Monday, August 10, 2009

Just The Tip...See How It Feels

I'm a great tipper; it's the result of years of waiting tables. If you know someone who isn't- that dude who always leaves five percent- you can bet your ass they've never done the job. The code of conduct has always dictated that tips are never mentioned to the customer, but there seems to be a trend to the contrary. Recently, my girlfriend and I had dinner with some friends. Before we were able to settle the tip situation on our separate checks, the waitress snatched them up. She returned within a few minutes with the manager to ask why the tip wasn't bigger. My girlfriend (spitfire that she is) asked the manager if it was customary to question tips, to which the manager responded, "we're used to getting 18%". Somehow, I doubt it. The restaurant's sushi is too good to write them off permanently, but we were stunned by the collective balls of their employees. Is it a lost-in-translation thing? It's a Japanese restaurant staffed by people who can barely speak english, but I expect them to at least nail the math. Maybe it's an economic thing- has the recession hit the service industry so hard that they've thrown decorum to the wind and are brazenly squeezing us for every penny? I'm prone to believe the former; when we got delivery from the same place a week later, the driver asked about my tip. For a culture steeped in the concept of shame, this place has definitely gotten over theirs.

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