View Full Version : Another "Who was sucky" senario.

07-13-2008, 11:00 AM
Well, not so much "who" as, was I wrong to do what I did? Too generous?

A few weeks ago a few friends of mine and I went out to eat together at a nice little place downtown, or at least, I thought it was nice. The waiter came up and got our orders, joked a little bit, and even waited for "Sarah" to decide what she wanted. The waiter wasn't really that bad, he wasn't the nicest either, just seemed a little annoyed, but he wasn't rude. Now the beers that my friend ordered were watery, and so was his jack and coke, Sarah's mixed drink had WAY too much vodka (and it takes alot for me to say that) and the waiter was slow to refill our drinks, but he did. When he came to refil my pomegranite sprite for the second time, he asked in a tone tha took me aback, because by the way he asked he insinuated that I shouldn't want any, and should switch to water. He even made me ask if refills were free, because that's the only reason I could think he would suggest that, other than for a very rude reason (they were).

As far as the food, it was really sub-par, I hated mine, but then again I think I just ordered the wrong thing, didn't suit my tastes. Then, because all of us had gone to highschool together, but hadn't been together as a group in years we sat and chatted. The place really was pretty empty, so we weren't taking up valuable space ( I am always worried about sitting too long at a table, because I know the waitstaff could have someone else there instead of just us) but the waiter kept circling us like a shark.

All in all, it wasn't the best service I've had, but it wasn't the worst either. At the end my friends decided he didn't deserve a tip. At all. I think our meal came to around 128$ total, and they left him exactly that. I was drug out with my friends, but I immediatly went back in and handed the poor guy 20$. Admitably, I wouldn't have given him that much, but I felt so bad about what they did, and me not being able to get my purse out I gave him the extra.

Anyway, we were talking about it last night and my friend and I got into a decent arguement over it. I'm of the position that sucky or not, that is his living, and I would never, EVER stiff anyone, epescially on such a large tab. My friend stated he thinks that the waiter should have earned it, which I agree with, to earn a decent tip you should earn it. But he brought us our food, the only snarky comment he made was to me, and our drinks were filled. I think he deserved something, in the least.

I wonder, if anyone here thinks there is a time when you should just leave nothing? Does anyone agree with my friends, was he that bad?

07-13-2008, 11:28 AM
I wonder, if anyone here thinks there is a time when you should just leave nothing? Does anyone agree with my friends, was he that bad?

Leaving nothing, no.... leaving a calculatingly insulting amount, like :2cents:... yes, but only if the service was totally lousy.

The $20 is right on for average service with a $128 tab. Too generous, given what you described, but you did say you had other reasons to tip that high. For service like that, he'd have gotten $5, maybe $10 if I was in a good mood. Anyone can have a bad day, but it's part of the profession to put on the facade of being happy to serve.

07-13-2008, 11:31 AM
He deserves something. He also deserves feedback. I think you gave about twice as much as you should have.

07-13-2008, 11:41 AM
I've always wondered if it's socially unacceptable to ask the waiter if he has a problem with you/your table/someone. Every time I've had someone offer me bad service, I've come out and asked if there's a problem. Generally, I get a very surprised, genuine, "No! I'm sorry!" I find that usually, something ELSE upset them, and they didn't realise they were taking it out on their customers. (There was one exception where the cashier just didn't care how she was treating people, but these things happen.)

I vote that you ask next time whether he has an issue with your table.

I love people who try their best, no matter how upset they are. One Valentine's Day, my husband took me to an Outback Steakhouse in Florida; we got into a conversation with our server about the holiday, and he admitted he really wanted to be out with his girlfriend and family, but he drew the short straw and had to work. In spite of it, he was very nice to us, and the service was fantastic. We wound up leaving an extremely generous tip - to the point where he chased us down and tried to return it, thinking we'd made a mistake.

I wish more servers were like that.

07-13-2008, 12:26 PM
I thought a customer had made a mistake on a tip once and I asked her about it and she thought it was extremely rude and stated that maybe she should've taken it back. I wasn't rude about it when I asked her, I was kind of meek about it because I wasn't sure if she meant to plus I didn't mean to offend her.

