Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Pet Peeve is Unearthed....

A friend asks the question below as a status on his FB site....the running commentary follows....
Do I need change? No, I normally give tips of 30% or more for average, acceptable service. #questionsIhate

Kim Mitchell For those people that ask me if I need change - the tip I was going to leave just went down.
14 hours ago · LikeUnlike
Dayna Heater I ask that all the time before I look at the cash in my hand. I don't mean to assume anything, i've got a whole lot on my plate and if I don't have to walk all the way back over there from the register to put down cash you don't intend to take it makes my life considerably smoother.
12 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Bryan McGrath The customer's job does not include making the server's life easier. Like Tim, I dislike this question.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
Dayna Heater I'm amazed you're so convinced of your own worth in such an interaction.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
Bryan McGrath You're absolutely right. I should begin making my own drinks, cooking my own food and serving it to myself at the restaurants I frequent in order to make things easier on the staff. Thanks for putting me on the straight and narrow!
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
Dayna Heater if people at YOUR work didn't make your job easier in little ways every day I bet you'd whine like a little kid. there's nothing more irritating than people that feel they're the more important person in a human interaction. and yes, if you insist on being That Guy, do service industry people a favor and eat at home. your 12% tip isn't worth the lingering crappy feeling you're leaving behind in the person that's fighting through their 3rd consecutive 12-hour shift this week.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
Bryan McGrath ‎"Service" industry being the operative phrase.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
Dayna Heater service does NOT equal servant.
56 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
Tubby Mcg uh-oh... methinks a few of you are in for a substandard cup-a-joe the next time you visit a certain Starbucks...
44 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
Dayna Heater I'd like to be shocked that you two are such assholes but it's so typically american I can only congratulate you for living up to our international reputation.
36 minutes ago · Like

·  Unlike
Ok--in all seriousness since we've hit a raw nerve....presumably you think Tim is a rational, clear thinking guy, and I'm an asshole (why my national origin is in play, I do not know--but I digress). But he agrees with me that the question... is an annoyance. Do you think we're the only two people who feel that way? Since it sounds as though your livelihood to some extent depends on tips, doesn't it make sense for you to understand that there is some portion of your client base that does not like that question, some of whom may not like it enough that they may be unlikely to tip as well next time they are in the place? I realize that you think I'm an asshole (probably true) and that you have me pegged as a 12% tipper (decidedly not true). What I am is a discriminating customer, who takes his dining business where he feels that the establishment takes its role in the transaction seriously--from reservation, to seating, to order taking, to food prep and delivery, all the way through the exchange of money. They realize that I am there because I do not wish to purchase the food at a grocer, store it, cook it, serve it and clean up after it. I want OTHER PEOPLE to do those things. This is the essence of the transaction. Are those who do these things servants? No. Are they providing a service? Yes. I am not obligated or expected to provide service BACK to them in any way in this transaction. I simply enjoy. For some odd reason, I feel that this is a large part of the "psychology" of dining out. Maybe I'm getting it wrong, but I figure that "making it easier" on the waitstaff doesn't enter prominently into that psychology. This does not give me the right to be obnoxious or demeaning--it simply give me the right for the 90 minutes or so I am in the establishment--to expect that MY needs and wants are what are at stake, not those of the staff. I wish you well, and I very much regret if I have upset or offended you.
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The Conservative Wahoo said...

Sorry for how poorly this translates from Facebook, but the exchange was well worth passing along....

"The Hammer" said...

I tip well because the places I typically eat and drink have waitress with big tits and low cut tops, and I'm a big fan of those. I'm a simple man with simple needs but a pleasant experience, both culinary and aesthetic, is very important to me and well worth 20-25 percent. If I want a $75.00 steak and a $10 bottle of wine (sold to me for $35.00) and served by a well-spoken homo, I know where to go.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

Jeez, I'd hate to see what you think of people who send Christmas cards featuring a picture of just their kids.

PK said...

As I pondered this exchange, I found myself wondering if you would be equally annoyed by what I consider a compromise question... "How would you like your change, sir?" Admittedly, if you are handing the server a $20 on a $16 bill (not that your bills would ever be that small!), the question is rather silly, but perhaps you need quarters for the meter. Ideally, the question would prompt the patron to reply "Oh, I don't need change" or "It doesn't matter." In the latter case, the server should assume that change is needed and just suck it up if the patron caused them an "extra" trip to the table by leaving the whole amount.

Keep in mind, of course, that I feel guilty and apologetic if I cause my server any extra work.

Mudge said...

I've had enough change over the past two years that anyone who asks me that risks a punch in the nose.

Anonymous said...

I already added my snarky comments to the Facebook commentary but I would have to add here that in a high end DC steakhouse the issue would rarely come up because more often than not the bill is settled with a credit card (I don't even think you carry that amount of cash CW)and because the staff are well mannered, well trained servers who would state, "I will be right back with your change", thus allowing you the opportunity to say, "It's all yours".
Your opponent in this verbal joust is likely a womyn's studies graduate currently serving as a barista at Starbucks and is mad as hell that she is forced (about 50% of the time) to serve men.

BigFred said...

My wife dragged me down the the Ellipse last night to see the National Christmas Tree, which is not even a tree anymore, it being replaced for environmental reasons with a chickenwire representation of a tree covered with lights, surrounded by trees from the various States (46), Territories (4), District (1), and Commonwealths (4). Guess which little tree looked the worst? You guessed it, DC's did. Because she failed to make reservations at the Ebbitt, we ended up at Bobby Van's steakhouse. While I do begrudge them 9.00 for a plate of Mac and Cheese, the level of service was spectacular, and they got 25% on top of a substantial dinner bill. They brought back the correct mix of dead Presidents in response to my offering of Benjamins, and I believe we were all satisfied at the transaction.

Anonymous said...

Having dined with CW on more than one occasion, I will share with you one of his more endearing (to me, at least) bill-paying practices.

The wait-staff starts out with the standard 15% tip, then CW begins to dock percentage points off as he encounters various points of service failure throughout the dinner. On more than one occasion, this has resulted in the wait-staff being in the negative, tip-wise.

CW is a lot of fun to go to dinner with.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Right you are Anon, except the tip starts at 20 percent, and it often goes higher.

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