I really hate how in America today, and most likely the world wide, tipping is required. Tipping is no longer a gratuity, in that it's not something that is given voluntarily or beyond any obligation but rather it's expected. And some how if you don't tip beyond a certain amount, you're the bad guy.
It doesn't matter that the service completely sucked.. No no.. We are the bad ones for not giving them extra money for their crappy service.
I say screw that – if the service sucked then why should we give them a tip at all?! But I get ahead of myself.. Let me start at the beginning..
My office went to lunch today to a favorite sushi place that we often frequent. There were 12 of us and we had an hour or so to get some lunch. 12 is a lot of people and we knew it would be tight trying to do that lunch in that amount of time.. We certainly didn't expect it to take over two hours like it did..
Anyway, as a former waiter myself I understand that it can be tough handling that many people. It's up to the waiter though to ask for help if they need it, instead of letting the service suffer. Its also up to management to step in and offer help or assign other people to the ticket if others are needed.
We all made our order and sat there.. and sat there.. and sat there.. I had originally ordered something and asked for the rolls to be replaced or changed because I didn't really like those, and she flat out refused. I wasn't ordering a special or anything.. instead she made me order a second plate of what I actually wanted AND the rolls I didn't want (which came with the sushi I did want).. but fine.. I'll do that.. No sense in making things difficult..
I was the first one served. Both my orders came out about 20 minutes after we ordered and it took another 30 or 40 minutes for the rest of the people to be served (It may have been longer). By the time the last person was served their food, most people were done.. So.. the last several folks didn't get anything, until the first people had completed their meal.. That's an obscenely long time for a “lunch”.
She wouldn't split up the check so we had to handle it ourselves. We pooled some cash and wrote down on the back of the ticket how much to charge to each of the credit cards placed in the little sleeve.
I don't know the total of the bill, but 12 people at a sushi place I'm gonna guess it was around $250.. She counted the cash at the table and there was over $100.. she then ran off to charge the cards. After ten to fifteen minutes she came back with stuff for us to sign.. We sign and head out.
All is well I thought. We got half way backed out of the space when she comes charging out of the restaurant with charge tickets waiving trying to stop us.. Of course we stop, and ask what the problem is. I thought we didn't pay enough.. someone forgot their card.. someone didn't sign.. something..
She actually said, “You didn't tip!” .... “The amount on the bill wasn't with tip, and you didn't tip but 10%”... Uh.. you're shitting me right?! Did you actually just charge after us because you feel we didn't give you a big enough tip?!
What the fuck?! We paid the bill.. Plus gave 10% despite the service, and you actually think it's okay to rush out and confront us about it? Where do you get off?
If they don't put the automatic “tip” in with the charge, that's not our fault. If you would cut the check up into separate bills it would be easier to to tell, again not our fault. If it didn't take us 2 hours to eat, then maybe we would tip more.. again.. not on us..
But you don't get to rush out to our car and confront us about it..
At the end she actually said; “But its only 10%.. there isn't any tip in with the amount of the bill. You only gave me 10%.. But thats okay! Thats just fine!” in a very snotty way, and stormed off.. Basically saying that we only tipped her 10% and she wanted to make sure we knew that she knew.
Tipping is a gratuity.. Or should be.. If the service sucks, if they argue with you about your order, if they refuse to split checks, if they take hours to serve, if the fruit on your plate looked like it stayed out too late drinking, or had been served in last nights cocktail.. etc.. It should be okay to express your opinion with your wallet. Read: “Service sucked, no extra money for you.”
I've been a waiter.. I know the deal.. If I performed poorly I knew I wasn't going to get much.. And I never though it was okay to go confront my customers about it.. That's NEVER okay.. She got 10%, and her final performance was very much like the rest of it – makes me want to ask for that 10% back.