I was going to let this slide, but I think you all are the perfect people to discuss this with.
Last week my birthday dinner was horrible. I went out for my party on Saturday, but on the Friday- my mom, brother and I went out for dinner. Here is what happened:
- Our server rolled her eyes when we asked for menus. Because clearly, I should have the mind powers that let me visualize everything on the menu. Oh, and given her impatience with the few minutes it took us to think about what we want, I apparently should also know what I want to order before entering the restaurant.
- I explained I had a wheat allergy and asked if I could get my salad without croutons. She said “of course”, as though I had asked if the place served food at all. My salad came with croutons.
- After we were done our salads, I thought I would avoid her turning into the Hulk if I stacked our salad plates/forks so it would be easier for her to take when she came back. She came back and said ‘Well, you are going to need to keep your forks”. At this point we had no idea who’s fork was who’s and none of us were wanting to take a chance and guess (my brother is really sick right now and besides not wanting his obvious boy germs, I did not want his sick germs). She rolls her eyes again when we ask if we can just get new forks.
- She brings the forks and THROWS them at the table. I’m not kidding. I had to use football catching skills to grab my fork before it fell off the table.
- We never get our drinks.
- We never get our appetizers.
- When our meal does arrive, mine is fine. My mom’s is cold and my brother’s manages to be both burnt AND cold. I have never seen my brother refuse to eat a meal (he’s like a human garborater) but he really can’t choke this down so he tells our waitress. She gives him a look that could kill Voldemort himself. And takes his plate away without asking him if he wants anything else. Of course, she needs to roll her eyes. Again.
- We still have no drinks.
- We get the bill and there are the appetizers on the bill that we didn’t get. I tell her we didn’t get them and she rolls her eyes and acts like she doesn’t believe me. As though my family is willing to pay $100 on dinner but only if we sneak bruschetta and spinach dip in our purse. My mom is mortified and thinks we should just pay it so we can leave. I refuse. It gets taken off the bill.
Our bill comes to $82.00 and my mom leaves a $100 on the table and is trying to usher us out before we can do something else that will offend our (clearly insane) waitress. I balk and say I want to speak to her manager (my birthday has put me into a mood of importance and I feel like I need to stand up to this bully). I DO talk to the manager who sticks up for the server telling me that ‘she’s been busy’. I explain that I understand this (as I look around at the half empty restaurant) but that I’ve never had worse service and that my family was so uncomfortable that we couldn’t wait to leave. She stares at me. I pay the bill and leave without putting down a tip.
That’s right. I didn’t leave a tip. (Or, technically.. my mom didn’t leave a tip since it was her money). I ALWAYS leave a tip (especially if I’m paying with other people’s money). I’ve had too many friends work as servers that leaving a tip just was never an idea that crossed my mind. But I was mad. I was mad that she was rude to my family, that she could not come to our table without AGGRESSIVE eye rolling and that she ruined my birthday dinner. So I left no tip.
Today I told my mom that I didn’t leave a tip with her money (she never counted back what I gave her to see if I did or not) and she thinks that is wrong. She thinks that all service requires a tip, even if it’s just 10% because they get paid so little hourly. Most of the times I agree, but not this time. I tell you readers, it would have hurt my soul to leave a dime for this woman.
So what would you have done? Tip or no tip? Or would you have been so busy thinking about slashing this servers tires that you wouldn’t have time to think of any tip business at all?