Awesome Bartender Outshines Shoddy Server

August 30, 2012

in Server Stories

Last year a new burger joint opened up that I fell in love with at first bite. Their meat comes from local farmers and is top quality, their veggies are locally grown when available, and their chefs work magic in their kitchen. My husband and I go whenever we have an excuse to drive into the city.

Unfortunately, our last visit did not meet the high standards we had become used to. As we scanned over our menus and talked about the movie we were seeing afterward, I kept my eye open for our server as the minutes ticked by.

As I was about to ask the hostess if she could assist us in finding our server, the bartender came by and asked if we had been helped. I replied in the negative and, with a smile, she offered to track our server down. After a short disappearance in the back, she returned with a man in tow.

The bartender introduced our server, laid down coasters, and bid us farewell with a smile and a small wave. Our server then said, “So, what are you getting?”

Ignoring the strong smell of cigarettes, we both went to order. My husband requested beers for us, to which the server replied, “Is that all?” I requested two waters, getting another “is that all.” My husband said, “No, we’d also like to start with the shrimp appetizer.” Our server sighed and left the table without a word.

A couple of minutes passed before the lovely bartender brought our beers, and upon noticing we still had our menus, asked if we had ordered. We let her know the entrees had yet to be ordered, so she took our order and told us she’d get them in. She brought us our waters, the appetizer, and eventually our entrees. We were not seated in the bar area, but she went out of her way to help us anyway, which I thought was fantastic.

As my husband and I were digging into our burgers, our server finally reappeared. He took a sip of a soda and asked, “Hey, where did you get food? I didn’t take your order.” I said, “The bartender came back after our drinks and said she’d let you know the order so you could put it in.” Server replies, “whatever” and again walks away.

As we finished, the bartender came back to bus our table and talk to us for a few minutes about the movie we were going to see later. As we spoke, our server popped up and slapped the bill on the table, asking “you ready?” I gave him cash ($40 on a $38 bill) and he vanished again without a word. As he entered the kitchen, I heard a voice I assumed was his say “cheap f-ing a-holes.”

The bartender gave us a sympathetic look and apologized for his attitude. We let her know that this was a first for us and we love the restaurant. She grabbed us to-go waters and when she returned, I handed her a $10 bill, thanking her for helping us. She did the work and I felt she earned the tip.

I glanced at the six $1 bills I had intended to leave as the rest of his tip (I like to get my change back prior to leaving a tip in most cases; if the server says “I’ll be right back with your change” I always increase the tip because I think it’s the better response over “do you need change?”). Unfortunately, due to his careless attitude, his lack of service, and being made to feel as though we were annoying him by being seated in his section, I decided not to leave a tip.

People like that server cast a black cloud over amazing restaurants, but thankfully they are outnumbered by fantastic people like our bartender. We will of course return, as it’s a favorite spot for us, and we hope that when we do, that server is nowhere in sight.

–  Jamie Baker
My blog
:  The Sanity of  a Mad Woman

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

FuckMyTable August 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Totally agree with what you did for the server and bartender. Speaking as a server, your server was the kind of coworker I hate. I always pick up their slack, make excuses to cover for them, and generally they're the reason I get weeded because they don't do any real work. His attitude would have tempted me to smack him, too. What a butthead. I wonder how he even makes money serving, acting like that.

Thank you for taking care of your bartender; she probably appreciated that you recognized her work!

One thing – while I always say, "I'll be back with your change," I do not see why "Do you need change?" is a bad question. I do not like wasting my time on a busy night making change when the guest doesn't intend to keep the change anyway. If it's asked in a friendly tone, I don't think it should be considered offensive. Your server is trying to utilize her time in an efficient manner, and asking if you need change may determine her next actions to take care of her other tables. Again, only if asked in a friendly tone. 🙂

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springs1 March 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

"I do not see why "Do you need change?" is a bad question. "

Because it's "SOLICITING" a tip. It's *ASKING* for your tip. Also, it shows how *LAZY* you are that you don't want to get the change. Do the *FULL JOB* and then you should get the *FULL TIP* for it, understand lazy and ENTITLED, huh?