Its a tough call. Plus, this is a conversation that usually never ends well on this board. Servers depend on tips for their income, however, if the service is really crappy....in my mind, they are not doing their job. I have been a server before, I've had crappy evenings where nothing, and I mean NOTHING was going right. I remember one particular evening I was just slammed with four tables at once and each one of them was demanding 100% of my attention and its just not possible. The kitchen was not on my side either and food was coming out late. I made horrible tips that night and one of the tables made sure that I realized they weren't tipping by writing a very large zero with a line through it on my tip line on the credit card slip. That was the straw that broke the camels back that night and I went to the back and cried.

Regardless, if I receive bad service, I still leave 10%. Because I've been there. I was never able to give 100% all the time and shit happens. If I receive good service I leave 18 - 20%. There was only one time that I left absolutely nothing but the payment for the bill and that, in my mind, was justified. We sat down at a table in a jazz bar/restaurant. Nice atmosphere...we had never been there...we were a table of 6. We waited 15 or so minutes for a server to greet us, another 15 minutes or so to get our drinks. We wanted to order food. We chose what we wanted and waited for her to come back. And waited, and waited, and waited, and waited....and waited. We finished our drinks and waited about 10 minutes after that before we finally flagged another server down to get our check which took another 15 minutes or longer. All togehter we were there for almost an hour and 45 minutes and only had one round of drinks. It was so bad, we thought about just leaving, but I absolutely cannot do that. So, the bill was something like $17.26 and we left precisely that amount. And we had to leave it on the table because our server/cashier never came back after dropping off the check.

Its a touchy subject...because yes, servers do have to earn it, but according to the lovely government, since they do earn it most of the time, they don't have to have as high a minimum wage. I made $2.13/hr at most restaurants I worked.

07-13-2008, 12:55 PM
yeeaaah... it's a touchy subject here. But seriously, if the waiter is rude to you, then no they're *not* doing their job. They are, instead, being rude to you.

Why exactly they'd choose to do that is their own lookout, but there's just no sense in rewarding someone for being rude, either. Rewarding people for being rude just begets more EW's.

I generally tip between 10-20%. 20% is for the good, 10% is for the bad, 15% is for average (didn't do anything that stood out, but didn't bug me, either). But I don't have any problem at all not tipping a bit if the waiter is downright pissy. It almost never happens. But on those rare occasions when it does, then no, no tip.

Thing is, just a glance at the board here will show how VERY many people we have here who put up with genuinely AWFUL customers, and still maintain their composure. You and your friends weren't even close to the stories we see here... why should you get treated that way? Especially when you consider that with a $128 bill, the waiter could have expected a VERY nice tip for just being a decent human being. This guy lost his cool. Why, well, who knows. But he lost his cool and it's his job to keep his cool. Paying him to be a dick to you probably isn't going to help anyone in the long run ;)

depending on how much of a dick he was, I could see giving him half what you did; that would've been a shade under 10%, which is my general for a waiter who has irritated me but not a whole lot. But I'm also basing this post on the fact that *nobody* else at your table thought he was worth tipping, apparently.

07-13-2008, 03:32 PM
Servers work off of tips. If they aren't trying to earn them I always assume they are just serving tables for fun. Though honestly I've only ever had 2 waiters who didn't earn one. Both completely ignored my table the whole night. One never brought the check!! The other spent the whole night flirting with a blonde at another table.

07-13-2008, 03:45 PM
The only thing I wanted to point out is that, a lot of the time, restaurant patrons withhold tips or blame a negative experience on the waitstaff when it's not their fault, because the waitstaff is the only face of the restaurant that a patron deals with. Example, sub-par food. I highly doubt the waiter is cooking your food, or has anything to do with it other than bringing it to your table. Yet it still detracts from the experience of dining and, therefore, usually adds up to another demerit for the waiter. Or the drinks. In some restaurants, the waiters don't mix the drinks, but the customer can still blame the waitstaff. I've even seen someone not leave a tip because they were annoyed by the behaviour of some of the other customers across the restaurant.

