Monday, January 02, 2006

Here’s a Tip: Plant Your Corn Early

Unsung heros, foods service workers. I have great respect for wait staff. Talk about a thankless job.

It is rare that I don’t tip the standard 20% when eating out. If I happen to be unhappy with anything while dining out, I’d rather speak to the manager and let them know why my experience was inadequate rather than cheating my server. Nine times out of ten, the bad service has to do with what is going on behind the scenes rather than the server not performing their job. I do know people who will look for every opportunity to hassle the wait staff in an effort to get a free meal or discount. They’re also those who feel some sense of entitlement and treat servers with irreverence.

I tried to be a waitress ( the politically correct term back then) while in college. It was not a task that I either was good at or enjoyed. I lasted for half a shift. My demise came when an elderly customer, not happy with his visit, left me a penny for a tip. I grabbed the penny, followed him out to his vehicle and told him he must have dropped something and returned his coin.

Right after that, I turned in my apron.

9 comments:

HotForSimon said...

I tried waitressing once too...it wasn't pretty. I'd rather be in the kitchen than pouring hot beverages...too much pressure! LOL

phillip said...

i've been a dominos driver several times in the past and i always noticed that the friendliest customers and best tippers on average were seldom the upper middle class people but more than often those in the lower classes...it was like they knew the value of a tip...also, they tended to treat me more like a person rather than someone doing them a paid service...

phillip said...

something else too...because of my experiences of getting part of my income from tips i tend to be rather generous when i tip...i also like to give the tip directly to whoever served me and tell them that everything was freat and we really enjoyed everything...and if there's a problem of some sort with my order i make it seem like its no big deal and a majority of the time the waitress or waiter will bend over backwards to make things right. i'm not saying i'm some kinda super customer or anything but i know things like this make a tough, unrewarding job a little more pleasant...

Reya Mellicker said...

I waited tables for years (the politically correct term when I worked at Kramerbooks, for instance, was "waitron." Weird, eh? "Server" was another term I heard a lot.)

It always perplexed me to see how rude the customers could get with me. In fact, I controlled their dining experience. I could make it a lovely dinner or a terrible dinner of doom. It's always best to be civil with your server even if you're hungry or have had one drink too many or had a bad day at work.

Everyone should work either in retail sales or as a waitron at some point in life. Boy do you ever learn a thing or two about the shadow side of human nature!

Wicked H said...

I never understood the attitude lobbed toward servers. The rudest thing I have encountered is a former friend announcing to the server ahead of time that she was an excellent tipper. When I asked her why she did that, her reply was so that she could treat the server anyway she wanted. Deplorable.

Hats off to anyone who is in the biz. I appreciate you immensely.

HFS, Phillip and Reya: Thanks for sharing.

sophie said...

I remember waiting tables in high school at a "restaurant" just barely nice enough to have waitresses. I was amazed how rude people could be. I tip well as a result. I agree with Phillip. There is something about having been there that tends to result in a better appreciation.

Debby said...

I worked for many years as a waitress and as a bartender. Wait staff are most assuredly undervalued and underpaid. I always leave a big tip (huge if I really liked my server), which drives my husband nuts. He thinks that they are just doing their job and should do it well, no matter what. Definitely has led to some of our bigger arguments.

Smash said...

Love the ending of your entry. Must have felt good to do that.

Weary Hag said...

I'm grinning to myself here because my daughter (who is a waitress) did exactly the same thing with a three-cent "tip" that was left for her because the food came out of the kitchen overcooked. How could that possibly have been her fault? She did all she could to kiss the customer's asses after that happened and yet they dumped on her instead of taking it to the manager.

I greatly admire waitstaff of any type and always tip well. If I have a problem with their attitude or if their SERVICE was lousy, I usually let them know after I've left a 10% tip on the table.