You seem entitled and lazy. I understand what you are saying that if the customer let's you keep it, but this way if you get it if they don't tell you to keep it you would have truly *EARNED* that tip rather than been LAZY on it. It's offensive because it's *ASKING* "CAN I KEEP THE REST OF YOUR MONEY?" That's asking for your tip. THAT is what I am most pissed most of all about is the "ENTITLED" attitude because you make tips you think you have a right to keep it without letting the *CUSTOMER* to *DECIDE* what kind of tip to leave. That's not the server's decision or the bartender's decision to make, that's SOLELY the customer's decision.

Why not just assume they don't want it and if they leave it all, well you would have *EARNED* that MUCH MORE in the tip rather than been LAZY on the job.

If you feel it wasted your time, you might want to rethink what service is, because it's about doing the *FULL* JOB*. If the customer doesn't want their change, honestly, I think they'd tell you and they are testing you to get it to see if you are going to steal. My husband and I once had a waiter decide to keep 31 cents of our coin change for himself rather than rounding UP, he rounded in his favor, which *IS* STEALING, so there was his tip to steal back. I got up to get the 31 cents from him and reported the theft to the manager. It's not his money to tip OUR service with, it was *OUR* decision to decide what to tip.

Ever since then, if we ever do pay with cash or gift certificate again we will want to see if the server will steal or not. I WILL get it all back even if I plan on leaving it all to *SEE* if I have a *THIEF* or an *HONEST* server that will do the "MORALLY RIGHT THING" and the NON-LAZY thing by getting the change as their job is to *EARN* that tip, it's not some RIGHT!

Every customer should test their server on this since it DOES happen QUITE OFTEN I have read online a number of people that this happened to.

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Sarah March 22, 2013 at 11:25 pm

You are a psycho fat bitch.

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springs1 March 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

Sarah
"You are a psycho fat bitch."

NO, I just weighed myself this morning. I am a little over 96lbs at 5'0" tall. I AM ***********NOWHERE NEAR**********FAT! It's *****YOU******** WHO MUST BE FAT AND ARE JUST *******JEALOUS********, HUH?

I am not psycho. HOW is it "psycho" to test the server because someone PURPOSELY DECIDED TO KEEP OUR CHANGE, HUH? I think that's SMART to see what kind of tip is going to be *EARNED*, NOT STOLEN FROM! You should start doing the same thing if you pay with cash.

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Sarah March 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

LOL!!! Keep telling yourself that cheesestick fingers. Somebody that worries about 31cents is, PSYCHO.

Google Springs1…she's a short, pudgy, fat psycho bitch.

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springs1 March 25, 2013 at 11:17 pm

" Somebody that worries about 31cents is, PSYCHO. "

So it's "PSYCHO" to not want someone to "STEAL", HUH? YOU ARE PSYCHO TO NOT *CARE* ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR MONEY IDIOT! WHAT AN IDIOT YOU ARE!!

"pudgy, fat psycho bitch. "

I am NONE of these things.

Mandy August 31, 2012 at 2:41 am

I'll chime in here (also from a server's perspective) I think you were right in giving the tip to the bartender. I would also contact the management in this situation. Sounds like his coworkers, like your friendly bartender, knew there was a problem with this guy, or they would not have been so quick to jump in to help. Management can't fire employees without just cause, and your reporting the incident could give them the ammo they need. Like FMT pointed out, this guy probably annoys the crap out of his coworkers, you'd be doing them all a favor.
I do say "I'll be back with your change," but I say it pointedly, to leave them full opportunity to let me know if they don't need it. 9 times out of 10 they will say something, though it really sucks up my time when they don't let me know!

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springs1 April 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm

“though it really sucks up my time when they don’t let me know! ”

They aren’t supposed to let you know, it’s ***YOUR JOB**** to get the change so SHUT UP AND DO YOUR F****** JOB LAZY ASS BITCH!

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Amy May 17, 2017 at 10:24 pm

OMG! I just recently found this site and enjoy reading through. But you are the BIGGEST loudest rudest form of the word troll I have EVER met!!! Every post you are bitching about some damn cheessticks. GET OVER IT ALREADY. LET IT GO.

