The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Monday, October 06, 2008

Class Traitor

It is restaurant code/karma/tradition to tip well if you are a restaurant employee.

For my compatriots and I insane 30, 40 or 50% tips are common place.

Even shit service warrants at least 15% or the big bad karma will come for you in the dark and stiff you.

That is why I am infuriated with the "class traitor" types.

Saturday night my string of bad luck stood at nine weeks in a row with large groups, more on that next post, especially if it goes to week ten.

It was an eight top of middle twentysomething girls, the situation was a birthday party.

They knew one of the managers and he bought the birthday girl her meal, this would be fine except some of her friends wanted to buy her dinner.

So they turned on me because apparently it was my responsibility to not let my manager take care of her, and naturally there was no tip left for her comped meal from the gals either.

As the checks came out which had to be ridiculously split beyond belief, one of the girls started name dropping where she had worked.

She used insider terms that impressed me like "eight top" and asked if the "grat" was added, unfortunatly for me it was not.

As I was rounding up the tabs she gave me hers, "Here hon, its all yours."

I walked back to the service station and was organizing the cash and credit cards when I open her folder, two bucks on twenty.

Ten percent.

The next folder contained the same amount and same tip.

I returned to the table with everyone's change and credit card slips, I dropped off hers as well.

"Oh I said you could keep the change?" She said as she dismissively waved me away.

"Oh are you sure?" I asked with a sarcastic hint to my concern.

Ten percent, from a server.

That will come back to bite her in the ass. One could as perhaps it was a service issue? I've said before, I know when I'm off at a table and can see expect a bad tip coming from a mile away.

This was not the case.

I went out of my way to split checks that had shared entrees, they got a free meal, they received free desert, and despite all the extra work, half of them tipped me at ten percent post discount.

The reason I didn't apply gratuity? One girl showed up late and had no ticket of her own.

As a I little bit of positive though, two girls at the end of the table who received no discount left me a very nice tip, thank you.

Later the manager who was friends with them asked me how they were, I suppose he was friends with them and I could have used some tact.

I didn't, I told him they stiffed me, that they were class traitors who knew better and that I never want to wait on them again.


At 7:54 PM , Blogger Emily said...

That's a reason I don't like to split up checks when I'm out with a group; when everyone pitches in cash I can add it up and make sure the server isn't getting stiffed overall.

I have no problem throwing down a few extra bucks.

At 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh, I know what you mean...There is one girl at my soon to be former place of work who declares that she will not tip any of us since we work together...Go figure...

At 11:26 PM , Blogger lachockita said...

I always over tip when I eat at my work. Any industry person knows about that 20$ tip that gets passed around between all of us. What annoying girls.

At 7:18 AM , Anonymous Food Service Ninja said...

I learned a LONG time ago you GRAT EVERYONE except your regulars who tip more than the grat. To the verbal tippers who lie to you and say they tip more -tell them the computer adds the grat automatically. BUT I would bet you any sum 99% of those wind bags tip LESS than the grat. "Me thinkist he DOTH protest too much" to quote the bard.

I started auto grat'ing big tops when I had a boss explain it to me like this -if you as in your restaurant always grat then the guest knows what the meal costs (assuming its being paid by single person). If you dont always grat some folks wont realize there is a grat and tip on top which makes the meal cost more.

The boss was concerned it made his meals look more expensive than they really were.

Also SCREW explaining a grat was added. WHY? The place I work in has live music and I do NOT want to get into a grat discussion where I have to yell in a guy's ear about it.

Your menu says clearly what tables have grat added and most places have a sign posted at the host stand. Finally only a douchebag would NOT realize grat is added to a larger party in 99.9% of restaurants. The only debate is on what constitutes a large party- some places its 6, some 8 and some 10 or more people.

At 11:59 AM , Anonymous Jackie said...

In or restaurant it's 5 or more. And they let us add 20. Thankfully, since it's expensive and a lot of people are lile "oh I got this" and then will try to stiff you when they realize how expensive it is. That's why I always hate when there's an arguement for the check. Without a doubt, the guy who gets it regrets that he did because it's so much, and will screw us waiter/waitresses over.

At 10:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't like it, get a real job.

At 2:21 AM , Blogger Mr. Peanut said...

FUCK U anonymous u have no clue what a REAL job is. your sorry pathetic excuse for a job is probably in a cubicle where you earn less then a server and develop NO people skills...Good luck in life u sorry piece of shit!!!

At 9:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I find is when people get complimentary anything on their bill they tip less.You would think they tip more, wouldn't you?

Just wondering too if you can add me on to your links.Just started to blog and a waiter as well.I will add yours to mine.I like your blogs.

At 1:04 PM , Blogger Bookstore Piet said...

Sometimes you can guilt them into tipping properly. Years ago I had a 4-top at lunch that ran up a $150 tab. When I picked up the check I was told the rest was for me. There was $155 in the book... I brought it back and when told again the change was mine I replied 'your too kind'... and left the book. When I checked after they left they had added two twenties...

At 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah I guess a job at a biotech company with a PhD in biochemistry is not a real job. I'll quit and find a waiter job next week. Seriously, if you are going to be in a job where you are dependent on tips for money, then brag about how much money you make, don't bitch about not getting big tips, get a real job. And as for servers always talking about making so much money, when you take into account benefits packages and vacation days at a real job, they don't make anything. Also, it is undignified.

At 6:59 PM , Blogger Waiter said...

Well you might have a real job, but you certainly are an asshole.

