, even when I hate the service, and I always will! Because waiting tables is worse.