I've had alot of experiences getting bad service simply because I am young and "strange looking," - despie the fact that I believe in tipping well if it is called for. it's abit of a self-fufilling profacy if you treat someone like shit because you don't expect anything from them, because then they have no obligation to give you a nice tip if you act an ass/neglect them. I know that I don't have a 100% sure way to know that they acted this way based on how we looked, but given that "normal," people had no problem, it's really the only conclusion.
I've two seperate stories - one that happened in a Wal-mart and another at a local restaurant.
Okay, now this isn't a case of "not seeing everything happening." as we were behind this man the entire time, and actually didn't say anything to one another 'til afterward, I think possibly because we thought we didn't just see that. In any case, my friend and I were making a small purchase of perhaps eight dollars with a man in front of us making a purchase that was probably about that amount. Now, we're chatting and waiting our turn, being generally quiet and polite - you know, not talking about anything grotesque that might bother someone since we're standing behind one person, and in front of another, so they'd have no choice but to hear our conversation. The man in front of us hands over a $100 bill, the cashier accepts it without a word - and without checking it. We're like "Whatever. Okay, that's her own thing." as we don't much care in the first place, it's her business if she wants to accept a large bill that could possibly be fake. However, what occured next was agitating and to be honest, offensive. We hand over our five dollar bill and three ones...and she checks them - including the ones! A VERY "What the fuck?!" moment, we were too shocked to do anything other than leave. I mean, honestly the only thing I can think is perhaps she knew the person ahead of us, but that still is no excuse to check our ones. and eye us like criminals.
We're in this Wal-mart a whole lot, enough so that we know a lot of the night people, even have nicknames for a few of them and they know us. A lot of the employees know us at least by sight [making it very easy to pinpoint us if it HAD been fake.], so it's not like we're some random strange looking out-of-towners trying to pass off a couple hundred dollar bills - it was a five and three ones.
The next was bad enough to turn us off of this particular restaurant forever...
I'd like to state first that I was raised to be polite, and I'd like to at least think it comes off as genuine. I once told an employer during an interview that I just can't grasp not being polite and curteous, so I think it's obvious it's just what comes naturally to me. I also always make it a point to be nice to my servers - I recognise that they're people, not robots, and they can be busy or have a bad day just like I can. However, this is unacceptable.
My friend [same friend as before] and her little sister and I decide to eat at this new restaurant in town. My friend's work had given all of their employees gift certificates and nobody else reported service like this that I am aware of. We had all prepared at least a five dollar tip a piece a well as were just going to leave whatever was left from the gift certificate as part of the tip as well, and this would easily have been $25+ dollars for a tip [our meal came out to about $38 I believe, and it was a $50 certificate.] We start the meal off politely, greeting our server back, smiling and asking him how he was after he'd asked us. All three of us are very much the "Please," and "Thank you," types even in fast food restaurants, and this was a fairly decent place, so we made sure to be as polite as we could.
At first, our server was pretty average, but this quickly plumeted to "awful." Over time, he began ignoring us more and more, when our food was finally brought out, my friend found herslef dissatisfied with the dish. Again, we're either all servers, friends of servers or family members of servers, so we always give the benefit of the doubt, again because they're not robots, but people, who have lives of their own. She called him over and politely asked if she may order another dish, and did so.
She'd eaten just enough of her first dish to know she didn't like it - two bites of the pasta and a bite of the chicken. He eventually brought out her new dish with no word and just wandered off [the restaurant was not full and he had two other tables, period, both with two to four people per table.] we waited and waited for refills on our drinks, he brought over the ticket in the same manner, no word, just put it on the table. Seeing as my friend had only eaten ONE dish, she called him over to ask if it was possible if she could just be charged for the one she ate, not the original which she did not consume. At this point he became very volitile, "So you're saying you want to eat free?!" the tone in his voice was out of place and aggressive to our polite requests and soft words. He continued his tirade, using the most disgusted tone I've ever heard come out of soemone's mouth in a long time. "So you're saying you want it for FREE!" she answered that no, she did not, that she just wanted to pay for the dish she ate, not the one she sent back that was unsatisfactory.
"You've already eaten TWO MEALS, but whatever." He stormed off, leaving us shocked. He came back only to slam the new ticket down, not even returning to pick up our money. His body language during that interaction was rather frightening - balled fists and tense body, it was obvious he was very, very angry despite that we had done nothing and had been nothing but respectful and curteous. Before he had stormed off I was actually concerned he might strike my friend, his body language was THAT tense.
Of course, it only got worse. We were very shaken up as we had no idea what we did and if anything, but the manager didn't help. My friend was too rattled to do anything but go to her van, so I approached the manager myself. I was polite but firm - expressing much like I have here that I KNOW that servers are people too, but this was unacceptable. All I got was a half-hearted "He doesn't usually do that. He's one of our best servers." and for HER to wander off, only to have some other girl come back to give me another gift certificate. I was made to feel that either I was lying or making too big a deal out of nothing, and that my concerns were not valid.
We ended up giving the second certificate away and are still shocked that we were treated in such a way. Naturally after such service, we did not leave a tip...this is something none of us have EVER done and felt awful that we even "had," to, but with the service given it made us feel sick to validate that by leaving a tip.