No, this isn’t another one of my pro-adult circumcision diatribes, rather it is a more straightforward advice column about the awkward subject of tipping.
Servers live off their tips, they depend on their customers to tip graciously so they can buy cat food and rat traps for their shabby apartments, but what if their service sucks? I mean, nobody wants to look like a cheapskate, but do I have to automatically leave a tip just because somebody’s parents weren’t as rich as mine?
Growing up, I ate most of my meals at my country club, which forbade tipping, so when I moved out on my own, I was ill-prepared to navigate this tricky subject. I had always heard you should tip 15%, but then I later heard that was an outdated figure and one that is not in line with the cost of living these days.
The magic number seems to now be 20%. But is that on the total? Do you deduct the tax? And what if I only got drinks? See what I mean? I just want to enjoy some nice foie gras, I shouldn’t have to be a math wizard to do so.
I think I’ve come up with a solution that both rewards the server for doing an adequate job and elevates their sense of self. I would imagine most waiters and waitresses would resent the idea of “automatic tipping” because it removes their incentives to do well.
When I dine out, I simply stack the appropriate gratuity in multitudes of one dollar bills on the table. I call my server over and explain to them that this money is theirs to keep, however, I will take away one dollar for each screwup I observe.
Put a lemon instead of a lime in my Perrier? That’s a dollar.
Place my napkin on my lap crossways instead of at a 180 degree angle to my person? That’s another buck.
It gets trickier when it comes to things not directly under the waiter’s control, like when my salmon croquets are lightly browned when I clearly asked for them lightly seared, but irregardless, that’s a dollar.
I have gotten some guff for my methods, but I think if people stopped to think before throwing dirty dishwater at my Maybach, they would actually find themselves agreeing with the logic behind it.
Everybody complains about the schools today and how we are raising a generation of self-indulged psychopaths, right? Everybody is told they are special and everybody wins a medal.
But if I try to push back against the same idea with adults, I am branded a pariah!
Fortunately, if you make less than 300K a year, I don’t care about your opinion, so as this probably includes most all of the people serving me my food, I am not going to lose any sleep over this.
You can go ahead and tell me in the comments if any of you have tried this yourselves and how it turned out for you.