I was brought up to believe that no type of honest work was undignified.

What a condescending prick

At 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would think that someone with a PHD could at least use correct grammar.

At 12:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what a "fake job" is. I show up for work, get paid, and use that money to pay for things. Sounds like a real job to me. Maybe I need someone with a bullshit fucking piece of paper that says they have a P.H.D. to explain to me what a real job is?

At 2:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, no one listen to Anonymous. They don't give PHD's out at community colleges. He's just full of shit and himself, for no good reason.

At 1:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

bookstore piet,

Had you done that to me I probably would have picked up the fiver and spoken to the manager as I left.

How do you know it wasn't an honest mistake? Wouldn't it have been better to ask politely if something was wrong with the service? If you're too angry to be polite, at least ask your manager to talk to them.

-Anonymous with only an M.S., but waited tables and tended bar through college.

At 5:57 PM , Anonymous Thomas said...

I had a friend tell me once that precisely the opposite was true. That service people weren't obligated to tip servers that they knew.

I then told my manager that that guy was trying to cop feels on the hostess.

Try and stiff me you skinny fuck.

At 9:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas. I want to be your friend. Seriously.

At 10:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude... you know where they work. Even if you never enter that restaurant and fuck with them personally, you have friends, right? Sometimes karma needs a little push.

At 7:58 PM , Anonymous kitty_princess said...

hey i love your blog just started readin it from start to finish a couple of days ago its really cool keep it up! ^_^

At 9:31 PM , Anonymous Jean said...

I waited tables for THREE WEEKS. In three weeks, I lost 15 pounds, most of my sanity and a few years off my life. Some people can hack it and some can't...

But when we regifted our holiday bottles of wine to the owner and waitress at the local diner we like, the owner comped our meal... our normal 20 buck check? Waitress got a ten...

At 6:55 PM , Anonymous Rick said...

Do you really think that truly shitty service warrants 15%? Truly?

At 9:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

[quote]Anonymous said...
Please, no one listen to Anonymous. They don't give PHD's out at community colleges.[/quote]

Actually, they do. I'm certain that some of the agricultural courses involve a PhD...or, in less technical language, a Posthole Digger.

At 5:11 PM , Blogger Irish Parisienne said...

Great blog! Brings me back to those mega stressful days when I moonlighted as a 'server'. Its such a hard job and I was religious in Ireland about tipping unless the service was atrocious.

However here in Paris its nearly the other way around. I only tip if the server is nice and friendly which can be rare in this town! Because you are guaranteed that no matter what the service is going to be terrible. I don't even notice it anymore but when i get visitors they are horrified to be left for up to 30 minutes before your drink order is even taken!

I guess they just don't understand the concept of service here.. ah well it makes for a relaxing meal as you are never rushed out the door!

At 2:13 PM , Blogger Ben said...

Even worse is the class traitor that you TRAINED who leaves you a big ZERO for a tip as well as being an annoying customer.

At 1:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurts when its one of your own that treats you badly.

I once had a situation where two waitresses from a local steak house left me three dollars on a thirty dollar meal after annoying me for two hours. Three weeks later the steak house mysteriously went out of business and everyone lost their jobs... Hows that for karma?

At 10:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

PHD boy what are you doing on this site reading waiter blogs anyway? Don't you have bio"flem" things to do or are you really wishing you were a waiter.

At 8:26 PM , Anonymous Brian said...

Fuck you, Food Service Ninja. "SCREW explaining a grat was added." That is the stupidest possible attitude. What you are inviting with that is either the customer mistakenly overtips and hates the restaurant if he ever figures it out, or he does figure it out in time and just resents that you tried to sneak it past him. This is real simple: if you don't explain the check, it should not include gratuity. If it includes gratuity, you must explain it.

I have had a French Roast bistro here in NYC stick a gratuity onto a late dinner for two without my server explaining it. I was pissed off. I don't care what the sign or menu says--most people are not going to do extensive reading. It was only because I happened to inspect the printed bill that I caught it.

At 4:23 AM , Anonymous OverWorkedUnderPaid said...

Whoever this "anonymous" clown is with the "PhD." is a COMPLETE IDIOT.

1. People with REAL degrees that high are generally busy with other things, not talking down the "hoi polloi". Like anyone actually believes this moron has more than a G.E.D. anyways.

2. A good server at an EXPENSIVE spot IS a REAL JOB, and those jobs can be very lucrative. Also, experienced servers are always in demand, no matter the economic climate (your job is one red number in the books away from NON EXISTENT).

3. You meet all people from all walks serving, from other laborers to old money philanderers out with their girlfriends while their wives are at "bookclub". Servers see cross-sections of any society white collar will NEVER experience, want to learn about a culture? OBSERVE THE FLOOR at any restaurant.

4. Finally, there is something to be said for people working hard, in the REAL WORLD making REAL MONEY. Most are working as servers to go to school anyways, picking up good habits/ethic, learning to deal with stressful work situations and possibly even learning a little about conflict resolution by way of some short-tempered GM or strung out chef.

P.S. I am a line cook for the more upscale restaurants, not a server, but I feel for my bothers-in-arms. Although there is much rivalry (b/c back works 10X harder than front of the house... haha) it's a great and fun atmosphere.

P.P.S. Hey d-bag, what do you think happens when you act like some high upper class French aristocrat to a server?? He/she bites their tongue, takes your order, comes and tells me or the chef about you and you get what you have been asking for. Haven't you ever seen "Waiting"? 86 all that nonsense, you snot-nosed little girl.


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