Inspired by J.R.Lemar
I’ve waited more than my share of tables in my life, it’s just a “sit down” restaurant’s way of getting out of paying a real wage to servers. Tipping is SO misunderstood by many people who’ve never worked in the service industry. Too many people justify either not tipping or punitive tips over some silly bit of minutia that did or didn’t occur while they smashed pancakes or baby back ribs in their pie holes. Waited more than one minute for a top off of their beverage, screw the waiter… I want CRACKERS, f that witch, (I got stiffed at Denny’s because a whale in a mu-mu lost her shit when I returned with her drink order and NO crackers and butter! What in the hell was I thinking miss me? Didn’t I know how to do my job. Like they were supposed to just sit there at a table (couldn’t fit in a booth had to wait 5 on a busboy for a table) with drinks and menus and NO POTS OF BUTTER to slather on CRACKERS? Wholly shit. I have not read from the Book of Fat, I never got to that point in my education? I plead ignorance? wtf.
Shortly after rectifying the situation I was “set straight” by gnashing, greasy, cracker crumbed whale lips. “You know, if you’d have just been civilized and had the crackers, none of this bad blood would be happening.” Wow, I agreed and promptly went to scream obscenities in the walk in because it was all I could do not to reach down her throat and save pinocchio.)
uh, ahem I mean, Customers expect perfection and infalable service as if they were the center of the universe when generally they are the center of your section of 5 to 6 tables of 4 – or worse, a big top of 20 and they are the sattelite (only table not “borg’ed by the team) and the black hole effect of the 20 people talking at once leaves your table of two agonizingly out of your grasp.
Managers don’t give a flip, all they care about is that you show up when their schedule says for you to and you don’t look or smell bad. Oh, and kiss butt…. hot food, butt kissing, smile, if they’re upset, kiss more butt and give them free pie. I can do that hell. Free pie generally fixes most stuff in the low/mid end sit downs.
Ahem, no pie, no. Shhh, ok, no pie.
SOoooo people assume that since you have other tables you’re making BANK and they blow off the tip, they assume you make at least minimum wage because it’s THE minimum wage (wait staff are an exception america, they get boned. Server minimum wage was like $2.15 last time I saw it, It’s probably a whopping $2.50 by now. That’s it. Servers only get that so taxes and ss can come out of what WAIT STAFF MUST CLAIM AS THEIR TIP AMMOUNT WHETHER THEY MAKE THAT AMMOUNT OR NOT. Servers are responsible for at least the difference between the 2.50/hour and $??? that is minimum wage, further your total sales (including call in take out orders) are added up and a percentage is assumed to have been tipped to you. IF YOU DO NOT CLAIM YOU MADE THAT PERCENTAGE THEY FIRE YOU. If you didn’t make that ammount they assume you suck as a server and let you go. I think it’s like 12% (but really I pulled that number out of my ass.)
It’s been over 14 years since I flung food for strangers. ONE big top can ruin the crap out of you. If you are boned by a large party, the sattelite tables generally don’t tip well because the black hole sucks you in and there’s few opportunities to escape the suction of the massive party to tend to anyone else. If you flinch, acknowledge you heard any one of them, they ALL have something they need EVERY TIME THEY SEE YOU. You can’t evade it. They only way to get to the little guy is to emulate Hellen Keller until you are nearer the small table, clear of the group.
I always felt terrible when I had a borg event, UNLESS they ganged up and ate my whole section, then it was bliss. They were my chillun and Momma Stacy fell right in with feeding the brood. I could, often did, bring out cold food and they LOVED it, because I made them love it, they had 100% of my attention and I don’t half ass much. hahaha. There are a few things I can do so well I redefine the concept. Being attentive/giving attention when free of distraction, getting to make a person/people “royalty” for a day so to speak. THAT, I have fun doing. It’s free and nobody dislikes it haha. I have a lot of that in me. It only fails if someone is inappropriate or demanding, if it’s a predetermined expectation – I won’t/can’t do it. I won’t let me on a subliminal level. You get an adverse effect, obvious forced compliance with the absolute basics required to be socially acceptable. Fake grin auto-pilot (: . I can’t help it! I tell me not to do it but I always bully me into doing it anyway. We argue about that a lot, or did. Now I look back at us and laugh, that used to matter hahaha
um, hang on… that wasn’t me that was… a friend, yeah. so I was talking about….. waiters get stiffed for goofy reasons, fat chicks want butter…. big tops have mass, …. crap… um
OH! yeah So, the assumption is that with several tables an hour there’s surely a lot of money being tipped. That’s rarely the case unless you’re a server at an upscale restaurant. The more affordable the eatery, the more apt the calculator is to come out when it’s time to tip.