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J.R. Locke August 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

You should have let the manager know about it.
http://complaintothemanager.blogspot.com/

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B. Sommer September 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

Fmytable, when I was a server we were not allowed to ask "did you need change"(we could be fired over it) as it can put the patron in an awkward position. You may be inadvertently "putting them on the spot" as it were, because you haven't even looked at the amount in the check holder, and some unscrupulous waitstaff use this to wrangle a larger tip than the payer intended or can afford, especially if it's a large group, peer pressure is a very real thing.

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jwash September 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

Write an email or letter to management. That server should be fired immediately but they can only properly do so without getting hit with an unemployment claim if they have proper documentation.

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rei tona November 25, 2012 at 4:21 am

everything you did was right !! Great job tipping the bartender and recognizing her excellence.. that server you had is a horrible example of a server and I hope he found a more suitable job! I do however always ask if the customer needs change because we are busy and it really helps me be efficient and manage my time with my tables in the best possible manner. I never even thought it might offend someone…. who knows maybe it has in the past and it affected my tip, but I have never noticed anything negative or awkward coming from the question. Maybe i will try the other way and see how it works out!!! But seriously, its not meant to be an offensive question it just helps out everyone so if a server does ask you that, don't take it as rudeness ! 🙂 They are just trying to get you your change faster and get to assisting others !!! 🙂

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jill March 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Spring1, has made quite a name for herself on several blogs (mostly being banned from posting). I'm not quite sure what her deal is, but she seems mentally unstable. God help anyone who waits on her.

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springs1 March 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I am not mentally unstable. How is it "Mentally unstable" to *CARE* about not being overcharged, huh?

"God help anyone who waits on her. "

You sound VERY LAZY!

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Bottleau September 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Springs1 please stop posting anywhere.

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jill March 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Springs1, how the heck do you know if I'm lazy? Please, do yourself a favour and get some help.

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Jodi April 2, 2013 at 12:20 pm

OMG Springs, does your mommy know you're on the computer??? You so need to check with her or whomever your guardian is before you log on.

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Michelle April 21, 2013 at 11:26 pm

wow just wow! She's at it again!!!

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U Wish U Knew April 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Springs1 is a ranch-loving, server-hating troll. She had been on various cites bitching about that 31 cents for years! No matter what any server does for her, she will find something to harp on.
I wish Gregg would block her from this site. It should be obvious by her super-long, curse-filled posts that she has some kind of mental disorder.

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Ray June 22, 2013 at 6:00 am

from an ACTUAL server's perspective:

Think about this guys:

What if in your day you had to complete 25 tasks and you only had four hours to do it in? But all 25 of those tasks were not static, meaning some of the tasks you had to do were not set and determined prior to your shift. MOST of them were determined by your customer's (sometimes annoying ) requests. You would try your hardest to eliminate any tasks that were deemed unnecessary (people not asking for everything at once) or for instance going back and for from your table to the bar( to make change) back to your customer to give them that change.

We ask if you all need the change because
A) it eliminates us having to make yet another needless trip for people
– A lot of time when people go out to eat they are very selfish and ENTITLED thinking that just because they pay for a service they have the right to treat their servers like crap .( im on a tangent forgive me)

-People who test servers are just plain mean and uneducated and but i know some servers who do not put up with that. We just stop serving you 🙂

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penny carr April 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm

As a customer I prefer " Ill be back with your change" to which I usually reply" thank you but we don't need any change".I guess we are lucky in my city because our servers are always so nice.I do find in other countries more servers with attitude I guess they must deal with some rude customers that made them that way.Also we always tip well but if we get a server who goes the extra mile( which we frequently do) we will tip more.

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Amber May 10, 2016 at 11:53 am

How I tip varies on my method of payment and the cash on hand. Usually I tip by cash and pay by debit, in times when I'm not carrying cash I will tip on my debit as well. Even if I'm tipping and paying by cash, I often have already set aside my planned tip separate from my change, sometimes I simply prefer getting my change back so I can better figure out how much to add to it for the tip. Asking if I want change is annoying, depending on the amount of change coming back, it is much less rude to simply bring back the customer's change and let them do with it what they will.

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Sarah April 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Nobody wants to steal your 31 cents, bitch. Nobody cares that much, seriously. Give people a break ranch breath. Karma will get you time and time again. It's 31 cents, most resturants round up or down anyway, get over it. Or do us all a favor and stay the fuck home.

