Tonight I had dinner with my elderly parents and the waitress was pleasant enough while serving us. However, she brought my mother someone else's dinner which wasn't even remotely similar to what was ordered. The food was taken away and replaced with what my mom did order except it had carrots instead of fries. The waitress said she had her down for carrots but returned with a freshly cooked and very yummy plate of fries. For the rest of the meal the waitress was attentive but not overly so, meaning she didn't offer to refill my iced tea until I was completely finished with it and my meal. However, I didn't need a refill so it's not a big deal. The sucky part came when my dad paid the bill. Dad has had some minor strokes that affects his memory. He doesn't drive anymore and we have to keep an eye on him because he gets confused easily. For Dad, a 10 percent tip is good, eight percent is normal. How the heck he figures eight percent is beyond me but I've checked it with a calculator and he's pretty consistent. Anyway, he pays the bill with a credit card and with the waitress acting as cashier, he adds two bucks (eight percent again). The waitress thanks him but she is clearly not being sincere. Not nasty, not sarcastic, just with a "thanks for nothing" type attitude. What she didn't know is I left four bucks on the table so she ended up with a more than 20 percent tip she didn't deserve and a desire to never return.
On a related topic from a different restaurant the credit card bill arrived with a different total than the receipt Mom kept that clearly had the amount of the tip and the total amount authorized. Apparently, the waitress there also didn't like Dad's ten percent so she upped it to about 18 percent. Don't know what happened after I informed the manager but he was definitely not happy.
Why is it people think they are entitled to extra money because they choose to work for a below minimum wage? Why does getting pie and coffee in a diner require a tip while pie and coffee at McDonald's doesn't? Where is the line that divides competent work and exceptional service and why do both deserve the same gratuity? I know restaurant workers and others depend on tips because their earnings are irratic but doesn't the same thing apply to those who work on commission? Why is a tip "required" for one but not even considered for the other?