Friday, September 28, 2007


I am used to hearing about how waitstaff at restaurants work hard only to find that uncaring customers leave them no tip. In a book I read unruly teenagers even left coins as a tip in the bottom of a milkshake glass. They laughed at the thought of their waitress having to fish down into the glass to get the much-needed money.

So while my recent experience does not compare, I have to say that I didn't expect to find myself stiffed by a waitress.

After a quick lunch, I returned the check with a bill that was more than the amount. The waitress asked if I wanted change, and I said yes. The service has been all well and good, but not getting change meant giving her an tip that was over 30% of the bill. I tip, but I wasn't feeling that generous.

She returned the check to the table and I didn't open it right away because I was typing away on my laptop. When I did open it, I was surprised to find two dollar bills and no receipt.

Now I had an idea of what the amount was, but did not remember exactly. And without a receipt, how could I be sure? I just knew that I had not been given all of my change. So when I approached her to point out that a) I had no receipt and more importantly b)she hadn't given me all of my change, she muttered some feeble excuses about making a mistake in rounding.

Maybe it was an "honest" mistake, I really don't know. I do know that a bigger tip comes by giving better service, not by skimming off the top.

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