I am not a idiot because when I go out I plan on spending money, not being a cheapO bitch. I say, let the girl keep the 31 cents, WHO THE FUCK CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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springs1 April 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Sarah
"Nobody wants to steal your 31 cents, bitch. Nobody cares that much, seriously. "

If they didn't STUPID ASS, they'd ROUND UP, even if it was to the next dollar for example, instead of the 31 cents, if the waiter was too lazy to get the change or bring some on him, he should have forfeited his 69 cents and just gave me back a dollar bill if he didn't want it.

Obviously they do want it that they don't round *UP* don't YA THINK STUPID BITCH?

"Karma will get you time and time again."

HOW when he got stiffed and I REPORTED IT TO THE MANAGER THAT HE ***************STOLE********************! That's right, ****************STOLE**************!

" It's 31 cents,"

When it's the other way around when servers overcharge us on the check "CENTS", NONE OF THEM DECIDED TO GIVE ME BACK "CENTS." For example, twice I had 4 cent overcharges, NEITHER server decided to give me 4 cents or a nickle. They wanted their 4 cents. I had another time was overcharged 2 cents on a price, the waitress didn't take 2 pennies out of her pocket.

So what it's 31 cents, that's MONEY that ************IS NOT***************THE SERVER'S MONEY!

Let me ask you, when you go to a store or McDonald's, they give you back your 31 cents, WHY should it be ****************ANY***************** DIFFERENTLY HANDLED JUST BECAUSE SERVERS AND BARTENDERS MAKE TIPS, HUH?

The customer's change is *STILL* the customer's change and the *CUSTOMER* gets to decide how much to tip, NOT THE PERSON SERVING YOU IDIOT!

"most resturants round up or down anyway, get over it."

NO, restaurants don't do such a thing. SERVERS CAN GIVE EXACT CHANGE IF THEY *WANT* TO! It's a *CHOICE* to bring change on you or go to the bar or manager to get change.

SO STOP LYING, because it's a *CRIME* TO STEAL!

What would you say to a customer that had a check $40.20, but decided to give you just (2) $20 bills. Would you like that you'd have to cough up that 20 cents? I am sure you would be pissed off if you had to do that for *********EVERY********** CUSTOMER and you know it. IT ADDS UP!

So when you go to a store, you tell them to keep the coins all the time? I BET YOU SURE DON'T STUPID BITCH, DO YOU?

WHY should it matter whether I am a store or McDonald's or a non-fast food restaurant when it comes to change? Just because tipping is involved at non-fast food restaurants doesn't mean you just get to ************STEAL************* **********************************SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY****************** STUPID ASS!

Don't you get it's the **************PRINCIPLE OF IT************DUMMY?

If someone didn't give me a penny of my change back and shorted me a penny without rounding up, I'd stiff them. It's *THEFT*! Anyone should go to *JAIL* for that, because it's stealing.

Can you walk into a store and take something that is 50 cents worth WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT? No you can't, so why you think you can do that to a customer, huh?

" Or do us all a favor and stay the fuck home. "

SORRY, BUT FUCK NO! YOU STAY THE FUCK HOME LAZY, SELFISH BITCH! WHY do you think it's not stealing when it is, huh?

The example of the person walking out without paying 20 cents of what was owed, that's STEALING. There's *NO* DIFFERENCE IN THAT THAN WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, NONE AND YOU KNOW IT STUPID IGNORANT BITCH!

"I am not a idiot"

You are, because it's not about 31 cents. It's about that someone *****************STOLE*********************. I don't care if it's $31 or ONE PENNY, STEALING IS STEALING!

Continued next posts:

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springs1 April 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Sarah – Continued:

"because when I go out I plan on spending money, not being a cheapO bitch. "

We tip 25%-30% and sometimes more at times when service is wonderful. Wanting my FULL change back so *I* can make my *OWN* DECISION OF WHAT TO TIP MY SERVER OR BARTENDER IS *MY DECISION*, NOT YOURS STUPID BITCH!

