Treated Like Crap At The Bottom Of A Shoe

June 8, 2009

in Tipping & Etiquette Stories

I was working the closing shift one night when a group of six came in late. I had two other tables that were almost finished with their meals. I approached the new table of 5 ladies and one man. The man was talking to the women and did not acknowledge that I was standing at his side, so I was waiting for him to take a breath so I could break in and introduce myself, welcome them to the restaurant, and take a drink order. Well, he never stopped talking.

I looked away from them and noticed one of my tables signaling me for their check. I discreetly walked away and handed the check to the other table and they handed me a fifty dollar bill and told me to keep the change. This took about 15 seconds.

I walked directly back to the six top and was finally able to speak, greeting them warmly and asking for a cocktail order. The man looked up at me and said, “Well! We did before you rudely walked away!” I was shocked as I looked at the ladies at the table. They seemed embarrassed at his behavior. He continued to talk to me like I was I was crap on the bottom of his shoe.

I took their order and served them as well as I would have taken care of any other guest but without a smile or any chitchat. My only other table was finished and as I was presenting their check to them they said they could not believe the way that guy was treating me; and they were bikers from a gang. They had more class than he did.

When the six top was finished he presented a charge card which I ran and brought back immediately and watched him practically tear through the paper as he was signing it . As they were walking out the door I went to the table and saw a hand full of change on the table. That was my tip on a $90 check! I had held my cool long enough! I scooped up the change and ran to the door, opened the door and saw them just shutting the car doors. I threw the change at the car as hard as I could and yelled, “Don’t ever come back!” Then I started to cry and went to tell my boss what just happened in case they called him and he said, “Don’t worry about it, we don’t need those kind of people in here.”

Here’s the funny part. About 4 years later I was working in another restaurant when he was seated in my section with another gentleman at lunchtime. I recognized him right away. Everything went fine; as I was presenting the check I said to him as I say to all my guests at this time, “Thanks for dining with us, hope you enjoyed everything!”, as this opens the door for compliments about my service and generally increases my tip. He could not stop gushing about my service; “Everything was wonderful!” I’d like to believe that I had something to do with his new manners.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi June 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I have had some horrible service and have never treated a waitress like this. He’s lucky you were nice enough to wait on him the next time you saw him. I’d of probably “lost” his order.

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None June 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

Ok, you acted really juvenile in throwing the change at them. Regardless of how you are treated, you have a job to do. The jerks are just as much a part of it as the grateful guests. Bad form.

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elle June 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I would have said, "Sir! YOU FORGOT YOUR BUS FARE!"

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PadrePio July 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm

A few things.

Yes, the man was a jackass. Fuck him.

When he accused you of being, bow and apologize and simply tell him you misunderstood the situation and thought the guests needed more time to settle into the table. Than ask what cocktails the guests would want and be ready with lots of information. He wants everything to be perfect and done with a smile.

Fuck him, give it to him, who cares. Upsell the hell out of him, rob him blind and send him away ready to tell friends to come give you more money. He wants to impress, take it to him.

Never, ever throw change unless you work the swing shift at Denn'ys, than consider it target practice

Your ego tells you when guests treat you this way that there is something wrong. Nothing is wrong, he is just a dick.

P

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ghfhjf July 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Her job is to serve people food not to be abused. I hate it when people think that you should forget you have feelings and just take peoples' shit with a smile.

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Laura November 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

I have never thrown change at anyone, but have seen it done a few times and I just cringe in fear the server is gonna get their ass beat. A former co worker of mine had a table one night, 12 top? and one man paid and assumed his guests would chip in for a tip. Well, no one chipped in. She's a petite little scorpio, she chased them out the door and asked what was wrong with the service? Why would you run up a tab that high and not tip? That's when he explained the confusion..

He returned a week or so later, brought the same party, asked for my friend to serve them and then tipped what he -should've- tipped last time on top of the tip for that evening alone. She made so much money she tipped out all the servers that helped her run food. I think that's good karma.

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KPinky January 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Well that guy does seem like a dick.

At the same time tips are not compulsory to give.

You acted like a child by throwing change at him, what would happen if you hit someone or you scratched a car, the damage would outweigh the tip.

You have to deal with dicks like that guy in any job and you don't get paid extra for it either.

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gringo January 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I'm not sure the issue here is the tip (it was returned). Treating people disgracefully sometimes requires a succinct response. Certainly not the first time I've heard of or seen change thrown. Most likely not the first time for this degenerate either.

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kobold April 4, 2010 at 6:04 am

ALL restaurants in this country should as most European do: Ad 15 to 20% to the bill. Some restaurants in South Beach, Fl. do so because of all those international tourists.

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MM June 29, 2010 at 5:00 am

I don't know about all European countries, but none of the ones I have ever been to have added anything to my bill.

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Darth Babaganoosh January 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

Why not do what restaurants in Asia do and not require tip or adding anything at all to the bill?

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darthbabaganoosh August 23, 2014 at 2:50 am

Boo hoo. Vote the man down! Sorry, but if other countries can pay their wait staff a living wage and make tips unnecessary, why exactly is that a bad thing?

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Laura January 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I wish that they would do away with tips altogether and start paying servers a living wage, and then jack up the price of things on the menu to cover it. So then all the customers who say "well, they're already being paid to do their job, why should I tip?" can stop benefiting from the tipping situation without paying into it.

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Jules January 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

The problem with that Laura is that some servers wouldn't try to perform exceptional service since they'd know that they weren't going to receive anything more for their service anyway. Also, it would hurt some servers who perform so well that they receive more money with tips than they would with a living wage.

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Laura January 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm

People in other professions manage to do their jobs well without the incentive of a tip. Good service would be mandatory to keep their job. Maybe at nicer places, they could have a service charge like they do in some european countries, where its like a door charge, and that could be split among staff?

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Jules January 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hmmm… you make some good points Laura. I gave you a thumbs up!

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wooterus July 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

To anyone who may not know – quite a few states can lower wages for servers so that their wages cover ONLY the taxes taken out of their paychecks. (ie Kansas- min server wage is 2.13.)
Servers in most states are paid by their PATRONS, not really by the company under whose name they are working. think of them as contractors. yes, you can choose not to tip. But if you are not going to PAY someone AT ALL for taking mental energy and 1-2 hours out of their life to give you a dining experience, then eat at home.

food service workers have the most inhumane hours, pay, and benefits (no benefits, no retirement usually not even a regular schedule, even when you work somewhere for 10+ years) of almost any industry. the least you can freaking do is leave them a couple dollars for taking care of you.

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Helen March 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

That's a pity. Too bad the restaurant didn't have autogratuity for parties of six or more in order to protect servers from getting stiffed on big bills.

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