HOWEVER, there are the beautiful people. former servers generally overtip, that’s a given. There are those like my wonderful last commenter on “Jesus would tip” who tips well because he gets the drift, that is beautiful. He’s now one of my co-heroes this week. Then there are people like my older sister, the NEVER been in ANY service industry and wouldn’t work as waitstaff at gunpoint. My big sis tips like a Rockafeller haha. When I’m in a restaurant with her she is FOREVER commenting on waiting tables, “OH GOD I could NEVER do that,” and “I can’t EVEN comprehend how that waitress didn’t slap that guy square in the face just then, they’d have to pull me off him I wouldn’t be able to stop slapping him” haha She is awestruck at how waiters and waitresses can smile and be nice to EVERYONE while doing things she finds vile. “She did NOT just pick up that dinner roll the baby gummed and drooled all over … omg no ew ew ew that is so NASTY, I want to shower just because I saw it” HAHAHAHA She tips so SO well, it’s crazy.
When she and I eat out together whomever our server is, they are (I have no other word so don’t read into this) BLESSED ha haha Lisa tips at least 20 or 30 percent or round up then adds 10/20 bucks, that usually goes onto the receipt which she hands to the server so they’ll know they got a nice tip. She always thanks them and tells them they’re amazing because there’s no WAY she could do what they do. (My sister was the head of IT for a successful high end chain of electronically uberprogressive banks, they catered to the gazillionare types – you know the kind of bank that snickers at “free checking” ~surely you jest~ everything bears interest and you pay for the account if your balance drops under however many grand. That kind of Type A successful in the past.
NOW she’s off doing mom and dad love her more cause she was here first (she drilled that one in my head… older siblings, eeeyeah, gotta love ‘em?) righteous whoknows but always Like A Boss, type of stuff, but being “not Stacy” I assure you it’s without losing her proverbial poop ala Samburg (no promtion of synergy or fish boffing, no oral self gratification, crapping on desks, she has yet to turn into a rocket and far as I know hasn’t flown into the sun yet) Damaged? Me? What is that supposed to…. come back here… Wait… I’m not, I mean.. friends? Not bad girl.. ..I’m ok really…. hugme? (Mmm mm mm mmm hmm hmm) (insert rocking motion here)
Haha, moving on:
Wow, can you tell I’m avoiding stuff by rambling?
Anyway, Lisa hi. k, bye.
I have to INSIST on one thing, if your server blows you off, gives you attitude, gets snippy or pissy with you, does anything but smile and bust butt to try to make you happy…. DON’T GIVE THEM A DIME. Just because waitstaff survive on tips does not mean they can shit on you and you have to pay for it. The inverse is if they’re doing their best but they make a mistake and are sincere/genuine in doing all they can to make things right, that is no justification for refusing to leave a gratuity.
Thinking you know anything about their tips in any way by adding tables/people/averages ect whatever you see or don’t see, is based on absolutely nothing but supposition. Management often divides sections up in strange ways for even stranger reasons. I’ve seen sections look like checkerboards to accomodate multiple new hires (interspersing them with veteran staff their first days solo) ALSO, every restaurant has their own policies… some make you tip other positions out of you take for the night (busboys get 10% Host/ess gets 5% or some variation of ancillary employee and percentage of your total for the night) OR there are nightmare places where everyone has to POOL their tips and it’s all split equally amongst the servers (I’d walk. The moment they held the bucket out for my money I’d give them the finger before I’d give them a dime hahaha) There’s no telling what wacky policies there might or might not be, never just assume it’s black and white.
I guess to oversimplify things, pretend it’s your mom serving you, and you’re helping her out a bit on the side. If the overall experience was positive, the tip should reflect it – refusing to tip becuase you had to wait for a minute or things weren’t exactly as you wanted them the instant you wanted it but the server damn sure tried to make it right for you is nothing more than a show of childishness, egotism or plain personality defect. If your waitperson gave a true effort and you walk on the tip, it is nothing more than a reflection on your lack of character and overblown ego.
If you aren’t loaded with cash and the bill is higher than you expected, fess up! I had a couple come in and they barely made the bill… they told me they LOVED the service but they just didn’t have anything left over for a tip, they felt bad. I made SURE that they knew the praise made it well worth it and it would even out over the course of the night, that their company while I waited on them was wonderful and made things easier as I worked. I made sure they felt good about the situation (I sure did because I knew why there wasn’t a tip, an honest reason – I’ve promised myself long ago that I value truth more than material posessions so it was just a beautiful act of generosity on their part.) After they left the bus boy cleaned their table went to the manager giving her something from the table. They had filled out a GLOWING comment card, (in red crayon no less) it made me sound like I was exactly what would happen if Mother Theresa and Robin Williams had a child raised by the peace corps. ( : ( :
I felt like a rock star, She xeroxed it and put it up on the wall in the break room, it went to corporate! I got a letter from the corp office commending me for being a prime example of a Denny’s wait person, thanking me for being part of the Denny’s family, that they appreciated that I was exemplary in providing the best dining experience for those patrons and how the company exsisted because of employees like me. Any no raise, bonus, fanfare, balloon, live buttsmooch, just that, a You Rock form letter. but THAT rocked because no one at the restaurant had ever seen one before (remember working with me? all this? y’all can still eatit I rocked that table! hahaha)
ok, I have crap to do and I wrote this like I write my mental vomit. Seat of the pants, I’m not even going to read it (just like the mental vom…. Prose, Published dark allegoric prose, Yeah, that. not barf. Not to you, that’s just a um. a joke, yeah an inside joke here at home