Saturday, August 11, 2007

Advice From A Former Waitress: If the Service Stinks, DON'T TIP

I know what it's like to be an overworked, underpaid, harassed waitress server in a crowded restaurant; back in the mid-nineties, I went to work in a BBQ restaurant so my daughter could go on the Big Band Trip. I taught seven sections of junior high classes all day, waited tables from 4:30 until 11:00, lather, rinse, repeat. I worked at the restaurant all day and night on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes, Hub would bring the kids in to see Mommy and have supper; he's a pretty good tipper! I did this so Belle could go on that trip with all the other music students, not because I have some kind of work complex, although I do.

Nice people are almost always happy to tip big when the service is extra-good, and believe me, I knew how to bow and scrape and EARN those tips. There were, of course, occasions when nothing is good enough for some people, and I did get stiffed a time or two even though the service was, if I may so so, superior. Waitresses Servers soon learn to mark for death recognize those people, and we would try to arrange things so no one person had to endure them every time.

Tonight, I did something I have never done in all my life. Tonight, I did not tip the server.

I spent today helping my kids pack up for their respective big moves, and after many hours of misery in their indescribably HOT apartments (shame on you, Town & Country Apartments!!! SHAAAAAAME) we decided to call it quits for the night and I took Belle and some of her friends to Steak & Shake, formerly my favorite hamburger shack.

I hate to say it about a restaurant I once had nothing but praise for, but tonight, the Steak & Shake on the east side of Bloomington was the pits, the absolute pits.

I can endure slowness. I can endure being ignored. I can even endure rudeness, if it's aimed at me. I won't come back, but I can endure it. I endured all these things, and more, and since we weren't really in a hurry, I was going to overlook it.

But lady, when you aimed that caustic tongue and that hateful attitude and that tone of voice at my daughter's sweet friend, something in my head snapped. Yes, I saw the whole thing, and I heard every word you snarled at him. I also noticed that you saw me notice, and I loved the look on your face when you looked over and saw me, taking in your every movement. I also loved how you assumed that the only old person at the table was going to pay the bill, and began your suck-up dance.

The problem was, it was too late. I already knew you for what you were.

That is why I did not leave you a tip, for a $60-buck table. Your loss, lady.

NEVER be cruel to my children or their friends. You're lucky the manager wasn't there tonight. But with a little luck, he googles for his restaurant on occasion and will find this. If he asks, I will tell him your name, Perky.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:18 AM | |


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