Tipping Etiquette

11Feb14

I debated writing this because of the “war on tipping” and in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. If it were J, it would have already rolled off his shoulders. I have been incapable of letting it go. I have limited experience in the food and beverage industry and have the highest respect for all servers/cooks/bartenders/hosts/etc. It is friggin hard work and you get treated like crap. There are very few moments that actually irk me at a restaurant. This is one of them.

J’s uncle is a truck driver and he finally had a route that put him close enough to us that we could see him and J’s aunt. Last night, we went out to dinner at On the Border. Our waiter was a younger guy, seemed fairly new. He wasn’t the greatest waiter but he was friendly. At the end of the meal, we paid partially in cash and the rest on a card. When he came back he said, “If you are going to pay me from the card, remember that there was only $20 charged. That’s not the full amount of the bill.” 

… Excuse me?! Are you really telling me how I should tip you and assuming I was only going to tip you on the amount my card was charged?! I looked him dead in the eyes and said, “I know.” I was insulted and offended that he automatically assumed I was a bad tipper. When in fact, we are pretty good tippers even on crappy nights. We know a lot of things aren’t at the fault of servers. But to act so entitled and righteous about your tip? That’s where I draw the line. Especially when his service was not stellar. He didn’t know the menu (didn’t know what a chile relleno was, told us a bottle of Negra Modelo was $25, when I ordered my meal he looked at me like I had three heads and I had to hold the menu up while he wrote it down), and wasn’t very attentive. And he had the audacity to tell me what I should be tipping him on? His ego needs to be brought down a few pegs.

I completely understand that waiters live on tips, it’s a hard life and people do some shitty things when they come to dine at restaurants. We are not one of them. We try really hard not to be those shitty customers that make you want to throw something at them. To assume we were is just downright rude. I have never experienced a rude waiter like that. And that includes the Denny’s where we didn’t get seated for 20 minutes, a waitress didn’t come by for another 30 and she was obviously overworked and exhausted and just wanted to go home. 

I was really irked. I am still really irked. Maybe I should have said something more or maybe I should just let it go. But I do not appreciate the quick assumption of who we are in the 45 minutes he was around us. I guess there is tipping etiquette on both sides.

For the record, I left him a tip. It wasn’t 20%, but it was more than 15. He still provided a service and should be compensated for that. And I don’t believe in completely screwing with someone’s income is the way to “stick it to them.”

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