It's not being cheap. It's being *FAIR* as to what was done to me. HE STOLE, WE STOLE THE TIP. It's *EQUAL/EQUAL* FAIRNESS. YOU DO TO ME WRONG, FUCK YOU I WILL DO YOU WRONG IN THE SAME WAY! If you treat me like GOLD, I WILL TREAT YOU THAT WAY IN THE TIP 30% and upwards. Understand what I am saying?

You don't seem to get that I didn't want the 31 cents, do you? We don't pay with cash or gift certificates very often, but if we do, I will TEST the server to see if they are a thief since that happened. Don't you get that a tip is *EARNED*, NOT A RIGHT!

That means you don't get to decide to tip yourself as a server or bartender.

Let me ask you, WHO TIPS?

THE CUSTOMER OR THE SERVER/BARTENDER?

THE CUSTOMER, therefore, you can't keep my change without MY CONSENT!

That's right, it's *MY CHANGE* UNTIL I TELL YOU OR LEAVE IT FOR IT ONCE I HAVE LEFT THE RESTAURANT!

"I say, let the girl keep the 31 cents, WHO THE FUCK CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

No, because it's *THEFT* and I DO CARE, because it's *THEFT*!

Don't you get I could give a flying fuck about the "CENTS" that I wasn't going to keep anyways? YOU DON'T SEEM TO GET THIS, DO YOU??? YOU ARE VERY DENSE AND STUPID!

It has to do with that we saw the waiter was a THIEF and LAZY. It also shows he was VERY SELFISH, because as I said before, he could have rounded up like if he had 2 quarters, given me that rather than no coins at all. Heck, he didn't even give me a quarter which could have been at least part of the 31 cents. HE WAS THE CHEAPO IDIOT! YOU DON'T SEE THAT?

As I said before, now since that happened, I will TEST the server to see if they are a thief or not. I don't care about the coins. I care about to see if they are a GOOD PERSON that has *************************MORALS*********************** that they will let *US* do the TIPPING as it is SUPPOSED TO BE!

WE DO THE TIPPING, NOT OUR SERVERS OR BARTENDERS!

So YES, I CARE, because it's all about doing the "MORALLY RIGHT THING" as when we tip for example. Think about it, tipping is voluntary unless you have automatic gratuity which that's usually if you are in a large enough party or using a coupon that requires it, but otherwise, you don't have to tip. Well, it's morally wrong not to pay for someone serving you as long as they did a good job, well same thing, morals plays into the customer too that if you steal from them, they should be able to do the **********SAME********** THING TO YOU! DO UNTO TO OTHERS!

If I had really bad, horrible service for example that I was going to stiff before that let's say, YES, I would want my cents back, because that's my money and yes if you let someone keep cents every single time you bought something it would add up, so YES, if I was going to stiff before that would happen, then that would really make me want to get my cents back to STEAL back from them even more so, hope to get them fired, because I have gotten 3 servers fired over the years. Not for that, but one of them decided not to return $9 of change on purpose for someone at my table. She was fired. She claimed she didn't have a change bank. It doesn't matter if it's $9 or 9 cents, THEFT IS THEFT!

It's a PRINCIPLE THING! Obviously you have NO MORALS TO SPEAK OF, DO YOU?

Also, you are too stupid to realize unless I am going to stiff before that happened due to really horrible service, WHY would I want my coins back? The thing is, I am SUPPOSED to get them back BY *************LAW****************** if I didn't tell my server to keep them.

Continued next posts:

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Audra April 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hey Sarah- Springs1 is a troll. She visits various sites for waiters and servers and leaves insanely long, rambling posts with excessive punctuation and shouty capitals. I, unfortunately, engaged her late last year, asking completely serious questions about some of her posts and she immediately went on the offensive and called me all kinds of names.
It’s really best to not engage her, if you can. Ignore her and just skip over her posts. She is obviously mental and thinks because she worked behind the counter of some diner for a few months that she knows more than anyone about serving and managing a restaurant. She even complians about complimentary, automatic refills! Because she might want dr. pepper this time instead of coke.
BTW- she lives in Louisiana somewhere, so waiters/servers in Louisiana- beware! That lady requesting ranch and no auto refills is probably Springs1.

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Michele April 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm

wow

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Fnac June 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

You're not wrong, Walter…

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