A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I rarely leave less than a 20% tip. Even if the service is completely unacceptable I will leave at least 10%. I know that most of the problems that occur when you are dining out are not the fault of the server. I am also aware of how little they make in wages and that tips are a big part of their income. There is nothing like good service. And the other night I got nothing like good service. And for the first time I can remember I left almost no tip. The long suffering wife and I ventured to Lackawanna County for a book signing. By the way, my book “And then again I could be wrong” is on sale at bookstores near you. And Amazon.com. Shameless plug out. Dinner was courtesy of a gift card at a chain with the same name as a cartoon character. Not our first choice, but hey, free is good, right? Wrong! Our server was a chirpy overly friendly one who called us “guys” all night. I hate that. It got worse. I ordered chicken. My wife ordered chopped steak. That’s basically a hamburger ,no bun. We waited, and waited and waited. No word of lie, it was ½ hour before our dinners came. Chirpy waitress came by every so often and apologized saying “Guys, I’ll check and see what’s taking so long.” She said that three times. Finally the long lost food arrives. My wife asks always for well done. If you know about E. coli you know why. Her hamburg was bright red and bloody inside. This after waiting a half hour? So it was sent back. Our waitress couldn’t have been more apologetic. Ok, this was not her fault but the offer of free deserts to make up for it sounded great. I distinctly heard “Free Deserts” plural. I have a good clear voice. So I am sure chirpy waitress heard me place the order for two to go. I even pointed out the two on the menu. Of course you know she only brought one, right? I am guessing she was told by someone in charge that for our “trouble” we deserved only one. At that point the 10% tip I had figured on leaving didn’t seem like it was earned. So I screwed her on the tip. I think I left her 32 cents. Do I feel good about this? On reflection, no. But up until she made an offer to make it good then shorted us I was willing to play along. Lesson learned. Free is good, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

1 comment:

Ubiquitous said...

I am also a good tipper but a few nights ago i left no tip, the only other time in my life that i have ever given someone no tip was when they exploded at our entire party for asking for seperate checks.

The other night i was at a habbachi bar with about 7 or 8 friends. We had waited about 2 hours to get into said hibbachi, it is a pretty popular place.

Food was great, service was great, had saki poured into my mouth from the cook a couple of times, a good time, until time came to pay.

Everyone else had cash and i rarely do so i put down my card for 20 (my portion of the bill) and the rest was to be done in cash.

I get my receipt to sign and tip and i start to fill it out. 20 dollars of a bill, 5 dollar tip. Thats 25% for those keeping track.

It was at this point one of the waitreses started yelling at me in Japanese and pointing at the check.

She then ran and got someone who i assume was the manager and one of the bus boys and pointed at my check. The manager then tried to explain to her that i was tipping for my portion and the rest is in cash.

This is the kind of world it has become, everyone has a sense of entightlement. It is a tip, it is for gratuity, not to be expected, and how can you come from Japan (where they dont tip) to the US and expect everyone to tip?

Well, after being yelled at and getting a ton of rude looks from this waitress i scratched off my tip and put down 20. It was at this point that the manager said "we have people waiting, you leave" she repeated this about 4 times in the course of 30 seconds.

I then told my party to kindly remove their tips and we all left.

I dont think any of us will ever spend our hard earned cash at this place again.

Whats sad is that i can understand someone getting mad about getting a crumby tip when they have done a good job, i really can. What i cant understand is a waitress watching someone write down a tip and then trying to go after them for it. Then to top it off, a manager of a place of service throwing an entire party out over a dispute her worker caused.

Well, i am happy to say it didnt ruin the night or even stop the party, it takes more then one idiot to do that.