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Old 07-15-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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What would you have done?

This happened a while back. After some errands, I had a short window of time (around 2pm) to grab lunch before heading on to my p/t job. We don't eat fast food at all, so my fastest choices were still sit-down restaurants. I had only $10 cash on me, but I had a gift card from x-mas for a chain rib place.

To make a long story short, the server took over 5 minutes to just greet me and ask for my drink order (I ordered my meal at the same time), forgot my rolls (brought them with my meal, which was an appetizer selection), forgot a condiment I asked for, failed to refill my water (I had to ask another server), my rib basket took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to come out (and they were not hot... but not cold, either) and the server was generally not to be found to ask for anything. There were perhaps 5 occupied tables in the whole place. NOT a busy time.

I had been finished for a really long time and finally I went to the hostess stand to ask for my check. When I got the check, I put my gift card in the check holder and waited for my waiter. And waited, and waited, and waited. Angry at this horrible service, I finally just said, "Forget this, I'm already late for work", took the card out and put in the $10... for the $9.80 bill. JUST as I was doing this, the waiter appeared. I told him, "I waited for everything for this meal." He said, "Sorry, it was the end of my shift and I had other work to complete." I said, "Well, I'm sorry about your tip." And I left.

I feel bad, knowing this guy lost money on my meal, but dang, it just was beyond ridiculous service!! For future reference, I'm wondering what others' thoughts are on this. Is there *ever* justification for no/little tip? Did I let my anger get the best of my principles?


Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:38 PM   #2
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You did exactly what I would have done.

The waiter gave your service a lower priority than other work and lost because of it. Considering you were a paying customer and his other work was probably not customer related, it was a thoughtless choice that he should have paid for.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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You have way more patience than I would have. He would have been hearing about much earlier.

The other work is for down times...not when you have a customer at a table, they come first.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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You were absolutely 100% justified. Why should you pay for service you didn't get? Good for you!!
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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I agree with what everyone has already said. A good tip is for good service. Crappy service = crappy tip. I'm sorry you had such a crummy experience.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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I would have done the same thing with out guilt. T.o I.nsure P.rompt S.ervice.
Tipping is usually optional. However a lot restaurants tax the wait staff's pay on what ever percentage rate is considered fair based on the total bill. They also pay a really low wage. Waitresses and Waiters know this and SHOULD preform their job accordingly. The sad part is that a lot of them don't learn from being stiffed.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:15 AM   #7
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Thank you for the reassurances that I wasn't a total jerk and that it was justified. I was second-guessing myself.
Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:20 AM   #8
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You did good!
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:23 AM   #9
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I use a tiered scale for tips. 25% for exceptional service, more if have extra cash and have received exceptional service repeatedly from the same server, down to nothing and a complaint to the manager for extremely poor service. In this case, the only thing I would have done differently was file a complaint with whoever was supervising the shift. As soon as he used the excuse that it was the end of his shift he basically admitted his time was more important than yours, which is a big no no in customer service. I'm generally pretty lenient with customer service folk because I get that the job can be stressful and anyone can have an off day, but this was way beyond an off day.
Just because something has a duck bill doesn't mean it's a platypus. It might just be a duck.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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You have nothing to feel guilty about. I would've done the same thing.

Unfortunately, the server was stupid for openly admitting to you that something else was more important than ensuring that you had a pleasant dining experience. Having said that, I have my doubts that the payment you left made much of an impression on the server.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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