It's rarely intentional and even more rarely malicious, but it's something to think about. Reducing/withholding a tip because the waiter was rude? Totally understandable. But doing the same for crappy food or annoying customers? Not quite fair to the waitstaff.

07-13-2008, 04:14 PM
That's almost 20%.

About what he deserved. Maybe a tad more, actually.

07-13-2008, 04:34 PM
You're not required or responsible towards making a service worker's financial life better by leaving them a "pity tip". The service wasn't agrreable so leaving NO TIP sent a message. Do better next time. Leaving the tip that you left sent a message that their behavior was not only tolerated but welcomed in the future.
Should have spoken to the manager about it.

07-13-2008, 04:47 PM
I agree with your friend, he deserved no tip at all. It would have been different if service had been sucky due to kitchen backups (something the wait staff has no control of); but, being snarky and rude...that kind of behavior doesn't deserve 20 cents let alone 20 dollars.

When has the fact that wait staff depend on tips become a reason that everyone should tip no matter how they are treated?

07-13-2008, 06:56 PM
Thanks for the comments, I have just been wondering. My biggest issue with the guy was his comment about my drink. But over all he really wasn't that bad, seemed to be having a bad night, and then got stuck with a table of 20 somethings (we're supposed to tip bad, but my friends and I usually are sure to tip pretty well, if well earned) my friends biggest issues were the watery drinks, and the bad food. They also argued he didn't do much about it. I dunno.

And like I said, the only reason I gave him as much as I did, was because we did stiff him, and he knew it.

07-13-2008, 09:57 PM
I think the amount you tipped him was reasonable. If I don't like a drink, then I will tell the server why I don't like it and either request it be remixed, remade or just order a whole new drink.

07-13-2008, 11:16 PM
I think the amount you tipped him was reasonable. If I don't like a drink, then I will tell the server why I don't like it and either request it be remixed, remade or just order a whole new drink.

He did, the beer was terrible so he orderd a jack and coke, which was so watery that he couldn't drink it. He told the waiter who just said "oh, sorry" and left it at that.

07-14-2008, 04:54 AM
Last year on my birthday, I wanted to go out and try Smokey Bones since I was in the mood for ribs. It was just me and SO and when we ordered our drinks it took a good while for them to make them and sent it to us. The same with the refills. The food and service weren't all that great. The check came out around $70 something dollars, and SO gave a 10% tip. SO is a great tipper and for him to give a tip like that is uncommon. Sorry if I thread-jacked, but tip you gave the server was a little bit much. The snide comments he made about your choice of drinks was unprofessional and the service wasn't good, so a 10% would've been appropriate versus outright stiffing him.

07-14-2008, 06:06 AM
Just for reference, it was a 15% tip (close to 16, but barely).

20/128=0.15625 (I only mention this cuz I worked it out as a way to keep my math skills from completely dying on me :p )

But for wait staff attitude and apathy toward complaints, a $5 or $10 might have sufficed, a penny would have been spiteful.
Although I'm finding it hard to carry $5s or $10s lately, with ATMs giving only $20s and my rampant use of Interac (Canadian debit) cards, its difficult to have small bills on me. :shrug:

07-14-2008, 06:15 AM
The thing is, if you go out to eat and stiff your server, they actually end up paying out of their own pocket for your table. Most places do a "tip-out", which is where the server gives a percentage of their sales (not tips) to the bussers, hosts, expo, bar, what have you. In my place the tipout is 3% of sales to the bussers and bar. Tipping expo is not required, but encouraged.

If the service is really that bad, maybe that is justified. Please, though, ask yourself if it is.

Lace Neil Singer
07-14-2008, 11:35 AM
Disclaimer: I come from England.

If I go out to eat, and a waiter or waitress is rude, lazy or snippy, then I will not leave them a tip. Where is the spur for them to smarten up their act, if everyone rewards them regardless of the service they give? If they can not be polite and serve their tables well, then they are in the wrong job. I will also tell the restaurant manager so they can have a word with the offender.