Yeah, you can see where it got off track.
My norm is $0.02, as in I'm giving them my two cents. And by tipping, I indicate that I didn't simply forget.
My friend says that 10% is his norm for bad service. His rationale is that "they get paid horribly low wages and they have to make a living." I respond with "perhaps they should pick a different career" or "I'd probably give them more money if they were pan-handling."
You see, I'm one of those weird people who work hard. I lose sleep over not doing a good job. I make fairly decent money even though my existence and work ethic are not predicated upon how much money I am or am not making.
I'm not an awful customer. I don't send plates back because the gravy has invaded the corn. I don't look for hair in my soup. I don't question the temperature of food. The only thing I am picky about is how you cook my steak.
Here is the implicit contract we sign when you walk up to my table and ask if you can take my order:
I, WilyGuy, being of sound mind and body... oh wait, wrong contract.
- Come to a decision about what I would like to appetize, drink, eat, and dessert upon in a timely fashion.
- Convey said choices to you in a voice that allows for you to hear and understand me.
- Accept that I have chosen this restaurant and am not being forced to eat there, so my choices will come from my free will
- Accept that I have chosen to eat at this time on this day and if it is Mother's Day and I am with a party of 12, I cannot be frustrated by my wait prior to arriving at your table.
- Understand that it is my choice to dine here, but not my choice as to the table where I was placed.
- Take my order without bias or scoff or sigh, if there is pertinent information such as that I must wait for the next cow to be slaughtered to enjoy said steak, you should convey that information.
- Take down my order on some sort of writing tablet in a legible fashion, or don't while understanding that your memory may be taxed prior to you reaching that magic ordering machine in the corner.
- Bring my drink almost immediately upon my ordering it.
- Bring my appetizer shortly after and prior to my food, unless otherwise explicitly instructed.
- Make sure my Ketchup, A-1, Salt, Pepper, and for the love of all that is good... SUGAR is full, I don't care that I have 17 bazillion yellow packets or 13 brain tumor growing pink packets.
- Walk the fine line between giving me nothing with which to clean my mouth and making me think I am the world's sloppiest person by giving me more napkins than one tree can produce.
- Check back for drink refills and to make sure my steak is correct.
- NOT flirt with the bar back at the expense of the paying customer. He's less likely to tip you, but barely.
- NOT lean into my personal space.
- NOT sit at my table while taking my order.
I recall back in the day getting the lousiest service at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant. I got such lousy service that only after placing my empty coffee cup on the top of my head and balancing it there (receiving the adoring stares of the other patrons in the joint, of course) did my waitress decide that I might want a refill. She tried to play it off by asking if I wanted her to fill it up there.
She thought I was being unreasonable. I disagreed. The manager thought I was being slightly unreasonable. I disagreed. I thought 20 minutes with an empty coffee cup on my head was unreasonable. They thought I was trying for the Guinness Book of World Records. (Why does that book have nothing to do with drinking Guinness? (not)Brilliant)
The friend I was with at the time decided that my normal two cents was not enough of a statement and took my two pennies and dropped them into the water glass, then managed to flip the water glass over trapping the pennies and the water inside the glass while creating a seal with the table...far more cruel than clever.
I took a taxi in Chicago two years ago and the driver took the address I gave him and put it in the GPS, but neglected to put in the city and as a result I went for a 2 hour drive, NOT to my destination. At first he wanted to argue about it, but realized that he was wrong and that a suburb that was mere minutes from my starting point was not the same as an address that was mere miles INTO the city. Upon reaching my correct destination, he cut the fare and I being the decent guy gave him a big tip.
One mistake shouldn't cause you to lose your job or your tip, but how you react to that mistake makes ALL the difference.
So, what's the lousiest service you have ever received?