Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My husband and I had dinner out a few days ago, and as we ate our dinner, I was reminded of something that really, really annoys me.  Waitstaff.  Ok, let me rephrase that - waitstaff that doesn't do their job - yet still expects a "tip". 

Where I work I get occasional bonuses for a job well done.  If sales are lagging, and I haven't been keeping on top on things like I should, those bonuses are significantly less, if I even receive them at all.  I am still paid my salary, but the additional "tips" I'm no longer getting.

I realize that because waiters and waitresses get tips that their salary is significantly less, and often even under minimum wage.  No, I haven't done work in this field either, these are just my thoughts.

When you do a good job, you get an equally pleasant tip.  Several weeks ago, we went to a local steak house and had dinner.  The waitress that we had that evening, was absolutely wonderful.  She made sure that are glasses were kept full, that we had plenty of rolls and butter, and that we didn't want for anything.  She was left a $10 tip. 

When we dined out at a few nights ago, I didn't leave the waiter a penny.  We saw him 4 times.  We waited 5+ minutes before he came out and got our drink order.  He brought out our drinks and took our food order, walking away before we could make a request for a different side dish.  He brought out our food, and we saw him for the final time, when he brought out our check.  We had wanted more to drink, yet he was standing over in a corner with some other waitstaff laughing and joking around instead of doing his job.  So his bonus or tip last night, wasn't that awesome.

I have heard so many different opinions on this subject.  Some people think that you should tip 15% regardless of the service.  My in-laws do it.  My parents, my husband and I don't tip unless we think that the service was "as it should be". 

Dining out is my night off from cooking.  It's supposed to be enjoyable.  I'm not supposed to have to get up and get a pitcher and refill my own glass (and yes, it has happened.)  I'm not supposed to have my food "thrown" across at a table at me either.  Thankfully I was paying attention, or the plate and food would have wound up in my lap and on the floor.  Yet, the people who have behaved and preformed their job this way still expected a tip at the end of the meal.  I wouldn't have gotten a bonus for not doing my job, why should they? 

I have been out with others and as they calculate the tip ask how much I'm leaving.  Then they are flabbergasted when I remind them that we have complained about the service all night - that I'm leaving them nothing. 

I have been to restaurants where they were understaffed, and the person serving us did the best they could with what they were given.  Did I leave those people a tip?  You bet.  Were our water glasses often empty, probably so.  But there is a difference between the two - this person was trying to keep everyone happy.  The other expected or even thought that they deserved a tip without putting forth the hard work.  I was raised that you don't expect anything - that in order to receive something like a tip, you first have to do work that is worthy of earning it.

Unfortunately it's a sad lesson that they will have to learn that life is full of hard work.  Waitressing isn't below anyone.  Any job is honorable - as long as it is done honorably. 

~The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. ~Arnold Toynbee

~There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.  ~William J. Bennett
~Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. - Confucius
~It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.  - Niccolo Machiavelli
~What is it that you like doing?  If you don't like it, get out of it, because you'll be lousy at it.  - Lee Iacocca

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